Some people are referring to this year as the "UH! OH!" year, a play on "00" (for the last two digits in 2000). Their meaning is that this year will be full of surprises. We predict, for many women, the "UH! OH's!" will come in 2001. The signs are all there.
This is an important election year but many women are asleep and will not even bother to vote. They claim that reproductive rights are a non-issue because if they should need an abortion, they will just go where they can obtain one. They are apt to face a nasty wake up in 2001 -- Uh! Oh!
There are also those women who, because of religion or ethnicity are not allowed to practice any type of birth control, but they have been convinced by the constant propaganda of the Richus Ones to deny it to other women. When social support programs bite the dust, they'll notice -- UH! Oh!
The "opposition" to women's reproductive rights has consistently owned the airways and newsprint and they have been making good use of their advantage. There has been a plethora of regular talking heads all last year saying things like, "We must stop killing babies [or children]" (meaning abortion). They have been giving incorrect information, yet seldom was there anyone to correct their verbiage or debate them. We can read the handwriting on the wall -- UH! OH!
This has placed our advocates at a great disadvantage because when they do get media exposure, they are on the defensive and have to play catch-up with explanations instead of making points. We must ask ourselves why the media continues to present only one side of this issue and how we can change it -- IF we can change it.
The facts WERE and ARE out there. Abortions have decreased and will continue to, as other birth control methods become cheaper and available to all women. THIS IS PLACING THE REGULATION OF ABORTION WHERE IT SHOULD BE, ON WOMEN THEMSELVES -- NOT GOVERNMENT. It is also a fact that abortions have decreased because terrorists have prevented some women from using clinic facilities and exercising their constitutional rights.
So, what are we to do? What can we do in the face of an entrenched opposition, and women who have opted out on us? At this point it seems certain that an anti-woman's rights candidate will be our next president just on the basis of campaign money raised. And this is really outrageous because many people have been convinced by the Republican spin that Democrats raise "bad" money and Republicans raise "good" money.
One excellent counterattack available to us is a recent column by Maureen Dowd. This writer is important because she has relentlessly attacked the Clinton Administration and the First Lady. This time she is just as relentless toward the REPUBLICAN AGENDA.
You'll find it archived at the NY Times -- it is a doozy. It is NOT being quoted by the media and that should tell us something, as well as the fact that it has infuriated the hate radio constant callers.
Get a copy from the Times via the WEB and spread it around your lists and newsgroups. It is titled: CONTRACT WITH HYPOCRISY (January/5/00). Dowd's column plays on the old Newt Gingrich's, "Contract on America." Remember that? Here's a paragraph from the column:
Send this whole column of Dowd's out to everyone you can think of and have them pass it on. The following are some ideas and/or announcements that you, our readers have sent to GenderGappers.
1. We need to use information to our advantage. The present governor of Texas got a plurality of women and minority votes when he ran for office and now he leads in the polls WITH WOMEN VOTERS. We hope our Texas members will check this out, but we were told that minority women were assiduously courted to get them registered and to the polls to vote -- NEW VOTERS! These were in the main poor women whose religion and custom prevented them from using ANY birth control, let alone abortion. In short, he got elected by using the gendergap against women's basic human right to own their own body -- AND HE USED POOR WOMEN TO DO IT.
And, of course, many other Texas women didn't get up off their sixes and vote. Why bother knowing that if they ever needed an abortion they could afford to go and get one?
2. Who is doing anything? There is a global women's strike afoot. You can get ALL the information on this here.
3. Talk, talk, talk to family, friends and people at work. If you work with the disadvantaged or homeless, talk to them about the importance of saving the rights they now have. If you don't, talk to a friend that does, and encourage her to do this. We all have a lot to lose in social programs to say nothing of a number of Moderate Supreme Court Judges and Circuit Court Judges.
Remember that it is NOT just about ABORTION RIGHTS anymore. Appointed judges can and do selectively enforce laws. We can lose protection from violence laws as well as the hard won hate crime laws, for example. Write us of your suggestions so we can pass them on. Meanwhile, there is continuing fallout from the Vermont Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage that we told you about.
The opening of the Vermont Legislative session last week presented a unique sight -- armed guards at the door and patrolling the buildings and grounds. No, it was not because of terrorist threats from abroad but because of threats by the Richus Ones in this country -- the ones who have always terrorized women's clinics -- the ones that will flourish under a Repugnant administration.
UH! OH! ...
Copyright 2000 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: email@example.com.
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