AZ Unite Women Rally Draws Hundreds to the State Capitol to Protest Against "War on Women"

unite-women-1.jpg
Photo by Eric Tsetsi
A sign brought to the state Capitol for the AZ Unite Women rally on Saturday




A crowd assembled at the Arizona Capitol today to put legislators on notice that they're pissed.

About 500 people voiced outrage toward recent laws passed in Arizona and around the county that restrict women's health and reproductive rights.

AZ Unite Women organized the event in response to what's been coined "the war on women."

"Medical decisions regarding my pregnancy should not be decided by legislators," says Lesley McKinley, a singer/songwriter who helped organize the Saturday event.

See the full slideshow from the AZ Unite Women rally, Saturday, April 28.

McKinley, who is 24 weeks pregnant, pointed to HB2036, which makes it illegal for women to have an abortion after 20 weeks and also requires women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound, as a prime example of why so many women are outraged with "right-wing extremist lawmakers."

"[My husband] did not serve three tours in Iraq for the land of the free and the home of the brave to have his wife declared asecond-class citizen," McKinley says.

unite-women-2.jpg
Photo by Eric Tsetsi
Many protesters at the rally were fed up with religious extremism being the basis for legislation.

The state Legislature also recently passed HB2625, which exempts employers from providing contraception in their healthcare coverage. The bill could soon be handed over to Governor Jan Brewer to be signed into law.


Republican lawmakers also are trying to defund Planned Parenthood by barring any non-abortion-related public funding to the women's health clinic.

"I've watched my beloved state circle the drain for the past year and a half because of the people in that building," Diane D'Angelo, chair of the Phoenix Human Relations Commission, said while pointing to the Capitol building. "They're bent on returning our country back to 1967."

Democratic state Senator Linda Lopez of District 29 also joined in the rally.

"The Republican party I serve with today ... was hijacked by right-wing religious extremists," Lopez says. "They want to create a theocracy like in Iran."

Across the country, Republicans have put forward about 900 bills that attempt to restrict women's health and reproductive rights, according to Unite Women.

On Thursday, April 26, 31 Republicans in the U.S. Senate voted against reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, including prospective GOP Vice Presidential candidate Marco Rubio of Florida.

Back in Arizona, a handful of Republicans have spoken out against the perceived extremism in their own party.

Paula Pennypacker, a Republican political activist and blogger, spoke at the AZ Unite Women rally.

She recently wrote on her blog, Paulapennypacker.com, "The message coming out of our state Legislature to women is: 'shut up, stop thinking, and vote Republican.'"

Former Republican legislators, Linda Binder, Susan Gerard, and Roberta Voss, also recently published an editorial in the Arizona Republic decrying the Legislature's focus on women's issues rather than the economy.

"We Republicans just a short decade ago passed Arizona's state law requiring insurance companies to provide fair coverage of contraception -- the very bill these extreme right Republicans now are working to repeal," Binder, Gerard, and Voss' editorial states.

McKinley and other speakers at the AZ Unite Women rally urged voters to take a stand against the extremists.

Lopez even urged Democrats to "temporarily" register as Independents so they could vote in the Republican primaries.

AZ Unite Women is a branch of Unite Women, a national non-profit organization formed about two months ago.

Follow Valley Fever on Facebook.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
56 comments
Tubes Fan
Tubes Fan

Let's just tell all christians to Fuck Off.
Stupid, empty-minded, paranoid shit-sucking sheep, all of them.

DNichols
DNichols

Jan Brewer should be the "Poster Child" for the need to use birth control.

wherewasi
wherewasi

Jr. Leon - put your money where your mouth is and BUY SOME FRIGGIN CONDOMS.  And none of this "it doesn't feel as good for "ME" when I have to wear a sheath.  It's always on the woman to "make sure" but her methods are usually hazardous to her health.

It takes 2 people to make a baby.  Make it as hard for a MAN to have casual sex as it is for a woman.

wherewasi
wherewasi

Here is a partial list of the (all Republican male) senators who voted against the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act.  Note our very own Senator Kyl is on the list.  The Bat Shit Crazy Tea Baggers refer to McCain as a RINO.  I guess this is an example of why; he couldn't be a warped Republican Tea Bag man and vote against this bill, he voted for it, so he must not be a TRUE PATRIOT like Russell Pearce...  

http://www.theprogressiveprofe... 

