Posts Tagged ‘Abortion’

One of the most nightmarish books I ever read was Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale”.  Unfortunately, I’ve been seeing incremental steps toward that nightmare in reality occurring across this country in recent years.  Well, Michigan just took a leap toward such a dystopia by proposing to ban abortion coverage in private health insurance plans and forcing women to purchase a separate rider.  And it has a good chance of becoming law.  It has become law.

I’m so flabbergasted that I’m speechless.

  • 99% of the time I don’t believe in deities, however ironic little news stories like this make me thankful to any god or goddess that might have brought it to my attention.

    Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession of cocaine and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation. [snip] As a member of Congress, Radel has co-sponsored legislation to change the nation’s mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws and voted for a bill that called for states to drug test people who receive food stamps.

    PS: Drug testing people on welfare finds few positives, contributes to state deficits and does no one any good.

  • Yet another sad tale illustrative of the horrible state of affairs for Mental Health treatment in the U.S.

    State Senator R. Creigh Deeds, a leading Virginia political figure who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2009, was stabbed repeatedly on Tuesday at his home during an altercation with his son, who then apparently took his own life, the authorities said. [snip] On Monday, state mental health officials unsuccessfully sought to find a bed in a hospital psychiatric ward for Gus Deeds, who had undergone an evaluation…

    PS: All those junk insurance plans getting dropped by health insurance companies in the U.S. did not cover Mental Health services as mandated by Obamacare. Making treatment available at the same rate as physical illnesses is the right first step to fix our Mental Health system.

  • If you are Pro-Choice then you may have noticed that since the Pro-Life movement had failed to force their religious beliefs on the rest of us via Federal measures, they’ve resorted to trying to do it at the state level with some success.  Well, now they are also trying it out at the City level with a measure that would ban abortions after week 20.  Fortunately the voters of Albuquerque rejected the measure.  So the fight goes on, just a little closer to home now.
  • 37 states settled a lawsuit with Google for privacy violations and the amount to be split amongst the states is $17 million.  Arizona’s share will be $355,000.  Now let’s see how long it takes for this money to line some crony’s pocket.
  • The weather in Phoenix is FINALLY starting to cool down.  We’ve reached the mid to upper 70’s this week which is about average.  The weather has been crazy…we would hit the 90’s and then plummet into the 70’s.  On Nov. 12th we got up to 92, which is 15 degrees above average.  While everyone in cold dark places is dreaming of being in 90 degree weather, I’m exactly the opposite.  Oh what I wouldn’t give to be able to wear a sweater!
  • The City of Phoenix received a perfect score on the inclusiveness of  lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in city government.  That makes Phoenix one of only 25 in the nation to receive a perfect score from The Human Rights Campaign.  It’s nice to know I’m not always correct when I say there has been no progress in Arizona–we’re doing it, just teeny-tiny step at a time.
  • Our infamous Sheriff Joe was the subject of “Roast” last weekend for Charity.  I’m sure they went pretty easy on him as good ‘ol Joe has pretty thin skin.  Here’s some jokes that liberals everywhere WISH had been used.  From what I heard via a radio interview on 97.9 KUPD the organizers asked one of the best roast hosts in the business, Jeffrey Ross, and he turned the gig down.  Can you blame him?

UPDATE:   No sooner had I posted this than I see that Rep. Steve Douchenozzle Stockman is also claiming on Twitter that female spectators were threatening to throw feces too.  Really?  Really?!?!

Just when I thought Texas couldn’t get any weirder, I see this (h/t JM Ashby at Bob Cesca’s blog)…

txcourthouse

As people file into the State Legislature to witness the fight over the latest abortion bill, the security guards are confiscating tampons and pads from the women.   Men can go in with a gun strapped to their hip but tampons are strictly verboten!  Rachel Maddow has links to similar pics too.

Baby Jeebus on a cracker this country has lost it’s ever loving mind.

So I’m driving to work this morning when I came across one of those local morning radio shows of the Howard Stern-like variety, meaning full of hyper-masculine oversexed and racist bullshit sprinkled with a dusting of misogyny.  To my delight they were up in arms about a story out of Texas that the state legislature passed a bill that would make male masturbation illegal–because every sperm is sacred, dontcha know!  Further in the story it said that men could not buy or possess sex toys that aid in masturbation and that they couldn’t receive erectile dysfunction drugs unless they sign a statement saying they would only have sex with a woman while using them and then give that statement to the government.  My first reaction was a gleeful “Welcome to my world, bitches!”

Most of the guys on the show were stunned but one of them, the lone religious man kept saying “there has to be a reason”.  He was trying to find justification for why they would do such a thing as if men had been masturbating so much that birth rates were dropping dangerously in Texas or some such nonsense. Leaving aside the whole debate as to why a religious man would be on such a show, which is a whole nother post altogether, I was fascinated by his attempt to justify the supposed law and the others reactions to the story.  The other men were just appalled and rightly so.  It obviously violates their autonomy, inserts religion into their bedrooms and violates the privacy between a patient and their doctor.

Now you may, at this point, be doubting the veracity of said article.  You are correct.  It was a satirical news story put out by the Tribune Herald.  If you go to the actual article online you will see that the lede states “Texas legislature fails on abortion, passes masturbation bill”.    Technically speaking the abortion bill hasn’t completely failed since Gov. Perry and his minions will continue to push the law until the opposition is exhausted from maintaining near constant filibustering because in TX a person who is filibustering actually has to stand for the better part of a day and actually hold the floor of the legislature (unlike Congress which allows the member to not even be present to prevent a vote or fillibuster).  The Texas GOP will force this law on the state the will and health of the women of Texas be damned.

