Smear Campaign: @LizzWinstead’s #Tour4PP

lizzaifIn June of 2011, I joined the front lines of this war on women. That year a lot of dovetailing started happening between the news and my own life. About halfway through writing my book, I began an essay about my abortion. I was writing about being an unwitting pregnant 17-year-old girl, who, in an attempt at getting some guidance, fell prey to a deceiving bus ad and wound up at one of those fake health clinics called Crisis Pregnancy Centers, or “CPCs.”

I was writing about 1978, so why did it feel like I was writing about 2011? As I kept writing about something that happened 33 years earlier, the stories I was seeing on the news made it seem as if time stood still.

Modern day CPC’s were still using the same harmful rhetoric to terrify young women. All I could think was, “How are they are still allowed to blatantly lie about the link between breast cancer and abortion? How can they still insist you could suffer grave mental illness if you have an abortion?” Especially because science has settled these things once and for all.

So there I was, more than three decades after I had been subjected to such ugly manipulation, and legislators were rewarding CPCs by shifting TAX DOLLARS away from Planned Parenthood to fund these LIARS.

Remember 2011? The financial sector was near collapse, foreclosures were destroying neighborhoods, unemployment was skyrocketing and the earth was melting like Katherine Helmond’s face in ‘Brazil’.

Surprisingly, none of these catastrophes were what our politicians talked about. The relentless political investment they were making was to define Planned Parenthood public enemy number one.

I was stunned, because every woman I knew had used them for everything from pap smears to birth control. Stunned that the language they used to describe Planned Parenthood was laced with the same vitriolic organ juice used to make the smell of asparagus pee.

What freaked me out the most, though, was these extremists seemed emboldened with some imaginary mandate. They behaved as though they had been given carte blanche to legislate every part of a woman’s body.

It all came to a head when they became so power mad that they dared to drag our bedrooms into our boss’s office by attempting to ban birth control from employer insurance plans.

You may ask, “How was that received Lizz?” Well, friend, many of us were not psyched.

And the shits just kept on coming. To open up the discussion, a congressional committee assembled an all-male panel made up of Catholic Bishops and other religious types of the non-uteriety to argue that somehow their constitutional rights were being violated because women are offered birth control in health insurance plans.

This “vagina-free” zone did not go unnoticed. The only thing missing was the chastity belts and a reading from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’.

Women frantically took to Facebook and Twitter with outrage- “liking” and re-tweeting everything that called out these assholes, all the while being called sluts and whores.

To this day, if you hold a shell up to your ear, you can still hear someone calling me a whore.

The good thing about this stunt was that it revealed none of this was ever really about abortion, it was about control. This revelation enlisted a whole new group of fighters in this war on women.

Women who had been shamed at the hands of women impersonating doctors at crisis pregnancy centers.

Women who were humiliated because they were poor and need affordable health care.

Women who had been made to feel guilty because they enjoy sex.

Women who felt stigmatized because they got pregnant.

Women who had abortions and think it’s nobody’s fucking business.

I am one of those women.

I knew I needed to add my voice to this fight in a much bigger way.

The tour was to raise money for Planned Parenthood, but also to show all of these women that there are a lot of us out there. We are each other and we have each other’s backs.

And lastly, to show that you and your friends can make a difference when you mix your outrage, love and friendship together, then turn it into a plan.

It will change your life.

Click HERE to watch the full version of ‘Smear Campaign’ for only $5.00. Proceeds from the sales of ‘Smear Campaign’ will benefit A is For.

9 Comments On “Smear Campaign: @LizzWinstead’s #Tour4PP”

  1. A is for…amen. Brilliant essay. I’m appalled at the advances these misogynists have made on the political front and scared shitless about their filthy deeds with my tax dollars.

  2. Thanks, Lizz….I became pregnant my first time, too. NWHCW was my savior back then. Regarding PPH, and all the bullshit the r’s throw around as “fact”…we need you and your compatriots to correct and correct and correct….what a great organization, and what wonderful work you’re doing…

  3. Planned Parenthood saved me during my riotous but never regretted teen years by providing both pretinent and factual information and birth control pills. I have supported them ever since.

  4. Lizz is just knocking down strawmen. The real problem with abortion is that it ends the life of a living human being (it is scientific fact, not philosophical or religious opinion, that a fetus is a unique, living human being). And the real problem with Planned Parenthood is that, notwithstanding some of the health benefits it provides, it performs about 300,000 abortions per year. That is, Planned Parenthood kills 300,000 living human beings per year (which, to put it into perspective, is like having Sandy Hook happen 40 times per day every day for a year). If she wants to defend Planned Parenthood, Lizz needs to address this problem first.

  5. Pingback: Support #ReproJustice for only $5! | Onward and F-Word

  6. A is for…..Asshole Religious Zealots, like my dear Catholic family, who scream about murder when abortion is talked about……but refuse to address issues like poverty and abuse after children are born!

    I may just show this to the family at Thanksgiving as per the Rude Pundit!!!

  7. Half of what u justvsaid is a lie. Planned parenthood is the biggest liar of them all. You care so much about womens bodies, then how about caring for the potential woman in the womb.

  8. Liz, thank you so much for adding your voice to this fight and to bringing the essential focus of the issue back into play. The issue of Control.

    For me, your words echoed my own similar, but different, experience to this war on women.

    In 1978 I was a scared 18-yr old in the emergency room after being sexually assaulted. My assailant had not gone “all the way”, thank goodness, but I was subjected to a rape kit exam anyway, then sent the bill for it. I was told by my boss that I should not have been sleeping with my window open…my second story window, through which my assailant entered my bedroom… with a gun in hand. And yet, there I was, being chastised for sleeping with my window open by my manager.

    Flash forward to 2010 and the uproar of the Akin “magic uterus” comment where a woman’s body, if she had been legitimately raped, has a way of preventing pregnancy. The constant talk of rape for months on end brought back the flash of gun powder against my forehead, the fight that ensued afterward, and the relief that I hadn’t actually been raped when he finally gave up and left.

    What if I had actually been raped and became pregnant? Thank goodness it was 1978 and I could get an abortion, but now it seems even that right was being attacked! I called the rape exception to the ban on abortion a “rabbit-hole” issue in articles I published in Reader Supporter News. I wrote about the flashbacks this whole debate was creating for me, and probably other women, and that the only time rape should be talked about was in context on how to end it. Period.

    I begged people to stop going down that “rape as an acceptable exclusion of a total ban on abortion rabbit-hole” and refocus on the real issue…that by legislating Control of healthcare decisions away from women, we would be relegated back to Second Class Citizens. We are half way there already, in my opinion.

    This is about Power and Control over Women, plain and simple.

  9. A is for Almost in Your Shoes…

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