For those of you who are unaware, it is already illegal for Federal Funds to be used for abortions. Nevertheless, Rich White American Men on Capitol Hill — men who have their health care paid for by the American public under a special plan for Congressmen and Senators only, which is paid for by tax payer money — have voted to allow states to defund Planned Parenthood, to allow states to forbid spending any Medicare or Medicaid money to Planned Parenthood.
Make no mistake, this is not about abortion, no matter how many times Republicans say so. It’s about health screenings, for breast cancer and cervical cancer; for prenatal care; for child care and immunizations; mammograms; screening for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDs; proper use of contraceptives; for the right of Americans who do not have paid healthcare to still be well and safe.
And it’s about time the Rich White American Men realize that when they take something from the Women of America — the Women of America will fight back.
Watch This 16-Year-Old Girl School A Republican Senator On Planned Parenthood
When Republican Senator Jeff Flake held a town hall meeting in his Arizona district Thursday night, he was hounded about his stance on Planned Parenthood funding. In fact, a 16-year-old girl schooled Flake on women’s health care, and it was just beautiful.
Flake (like all but two Republican senators) voted in favor of a law President Trump signed Thursday allowing states to block health clinicsthat perform abortions from receiving federal Title X family-planning money. The law reverses a previous rule put in place by the Obama administration and could make it even more difficult for low-income people in conservative states to access birth control, well-woman exams, cancer screenings, and other services.
Deja Foxx was well aware of Flake’s support for keeping money from specific health clinics, and she spoke up accordingly at his town hall. She began by laying out a few key differences between Flake and herself.
“I just want to state some facts,” she said to the senator. “I’m a young woman; you’re a middle-aged man. I’m a person of color, and you’re white. I come from a background of poverty, and I didn’t always have parents to guide me through life; you come from privilege.”
She then asked, “I’m wondering, as a Planned Parenthood patient and someone who relies on Title X, who you are clearly not, why is it your right to take away my right…?” Cheers from the crowd were too loud to hear the rest of her question, but you get the gist.
“Well thank you. I’m glad to hear of my privileged childhood,” Senator Flake responded, pointing out that he’s one of 11 kids and paid for college on his own.
“Privilege comes in many forms,” Deja retorted without skipping a beat, garnering more cheers from the crowd.
Deciding to stop blatantly denying his white male privilege, Flake said, “You bet it does, and I’ve had a lot of advantages that others haven’t. What I want is to make sure that everyone can realize the American Dream that all of us have been successful in.” Not buying it, Deja asked: If Planned Parenthood is helping her reach the American Dream, why would he deny her its services?
Watch the full video below to hear all the 16-year-old’s passionate words.
At a patient roundtable earlier on Thursday, Deja shared why Planned Parenthood is so important to her. “I am a ‘youth on their own’ — meaning I don’t live with my parents or have a permanent home,” she said in a transcript provided by Planned Parenthood. “So when I needed birth control and reproductive health care, I didn’t have anyone to help me navigate the health care system.” Because she didn’t have access to her state insurance card, her care was completely covered by Title X funds, she said.
Deja also explained why she attended the patient roundtable in the first place: “I’m here today because I want to make sure that every person — no matter where they come from, whether they have a family, or money, or great health insurance, or any health insurance at all — can still get the care and information they need.”
Deja plans to study political science in college and eventually run for office, “because someone has got to stop these political attacks on our reproductive rights.”
From Vietnam through Watergate and Exxon Valdez, and in my first newsroom jobs after college, reporters were roundly regarded as truth-tellers, and the power of journalism was considered incontrovertible.
Today huge swaths of the country distrust the media. From the bully pulpit, the president brushes aside stories he disagrees with as “fake news,” and recently called the media “enemy number one.” Truth has become subjective, and a top White House spokeswoman, in coining the term “alternative facts,” is telling the country that it’s all right to repackage reality to serve a political narrative.
Yet just as we did when Walter Cronkite covered Vietnam, drawing on dispatches from embedded reporters, we need great journalism to explain the world to us and to hold our government accountable to its citizens.
