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It’s All About JOBS, Stupid! Not My Uterus!

Posted by Sandi on Feb 15, 2011 in Political Thoughts, Women's Rights

If you are like me, you’ve been receiving multiple action alerts  from women’s groups and democratic leaders on a daily basis the  past 2-3 weeks about the GOP assault on women. The purpose of  this post is to simply layout the pieces and intentions of the GOP’s  attacks on American women, and What YOU Can DO About It!

So much for the November 2010 Election platform of  ”Jobs, Jobs, Jobs” . . . because it seems that all the GOP has been doing since taking control of the House in January is attempt to chip away at my right to reproductive choice, privacy and health services. And boy have they been busy – in the past month 4 bills have been introduced that cut funding and restrict women’s access to vital programs that support women and families.

1) H.R. 3—the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act – This is the infamous bill introduced by Chris Smith (R-NJ) that would make it illegal for even private insurance companies to offer health coverage for abortion. But, thats not all – it also takes things a thousand steps further by redefining the term RAPE, by only allowing victims who are subjected to “forcible rape” to have access to abortion services. I don’t know about you, but last I checked no means no, and rape is rape, plain and simple. So congress has decided if the victim of a rape is drugged, mentally handicapped, under age (statutory) or a victim of incest its not “really rape” because it wasn’t “forced.” Now when people started speaking out and putting the pressure on – the GOP said they’d remove that language from the bill. But, surprise, surprise as of today the “forcible rape” language is still there and the bill has over 163 sponsors.

TAKE ACTION by Signing this Petition Against H.R.3 : http://boehnersamerica.org/splash/signup/splash01/

And enjoy this Daily Show Clip on the “forcible rape” language . . .

2) The Pence Bill or H.R. 217, the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act” - Introduced by Mike Pence, this bill’s only goal is to restrict Planned Parenthood from receiving Federal funds for family planning services that have helped millions of women by providing access to basic reproductive healthcare. With over 160 GOP sponsors the bill plans on cutting more than $70 million in funds provided by the federal government, that often go to serve those women who can normally not afford basic medical care. The majority of Planned Parenthood funding doesn’t go towards abortion, but to health services like annual GYN check-ups, birth control, and STI/STD testing.

TAKE ACTION against “The Pence Bill” and cuts to Planned Parenthood funding by calling (202) 730-9001 for the Congressional switch board or get patched through to your Congressman HERE.

3) H.R. 358, the “Protect Life ActIntroduced by Joe Pitts (R-PA), this bill would not only prohibit federal funding for abortions under the national health-care law, it would also allow doctors and hospitals to refuse to perform any abortion, even if it was needed to save the life of a pregnant woman. Current law dictates that a pregnant woman with a life-threatening condition cannot be turned away by a hospital, even if her condition requires a doctor to abort her child. A federal law, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), requires hospitals that receive federal funds (almost all of them do) to provide you with emergency treatment or transfer you to a hospital that can. This bill would undermine that law, by allowing a doctor to not only deny an abortion to a dying pregnant woman, but to also refuse to transfer that woman to a place where she might be able to receive an abortion. In fact, the hospital would not be required to do anything at all.

*The only TAKE ACTION alert I could find for this bill was from the Catholic Advocate urging their members to support the “Protect Life Act” and allow doctors to let their pregnant patients die.

UPDATE 2/16/2011 – NARAL has created an online petition against both H.R. 358 & H.R. 3 – So Please TAKE ACTION: http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/get-involved/stupak-on-steroids/call-rep-021611.html

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

4) The Continuing Resolution for FY 2011 – proposed by House Republican leaders, according to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) this resolution cuts support for women and girls at every stage of life:

  • Eliminates the Title X family planning programs that provide funding for contraception and other preventive care to over five million women and men each year
  • Cuts Head Start and child care for 368,000 children
  • Cuts millions from nutrition programs for pregnant women and their children
  • Cuts funding for prenatal care
  • Eliminates funding for the Women’s Educational Equity Program that helps schools comply with Title IX
  • Cuts funding for Pell grants, which help low-income women afford college, by more than $800 per student
  • Cuts funding needed to keep Social Security offices open and for meals, housing, and other supports for elderly women

TAKE ACTION Against “Continuing Resolution for FY2011′s” Drastic Cuts to services for Women and Girls by Signing this Petition!

Make no mistake, this is a full assault against women! Make sure you take action against each of these attempts to limit women’s access to vital services and programs. The only “jobs” bill the GOP leadership has introduced was the “Repeal of the Job Killing Healthcare Law” which as studies and numerous statistics have already proven actually decreases the deficit and definitely does not “kill” any jobs. In fact, the new “Affordable Care Act” has already helped thousands of my generation who are unemployed and now allowed to stay on their parents health insurance until the age of 26.

