Join Us April 28 for the ‘Unite Against the War on Women’ Rally

About a month ago, Karen Teegarden and Desiree Jordan, after venting over the phone for the past year about the legislation and attacks on the rights of women decided to take it to the streets.

On February 19th, 2012, it was time to stop venting and start doing. As Desiree said, “We should just do it… if we build it, they’ll come.”

She was right.

Quickly gaining in popularity via social media, UniteWomen.org has also drawn the support of  NOW, National Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, National Equal Rights Amendment Alliance, and many more. Even their Facebook page has exploded, with over 21,000 likes.

In the 21st century, this backward slide in equal rights is infuriating, unbelievable, and abhorrent. There is well documented history of the fight against anti-women legislation. Can it be that a century later we are still fighting to have politicians see beyond gender, race, color, and religion? It is a somber and angering, “Yes.”

In the words of Barbara Hannah Grufferman,

“Enough Is Enough! The days of standing on the sidelines to watch others control our bodies, health, income and rights are over.”

“We experienced deeper and more painful levels of unemployment, a dearth of senior level private and public sector positions (in fact, according to recent reports, more women lost government jobs than men thanks to cuts, cuts and more cuts), legislation and programs that would compromise our health and safety and witnessed ultra conservatives referring to women as sluts and comparing us to farm animals. And that’s just the short list.”

This Saturday, April 28th, 2012, women (and men) all over the country are taking a stand for anyone, regardless of gender, who wishes to support the stand against the attack on women’s rights:

Unite Against The War on Women is holding marches and rallies all across the Country on April 28th. We will be standing with women and men in every State making sure that our voices are heard!”

You can check here to find where a march will take place in your state. Join the rally!

Enough is enough. Decisions about our bodies ought to be made in our own homes, not in their House.



About Shannon Burgdorf

A polymath (Greek πολυμαθής, polymathēs, "having learned much")[1] is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas.

I fancy myself this type of person - possibly one day I will live up to it.

So many interests so little time....

Actor, Writer, Mother, Wife, Atheist, Home Educator, Secular Humanist

  • Neil

    It shames me, my gender, and my country that we are still fighting this undying zombie battle against misogyny, and having just the bare beginnings of a discussion about equality and autonomy, instead of already living it.  

    To all the women and girls reading this site:  I’m so seriously f’ing sorry I can’t even find the right words.  Just daily spikes in my blood pressure and occasional bouts of anger and near-hopelessness.  Please keep kicking the asses that need it, hard and firm and publicly, because they’re not going to kick themselves.   

    • Onamission5

      You’re doing your part every time you speak up. Every time you do not allow a misogynistic assumption to go unchallenged. Every time you let your fellow male humans know that their silence is complicity, and that they can speak up without taking over.

      Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

    It’s sad that in 2012 we still need to take to the streets for basic reproductive freedoms.  

  • Michael De Dora

    FYI, the Center for Inquiry is also supporting Unite Women:

    http://www.centerforinquiry.net/news/center_for_inquiry_supports_unite_women_rallies_nationwide_on_april_28/

    CFI-DC Executive Director Melody Hensley is speaking at the rally in DC, while I am giving remarks at the rally in NYC.

  • SJH

    I believe that the “War on Women” is a myth. No sane person in our country hates women nor want to wage war against them. There are those out there who simply disagree with what a woman should have the right to do. Should a woman be allowed to kill another human being because it is inside of her? Should an organization be forced to do something contrary to their religious beliefs because the current administration disagrees with their religious beliefs? Should something like abortion be allowed even though it has shown to cause other problems such as depression? Should organizations such as Planned Parenthood, who have shown to be corrupt, be funded by tax dollars? Should we build a positive culture of life and love or should people have the right to kill others because they are inconvenient? Is it the responsibility of the government provide or fund any of these services even though many are readily provided by private institutions?

