State Senator Daylin Leach Speech at SlutWalk Philadelphia August 6, 2011

In the past few years across America, we have seen the beginning of an aggressive war against women.

Outrageous statements and actions by commentators who claim to be responsible, and political leaders who are supposed to protect us have become commonplace and mainstream.

What do I mean by that?

Since the 2010 election, we’ve seen the following:

  • A new congressional majority which promised to focus on job   creation, instead makes one of its top priorities redefining “RAPE”
  • That same majority have a bill (H.R. 358 or the “Protect Life Act,”) that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.
  • That same majority want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.
  • That same majority has made it a priority to cut every last dime of funding to Planned Parenthood.
  • Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana, who oppose providing access to birth control for women, has introduced a bill which provides birth control to horses. (You can’t make this stuff up).
  • In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care.
  • Maryland legislators ended all county money for a low-income kids’ preschool program. Why? No need, they said.Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.
  • And right here in Pennsylvania, the Senate of which I am part just passed a bill which would close down every single clinic that provides reproductive services in the state.
  • Bill O’Reilly says “Many women who get pregnant are blasted out of their minds when they have sex. They’re not going to use birth control anyway.”
  • Rush Limbaugh says about contraception funding “”We are supposed to pay in the event she did not close her legs.”
  • And a state legislator in New Hampshire recently said  “If you want to have a party, have a party, but don’t ask me to pay for it.”

Is there any doubt about what is going on here?

The clear message is that if women are attacked, or victimized, or face an unwanted pregnancy, they are only getting what they deserve.

So I repeat, this is a war on women.

And friends, I am here today because if there is a war being waged, I know whose side I want to be on.

And I want you to know that I others in the legislature think these attacks are repugnant

And we will fight with every ounce of our strength to defeat these force of reaction and misogyny.

But sometimes, progressive legislators feel lonely.

We need more company. We need reinforcements if we are to prevail.

So I am hoping that all of us today channel the outrage we feel into cold-hard political activism.

There is only one way to win this war, and that is to win more elections.

So in 2012, send me some help, and together we will ensure that our daughters grow up in a world where women are valued, and protected, and where victimizers don’t get a pass because someone wore fishnet stockings.

 

Senator Daylin Leach (D-Delaware/Montgomery), August 6, 2011

SlutWalk Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

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