Monday, July 21, 2008

For Uncle Doug and Cousin Brian

You two are going to love this...

I am going to have to have a little rant right now, even though this is not a political blog, about your president's latest stunt to redefine birth control.

I have a real problem with this. As much as I love my pretty babies, the years of my life during which I was not ready to be a mother are far more numerous than the years in which I have been ready to be a mother. Even though I was as pure as the driven snow when I wore white at my wedding (hi Dad!), there were several years during which BJ and I were unprepared (financially, emotionally) to have children. I took the pill during that time. Does Mr. Bush really, truly believe that I "aborted" all of the babies who may or may not have been conceived during that time (because not only does the pill prevent ovulation, it may also prevent the errant blastocyst that may have accidentally been fertilized from being implanted)?

I know I've been on kind of a Pink kick, lately, but here's a song that sort of sums up my feelings on this administration:



Go ahead and hit play so you have a little background music for the rant. Background music is always good during rants. Just ask Dennis Miller.

Lest you think I'm picking a nit, here's the part that's got me all fired up:
Abortion, according to the proposal, is defined as "any of the various procedures – including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action – that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation."
(the text outside the quotes is from One News Now.)

Let me get this straight... There are over 45 million people in this country without health insurance. There are 37 million people in this country living in poverty (poverty level for a family of four is $19,307 a year, by the way. I'm fairly sure that I spend that just on diapers). 13 million of those people are children. (cite) And instead of using his power and authority to help those people, he is taking measures which will inevitably lead to the creation of more people!! That just doesn't make any mathematical sense. Our problem in this country is NOT that we have too few people. But you'd never know that if you listen to the religious fanatics who are, disturbingly, running the show.

Bush himself only has two daughters - twins. Are we really to believe that he and Laura only had sex one blessedly procreative time? If so, well, she has better taste than I thought!

Unless Bush wants a nation of Duggars, birth control needs to remain accessible and legal. This redefinition is just the first step down a slippery road to taking away all of women's reproductive rights.

"What kind of father would take his own daughters' rights away?" indeed.

So, what's the big deal? Why are women's reproductive rights important?

I'm glad you asked.

Let's define our terms. I looked to the Center for Reproductive Rights for a concise definition:

What are reproductive rights?
Reproductive rights, the foundation for women's self-determination over their bodies and sexual lives, are critical to women's equality and to ensuring global progress toward just and democratic societies. These rights include:

  • The right to a full range of safe and affordable contraception
  • The right to safe, accessible and legal abortion
  • The right to safe and healthy pregnancies
  • The right to comprehensive reproductive health care services provided free of discrimination, coercion and violence
  • The right to equal access to reproductive health care for women facing social and economic barriers
  • The right to be free from practices that harm women and girls (such as female genital mutilation)
  • The right to a private and confidential doctor-patient relationship
(This is me talking, again. Quote's over). For one thing, pregnancy and childbirth are not to be taken lightly. Not only is it a heavy responsibility to bring a new life into the world, it is often a great risk. Women die. Babies die. It is not a situation to be entered into lightly. How dare the government try to compel me to risk my life? Oh, wait, that's kind of their business, lately, isn't it? Well, they can't just draft all sexually active women. As far as I know, stop-loss notwithstanding, all the men and women in Iraq signed up to risk their lives. I didn't sign up, just by virtue of being born with a uterus, to fight in Bush's War on Reproductive Freedom. Keep your laws out of my body.

There are women for whom an unintended pregnancy would be the equivalent of a death sentence. These women have been pregnant before and have had near-fatal complications. Would Mr. Bush compel them to risk their lives because of his own moral stance against birth control? What if he succeeds in redefining birth control? Would these women and their doctors have to go to court to prove that they "deserve" birth control? How is that in the interests of medical privacy? Our legal system is costly, and is already overburdened. Are we really going to criminalize birth control, and further burden the system? Are we going to end up with jails full of women who wanted the Pill, and the doctors who tried to provide it to them?

The way Bush is trying to go about this is sickening. He's trying to limit government funding to agencies that provide birth control services to women by requiring them to employ (or not discriminate against) practitioners who refuse, based on their own morals, to distribute birth control or perform abortions. So, the first women to be affected would be the women who use government funded medical care - those who are the poorest of us, those who have the least access to medical care to begin with.

