Tag Archives: Domestic Violence

Affordable Care Act Helping Women

4 Aug

Thank you to my friend and LGBT ally, Jennifer Carey, for inspiring me to write this article.  During this Republican War on Women, and for those ill informed detractors of the Affordable  Care Act, it behooves everyone to know some facts on how this act actually significantly helps women. Of course for those of us who actually took the time to read the ACA, none of this comes as a big surprise.

Scientific American, points out that as of August 1 the Affordable  Care Act requires private insurance companies to provide the following for free:

  • approved contraceptives (per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommended list, which includes major oral contraceptives as well as sterilization procedures) as well as contraceptive counseling;
  • well-woman visits (those annual trips in to the OB/GYN to get everything checked out);
  • breastfeeding supplies (such as breast pumps), support and counseling;
  • STI (sexually transmitted infection) counseling—including HIV testing and counseling as well as genetic HPV (human papillomaviurs) testing for women 30 and older;
  • screening for gestational diabetes (a condition which can increase the risk for complications and developing type 2 diabetes later as well as metabolic challenges for the child);
  • and domestic violence screening and counseling.

It’s about time, given that during the Bush Administration Viagra was provided for free.

Kathleen Sebelius, the Director of Health and Human Services sums it up best:

These historic guidelines are based on science and existing literature and will help ensure women get the preventive health benefits they need.

These preventive measures for women’s health (many already afforded to men) will save millions of dollars in the long run in health care costs.  If you are pro-woman and pro-woman’s health, I strongly encourage you to think about whom you will vote for this November.  Do you really want someone who has now stated that he will overturn Roe v. Wade and gut Planned Parenthood and work against civil rights of LGBT folk? Or would you prefer a President who has made it clear that women’s health issues cannot be ignored and has taken a strong stand for civil rights?

Violence Against Women Act: The 31 Voices For Violence

29 Apr

As the war against women continues, there was a spot of light last week in the Senate.  Sixty-eight Senators voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, defeating the 31 Republican men who voted to take away women’s voices after they have been attacked.  One might ask, do these 31 Republican men have no mothers, no sisters, no daughters?  What is it with Republicans and women lately?  We can only presume they don’t care about women’s health and well being–this includes all of the Republican women who so often suffer from internalized oppression, Sarah Palin et al.

This legislation is slated to go to the House next.  Sadly, the House GOP is planning on introducing a bill with the same name, but their version of the Violence Against Women Act attempts to strip out the very provisions protecting Native Americans, undocumented immigrants, and LGBT Americans we just fought for.  I guess the GOP really has no clue about marginalized populations and the intersections of oppression–to think about such issues one would have to be a civil servant!

So let’s call out bad behavior and let’s attach the names to these 31 Republicans that we need to be afraid of:

Barrasso (R-WY) Grassley (R-IA) Moran (R-KS)
Blunt (R-MO) Hatch (R-UT) Paul (R-KY)
Boozman (R-AR) Inhofe (R-OK) Risch (R-ID)
Burr (R-NC) Isakson (R-GA) Roberts (R-KS)
Chambliss (R-GA) Johanns (R-NE) Rubio (R-FL)
Coburn (R-OK) Johnson (R-WI) Sessions (R-AL)
Cochran (R-MS) Kyl (R-AZ) Shelby (R-AL)
Cornyn (R-TX) Lee (R-UT) Thune (R-SD)
DeMint (R-SC) Lugar (R-IN) Toomey (R-PA)
Enzi (R-WY) McConnell (R-KY) Wicker (R-MS)
Graham (R-SC)

Note that in nine states (AL, GA, KS, KY, MS, OK, SC, UT, WY) vulnerable populations received no Senate support whatsoever.  On the plus side, thanks to the six Republican men in the Senate – Alexander (TN), Coats (IN), Corker (TN), Crapo (ID), McCain (AZ), Portman (OH) – who bucked the trend and did the right thing with this vote.

Violence Against Women Act: More Republican Misogyny At Work

13 Feb

Protect women? We have gays and immigrants to demonize first!

The Violence Against Women Act has been law since 1994. Passed with broad bipartisan support, the bill enhanced investigation and prosecution of violent crimes perpetrated against women, imposed automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allowed civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave unprosecuted. Since its initial passage, the bill has been reauthorized twice, in 2000 and 2005. The last reauthorization had unanimous consent in the Senate, an amazing 415 yes votes in the House, and was signed by Pres. George W. Bush. Seems like it should be pretty clear for reauthorization this year, doesn’t it?

Instead, Republicans have hijacked the debate over the bill. The Senate Judiciary Committee failed to get a single Republican vote to pass the bill. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R – Misogyny) offered a substitute bill that slashed funding, eliminated the Justice Dept. office that enforces the bill and removed language protecting lesbians and transgender women as well as seriously restricting access to services by immigrants.

REALLY? Is all the political posturing so important that women’s lives should be put at risk? Should services that have had nearly 20 years of broad support be gutted so we can strip away rights from the oppressed? Apparently that’s what the Republican thugs on the Committee are interested in. Stand up to this abuse of power and sign the DailyKos petition demanding reauthorization today!

Men Against Violence

9 Apr

The culture of violence is a difficult culture to talk about, or identify with.  Usually people don’t want to hear about a culture of violence or are embarrassed to share their own stories. I grew up in an emotionally and physically violent home. I witnessed multigenerational violence. I remember as a very young boy being terrified as my grandmother and uncle would beat my mom. I remember my biological dad beating my mom, step-mom, and me. I remember being in a gay relationship and the man I was with ran over my foot and I punched him in the face. At some point the cycle has to stop–the cycle can only stop with me, with you!

About 15 years ago I became a Pacifist and worked through a great deal of therapy. Unfortunately, not every one has the same opportunities or resources to get help or look at the origins of violence, or the origins of misogyny.

I was fortunate enough to speak with Gabby Santos, the Program Coordinator for Underserved Communities Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Santos along with the national organization A Call To Men has organized The Men’s Institute, a two day event on May 3-4, 2011 in Portland, Oregon. Here is a glimpse into the good work that A Call To Men do. While talking with Gabby Santos it is clear how committed she is to reach ALL people to become involved in this conversation around preventing violence and how:

Men and boys are a part of the solution.  This is an opportunity for folks that are not already at the table to engage in a statewide capacity building grassroots prevention.  A Call to Men is a national organization that focuses on the disparities between the intersections of violence in different people: interfaith communities, LGBT communities, marginalized communities. We want boys to address buylling and become leaders to help prevent violence. The two day insitute will allow us to have meaningful discussions and then to implement and to create a healthier Oregon.

The Institute will provide advanced training to community leaders interested in domestic and sexual violence prevention.  All genders and diverse identities are encouraged to participate. Click here for more information and to save the date; look to the bottom of the page after clicking through.  This is an opportunity for different communities to come together and help prevent violence and bullying.

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