We are at a pivotal point in the history of women – right here, right now.
I believe that each person here has a family member with stories similar to those you will be hearing today… Stories from your mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers… deeply personal stories that need to be heard.
While many may reveal painful secrets that most families would like to keep private, they need to be told. They need to be told so they are not repeated, because if we do not stop this insidious War on Women… our rights will be pushed back more than 40 years .
My Grand Mother was adopted on April 7, 1890… she was left on the doorstep of the Browns in Marin County, wrapped in a blanket and placed in a laundry basket. The Browns had no other children and were fairly well off, so they adopted this baby girl and named her Ethel Minerva Brown. It was obvious that this infant was left by some woman, or some young girl that was either unmarried, or unable to care for her, or already had too many children.
But my story begins back in 1944, after my older brother was born… because I was born in December of 1945 after my father had had a vasectomy.
It was a time when mainly men were in charge of birth control, through the use of prophylactics and vasectomies, although vasectomies were not prevalent until the late 50’s and early 60’s. Think about it, men practicing birth control, what a novel idea that is today, and nobody questioned them about it… no government interference, just make the appointment and spend the next 3 days with an icepack, and if they’re smart they do it during football season so they can lay on the couch, drink beer and eat chips.
Now it’s 1960 and my mom is pregnant with #6 … she’s now 44 years old and completely devastated by the news. She asked her OB GYN about an abortion because at her age the chance of this baby being born with one or more birth defects was much greater. She was told that abortion was illegal and that her life was not at risk, so in desperation my mom took all of prescription medications she could find in the house and stumbled off of the hill behind our house. She wasn’t hurt, but she had a bad case of poison oak and was out cold for 3 days, but I guess her mental well-being wasn’t a consideration. My youngest brother was born in May of 1961, and yes, my father had another vasectomy.
Then in 1963 I got pregnant in the back seat of a 58 Ford, on Prom Night, in my senior year of H.S… it was the first time I’d ever had intercourse… Did I mention my last name was Fields… they called us the fertile Fields.
Back in 1963 you had two choices… get married or go back East to a home for unwed mothers and give your baby up for adoption… being a SINGLE MOM was not acceptable… so, given the CHOICE, I got married. Dennis was born in January of 1964 and because my husband was Catholic we practiced the RHYTHM METHOD, and Jeff was born in January of 1965. Then came the PILL and Colt was born in 1971. I switched to an intrauterine device called the DALCON SHIELD, but in 1976 found out I was pregnant again… right in the middle of running for city council… BUT, THIS TIME WAS DIFFERENT… My Doctor asked me what I wanted to do with the pregnancy… MY GOD… A CHOICE… I looked him square in the eye and said…”This must be my Girl, because God wouldn’t be that cruel.” I CHOSE to have a forth child, and her name is Eden… Eden is 35 now, with 3 children of her own.
|Me, at the Capitol in Sacramento before the Rally|
While the right wing pundits like to refer to us as pro-abortion... we are all in fact anti-abortion... I don’t know of a single woman that’s anxious and excited about having to undergo any medical procedure, let alone an abortion. What we are is PRO-CHOICE which is where the problem lies... Some people in Government, and certain Religious groups and yes, mostly men... think they know what is best for women and women’s reproductive rights. They are passing legislation many states to restrict a woman’s right to her own reproductive HEALTH choices, AND WE CAN’T LET THAT HAPPEN!
When Darrell Issa, (I’m ashamed to say he’s from CA) denied Sandra Fluke the right to speak at his congressional hearing, but had no problem picking 5 men to discuss a woman’s use of contraception… he unwittingly ignited a firestorm of protest culminating in this event, an event which is being duplicated in every capitol all across America.
In 50 states in 2011 there were over 1,100 bills introduced affecting women’s health provisions and reproductive rights – 135 have been signed into law.
38 states so far in 2012 are pushing for 450 new pieces of legislation – ALL aimed at restricting access or denying existing benefits of reproductive coverage and rights.
Wisconsin, Tennessee, Virginia, Indiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, Iowa, Arizona, and New Hampshire have all voted to either defund Planned Parenthood, ban abortions after 18 weeks, establish personhood laws, ban coverage for contraception, redefine rape, or require unnecessary and sometimes invasive ultrasounds.
