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Day 1

January 5, 2011

It’s the first day in the new war on women

Since the November election, I have known this day would come.  But I never expected that the first e-mail I read on the morning of January 5, 2011 would inform me that anti-choice activists greeted the 112th Congress with a rally called “First 100 Days: You’re on Probation” to push their anti-health care reform agenda, including eliminating any and all insurance coverage for abortion.  Randall Terry, the domestic terrorist, is one of the leaders of the “First 100 Days.”  Speaker Boehner’s staff  met with Terry shortly after the November elections. Not surprisingly, this movement has a web page of anti-choice demands directed at the new Speaker.

As we learned during the health care reform debate, Anti-choicers take a broad – make that ridiculously broad—view of what constitutes “federal funds” for abortions.   Remember Stupak?  Well, I’ve heard Chris Smith’s No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act referred to as “Stupak on steroids.

I should be grateful that in this new war on women there are a few pockets of peace.  I live in Connecticut, where a dynamic new pro-choice Governor and Lt. Governor took office today. And, the state returned all its pro-choice U.S. Representatives to Congress, along with our new pro-choice U.S. Senator, Richard BlumenthaI.  I work in New York, another pocket of peace, with a new pro-choice Governor and some great pro-choice leaders representing us in Congress, including Representative Nita Lowey and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. 

I should be grateful, but I am not.  What I am is relieved that in my own little corner of the world things are “safe” (or safer). And I have hope that they will stay that way– I am confident that Governors Dan Malloy and Andrew Cuomo will be outstanding pro-choice leaders in states that have  long traditions of protecting reproductive freedom.   But, I did not get in to the business of advocating for reproductive rights because I only care about my own little corner of the world.  A few pockets of peace will never be enough for me.  I care deeply about what is happening in Washington and in states that already get failing grades in reproductive health and rights. 

It’s day 1.  I am ready for battle.

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