I loved some of the signs the protesters were carrying.  My favorite - "Take your politics and imagined clout, leave my vagina and Stay The F Out!!"

WhoKnows
WhoKnows

To the folks that are saying "use birth control", you seem to have your head in the sand, when just this past week, the AZ GOP passed a bill limiting access to that too! 

Shrink the government so small it will fit in a woman's vagina.  That's what the GOP is all about!

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Abortions aren't sexy. I have yet to meet a woman who's had one that wasn't a psychological mess.

It's better of you avoid having them.

Leosun
Leosun

Nice article.  Thanks to the New Times for covering our event!  BTW...the hanger you see is 25 years old!  Brought to the Rally by a Woman who protested THAT LONG AGO for the SAME THING!

Jr Leon
Jr Leon

I'm all for women rights. But and this is a big BUT.  If you can't afford to have an abortion 20 weeks into it. You shouldn't be having sex unprotected or sex at all just in case the protection you use doesn't work.   Take some extra responsibility for your actions. 
Its not about telling you what to do. Its about you being responsible and not waiting last min when the baby can survive to have one done.  Save up and it will be a non issue.

Okeydokey
Okeydokey

Two of Jan Brewer's children were conceived out of wedlock. Check the dates. Ronald, born 11/27/63, when she was married to her first husband on May 18, 1963, when she was 18. And John Samuel born Feb 7 1968, she wasn't  married to John  Brewer until Jan 1, 1970.

Oh, as far as I can tell, both she and her husband may have been married to other people when they got together, and she was pregnant before or right at the time of her divorce in May 1967.

So it's do as I say, not do as I do, I guess.

malapai
malapai

 Then why are you inviting the government in by asking them to pay for your birth control?

Native Guns
Native Guns

 Hey Liz, I like that quote too. The Republicans should never put their filthy paws on you or any true women for that matter. They are violent, as they are retrograded.

Guest23
Guest23

Just goes to show the type of women that are attracted to you... And the type you subconsciously are attracted to... Psychological messes.

Carey
Carey

 Well consider this meeting someone who has had an abortion and is NOT a psychological mess!  And tothis day do not doubt my decision at that time in my life or feel guilty about it. Oh and btw I was ON birth-control and still got pregnant!  I have gone on to have 2 beautiful children that was planned as it should be, So stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

Yps, I agree, abortions aren't sexy. Imo, neither are fake boobs but sometimes abortions are medically necessary unlike the latter.

wherewasi
wherewasi

I do have to wonder why you would comment as to whether a woman should have the choice to make decisions about her own reproductive health as being "sexy".  I find it odd that you have learned the reproductive history of enough women to find that they are all "psychological messes" and to make a recommendation that it is a procedure that should be avoided, as apparently you think women make the decision lightly in order to be sexy.

YPS, sometimes I agree with your posts and sometimes I don't, but this one is just really off base.  In your line of work, I would guess that you probably do encounter a lot of women who have had abortions, but I'm guessing that is not the primary reason that they are "messed up". 

Kristen Fournier
Kristen Fournier

 So basically what you're saying is: I believe in women's rights, but not really.

Pbfa
Pbfa

Mind your own business. A late term abortion of a wanted pregnancy is a heartbreaking made to save a woman's life. That decision belongs to the woman & her doctor, not some teabagger who supports a law that makes pregnancy begin at menstruation.

Leosun
Leosun

Ya Dude...and how many times have you had unprotected sex?!

Cactus_Wren
Cactus_Wren

 Yeah, because women just ALL the TIME casually put off abortions until the "last min" (it's spelled M-I-N-U-T-E, by the way) because we can't be bothered to get around to it sooner.  Wow, you really do despise women, don't you?

Inara
Inara

 Jr Leon what about fatal fetal abnormalities? Think it'd be better to carry a rotting, dead fetus than to have the abortion? You are one of those we are fighting against! What about rape and incest victims?

timeout
timeout

You are sadly uninformed.  A simple google search is a good place to start.  Try using the keywords - miscarriage or fetal birth defects.

teknik1200
teknik1200

What are you talking about. This has absolutely nothing about state funded abortions. Don't punish the responsible majority fot the stupid minority. It's not fair

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

You are right. Women are attracted to me.  That shouldn't bother a switch hitter like yourself.

