The Assault on Women's Rights

Where is the outrage this election season over the anti-abortion crusade ambushing women throughout the country?

Over the last couple of weeks, there have been boycotts of states enacting anti-LGBT legislation, and rightly so. But Americans seem to be forgetting about women's rights. There's a complacency on this issue that scares me, and should scare any woman who believes that we have the right to choose.

Make no mistake about it, Roe V. Wade is on the election ballot this November, and is already being tested and outright ignored in a multitude of states.

Hillary Clinton brought up the subject at the last debate, in Brooklyn. "We've had eight debates before; this is our ninth. We've not had one question about a woman's right to make her own decisions about reproductive health care -- not one question."

Why haven't there been any questions for the Democrats on the subject? The Republicans are talking about it. And we can't let them control the message.

Maybe the Democrats are never asked about women's reproductive issues because we know where they stand. Or maybe much of the mainstream media just doesn't care. But we need to talk about how to fight the scourge of Republican governors, including John Kasich, who have been quietly signing away our rights in a wide swath of states.

In The New York Times last week, contributor Linda Greenhouse looked at where the most egregious anti-abortion legislation has been signed into law. And what she found is that it's not regional as you might expect, but has popped up just about everywhere except the West Coast and most of the Northeast. The factor that these states have in common is that they are led by Republicans.

According to Greenhouse, 31 states have enacted abortion restrictions - and the ten most prolific states have imposed ten or more barriers to abortion. They are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas. In Indiana, Governor Mike Pence has decided that aborted or miscarried fetuses must be cremated or buried. As Greenhouse pointed out, most abortions occur when the fetus is the size of a grape.

And then there's Missouri - the very same Missouri that passed anti-LGBT legislation last month. They're on a roll. Did you know that the Missouri state legislature actually has a "sanctity of life committee?" That committee is not only investigating Planned Parenthood on a number of fronts, but it is trying to force Planned Parenthood and other entities to hand over the names of women who have had legal abortions between 2010 and 2015.

Where is the anger? Why aren't women - and men - around the country speaking out in greater numbers? This is a violation of HIPAA, but more importantly it is a violation of women everywhere.

Planned Parenthood is fighting back and refusing to release names. But if, somehow, it is forced to do so, won't Republicans be surprised when they see the names of their daughters and wives, their sisters, their nieces, and their mistresses on that list.

We live in two Americas: the sane one and the one that has gone completely off the rails. Women and men who live in the sane America need to stand up and protest the attack on women that is coming from almost every region of the United States. Protestors have been making their voices heard locally, but this is a national issue.

We must boycott the states that have enacted anti-abortion laws. We should refuse to visit, and refuse to give our money to the 31 states that out taking away our freedoms. Celebrities must follow the Springsteen model and cancel performances in states that are taking away women's rights.

But if you care about this issue, the most important thing you can do is vote. Vote the bums out in your state who wrote and signed this legislation. And vote for the Democratic nominee this fall - whether it is Clinton or Sanders.

When Sanders supporters say they won't vote for Clinton in a general election, I'm outraged. The Supreme Court will get at least one, and as many as three new justices in the next administration. If you care, at all, about women's rights - about civil rights - you can't stay home on Election Day or vote for a write-in candidate. We cannot allow Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, John Kasich or Paul Ryan to be the next president.