The need for independent, investigative news is especially clear when it comes to the issues that matter most to women. “Women’s issues” have been championed for decades by both political parties, but more often than not used as a wedge to divide citizens, not unite them. The fact is, there’s much more consensus on issues affecting women—and the need for continued action—than politicians would have you believe. When it comes to women’s rights, more than 80 percent of women and men say it’s important for the Trump administration and Congress to advance gender equality, according to a poll recently released by nonpartisan firm PerryUndem.
People gather for the Women’s March in Washington
Family planning is often described as controversial, however, that same poll revealed that 85 percent of voters want to ensure women have access to quality, affordable birth control; 67 percent oppose nominating a Supreme Court justice based on their belief in restricting or eliminating women’s right to an abortion; and 71 percent oppose taking away funds from Planned Parenthood that are used for birth control, well-woman care and cancer screenings for low-income women.
Surprised? We have grown so accustomed to the narrative that we are a divided nation, we don’t realize that actually, when it comes to women’s rights, we’re almost entirely united in supporting them.
Even among those who voted for Trump, the majority do not fully support the agenda he aggressively advances on these issues. Actually, the gulf between what women in America want—and the mandate the new administration takes on their behalf—is glaringly wide.
We know that women hold a lot less power in the U.S.: they make up less than 13 percent of police officers nationwide; they publish fewer than 20 percent of newspaper op-eds; they hold just about one in five political seats around the country, and they are much more likely to be poor, and raising children alone.
Yet there is a competing narrative brewing among some women in America who reject these facts. This narrative hinges on personal experience, and perhaps a culture of personal resilience and independence. While millions of women marched on January 21, others called them out on social media as privileged, silly or feeling sorry for themselves.
But personal experience is not a wide enough lens to understand discrimination in America. For that, we have to examine the facts. And the facts are that countries with strong support for women’s rights also have more prosperous economies, stronger national security, less corruption, less poverty and lower spending on defense.
We need journalists to report on these facts, and in particular, we need journalists focused on women’s issues.
The power of media to speak truth to power is as strong as it has ever been. I remember when a single photo printed in the Washington Post turned the tide of public opinion against President Nixon. It was of Rose Mary Woods, Nixon’s secretary, demonstrating how she had accidentally erased 18 minutes on Nixon’s private taping system. She was pictured extended sideways in her chair, one heeled foot reaching for the machine pedal below her desk and one arm flung overhead to the telephone button she claimed to have pressed in error. It was plain to this then 11 year-old that the contorted “Rose Mary stretch” was a whopper.
Truth is often uncomfortable—but there’s no viable alternative. And just as we did in the ’70s, we still rely on journalists to discover and report it.
It is important to stay aware of issues that effect women in this political climate. Why? Women are one half of the worlds population. The other half may not approve of all the time. They want to control us, what we think and our bodies. To take care of ourselves and our daughters, sisters and granddaughters we need to be alert for what is happening that will negatively impact women and women’s lives.
A 23-year-old Texas man was charged Friday with first-degree murder after he reportedly confessed that he beheaded his wife and stashed her head in a freezer in their mobile home. Davie Dauzat was ordered held in McLennan County Jail on $500,000 bail in the death of 21-year-old Natasha Dauzat. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Bellmead Police Sgt. Kory Martin said officers first responded to the mobile home early Thursday after reports of a disturbance, but left once nothing was found amiss at the suburban Waco scene. Two hours later, police returned after a family member called and said they believed Davie had murdered Natasha. The couple was in the trailer with their 1- and a 2-year-old at the time of the incident, Martin said. Local media reports said Davie Dauzat was covered in blood when he finally emerged and surrendered to authorities after a 30-minute standoff. “We located a deceased female. We have a suspect in custody who did have blood on him, and we were able to talk him out of the home,” Martin told the Waco Tribune-Herald. “It is believed that he did kill that female, but we are still investigating that to make sure and confirm that information is correct.” The children were turned over to child protective services.
— Olivia Messer, the Daily Beast
How Congress Can Improve the Lives of Women and Girls – the Leadership Conference
Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day in 1971. Forty-five years later, lawmakers can and should do more to make that notion a reality.
