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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Everything old is new again — even bias
(Page 2 of 3)
For months, women’s rights have been the target of conservative politicians. Suddenly, spurred by right-wing candidates like Rick Santorum and the self-proclaimed social conservative Mitt Romney, a public debate has emerged about everything related to women’s health and reproductive freedom, including the right to contraception, the right to have insurance pay for contraception and the right to choose an abortion.

My mother, my daughter and I attended a pro-choice march at the White House when George (Bush) the First was in office. That was 23 years ago. Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land since 1973, 39 years ago.

It seems to be open season on women again, or still. Rather than suggest ways to improve the economy or rebuild our country’s infrastructure or get out of the war in Afghanistan, Mitt and Newt and Rick are discussing whether or not women should be subjected to intravaginal ultrasounds before having an abortion.

I don’t know why I supposed that social progress is a given. I’ve always assumed that the longer we live, the longer America prevails, the dark side of our culture would be exposed to the sunlight. In some areas, it has. The separate bathrooms in the South are history. There is no back-of-the-bus segregation. But we do have state governments today trying to impose new voter-identification requirements that would effectively disenfranchise African-Americans and Hispanics.

Women, too, have made impressive gains. But the political war on Planned Parenthood, the right-wing influence at presumably non-political organizations like Komen for the Cure and the brouhaha over contraception are dragging us back in time. We fought those fights, and we won.
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