Ok, Religious Right. We get it. Planned Parenthood gets federal funding for "killing babies", and that really pisses you off. So you kill doctors and bomb clinics and hold protest rallies outside of PP (when I swear to God I was just there to get the pill, the pill that I was going to use so that my husband didn't get me pregnant, and if I had to mockingly hand you pamphlets on menopause and do a little interpretive dance while you were singing hymns and if I had to get in your face a bit while you got in the face of the other girls who were there to get birth control pills, or to see the only doctors they could afford, well, sue me. After all, they're doing as many abortions at my local PP as they do at my local Dairy Queen - as in zero - so maybe we should all move the protests and the anti-protests to DQ, because at least then we could have Blizzards).

The thing is that you don't get to choose where your tax dollars go. My tax dollars are funding a war that has killed thousands of Iraqi civilians, but I can't just write the IRS a note saying, "Yeah, hey, you can't have any more of my Benjamins until you knock it the yuck off in Iraq, capiche?" because they will put me in jail. My tax dollars occasionally go toward killing someone via the death penalty, something else that I don't support, but I can't opt out of that contribution, either. And, as much as I would love to, I can't withdraw my tax dollars from paying the salaries of the clowns who are in office right now, either. Or for paying their pensions (including health insurance that would give the average uninsured American orgasms) for the rest of their lives. Or for paying for their free postage. Or anything else. I may not agree with it, but paying taxes doesn't mean that you have to agree with every single use of "your" money. Sometimes people disagree, and so long as it doesn't infringe upon your own personal right to life, liberty, and the pursuit, you have to back off.

That's the thing - my taking the pill doesn't infringe upon anyone else's rights. A blastocyst is not an anyone. Potential to become doesn't make one something. My mom always told me I could grow up to be president - that doesn't mean that you should play Hail to the Chief whenever I walk in a room.

But if W. could grow up to be president, maybe she was right. "He's come a long way from whiskey and cocaine."

We ought to be worried about taking care of the people we've already got on this overcrowded planet. We ought to stop trying to impose our own religious position on people who may or may not share it. We ought to practice a little bit more self-control, and a little bit less other-control. We ought to impeach the m*****f***er already. It's only fair, considering that he's f***ing with mothers. (rimshot)

Because seriously, seriously, I don't know if this democracy can stand another 182 days.

And now that I've incurred the wrath of my republican brethern (or maybe unclern and cousinern) I'm going to go read the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights before they're revoked entirely. I swear to you, it's going to take 80 years to undo what Mr. Bush has done in 8. Thank God he has spent so much time on vacation, or he could've really hosed things up.

(The presence of links to other blogs on this blog does not imply that they agree with me on politics or women's reproductive rights or anything else, even though they totally should because I am right.)

11 comments:

dorindmikey said...

RIGHT ON!!!

canape said...

Holy crap.

That was amazing.

adymommy said...

You rock!

B.J. said...

Wow. Where to begin?

I'll try to sidestep the whole abortion debate and I'm really not a fan of our president so I'll give you most of the Bush bashing (though thanks for the mental image of the Bush's copulating).

With that said...

This is a draft of a bill that requires health-care providers certify that they are complying with existing federal law in order to receive their federal funding. Doesn't seem like too much to ask since they should be complying with it anyway, right? (http://tinyurl.com/6y6vo6 [ABC News]) They (you know, the evil government with the black helicopters that are just waiting to pounce on leftist dissenters) do not want to take away your birth control pills. Relax and take a (chill) pill.

Under its "usual" operation, the pill "stops the body from releasing an egg from the ovary"; however it also "changes the cervical mucus to make it difficult for the sperm to find an egg" and "can also prevent pregnancy by making the lining of the womb inhospitable for implantation". (This is all from WebMD.)

So it sounds like under unusual conditions that the birth control pill (and IUDs) might might fall under this and the existing federal law in terms of not discriminating against those that refuse to dispense them. It also seems to me that this is a really small percentage of doctors and pharmacists since everytime it happens it makes the new. But you've decided to turn this into a slippery-slope, "they're coming after my birth control pills" debate and they can pry the little pink case from your cold dead hands. Perhaps next you can give us a monologue on why marriage should only be between a man and a woman because if you remove that language from the laws you'll have people marrying their horses, chocolate bars, and Blackberries.