    I think these are all legitimate questions no matter your religious beliefs. Just because you ask them does not mean that you are waging a war against women. Perhaps you love all women and want what is best for our country.

    Is there a war against women? Can it be that it is from the left who have lied to women and convinced them that abortions are perfectly healthy even though they are not? The pharmaceutical companies that have deceived women into believing that the pill, though classified as a a Group 1 carcinogen, is perfectly fine? Is it the left who defends the pornography industry and Hollywood who degrade the value of women and treats them as mere objects? Is it the left who keeps women down (especially minority women) by offering them failed welfare programs which simply keep them dependent upon the government and corporations?

    Lets have an honest discussion about these topics instead of being so judgmental and making some silly claim about a “war on women”. We are never going to get anywhere if we do not listen to each other.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1014238004 Ulrike Dunlap

       Ah yes: I can see all these republican old men that are pushing these laws listening! Speaking as a woman, I think we have listened long enough, now it’s time to act.
      You’re too late, SJH.

      • SJH

        I respect action but I wonder if you have truely listened to the other side and not simply read what your side states about the other side.

        Have you listened to what conservatives are saying. Or are you simply listening to what liberals are saying about conservatives?

        If you have read and listened then, as I said, I respect that and I respect your actions.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tiffany-Jade-Brown/640358790 Tiffany Jade Brown

           Ah yes, because YOU’RE obviously coming from an unbiased and well-informed standpoint.

        • amycas

           I used to be conservative. I used to be anti-choice. Yes, I listened to the other side. The problem is, once I was educated, I realized that the people on the other side were spouting lies and half-truths (such as your claim that abortions cause more depression, or that Planned Parenthood is corrupt). That’s all you did up there. You deliberately mischaracterized the women’s health mandate as “the government forcing an organization to go against their religion because the current administration doesn’t agree with their religion.” Seriously, the mandate was not written for the express purpose of taking away religious freedoms. In fact, I’m sure when it was written, that they never even thought anyone would have an objection to it, let alone a religious one. The mandate was written to advance a purely secular goal, not to advance or hold back any sort of religion (that’s part of the Lemon Test). Also, organizations do not have religious freedoms, individuals do. Why should my employer have more freedom than I do? Since when is it my employer’s business what I buy with the money I’m paid (or what health care I use with the insurance they provide as compensation (and I pay into as well))?

    • ashley

      Here are some more questions for you to ponder. Should every United States citizen be forced to donate bone marrow or blood to complete strangers in order to save lives? Should “religious organizations” serving secular purposes receive federal funding? Should people who reference discredited studies linking abortion to depression be taken seriously at all? 

      There is a war on reproductive freedom in this country that disproportionately attacks women. You should sit yourself down first for an honest factual discussion. 

      • SJH

        All those seem like good questions and would be intereseted in discussing them however that is another subject for another time.

        You say I should first sit down and have a discussion. That is why I am here. (Of course or discussion is somewhat limited due to time and resources.) Isn’t that the point of this blog, to sit down and discuss things?

        Help me understand your opinion. Also, please explain how studies have been discredited. I am unaware of this.

        • amycas

          Why are those questions for another time? They are all directly related to the topic. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tiffany-Jade-Brown/640358790 Tiffany Jade Brown

       Yes, when my home state instills laws that makes it almost impossible for women to get a safe abortion (no matter the reason), there is a war on women. When legislatures put the rights of a fetus or embryo (or even newly-fertilized egg) over that of a living, breathing, thinking woman, there is a war on women. When women are called whores for being educated and responsible enough to take birth control (and not even necessarily to prevent pregnancy), there is a war on women.

      So you want to talk, huh? You want to sit down and have an honest discussion?

      I’m honestly sick of being treated as if the only redeeming quality I have is my uterus and the fact that it can be filled with a fetus. And this is coming from a six-month pregnant woman who had the ability to choose to keep her child. And it’s a little hard to “listen to each other” when lawmakers are too busy screaming “whore” or trying to guilt women into not having sex.

