We’ve got a long way to go, baby

March 8th is International Women’s Day.

For me, it’s an opportunity to shore up my faith in the mission of Women’s Centers. Why? Because the Women’s Centers movement provides the single most effective way to gather, restore and fortify the woman-power desperately needed to rebalance our society.

After a couple millennia as second-class humans, of having to protest, argue and fight and die for control of every damn choice, most women still live in fear for the safety of their bodies. While suffering breaks, bruises and unwanted pregnancies from abusive men, women are also rapidly losing the ability to make choices about those unwanted pregnancies. Misogynist state legislatures are closing abortion clinics at an alarming rate.

Imagine: over the last twenty years, States have enacted 835 anti-choice measures – most prominently mandatory delays1, TRAP laws2, and insurance-coverage bans3 – that make it unspeakably difficult for a woman to have options for a life worth living.

In the Bay Area, the chances of an abused woman finding shelter space to escape her abuser currently are slim to none. All of the shelters are chronically full. A survivor’s choice often comes down to this: live on the streets or return to her abuser. Where is funding for new or expanded shelter services?

Until our society commits to actively securing the physical safety and reproductive choices of all women, we’ll continue to suffer the absence of women’s genius for repairing the mess men’s repressive violence has made of our world.

___________________________

  1. Mandatory-delay measures prohibit women from receiving abortion care until they are subjected to a state-mandated lecture and/or materials, typically followed by a delay of at least 24 hours.
  2. Measures that prohibit insurance companies from covering abortion services or require women to purchase a separate policy and pay an extra premium to receive abortion coverage.
  3. Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. Common TRAP regulations include those    that: limit the provision of care only to physicians; force practices to convert  needlessly into mini-hospitals at great expense; require abortion providers to get    admitting privileges; and require facilities to have a transfer agreement with a local    hospital (with nothing requiring hospitals to grant such privileges).     Source: NARAL

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