kristen @stlkristen ?active 9 months, 3 weeks ago
I thought it was time to start documenting the journey I have been on in Missouri for passage of the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. For the 4 th year in a row a Senate Resolution Bill has been filed in my state of Missouri. The bright red and conservative nature of my legislature has [...]
My ERA Journey in Missouri
I thought it was time to start documenting the journey I have been on in Missouri for passage of the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. For the 4th year in a row a Senate Resolution Bill has been filed in my state of Missouri. The bright red and conservative nature of my legislature has made this a quite fight. While a year’s worth of advocating has gotten me 250 signatures for my letter to the committee. I speak with women about the importance of this bill and they look at me with blank stares. At a younger age of women activists, I am constantly surprised how little a majority of women know about their history.
I have decided to start documenting the arguments I am given and the basis for which these arguments are incorrect. It is time that this amendment got way more attention then in the past. While in the 1980’s the movement lost great force, I believe that the strong nature of the new generation of feminists, along with the great powers of social media and the internet, that we can once again bring national attention.
While the fight for President Obama’s re-election was a tough battle, we are not yet safe. Now that we have secured our president, we must return to the battlegrounds of our state legislature. Right now, the Speaker of the Missouri House is on a bus tour speaking of ways he will continue to reverse history and strip rights of women’s choice away. Speaker Tim Jones tells his crowds across the state that he will continue to fight for religious freedom, which we all know means take away rights to free birth control, take away rights to pre-choice women, and make it increasing hard for free women health services.
I find myself shaking my head quite often at these individuals. My great-grandmother tells me of stories where she fought for freedom of choice. But this has been blurred with the new movement of freedom of religion, striking women.
Missouri employers are alloweed to opt out of covering contraceptives in health insurance policies for religious reasons. The contraception law was pushed in response to a new federal mandate that would require all employers — including religiously affiliated institutions, such as universities and hospitals — to offer birth control coverage in employee health plans.
They say this is a fight for religious freedom. But what about a women’s freedom? Are we really having these conversations in 2012? Religious freedom advocates want the right to have free choice by not allowing women to have free choice. Double standard?
The fact is our country is in severe condition with failing bank systems, decrease in manufacturing, ongoing job loss, and markets that are struggling. But instead my Missouri legislature decided it is more important to worry about my choices for contraception.