We recognize there are women and girls within and across all of the communities we represent — African-American, Latino, Asian American, LGBTQ and Native American people, immigrants, people with disabilities, people of faith, working families, and low-income people — and that all of the issues we care deeply about are issues that greatly impact the lives of women and girls. We could list hundreds of policies still needed today to improve women’s equality, but in honor of Friday’s anniversary of the 19th Amendment, here are 19 things Congress could do right now:
1. Ratify CEDAW.
President Carter signed the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) more than 36 years ago, but the U.S. Senate still hasn’t ratified it. A campaign to implement local CEDAW ordinances is underway across the country, but it’s time for the Senate to finally ratify the international human rights treaty and affirm that women’s rights are human rights.
2. Ensure equal pay for equal work.
Lawmakers reintroduced the Paycheck Fairness Act in March 2015 to help narrow the gender pay gap. Seventeen months later, the bill is languishing in both chambers of Congress — with just one Republican cosponsor.
Congress should modernize civil rights protections in employment as well as public accommodations, housing, access to credit, and other areas of life through legislation like the Equality Act.
4. Prevent pregnancy discrimination.
In June 2015, Congress reintroduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to require employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers and prevent employers from discriminating against pregnant women in the hiring process. Both Senate and House versions have bipartisan support but remain stalled.
5. Raise the minimum wage.
It’s been more than seven years since the federal minimum wage rose to $7.25 per hour. That needs to be increased, and the subminimum wage for tipped working people — which has been frozen at $2.13 per hour now for a quarter century — needs to be eliminated.
6. Provide paid family and medical leave.
Congress should pass legislation, like the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, to create a national paid family and medical leave insurance program and build on the success of programs in the states. The United States is the only industrialized country that doesn’t guarantee paid family leave — and that needs to change.
7. Ban all forms of discriminatory profiling.
The latest version of the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA) adds gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation as identity categories that law enforcement shouldn’t rely on in their enforcement practices — a recognition thatdiscriminatory profiling takes on gender-specific forms. The bill was reintroduced in Congress in April 2015 and hasn’t budged since.
8. Make sure everyone can vote.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act (VRA) in June 2013, states across the country have made it more difficult to vote for people of color, low-income people, students, and older voters — and that, of course, includes a lot of women. Congress should restore the VRA by passing the Voting Rights Advancement Act and restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated people by passing the Democracy Restoration Act.
Executive actions taken by President Obama — which a hamstrung Supreme Court deadlocked on in June — are no substitute for comprehensive immigration reform. Congress still needs to pass legislation creating a realistic path to citizenship, protecting the rights of immigrant and citizen workers alike.
11. Diversify the federal bench.
This is the first time three women have sat on the U.S. Supreme Court, and President Obama has appointed more female judges than any other president. But there are currently more than two dozen women awaiting votes in the Senate to fill judicial vacancies, including nine women of color. Confirming them won’t just help to further diversify the federal judiciary — it will help alleviate the nation’s judicial vacancy crisis.
12. Open up employment opportunities.
One in three Americans — or 70 million people — have an arrest or conviction record. That includes millions of women who, as a result, face barriers to employment for the rest of their lives. Congress should pass legislation like the Fair Chance Act to ban the box and stop forcing so many Americans to the margins of society.
13. Eliminate health disparities in all populations.
We must ensure and protect women’s timely access to trusted, quality women’s health providers so they can access comprehensive health services. Congress should pass the Health Equity and Accountability Act, which would provide “federal resources, policies, and infrastructure to eliminate health disparities in all populations, regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, age, ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or English proficiency.”
14. Keep all students safe.
We need legislation to ensure students attend school in a safe, nurturing and welcoming environment, free of bullying, harassment and assault, discrimination, or harsh disciplinary practices. Right now, Black girls account for 20 percent of female enrollment in America’s public schools, but they represent 54 percent of girls receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions.
15. Improve access to broadband.
High-speed Internet today is vital to accessing job opportunities, health care, social services, and education. But for millions of low-income and minority Americans — the people who are in most need of the advantages of broadband — such service is simply out of reach. Recent research suggests governments should prioritize providing women with broadband access because of the link between digital fluency, educational attainment, employment, and workplace equality.
