Friday, January 30, 2015

Why I Won't Move to Oklahoma, or Kansas, or Texas..

The list is actually quite long, of states I won't be moving to in this great country I call home. Some folks might be curious about why. So here's the break down.

Some are for religious reasons. Did you know 6 states still have laws on their books that bar atheists from holding office? I'm not going to fake an interest in a make-believe being just to get involved in civic governance as is my right as an American citizen. So that takes the following states off my list.
  • Texas
  • Tennesse
  • South Carolina
  • Mississippi
  • Maryland
  • Arkansas
Oklahoma gets a special mention in this category because GOP lawmakers there have recently introduced a bill that would restrict marriage to Christians and Jews. HB1125, check it out. As in, atheists, muslims, etc need not apply for marriage; so sad, too bad, you weren't needing that status for health insurance or tax purposes were you? Better find yourself some jesus and get to a church. Because, in addition, the bill would bar all judges and other secular officials from performing marriages in Oklahoma. So people who just need a quiet, quick ceremony are out of luck too.  That does not endear the state to me, no matter how many of my relatives are there.
Kansas likes to shove religious nonsense into school curriculum so they get an honorable mention too.

Some are off the list for reasons that are tangential to religious reasons, namely their war against women's reproductive rights. And, no, I don't buy for one precious second that these abhorrent laws are based on safety for women. You want to look at women's safety? Check out the rates of death by botched abortion and note the point on the graph where women finally had court mandated access to safe legal abortions. (Hint: Roe v Wade was decided in 1973.)
Women's safety is certainly not maintained when researchers say nearly 200,000 Texas women have lost access to contraception, cancer screenings, and basic preventive care, especially in low-income, rural parts of the state. All in the name of "safety." So spare me that.
So, with that little bit of clarity behind us, here are the states that I won't move to because I'm a woman of reproductive age and controlling my fertility is of vital importance to my economic and physical well being.
  •  Oklahoma - Yes, unfortunatly OK tops this list, as it has the highest number of laws restricting women's access to abortion and that has affected the number of women's clinics, making all other health services hard to come by.
  • Kansas is high on this list too, so in spite of its close proximity to family, it's out.
  • Louisiana has family in it, but again it's out. (Plus, they like to elect felons, what is up with that?)
  • Missouri climbed this particular graph in a dramatic way this past year, it was in consideration before that happened. Oh well, too bad. 
  • Texas .. oh Texas.   When I say this state is a war-zone, I'm not just talking about the 100 mile radius surrounding the border. They are waging war against the health of half their population. Texas Health and Human Services estimates that the state will see almost 24,000 unplanned births in the coming year because of the cuts to services.  That will cost taxpayers a pretty penny, up to $273 Million is what the THHS says.  I'm so not interested in joining that party.

(The data in this chart is primarily sourced to the Guttmacher Institute).

 It's really too bad. I wish I could move closer to extended family, there are a lot of them I really miss, but I'm not interested in rewarding the lawmakers of these states. If they are going to pass laws hostile to women, and/or hostile to secular Americans, this woman is not going to move there. Period.

They don't deserve my brain power, they don't deserve my skills or my payroll taxes. They don't deserve my sales taxes, my fees, fines or permit dollars. Fuck 'em. 

It's perhaps a small thing in the larger picture of state budgets, but they are my small things, and I still have control over them, so I'll decide where they go.

Oregon, Vermont and Washington, why do you have to be so far away?

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