Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Dark Ages

Okay... so maybe not as brilliant as previously promised... and not appropriately 'dayed' anymore... this was the one lost for Tuesday that you are now getting on Thursday. But YAY! Computer is back up and running! Special thanks to my buddy Kevin who is smarter than me on all things computer (and on a number of other topics, besides)

But since I now CAN... didn't lose (at least much) of it... here goes TMI Tuesday's post.


*cough *

So what the hell is going on with the Republican Party these days?

Sorry to get political, but it IS (read: WAS) TMI Tuesday, after all. And there is a serious meltdown in sanity going on. I mean honestly, I never much understand the Republican party. But this stuff is BIZARRO world stuff. All this repossession on women's rights stuff...

Now I don't want to get into the abortion issue. I get both sides of that argument, and so while I have a political side (which ironically is NOT the side I would choose personally, though the operative word is probably CHOOSE) that isn't where I want to go.

Where I DO want to go is the very strange things that have happened of late.

What the heck is all this about birth control?

The religious organizations arguing about paying for something they don't agree with, I get. But then Obama said, “Okay, I see your point. Instead we will turn it to the Insurance companies to pay for.” And you see... paying for birth control is CHEAPER than paying for pregnancy, labor and delivery and all the pediatric care of a child, so insurance companies LIKE this... and several religious institutions cheered to have this burden taken off of them... to be able to 'provide' what they know employees want without being culpable of providing it themselves... It allows them to compete for the full spectrum of employees without crossing fuzzy lines.

But there is the ultra-conservative strand of congress and the religious leaders who are significantly MORE conservative than the population they mean to lead making this about something else.

Religious freedom is the right to practice ones own religion, but it is NOT the right to impose that religion on anybody else. Now if you work for a church directly, you may expect some imposition. But say you live in... South Bend, Indiana and just want to work for your largest employer in the county... (I believe Notre Dame was actually one of the institutions that cheered the compromise, by the way).

Now in the US, some 99% of women use some for of contraception at some point. Heck, 98% of Catholic women will or have at some point. The fact of the matter is, it takes resources of time and money to raise children well. Should sex be a privilege of the wealthy (who can afford to raise as many children they might create)? Should sex DOOM a woman to a shorter life? (because after child #1, every child lowers life expectancy). Jon Stewart had a very good point when he stated that Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum both used the rhythm method and had five and eight kids respectively. (which... and I really hope I don't offend too many, though i know I will and a few are people I really love, but in the spirit of TMI, I FIND IRRESPONSIBLE--from a space on the planet perspective, I mean). But Santorum has said 'birth control is not right'.

Is anybody else seeing Margaret Atwood as a prophet? This sounds very Handmaid's Tale to me. That is a book where chemical disaster creates infertility and collides with ultra conservative social values for a scary scary scenario. Do you SEE how this is possible?  Tell me I'm nuts. I dare you.

I have seen a number of posts on facebook of women outrages here, but this is hardly the only incident.

Several states have passed 'personhood' laws, siting personhood begins at conception. And as anti-abortion legislation, I see the brilliance of this tactic, but some of these have opened doors for women who suffer miscarriage to be prosecuted for negligent homicide.

Did you know HALF of conceived babies miscarry?
Did you know a significant portion of babies that miscarry do so because of defects to the baby—the baby would not have been viable and our bodies KNOW and so self-terminate.

Do we really want to blame women for that?

Have you ever known anyone who has miscarried? It is a DEVASTATING ordeal. The women I know who have experienced this are so sad for a very long time—many still quietly acknowledging what would have been birthdays years later. Do we REALLY want to add a layer of legal threat to this already abhorrent experience? Is our society's misguided need for sanctimonious moralizing so great we would do this?

I will tell you an unintended effect of this. Women who suspect they are pregnant will delay care. After all, if nobody knows they are pregnant, nobody can fault them if it doesn't work out. It will INCREASE the proportion of pregnancies that don't make it because SOME early caught things are preventable.

So there I go, ranting...


Trisha said...

As a non-religious person, I will never be able to justify or explain away this kind of attitude (that is, the anti-choice attitude), so I can't really comment beyond saying, "Here, here!" (and by that I mean, "Hell no we don't want that. Or at least, I sure don't!"

Ted Cross said...

How about the Virginia law where they wanted to force women to get an invasive ultrasound before they could have an abortion? As much as I love my country, I'm getting so tired of living around so many wackos. The Republican party is a sick joke and we all have to live with the results.

Old Kitty said...

Religion and politics should not and must never ever ever ever mix! Ever!

Wimmin take control of your bodies! Let's get NAKED!!

Take care

Tripping Tipsy said...

It all comes back to fricken religion. I HATE RELIGION! Can we get rid of it please? Nobody has the right to force their own beliefs on me and my community, it makes me so angry...

(sorry... a Scientology 'shop' has opened at the end of my street and they're doing some abhorrent things including taking homeless kids, and offering them schooling in exchange for slave labour recruiting people).

Over it all and don't even get me started on abortion - I am pro choice, and no, it's not a choice I would ever make personally but I'll defend to the death a couples right to choose it.

*rant over*

Anonymous said...

The laws about personhood infuriate me. Honestly, I can sum up my views thus: Not the government's business. If you haven't read the book "Pushed", Hart, I totally recommend it. It's all about the medical industry as it pertains to obstetrics and gynecology as well as addresses the paralyzing truth of women getting charged with child abuse due to their drug use while pregnant.

