About Ten Thousand People Attended A Rally In Dublin In Memory Of Savita Halappanavar
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Based on the belief that he had an obligation to give a fetus a chance for life, a judge inWashington, D.C., ordered a critically ill 27-year-old woman who was 26 weeks pregnant to undergo a cesarean section, which he understood might kill her. Neither the woman nor her baby survived.
One of the biggest fears many women have had leading up to the 2014 Midterm Elections, and after, was the fear of losing the Senate and ultimately losing more reproductive rights. In actuality, Obama's vetoing power will keep Republicans in Congress from having as much power as those lawmakers would like. And ironically, the GOP will get a bitter taste of their own obstruction.
What many activists, including myself, failed to focus on while writing blogs, making memes, and creating FB pages, was how much more damage the GOP lawmakers can, and will, do to the rights of women - on a state level.
This NY Times piece stunningly exposes the legal injustices carried out against women in different states (The Washington DC case is in the introduction). The authors, Lynn M. Paltro and Jeanne Flavin, conducted additional research and they point out these are not isolated cases.
In Iowa, a pregnant woman who fell down a flight of stairs was reported to the police after seeking help at a hospital. She was arrested for "attempted fetal homicide."
In Utah, a woman gave birth to twins; one was stillborn. Health care providers believed that the stillbirth was the result of the woman's decision to delay having a cesarean. She was arrested on charges of fetal homicide.
Solutions? The authors suggest we 'stop focusing on abortion and start working to protect the personhood of pregnant women.' Respectfully, I disagree with the former. The focus has never been about abortion, itself. The pro-choice focus has been on a woman's right to choose to have and/or not have children. If abortions become illegal, if we lose that reproductive choice, we will not only see more injustices against pregnant women - we will see more deaths. And those deaths will be dark, cruel, and horrific as they were for the generations of our mothers, grandmothers and all those who came before them. Without the right to abortion, women will be forced to have children, unable to work, and many will be forced into poverty. And when their children are born, especially if the newborns are girls, they will mean nothing to these anti-choice, anti-women Republican lawmakers. Pro-Life? What about the life of a mother? What about the life of a child, once born?
One of the greatest pro-life/pro-choice quotes is by Benedictine Nun, author and speaker, Sister Joan Chittister:
"I do not believe that just because you're opposed to abortion that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking. If all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed and why would I think that you don't? Because you don't want any tax money to go there. That's not pro-life. That's pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."
What will we do? Susan B. Anthony had a clue in the early 1900's:
"Organize, agitate, educate, must be our war cry."
This is an ongoing battle and struggle, that may not end in our lifetimes. We do it for our daughters and granddaughters, because our mothers and grandmothers did it for us.
Here are a few prominent organizations to join/support now:
Also, on Facebook, you can find many large and small groups surrounding reproductive rights/women's issues. Some require a request to join. Here are just seven of hundreds: