In 1912, Margaret Sanger was a nurse serving poor Lower East Side women like Sadie Sachs, a mother of three who had been warned that another pregnancy would kill her. When Sadie asked her doctor how to prevent pregnancy, he told her to tell her husband to sleep on the roof. Pregnant again, Sadie self-induced an abortion, contracted an infection and died.
The above quoted article goes on to explain that Margaret Sanger tried to help women in Sadie’s position learn more about birth control by writing a sex education column. She titled it, “What Every Girl Should Know.” When her column was censored due to obscenity laws, the paper ran an empty box with the title, “What Every Girl Should Know — nothing by order of the United States Post Office!”
Today the Republican Party in Ohio blocks education that would reduce the need for abortion. It claims to oppose abortion and yet it prevents policies that would help women have the information they need to make the best choices for their bodies and their lives. Today’s headline could read, “What Every Girl Should Know — nothing by order of the Republican Party!”
Fortunately my friends and I have have a better idea. We want to move women’s equality forward.
Last night at a house party for Planned Parenthood, I spoke with several allies in the struggle to protect women’s rights. I put together a video of quick comments from David Robinson, Representative Ted Celeste, and Gary Dougherty, State Legislative Director at Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio, about women’s reproductive health rights.
I also filmed a cute cat meowing at a pink balloon. Watch this video for whichever is more important to you…
This morning a friend of mine watched this video and it inspired her to share a story with me. She wrote…
Here’s a family anecdote for you. My older sister was born in 1952. When my mom couldn’t conceive again they thought she would be an only child. The doctors tried many things (my mom’s nursing career started out in obstetrics) including blowing air through her fallopian tubes…really. Anyway, I came along six years later and then my younger sister was a surprise. At the time my parents decided that three was good even though they didn’t have a boy (they were thrilled with two kids and ecstatic with three). Our family lived in Cincinnati at the time and my mom wanted to get her tubes tied. There was only one practice in the area that did the procedure. My mom needed my dad’s written permission to even make the request. She was denied because she was only 35 years old and only had three kids…honest to God! Then my dad went out and got a vasectomy, no questions asked.
This underscored for me the weird things people think that have nothing to do with medicine and science. And even before I was old enough to vote I was aware that women and men were not treated equally. When my kids were born (11 months apart) I considered getting my tubes tied and even in 1989 the OB wanted to talk to my husband first (he did look apologetic when I looked to be working up to a hissy fit about that – it was the policy of the practice he said). Yet when my husband went to visit the doctor about getting a vasectomy they acted weird that I wanted to go with him to talk to the doctor.
Sexism is still far too powerful in our culture. This past year, we have been witnessing the most aggressive legislative attacks on women’s health and rights in a generation.
Women are Watching is Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s 2012 campaign to educate women across the country about the unprecedented attacks on women’s health and where candidates stand on pivotal health care issues.
We are watching, educating our friends, taking action, having house parties, raising funds, learning our history and
WE WILL BE VOTING.
Story, photos and video by Lauren Michelle Kinsey
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