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

I see you've explained the attraction between you two.

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

The only thing I will say to this is that these are the kinds of comments and reasons for abortion that makes these legislatures foam at the mouth.

Why do you think they want in your pants?

Think before you speak and make sure what you say doesn't give them more ammo to make the laws they feel are necessary.

wherewasi
wherewasi

Again, Eleanor, you amaze me with your strength of character.  You've been through a lot in your life, and yet you seem to keep your chin up and your sights high.  I'm guessing that if this world were filled with people who could walk the talk the way that you do, we wouldn't be arguing on message boards about the kind of social issues we argue about.  (By "we", I don't mean "you and me", I mean "society in general" ...)

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Please don't put words into my mouth. I did not say that all women who abort babies are psychological messes. I think most people would agree that abortions at any time during the pregnancy should be avoided if possible.
I would bet there are as many gals who are flippant and unconcerned in their choice to flush a fetus as there are who don't take the decision lightly.
I stand by my statement that abortions arent sexy. I personally place "has had an abortion" in the negative column. Oh, I know, what about those poor women who had to save their own lives or those who were impregnated from rape or incest...that small percentage o women receive a pass from both sides of the aisle and shouldn't be the front runners of every argument pro choicers make.

I especially find the "back alley abortion" argument boorish and overplayed.

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

I have to agree with Yps on this that abortions can be a huge psychological burden. I know that as a woman who had an abortion when I was 19. I was then faced with the same situation a few years later and I know how much that abortion hurt me.

I wouldn't go so far as to say a woman shouldn't have an abortion though....there are many reasons why abortions should be available.

My 6th grade son has a girl in his class who is pregnant from a freshman......she's probably 12. I don't know what I would do or encourage in this situation.

Liz, what would you do? Yps, what would you do?

JrLeon
JrLeon

@Kristen Fournier Not when it come to murdering a healthy child just because you don't want it.  You are then correct.  

JrLeon
JrLeon

@Pbfa Was't talking about that.  I do agree to an abortion if it saves a mothers life. Lets not go to that extreme each time someone posts about not liking abortion.  My opinion is about killing healthy babies like you pointing out just because you don't want a child.

JrLeon
JrLeon

@Cactus_Wren No I don't despise women at all.  If anything I admire women for all that they do.  Working, raising kids, and making their husbands happy.  They have so much on their plate and push on though it getting the job done.
    I do feel people need to be more responsible on what they do.  My issue are about women killing perfectly healthy babies simply because they don't want the child.
   As for waiting til(until) the last min(minute).  I do think it is 100% wrong to wait that long to murder a 100% healthy baby.  Let me repeat that.  A HEALTHY BABY.  
If your having sex and know you don't want a child.  I do feel you should be ready to have an abortion your next day off after finding out your pregnant.  It is a human life and I do feel if your going to end it.  You should give the child the respect of killing it before it develops to feel all the pain of being murdered.

JrLeon
JrLeon

@Inara I am not talking about those things and I find it sad that you would take it to that extreme.   If a baby in the womb is healthy and is being aborted simply because you don't want the baby then I say that is 100% wrong.
If your child is facing a life time of painful suffering because of birth defects I would never have a ill feeling towards that woman.

Kennykiklar
Kennykiklar

 I love how this gets made out to be all about rape and incest victims, and not the lazy, careless, selfish person who is having abortion number four due to not bothering with birth control before the fact.  Take some motherfucking responsibility once in a while. 

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

Thank you, Liz. As I have said before I believe to thine ownself be true and with that happiness will follow.

For the most part I am incredibly happy in my life. I have my struggles and lately they have gotten the best of me.

I have a strong support system in my very dysfunctional family. The beauty of it is we know we have our issues and we work on them as a family and on our own.

I have always done my best to show my kids by example how to be in their lives with people.

I make sure they understand that having sex is something you do with special people and you don't just give it away to just anybody. I show them that being abstinate is the best way to deal with sexual issues when you are single. I let them know that they can talk to me about anything and they know it.

I could leave this world today and be happy knowing that my kids are respectable, loving, kind, caring people and they take that with them forward in their lives.

