Women’s Health

Sad Independence Day: Reality Of Assault On Rights Of Women, Gays, Immigrants, African Americans, And Those Less Fortunate

As we celebrate the 237th Independence Day, and appreciate what ir represents, there is an unprecedented attack going on in many states and among Republican members of Congress to take away the hard earned rights of various groups of vulnerable Americans, and to deny the freedom and liberty that the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights represents!

Women’s right to their reproductive lives and their fundamental health are being assaulted by Republican state legislatures and Governors in a rapid, non transparent way, and shutting off opposition in states including Texas, Ohio, North Carolina at present, and in other states in the recent past, including Virginia, North Dakota, Arkansas and Kansas!

The attempt to deny equality of rights and privileges to gay Americans is in full swing in many of the “Red” or Republican states, and the level of hate against these groups by political and religious spokesmen is unprecedented!

The fight against dealing with the presence of immigrants who would have to meet strict standards to move toward citizenship, and with increased border security and building of a wall between Mexico and the United States, is in full swing, including assault on the courageous Republicans trying to resolve this issue in a fair and just manner, including Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has been subjected to extremist Tea Party types who have declared war on him.

The move of many Southern states toward creating new barriers for people to vote, with the aim to cut the vote of minorities, the elderly, the disabled and college students, is in full swing forward since the Supreme Court ruled that there was no more racism or discrimination in voting in those states, when it is clear what the motivation of those states really is! The states of Virginia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas are already, rapidly, working toward new restrictions, free to do so, in their minds, because of what the Republican Supreme Court majority did last week!

And, of course, 23 states, at least, are refusing to expand Medicaid for those less fortunate, who have no health care coverage as things stand, except in emergency situations in emergency rooms, at a much more costly fee, and not necessarily available to all!

So the battle for freedom, human and civil rights, justice, and equality continues, even as we can celebrate the great experiment of the United States, seen as a paragon around the world, but still needing a lot of work to bring about the “more perfect Union”!

113th Congress To Set Record As Least Productive Since World War II!

THe 113th Congress, the second consecutive Congress to be a split Congress of a Republican majority in the US House of Representatives, and a Democratic majority in the US Senate, the only two times that a split Congress has been of this such division in American history, is on its way to becoming the least productive since World War II, surpassing the dismal record of the previous 112th Congress in 2011-2012!

A reminder that the other “split” Congresses were of a Republican Senate and Democratic House, and a lot more was accomplished under that scenario in 1911-1913, 1931-1933, and 1981-1987!

But this 113th Congress is setting a record for obstructionism never seen in American history!

The GOP is preventing action on the following:

The rebuilding of America’s infrastructure, badly in need of repair.
Accessible and affordable health care for all Americans
Getting off dependence on foreign oil by having a clean energy agenda
Promotion of the protection of women’s health
Responsible gun regulations to prevent future Sandy Hooks
Immigration Reform
Air and water pollution regulations
Strengthening of voting rights and civil rights for all Americans
Wall Street and banking reforms to prevent future “crashes”
A new farm bill, including food stamp protection for the poorest among us
Student loan interest reform

Confidence in Congress is at an all time low of TEN percent! The Republicans have abused the filibuster weapon in the US Senate, and the Tea Party Movement in the House of Representatives has hijacked even the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, who is powerless in the assault on cooperation and crossing of the aisle so essential for anything to get done in Congress!

Only 15 legislative items have become law in the past six months, lower than the 23 which became law in the first six months of the 112th Congress!

Those who believe that divided and split government is good for democracy are learning the hard way that it is the prescription for statemate, gridlock, and total paralysis, and that the answer is to kick out the Republican House majority and elect a Democratic majority in both houses, ideally with a filibuster proof Senate of 60 Democrats!

Sadly, neither of these ideas are realistically tenable, so the halting of effective government is likely to continue, undermining the future of America!

Republicans, Women, And Domestic Violence: Beyond Belief!

In 1994, the Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed into law the Violence Against Women Act, a measure designed to combat domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking of women. It was a totally bipartisan effort, widely hailed as an important step in protection of women.

In 2000 and in 2005, the law was renewed with bipartisan support again. It was not a political issue based on party.

But now in 2012, not a single Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to reauthorize the legislation, an absolutely unbelievable development.

Those Republicans on the Judiciary Committee include: Chick Grassley of Iowa, the ranking member; Orrin Hatch of Utah; Jon Kyl of Arizona; Jeff Sessions of Alabama; Lindsey Graham of South Carolina; John Cornyn of Texas; Mike Lee of Utah; and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

How in the world can any of these senators justify this refusal to support a renewal? What is wrong with these people that they do not think women need continued protection from abusive fathers, brothers, boyfriends, and husbands, as well as stalkers? Why is it that whenever women are the issue, Republicans, both men and women as well, do not think women should be protected by federal law?

Apparently, the Republicans disagree on the provisions to protect gay and transgender people, and also to protect undocumented immigrant women who are victims of violence. It is part of their anti gay and anti immigrant agenda, but really, this is simply an issue of human rights, and in the 21st century, to have such a narrow minded and intolerant view of women’s rights, because some might be from certain groups rejected by some, is unconscionable!

Apparently, there are no limits to the refusal of Republicans to promote any bipartisanship on anything! How any self respecting woman can support the Republican Party after this insult, as well as others recently on birth control, contraception, and other issues of women’s health, is beyond understanding.