Monday, April 18, 2011

Like She Said

Source: Women's Media Center
The debate over the federal government's FY 2011 budget finally has drawn to a close, but not before the stark truth was revealed about the lengths some Republicans were willing to go to achieve their one-issue agenda of eliminating abortion. As in all wars, some heroes emerged. One who comes to mind is Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

"The votes we’re going to have tomorrow — to defund Planned Parenthood, to repeal health care — American women, make no mistake about it, this is an attack on you... And you should just know that you have women of the Senate who will stand by you. We have drawn the line in the sand and we will not allow them to cross it. We are your voice in Washington, we are your voice in Congress and we will protect you and the basic safety net and equality that you should expect out of the US government."

Here's the video from which this statement was taken.

There will be more debates about the federal budget coming soon. The debt ceiling needs addressing, and the FY 2012 budget discussion is coming up. It is clear that everyone will have to (and should) make some sacrifices to restore a semblance of fiscal responsibility to this country.

The debate is not helped by those who aren't interested in the whole "we're all in this together" mindset.  For example, this classic clip of Senator Jon Kyle (R- AZ) captures him saying he doesn't think maternity care should be included in his insurance plan because he doesn't need it.

Oh dear.

Weighing the trade-offs of the cost to the country versus the cost to the individual is a difficult part of governing. That's why representation is so important. If you don't have anyone representing your interests, your interests may get lip service, but they won't get funded. And without representation such as Senator Gillibrand, women's health would be marginalized as less important than, say, a Viagra prescription. Up until a generation ago, there were few women, few individuals of minority races or ethnicities, and little economic diversity in our governing bodies. It's getting better, but we still have a long way to go before our representatives reflect the diversity of our country.

But in the meantime, thank you, Senator Gillibrand for holding the line.


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