DailyBeast: Martha Plimpton on Women’s Rights, Sandra Fluke, and Organization A is For

By Martha Plimpton

“…[B]ack in February of this year, a young woman named Sandra Fluke was invited to testify before Rep. Darrel Issa’s hilariously banana republic-style hearings on the contraceptive coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Fluke was the only person called to testify who was prepared to defend the provision. The rest of those called were all opposed. They were also all men. Charmingly, she was denied the opportunity to speak before the full committee.”

“Fluke was called a barrage of disgusting names by Captain Class, Rush Limbaugh, and the wretched underbelly of what truly lies at the heart of our disdain for women’s bodies in this country was exposed for what it is: an ideology based entirely on the magical thinking that says if you can just shut a woman up, whittle away her right to control her own body, make it harder for her to compete in the workplace by denying her fair and equal pay, and tell her what rape ‘really’ means, you will stop her from making an ass out of you and your friends.”

“It was in response to the increase in hateful language aimed at women like Sandra Fluke that inspired a few women, myself included, to get together in anger and frustration and amazement. We all wanted to talk about what we could do, now, to stop this lunacy.”

“While it’s been a long time since women were dying from back-alley abortion in this country, or were being prevented from receiving medical attention for miscarriage before being subjected to interrogation, the truth is, lest we forget, that was the reality for women before Roe. And in many states, Roe is disappearing. TRAP laws are shutting down clinics all over the country. Defunding of Title X is closing down clinics that serve poor women, even if they don’t provide abortions. In Mississippi this year there has been an ongoing battle—brilliantly fought by the intrepid lawyers at the Center For Reproductive Rights—to keep the one remaining clinic operational. So-called ‘Personhood Amendments,’ which would essentially make an actual person subject to the legal primacy of a potential person, are being proposed in state after state, despite a profound lack of popular support.  It’s long past time we put a stop to it and asked, ‘Where’s MY Personhood Amendment?’”

“So, we founded A is For, an organization that uses the scarlet letter A as an instantly recognizable symbol of defiance and unity. A is For is dedicated to challenging the stigma, shame, and isolation that is the key tool in the conservative arsenal against women’s fundamental human right to control our own physical lives. We’re reappropriating that brand, and we will decide what it means from now on. We own our own lives.”

“…We will not be told how to interpret our physical freedom by legislators who don’t even know how the human body works. We will not be silent. We’re not going away. And we are loved by too many others who are willing to stand up and be counted with us.”

Read the complete story on the Daily Beast >