The state of Ohio going blue for President Obama and rejecting Josh Mandel’s extremist position on reproductive health would indicate that hey, maybe the GOP’s emphasis on women’s healthcare choices isn’t a winning strategy after all. But our conservative representatives are enthusiastically plowing ahead not only with their plan to criminalize abortion without exception, but defunding Planned Parenthood also remains at the top of their list, despite the fact that it does more to prevent unintended pregnancy – and therefore abortion – than any other organization in the entire country.
This is a problem for conservatives.
If there was one recurring theme to the conversations I had while knocking on doors for the President and Sherrod Brown, it was this: Get the hell out of my body and the bodies of my loved ones. Mind you, I was not in my usual attire of Planned Parenthood shirts and NARAL buttons; my
raggedy favorite HRC bag is still waiting to be sewn back together or replaced. I began each conversation with mention of Obama and Brown, not the ‘war on women,’ but I didn’t have to bring the topic up myself: voters were more than willing to broach the subject independently without any prompting from me.
Fathers were outraged at the thought of their daughters being denied life-saving cancer screenings; sexual assault victims worriedly told me their stories of survival right there on the front porch; grandmothers told me they remember when birth control was illegal and women had children for their husbands whether they liked it or not; husbands told me about their wives and their sisters and their nieces, miscarriages and endometriosis and breast cancer and preeclampsia. They also asked me why: “Why do they want to take us all backwards? We may not have the money they do, but we’re human beings and we’re doing the best we can. Why are they being so hateful?”
And that’s the crux of it, isn’t it? They do hate us. From winning the vote in 1920, to the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Act when President Obama took office in 2009, and everything in between – every single step forward that women have taken in the past one hundred years is viewed by conservatives as a direct threat to their superiority. Their pride and self esteem is rooted in having power over others, and this surge of right-wing-hysteria is misogyny taking it’s last dying breath.
Let’s lend it a helping hand.
If you’re in the Columbus area, join us next Wednesday – a mere eight days after this extremism was rejected by voters in the state – at the Ohio House Health Committee hearing to demonstrate in no uncertain terms that the bill to defund Planned Parenthood is unacceptable and unsupported by Ohio voters.
If you can’t attend, that’s ok. You can still help by signing the petition (Dear Ohio Legislature: Stop Practicing Medicine Without A License) and calling Committee Chair Lynn R. Wachtmann at (614) 466-3760.
It really couldn’t be any clearer: Ohioans are well aware of the extremist GOP agenda, and we will win this battle. As evidenced by the take down of Senate Bill 5 last year, Ohio is an incredibly passionate and informed electorate with a superb ground game; we intend to use it.
Women Are Still Watching, Sluts Voted, and We’ve Had Enough.
Perhaps the Republicans should take the hint.
(Many thanks to Cooch Watch of Virginia for today’s title!)