      • SJH

        If  the population of your state and its representatives agreed that abortions are extremely unhealthy and even dangerous then why is it a bad thing to limit them and make it extremely difficult to have one?

        Why does your right trump the right of the fetus or embryo? Please explain.

        We should never use deragatory remarks to describe others. Though, I don’t know if I know anyone who would refer to women as whores for using birth control, especially since most women use some sort of contraceptive. Do you believe there is an epidemic of people refering to contracepting women as whores? I think it is rare.

        Your uterus is not your only redeeming quality and I am sorry if it seems that this is the perception. I think that you might change your opinion if you listen/read the religous leaders most educated in this topic. There are, of course, some crazies out there but you know them when you see them. Look for those that use reason and compassion to formulate their opinions.

        • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

          “If  the population of your state and its representatives agreed that abortions are extremely unhealthy and even dangerous then why is it a bad thing to limit them and make it extremely difficult to have one?”

          Two major reasons:

          1.  Determinations of scientific fact should not be made by popular vote.  They should be determined by preponderance of the available evidence, and the available evidence says that abortions are not extremely unhealthy or dangerous.  They are in fact much safer than continuing a pregnancy and giving birth.

          2.  Women own their bodies.  Decisions about what to do with those bodies should be between the woman and her doctor, not the state and its representatives.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tiffany-Jade-Brown/640358790 Tiffany Jade Brown

           FYI, the majority of my state voted AGAINST these measures. But the dumbass legislatures took it upon themselves to push them through anyway.

          My right trumps the right of the fetus because I am a person. Simple as that. I am a living, breathing, fully-formed being. And yes, there is an epidemic of anti-contraceptive rhetoric as well. To say that you’re unaware of that means you are either dishonest or living in a bubble.

          Why the hell would I want to listen to religious leaders in regards to my reproductive rights? The last time I checked, doctors and medical professionals know a lot more on the topic than someone who relies on a 2000 year old book for medical advice.

          And you are flat out lying to yourself if you think that they use “reason and compassion to formulate their opinions.”

          • SJH

            The fetus is a person as well. They are living, they metabolize and they breath through the aid of the mother. They are not fully formed but using your logic a 15 year old girl is not fully formed and therefor not a person.

            • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

              The fetus is living, yes. I disagree that it’s a person, especially considering there is no brain activity during the period that elective abortions are allowed in the US.  (Please don’t bring up the 40 days myth.  I have refuted that in a different comment.)

              In the end, personhood is immaterial to whether or not abortion should be permitted.  A fetus has no more right to use a woman’s uterus against her will than I have a right to take one of your kidneys, or even a pint of your blood, against your will.  The right to life does not entail the right to harvest another person’s body to stay alive.

    • Onamission5

      Gee, a religious conservative who doesn’t believe that women’s rights are being put at risk from the ideologies espoused  by the religious conservatives, despite all evidence to the contrary. Go figure.

      • SJH

        What evidence. Please point me in some direction. I am not asking you to cite any sources but please point me in a direction because everything I have heard states that abortions are extremely harmful to women, the fathers, society, the economy and of course the unborn. From what I can tell nothing good comes from an abortion.

        People should have never been given the “right” to kill another human being. It is not a “right” at all it is simply a privilage we have granted our women. With rights come responsibilities. They are insepearble. Freedom is not free it involves self sacrifice. Once someone chooses to take a risk and engage in sexual activity then they are choosing the responsibility that is associated with that right, the responsibility of potentially have a child. If you try to seperate them you have also taken away other rights, from yourself and, more importantly, from others (the baby).

        • Onamission5

          You didn’t click and read a single one of the links that were provided to you in this post, did you?

        • SeniorSkeptik

           Women becoming depressed after having an abortion? Have you ever heard of postpartum depression? Ever heard about women dieing during child berth? Now that’s whats dangerous especially since most conservatives want to eliminate healthcare to the poor.