Now, the Charlotte Opinion piece claims that it makes it so small town/rural women are the most adversely affected since apparently there's only one doctor and pharmacy in every small town and you just know they're going to be opposed to giving out birth control. Well, I would argue that there's certainly a doctor or RN (I assume since they can prescribe medicine that contraceptives apply as well) within a relatively short drive willing to prescribe the pill or preform the IUD procedure. And as for the inconvenience of getting the pills (once a month?), the intertubes go everywhere (http://www.mybirthcontrolstore.com/pricelist.html) and so do FedEx and UPS.

"Our problem in this country is NOT that we have too few people." Are you really arguing that there should be fewer people in the country? This is starting to sound like Sam Kinison's solution to the homeless problem and I believe we covered this "death isn't necessarily a bad thing" in high school debate class 14 years ago. No, the world can support an infinite population. Support your local NASA.

"What kind of father would take his own daughters' rights away?" Oh, I don't know. Maybe one that realizes that his daughter's rights don't include dominion over anything and everything and that we all have limitations over where our rights end and another person's rights begin? But maybe that's just me. I guess I'm not enlightened enough to believe that I can avoid responsibility and the consequences of my actions.

"So you kill doctors and bomb clinics and hold protest rallies outside of PP..." Wow. I don't know what to say to that other than it is really offensive to those of us that support peaceful protests outside of PP and other abortion clinics to lump us in with a fringe element. I thought it was the religious right that was supposed to be of an "all or nothing" mindset.

"My tax dollars occasionally go toward killing someone via the death penalty, something else that I don't support..." You know, that's something that has always befuddled me about people that are Pro-Choice/Anti-Death Penalty: you would rather save the damned and kill the innocent. I can somewhat see the Christian aspects to it in that the souls of those on Death Row are presumably in much more peril than a baby whose worst offense to that point has been giving someone heartburn but since you lumped the "Religious Right" in with murderers and bombers, you clearly don't identify with them. Interesting.

Well, it appears that I strayed into the abortion debate anyway. Not my intention - it is, in my experience, futile; I have debated it with people I consider very intelligent and have swayed exactly zero people thus far so why bother. The point of this comment was to highlight that birth control pills are not in danger of being legislated out of existence. There certainly people that have problem with them but in my amateur political pundit opinion, there's no significant political movement to get rid of them and the draft bill appears to be designed to protect those that don't want to be discriminated against for not wanting to give them out.

And just so I can try to end this on an up swing, I don't want to get off on a rant here but I've read that book by Dennis Miller and there was no background music during any of the rants.

~Denise~ said...

I found your blog (and your rant) via a google alert on preeclampsia.

All I can say for your post is...
Rock on!! You said many things that I agree with.

Erin said...

I had thought about saying "Thank you, BJ." and leaving the post at that. Then I thought if I write what I really think Amy's going to hate me.

Sigh.

I'm pro-life, okay? But I don't like being lumped in with the crazies that bomb clinics and kill doctors in some insane thought that their heinous actions really are going to bring about change. Those people do not reflect Jesus at all. He said "Love one another as I have loved you." Whoa. Incredible statement.

Abortion is such an emotional, hot-button topic. I try to see things from the pro-choice angle. Let's be real, most pro-life and pro-choice people refuse to look at the issue from the other's perspective.

I think it goes back to the Declaration of Independence: "...all men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..." I had never thought about the order of those words before. Pro-life says that everyone has the right to life. Pro-choice says that my life and liberty come first.

If a blastocyst is just a potential human being, why did it hurt so much for me last week to have my period occur? We're trying for #2 and I was a full-week late. I was hoping I was pregnant. I was tired and sore and we were really trying! If it doesn't matter, why did my heart ache? Why do we beam when that pregnancy test shows a positive result? Surely the fetus is just a blob of cells at that point? (I could be wrong on that point depending when a test is performed, but you know what I mean)

I think birth control should remain legal. I think it will, despite your fears of what a Republican would do. I think abortion should be extremely limited. That is my opinion and nothing more.

Jenn said...

