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Kearns and Sons

Women’s rights slipping

Not just women should be concerned that Republican legislators are proposing bills that take away their rights. Republicans, who rail against government interference with individual freedom, want to legislate our bodies. Many bills concern Viagra. A flood of anti-woman legislation has hit the states and Congress. In rape cases, women are supposed to prove they were forced. How, pray tell, does one “prove” that when, like being confronted by a bear, one tries to freeze or get out of the situation without causing worse consequences. In Idaho state Chuck Winder’s bill not even rape justifies getting an abortion. Rights are also being gutted in the work place. Vicious, sexual verbal abuse is trivialized. Police ignore victims of domestic violence. A bill sponsor declares there is no pay gap between men and women’s salaries, and even if there was, men need money more because they have families to support. Yet if a man abandons his wife and child(ren), another bill equates single parenthood with child abuse and neglect—all the woman’s fault, not the man’s. In 1991 the Violence Against Women Act was passed as a bipartisan effort. It was reauthorized in 2000 and 2005. Now it is up for reauthorization and has become a political football—a disgrace.
Women’s rights are fragile; they must be vigilantly protected.
What has President Obama done: he created the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to enforce equal pay; he’s promoted workplace flexibility; he’s gotten rights for those who take care of the elderly and infirm; he promotes attracting women and girls to high-paying, high-skilled jobs; he supports women who breastfeed; his health care bill offers many provisions for women; he supports women business owners and veterans.

The choice should be clear.
Valerie Harms
Bozeman

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