10 Worst States To Be a Woman
Continued from previous page
5. Oklahoma. Oklahoma legislators looked at how Indiana Republicans are using the specter of abortion to cut off contraception and thinking of ways they can expand on that for brand-new ways to punish women for having working uteruses. Why stop at attacking women not giving birth, when you have women who have babies to punish, as well? With this in mind, the Oklahoma House passed a bill that would eliminate independent contractors from administering Women, Infants and Children (WIC), a federal program that distributes nutrition vouchers to low-income women with children. As usual, Planned Parenthood was cited as the reason, with the GOP claiming the organization is so evil that it’s better to starve babies than allow Planned Parenthood to receive government funding. In practice, the result is one more punishment inflicted on women, this time for having the nerve to have babies who need to eat.
6. Kansas. Kansas went from being a pretty bad place to be a woman to a hellhole rapidly, between the murder of Dr. George Tiller in 2009 and the recent election of devout misogynist Sam Brownback as governor. The murder emboldened the radical anti-choice movement, as it resulted in the closure of Tiller’s clinic and proved to them that terrorism does work. Because of this, anti-choicers in the area moved to terrorizing Dr. Mila Means, a Kansas family doctor who was discovered receiving training to provide abortion. So far, Dr. Means has been unable to find relief from the harassment campaign at her office and her home, and a federal judge refused to issue a restraining order against Angel Dilliard, an anti-choice fanatic who has been threatening Dr. Means’ life.
Despite the atmosphere of fear and violence, Gov. Brownback is giving the terrorists what they want by signing more abortion restrictions into law, and pushing to strip family planning funding from women who depend on it.
7. Minnesota. So much for “Minnesota nice.” The much-ballyooed unwillingness to be confrontational was shoved aside by Minnesota legislators who are all too willing to simply ignore court rulings that restrain misogynist legislation. Legislators sent a big F-you last week both to the supreme courts of the nation and their own state by passing two laws that have already been deemed illegal by the courts. One, a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, violates the Supreme Court’s ruling that abortions can only be banned after viability. The other, a law banning public funding of abortion, violates the Minnesota supreme court ruling that found that such a ban violates women’s right to equal treatment under the law. Minnesota Republicans may not confront you on most things, but they’re willing to take it to the mat to deprive women of basic equality.
8. Georgia. Last year, reproductive justice advocates beat back a bill that would require doctors to “screen” women of color having abortions for some kind of pressure to abort because of race. By inventing a non-existent problem (women of color aborting because of racism) legislators would have put doctors in a position where providing abortion to any woman of color could result in jail time, which could make the service only available to white women. The bill didn’t pass, but it did end up kicking off a nationwide frenzy of anti-choicers attacking the reproductive rights of women of color specifically while pretending to be concerned about racism.
In reality, Georgia is a terrible place for women of childbearing age, especially women of color. The state has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country, and maternal mortality disproportionately affects women of color. Real concern for the well-being of women of color would start with doing something about the maternal mortality rate, not feigning concern about their reasons for abortion.