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:
(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.
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
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.)