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Open Letter to Representative Trent Franks: What Caring About Women and Babies Really Looks Like

7:31 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Bria Murray for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Dear Representative Trent Franks,

A mother nurses her infant

What does it mean to care for women? (Photo: See-Ming Lee / Flickr)

Today, I watched you debate during the markup for H.R. 3803, or, as you may know it, the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortion after 20 weeks in Washington, DC. I watched you valiantly fight to save “the children” from their pain even in the case of rape or incest, or when a mother has been diagnosed with cancer and the treatment needed to save her life is incompatible with the continuation of her pregnancy. I watched you warn the rest of the judiciary committee that abortions are linked to higher rates of suicide, even though this “fact,” and the basis for the bill itself (that 20-week-old fetuses can feel pain) flies in the face of all accredited scientific evidence.

And all I could think about was September 7, 2007.

It may seem strange to you. September 7, 2007 was nearly five years ago. Why think about that now? And why such a specific date?

September 7, 2007 was the night I was raped.

September 7, 2007 was the night that my rapist’s sperm met my egg and I was impregnated with the child of my rapist.

I thought about all of this as I watched you passionately advocate on behalf of “the tiny little babies” and the only reaction I could muster was “how dare you.”

How dare you, Representative Franks. Your claim of caring about the “pain of the tiny babies” rings hollow when one remembers your support of the Ryan Budget, which would have slashed over $36 billion from food assistance programs. You called them “slush funds” and “runaway federal spending.” This from a member of the House of Representatives, who makes more in a month than I do in a year.

How dare you, Representative Franks. Your claim of caring about the “increased risk of suicide” among those who seek abortions rings hollow when, again and again, you have voted to strip people like me of health care by voting for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the slashing of Medicare and Medicaid. These programs that I, personally, rely on so that I can afford counseling to help me deal with the trauma of being raped.  After all, “health care” involves your mental health as well.

How dare you, Representative Franks. Your faux concern for the physical and mental well-being of parents and their children is sickening when you have over and over again proven your concern for both is nonexistent.

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Senate Committee Votes to Lift Ban on Abortions for Peace Corps Volunteers in Cases of Rape, Life Endangerment

8:29 am in Uncategorized by RH Reality Check

Written by Editor-in-Chief Jodi Jacobson for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

Photobucket

Photo: Haraz Ghanbari, peacecorps.gov

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Affairs, and Related Programs has passed a bill that would amend the current total ban on abortion care for Peace Corps volunteers by allowing the Corps to provide access to safe abortion services in cases of sexual assault, incest or life endangerment.

This Fiscal Year 2012 provision was included in the State and Foreign Operations funding measure approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday evening.  Current Peace Corps policy denies all coverage for abortion care services, even in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman is endangered. A wide range of advocacy and public health groups have condemned and fought to remove this ban.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced the language amending the ban.

Women’s health organizations applauded the vote. “As a former Peace Corps volunteer, I am heartened by this small step forward in rectifying the Peace Corps’ discriminatory policies against female volunteers,” said Latanya Mapp Frett, vice president – Global, Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“The women of the Peace Corps put themselves at increased risk of sexual assault in service to their country.  It is high time the U.S. recognizes the reproductive rights of its volunteers by providing them with comprehensive medical care in such critical moments.” Read the rest of this entry →