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Louisiana: UNITE!

Help defend women’s rights and pursuit of equality. Join Americans all over the United States on April 28th, 2012, as we come together as one to tell members of Congress in Washington DC and legislators all over the country…”enough is enough”! All people should have the freedom to make medical decisions about their own care and well-being without intrusions from government, business or religious ideologies. Individuals and families have the right to choose, or reject birth control, and to determine the size of their family based on their own beliefs and values without intrusions.

AMERICANS have the strength, the courage and the moral fortitude to make reasonable choices without interference from self-serving political interests, religious groups or employers.

Everyone is welcome to join, plan, and march as we stand together and demand that every person be granted equal opportunities, equal rights, and equal representation.

LOCATION: 222 St. Louis Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
City Hall Park Plaza behind City Hall in Baton Rouge across from the Old Capitol, off of South River Road facing the river.

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soulofawomanwascreatedbelow:

On Tuesday, the Virginia House of Representatives passed two of the most restrictive abortion bills in the country. By a vote of 66-32, the Republican majority passed House Bill 1, which defines personhood as beginning at conception and effectively bans any woman from having an abortion, even if she is raped. The bill also would restrict contraceptives and an amendment to the bill would allow civil lawsuits against any doctor that performs an abortion. The bill is by far the most restrictive bill passed by any Republican controlled legislature in many years. Republican Rep. Bob Marshall wrote the legislation and Governor Bob McDonnell said he will be signing the bill.

A second bill was also passed that forces women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, which is a serious violation of the body(not to mention medically unnecessary), before being able to get an abortion. Of course if House Bill 1 passes the Senate as it is expected to, women won’t be able to get an abortion at all.

While Democrats passionately opposed both bills, their effort to defend women’s rights seems to be futile. The Virginia Senate is poised to pass both bills and since Governor McDonnell is a very conservative Catholic, one has to wonder whether his decision will not come from his own mind or the will of the Bishop’s im the Catholic Church. House Bill 1 not only bans abortion, it would fly in the face of President Obama’s contraception coverage rule, which requires insurance companies to offer contraceptives free of charge. The second bill is also outrageous because it forces women to surrender their bodily rights if they want an abortion, by forcing them to undergo a procedure that violates their bodies and destroys their privacy and personal liberty.

Republicans meanwhile, couldn’t care less about the needs of women or the pleas of the Democrats who defend them. “We hear the same song over there. The very tragic human notes that are often touched upon involve extreme examples,” declared Tom Gilbert, R-Shenandoah. “But in the vast majority of these cases, these are matters of lifestyle convenience.”

These bills are an abomination to the Constitution. They effectively revoke a woman’s right to privacy and strip them of their personal liberty. It makes them slaves to men and forces them to be pregnant against their will. As stated above, House Bill 1 would disallow access to birth control and may even ban it altogether. These bills are the most restrictive in the nation. Even the people of Mississippi refused to ban abortion when they rejected a personhood amendment. But this bill isn’t being voted on by people of Virginia. The state legislature has decided to impose its will on the women of the state whether they like it or not.

We have to stop this from being passed in the Senate, contact McDonnell’s office and let your opinion be known. You can find his contact informationHERE.

REBLOG, REBLOG, REBLOG!

This is extremely fucking offensive to me. It makes me so angry.

Mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds? I had to unexpectedly have one of those when I was much younger and it was seriously one of the most violating, traumatic experiences I’ve ever had. Now, I’m sure more ultrasound technicians aren’t like the completely rude and condescending one I had, but still, that’s highly invasive, potentially very very painful and uncomfortable, not to mention unnecessary and even embarrassing.

I have an idea!

I’d like any male lawmaker to undergo an anal ultrasound before they are allowed to pass any bill, just so they can get a closer look at where their heads are.

(Source: addictinginfo.org, via truth-has-a-liberal-bias)

Great News: Looks like Obama won’t cave in on the contraception policy

fuckyeahfeminists:

Emphasis mine:

Today, the White House did the right thing for women, public health and human rights.  Despite deep concerns, including my own, based on what transpired in the past under health reform, the White House has decided on a plan to address the birth control mandate that will enable women to get contraceptive coverage directly through their insurance plans without having to buy a rider or a second plan, and without having to negotiate with or through religious entities or administrations that are hostile to primary reproductive health care, including but not limited to contraception.

Under this plan, every insurance company will be obligated to provide contraceptive coverage. Administration officials stated that a woman’s insurance company “will be required to reach out directly and offer her contraceptive care free of charge.  The religious institutions will not have to pay for it.”

Moreover, women will not have to opt in or out; contraceptive care will be part of the basic package of benefits offered to everyone. Contraceptive care will simply be “part of the bundle of services that all insurance companies are required to offer,” said a White House official.

