Revolution #263, March 25, 2012
Protesting Georgia's Outrageous and Newest Anti-Abortion Bill HB 954
One More Reason Why We Need A Revolution!
From a reader:
In the midst of the national debate on birth control, which exposes the real agenda of the anti-abortionists—"women are breeders"—states across the country are introducing and passing bills to allow institutions to opt out of paying for birth control through their insurance coverage. At the same time, dozens of states continue on the march to further restrict abortion rights with the goal of outlawing abortion altogether, and in many cases criminalizing doctors. Georgia is no exception.
On Monday, March 12, close to 500 people, mostly women of all ages, came together at Georgia's state Capitol to protest an outrageous bill called "Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" (SB 954), that once again places all of the emphasis and value on the fetus and leaves the woman completely out of the picture. The bill, passed by the House and now awaiting Senate approval, seeks to cut the time for elective abortions by six weeks, from 26 to 20 weeks, and requires any abortions performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy be done in a way to bring the fetus out alive! This will create an even more dangerous climate for doctors than already exists, because doctors who are involved in abortions past 20 weeks that do not meet the bill's restrictions could be charged with a felony and face up to 10 years in prison. The bill, commonly referred to as the "fetal pain" bill, says that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, therefore the state has an interest in protecting it.
The outpouring of people at the Capitol to speak out and protest this bill was urgent. But the anti-abortion political and ideological assault has had its effects on people. Particularly in sub-dividing women state by state. This was evident in many of the signs; one example was "Trust Georgia Women." Although the Democratic women in the legislature had a righteous action by locking arms and walking out of the chambers saying, "We are not your property," as par for the course, the Democrats did not fight against this outrageous and dangerous bill as a whole or call people into the streets or occupy the Capitol. They only sought petty amendments.
There were some really powerful homemade signs at the protest to express the views and outrage about the bill and the ongoing attacks on women's lives. There were quite a few signs that said "Women the 51%," others that referred to the current battle over birth control, and one said, "Cows, Pigs, Sluts, Stop the War on Women!" The "slut" quote refers to the remarks by Rush Limbaugh about a Georgetown University woman who testified on the Hill in favor of birth control. The "Cows and Pigs" refers to a Georgia representative and Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Terry England, who compared women to pigs and cows: "I have had the experience of delivering calves and pigs dead and alive, and I want to tell you...it breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it. But..." (YouTube) These are the kind of idiots who are ruling over women's lives! Some of the best signs were held by two young women, one reading "I have a biology degree, I know what a fetus looks like" and the other with a picture of a uterus with MINE printed below it. We brought a large banner that said "STOP THE WAR ON WOMEN, revcom.us" along with a few placards saying "Fetuses Are NOT Babies, Women Are NOT Incubators, Abortion is NOT Murder," and "Abortion Providers are Heroes!" The new initiative's call to action (End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women! Abortion on Demand and Without Apology! Fight for the Emancipation of Women All Over the World!) was passed out widely with a link to Sunsara Taylors' new talk online, and lots of the current issue of Revolution newspaper were sold.
The continued attacks on abortion rights (and now birth control), one of the principal fronts of the war on women, really underscores the need to become part of and spread the initiative that was launched on International Women's Day, "End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women! Abortion On Demand and Without Apology! Fight for the Emancipation of Women All Over the World!" As Sunsara Taylor says in Revolution newspaper, "It means manifesting public resistance—in the streets and relying on ourselves—which punctures the atmosphere of acceptance of the unacceptable and the veneer of 'equality has been won.' It means going up against—and seeking to change—the reactionary terms in every realm of society, culture, politics, and intimate relations." (Revolution #262, "Out of Denial and Into the Streets") But ultimately it is the system of capitalism-imperialism that is directly responsible for the oppression of women and the daily horrors it creates for women here and around the world. And until we make revolution and uproot this system, women will never be truly liberated.
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