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Mar 14 / Elizabeth DiNovella

Wisconsin Women Say They’re Mad as Hell

 

Several hundred women (and men) rallied outside the Wisconsin Capitol Tuesday, March 13, as the Republican-led legislature voted on bills that curbed abortion rights and ended comprehensive sex education in schools.

It was a beautiful day to have a rally. Many of the protesters dressed in pink, which contrasted nicely with the clear blue sky. And the young women in the crowd contrasted with the legislators inside.

A coalition of groups planned this “Women Watch, Women Rally, Women Vote: Mad as Hell Rally.”

The coalition included Planned Parenthood, Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin, Reproductive Justice Collective, Health Professionals for Reproductive Care, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Emerge Wisconsin, and others.

Rabbi Jonathan Biatch of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice spoke on behalf of Rabbi Bonnie Margulis who was sick. By then the microphone had died and so the crowd repeated what he said, mic-check style.

 

“People of faith believe women are moral decision makers who have the right to decide on their own health,” he said and got a roar of support.

“Under the guise of balancing budgets, family planning and reproductive health care are being attacked,” he said. “This has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility.”

No, it doesn’t. But that hasn’t stopped Wisconsin Republicans. They’ve been going after women all session long. They’ve even repealed the state’s pay equity law.

In the wee hours of the night, the Republican-controlled Assembly voted 60-34 to pass a bill that requires schools to teach abstinence as the only reliable way to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. The bill permits schools to skip teaching about contraception all together.

The Assembly voted 61-34 to pass proposal that would ban abortion coverage from policies obtained at the health insurance exchange that is to be in place by 2014.

Both of these measures have already passed the senate and head to Governor Scott Walker.

And what about jobs? Representative Christine Sinicki, Democrat of Milwaukee, said it best:

“The session was supposed to be about jobs. Where are the jobs? I can tell you where they are not. Jobs are not in my uterus,” Rep. Sinicki said.

At a time when Wisconsin leads the nation in job loss, the Republicans are talking about sex.

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