Pence calls Mrs. Obama “vulgar”

U.S. Representative Mike Pence (R-IN) arrives for a news conference about their goal of permanently extending Bush-era tax rates at the Capitol in Washington, DC, U.S. on December 2, 2010.    REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

USpoln.com

Mike Pence said he didn’t understand why Michelle Obama had so passionately condemned his running mate, Donald Trump, for boasting about forcibly grabbing women by their genitals. The First Lady denounced the Republican presidential nominee, although she never dismissively spoke his name, for “speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior” – which she said had “shaken (her) to the core.”

“First and foremost,” Pence argued, “I have no idea why Mrs. Obama, who will be departing the White House shortly, is even commenting on the future President of the United States, God-willing. That’s the first thing I don’t quite get. Secondly, if she’s the First Lady, shouldn’t she be focused on doing whatever it is that First Ladies are supposed to be doing as their duties while their husbands are rescuing the world? What’s she doing commenting on and obviously worrying about her successor? That’s not what she should be doing.”

Read More

The first woman president….

This baby will be able to vote
This baby will be able to vote!

I would be remiss not to  mention the significance of the woman issue on this blog.  Never before has a woman been one of the candidates from a mainstream political party.  Yes, it is a big deal.

I can remember when President Obama was first elected.  There in that park in Chicago, on election night, one could see famous blacks like Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey standing there listening to the newly elected first black president who addressing the huge crowd.  Tears were streaming down their faces.  It was then that I realized I would never understand how blacks, rich or poor, felt about seeing the election of a first black American president.

I thought about how I would feel if a woman were elected.  I didn’t think it would hit me quite as hard but it would hit me.  I guess I am now on the precipice of testing my theory.

This morning I though about my own personal history.  My grandmother was 30 years old before she could vote.  My mother was born just 4 months after the passage of the 19th amendment.    WWII began when women had only had the vote for  21 years.  Now on November 8, 2016, some 96 years after getting the right to vote, a woman could be elected president of the United States.

Yes, as a female, I am standing in awe.  I don’t think I will cry when it happens.  I am not that moved.  However, the special social  and political significance is not lost on me.  It’s about damn time!

Rolling Stone and reporter found guilty of defamation

 

Washingtonpost.com:

 A federal court jury decided Friday that a Rolling Stone journalist defamed a former University of Virginia associate dean in a 2014 magazine article about sexual assault on campus that included a debunked account of a fraternity gang rape.

The 10-member jury concluded that the Rolling Stone reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, was responsible for defamation, with actual malice, in the case brought by Nicole Eramo, a U-Va. administrator who oversaw sexual violence cases at the time of the article’s publication. The jury also found the magazine and its parent company, Wenner Media, responsible for defaming Eramo, who has said her life’s work helping sexual assault victims was devastated as a result of Rolling Stone’s article and its aftermath.

The lawsuit centered on Erdely’s 9,000-word article titled “A Rape on Campus,” which appeared online in late November 2014 and on newsstands in the magazine’s December 2014 issue. Opening with a graphic depiction of a fraternity gang rape, the story caused an immediate sensation at a time of heightened awareness of campus sexual assault, going viral online and reverberating through the U-Va. community.

But within days of the article’s publication, key elements of the account fell apart under scrutiny, including the narrative’s shocking allegation of a fraternity gang rape. The magazine eventually retracted the story in April 2015, and Eramo’s lawsuit came a month later, alleging that the magazine’s portrayal of her as callous and dismissive of rape reports on campus was untrue and unfair.

 

Read More

The War on Women now recognized by GOP women

war-on-women-banner-text

Washingtonpost.com:

A growing number of prominent Republican women are worried that as members of their male-dominated party step up to defend Donald Trump against accusations of sexual assault, they are causing irreparable damage to the GOP’s deteriorating relationship with female voters.

Trump has faced questions throughout his campaign about his crass comments about women, but concern escalated this month following the release of a 2005 video in which Trump boasted that he had sexually assaulted women and subsequent allegations by 11 women that Trump had inappropriately touched or kissed them. A series of mostly male Republicans have come to Trump’s defense — dismissing the accusers as liars and, some worry, further alienating the female voters that the party desperately needs to survive.

“For next-generation professional women, the party is going to have to do something very, very drastic to change the course of where this candidate has taken us,” said Katie Packer, a deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney in 2012. “I think the leaders in our party are going to have to aggressively reject this. Come November 9, they better be prepared to make very strong statements condemning all of Trump’s behavior.”

This division within the Republican Party comes as polls suggest the nation is on the verge of electing its first female president even as misogyny remains a part of American life and culture. Ironically, it is Trump’s candidacy rather than Hillary Clinton’s that has brought sexism to the forefront of political debate.

