The “war on women” has been tagged as an intentional ploy by the Right to disable the rights of women that my mother and so many others fought so hard to obtain decades ago. But when many people hear “war on women” they think it’s just some crazy feminist on her soap box again, spewing nonsensical things that apparently don’t matter anyway. My friend and blogger extraordinaire, Lauren‘s mother wrote an Op-Ed in Jacksonville, FL yesterday and some of the comments that followed were heinous. Her Op-Ed was titled: War on Women Shows we Have to be Vigiliant. Our rights are being hacked left and right. Republicans are trying to crawl up my vagina and into my uterus (how’s that for a visual, Romney?). I cringe every time I go to the “women’s rights” tag on Google News to see what new and psycho law is on the table to destroy women’s freedoms. Yesterday, I came across one that made me vomit in my mouth and scream. You cannot tell me the war on women isn’t real and absurd after hearing this story.
Reader’s digest version: (Oklahoma City) A mother brings her 15 year old daughter to the hospital after her daughter was raped. The daughter was turned away without treatment. Why? Because the hospital said they did not have any Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) on staff to conduct a rape kit. The mother and daughter requested emergency contraception and the doctor refused saying it was against her beliefs.
There are many things wrong and horrifying with this situation.
#1: A 15 year old girl was raped and refused a rape kit because there was not a SANE nurse on staff. First of all, I have been an advocate for rape victims for several years and I have accompanied many girls to the ER for their rape kits. I will be the first to admit when the curtain opens and a familiar SANE nurse is standing there with an empathetic look on her face that calms the both of us, it is a HUGE relief. I know the victim is in good hands — as good of hands as she can be given the circumstances. But if a SANE nurse is unavailable and I accompany a victim to the hospital, another nurse ALWAYS comes in to conduct the rape kit. There are comprehensive of step-by-step instructions inside of the rape kit. Now, I don’t recommend that every victim see a nurse that is literally reading the directions of this medical procedure — it’s not comforting to say the least — but the rape kit is done and that is what is most important. So it is bullshit that this hospital just turned her away because there were no SANEs on staff. Second, let’s think about WHY there are no SANE nurses on staff? Because funding for sexual assault and prevention services have been chopped from state and local budgets nationally and SANE nurses are forced to be on a rotation between hospitals or they have been cut from hospital staff all together. Way to go Republicans.
#2: ““I will not give you emergency contraceptives because it goes against my belief.” I am sorry but since when do doctors get to put side any HIPPA laws or oh I don’t know, medical science and let their own personal religious beliefs dictate treatment for a patient that walks into their ER saying she was raped and asking for emergency contraception? Perhaps this girl’s rape wasn’t an “honest rape,” right, Ron Paul? Oklahoma is one of several states who has passed or is in the process of passing a law that says doctors can refuse emergency contraception based on religious beliefs. ABSURD. The consequences of this law are so dangerous. Republicans, you look down upon teens getting pregnant and boast abstinence only to try and save teen moms — yet you won’t give a victim of rape who is a mere 15 years old emergency contraception to prevent her from having to carry a child that she was forced to create. The contradiction cannot be any clearer.
Every ounce of my being hopes that Obama will remain President and will stop clinging to Federalism and start protecting the universal rights we are entitled to. My vagina and uterus are my own, GOP. STAY THE HELL OUT.