Immigrant women who came to Michigan in search of a more developed and civilized way of life recently received the shock of their lives.
While Congressional Democrats fought hard last February to renew the Violence against Women Act -- and fortunately succeeded -- now in December a handful of Congressional Republicans have shown their disdain for the rights of all women in this country.
Michigan’s GOP has passed the “Rape Insurance” bill, trampling on women’s rights by requiring women to carry separate insurance to cover abortion – including in the case of rape.
How can this happen in what is supposed to be the most powerful, developed, and modern nation in the world?
The limited views of the anti-choice group “Right to Life”, in collaboration with the puritanical attitudes of a handful of religious zealots from the Republican Party -- who completely ignored Gov. Snyder’s earlier veto of a version of this same bill at the beginning of 2013-- have in an instant destroyed, not only the peace of mind of millions of women in this country – both American and foreign – but also the reputation of the United States as a free nation.
Shame on them.
To make matters worse, the new law makes it impossible for a woman to purchase “rape insurance” if she is already pregnant (as if she could foresee that she was going to be raped!), and the full cost of the medical procedure will now be the sole responsibility of the victim – even in the case of rape or incest.
Strangely enough, this insurance abortion rider has not even been created yet.
So, as of March 2014, a woman who suffers the indignity of being raped, will have to carry a constant reminder of the act of violence that destroyed her life for the rest of her existence – unless, of course, she has the money to pay for a medical procedure. And we all know what medical procedures cost in the US.
According to Rep. Nancy Jenkins, one of the intents by Congress in passing this law, was to keep Michiganders from paying with their taxes for abortion procedures. So, now thanks to Rep. Jenkins and her crowd, Michiganders will instead have to foot the bill to cover years of child support for unwed mothers and their unwanted children, millions in welfare for abandoned children who will, of course, need to be placed “into the system”, and other expenses that perhaps puritans in Congress were unable to consider in their efforts to save their souls.
And this new abortion law in Michigan is not the only way women’s rights are ignored.
Religious learning institutions and organizations believe it is their right to refuse to cover or dispense contraceptives that would, of course, prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place.
The Rules and Regulations section of the Federal Register of the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States, Vol. 78, No. 127 of July 2nd, 2013 states that “Covering contraceptives [also] yields significant cost savings. A 2000 study estimated that it would cost 15 to 17 percent more not to provide contraceptive coverage in employee health plans than to provide such coverage, after accounting for both the direct medical costs of pregnancy and the indirect costs, such as employee absence.”
Still puritanical and extremist views prevailed over common sense and the rights of women in this country. Who would have thought that this would happen today? After all, this is in fact the 21st Century, and we have been to the moon and back, the latest technology is available to all, and global information is at our fingertips.
By allowing special interest groups to promote their own interests and turn them into laws, Congress is putting the integrity of the United States at risk. Our nation used to be an example to follow, but through their actions, Congressional Republicans are putting us at the same level as those whom we have been fighting allegedly to preserve human rights.
As chastity belts are not an option anymore, what is next? Reviving the Spanish Inquisition? Burkas and stonings? Arranged marriages?
These are sad times indeed for all of Michigan, and in the words of Florynce R. Kennedy, lawyer, activist, lecturer and author of Abortion Rap, “if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament”.