16. Expand access to early childhood education.
Access to high-quality education is a civil and human right. Congress should pass legislation, like the Strong Start for America’s Children Act, which would increase access to quality critical early learning opportunities all children regardless of race, color, or ZIP code.
Women are more likely than men to have nonstandard work hours. The Schedules That Work Act would promote economic security and help workers meet the demands of their jobs and their families.
19. Ratify the disability rights treaty.
There’s another international human rights treaty the Senate still needs to ratify: the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). It’s modeled after the Americans with Disabilities Act but — now more than seven years after President Obama signed it — the Senate hasn’t gathered enough votes to ratify it.
As you can see there is a lot of inequality to being a woman. I also realize there is a lot to being any type type of minority. White males are privileged here in America and in many other countries. Just as Black Lives Matter, Women’s Lives Matter and none of us will give up. We will fight as hard and harder as the early Suffragettes did to win the vote. White supremacists are going to have to learn they are like everyone else; they are white men — white men who need to get over themselves. ALL of us are equal under one God, living in one country, part of one glorious world. We, the minorities, don’t want to take anything away from white men , but we won’t be second class any more. What do we want? Equality! When do we want it? NOW!
2 State Bars Have Done the Right Thing for New Moms Needing to Pump. We’re Making Sure the 48 Left Do Too.
Galen Sherwin, ACLU Women’s Rights Project
& Lauren Hall, Legal Intern, ACLU Women’s Rights Project
APRIL 28, 2015 | 4:30 PM
When Kristin Pagano came to the ACLU after being denied accommodations to pump breast milk during the Illinois bar exam, we decided to take action on her behalf. After the ACLU of Illinois sent a letter to the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar, the board agreed to make nursing moms eligible for accommodations – such as breaks and a private room for pumping.
Then another new mom-to-be, Shahzeen Karim, came forward with the same problem — this time in Texas. After over 25,000 people signed a petition, the Texas board also agreed to change its policies.
Now a third case has popped up in Kentucky, where the Office of Bar Admissions has told Jacquelyn Bryant-Hayes that the single lunch break in the 8-hour test day should be sufficient for her, even though she informed the board that her baby will be just four weeks old on the day of the test and her doctor estimated she would need breaks every 1.5 hours. (Setting aside the law, something is just wrong with their math!)
The ACLU of Kentucky is appealing that decision. But obviously, this isn’t an isolated problem. That is why the ACLU and Law Students for Reproductive Justiceare today announcing a nation-wide initiative to ensure that all nursing mothers who need testing accommodations during the bar exam are eligible to receive them, no matter where they are taking the exam.
Why does this matter?
The ACLU has long fought against discrimination based on pregnancy and breastfeeding in education and career advancement. Standardized tests and licensing exams, such as the LSAT, bar exam, medical boards, serve as important gateways to the professions, and they should be administered in a way that is fair to all test takers, including women who need some extra time and a place to pump.
Failure to pump on a regular schedule (typically every 2-3 hours) can lead to serious consequences, like pain and infection. If women are not allowed enough time to pump during these marathon tests, they will be forced take the exam through pain and distraction, risking their health, or will have to put off taking the exam altogether. Women should not have to choose between pursuing their career goals and their own health or that of their babies.
Thanks to the bravery of Kristin, Shahzeen, and Jacquelyn, we’ve already won changes in two states — and hope to win in a third. Now we need to win this for everyone. The ACLU and LSRJ volunteers are researching the accommodation policies in all 48 states left and will follow up with action against state legal licensing boards whose policies penalize nursing moms.
Here’s how you can help! If you (or someone you know) are planning on taking the bar (or another similar entrance or licensing examination) and need testing accommodations, or if you have already been denied those accommodations, we want to hear from you. Tell us your story!
And stay tuned for more opportunities to get involved as the campaign kicks into full swing.
