Every two years, like clockwork, Republicans devise massive hysteria over voter fraud that study after study shows doesn’t exist. A 2007 study by the Brennan Center for Justice found that “an American is more likely to get struck by lightning than impersonate another voter at the polls.” This year the Republicans are joined by Tea Party members in crying outrage about upcoming widespread voter fraud – regardless that there is virtually no basis in empirical reality. So, why the brouhaha over something nonexistent? Tea Partiers and Republicans want to suppress your vote – if you are students, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, or Native Americans.
This year they have even offered up a bounty. The Minnesota-based group Election Integrity Watch—a coalition of conservative organizations that includes the Northstar Tea Party Patriots and the Minnesota Majority—aired an ad that essentially puts a $500 bounty on the head of a fraudulent voter. Talk about encouraging harassment at the polls.
Minorities have been targeted nationally. In Illinois, documented on audiotape, Senator Kirk funded the largest “voter integrity program” in “South and West sides of Chicago, Rockford, Metro East, where the other side might be tempted to jigger the numbers somewhat.” He used these tactics to keep away the large African-American populations.
In 1963 the Beatles released their first album, the X-Men comic is first released, America first heard the words “I have a dream”, and America mourned the loss of President Kennedy. The year 1963 was also the last time we had a comprehensive report on the conditions of women.
Fortunately for us, the Obama Administration felt 48 years was long enough and has given us our first look at a post-Equal Protection Act era. The White House’s recently released report: Women In America highlights how far women have come, but also how far we have to go.
How far we’ve come:
- The labor force participation rate for women (age 20 and older) nearly doubled between 1948 (32 percent) and 1997 (61 percent).
- Women are considerably more likely to work year round than they were in past decades. In 2009, 75 percent of women worked year round, up from 51 percent in 1968.
- Earnings of full-time female workers have risen by 31 percent since 1979, compared to a 2 percent rise in male earnings.
What is happening in the US House right now is a woman’s issue. H.R. 3 is not about being pro-choice or pro-life. It isn’t about the GOP and some Democrats (sadly two of Illinois’ Democratic Congressmen) deciding whether or not abortion is moral. H.R. 3 is about Republicans and some Democrats attempt at redefining rape and determining what legal medical care women can receive due to their economic status.
We’ve all used phrases like “date-rape,” “spousal-rape,” even Whoopi’s “rape-rape.” While each of these has its own social stigma for some people, we thought for sure we were all able to agree on the meaning of “non-consensual.” Apparently, we were wrong.
H.R. 3 SEC. 309 says: [emphasis ours]
TREATMENT OF ABORTIONS RELATED TO RAPE, INCEST, OR PRESERVING THE LIFE OF THE MOTHER.
`The limitations established in sections 301, 302, 303, and 304 shall not apply to an abortion–
(1) if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest; or
(2) in the case where the pregnant female suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the pregnant female in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself.
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