The Occupy Movement seems to be everywhere, and that’s a good thing. It’s the first time in America in a very long while that people have taken things into their own hands and told the politicians they’ve had enough. I’m in favor of the Occupy movement. In fact, I think it should be expanded and we should occupy every damned thing, not just Wall Street and the robber barons. We need to Occupy Education. We need to Occupy Health Care. We need to Occupy Civil Rights. Since the events of September 11, 2011, the American people have abdicated their freedoms across the board under the guise that they’d be safer. That’s a myth. Since September 11, 2001, the politicians have been given a yard and they’ve taken a mile. We’ve sat back like sheeple as opposed to acting like “we the people.” It’s time to tell these fools where to get off. It’s time to take the country back. But while we’re all smitten with the movement, and where it might go from here, the anti-choice politicians in Washington are vastly escalating the war on women. And this is one area where there needs to be an Occupy Movement or women in this country will be set back decades.

The War on Women has been going on since the mid-term elections when power in the House was returned to the GOP and the progressive/liberal Senate lost a lot of ground (although it maintains a slim majority). Why did this happen? I think that the progressives/liberals in America were in a funk. I’ll never understand the voting mentality that differentiates the conservatives from the liberals: The conservatives rise to the occasion and get out the vote. The liberals hibernate and get depressed. Personally, I think the liberals stayed home. That’s unfortunate. Because the conservatives didn’t. That can only go one way. And we all saw the result. While the GOP promised to address the economy and the need for jobs, what they’ve actually done is divert attention away from those two primary issues and waged an all-out war on women. The anti-abortion forces are happy to do this on a state-by-state basis, if that’s what it takes to achieve that end.

The Center for Reproductive Rights cites these statistics:

• There are late abortion bans in Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas and Oklahoma;

• There are medication abortion restrictions in Arizona, North Dakota, Nebraska and Oklahoma;

• There are insurance restrictions on abortions in Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah and Virginia;

• There are pre-abortion ultrasound requirements in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina and Texas.

A copy of the Center’s mid-term report can be seen here on my Scribd site.

A new low for the House

On October 13, 2011, the House passed H.R. 358, which has come to be known as the “Let Women Die” Bill. This bill allows hospitals to refuse a woman a life-saving, emergency abortion even if her life is at stake. It also effectively bans insurance coverage of abortion in state health-insurance exchanges, thereby denying abortion coverage to millions of women. NARAL Pro-Choice America calls this heinous legislation one of the “most far-reaching anti-choice bills we have seen.”  NARAL recently published a listing of legislators who voted for and against this bill. Not only was this extreme bill passed, but on that date the House reached the milestone of having held the most votes on choice in one year since 2000 after, of course, getting themselves elected in the majority by promising to deal with the sagging economy and the joblessness rate. They have done nothing of the sort, instead waging an all-out attack on women in America.

Even worse, the Senate version (S.877) has been introduced by anti-choice Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Already at least 46 anti-choice Senators will cast a vote in favor of the Senate version of the bill. It is imperative that women everywhere flex their muscle and contact their Senators to let them know that this is unacceptable. Here is the link. And it should be noted here that the Council of Catholic Bishops was instrumental in lobbying for this bill, even as a bishop was indicted for failing to report sexual abuse in his diocese. This is ironic in light of the fact that my first article on this blog calls for revoking the 501(c)(3) status of the Catholic Church.

A far-ranging war 

The War on Women isn’t just about abortion and birth control, although those are the cornerstones of the battle. The GOP attack on Planned Parenthood and Title X were defining moments in this battle. On another front, the Republicans sought to redefine the word “rape” and, after a backlash, promised to stop. They haven’t yet. In Georgia, a state legislator has proposed that “victims” of  rape, stalking and domestic violence now be called “accusers.” Of course, burglary “victims” would remain “victims.” You may wonder if this is for real. I can assure you it is.

In South Dakota, legislators proposed a bill that would make it legal to murder an abortion doctor. Yes, this was also for real. It is no exaggeration. In spite of the GOP supposed ideological position on life beginning at conception, it’s pretty clear that the GOP doesn’t give a damn about the child once it’s born. Otherwise, why would they seek to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, and children? Perhaps the gating factor here is the “low-income” issue.

In Maryland, the GOP ended all county money for a low-income (again) kids’ preschool program, citing the fact that women needed to be home with their children instead of working. At the Federal Level, the GOP wants to cut Head Start by $1 billion.

So, while we’re all talking about ‘occupying’ this and that, it’s pretty clear that women need to come front and center in this movement to take back what they’ve lost and prevent any further advance of the right in this war on women. I propose an Occupy Women’s Rights movement. And it better happen pretty quickly.