As we head into this election cycle, I am increasingly concerned of the state of women’s rights. It becomes a matter not just of personal interest but an awareness that any violation of women’s rights constitutes violence against women.
On April 7, 2012, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) repealed the Equal Pay Enforcement Act which effectively overturned the 2009 legislation giving women the right to sue if they have been subjected to gender discrimination and unfair pay practices. But Gov. Walker didn’t just stop there. He also signed into law a bill requiring women seeking abortions to undergo an exam and consult with a doctor, alone away from her friends and family. The doctor must determine if someone is pressuring her into the procedure. The wording of the Act states that doctors who break the law could be charged with a felony.
This means a woman cannot have the support and counsel of her friends or family who typically drive her to the abortion clinic, hold her hand or provide emotional support whilst making this life changing decision. Gov. Walker wants her to be bullied, intimidated and subjected to a medical professional who is afraid of loosing his or her license and who has no insight into the woman’s emotional state and what her choices might be, and who must advise her based on a legal precedent not based on what her desires or wants might be.
I am wondering if doctors are fleeing the great state of Wisconsin, if I were a physician I know I would. I am a fan of the football team from Green Bay but they won’t be seeing me at Lambeau Field anytime soon.
Is this a War on Women? Yes, it most definitely is. As we look across the landscape and see many states enacting similar legislation it becomes clear that this is not a singular act, but a concerted effort by a group of males of one party intent on destroying the achievements of the Women’s Rights Movement.
The battle for women’s rights was not just on sex and reproduction but also on on how sex education is taught in schools. At the same time he (Governor Walker )was enacting this legislation he also enacted a bill into law mandating sex education teachers to stress abstinence as the only way to prevent pregnancy and that teachers DO NOT have to address contraception.
This is violence against women plain and simple. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from if you use your position of power and influence to perpetuate economic and emotional enslavement of women you are enabling violence against women. We have done so much to eliminate barriers preventing women from accessing health care choices and providing access to economic empowerment as a means of keeping our society stable and ensuring a level playing field affording access to women into corporate boardrooms, not as storied secretaries and assistants but as capable individuals with the skills and education needed to do the job and be just as accomplished as their male counterparts.
In our post modern era it is a slap in the face to see politicians use the power of their office to control and undermine the achievements of women in the last 100 years. If there was ever a time to act, that time is now. We need to inform every politician by way of our vote that we will never look back to a time when women had no right to choose, when we had no right to vote and we had no choices in health care, we will never look back to when we had no rights to terminate pregnancies in cases of rape and incest, we will never look back to when we had no rights to equal pay.
We Will Never Look Back. We Will Move Forward.
Harriet Cammock is an author and an advocate for an end to violence against women. To invite her to speak at your next event contact her @ email@example.com or www.greatblackspeakers.com. For more information please visit her web site @ www.harrietcammock.org.