The GOP claims to be acting on a “mandate” from the people – but, the majority of Americans when asked about specific provisions within the “Affordable Care Act” overwhelmingly support the new law. Meanwhile, the majority of Americans also respect and support a woman’s right to choose – yet it appears that the GOP is allowing the conservative minority dictate their actions and could care less about the needs of the American people.

We are paying attention and we don’t like what we see! As clearly stated in MoveOn’s most recent ad against these malicious attacks on Women & Girls – We Will Never Go Back!

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Petition to Fund Crucial Programs to End Human Trafficking

Posted by Sandi on Apr 20, 2010 in Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation

As all of you already know I am living in Bulgaria to research the issue of human trafficking for sexual exploitation here; primarily how the Bulgarian Government and NGOs work together to enforce and implement anti-trafficking policies. While Bulgaria is primarily a country of origin and transit for victims of trafficking, the United States is a country of destination where hundreds of thousands of girls are forced into prostitution against their will everyday.

In 2008, the U.S. Congress authorized millions of dollars to do towards services for human trafficking victims and to get traffickers off the streets. However, as Change.org’s human trafficking blogger, Amanda Kloer explains, “none of this money can be used to help end human trafficking until Congress passes legislation to appropriate the needed funds. The money Congress has authorized for human trafficking is part of a huge spending bill, which includes funding requests for many different programs and projects. With a limited budget and so many competing projects seeking funding, it is critical that you tell federal legislators about the urgent need for funds for human trafficking survivors.”

Victims from Bulgaria and all over the world need help in the U.S. and trafficking rings need to be caught and punished for their crimes against humanity. So please sign the petition below to fund these important services.

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

Here is the Petition Link if the Widget above doesn’t work properly:
http://humantrafficking.change.org/petitions/view/tell_congress_to_fund_crucial_programs_to_end_human_trafficking

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Big Pimpin – Demi M vs. Kim K. on the Term “Pimp”

Posted by Sandi on Apr 6, 2010 in Human Trafficking for Sexual Exploitation

I received this e-mail from www.change.org about the use of the term “Pimp” in our every day culture as being glorified, while in reality it is a profession (if you can call it that) which subjugates women. I found the story very interesting and have chosen to share the email with you below. Also, I applaud Demi Moore and the new Foundation she created with her husband Ashton Kutcher called “The Demi & Ashton Foundation” or “DNA” (not incredibly original, but its the cause that counts), which works toward the elimination of sex slavery worldwide.

Demi Moore vs. Kim Kardashian*

Who would have thought that a Twitter exchange between Demi Moore and reality TV star Kim Kardashian this past week would have provided a teachable moment on the subject of sex trafficking?

The exchange surrounded the word “pimp,” which Kardashian used when she linked to a photo of her and some girlfriends out on the town, and labeled it “Big Pimpin’.”

Moore, an advocate against sex slavery who recently donated $250,000 with her husband Ashton Kutcher to help the survivors of human trafficking, responded:

“No disrespect. I love a girls night out but a pimp and pimping [refers to] nothing more than a slave owner! If we want to end slavery we need to stop glorifying the ‘pimp’ culture.”

The result? A slew of celebrity tabloid headlines pitting Demi vs. Kim.

But as Changemaker Rachel Lloyd, founder of the anti-trafficking organization GEMS writes on Change.org this week, the glaring omission from all the articles and commentary that resulted from the exchange is any real analysis of Moore’s point — that we glamorize and glorify pimp culture, use terminology that seems to legitimize the practice, and in doing so ignore the fact that pimps are modern-day slave-owners.

Of course, Ms. Kardashian didn’t intend to glorify real pimps any more than most people do when using the word as slang. But this slang desensitizes us to the terrible reality of pimps and the sex trade, and has a very real impact on the psychology of young girls most vulnerable to sexual exploitation.

The median age of entry into the sex industry in America is between 12 and 14 years old. And partially because of the use of the word “pimp” to glorify men in music videos and popular culture, many girls grow up thinking of a pimp as someone who is cool, rich, and sexy, rather than someone to be feared. Rather than as someone who might kidnap them. Or rape them. Or beat them for failing to bring home enough money one night.

This is the awful reality of pimps, who sell more than 100,000 children for sex in the United States each year.

It’s unfortunate that it took a celebrity squabble to bring pimp culture to the nation’s attention. But now that it’s arisen, let’s take this opportunity to have a real conversation about how to address a very real issue. For more information on the dark reality of pimping, click here.

*This entire text are the words of a www.change.org email.

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