To have peace we also have to have equality for all peoples, nations, religions and cultures. We do need to address the racism which remains here in America and all over the world. Women’s and girls’ rights are being denied many places across the world. They are an invisible minority. Women are being beaten, terrorized, even executed. Many females are treated with contempt and violence.
We find that the violence against women is perpetuated by fellow citizens. There are laws to protect women but they are not always enforced. Often authorities look the other way. It is a woman after all.
Women are often denied opportunities for education and work. Women wanting a better life can’t protect themselves from violence and harm. They also can’t protect their children.
Leadership, by definition, means being out in front of your people when it is called for. It means standing up for your dignity and the dignity of others. It also means encouraging others to do the same.
Human rights mean that all people are treated like human beings. It means being able to stand up as a woman, a radical, religious, tribal or ethnic minority and being treated the same way as everyone else. Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.
We need to recognize the gains we have made as women as well as the gaps where women and girls can fall through. We then need to focus on the gaps and filling them logically. Social media has improved things somewhat. But we have 200,000 million fewer women with access to the internet than men who are online in the developing world.
“I have loved and been loved; all the rest is background music.” —Hilary Clinton
To everyone who has worked as an advocate or feminist, you can’t rest on your laurels. Never quit. Never stop working to make the world a better place for all of us to live and thrive. We have unfinished business and we must go forward until all human beings enjoy human rights and full equality.
Since the time of our founding fathers, we have had to work on equality and human rights for all. The founding fathers began our country as a great experiment. They had a dream and they created America from that dream. There were many people who predicted our demise as a nation. George Washington, the father of our country was criticized as being a mediocre surveyor with a bad set of wooden teeth.
People who have bet against America have found themselves to be surprised and dumbfounded. The one issue which caused much debate and angry words was, as it is now, equality between the races. The founding fathers finally agreed to disagree. They crafted America and left future generations to come to terms with the question of equality. This job fell upon the shoulders of Abraham Lincoln. He was assassinated and therefore his plans were not implemented. After the Civil War, there was no slavery but there also was not any equality except for a very few.
These days women are not equal. Black citizens and white citizens are not equal. Middle Eastern people are not equal since 9-11. Poverty has increased here in America as well as around the world. The future brings opportunities to learn our lessons and heed the call of history. We need to make human rights a priority. America needs to stand together firmly and united in pursuit of a more just, free and peaceful world.
“It ‘s supposed to be hard…The hard is what makes it great.” —Excerpted from A League of Their Own.
We need leaders who will lead in a way that will unite us all and renew the American Dream.
Women were often healers and herbalists in the past.
Today here in America, Women choose who they want to marry. It isn’t that way around the world and it didn’t used to be like that here. Arranged marriages were predominate. Marriage was a way to add to your social standing, increase your families’ finances and move on up the social ladder. In the world today, this is still done frequently. Only now a days, girls are sold to men three times their age. They are often ten years old to fifteen years old.
A woman named Lucy Stone labored all of her life for women’s rights. She was born in 1818 and she died in 1893. In 1846, she was a student at Oberlin College. Oberlin College is about a twenty minute drive from my house. Oberlin is a quaint little college town. Lucy wrote to her mother about her plans to hit the lecture circuit when she graduated. She wrote, “I expect to plead not for the slave only, but for suffering humanity everywhere. Especially do I mean to labor for the elevation of my sex.” For ten years she did that traveling in New England and Ohio and farther giving lectures. She spoke under the auspices of the Anti-Slavery Societies, but she did admit, “I was so possessed by the women’s rights idea that I scattered it in every speech.” The abolitionists became upset that she co-mingled both causes in her speeches.
In 1858, Lucy Stone allowed her household goods to be sold for non-payment of taxes in protest against taxation without representation. Lucy was seeing a man named Henry Blackwell who was a persistent suitor. She really didn’t want to marry. Henry promised her total equality. They were married in 1855 in Massachusetts and had the following protest read and signed as part of the wedding ceremony.