Without getting too caught up in the abortion debate, what is most interesting to me was that even though the fake article that got our local shock jocks so upset was clearly set up within the context of the failed abortion bill not once during the whole discussion did any one of them draw a parallel between their situation and that of women.  Not once did it occur to them that women might feel the same way because we already face laws that say we’re not allowed to buy or possess sex toys in some states.  We already face laws that say we aren’t allowed to have sex without procreating.  Make no mistake about it.  Every single law that makes getting an abortion more difficult (e.g., by adding unreasonable wait times, by closing down every clinic in the state, by proscribing forced vaginal insertion of medical devices, by limiting the window in which one can get an abortion, etc) basically tells women that if they have sex and get pregnant the state will do everything in their power to force them to give birth.  And if we allow abortion to be outlawed, we might as well write the laws that way.  Women must give birth if they get pregnant.  That’s what anti-choice laws are REALLY about.  And let’s not get into the social stigma of women who actually like sex or who are openly sexual–you know the drill–men are studs and women are sluts, etc, etc.  We’ve been over all that.  NONE of that has changed.

So these radio hosts never once made the connection between the rights that they purportedly lost with the rights that women have actually lost.  They completely missed the point of the satire and here’s why.  These same radio hosts frequently have strippers and porn stars on their show doing  interviews and contests that would make your grandmother turn a shade of red never before seen in the visible spectrum (I would link to some video of their contests but they are really pretty tacky like the one of a purported MILF in a bikini who gets into a midget’s pants…..nuff said).  Suffice it to say, they have little to no respect for women.  Oh, don’t get me wrong. They love women who are “nasty” and “slutty”.  They love them like you love that hot fudge brownie sundae you can’t resist late at night.  You know it will make you fat and hate yourself tomorrow but by God you’ll scarf it down anyway.  They can’t stand women who don’t put out or who don’t tolerate men behaving badly around them.  They’re buzz killers and uptight prudes.  To them a woman can only be one extreme or the other–whore or madonna, but never both.  They’ll claim that they really do love women and they treat women respectfully in their real life.  And that may be true.  They’ll claim to be real 3-D complicated people and it’s probably true.  But they don’t realize they’re not letting women be real 3-D people.

See real 3-D women like sex in private but don’t want to be treated like a sex object in public.  Real women believe masturbation is as natural and healthy for them as it is for men, but they don’t want either gender to be told they can’t.  Real women don’t think anyone should be messing with her vagina and ovaries any more than they should be messing with a man’s testicles and sperm.  Funny how these radio hosts can’t see that real women exist and that these laws that hurt real women, hurt real men too.  If these laws against women persist you will see more and more women calling for similar restrictions on men.  Let’s see how they like it when something like this does actually become law.  Maybe that’s the only way that American men will wake up and understand the laws that seek to control and restrict female autonomy are laws against humanity in general.  At the very least I will be able to honestly say, “Welcome to our world, bitches!” and mean it.

Eighteen companies in the U.S. have gone to Court to avoid having to comply with the ACA’s (Obamacare) required birth control benefit.  They’re reasoning:  1) the benefit covers abortion-inducing drugs and 2) it violates their for-profit company’s religious freedom.  Both reasons are poppycock.

The pill, Plan B, Ella, etc are birth control–not abortifacients–meaning that they prevent an egg from being fertilized-they do NOT cause the body to reject a zygote (fertilized egg).  So their first reason is not true.  Furthermore on this point, the medical definition of pregnancy, which is the legal standard, is that the fertilized egg must implant on the wall of the womb.  Evidently these wealthy and mostly male cadre of entrepreneurs have decided that their individual religious belief that life begins at fertilization trumps the medical and legal one.  Nope, sorry fellas.

Now to the second point…..A company does not have religious freedom–because a company is not a person–no matter what the Supreme Court says.  And even if it did have “religious freedom” then whose religion?  The owner, the majority of the employees’ or the majority the shareholders?  See what a sticky wicket that “corporations are people too” is?  But I digress.

A corporation is both a  thing, an organization, and sometimes it is a group of individuals.  Clearly, the individuals who own it do have religious freedom.  Legal precedence tells us that what matters when considering a violation of religious freedom (and this is true of other “free exercise rights”) is the degree to which the individual is burdened–it has to be a “substantial burden” to constitute a violation.  Therefore, these companies have to show how it is a “substantial burden” to them to provide this benefit.  So far, they have failed to do this.

The courts have said time and time again that providing a “birth control” benefit to female employees is not a substantial burden.  Since employees pay for part or all of the costs of health insurance and therefore “earn” the benefit it isn’t a “substantial burden” on the employer.  Indeed one could argue the opposite.  To deny women birth control IS a substantial burden on female employees.  But who wants to help all those sluts out there, amiright?

One final point…most businesses, indeed even some religious organizations, have been offering the birth control benefit for a long time.  They only just recently decided that their religious freedom was being impinged and it conveniently coincided with the election of the scary Muslim usurper to the White House and passage of healthcare reform.  If a person or a group of persons making up a company feel they cannot provide birth control coverage then don’t run a business with other employees.  Just don’t.  It’s the same point I made when I was discussing the Catholic Church running ER’s and hospitals.  If they can’t provide proper care for pregnant women, which includes the ability to perform D&C’s to REALLY save the life of the mother then they either don’t need to run those hospitals or they don’t need to provide obstetrics.  In the end, the company doesn’t get to impose it’s owners religious rights on it’s employees.  It’s 2012, not 1012 and I’m pretty damn sure my “lady business” is none of their business.

Sarcasm aside….if you think these companies are wrong on this issue go to the Planned Parenthood website and sign their petition.