          • amycas

             You can bet that any depression after an abortion is probably fueled, at least in part, by the automatic shaming this cultures does to women who assert their bodily rights.

        • amycas

           Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy. Seriously. This line of thinking turns pregnancy into punishment for women who have sex. The right to life is not absolute. When my life is dependent on another person’s body to stay alive, that person’s bodily autonomy trumps my right to life. It’s why nobody is forced to be an organ or blood donor. Hell, we can’t even take organs from a dead person if they didn’t consent to it while alive.

    • Salty

      If you want an honest discussion, start by citing your sources.   The abortion-depression link is debunked.  Providing funding for Planned Parenthood, and access to contraception for poor women, REDUCES the number of abortion by reducing demand for it.   Let’s have an honest discussion of all the deaths caused by illegal, back-alley abortions before Roe vs. Wade.   Making something illegal, or harder to access, does not make it magically disappear.   

      You’re right.  I guess religious conservatives are just SO full of benevolent love for women, they don’t even want us to have to trouble to think for ourselves…  kinda like God, huh?

      • SJH

        Debunked? I don’t think so. There are organizations who treat women suffering from post-abortion problems. These organizations would not exist if it were not a problem.

        Planned Parenthood provides, almost exclusively, abortion services and very little contraception. Poor women would have access to these services without government envolvment so my tax dollars should not have to fund it. And, it does not reduce the number of abortions. It actually increases them. Studies have shown this. You can look them up if you would like I don’t have the time (I am at lunch).

        Regarding “back-alley abortions, this is also a myth. The number of these was such a small number I don’t think that it justifies the murder of babies.

        We are full of benevolent love though, unfortunately, often times we let our sin (like pride) get in the way but that has nothing to do with any of this. Why do you accuse us of not allowing women to think for themselves. I believe that we can all think for ourselves but that does not mean that there should be no law. As a man I can think for myself but it is still illegal for me to kill my children or rob a bank.

        • Onamission5

          Actually, only 3% of the services provided by PP include abortion services. 

          Also, depression is common after surgery and all physical medical procedures, regardless of what those procedures might be. Ought we to ban surgery because it makes people depressed? Rates of post abortion depression are no different than rates of PPD. Hormones, honey. They affect anyone who’s been pregnant.  

          I advise fact checking before making wild assertions.

          • SJH

            I have heard the oposite. I have read that only about 3% of the women received non-abortion services. I guess we both need to do a little research and determine the true number.

            Regarding depression, it probably is common after all surgeries, however with abortions, it is long lasting. There are people who suffer depression decades after having had an abortion. The fathers often times suffer as well.

            • Salty

              I heard that religious conservatives don’t care about facts, and that they all just blindly follow conveniently interpreted ancient dogma.  It must be true, because churches exist.    Therefore, Truth.

            • amycas

               Where have you heard or read any of the things you purport to be true? Please, at this point you should have produced at least one link or at least named a single source, but you can’t, because you’re a liar. It’s like arguing with a flat-earther
              Me: Actually the earth is round, in fact we can fly planes around it.
              Flat-earther: I heard the opposite. I heard the earth is flat and the planes are just flying in large circles to make it seem round.

        • Onamission5

          One more thing– no one, and I do mean no one here is advising that someone kill their children.  That is a highly disingenuous, emotionally loaded claim with no basis in reality. What we support is women being allowed to make medical and reproductive decisions (among others) for ourselves instead of having those decisions made for us by churches and politicians. What we support is being treated like persons of value and not uteruses with legs.

          • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

             He’s also wrong that as a man, he’s not legally allowed to kill his child.  In a situation where the child’s needs are analogous to the needs of a fetus (say the child has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant) he is allowed to let the child die by declining to be a donor, because the right to life is not the right to harvest another person’s body to stay alive.

