Residents from all over the Sacramento region gathered on the north steps of the State Capitol Wednesday evening in solidarity against onerous laws and restrictions aimed at restricting women’s rights and reproductive health options.
Lungren supports the war
A focal point for many of the speaker’s at the candle light vigil was on incumbent Republican Congressman Dan Lungren. Lungren has voted to defund Planned Parenthood, refused to televise a woman’s perspective on female contraceptive from Sandra Fluke, voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, promoted a bill to ban all abortions and has called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Coordinated and strategic assault
The political undercurrent that has precipitated the “War on Women” has been the concerted effort and comments by many conservative legislators and executives to curtail the rights that so many women have fought so hard to achieve. Chief among the issues that has brought this pernicious assault on rights of women have been-
1. The introduction of several bills that mandate either traditional or trans-vaginal ultra sounds before a woman can elect an abortion.
2. Legislation to ban all abortions, even in the case of rape of incest.
3. Personhood legislation defining life at conception and by default criminalizing all abortions.
4. The strategic decision of Susan G Komen Foundation to defund Planned Parenthood grants for breast cancer detection because they also perform abortions.
5. The comments of Rush Limbaugh that female contraceptive proponent Sandra Fluke was a “Slut” for advocating health insurance plans should include no cost birth control.
6. A refusal to support the Violence Against Women Act targeted at protecting women.
7. Comments from Rep. Todd Akin regarding “legitimate rape”.
8. Continued refusal to support legislation that would grant equal pay for equal work.
9. Advocating for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act that includes many preventive no cost office visits to support the unique needs of women’s health.
10. Proposed budget cuts to the Women’s Infant and Children’s programs that provides assistance to low-income mothers to support breast-feeding and the nutritional needs of their children.
A new war?
Speaker after speaker echoed similar sentiments that women were having to fight battles they thought they had won decades ago. After each speaker the gathering maintained a moment of silence to reflect upon comments and the implication in their own lives. There was truly a sense that this next election would be critical to either preserving the rights and protections many women enjoy today or the possibility of a full on battle to combat those politicians bent on stripping women of their right to privacy and equality.
Chalk up support
After the vigil, folks were invited to chalk positive messages of support for women in front to the Planned Parenthood clinic down the street at 10th and L Street. It was inspiring to see women, of various ages, collectively working to spread the message that women in need are supported and loved.
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