Monday, March 12, 2012

War on Women in the US continues after 320 years

For hundreds of years women have been midwives. For hundreds of years women have been persecuted and punished because they were midwives. In Europe, they were burned, butchered and beheaded. That tradition continued in the United States and is still with us today in the war on women’s rights in the areas women’s health care, including reproductive issues of  abortion rights and birth control. This, of course, is of great concern to pro choice supporters, who support women’s rights to safe, legal abortion and  birth control.

According to a very informative article titled “Midwives and Witches-what is the historical connection?” by Cathy Hartt RN CNM, MS, (located at http://www.pearllakedhist.com/witchmidwife.html on 3-12-2012) there has always been a connection between midwives and witchcraft. Women who were midwives have basically been accused of witchcraft because when they delivered babies, since they carried on the generations and continuation of the human race, which male dominated society and the church resented and sought to control through accusations of witchcraft.

In 1692 a number of women were  hanged at Salem, Massachusetts, for witchcraft, but they were not the first witchcraft hangings. In 1648, Margaret Jones, a midwife and healer, was hanged at Charleston, Ma. The populace there believed she was evil and caused “deafness and nausea”, according to the article quoted above. Jones was dragged out and hanged.

Midwives not only delivered children. They also knew the secrets of herbs and teas for birth control and abortion, knowledge that could put women in control of their lives.

WHAT SIMILARITIES DO WE SEE BETWEEN THIS ACTION OVER 320 YEARS AGO AND THE ACTIONS OF RIGHT TO LIFERS AND CONSERATIVE POLITIIANS TODAY? Their deeply rooted fear of women controlling their own lives in the areas of women’s abortion rights and women’s health care and birth control drives them to the present day war on women’s rights, including anti woman speech and violent actions at women’s clinics.

Rick Perry, former presidential candidate, had an ad in Iowa before the caucuses, where he basically said, “I am a Christian and proud of it…..blah, blah, blah”. Last year he and the Texas legislature voted to cut funding for Planned Parenthood because their clinics do abortions. This move could cut free exams and birth control for women who aren’t eligible for Medicaid’s program for the poor. (from U.S. News-Feds stop funding Texas women’s health program over abortion, http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/10/10630430-feds-stop-...) Surely, it is appropriate  to question Perry’s christian beliefs in cutting benefits that help the poor.

On a lighter note, a most tongue in cheek article says Arkansas has enacted a law that requires women considering an abortion to name the baby and paint the nursery before their abortion. This apparently would make them reconsider having an abortion, although it did not address the issue of how paint fumes  or reaching to paint a ceiling or wall could affect the comfort of the woman or the fetus. (from New law requires women to name baby, paint nursery before getting an…http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2010/01/18/new-law-requires…)

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