Of course there should be forms of birth control ! Just imagine how many more teens and others would have too many kids that they can't really look after. How many people raped that would have ended up pregnant ,and then most wanting an abortion because they were raped!
I'm not scared to tell anyone I think abortion is wrong,but I do think if it needs to be done for medical reasons ,you have it done as early as possible and the later ones should never be done at all!
I do think that the death penalty should be everywhere but only done if there is no doubt what so ever on guilt. I think that all the money wasted keeping ax murders and rapist alive for years and years would be put to better use in health care and other places good people that pay taxes would be helped!
I didn't think you were lumping everyone in with the crazy people that bomb and kill others in protest against it.
These are just my feelings, I hope you don't get mad about anything I said.
Hope you have a good day!

Lindsay said...

As a former Planned Parenthood employee, it is so nice to see this kind of thought-out dicussion about Choice.

You are officially on my favorites list. =)

Uncle Doug said...

Amy, since you chose to direct this toward Brian and I and spend WAY to much time on your Rant, I would first suggest that you not turn this into a political blog. It is fine to read about the Pretty Babies, but if you are going to get into the political battlefield, then you should also expect to take some hits, or don’t get into it in the first place. Frankly, I, nor most what I consider “Reagan Conservatives” are the clinic bombing, doctor killing fanatics, that you seem so willing to group into some stereotypical wacko grouping in order to make their opinions seem so extreme, and therefore to make your own seem reasoned, logical, and oh so reasonable. I do not have the time to spend the rest of the day responding to a rant like this, and I wont, but I will make a couple brief comments.

1) I will not even go into the whole abortion issue. This frenetic, panic sounding, “omg, they are going to take my little pink pills away” does not justify the time to respond, other than to say, that as I recall your own parents were not necessarily ready “emotionally or financially, at the time YOU were “a blastocyst”, and therefore THEY might have reasonably assumed they were not ready for children yet either… there has to be societal control to some limit, otherwise, there is no reason that parents would not be able to say after a child is born, the ol cliché’ I brought you into this world, and I can take you out of it… There ARE societies which DO allow this by the way… Or another way of saying this then is since a woman in Chinese society has this total control over her body and reproduction, then by that argument then, she should be able to abort her female children and let the male children live because that is her choice? And yes, that is still done to even today. So does it then mean regarding the last trimester? But for a difference of a couple minutes, do you define what is one minute an abortion, but minutes later, infanticide?

1) Too chastise BJ over his comments on your opinions (even going to the extent of calling him a Homer, WITH Picture, when YOU were the one to open it up in the first place is ridiculous, if you want to only go on a rant, then don’t put it on your OWN Blog and expect others (especially your husband) to just accept your liberal rant without comment, because it is YOUR Blog, is NO different than your supposed Right wing conspirators etc etc… If you Don’t want to get an opposing view when you are ranting, then you should not put it out there in the first place!
2) Bush bashing seems to be the order of the day not only for the media but for anyone else. These are probably the same people that were driving around in the fall of 2001 with flags on their cars and going on and on about their patriotism. As for Pink, the Dixie Chicks, the Huffington’s or any of the other Hollywood anointed think they know it all whiny liberals, I couldn’t care less what they think or what their “opinions” are…. They are the most hypocritical, judgmental full of crap worthless blowhards, who don’t have a clue as to what people in this country do face on a day to day basis. OH, its important that we CARE, that we FEEL for these people, and DEMAND that Something be done for them (By someone else…) and the Government should tax more to take it from those that are already paying taxes, and give it away to those that do not. This Amy, is called at best Socialism, and at worst Communism.

I do know with certainty tho that for all your bashing on Bush, he was still more prepared to be president of this country, than the charlatan poser NOBAMA who already thinks he is President. If you want to list for me all the fine governmental and legislative, and leadership accomplishments of that guy, then you have a debate. Please. Don’t tell me he’s black. That is totally irrelevant and I don’t care if he is Black White, Red or Yellow.. He has no business being in the position he is in, and I am amazed the Democratic party has such a shallow “bench” that they could not put out better choices than he, or the carpetbagger from New York… The only reason he is even the nominee at this point is because of pure EMOTIONAL EXTREMISM, which is exactly what you are condemning your evil “religious right” over the abortion issue.
3) Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights- It is not “W” that has totally messed up the interpretations of the above. It is the overly social active federal courts who have chosen over the last 50 years to act as their own legislatures in MAKING laws, not Interpreting them. You need to go back to 12th grade Civics, as the President does NOT make the laws, Congress does…

