The Big Picture: Help Families Work with Robert Reich

Tanya’s comment: These are all really good ideas. In fact, it’s crazy that there aren’t already laws for these labor rights.

The Conservative War on Women Ramps Up, Women Lose More Rights

From an email from CredoAction:

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Rape Is Never the Victim’s Fault

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In a cultural climate in which rape is not taken seriously in many settings, such as college campuses and the military, we need to remember this quote. Rape is a crime and must be prosecuted. Let’s have compassion and respect for the victims of rape.


Arguments in Favor of Pro-Choice Policy

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Amid all the talk about whether or not a woman should be permitted to have an abortion, this article gives succinct, yet powerful arguments for pro-choice.


Laws against abortion do not stop abortion; they simply make it less safe. Every year, 78,000 women die from unsafe abortions.

If people want to stop abortion, they should turn to methods that do work. These include comprehensive sex education and safe, affordable contraceptives. 

Religious ideology is no foundation for any law. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to any citizen in the United States; so why would the beliefs and values of one religion mandate actual laws for all citizens? 

Reproductive choice can be the only thing that stands between a woman and poverty. There is a reason that the 1 billion poorest people on the planet are female. In sub-Saharan Africa and west Asia, women typically have five to six children, which leaves them powerless to provide for not only their own families, but themselves.

For more on pro-choice, go to,

Abortion Restrictions Blocked in North Dakota

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Finally, after years of Republican success in rescinding women’s rights, the courts are stepping in and doing their jobs. If a new law is invented by a particularly misogynistic politician(s) that is unconstitutional, it’s illegal and shouldn’t be allowed. Not a difficult concept. 

Rachel Maddow on MSNBC is doing an admirable job on her show at covering women’s rights. There aren’t very many other news outlets that will give you as much news on this front as she does. 

From MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s blog ( 

While Republicans furiously approve new restrictions on reproductive rights at the state level, they keep running into one persistent problem: the courts.

A federal judge has blocked enforcement of North Dakota’s new abortion law — the nation’s most restrictive.

The law, which was set to take effect next week, would ban abortions beginning at six weeks, when the fetal heartbeat can be detected.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland concluded the North Dakota law contradicts U.S. Supreme Court cases addressing abortion restraints and violates a 40-year precedent established in Roe v. Wade.

North Dakota only has one clinic remaining where women can terminate pregnancies — this in a state spanning over 70,000 square miles — and under the law approved in March, 90% of those abortions would no longer be legal.

“The State of North Dakota has presented no evidence to justify the passage of this troubling law,” Hovland said in his order. “The State has extended an invitation to an expensive court battle over a law restricting abortions that is a blatant violation of the constitutional guarantees afforded to all women.”

The ruling is not surprising — North Dakota Republicans willfully ignored existing U.S. law when they approved these sweeping restrictions, applying them to some women who may not even realize they’re pregnant — but it’s nevertheless reassuring to reproductive-rights advocates.

It’s also the second such ruling this month.

As we discussed just two weeks ago, Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Wisconsin’s Republican-led legislature approved their own restrictions, including state-mandated, medically-unnecessary ultrasounds and the closure of half the state’s clinics where abortion services are provided. A federal court blocked this measure, too.

If we look back a little further, as the NBC News report noted, Idaho’s 20-week ban was also blocked by a federal court.

Why are Republicans in the U.S. Senate so eager to derail President Obama’s judicial nominees and prevent the courts from moving to the left? This offers a pretty timely reminder.

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Freedom in America: We’re Still Fighting For It

That’s from the blog.

But to it, I’d like to add: I also believe that if the young black men of America, a group much of society likes to believe the worst of, cannot walk through the streets without fear of being gunned down due to the Stand Your Ground law, then this society is not free. A society that allows this should truly be ashamed of itself.

How I Feel About Women’s Rights Currently Being Taken Away!


Closing Planned Parenthood Limits Access to Many Services, Not Just Abortion

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Most of the vilification of Planned Parenthood by its opponents comes from the errant belief that its sole service to women is abortion. But that is far from the truth. In fact, only 3% of its services are abortion! The rest of its services comprise of OB/GYN tests and procedures that every women either has had, or will have at some point in her life.


Graph of Planned Parenthood Services by Percentage

Graph of Planned Parenthood Services by Percentage (2009)

So the prospect of Planned Parenthood either being closed or severely restricted (depending on various states’ current legislation) is very disturbing. The other problem is that many patients of these clinics are low income and need its doors to stay open because it provides low cost care and takes Medicaid- without Planned Parenthood, these patients have few other options. These clinics also provide a safe, non-judgmental place where young people can ask questions they are too nervous to ask their parents or family doctors.

The point is that pro-life advocates and politicians who are driving anti-abortion legislation should look at the total result of their actions.

As those who claim moral superiority seek to shoot down any opposition, the rights and welfare of women and the poor are being caught in the crossfire.

Fighting for Women’s Rights All Over Again

It’s one thing to have an opinion- it’s something else entirely to shove your opinion down another person’s throat.

But this is what is happening now in America. Some feel that there is a right and wrong way to live life, and that they are right and you are wrong if you don’t agree. They don’t care about the Constitution, or laws, or compassion, or kindness, or empathy, or RIGHTS. And they definitely don’t care about women. They think we women should just keep our mouths shut.

So who are they? They are the Republican Conservatives, often backed by the “Religious Right,” who are waging war anew on women’s rights, although that war has already been fought decades ago.

And don’t think that if you don’t believe in abortion, your reproductive rights are safe. They are not. There are states where you will have to ask your boss specifically for insurance coverage for birth control (even if you only take it for health issues, not family planning). Why should that be your boss’s business, especially if he is a man?

And if Planned Parenthood is dismantled, which is what they want, there will be very few places for women to get low-cost gynecological care. They don’t just do abortions!!!! They do pap smears, breast exams, AIDS and STI testing (for men, as well) and a range of other vital services.

The Secular Jurist has written an informative blog post on these issues. In it, he writes:

“The severe abortion restrictions being pushed by Republicans are clearly sexist, and violate both established law (Roe v. Wade) and the First Amendment’s establishment clause (i.e. the separation of church and state).  It not only is consistent with theocracy, but state-control of reproductive rights is also a major component of eugenics.”

That is one of the best legal and moral arguments I’ve read about why the revoking of women’s rights should not be allowed to take place. Read the rest of the post here. 

Tell Obama to Confront Rape in the Military

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From Care2 (petition site):

“According to the Pentagon, there were 26,000 sexual assaults in the military last year, a 27% increase from the year before. However, the problem is most likely much worse. Even individuals that are supposed to work to stop this problem have been charged with sexual assault. Not only is the rate of assaults rising, it is getting harder for victims to access, or even qualify for, the disability benefits necessary to recover from the trauma of an assault. This is cruel and inexcusable. Despite this clear problem and the lack of resources to fix it, Congress is dragging its feet on a solution.
The members of our military cannot wait any longer — it’s time for Obama to take executive action and help solve this problem. Tell Obama to act now and confront rape in the military!”
Rape in the military needs to be taken more seriously. Sign this petition at Care2 if you agree.