Friday, November 1, 2013

Women Sick of Stupid Lies Demand McAuliffe Stop Political Gender-Baiting


New on-line resource will equip women with information

they need to discern the facts instead of stupid political spin



RICHMOND - A diverse group of women from across the Commonwealth has rolled out a new website to help busy women find more substantive information than they're being fed in the current shallow and negative political climate.  The site will provide Virginians with official government documents and evidence that definitively rebut some of the political mendacities that are widely circulating.


The new website sets the record straight on the gender-baiting that some candidates are using as a political tactic to mislead voters.  This tactic works much like race-baiting did.  But it uses focus-grouped phrases and code words to frighten women and ridicule political opponents to scare women into voting for the gender-baiters.  It also counts on many voters not having enough time to dig through all of the trash-talking to discern fact from fiction.  


 "We represent a growing movement of Virginia women—thousands of Virginia women—who are disgusted with the gender-baiting that has become a favorite tactic of some political candidates," said Melody Himel Scalley from Tidewater.  "This gender-baiting is filled with lies.  In fact, they are stupid lies.  But we are not as stupid as the gender-baiters think we are.  We're here to provide women with the FACTS instead of that robotic political sales pitch."

One fallacy has been relayed by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe:  that exempting current facilities from Virginia's new health and safety standards is somehow good for women.  Only because of the new standards, state health inspectors were able to conduct inspections of these facilities for the first time in decades, and they found literally hundreds of deficiencies, such as expired medications, extremely poor infection prevention protocols, dirty and unsanitary conditions, absence of criminal background checks for staff who handled controlled substances, and other substandard care.  Many women have never heard of these facts because they were not widely reported.  State documents with the health inspections of abortion facilities throughout Virginia have been uploaded to the new website so that all women can see the hundreds of deficiencies for themselves, as well as the tragic problems that some of the abortion doctors have had in their practice of medicine.

And in an effort to educate McAuliffe about these facts, the women today e-mailed some of the documents and the website link to him so that he can be better informed.    

"Young women especially need Virginia's health and safety standards because they don't know that they should expect the highest standard of clinical care," said Tricia Powell of Fredericksburg, who had an abortion at the age of 17.  "Most teenagers would not demand that doctors wash hands between patients, that facilities not dispense expired drugs, that the procedure tables should be sterilized between patients, and that the conditions and instruments should be sanitary.  Whether women are pro-choice or pro-life, a mother, daughter, or sister, they deserve better than the poor, unsanitary, substandard care that existed at these facilities prior to the standards."

The inspection documents also reveal that despite Virginia's law requiring parental consent before a minor's abortion, the staff in one facility failed to ensure informed written consent was obtained from the minor's parent or guardian for three minor teenagers.  "If it had not been for the standards and health inspections, we would never have known of this serious violation of Virginia law," said Terry Beatley, also of Fredericksburg.  "Who knows how many times the law was violated in the past BEFORE the standards were enacted?   Women need to understand that if any candidate or politician says he will exempt abortion facilities from these standards, he is not protecting women—but just the opposite." also addresses other aspects of gender-baiting, including the attempt to divert women so that they will focus only on a few so-called "women's" issues.  For example, the site shows U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data revealing that the unemployment rate for women is much higher now than it was earlier this century.  "As a woman, I find it incredibly offensive to be reduced to one body part as the gender-baiters try to do," said Heather Cordasco of Williamsburg.  "Every woman I know is juggling a lot of roles and responsibilities.  The women I know are complex and complicated people who work very hard every day and take care of their loved ones.  We are worried about keeping our jobs and paying our bills.  These gender-baiting candidates, such as McAuliffe, are demeaning to women."

"The alleged 'war on women' isn't actually a battle for control over women's reproductive systems or a scheme for our social subjugation," said Rita Dunaway of Harrisonburg.  "It is a war of propaganda.  It is a plot to keep us so saturated with fear and so narrowly focused on our own personal stake in these particular issues that we lose our capacity to thoughtfully evaluate public policy from a broader perspective.  We urge Virginia women to see through the stupid lies and read the facts for themselves."