First of all, we’d like to congratulate you on your re-election to the United States Presidency.  We are happy to see that Romney and Ryan will not be passing any legislation to regulate our sex lives any time soon.  However, now that it’s day one of your new term, the time for celebration is over and it’s time to start governing all over again.  I’m sure you know that with the extremely close race for presidency, there are a lot of unhappy people in your country who had hoped you would not be re-elected.  Alas, that is the nature of the beast when you’re president – a large percentage of your country did not want you in office.  The only think you can do now is walk the walk.  Deliver what you promised us during your campaign.

Hey hey, we’ve come so far, and we’ve got so far to go…

You have promised to preserve a woman’s right to choose, protect a woman’s right to inexpensive and accessible contraception, to offer respect and legal protection to rape victims, and essentially  not do what Romney was hinting at.  However, the truth remains:

  • There are 31 states in the US in which a rapist can sue for custody and visitation rights
  • There are 6,000-7,000 untested rape kits in Houston alone, as well as 11,303 untested in Detroit
  • In Connecticut in Sept. 2012, a mentally disabled rape victim was required to provide evidence of her “kicking, biting, scratching” in objection to her rape
  • 97% of rapists are never incarcerated
  • Percentage of military rape victims who get an “involuntarily” discharge to percentage of rapists charged and accused who are discharged with honor is 90 percent involuntary to 80 percent with honor
  • Federal insurance coverage is only available for abortion care for active-duty servicewomen and their families when a woman’s life is in danger. Servicewomen and members of military families seeking abortion care after rape or incest must pay out-of-pocket for such care at a military facility.  Regardless, current law forbids military hospitals from providing abortion care except in cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment — even if the woman pays with her own funds
  • Women still make 75% what a man makes in payment for doing the same job
  • Missouri overrode the Obamacare addendum stating that all employers must include contraception coverage in their employee benefits on the grounds of “religious freedom.”

[Sources: http://www.alternet.org/gender/number-states-which-rapists-can-sue-custody-and-visitation-rights-31-and-other-shocking-rape?paging=off, https://standwithservicewomen.org/get-the-facts/what-is-the-current-law/, http://money.cnn.com/2010/04/20/news/economy/highest_paying_jobs_for_women/%5D

You also spoke in favor of marriage equality, allowing a homosexual couple to marry and receive the same respect as a heterosexual couple.  Of course, Washington, Maryland, and Maine voted for legislation to allow same-sex marriage, while Minnesota voted down a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a man and a woman.  Furthermore, Wisconsin elected the first openly gay Senator last night.  That being said…

  • 40 states still hold that same-sex marriage is illegal
  • 30 states do not have laws that allow same-sex parents to both adopt, while six states restrict them from doing so or impose outright bans
  • Most states only allow for limited recognition of insurance benefits for gay couples who have state-issues civil unions
  • There’s more, but it’s too depressing to think about…

[Sources: http://www.domesticpartnershipflorida.com/gay-facts-statistics-2011/, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/21/your-money/same-sex-couples-often-face-obstacles-in-establishing-legal-ties-to-children.html?pagewanted=all, http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/same-sex-relationship-recognition-laws-state-by-state%5D

You spoke of so, so many things – more favorable immigration conditions alongside amnesty and job opportunities, healthcare reform making coverage accessible and affordable for every citizen, a growth in the economic sector and creating jobs, environmental preservation, a new student loan reform making life easier for college graduates, international diplomacy, and more.

You made a promise to stand by us, to support us, as citizens of the nation you pledge to serve.  We supported you, and we delivered – you have been re-elected.  In doing so, you’ve shielded us from Romney and Ryan, and for that we thank you.  We understand that these changes will not happen overnight.  However, we’ve stuck by your side for four years, and we need to see some results.  We stood by you.  Now it’s your turn.  Don’t let us down.

Please, please, don’t let me down…

Regards,

Corina Roche, Generation Handmaid

“I’ll pretend you can hear me. But it’s no good, because I know you can’t.”

-Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

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