As for the politics: Always look to individuals - not parties - and the policies their history shows them to support.

Come At Me Bro said...

This is great!

Hart Johnson said...

Trisha-HER HERE!

Ted-Yeah, almost included that one, but I was running long anyway. Imagine requiring that for a rape victim who wanted to abort--makes it a double rape IMHO.

Jenny-EXACTLY! Like oil and water, both of which are MUCH better naked!

Krystal-Oh, man. Those nefarious brainwashing things really suck. And it sounds like your view on abortion and mine are similar. I think it's lousy, but sometimes the LEAST lousy of a handful of lousy options, and nobody but the woman herself has enough information to make that call.

Kimberly-one of our areas of common ground! I figured it would be, actually. I will watch for Pushed. Sounds like info we all need.

L.G.Smith said...

That's why I love The Handmaid's Tale so much, because it is so terrifyingly possible.

And I don't understand the Republican Party either. My brother is a conservative and we can't even discuss his views because he only want to preach and not listen. I think close-mindedness is a personality trait required by the GOP.

Marjorie said...

Tami, forgive me but 5 kids is a perfectly fine choice for a country like the United States. We aren't China or even India by any means. I'm not saying it's a choice everyone should make, but it was mine and I feel that 2.5 kids was not an option for me. Even so, I had my family and when I was finished I got sterilized. That might be an immoral choice according Santorum, but I think he's just a terrible, woman hating person. I also think the patriarchal Catholic hierarchy have been used to keeping women under their thumbs for thousands of years and aren't ready to give that up. It's funny that my mom and I see two very different sides of this issue. I think that insurance companies should provide birth control,and I have come to believe that abortion may be acceptable before a certain time in pregnancy and for extenuating circumstances such as rape or incest or the mother's life is in danger. Taking these options away from women is not only wrong, but very anti-woman. I think that you can see that my stance on a great many issues has changed somewhat, but overall I think the government should stay out of people's personal affairs to a point.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Of course Peggy is a prophet!

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I agree miss Hart and also to Ted's comment about the required invasive ultrasound. Conservative religious people in this country are trying to take us back to the dark ages with them so that they can be in power and have control over others. It's terrible. Shame on all of them.

JohnnyB Dungeon Master said...

The Handmaid's Tale is a great reference here. The contraception things is pretty straight forward for me. They always started with the churches/synagogues,mosques never had to carry it but institutions yes. If you want to be a business and play that way you gotta play by the rules and contraception rules will apply to you. You can say you should know better working for a catholic based hospital or college, but I can say you should have known better operating a business. Abortion... It is not a decision I would ever want to make. But I sure am not going to make that decision for somebody else!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A bit of sick twist that a woman could be tried for negligent homicide.
Don't know the answer, Hart. I'm a conservative and even I think it's all a big mess right now.

Hart Johnson said...

Come at me Bro-Welcome! Great to see a new face!

Luanne-it's hard in families, isn't it? My dad's side is economically conservative and we can STILL go at it, even without all this intertwined religious stuff.

Marjorie-you were my primary worry about offending. And I do respect that you were thoughtful about it all. I just come at this from an environmental perspective. I feel like we should only reproduce ourselves.

Cathy-teehee--I like that!


John-Exactly--when running a 'business' even a non-profit, need to play by the business rules.

Alex-see I think you are a nice example--too compassionate for the real madness happening, even if at your base, you are conservative.

Alison said...

As a Catholic woman, I totally agree with this post, Hart! Well said!

And congratulations on today. I'm really excited for you. Yay!

JohnnyB Dungeon Master said...

I would also have to add that the Lobbyists the bishops and the church hired to make this such a big deal did their jobs well. Everybody was starting to buy into this as a religious freedom issue.

Helena said...

You think you're on a rant, Hart? You should've been hearing me for the last couple weeks. And coming from an Irish Catholic family, I can tell you that normal Catholics look on Santorum as a serious whack-job mental case who has no business holding public office. He has stated flat-out that as president he would talk about the dangers of contraception and that individual states should have the right to ban it.

As for the "transvaginal ultrasound" that the Virginia State Legislature and Governor want to force on woman (including rape victims), I just learned that the instrument for this has been dubbed by many nurses as a "Dildo-Cam." I'd LOVE to hear this legislative bill referred to from now on as "The Dildo-Cam Bill."

Cherie Reich said...

Oh, I'm so with you on all of this. I just don't get it. At all. All women should go and read Aristophanes's Lysistrata and do exactly in it that they did. It might make people change their mind.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Sing it!
I'm just so so so disgusted by so many people nowadays. And the problem is fighting it doesn't always seem to work and we can't flee it, so where does that leave us?

Hart Johnson said...

Alison-YAY for the Catholic endorsement! Though I did have a pretty clear view. I've had some very close Catholic friends over the years.

John-scary presentation, eh?

Helena-I wish he'd be called out more by Catholics--it would be good for everyone else to realize he's on the fringe. Dildo-cam--NICE! (though strangely, it makes me want one...)

Cherie-HA! Excellent! That would be a great way to go about this! Because that was senator's wives, right? Perfect!

Sarah-there is MONEY up the chain somewhere, or I think they'd listen to their constituents better. or maybe a power deal. Scary stuff.