Have I failed in life??? Many times and I don't know why my survival instinct is so deep but it is and I have learned to acknowledge that. I am not one of those people who wants to live forever. I have learned to not take things for granted and that the most important thing in this world is love. If we have that we are much better people.

Thank you again for the kind words.

This wasn't supposed to turn into being about me especially since I posted this story on my facebook page and I know some of my family have seen it already.

I am an open book to people who can handle it and I know my family can handle it.

wherewasi
wherewasi

We can agree on this, at least.

Eleanor Holguin
Eleanor Holguin

Yps, my befriending you has nothing to do with Jim. I see your struggles and I see them as my own some days.

You are right about how the abuse has affected me until a year ago I hadn't allowed myself to deal with it. This past year has been the best and the worst in so many different ways.

I see how it has affected me in the past and how it affects me every single day in the present. Some days I can appreciate what I was "taught" and some days I get angry about it.

As for the abortion it does affect me still. Horribly? No...but it does and it still affects my family but that is the past. No going back...learn and move on.

I try my best to be positive every single day...am I? No lately my struggles have had the best of me and and I know how in the past I have had two severe depressions. I have learned that therapy helps and if necesssary medication. I don't care for the meds but in the past the helped and I know and understand that.

I don't know why I can be so rational most days...I don't try. I had a great teacher in my brother. He taught me so much about how to treat myself and others and it was always with respect, kindness and love. Do I have my moments when I don't want to do that??? Yes I do....as you have witnessed but I let it go and move on.

I don't have time in my life to carry anger. I spent too many years doing that. I don't have time in my life to show hate....that's not me. I will fight for what I believe is right and important and I will give my life for those things if necessary.

I just call it bullheadedness. 

Thank you for all the kind words. I appreciate it.

wherewasi
wherewasi

I don't feel that there is anything left to say on the subject.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

I appreciate Eleanor and admire her ability to brush off the personal attacks and continue expressing her opinions. She has taken a great deal of heat for befriending me on this blog site. I don't know exactly why she sticks up for me or works exceptionally hard to see my point of view. I think, in part, it began after her conversation about me with James King. I don't know the details of their conversation yet whatever was said struck a chord with her. It's not just me though. She is respectful to everyone here, including the one or two slugs who make it a point to attack her. There is something to be said for that.

With that being said, she has revealed she had an abortion in her past. I don't judge her, or anyone else for that matter, in choosing to do so. I don't look at her negatively for making that choice. I most certainly see her abortion as a negative experience in her life. I only know what Eleanor has shared about herself in her comments. She has admitted to having emotional issues. I may be rash and naive in doing so, but I will bet she attributes a large part of what she struggles with to two general episodes in her life. The first being the abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of the one person who was supposed to protect her. On a smaller scale I will bet her abortion and the circumstances surrounding that event still weigh heavily on her mind, decades after the occurrence of these events. I don't say these things flippantly or without respect for the person who I am speaking of. So the answer you are lookin for is, yes, I believe Eleanor carries psychological baggage with her which is directly attributable to her choice of having an abortion.

I don't disagree with anything you've said regarding the 'tea party' right wingers. I also appreciate the thought and detail put into your post. Certainly something needs to be changed in how we take care (or more appropriately stated) don't take care of those most in need. Our society is in a state of ruin and we are catapulting ourselves deeper into the abyss with the division that occurs do to political party antics.

wherewasi
wherewasi

Forgive me for misunderstanding.  Your first words were "Abortion isn't sexy".   I suppose if we were sitting across the table from each other at happy hour discussing this, when you said that and saw my reaction, you would say "let me explain what I mean by that - " It doesn't happen in online conversations.  I don't think you and I are THAT FAR APART on the topic.  Now that you've read what Eleanor had to say, do you still say that "you have yet to meet a woman who has had one that isn't a psychological mess" - ?

