I spent part of my weekend reading about the resurgence of the feminist movement, much of it in response to the War on Women. Debating, legislating and restricting our rights have finally woken us up, along with much of the American public and the media.
Sitting down at my computer Monday morning to see the news about a bombing of a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Wisconsin reminded me how vicious this can be. I have always appreciated how peaceful the pro-choice movement is. And every time something like Sunday night’s attack in Milwaukee happens I am reminded how some in the anti-choice movement will repeatedly choose violence to make their point.
My personal opinion is that we are fighting enough wars abroad; we should strive for peace at home. This has reminded me that cannot always be possible. Resorting to domestic terrorism to make your point is unacceptable. After months of talking about attacks on women’s rights and reproductive health, my hope is this will turn the tide, and show everyone how far around the bend the debate has gone.
This of course came after two other big pieces of news in the War on Women. Late on Friday the Georgia House approved the Senate-sponsored “Women as Livestock” legislation, banning abortion after 20 weeks. There are no exceptions to this for rape or incest, and Republican Governor Nathan Deal is expected to sign it into law.
Arizona may have failed to pass a law requiring your boss’ approval for you to get contraception, but Missouri has managed to pick it up and run with in. In addition to allowing employers to make what should be very personal decisions about benefits and what medications are taken, another bill is making its way through the legislature with the intent of expanding the conscience clause. This would shield health care employees from participating in any medical procedure that would conflict with their conscience.
As a movement we’ve been using the term “war” for so long, I wonder if we’ve forgotten what was is really like, and how similar it could look. The attacks this weekend circulated discussion among friends, hopes that some of them were April Fool’s jokes. No joking – this war has become very real, and much more dangerous, as the events of April 1st showed us.
The story all along has been about the interest and safety of individual women. Now is not a time for political posturing, though it will surely come with the aftermath. Now is a time for real discussion, real debate and real change to happen.