Starting today through Jan. 27, the Trust Women/Silver Ribbon Campaign and MoveOn are collaborating with more than 50 organizations, including Our Bodies Ourselves, in holding an online virtual march to let legislators know that reproductive health, reproductive justice and reproductive rights are at the top of our agenda, and should be at the top of theirs.
Why the massive collaborative push now? As eloquently explained by Ellen Shaffer of the Center for Policy Analysis:
In 2011, a record numbers of bills were introduced or passed by state legislatures and the U.S. House of representatives restricting women’s access to: basic health care services, family planning, and safe abortion care. It has been called a “War on Women,” Many women are shocked and dismayed by these attacks and want to send a strong message to policy-makers: Government should stay out of making decisions about what happens in my womb. I have self-determination, autonomy.
The Guttmacher Institute has more detailed coverage of the abortion restrictions enacted in 2011, noting that legislators across the country “introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions, a sharp increase from the 950 introduced in 2010. By year’s end, 135 of these provisions had been enacted in 36 states, an increase from the 89 enacted in 2010 and the 77 enacted in 2009.”
If you, too, have had enough, add your name and location to a map, along with one of six messages like, “I Trust Women and I Vote,” “Reproductive Rights are Human Rights,” and “Contraception is Prevention.” If you watch the map, new names pop up in real time as more people sign on.
The next steps of this national action, as explained by Our Silver Blog, involve sending messages from virtual marchers directly to members of Congress, governors and state legislators “to underscore that Americans trust women to make their own decisions about their bodies and their lives.”
Please join all of us concerned about women’s health and rights by signing on to the march, and sharing info about the event with your friends via Facebook and Twitter.