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Friday, February 24, 2006

OUTRAGE in South Dakota

Legislators pass abortion ban

The international mainstream press is awash in coverage of the abomination that is occurring in South Dakota. The Boston Herald, the Australian Broadcasting Company, and the Hartford Courant top the list when I Google for articles related to the South Dakota legislature's passage of an outright ban on abortion.

We have stepped back in time and are going headlong down a slippery slope of restrictions on women's reproductive freedoms that I never expected to see in my lifetime. I grossly underestimated the forces that surrounded me in my childhood here in East Tennessee in a small town completely dominated by two Southern Baptist churches. I thought that after I left and moved to live in other areas of the country that I had left behind the misery that the imposition of their rigid lifestyle imposes on everyone in the community.

I feel as if I am awakening now to a nightmare in my 50s in which that same emotional and cultural straitjacket that was the burden of my childhood and adolescence is suddenly going to be imposed on the entire country. This is an outrage.

Do I hear the drumbeat of fascism closing in? Will our freedoms erode so slowly that there is no real resistance? Is there an echo in the room that originated in Europe in the 30s?

I do not believe I am overreacting.

The thought of incest and rape victims forced into pregnancies brought on by the rampant violence against women in our country moves me to rage and action. We must stop this monster before it consumes our reproductive freedom from border to border and coast to coast. The ethnocentric bigots who are pushing these bonds of reproductive slavery on the women of the United States need to know that we will not submit without an all-consuming struggle.

While we have been complacent in our professional services that stand in for political movements these days, we have allowed the opposing forces to move ahead incrementally until we have arrived at this scenario in South Dakota. We need to fire the social workers and the grant writers and get some activists with fire in their bellies to move this movement forward in the tradition of Alice Paul and others like her who would stand in the rain and the cold enduring all manner of cruelty, knowing that women's lives were at stake.

Women's lives are at stake now. Where are the women and supportive men with fire in their bellies? We need you now.

Prepare for the battle in your state. It is coming.


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