2012-02-17 / Letters

Women’s Reproductive Health

Dear Editor,

Let us say that some woman had the power to dictate how all women in America should take care of their own reproductive health and that of every female past the age of puberty. How indignant you would be! How dare she? How could she? What if the dictator in this case is a man, not one man; but, several men who are currently attacking a woman’s right to be a woman on every phase of reproductive health? These men are lawmakers. Is their intention to subjugate women to the point of “barefoot and pregnant” by legislating every aspect of women’s reproductive health from contraception to birthing? This is not as blasphemous as it sounds. What is a woman to do?

No matter a woman’s religious beliefs, it would be out of bounds for her to tell another woman how to run her personal life as she would not be comfortable were the situation in reverse. Within the last year, Congress has voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood which is the group where the majority of woman seek and get Mammograms, Pap Smears, contraceptives and, yes, abortions. Just three percent of all abortions in the United States are Planned Parenthood related. But, because any abortions are PP supported, their federal funding was pulled. The argument for shutting PP flies in the face of common sense as without available personal lifestyle alternatives, women will inevitably be seeking a greater number of abortions. Nonetheless, Congress has voted to de-fund PP. And, now, the latest wrinkle in the war against women is the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, an annual contributor to PP to the tune of $750,000, has announced its withdrawal of future PP funding, a decision that did not last long.

What is intriguing about the proposed de-funding is a senator in Congress, Senator Sterns, decided to call for a red herring investigation of PP six months ago demanding they not only open their books to Congress; but, rearrange all of the details in the order that he specified. He gave PP two weeks to comply with the order. Does something seem not right here? Lo and behold, last week, the head of the Komen Foundation used the excuse that because PP was under investigation, Komen could not, in good conscience, fund an organization under investigation. One could easily argue the investigation was a chop buster intended to de-fund PP. However, that investigation, with suspected substantial input from the Right to Life organizations, set in motion the de-funding and, it was hoped by zealots, potential end to Planned Parenthood in our country.

Over the last several years, influential moneyed members of ultra conservative parties in this country have pushed to remake the fabric of our society in their preconceived image. The Koch brothers, mega wealthy oilmen, have not only succeeded in controlling air pollution standards to assist the family fossil fuel business, but have personally funded the Tea Party, a kinder, gentler John Birch Society of which their father was a charter member. Conservative the Koch’s are with one exception: that is, the amount of money they spend on conservative causes.

There was a time in this country when Richard Nixon, even Willard Romney was invested in a woman’s right to choose. But, it seems, the right wing of the Republican Party insists they have the right to abridge women’s rights to sane reproductive health. Whatever happened to all ‘men’ being created equal? Let us parse this by stating some men are created equal in wealth while others are equal in poverty. Apparently, women have no chips in the equality game at all.

Upon the Komen Foundation’s announcement of their de-funding PP, some Americans who could afford the freight and were sympathetic to PP began contributing to pick up where Komen dropped off. NYC Mayor Bloomberg, having two daughters, cut a check out of petit cash for $250,000. That, added to more modest donations has, within the period of one week, amounted to $650,000, but $100,000 short of the Komen annual PP contribution. The $650,000 when added to the refunded $750,000 Komen has committed to this year gives PP a windfall.

In the area of contraceptives, Medical Insurers who have been covering the men’s blue pill since its inception are going to begin fully covering women’s contraceptives for the first time in 2013 per instructions from Congress. In reaction to free birth control for women, Bill O’Reilly, Fox Talking Head, made the following statement:

“Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex, and they’re not going to use birth control anyway.” There’s a man with a sensitive side! Did it ever occur to him that men who take advantage of women who are “blasted out of their minds” are scum? He probably knows that as he seems familiar with having sex with women who are non compos mentis.

That the federal government has mandated insurers pick up the tab for birth control for women has only momentarily deterred those on the state level who would deny the use of contraceptives. More that 1,000 state bills related to curtailing women’s reproductive rights have been filed. Clearly, there is a determined faction in America dead set on telling women how to live their lives in the year 2012.

Susan Komen would have spun in her grave knowing her Foundation was being turned into a Tea Party tributary denying women their reproductive and health rights. Not only has the Komen Foundation tried and failed to cut off their relationship with Planned Parenthood this year; but, they stopped financing stem cell research which could conceivably bring about a cure for breast, uterine, ovarian, fallopian and other cancers. The Foundation, apparently with a lot of time and more money on their hands, is in the process of suing many small charities that use the word, ’cure,’ in their name as Komen wants the word all to itself.

Normally, the topic of women’s rights is used as an arrow in a quiver of issues to take the nation’s mind off other matters. This time, with Facebook and other Internet means of organization, women and those sympathetic with women would not be bullied by politicians or by those who should have no dog in this fight. That a man can tell a woman how to deal with her reproductive health is inane and reprehensible. That a woman has the nerve to tell another woman how she should live her private life is insensitive at best and repugnant at worst.

To those who would dictate to women manner and means for living their private life, a message: Leave women alone. Let Susan rest in peace.


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