I think this should have been the policy in the first place - ALL insurance should offer birth control free. Now bishops can stop putting their noses where it doesn’t belong.

via RH Reality Check

“The bishops pulled out all the stops in their campaign against women’s access to contraception,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “The Obama administration stood with those who support religious liberty and believe in giving women the freedom of conscience to make their own reproductive health decisions.”

The religious organizations that have been lobbying the White House for months to expand the so-called “conscience clause” were deeply upset by the decision, arguing that it includes coverage of the morning-after pill, which they believe causes abortions.

“Freedom of conscience is a sacred gift from God, not a grant from the state,” said Galen Carey, NAE Vice President for Government Relations. “No government has the right to compel its citizens to violate their conscience. The HHS rules trample on our most cherished freedoms and set a dangerous precedent.”

(via Obama Administration Announces New Decision On Birth Control, To Chagrin Of Religious Groups)

"…which they believe causes abortions."

Now THAT is just blatant ignorance and refusal to accept scientific facts.  I could scream. That is so frustrating.  The morning after pill does not cause abortions. This is not up for debate! This is just refusal to learn how this medication works!

You believe you can influence other people’s accessibility to reproductive healthcare due to willful ignorance.  Just because you believe something doesn’t mean it’s a valid belief. Sometimes, like this, it just makes you an asshole. 

EDIT: I’m still happy for this victory, I just couldn’t overlook that phrase.

(via goodreasonnews)

feministblackboard:

A few weeks ago my mom stapled pages of a story in one of her women’s magazines together and handed it to me. She gave it to me pretty much with the tag lines “for your feminist blog” and “something new to consider.” Indeed it was; she knows me well.

The story is titled “I was forced to be pregnant.” With a title like that, reading it was actually not on the top of my to read list. I thought it was about women not exercising their right to choice. I was very, very wrong on that one.

Have you ever heard of Reproductive coercion? It is a term that was quite recently coined by the advocates against domestic violence to describe a certain type of abuse some women face. It occurs when a man pressures their partner to have kids and/or impregnates them against their will. Reproductive coercion comes in three different types:
1. Emotional pressure that turns into verbal and physical abuse.
2. Sabotaging birth control
3. Marital rape
Over 75% of women 19-49 who reported once experiencing domestic violence also endured some type of reproductive control by men. It’s all about control and domination over a woman’s body.

The first story in the magazine is about a woman who got married around 36 years of age. After a few months of dating her boyfriend talked excitedly about having children. After he proposed he began calling her “The Babymaker.” She then confided with him that one of her fallopian tubes was blocked. He in return insisted she see a fertility doctor. She recounts, “I had finally met a great guy who was eager to start a family with me. What woman wouldn’t fall for that?” Soon after her honeymoon he persisted on in an obsessive manner, but his efforts had to be temporarily halted as she had to get emergency back surgery. Alas, 6 months into recovery he was back to pressuring her again. She was in much pain at the time due to her back, but she agreed to In Vitro Fertilization. She then became pregnant, but soon miscarried. In response, her husband grabbed her by the neck, choking her. He apologized, blaming his outburst on his grief and had her sign up for another round of IVF. And then a third round. She tried to put him off with the excuse that she needed to weigh more before she could take treatments, her husband forced her to get on the scale often and filled the fridge with fattening foods. “It hurt that all I was good for was getting pregnant.” She recounts. At the end, he screamed at her, threatening to replace her with a maid if she couldn’t get pregnant and she told him she no longer wanted to have his child. He destroyed bedroom furniture, pushed her down the stairs and threatened her with a gun. She fled to a domestic violence shelter.

The second story was about a woman who faced marital rape. This woman was 40, had a then boyfriend and two children from a previous marriage. After telling her boyfriend she did not want any more children, her boyfriend refused to wear a condom and began to rape her.  She then became pregnant with her third child. Birth control was never an option for her because she couldn’t hide pills anywhere for he went through all of her belongings. Three months after giving birth, he raped her again, impregnating her with twins. She lost the twins in a physical fight with him, but soon became pregnant again. During her recovery she begged her obstetrician to remove her ovaries and devise a lie to tell him; that she had cancer. After a decade of sexual abuse and violence she was able to get a job that kept her out of the house and often times traveling.

One in four callers to the National Domestic Abuse hotline said that their partners had tried to force them to become pregnant. Why? As one woman stated, “Its like he wants to own me from the inside out.”  Having a baby is the perfect tie that binds. These type of abusers want to create a circumstance in which their partner is dependent on him.

WHAT’S THAT HAVE TO DO WITH PLANNED PARENTHOOD?

Many voters never consider how defunding these clinics could hurt victims of domestic violence who turn to them for counseling as well as pregnancy prevention. Abused women will turn to health care providers long before they will turn to domestic abuse hotlines and organizations. Many women in abusive relationships rely on life saving, affordable care programs such as Title X. It is critical that such places are open and operation when women and children need them so desperately.

(Source: feminist-blackboard, via petitefeministe-deactivated2013)