American Women's Burqa By Jan Brazill: March 2012
American Women's Burqa
By Jan Brazill
The Taliban has been notorious for its treatment of women in Afghanistan. Whenever they appear in public women are forced to wear a burqa, an all-enveloping garment that covers the wearer's entire body except for a small region about the eyes which is covered by a concealing mesh or grille. Women are not allowed to work or be educated after the age of eight. They cannot be treated by male doctors unless accompanied by a male chaperone, which means that many illnesses remain untreated. They face public flogging and even execution for violations of the Taliban's Islamic laws. The burqa effectively assigns Afghan women to a secondary status in society.
American women may soon be wearing a Burqa fashioned by religious forces in our country. This will not be the Taliban’s confining garment, but rather, restrictive laws that will accomplish the same objective of placing women under male control.
This garment has been in the making for a long time. And now its shape can be clearly seen with laws already passed in many states that require women seeking abortions to first undergo an ultrasound procedure that provides an image they must view, regardless of the circumstances of the pregnancy. The state of Virginia also tried to require vaginal probes of the woman’s body until protests derailed that horrendous idea.
Some Catholic congressmen are trying to stop the government from providing free contraceptives to low-income women, and many oppose requiring insurance companies to cover birth control.
This opposition to women's reproductive rights began shortly after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. In his 1980 ruling on the Hyde Amendment (which denied federal funding for abortions for poor women), Federal Judge John J. Dooling concluded that the Bishops’ Pastoral Plan had been implemented. This referenced the 1975 "Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities," a detailed blueprint created by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) for infiltrating and manipulating the American democratic process at the local, state, and national levels to favor Catholic policy on birth control and abortion. In 1980 this infrastructure helped elect a president: Ronald Reagan. His administration instituted the "Mexico City policy," reversing U.S. commitment to international family planning. He assigned an ambassador to the Vatican, William Wilson, who told Time magazine on February 24, 1992: "The Reagan Administration agreed to alter its foreign-aid program to comply with the church's teachings on birth control." Since that time, the NCCB has become a powerful lobbying group in Congress.
To reach the public, evangelical Protestant ministers were cultivated, none of whom had shown a previous interest in abortion. Catholic Bishops helped finance the Moral Majority (started by Paul Weyrich, a Catholic) after Jerry Falwell agreed to oppose abortion, a new topic for him. Now, with government well-infiltrated, these allies hope to pass more laws restricting reproductive rights.
Will America eventually join El Salvador in prohibiting abortion altogether, even to save a woman's life? There, women suspected of having abortions are examined by forensic vagina inspectors, and if guilty, can be imprisoned for up to fifty years, along with family members who help them.
This holy war on women's independence may be creating an American Burqa fully as terrible as the Taliban's.