Friday, April 25, 2008

Scientology and Reproductive Injustice

So last night I was watching a Nightline story about Scientology escapees, and while most of their stories were disturbing, one infuriated me. Apparently women in Sea Organization, which is Scientology’s clergy, aren’t allowed to have children. Women who get pregnant either have to leave the church or have an abortion.

Forced abortion??? Are you kidding me???

One woman they interviewed said that when she told a “church” official she was leaving, he responded “Oh is it too late for an abortion?”

I’m so frustrated with this situation because cults like Scientology are so impenetrable that I can’t think of any way to stop this.

On a not wholly unrelated note, Scientology brings up an interesting point in the “contentious objection” debate: if it’s ok for Christian pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control and the morning after pill because of their religious beliefs, does that mean it’s ok for Scientologists not to fill prescriptions for psychiatric medications because of theirs? Just think about that one for me.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Blog for Fair Pay

*Cross-posted at Choice Words

Blog for Fair PayNext week the Senate will vote on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. If passed, the act will reverse the effects of Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber, the 2007 decision which ruled that those who want to sue for pay discrimination must file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within 180 days “after the unlawful employment practice occurred,” which basically means as soon as they start getting unequal pay.

Ledbetter completely overturned the long held rule that each unequal paycheck is a separate act of discrimination. What is ridiculous about this decision is that unless you ask all your coworkers (or maybe just your white male coworkers) what exactly they are paid each time you get a paycheck, how are you supposed to know when you first start receiving unequal pay? Most people only find out that they are being underpaid long after their unequal salary was set. This ruling basically punishes the victim for trusting her company to pay her fairly by not awarding back pay for all the years she was paid less than others with the same job.

Please take action!!! Email and call your senators and ask them to vote for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Our futures depend on it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

They're Trying to Kill Us

The Daily Show's Jason Jones on how the Bush Administration is trying to kill us all. There's a saying that goes something like, never call conspiracy what you can attribute to incompetence - but is it possible to be this incompetent?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Kansas' anti-choice legislative circus

*Cross posted on Choice Words

Given the multitude of anti-choice ridiculousness that comes out of Kansas, I wasn’t too surprised when I read about Kansas House Bill 2737, which has been called the requisite “abortion bill” of the session.

Unlike the usual bills that propose waiting periods or parental notification (both of which are law in Kansas), this bill seems to exist only to excite people with a wedge issue since it includes ridiculous provisions the supporters can’t (I would hope) be serious about enacting.

ProKanDo CEO Julie Burkhart describes the bill as “overbroad, frighteningly vague and in some parts, unconstitutional” in her piece:

For example, one provision stipulates that a relative, an elected official, a law enforcement officer, or a district attorney can file for injunctive relief to prevent a woman from obtaining reproductive health-care services. Further, a relative can file a civil suit against a practitioner after or even before a procedure has taken place. A county or district attorney from any county can gain access to private medical records regardless of whether he/she has grounds for a case. Ten or more citizens can demand a report from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment if they feel they aren’t getting enough information.

Burkhart believes the bill is being used by incumbents to reaffirm their status as anti-choice legislators and shield their campaign from attack by the anti-choice lobby. I can only hope that is all they want this bill to do.

Bills like this are some of the worst kind of politics. They are a complete waste of time, especially when their writers have no intention for them to pass. They distract both representatives and their constituents from more important legislation that can actually accomplish something tangible. They aren’t meant to benefit their constituents in any way – they are completely self-serving vehicles for politicians to increase their support and rile up their base.

A bill like this passing would be devastating. My only hope would be for its supporters to be voted out of office once people see the effects of the bill, and for them to have to admit that the bill was never meant to be passed.

In happy Kansas news, congrats to KU men’s basketball on their NCAA victory!