AND… for the first time we are hearing about opposition to the
Re-authorization of VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT.
Make no mistake about it... THERE IS A WAR ON WOMEN, and it is being waged mostly by MEN in the REPUBLICAN party because they want more control over women, and they have been systematically, passing laws that take away rights we have had for over 40 years, and they are doing it one state at a time.
A few years ago, right out there on the sidewalk a man was picketing with one of those horrendous signs of an aborted fetus, and he asked me for my support… BIG MISTAKE… After taking him to task for protesting something that is none damn business, I asked him this:
HOW MANY CHILDREN HAVE YOU ADOPTED from mothers that have chosen life, but are putting their babies up for adoption?
HOW MANY FOSTER CHILDREN ARE YOU RAISING from children taken away from parents that are unable to care for them or have abused them?
That’s right… these people PRETEND to be pro-life, when in fact they are PRO-CONTROL… they don’t give a damn about children AFTER they’re born… What the HELL… they don’t even want to see us breastfeed our babies in public… they only care about CONTROL, and CONTROLLING A WOMAN’S CHOICE.
And this issue doesn’t just affect us women… it affects men and families as well. When a woman makes just 77cents for every dollar a man makes, and has to pay up to 30% more for health care services, it affects that families ability to provide decent housing, food, education, etc…
This WAR ON WOMEN screws you men too… think about it…
1. BIRTH CONTROL helps men have MORE SEX… with less anxiety.
2. With birth control spacing out pregnancies, you have a healthier
spouse and healthier kids.
3. The ECONOMIC BENEFIT… approx. $300,000 to raise a child to
18, that doesn’t include the cost of college.
NOW THAT’S A LOT OF BIG SCREEN TV’S, ROUNDS OF GOLF, AND FAMILY VACATIONS IN HAWAII.
THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE PAST STRUGGLES OF WOMEN …
THIS IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE SYSTEMATIC EFFORTS TO DISMANTLE ROE V WADE
THIS IS NOT ABOUT RUSH LIMBAUGH OR DARRELL ISSA, OR THE GOP
THIS IS ABOUT US… THIS IS ABOUT WOMEN
THIS IS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF WOMEN
AND MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT… the GOP has a TARGET… a PRIZE that they seek… they are after FULL and COMPLETE CONTROL over the SUPREME COURT, and that is why they are so DESPARATE to regain the White House... if they are allowed to appoint more ultra conservative Judges then they will be able to CONTROL WOMEN for decades to come.
WE ABSOLUTELY CANNOT LET THAT HAPPEN...
WE MUST SHOW THEM THAT….
WE are sick and tired of the status quo.
WE are NOT PAWNS to be manipulated by men.
WE will NOT go quietly.
WE will NOT roll over.
WE will NOT comply.
WE will NOT sit down.
WE will NOT shut up.
WE will NOT submit.
WE CANNOT AFFORD TO GO BACKWARDS IN TIME...
WE CANNOT AFFORD TO HAVE OUR DAUGHTERS AND GRANDDAUGHTERS SUFFER THE INJUSTICES SO MANY OF US HAVE FOUGHT SO HARD AGAINST.
WE CANNOT GO BACK... NOT NOW… NOT EVER…
WE MUST STAND UP FOR OURSELVES,
WE MUST STAND UP FOR ALL WOMEN,
WE MUST SET AN EXAMPLE FOR OPPRESSED WOMEN EVERYWHERE, BECAUSE IF WE DON’T ... THEN WHO WILL?
YES, We are at a pivotal point in the history of women – right here, right now.
And on November 6th WE have a MISSION… a MISSION to VOTE.
A MISSION TO VOTE FOR CANDIDATES THAT SUPPORT A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO MAKE HER OWN REPRODUCTIVE CHOICES
A MISSION IS TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS UNDER THE LAW.
A MISSION to restore the RIGHTS of ALL Women, ALL ACROSS AMERICA.
WE are CITIZENS of THESE United States …
We are EQUAL and we WILL PREVAIL !