Friday, March 7, 2014

March 8th is International Women's Day
Conservatives don't VALUE Women,
they just try to control, restrict and dominate women and girls

Next door in South Dakota we have another example of racism meeting misogyny, and attempt by right wingers to intrude more of THEIR religious bias into governmental authority, using it AGAINST women, their families, clergy, and doctors.
The radical right just cannot let people make their own decisions. Rabid conservatives in South Dakota are trying to pass a law that would make it a felony to have an abortion because of gender selection of the embryo - and they are blaming this on a small increase in the Asian population of the state, not on any actual indication that such abortions are taking place in the U.S., by Asians or anyone else.

Earlier this week, the gender abortion ban deadlocked in the Senate, after having passed the House, as noted in SF Gate.
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota's proposed ban on gender-selective abortions would stigmatize Asian-Americans and promote racial stereotypes, opponents of the measure said during a hearing Monday.
Lena Tran, an Asian-American student at the University of South Dakota, said the ban would result in racial profiling against Asian women in doctors' offices.
"I personally would not get an abortion," Tran said to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. "I do not want my friends and neighbors to look at me with suspicion."
We should not be passing racist bills in this country, directed at someone's ethnicity or country of origin. This is both racist, and just one more effort to prevent women from making decisions about their bodies and their reproductive health that is their constitutional right.

I don't actually find the Radical Right valuing women in the U.S.

They oppose paying women equal compensation for equal work, they oppose paying a fair minimum wage which affects women more than men, they support legislation that is intended to take away autonomy of women over their own bodies, and to shame and humiliate women with costly and intrusive procedures like medically unnecessary ultrasounds. The extremist conservatives on the Radical Right opposed the Equal Rights Amendment - they do not WANT equal rights for women. The radical right opposes affirmative action, which seeks to advance women more proportionately in education and employment on the basis of merit. The Radical Right fought passage of the [Anti] Violence Against Women Act, and have supported a pro-rape culture, including attempting to redefine rape so as to exclude existing rape definitions such as statutory rape and rape where a woman is rendered incapacitated by drugs or alcohol. The Radical hateful right also has done their level best to cut aid to single mothers.

The radical right has passed laws that REQUIRE a doctor to give women seeking abortions medically INACCURATE information, and they have passed laws that allow a doctor, as a matter of his or her conscience, to LIE to women about their medical care and health, including lying to them about even being pregnant. And of course we have the radical right's support for abstinence only sex education which ALSO promotes medically inaccurate information being taught, and which teaches women that they have no value if they are not virgins when they marry or if they have sex without deciding to get married -- an exclusively religious belief that devalues women and puts them at risk of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted disease.

The radical right also has cut funding for health care for women, and is opposing making contraception affordable for women under the ACA --- which is necessary for women to be able to be in control of their reproductive years, affecting their education and career choices. The radical right also gives little authority or roles of significance to women in politics, and the radical religious right insists on dominion or domination of men over women, and that women must submit themselves to ALL male authority.

THIS is how the radical right 'values women and girls'.

So for the radical right in South Dakota to claim that this legislation or legislation like it is about valuing women is a crock of excrement. From SFGate:
Rep. Don Haggar, R-Sioux Falls, suggested during a House debate that the bill was necessary because of an influx of immigrants to the state. And Rep. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton, said that he spent 18 years in Asia in the military and believes parts of the world don't value women as much as he values his daughters.
The SF Gate article continues outlining that this is a solution seeking a problem, not the other way round, and I provide a larger context to the why this is NOT valid legislation immediately following.
No one at Monday's hearing endorsed sex-selective abortions, and there are no available statistics to demonstrate that sex-selective abortions have taken place in the state.
"We really have no indication as to whether this is really a problem. Or is this a solution looking for a problem?" asked Sen. Bruce Rampelberg, R-Rapid City. A Fiscal Impact Statement on the bill says, "violations are likely to be rare, and successful prosecutions very rare."
South Dakota is among a number of states proposing legislation to ban gender-selective abortions. A similar bill that explicitly references race is currently being challenged in Arizona courts. The Guttmacher Institute, a pro-abortion rights nonprofit whose statistics are widely respected, reports that seven other states already have laws banning abortion based on the gender of a fetus. Such laws remain in effect in six states.
The very definition of right wing big government is reducing rights, and passing laws that don't actually address real problems, issues or behavior.