Finally!  It’s about time the problem was seen by all women.  Non-GOP women have always recognized that there was a war on women.  This issue became very apparent when  various  issues involving reproductive rights were in the forefront.  There was great denial amongst Republican males.   “War on women?” they scoffed.  “Nonsense!”  Then numerous reasons were given to negate when we knew.

GOP women now see  instance after instance of disrespect shown to women, starting with the trashing of Megyn Kelly,and on to the  fat-shaming of Miss Universe.  They heard  the famous bus genital-grabbing remarks with their own two ears.  The bad behavior has been verified by  11 women who stepped forward so far to discuss in detail, their own personal experiences with Mr.  Trump.    They also see men who so far have refused to  denounce much of the personal behavior of the GOP candidate.  These same women also see  many other examples of creepy behavior   far too numerous to list  that just shouldn’t be acceptable in the year 2016.

Listening to leadership as well as Trump supporters minimize or deny allegations of sexism and misogyny has made GOP women nervous.  It has made them realize there really is a war on women.  In 2016, we shouldn’t even be having these conversations.  Yet alas, we still are.

 

An app for birth control?

pill

NYTimes.com:

A quiet shift is taking place in how women obtain birth control. A growing assortment of new apps and websites now make it possible to get prescription contraceptives without going to the doctor.

The development has potential to be more than just a convenience for women already on birth control. Public health experts hope it will encourage more to start, or restart, using contraception and help reduce the country’s stubbornly high rate of unintended pregnancies, as well as the rate of abortions.

And as apps and websites, rather than legislative proposals or taxpayer-funded programs, the new services have so far sprung up beneath the political radar and grown through word of mouth, with little of the furor that has come to be expected in issues involving reproductive health.

At least six digital ventures, by private companies and nonprofits, including Planned Parenthood, now provide prescriptions written by clinicians after women answer questions about their health online or by video. All prescribe birth control pills, and some prescribe patches, rings and morning-after pills. Some ship contraceptives directly to women’s doors.

Some accept insurance, including Medicaid for women with low incomes; some charge modest fees. Some send prescriptions to local pharmacies, where women can present their insurance information when picking up the contraceptives.

It’s about time!  Birth control is a private matter.  It shouldn’t be open to the politicians.  Throwing a doctor in the mix adds an unnecessary, often unaffordable,  expense to the woman.    Technology birth control strips doctor visits, politicians, religious nuts, and most of the aggravation out of the process of safe, affordable birth control.

I wonder what Margaret Sanger would be thinking now.

Confirmation: 25 years later

hill

Washingtonpost.com:

As assistant counsel to President George H.W. Bush, Mark Paoletta played a role in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.

But he’s taking on a new role when it comes to the upcoming HBO movie about the hearings starring Kerry Washington as Anita Hill, the woman who accused Thomas of sexual harassment: Paoletta is now leading an effort to fact-check the flick. Today he launched confirmationbiased.com, a website he thinks will combat what he calls the pro-Hill “false narratives” in the movie, with documents, video footage and other content about the real-life hearings. (Washington and HBO brass say it’s not biased against Thomas.)

While some other Republicans involved in the hearings have preemptively bashed it, Paoletta says his complaint isn’t just a drive-by one — he plans to “devote himself” to correcting the record.

25 years later, the Thomas-Hill affair is still a “he said-she said.”  Will we ever know the real truth? Probably not.

Read More

Trump calls for punishment for women who have an abortion


Trump is totally unacceptable and overlooks the fact that abortion is legal in the United States as per the decision Roe v. Wade. A woman’s right to abortion is settled law. Fie on these stupid men who keep equivocating and pretending that this right is not legal.

end abortion

At some point,  women will have control of their own bodies.  It will be as accepted as women having the right to vote.

Full control of one’s own reproduction is the only way that women will have full economic autonomy.  Full control should include access to effective contraception and access to abortion if that is needed.

Donald Trump should be punished for not thinking about what comes out of his mouth.  The women of America will probably see to it that he pays….at the voting booth.

Indiana: Abortion banned for fetal anomaly

Washingtonpost.com:

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a controversial abortion bill Thursday that, among other things, would ban the procedure if it is sought because the fetus was diagnosed with a disability or defect such as Down syndrome.

Shortly before his deadline to act on the sweeping measure, Pence called the law “a comprehensive pro-life measure that affirms the value of all human life,” according to the Associated Press.

The law, which was passed by the legislature earlier this month, would make Indiana the second state in the nation, after North Dakota, to ban abortion in cases where a fetal anomaly is detected. It also would bar the procedure in instances where the decision is based on the sex or race of the fetus. And it could make Indiana the first state in the country to require that fetal remains be buried or cremated, rather than treated like medical waste.

So this is where it is all going?  Fetal anomaly is certainly a compelling reason to have an abortion.  In fact, to me, it is  the most legitimate reason of all.  The cost and the wear and tear on families caring for a seriously disabled child is more than most people can bear.

