A “Woman’s Wave” rally was held in Wellsville last week, read the speeches
A speech by Patricia MacEwan
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. A needed amendment to the constitution initially presented to Congress in 1923. Both chambers of Congress approved the amendment in 1972 and sent it to the states. A few years later, I, as a woman’s right advocate, at the age of 9, began my support for its passage after my fifth-grade teacher told me I could not be POTUS because I was a woman. I knew that was wrong. That men and women should be and could be anything they wanted to be. I knew equality didn’t mean men, in particular white men, didn’t get less. It wasn’t a pie. It meant we were equal. It fell three states short!
Fast forward to 50 year’s later we are fighting the same fight, but with now an erosion of our rights. A slippery slope that at its worst outcome could see women treated like property, baby factories barefoot in our kitchens, with limited rights, dependent on men for support. Do we want today’s generation to go through everything we fought for and more, everything women died for, because we didn’t fight hard enough now. I could spend a long time talking about how women are discriminated against, but let me focus on two:
Abortion allows people to make the best decisions for their lives, their families, and their futures. Our laws and policies should ensure affordable and available abortion care. Abortion and reproductive freedom are healthcare.
- Abortion is now Illegal in 13 states, severely restricted in 9 states, restricted by legislatures in 5 states *** THAT’S MORE THAN HALF OF ALL STATES SINCE THE SCOTUS DECISION
- States have not excluded in case of rape or incest
- States have not excluded for the health of the mother
- States have forced women to carry to term dead fetuses, miscarriages, dead tissue, and fetuses that are not viable
- a mother and daughter face abortion prosecution in Nebraska
- states have forced children, the victim of incest, to travel to another state to receive abortion care
- the state of Florida is forcing girl athletes to provide period details before they play
- women who could become pregnant are being denied medication and care for things like autoimmune diseases and cancer
You may think we’re in a blue state and safe but we are not. If MAGA Republicans take control of Congress they will enact legislation to nationally restrict abortion. We must fight to increase the Dem majority in the Senate and retain the House in order to codify Roe into law. And to codify other right to privacy cases that Supreme Court Justice Thomas brought into question like same sex marriage and contraception.
Income and Financial Power
- For every dollar a man makes women make 83 cents and black women make 63 cents
- The pandemic set women’s labor force participation back 30 years to just 55.8%
- Nearly 1 in 9 women live in poverty
- Resources for women such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are critical for women to keep them out of poverty.
- Child care, early learning and their affordability was one of the first things cut from the original build back better platform, this disproportionally affects women
There are so many ways women are discriminated against. Women can face discrimination in healthcare. Who among us hasn’t had a doctor dismiss us. How much research goes to men’s healthcare research over women. How many insurance companies pay for Viagra but not contraception. Women are disproportionally affected by domestic violence, stalking, rape and attempted rape, and sexual harassment. Women are discriminated against in little and big ways from mansplaining to being talked over, not listened to, or condescended.
Does this make you angry? Fired up?
There are 5 actions I challenge you to take:
- Let’s march today. Let our voices be heard. Let our anger out.
- Let’s bring one person with us and march to the poles and vote November 8. Leave no doubt with the Blue Wave we create. The women’s wave.
- Let’s hold our elected officials accountable. Let them know, whatever their party, that we are watching. That we have expectations and the status quo won’t be accepted.
- Representation matters. Let’s elect more women at all levels of government, from county to state to federal.
- Let’s not be afraid to create a WAVE – speak up, speak out and empower each other.