            • Onamission5

              That’s an interesting point, and one I hadn’t considered!

            • Neil

              Yeah, but that’s a hard and personal choice involving a man’s freedom, clearly different.  We’re talking about women’s responsibilities to men here, not the freedom of an individual human being. 

              (I hated typing that)

        • Salty

          I”m sorry, I don’t have time to cite any sources or link to fact-based research.  You’ll just have to respectfully accept my baseless claims, or be accused of close-mindedness.   Truthiness to power!!

        • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

          Funny thing is that when I did a search for “contraception increased abortion” I got a bunch of results that were pro-life sites and blogs, but none that were studies in the first five pages of results.  I will admit I stopped clicking through after that.

          When I did the same search on Google Scholar, I got a bunch of hits for studies that had the opposite conclusion. 

          The closest I could come to finding a study that said use of contraceptives increases abortion was one saying that in countries with overall decreasing fertility levels, contraceptive use and abortion levels rose simultaneously.  They also found that when fertility levels stabilized, use of contraceptives continued to increase while abortion rates decreased. (Relationships between Contraception and Abortion: A Review of the Evidence; Cicely Marston and John Cleland; International Family Planning Perspectives Vol. 29, No. 1 (Mar., 2003), pp. 6-13)

          There are also statistics showing that abortion rates are significantly lower in countries with socialized healthcare than in countries that have banned abortion but do not provide healthcare to all citizens.  (Guttmacher Institute)

          When you say you don’t have time to provide sources, I suspect you’re really saying that you haven’t read any actual studies, but you have read claims that such studies exist on a pro-life site, and you’re hoping we’ll take those claims on as much faith as you have.

          You are welcome to provide links to the studies and prove me wrong.

          • amycas

             Evidence schmevidence, he heard somewhere that the opposite is true.

          • SJH

            You may want to try reading those pro-life articles. They point to studies that have been performed. One, for example, points to a study done by a reproductive health journal called Contception. It was performed relatively recently in Spain.

            • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

               I’m not slogging through a bunch of pro-life articles.  In my experience, they don’t have the first clue about how to cite a source, or even how to read a scientific study for comprehension.  For example, a lot of pro-life sites make the claim that fetal brain waves are detectable at 40 days gestation.  The few sites that even bother to cite a source all cite a paper written by a Dr. Hamlin.  If they’d bothered to read Dr. Hamlin’s paper for comprehension, they’d know that it’s not even a study.  It’s an opinion paper.  The 40 days bit comes from someone else’s research.  If you go directly to that research, you’ll see that Hamlin made two major mistakes.  First, the study was not conducted on 40 day old fetuses.  It was conducted on 90+ day old fetuses.  Second, no brain waves were found, only artifactal EEG activity.

              I decided to throw you a bone, so I managed find the study you mentioned even though you couldn’t be bothered to provide so much as an author name or paper title, and despite the fact that you misspelled the journal’s name. 

              It did NOT conclude that increased contraception use caused an increase in abortion.  Remember the study I cited that showed that in countries with declining fertility rates show simultaneous increases until fertility rates stabilize, and that after they stabilize contraception use continues to increase while abortion rates start to fall?  Guess what Spain’s fertility rates have been doing for the last quarter of a century?  They’ve been falling. 

              Spain’s economy is in the shitter.  It’s much more plausible that contraception and abortion rates are both increasing because the economy is driving Spanish families to have smaller and smaller families.

              Any other studies to back up your claims?  You might want to try actually reading them first, or you might make yourself look as bad as you did with this one.

        • Salty

          Oh FFS:  here is the WHO research- please bother to read it.

          http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(11)61786-8/fulltext“Restrictive abortion laws are not associated with lower abortion rates.”

        • amycas

           Now I just think you’re a liar.

          “Planned Parenthood provides, almost exclusively, abortion services and very little contraception.”