In the future Amy, do not lump me in as part of some extremist evil Religious Right on this blog in order to justify your liberal whining. I frankly don’t care if you have your rant. That's your choice, just don’t preface or title it as directed toward me. I have read your blog in the past, to keep up to date on you and the girls, not to take a supposed direct hit "bitch slapping" that I want to somehow force you into some back alley with a coat hanger. (the standard liberal Imagery often used to scare and force others to agree with them…) So, that you are better informed in the future of what your Uncle Believes or does not believe, here is a partial list…

I believe …
1. ...in personal responsibility
2. ...personal freedom.
3. ...that people are responsible and are held accountable for their decisions and choices.
4. ...that while a Blastocyst” as you referred to it, may be not a child, a full term, (but for the delivery) IS and should have those protections. If not, than Scott Peterson was wrongly convicted of murder, since Lacey’s child was unborn, it therefore had NO protections under the law. You can not have it both ways to fit your convenience. I agree with you that
5. ...in taxation which is fairly distributed. When 10% of the country is already paying 65% of all taxes, and 5% are paying over 50% (actually 52%) this is not “fair taxation”. It is redistribution and socialism.
6. ...in limited government, and limited government intrusion in an individuals life. NOT JUST in regard to your abortion issues, but in ALL areas of life.
7. ...That an economy that is interfered with the least, will run the best.
8. ...that there ARE people in the world that would like to see you, your babies, and the other 300 million of us in this country DEAD, and no amount of “caring”, talking, “understanding”, “feeling their pain”, “seeing their side of it”, or giving them more money, (foreign aid) is going to change their basic desire for this outcome.
9. ...in a welfare system that properly supports people through transitions, gives them the ability to regain their OWN support, self esteem, and ability to provide for themselves and their families, and not make it a multigenerational, self generating cycle of governmental dependence.
10. ...there are far too many people in this country who are already far to dependent on the government, and unable to detach from “the government suckling”, and thereby continue to propogate continued dependence.
11. ... most of the “wealthy” in this country, ( as in those earning over 50,000 a year and paying taxes) got there because they earned it, not because they inherited it from others.
12. ...Hollywood liberals are willing to take OTHER peoples money and give it to OTHER PEOPLE, but not GIVE THEIR OWN.
13. ...there is a LARGE percentage of people in this country that Want to be considered “enlightened” and Want to be cajoled into falling for the total hype and no substance crap being dumped on them over Obama. Am I thrilled over McCain, not particularly, but at least he says what he believes, not what is media expedient. This guy is an “Empty Suit” and the electorate and major media is just falling all over itself, not because he is the most qualified candidate, but BECAUSE he would historically be the second Black President… (remember, Slick Willy was the first… he said so….) What ignorance…


I’m done… Please do not direct any comments in my direction in the future, and blog about what you think or assume, I or anyone else believe. I am not angry about what you said, I am angry you felt it necessary to, as the college kids would say today, “call me out” on a blog page…
Love,
Your "compassionate conservative" Uncle Doug

Amy said...

Doug -

Told you that you were going to love it!!

Love,
Amy

Heather said...

Amy, since you chose to direct this toward Brian and I and spend WAY to much time on your Rant, I would first suggest that you not turn this into a political blog. It is fine to read about the Pretty Babies, but if you are going to get into the political battlefield, then you should also expect to take some hits, or don’t get into it in the first place.

Yeeaahhhh... you do know that Amy posts about her life on this blog, right? And that her life isn't always about the babies? And I assume you've been reading long enough to know that she does take hits, often, if not here then on other blogs, where her opinions meet with disagreement.

So what? You know the song... "It's my par-ty and I'll cry if I want to"? It's Amy's blog. She wants to rant, she gets to. No one is paying her to put her opinions down, so no one gets to tell her what she should or shouldn't write.

As a fellow opinion blogger (Cranky Phone Guy) likes to say, "if you believe that you may be offended by what I am about to say, I urge you to take advantage of the small red X in the upper right corner of your screen."

I don't know how many people read Amy's blog, and I'm sure that quite a few are family, but the majority of us have no idea who "Uncle Doug" is, and probably never will meet you in person. "For my uncle", to us, could just as easily have read, "for the conservative side of my family" or, "to the people who think I'm nuts for believing what I do". A smartass writer's snappy comment is not necessarily a personal attack... and since Amy isn't campaigning for public office, I don't think any of us has a need to obligate her to tone her language down so as to offend as few people as possible.