On Tuesday, Mississippi voters voted down the “Personhood Amendment” that could have outlawed abortion even to save the life of a mother. It even could have criminalized in vitro fertilization, some forms of contraception -- including IUDs, and even investigated women who suffered miscarriages.
We’ve been talking for months about the unacceptable War on Women that right wingers have waged across the country, but today I’m sitting back thinking: what an amazing and unexpected victory. This was a real David vs. Goliath fight. Gobs of money were thrown toward an anti-choice cause, but effective grassroots campaigns to raise awareness and get the truth out won.
But the fight isn’t over. While the “personhood” idea has failed twice so far in Colorado and now Mississippi, the co-founder of the organization that’s coordinating “personhood” efforts has announced that he thinks it could win on the third try.
Here’s the thing about all of these measures: They’re not just popping up in places like Mississippi. Initiatives like this are being pushed across the country – from the U.S. Congress to Nevada to Montana. And they are the result of state legislatures that are run by the most extreme Republicans.
We’ve seen what’s happened under Speaker Boehner’s leadership: anti-choice activists in Congress are escalating their attacks on women’s rights. In fact, Republicans in Congress introduced 2 bills in the House and 1 in the Senate copying the Mississippi law, and already 63 Republicans have added their names on as co-sponsors. We need to work to replace these out-of-touch Republicans with leaders who will respect women’s access to safe and adequate health care.
I’ll never forget when we won the House and Senate back in 2006, and Senator Barbara Boxer took Senator Jim Inhofe to task in a committee hearing. “Elections have consequences” she told him. She’s damn right. And boy did we learn what those consequences were after the 2010 election. For the last year Americans have consistently said that jobs are the most important issue to them, while the GOP has made it clear that rolling back women’s rights is their priority.
If we want to protect our rights, we have to be prepared. That means saving our state legislatures from the Tea Party agenda and taking back Congress in 2012. If we have more women running strong campaigns across the country at the national, state, and local levels, we can make sure these attacks never see the light of day.
So, we have a lot of work to do! Sign our letter telling the Republicans to stop the attacks on women’s health. Make sure they know voters will not accept their attempts to end women's reproductive rights. Join us in this fight and help us continue to stand strong in 2012!
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