          Have you ever even been inside a fucking Planned Parenthood?? They’re practically throwing condoms and cheap birth control at people. Seriously, my sister went to Planned Parenthood for her birth control and for basic women’s health care for a few years because she said it was the only place she could afford. Also, I know of three Planned Parenthoods near me (in different cities) and none of them even offer abortion, they refer you to another doctor if you need/want one.

          As a man, you will never have to deal with having another person using your body and growing inside you when you don’t want them there, so go spew your ignorance somewhere else.

          • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

            There are 28 Planned Parenthood health centers in my home state.  Only 4 of them offer abortion services.

    • Onamission5

      Please explain how slut-shaming and the conservative attitude of forced-motherhood-as-punishment-for-sexuality fits into your definition of loving women.

      Thank you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

       If you want to have an honest discussion you first need to be honest.

      Women’s rights are being whittled away.  “Pro-life” legislators have attempted/are attempting to ban abortion or put as many barriers in place as possible.  Meanwhile they are working to prevent women from obtaining birth control and emergency contraception.      They want to take us back to a time when women had no control over their reproduction and spent most of their adult lives bearing and raising children.   If that’s not a War on Women what is?

      If you don’t want your religious organizations to be “forced” to do things that are contrary to their beliefs they can avoid this quite easily.  All they need do is stop taking taxpayer funds and stop running businesses in the public sector.  It’s high time religious organizations stop thinking they should be allowed to just cry “my religion!” whenever they want to disobey laws other organizations have to follow.   They don’t deserve special rights.

      Abortion is safer than pregnancy and it doesn’t cause depression, breast cancer or any of the other BS anti-choicers claim.   While the pill carries some risks there are risks with any medication so it’s ludicrous to pretend your desire to deny oral contraceptives to women is all about protecting them rather than your desire to control them.

      Planned Parenthood shouldn’t receive government funding because it’s allegedly corrupt?  I could say the same about the Catholic church, the Mormon church, or any number of other churches.       Sadly they’re all sucking in tons of tax money and then using it to hurt me and mine. 

      “Is it the responsibility of the government provide or fund any of these
      services even though many are readily provided by private institutions?”

      Why should the government provide money to your religious “charities” to provide services when they’ve proven to be so unwilling to follow the laws other organizations must follow, and bastions of bigotry? There are plenty of other organizations that will provide the same services without prejudice and within the bounds of the law.

    • amycas

       Seeing as how none of those questions were legitimate, and most were misleading, I don’t think you’re capable of an honest discussion, but thanks for dismissing women’s concerns about their rights as “silly.”

    • Velkyn

      SJH, as long as a pregancy can kill a woman, it’s her right to do what she feels best.  You are a shameful liar and pity that in this day and age we can show you for exactly what you are in minutes.  I’m sure you consider yourself a “good christian”. If I thought your god existed, I’d wonder what he had in store for you since he hates lies and liars, even *for* him (Romans 3). 

  • Lurker111

    New banner:

    Women of America, Vote!
    While you still can.
     

  • Aaronlane

    At least you could add something remotely on topic, being the reason I read this blog daily. If I wanted to add moveon.org to my newsfeed, I would. I don’t.

    • Kevin S.

      The War on Women is being pushed entirely by religious conservatism.  Which is one of the big things an atheist blog is going to talk about.  I’d say this is plenty on topic.

    • Onamission5

      So don’t read it then. I happen to like this blog post, because am interested in and affected by the subject matter, which is why I read it.

      Even if it didn’t apply to me I might have read it anyway just to educate myself, but you don’t have to, you can choose to skip right over it. There’s many other entries from which to choose.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

       So oppression of half the population by religious zealots isn’t relevant?

    • amycas

       Thank you for showing your colors so strongly and making it clear that you are dismissive of women’s issues. I’ll be sure to not read your comments from now on.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

    If you can’t travel, you can still call your Governor and Congressperson, as well as sending emails.
    Don’t wait until November, speak up NOW.