“While acknowledging our mutual affection by publically assuming the relationship of husband and wife, yet in justice to ourselves and a great principle, we deem it a duty to declare that this act on our part implies no sanction of, not promise of voluntary obedience to such of the present laws of marriage, as refuse to recognize the wife as an independent, rational being, while they confer upon the husband an injurious and unnatural superiority, investing him with legal powers which no honorable man would exercize, and which no man should possess. We protest especially against the laws which give to the husband:
1. The custody of the wife’s person.
2. The exclusive control and guardianship of their children.
3. The sole ownership of her personal, and use of her real estate, unless previously settled upon her, or placed in the hands of trustees, as in the case of minors, lunatics, and idiots.
4. The absolute right to the product of her industry.
5. also against laws which give to the widower so much larger and more permanent an interest in the property of his deceased wife, then they give to the widow in that of the deceased husband.
6. Finally, against the whole system by which “the legal existence of the wife is suspended during marriage, “so that in most States, she neither has a legal part in the choice of her residence, nor can she make a will, nor sue or be sued in her own name, nor inherit property.” We believe that personal independence and equal human rights can never be forfeited, except for crime; that marriage should be an equal and permanent partnership, and so recognized by law; that until it is so recognized, married partners should provide against the radical injustice of present laws, by every means in their power. We believe that where domestic difficulties arise, no appeal should be made to legal tribunals under existing laws, but that all difficulties should be submitted to the equitable adjustment of arbitrators mutually chosen. Thus reverencing law, we enter our protest against rules and customs which are unworthy of the name, since they violate justice, the essence of law.”
Lucretia Mott had been a preacher for years; her right to do so is not questioned among Friends (Quakers). But when Antoinette Brown felt that she was commanded to preach, and to arrest the progress of thousands that were on the road to hell; why, when she applied for ordination they acted as though they had rather the whole world should go to hell, than that Antoinette Brown should be allowed to tell them how to keep out of it.
After the defeat of the 1854 women’s property measure, it was six years before another opportunity for an all-out effort in the New York State Legislature presented itself. Susan B. Anthony, who was forever goading the harried and somewhat self-indulgent Elizabeth Cady Stanton to greater efforts, told her that the salvation of women of the Empire State depended upon her power to move “the hearts of our law-makers at this time.” Anthony, moreover, came to stay in Stanton’s house to work along with her on this crucial speech and to pitch in with household tasks.
The joint efforts of Anthony and Stanton on the speech and on dozens of other writings are best described by Stanton herself: “In thought and sympathy we were one, and in the division of labor we exactly complimented each other. I am the better writer, she the better critic. She supplied the facts and statistics, I the philosophy and rhetoric, and, together we have made arguments that stood unshaken through the storms of long years; arguments that on one has answered. Our speeches may be considered the united product of our two brains.” Speaking on the very eve of the Civil War, Elizabeth Cady Stanton asserted that “The prejudice against color…is no stronger than that against sex.” Stanton was married with many children and Anthony chose to remain single so she could give all of her time to the women’s movement. They are two of the reasons that the nineteenth amendment was written and passed. The nineteenth amendment gave women the right to vote.
Sculpture at National Museum of Art; acrylic paints on stretched canvas; Painting by Barbara Mattio
Washington DC is a remarkable city. There are the politicians and Congress and the White House. I have gone there many times to see art museums. I love borrowed exhibits. I have also been in the mall more times than I can remember for protests and picketing for women’s and children’t rights.
Yesterday, Congress did pass the Violence Against Women Act. This is a wonderful victory for women. But don’t get too excited because there is still a war going on against women.And this piece of legislation must be ratified by Congress every five years.
We still must work to receive legal equality. We, the women of America, are the only citizens who do not have legal equality. This needs to be passed this year. There is still much discrimination against women and minorities.
Every Republican voted against equal pay for equal work
There is a lack of respect for women in America
I suggest that everyone looks for the voting record of your Congress people. Look at who is voting against women and children. If you have one who has voted against legislation you believe in, it is time to vote againt the Congress person in the next election.
Magnolia, Oil pastels By Barbara Mattio
We can change women’s lives with our voices and our actions. We can use peaceful ways to debate and state the importance of respect for women, reproductive health concerns, education, equal pay and legal equality. Don’t leave it for someone else to stand up and tell the world our truth. We are sisters and need to stand up with and for the women of America.