Read More

Discrimination marches forwards in Virginia

The House of Delegates passed the bill making it legal to discriminate for religious reasons.

According to the Washington Post:

The Virginia House passed a bill Tuesday that would block state agencies from punishing discrimination against people who are in same-sex marriages, transgender or have sex outside marriage.

Supporters say the Government Nondiscrimination Act is needed to protect what they call religious freedom in the face of shifting cultural attitudes toward gay rights and the legalization of gay marriage. Opponents say it amounts to a license to discriminate, with broad-reaching consequences.

The bill passed the Republican-controlled chamber 56 to 41, with seven Republican members voting “no,” two not voting and one absent. Although the vote is a win for the socially conservative wing of the party, the fact that some Republicans voted against it reflects a divide within the Republican Party in Virginia and the nation.

Read More

Zika prompts intense abortion debate in Latin America

011516-Zika virus_1

Washingtonpost.com:

Across Latin America, calls to loosen some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world in the face of the Zika virus outbreak are gaining momentum but encountering strong and entrenched opposition.

In El Salvador, where abortions are banned under any circumstance, the health minister has argued for a revision of the law because of the dangers the virus poses to fetal development.

In Colombia, an organized movement to lift restrictions on abortion has gained allies in the government but has run into determined opposition from religious authorities. The same is happening in Brazil — and some doctors say that as a consequence, illegal, back-alley abortions are on the rise.

Nearly everywhere in Latin America, including in those countries hit hardest by Zika, women who wish to terminate their pregnancies have few legal options. But as U.N. health officials have projected as many as 4 million infections in the Americas this year, activists are pressing lawmakers to act as swiftly as possible to ease rigid restrictions.

Read More

The lies and deceit continue from local anti-choice zealots

aaa women

Washingtonpost.com:  (Petula Dvorak)

It’s a tactic she has embraced for nearly three decades to disrupt one of Northern Virginia’s few abortion clinics. Lohman operates her Manassas crisis pregnancy center right next door.

Same brick building, same sign, same generic office decor. The abortion clinic, Amethyst Health Center for Women, was on the right. The pregnancy center, AAA Women for Choice, is on the left.

Confused women seeking abortions would wind up in Lohman’s place, where she threw all she had at them — pamphlets, pleas, prayers, promises of help, used baby gear, bloody imagery, God — to change their minds.

“Deceptive? People say we’re deceptive? Okay,” Lohman told me. “But what the other guys are doing? That’s deceptive, too. Those girls have no idea what abortion really is. When I hear ‘pro-choice,’ that is a deception. And this country has forgotten about God.”

Here’s the part that’s really astonishing. Several months ago, the abortion provider retired and the Amethyst Health Center closed. That’s when Lohman, 69, and her supporters swooped in, orchestrating their grandest deception yet.

Read More

Misogynist Trump still attacks Megyn Kelly

@gene70@FireFlyFury@megynkelly@realDonaldTrumpAnd this is the bimbo that’s asking presidential questions? pic.twitter.com/oU1uUGnuWb

Is the War on Women finally over?

tampax

Potomaclocal.com:

Virginia’s sales tax covers almost everything you buy, from athletic socks to zippers. But it doesn’t apply to medicine, contact lenses and certain other personal health items. Now, the General Assembly is considering adding feminine hygiene products to the list of exemptions.

Del. Mark Keam (Fairfax County) introduced House Bill 952, which seeks to remove the sales tax on tampons and sanitary napkins in Virginia. Currently these items are taxed at the standard rate, like most other items: 6 percent in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, and 5.3 percent in the rest of the state.

“I think that most people, Republican and Democrats, would agree that this is an unfair tax,” Keam said Wednesday in an interview in his office at Capital Square. “It’s not equitable for women to have to pay a tax on something that guys don’t have to spend money on.”

Virginia is one of 40 states that tax tampons and sanitary napkins. Of the 10 states that don’t tax these products, five deliberately changed their laws specifically to end the policy. The other five do not have a sales tax at all.

Read More

Virginia proposal to reduce unwanted pregnancy: Access to contraception

Washingtonpost.com:

Women with little or no health insurance would be eligible for free, long-lasting birth control under a program proposed by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).

Announced by Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) at a community college in Alexandria on Friday, the $9 million federal grant would cover intrauterine devices and skin implants as well as outreach to eligible women, training for clinicians and a study of the program’s impact.

“This is all about educating and empowering women to decide when and if they become pregnant,” Northam said at Northern Virginia Community College. “When women have access to this contraception, they choose on their own time when to start a family.”

Northam, who is running for governor in 2017, has been pushing for such a program for months. He wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post in Auguston the issue and argued for expanded access to birth control during a Brookings Institution event in October.

Read More