My problem with the whole situation is that the Tea Party is oh, soooooo concerned, about your right, as a fetus, to be born.  And that's where it ends.  Once they have made sure that your mother MUST DO THEIR BIDDING from menstruation to birth, they are glorified in their self-righteous bullshit.  "See what we did!  We brought another perfect child into this world!  Praise be to us!"  But, now that you're born, little bastard, go fend for yourself.  We don't care if your parents are in poverty, or if you're left with your 12 older brothers and sisters to live on raman noodles while your dad sits in prison and your mother works 4 part time jobs trying to make a living. Your auntie is a crack whore.  Let HER find the money to feed you selling her sex to help her sister.  And if she gets preggie too, well, fuck her.  She doesn't deserve health care or choices cuz she's just a crack whore.  Sucks to be you, doesn't it?  We will NOT provide you with what you need.  You're on your own, little newborn.  Good luck.  But make sure to THANK US, because WE, the TEA, preserved your RIGHT TO BE BORN.  Because OUR religion says it is the right thing to do.  PS... aren't you glad we stood up for you?  Sing us praises.  We are the world.

Sorry, I am so sick of the perverted beliefs of the extreme right that I can't support anything they say or do.  They are sick.  It is their lack of understanding as to what can HELP the United States return to greatness that keeps us in the gutter.

Yourproductsucks
Yourproductsucks

Personally I don't see the difference in getting the abortion or hiding the pregnancy and terminating it after the child is born.

You seem to be stuck on me using the term 'sexy' when on the topic of abortion. One doesn't need an abortion if sex is not introduced first. Safe sex (including abstinence) is sexy.

Perhaps my laziness in writing is what is most frusterating to you?

A large number of my posts are authored from an iPhone and that can prove in effective and innefficient.

wherewasi
wherewasi

I will also add that, while I agree that there are a lot of young "ladies" who get pregnant a can be very flippant about flushing a fetus down the toilet, I have to wonder if that's not better than the ones who instead decide to hide the pregnancy, fail to get pre-natal care, give birth in a bathroom at a gas station and wrap the living child in a plastic bag and toss it in some trash bin in an alley.

In a perfect world, I suppose neither would happen.  But I think the perfect world was a thing of a past when the serpent said "Hey, Eve!  Take a bite of this!  It's awesome!"

wherewasi
wherewasi

Well, I don't think I put the words in your mouth.  You said "I have yet to meet a woman who has had one that isn't a psychological mess."

I pretty much agree with most of what you have said in this post.  I felt your previous post was really off the wall.  I don't know of anyone who thinks of abortion in terms of being "sexy" or "not sexy".

I have never had an abortion, have never had a close friend or family member making that choice, and if I did I would counsel that it should be the last alternative.  I don't believe in abortion as a means of ongoing birth control.  I had a co-worker once who was pregnant with a baby boy who had no brain.  There was a brain stem, heart beat, normal body development, etc.  But no brain and no hope for any awareness of having been born and being alive.  She was devastated, and more so because of the necessity of going through a later term abortion.  How horrible.

However, I don't think this is a decision that should be MANDATED by laws created by politicians' religious or moral "standards".  As if politicians as a whole have standards...  I am firmly of the belief that it is a decision that is best left in the hands of the woman, her doctor, her family, her religious community and, when applicable, the father of the unborn child.

wherewasi
wherewasi

Eleanor, of course the girl's family situation plays a huge role in this.  And there is also the issue of what circumstances led up to a 12 year old becoming pregnant.  Take away all of the social issues that may or may not have played a part in this, what I consider tragic event, I will answer that as if I was the girl's mother.

I would first and foremost tell her that I love her and I support her 100%.  I would get professional counselling for her, because whether it was knowing and consensual or a case of an older boy taking advantage of a young girl, she will need help emotionally.

She's in a grown up situation without the grown up decision making skills.  I would talk with her very openly and candidly about her options and what each entails.  None of those options would be to keep the baby and I would help raise the child.  The options would be to carry the baby to term and place it for adoption, or to terminate the pregnancy.  Both of them have life-long implications for this family.  It would be hard for me to limit it to those 2 options for what would be my grandchild and my daughter would have to live with the decision for the rest of her life. I would take the necessary legal steps to make sure the "father" of the child provide whatever signatures are required to give up his parental rights to the child, assuming adoption was the decision.

In any case, this is not a decision that should be made by someone like Russell Pearce or Ben Quayle.

timeout
timeout

Well at least you recognize the need for birth control.

Kristen Fournier
Kristen Fournier

 Any reason for having an abortion is a valid reason.  Birth control does not always work.  Consent to sex is not consent to pregnancy.  Owning a uterus is not consent to pregnancy. 

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...