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POLITICS OF SEX: Under Bush, Women’s Issues Missing

“Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld tried to terminate a 53-year-old panel, the
Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (SACOWITS). 
The committee was resuscitated after an outcry by Representative
Heather Wilson (R-NM), the only congresswoman who is a veteran, but
with a new mission – to focus on issues such as health care for
servicemen and the effects of deployment on family life, but not issues
of equity and access.”
“MISSING: Information
About Women’s Lives”

Is it any wonder that the highest woman to serve in the U.S Armed
Forces, Lt. General Claudia Kennedy (retired), is now an aide to the
Kerry campaign?

George W. Bush thinks of women as confessors (Karen Hughes), political
props (Condi), or mothers (Laura Bush), but rarely gives modern
women the clout we need to run our own lives.

Dr. Rice may be national security adviser, but as we’ve recently
learned, it’s in title only. 

Cheney and Rummy are running roughshod over Rice.

Then look at what George W. Bush did with Christie Todd Whitman. 

Bush appointed Whitman to “run” the EPA, then marginalized her as a
prop for yet more of his presidential photo ops.

George Bush uses women for props just like he does
the military.

In fact, under Bush, the government’s role in extending and tracking modern women’s power over
their own lives has disappeared.

Women’s health issues have been withdrawn or altered on government
websites, with the Bush administration eviscerating the long held
government role in tracking the progress in American women’s lives.

  • The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) fact sheet
    was revised in 2002 to purposely cast doubt on the effectiveness of
    condoms.
  • The information on the CDC site said that the safety of condoms
    was “inconclusive,” ignoring evidence that condoms protect against HIV
    transmission and STDs.
  • In 2002, ignoring actual scientific findings, the National Cancer
    Institute site posted that the link between abortion and cancer were
    “inconsistent,” inferring that there might yet be a link between the
    two.
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has charged the Bush
    administration with stacking the CDC’s “science-based performance
    measures” in order to hide the real truth about abstinence only
    programs, which have not been proven effective.
  • The National Healthcare Disparities Report, which reports on
    minority disparities in healthcare and parity issues, first
    underestimated the inequities facing minority women.  Once the
    bogus Bush propaganda was released, however, the Report was reversed to
    retain the true disadvantages minority women are facing.
  • Government fact sheets on women’s economic status, so important
    to modern women’s independence and the stability of our families, which
    have been available through Democrat and Republican administrations,
    are no longer available under George W. Bush.

The Bush Labor Department completely ignores the issues of women’s
economic status and their rights, including real data on wages and job
discrimination.

Under Bush, the Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau has been absent a
voice.

The women’s publication “Don’t Work in the Dark – Know Your Rights,” is
no longer in print.

Under Bush, the Department of Labor’s fact sheet on women workers no
longer exists.

Women’s earning as compared to men is said to have reached “an all-time
high” of 76 cents on the dollar.  

The fact is that since 2000, there has actually been a “lack of pay
equity.”

Last Sunday, The March for Women’s Lives attracted the largest crowd in
history, over 1 million people.

The people attending didn’t just march for abortion rights.

Teachers and activists also marched because young people are not
getting accurate information at the most critical times in their lives.

High school teens, especially young girls, are more independent today
than any previous generation, their choices more vast.

But if they don’t have the correct information, how can they make an
informed choice, let alone be prepared?

Recently, the FDA was advised by two committees to sanction Plan B as a
non-prescription drug.

Political pressure from right-wing Republicans, backed by the Bush
administration, is putting politics above medical influence.

Currently, Dr. David Hager chairs the
President’s Reproductive Health Drug Advisory Committee, whose advice
includes “prescribing prayer as a treatment for premenstrual syndrome
and refusing to prescribe birth control pills to unmarried women.”

According to George W. Bush’s appointees, modern women should not be
allowed any type of choice regarding their sexuality, except
abstinence, because sex is only when you’re ready for marriage and
family.

How very 19th century of them.

And under Bush, the Traditional Values
Coalition has been allowed to coerce and influence the National
Institute of Health’s criteria for over 200 grants that deal with
high-risk sexual behavior, STDs, and teen sex habits.

Under Bush, the political takes precedence over the medical and
scientific.

The reality of American life is not allowed to impede the “Leave it to
Beaver” mentality of the right-wing conservative’s social cocoon.

According to George W. Bush and his supporters, if we ignore science
and the sexual realities of the modern world they will eventually go
away.

Sexual ignorance is bliss for the Bushies.

Under Bush, “accurate and science-based information on women’s health
issues is AWOL.

Under Bush, “accurate and reliable information on women’s economic
status is AWOL.

Under Bush, insurance disparity for women and minorities is not
addressed or studied, or the information is not made available.

And military women serving overseas have fewer rights than we do.

Military women can fight and die for our country.

But female soldiers aren’t allowed full reproductive choices of the
average American woman whom she is protecting with her life.

American women are not empowered under George W. Bush.

And our issues are not taken seriously.

So, it’s no wonder the highest ranking woman ever to serve in the
military is now an adviser for the Kerry campaign.

When it comes to supporting women’s issues there really is only one choice.

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.... a writer is someone who takes the universal whore of language
and turns her into a virgin again.  ~ erica jong