Women battle retreat to past
Yes, women are mad. We’re fed up with the fanaticism of Republicans and their zeal to control our most personal health decisions as they insist we conform to their narrow belief system. We can’t believe the continued denial of climate change as fires rage across California while most of Puerto Rico still has no power or clean water. We’re irate over Trump’s endless efforts to sabotage Obamacare while the vice president frivolously dashes back and forth across the country, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a stunt at a football game he never planned on attending.
Meanwhile, the president racks up more days on the golf course.
We’re furious at new “guidance” from the Justice Department allowing employers to use their religious beliefs as a foundation for discrimination, giving private businesses the same conscience protections as churches.
The guidance underpins Trump’s decision to expand the religious exemption for employers who object to birth control coverage and don’t want to include it in the health care plans they provide their employees.
The document says the federal government shouldn’t “second guess the determination of a religious employer that providing contraceptive care to employees would make the employers compliant in wrongdoing.” Apparently, supplying Viagra to men whose sexual performance is disappointing doesn’t meet the same standard of wrongdoing since that wasn’t included in the directive. It’s only the sexual lives of women that must be controlled.
The right-wing ideology police view the contraceptive mandate as a “relentless assault on the First Amendment,” according to the Family Research Council, lifting up an employer’s right to limit women’s health care coverage as a First Amendment concern, something the foremost champion of the First Amendment, the American Civil Liberties Union, disputes in a new lawsuit. “The Trump administration is forcing women to pay for their boss’s religious beliefs,” says ACLU senior staff attorney Brigitte Amiri. “We’re filing this lawsuit because the federal government cannot authorize discrimination against women in the name of religion or otherwise.” The National Women’s Law Center also plans to sue, because the guidance “showed callous disregard for women’s rights, health and autonomy.”
The latest directive comes on the heels of another discriminatory action by the Justice Department, which now believes the federal civil rights law does not protect transgender people from workplace discrimination, eliminating guidance issued during the Obama administration that says civil rights law covers a transgender person just like every other worker.
Then there’s the most recent annual report from the Violence Policy Center: “When Men Murder Women.” The report has been published for the last 20 years, and Nevada has been in the top 10 states for 19 of those years. This year we’re number two, just behind Alaska. It’s one of the most tragic of Nevada’s consistently poor national rankings, but our leaders yawn. We are incensed at this callous disregard for our safety.
Women can be slow to anger, but our simmering frustration is close to the boiling point. We’re sick of the violence that is literally killing us, almost always at the hands of men. We’re exhausted by politicians who endorse the policies of discrimination against our transgender sisters and brothers, and we’re disgusted by actions that take us backwards, diminishing our ability to determine our own futures.
Birth control is essential health care. Discrimination is wrong. Violence against women is abhorrent and must end. These concerns transcend political party, race and socio-economic status.
If Republicans refuse to reverse Trump’s decisions by enacting legislation to override his actions, women must vote as a bloc next November and throw them all out of office, starting with Nevada’s Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei. If we don’t, we acquiesce to second-class citizen status, and we’ll continue to pay for it with our very lives.