A few years ago I had a total fangirl moment when I had the chance to do a phone interview with Ani DiFranco for Bitch Magazine. As a teen coming into her own, Ani’s music helped me vocalize the many … Continue reading
If you follow me on Twitter, then you may have seen me tweet the #TeamIUD hashtag maybe once or twice or a bazillion times. Yes. I’m one of those. An IUD enthusiast. An IUDivangelist. I got my IUD 3 years … Continue reading
CNN posted an article yesterday that looked at research connecting voting and hormones – specifically, women’s hormones. The post, which has since been removed, was titled “Do Hormone’s Drive Women’s Votes?” and included the following gems: While the campaigns eagerly … Continue reading
UPDATE: We did not end up winning the GOOD Maker contest. But we were certainly encouraged that we came in 6 out of 82! We will be pursuing crowd sourcing to help fund this project, so keep an eye out … Continue reading
This week, I filled in for my friend Jess over at RH Reality Check. I took over her role of creating the weekly Global Roundup – a post that highlights interesting reproductive health stories from around the world. I sifted … Continue reading
High off the success of our panel, I took my little boy in pink bowling Sunday. We bowled to raise money for the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Mass, and bowl we did. We also raised a good chunk of money, but will continue to push for donations until the end of April. With each pin knocked down (whether by myself, my son, our friends, or the many wonderful folks that bowled alongside us), I felt as if we were making a tangible difference in someone’s life. Continue reading
I’m not the world’s best bowler, I’ll freely admit that. I’m the kind that squints my eyes trying to gauge the best way to release the ball before letting it set sail down the lane. I’m that person that sways … Continue reading
It’s not that hard to become disillusioned with politics lately, when it feels like individual rights are being challenged at every turn – especially if you’re a woman. Last week’s House hearing on birth control and religion not only fueled … Continue reading
…after an Aspirin, that is. But really, sometimes you just need to laugh at the absurdity surrounding the current fight over reproductive rights. Because otherwise, it all just seems unbelievable… That we’re having House hearings on religion and birth control … Continue reading
This is an open letter of thanks to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D – CT) after watching her speak at the House hearing today on religious freedom and birth control. You can read most of my thoughts on the entire hearing via my twitter feed (scroll down to see from the beginning).
Dear Congresswoman DeLauro,
It it with pride and appreciation that I find myself writing this letter to you. Sadly, I am also fueled to write this letter out of anger, frustration and indignation.
Earlier today I was glued to the live feed of Representative Darrell Issa’s hearing on religious freedom and birth control. The hearing, spurred by the ongoing controversy over HHS regulations on birth control coverage by religious employers, included a panel of religious leaders of various denominations.
At first, I was shocked. Here was a panel, convened to discuss issues of birth control, and not one of them was a woman.
My shock quickly turned to outrage as I listened to these men discuss issues intimately connected to women without a second thought that something was missing – that some voice was missing. It was incredibly telling that many of your female colleagues walked out of the hearing in disgust and anger at the lack of women involved.
My anger was tempered slightly as I watched some of your colleagues speak, pointing out what I had noticed – that in a discussion about birth control, the fact that there were no women present on the panel was indeed a huge oversight. However, any comfort I felt in that was challenged again as other Representatives made sweeping statements about first Amendment rights violations. A lot of buzzwords and catch phrases were tossed around, with both panel members and various Representatives claiming that liberty and freedom was being infringed upon with the decision to make all businesses (regardless of religion) provide coverage for birth control.
We heard from both sides of the debate, but sadly, we heard from very few women. Then I saw a familiar face. I may live in Massachusetts now, but as a former nutmegger, I was once a constituent of yours, and literally felt a wave of relief when I realized you were about to speak.
You brought up crucial points that many seemed to be missing – that any church led business must act like a business and provide for the people that work for them, and that includes allowing them access to have insurance-covered birth control. You reminded everyone that contraceptive coverage is both outstanding and overdue in relation to women’s health. You stood up as a Catholic, and made the point that you support the new guidelines not in spite of being a Catholic, but because you are a Catholic.
I knew you would bring clarity, perspective, and common sense to this issue. And you did…only to be rudely cut off just minutes in.
I wish you would have been given the time to finish your thoughts, as they were sorely needed in the discussion. As I stated at the beginning of this letter, I felt pride in watching you not waver in your belief and knowledge in what is right in this situation. I was proud that you did not back down in your stance to promote and protect women’s health and access to insurance-covered birth control. I commend you on taking on not only the panel, but your colleagues that support it. While the number of women even sitting in that room this morning was appallingly low, thank you for attempting to give us voice and speak to the truth of the situation – it is appreciated by many.
Please continue to fight for the women in this country, Congresswoman DeLauro. Please continue to be our much needed voice when it’s clear that many neither value or trust in it.
I am still flabbergasted that we live in a country that is even having hearings like this. I am dismayed that issues like access to birth control are even being brought up for Congressional debate. Yet I’m heartened that we have folks like you, and Representatives Davis, Cummings, Clay, and others speak up for what, according to Representative Connolly, surely looked like a sham and a shameful exercise.
In support & gratitude,
Avital Norman Nathman