Sunday, February 21, 2010

Moms To Be, Don't Get Sick, Fall Down Stairs Or Get Beat Up In Utah

Utah Bill Equates Miscarriages With Criminal Homicide

"A bill in the Utah state legislature that has passed both the House and Senate this week now awaits Governor Gary Herbert's signature- and will make it a crime for a woman to have a miscarriage, as well as make induced abortions a crime in some instances.
The penalty? Up to and including life in prison.

'The Senate on Thursday approved HB12 on a vote of 24-4,
criminalizing a woman's "intentional, knowing, or reckless act"
leading to a pregnancy's illegal termination.'

"This creates a law that makes any pregnant woman who has a miscarriage potentially criminally liable for murder," says Missy Bird, executive direct of Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Utah.
Bird says there are no exemptions in the bill for victims of domestic violence or for those who are substance abusers.
The standard is so broad, Bird says, "there nothing in the bill to exempt a woman for not wearing her seatbelt who got into a car accident."

And years later in this capitalist, extian paradise:

No country for old women

"I had lunch a while ago with some elderly ladies at a senior centre in Manhattan. Their lively conversation and bawdy personalities made it feel like an episode of the Golden Girls. But as I listened to them bemoan the cost of the meal ($2 a piece) and watched as they stood in line for the take home goody bag, which contained little more than bread and milk, it became apparent that the reality of the golden years for these women is vastly different than their fictional counterparts.
In fact older women, many of whom find themselves single either because a husband died, divorced them or failed to materialise in the first place, are one of the most vulnerable demographic groups in the country and the recession is not helping their plight. Those already in retirement have seen their assets diminish as health costs soar.
One such lady, an 89 year old bombshell called Joy (all the women I spoke with asked me not to disclose their last names) warned me to think twice before I buy that pair of boots I don't need as "someday you'll wish you had that money".
For women on the cusp of retirement, particularly those with only their own income to rely on, the situation is no better. Since 2007 the unemployment rate among women over 55 has almost doubled and their chances of finding new jobs are as minimalist as the social security checks that await them.
Yvonne who is now 67 lost her job in 2006. She was 62 then so eligible to claim social security but her monthly payments are approximately 32% less than she would have received had she been able to hold out until the normal retirement age of 66. She is scraping by at the moment with the help of food stamps and intermittent unemployment checks but lives in fear of losing her apartment. A reasonable fear considering her monthly social security payment of $898 leaves her $75 short on her rent.
Cassandra who is 62 knows all about not being able to make rent. Her husband died in 2004. Two years later she was injured in a car accident and lost her job. For seven months she had no income whatsoever. She was evicted and spent most of last year living in a homeless shelter. Now Cassandra receives disability payments of $750 a month and has trouble affording basic essentials like toiletries (and I'm not talking expensive anti-wrinkle creams.)
Sadly these women are not outliers. According to the census bureau 17% of all single women over the age of 60 have incomes below the federal poverty level (a ridiculously low figure of $10,830 per year). An additional 19.9% are living on less than $16,000 a year (ie between 100 and 150% of the federal poverty level.) All told, approximately 37% of single women over 60 are poor."

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