Can you imagine? Being a grown woman, running for state candidacy, being blonde and supporting women’s rights and you get called, “Abortion Barbie”.
What a strong woman we have in Wendy Davis.
I was fortunate to see her speak today at the Eldorado Hotel in Santa Fe. Her speech was a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. You might remember that a few years ago, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, filibustered for 13 hours to protect women’s healthcare rights and to protect Planned Parenthood.
Check it out: I Will Not Yield
Since then Wendy Davis ran for governor and lost. But she has won in the hearts of women all across the country.
A particular moving part of her speech was when she related the following stories. When she ran for state senate in Texas, she was asked, “Are you a feminist?” And she said today she was ashamed that at the time, she answered, “No.” She was also asked, “Are women candidates treated differently than men?”. And again, her reply was “No.”. Davis asked herself, why had she answered no to these two questions?
Because, as women, we are taught to fight for ourselves, but also to keep your head down and just keep going. Don’t cause a scene, don’t rock the boat. Just keep moving forward towards your goals.
Davis said she was ashamed because she absolutely believes in Feminism (Defined as : the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes (Webster’s Dictionary)). And women absolutely are treated different from men. And she was ashamed because she was able to run for office, able to speak out on women’s issues, and able to vote, based on the work of mothers and grandmothers who have gone before her.
She absolutely believes that when women do well, we all do well. And she had the statistics to prove it. When women make money, they put much of it back into the economy. This is based on women making 80% of the buying decisions in the home, from dinner, to healthcare, to cars and appliances. “When we earn it, we spend it”, said Davis.
Currently unplanned pregnancies are at an all time low. Teen pregnancies are at an all time low. Instances of STD’s are at an all time low. Davis believes this is in direct correlation to good available healthcare for women. Davis warned that when that healthcare isn’t available, pregnancies rise, unwanted, teenage pregnancies rise. And when you defund birth control, natal care and women’s healthcare in general, the maternal death rate DOUBLES.
The Maternal Death Rate in the US is currently higher than any other developed country at number 48. And you won’t believe the countries who have a lower rate than we do. Countries like: Iran, Bahrain, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Serbia. Kuwait. Croatia. Qatar, Israel and Belarus. The maternal death rate is the ratio of how many women die in childbirth versus how many babies are born. I’m guessing some of the countries on this list were a surprise to you. And our female healthcare in general is behind 27 other countries. That means 27 other countries out there have better healthcare than the US does for women. Should we defund women’s healthcare and should we continue to NOT bring our healthcare levels to the level of service that men get in this country, how far down the list will we fall? Will we be at the level of Kazakhstan and Libya?
At the breakfast, Davis spoke about the power of the women’s marches around the country and the importance of remaining active in our activism. She urged the women in the room to stay vigilant, keep marching and to be nasty women.