Freedom for all?

by kimberlydougherty

Today is the 4th of July. Independence Day. The day Americans celebrate their freedom with parades, fireworks, beer and hotdogs. We brag about being the most free society on earth. Go ‘Murica! We’re the best! 

Unfortunately, this Independence Day, I and probably a lot of other Americans are feeling like second class citizens. Women in this country have been dealt blow after blow by States that feel the need to tell us what and how we should take care of our bodies and ourselves. These battles have been fought already and yet, here we are fighting them again and losing.

By now, everyone has heard the stories coming out of Texas about the fight for the “abortion law” that Rick Perry wants to enact. The state of Ohio has passed an even stricter law and North Carolina is following the lead.

In Virginia “Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) quietly approved a controversial set of abortion clinic regulations last week that could shut down many of the clinics in the state. The regulations impose strict building standards that were intended for new hospitals, such as specific hallway widths and hands-free sinks, on first-trimester abortion clinics.” (From the Huffington post)

All of these measures are not just about abortion. Attacks on Planned Parenthood are not just about abortion. These are about women’s health and their access to afforadable healthcare. Many of the clinics that these laws are talking about do provide information on abortions or abortions themselves but that isn’t all they do. They do screenings for breast and cervical cancer, they provide birth control and they provide women treatment during pregnancy.

Since when is it a politician’s job to decide what kind of health care a person does or does not need? Virginia has another ridiculous law on the books that requires a 30-day waiting period for sterilization of any woman who has no biological or adopted children.

Because of this law, I had to wait an excruciating 30 days for a hysterectomy that my doctor said was medically necessary. If I had been married, I could have had my husband sign a waiver saying that it was ok. WTF, Virginia?

It is past time for the politicians of this country to get their heads out of their asses and get back to doing the jobs that we elected them to do. Run the states business. Fix roads, build schools, hire more police and fire personnel. Stop worrying about women’s medical issues. Let that be between them and their doctors because it’s nobody else’s business.

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