While there ARE cultures and countries that engage in widespread sex-selection abortions, there is no evidence that we have a problem with that here. In China for example, where there is a fairly strict policy of one child per couple, the ratio of boys to girls being born is 80 girls for every 100 boys. The normal ratio of male to female births is approximately 106 male births to every 100 female births, while the actual ratio of adults world wide is roughly 101 males to 100 females. This is actually a separate specialized field of scientific research:
In the United States, the sex ratios at birth over the period 1970–2002 were 1.05 for the white non-Hispanic population, 1.04 for Mexican Americans, 1.03 for African Americans and Indians, and 1.07 for mothers of Chinese or Filipino ethnicity. Among Western European countries ca. 2001, the ratios ranged from 1.04 in Belgium to 1.07 in Switzerland,Italy, Ireland and Portugal. In the aggregated results of 56 Demographic and Health Surveys[ in African countries, the ratio is 1.03, though there is also considerable country-to-country variation.
Even in the absence of sex selection practices, a range of "normal" sex ratios at birth of between 103 to 108 boys per 100 girls has been observed in different economically developed countries, and among different ethnic and racial groups within a given country.
In an extensive study, carried out around 2005, of sex ratio at birth in the United States from 1940 over 62 years, statistical evidence suggested the following: For mothers having their first baby, the total sex ratio at birth was 1.06 overall, with some years at 1.07. For mothers having babies after the first, this ratio consistently decreased with each additional baby from 1.06 towards 1.03. The age of the mother affected the ratio: the overall ratio was 1.05 for mothers aged 25 to 35 at the time of birth; while mothers who were below the age of 15 or above 40 had babies with a sex ratio ranging between 0.94 to 1.11, and a total sex ratio of 1.04. This United States study also noted that American mothers of Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese, Cuban and Japanese ethnicity had the highest sex ratio, with years as high as 1.14 and average sex ratio of 1.07 over the 62 year study period.
While there are more males at the baby end of the life span spectrum, in nearly every society and culture, women out live men, resulting in more women at the elderly end of the life spectrum. Gender ratios are not constant.

China has an acknowledged problem with gender selection and they are having to address it as noted here in the Financial Times from last November:
Population growth in China is a concern for policy makers because the working-age population peaked in 2012, so the country faces having fewer workers available to support a growing army of the elderly. That peak has come at an earlier stage than in neighbouring economies, lending weight to the opinion of some observers that “China will become old before it gets rich”.
Demographers consider that to keep the population from falling, each woman, on average, must produce 2.06 babies, or an average of one daughter each. While males slightly outnumber females at birth everywhere, they are more likely to die in infancy.
But women in China would need to produce 2.2 children each to keep population level. That is because the nation’s gender imbalance is among the highest in the world, with 1.17 boys for every girl, a level that demographers have warned could lead to social unrest in years to come. Even China’s neighbours such as South Korea and Japan, which have fertility rates of 1.23 and 1.34 per woman, do not need as high a birth rate to hold the population level.
China and other countries with large and poor populations HAVE had problems with gender selection abortions, but those countries and cultures, with large numbers of poor and uneducated people comprising their populations, as they try to become more industrialized and developed, are addressing those issues and backward beliefs. We don't have the problem here and we should not pass legislation that targets and punishes immigrants from those cultures who come here.

This law represents the worst of what is wrong with the radical right. Those who more genuinely value and support women and girls are found on the left, opposing horrible legislation like this. As we approach the International Day of the Woman, this legislation and the legislation like it, is doubly repugnant and offensive.

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