Chronicle re- vealed in early August that Perry had vetoed the
bill after being lobbied by the Texas Retailers Association at
the behest of million-dollar Macy’s and Kroger Food stores.
For that veto, Perry earns the title of “capitalist stooge.”
For signing one of the most stringent anti-abortion laws in the
nation, Perry wins the title of “most misogynist U.S. gover-
nor.” The law will force 90 per- cent of abortion clinics
in Texas— all but five out of 42 — to close because
they do not meet totally irrelevant physical requirements as ambulatory
That means thousands of poor women, mostly those
affected by the voting law, will also be denied many additional
life-saving health care services provided at women’s clinics.
What adds lustre to Perry’s misogynist crown is that he
has also refused to expand Medi- caid coverage to people in Tex-
as as mandated by Obamacare, denying thousands of needy women
no-cost health care coverage.
State governors in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Ohio
and Colo- rado are runners up in the mi- sogynist category, since
they also signed laws limiting wom- en’s right to legal
According to a Guttmacherreport released July 8, states adopted
43 restrictions on access to abortion in the first half
of 2013 — as many as enacted in all of 2012.
On June 18, the House ofRepresentatives passed a bill (228-196)
that would restrict abortions after 22 weeks on the unscientific
supposition that a fetus feels pain at that point in its development.
Since it is a direct challenge to the1973 Supreme Court decision
legalizing abortion, the bill will never be passed by the Senate.
The impetus for it, as noted by many sources,, was to “energize”
the Republicans’ Tea Party base — as if limiting women’s
rights was an invigor- ating, kick-ass sport.
Women rising up
The fact that Sen. WendyDavis conducted an 11-hourfilibuster to
try to stop the anti- abortion bill inspired a pro- choice upsurge
lasting days at the Texas Capitol. Thousands of women, many wearing
or- ange shirts, converged on Aus- tin, with 1,200 signing up
to testify at hearings against the bill on July 2. Meanwhile,
5,000 pro-choice protesters demon- strated outside. Their activism
inspired women in states like Wisconsin and North Carolina to
likewise defend their right to legal abortion.
One of the most far-reaching signs of an upsurge of womenfighting
for equality is their participation in the movement to end poverty-level
wages in the fast-food industry. Strikesat places like McDonald’s,Burger
King and Wendy’s have mushroomed from seven cities a month
ago to about 60 cities on Aug. 29. And it’s women, often
single mothers, who are leading chants like “We can’t
survive on $7.25!” Women are also demanding living wages
and benefits at Walmart.
Taking note of that and of thefact that women are now 49 percent
of the workforce, with an increasing number being their families’
primary bread- winners, the AFL-CIO, in preparation for its Los
Angeles con- vention Sept. 8-12, held several sessions for women
workers to discuss their most pressing issues. The list included
things like good paying jobs for all; equal pay for equal work;
paid family leave; and quality, free education, child care and
health care with the full range of reproductive justice issues,
including no discrimination against lesbians, transwomen and women
with disabilities. These are topics the women’s movement
has demanded ac- tion on over the past 40 years.
What’s significant is that the organized labour movement
appears, at long last, to be seri- ously listening to women. But
it will take a long, hard, united fight to destroy capitalism,
an economic system based on oppression and exploitation, before
U.S. women can truly celebrate equality.