Obama wouldn’t care if they confiscated my uterus
I am a lazy no-good navel-gazer. With the advent of the new semester my routine has transformed from sitting on my ass at home to paying thousands of dollars to sit on my ass on campus. Nevertheless, I have woefully neglected my blog and my loyal readership of three, maybe four, people that serve as my awesome echo-chamber of personal superiority. Or so I’ve been told.
Nevertheless, there is this nasty story about the federal government’s newest scheme to reassert dominance over the wayward uterus that I feel miserable about not covering when it was first brought to my attention. Scheduled to go into effect in late September, the proposal requires all agencies receiving aid from the Department of Health and Human Services to sign agreements stating that they understand that “discriminatory” actions taken against those who object to abortion on either moral or religious justifications will result in a loss of federal aid. Long story short, Bush and his godbag posse would like to make it illegal to “discriminate” against people that refuse to do their jobs, assuming that posing a significant barrier to someone’s full exercise of reproductive agency is protected by law, while the actual exercise of that reproductive agency itself is not.
Furthermore, the proposal seeks to redefine abortion 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.
Obviously, Washington has now decided that it knows a hell of a lot more about abortion and pregnancy than every credible gynecologist on the planet. Since 1965, the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) has defined pregnancy as the advent of “conception… the implantation of a fertilized ovum”. The horseshit proposed above (pay attention to the emphasis added by moi) would classify things like hormonal birth control and Plan B as “abortion”, whereas the ACOG–a far more credible source–has defined such measures as plain-Jane birth control. If this measure goes into affect next month without challenge, millions of women across the nation could be denied access to simple birth control by the whims of people permitted to not do their jobs and still get paid.
To cut through the crap, I have penned this satirical letter from Washington to women. In my defense, I did it for the lulz:
As the arbitrators of all goodliness and godliness
and manliness, we feel fit to inform you what you are permitted to do with your reproductive organs, and what you may not. Because we know much more about uteri than trained medical professionals, we have established that birth control is now abortion. Thus, we would ask you, members of the inferior woman-species, to submit to our newest imperialization of your wombs. We would also like to warn you that violators will be strapped down, their uteri forcibly removed and kept in a tank for future use by the United States Federal Government.
Old White Dudes
It should be clear that in so long as there are Republicans in Washington, or Democrats willing to play “let’s make a deal” with your rights, Roe v. Wade–hell, even Griswold v. Connecticut–will slowly be chipped away until we have to show I.D. and acquire a license to buy condoms.
Luckily, some Democrats have sat up and taken notice. From Hillary Clinton:
The Bush Administration is up to its old tricks again, quietly putting ideology before science and women’s health. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is poised to put in place new barriers to accessing common forms of contraception like birth control pills, emergency contraception and IUDs by labeling them “abortion.” These proposed regulations set to be released next week will allow healthcare providers to refuse to provide contraception to women who need it. We can’t let them get away with this underhanded move to undermine women’s health and that’s why I am sounding the alarm.
These rules pose a serious threat to providers and uninsured and low-income Americans seeking care. They could prevent providers of federally-funded family planning services, like Medicaid and Title X, from guaranteeing their patients access to the full range of comprehensive family planning services. They’ll also build significant barriers to counseling, education, contraception and preventive health services for those who need it most: low-income and uninsured women and men.
The regulations could even invalidate state laws that currently ensure access to contraception for many Americans. In fact, they describe New York and California’s laws requiring prescription drug insurance plans to provide coverage for contraceptives as part of “the problem.” These rules would even interfere with New York State law that ensures survivors of sexual assault and rape receive emergency contraception in hospital emergency rooms.
That’s all nice and swell, but what did our
savior Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama have to say about one of the biggest threats to reproductive rights in the past decade?
That’s right, I haven’t heard one peep. This from the dude who avows that he’s committed to seeking party unity with disaffected Clinton voters. This from the dude who writes on his webpage:
Women have always made the difference in every election, and this year, your voice, your hope will be the deciding factors in forging a new future for America.
Dear Obama – seriously, don’t even fucking pretend that you’re speaking for me any more. Whilst you were gallivanting off at Saddleback “let’s court white religious voters” Ranch people like Senator Hillary Clinton were protecting my rights. Honestly, I can’t think of anything more relevant to women than abortion and birth control. If you’re going to sit idly by and make bullshit statements about how you don’t know when life begins and how it’s fan-fucking-tastic to let douchebag state legislators ban same-sex marriage, go fuck yourself.
I’m not going to be happy about choosing between McBush and Mr. “I Dunno When Life Begins” when my reproductive rights are on the line. I utterly refuse to watch the DNC and it’s fake call for “unity” behind The Compromiser this week, and I truly now think that Obama and his entire campaign–especially that racist Biden–can go to hell. Granted, McSame can go to a lower, hotter, circle of hell, but when Obama rides into Washington admist much fanfare, I’ll be that party-pooper in the back wondering about my goddamn rights.
In conclusion, birth control is not abortion. Medical professionals have established that little fact forty years ago. Also, the push towards denying women valuable access to contraceptives and medical procedures to impede full reproductive agency should not go unmarked. Yeah, and I’m not going to shut my mouth about it because I’m ruining party unity. If the most important figure in the party isn’t going to protect my rights, and instead court a bunch of evangelicals, the party and it’s “unity” can kiss my ass.
Economic and social indicators have shown that unrestricted access to birth control and abortion lower the births per capita and raise overall well-being. Nobel Economist Amartya Sen has, with considerable research, shown that increased agency for women, especially reproductive agency, is the single best way to reduce overall economic inequalities across an entire population.
There should be absolutely no question that increased access to birth control is not only a fundamental freedom, but something that should be lauded and fostered by societies as one of the single best ways to ensure that women, children, and even men, live full and prosperous lives.
Furthermore, this right to access birth control should obviously be much more important than the so-called “rights” of would-be health care providers to deny it on non-medical presumptions. If one is not willing to do their job, and by not doing it, seriously impedes the quality of life and fundamental freedoms of another, not only are they not guaranteed to keep their employment, I believe they are the ones themselves that should be questioned by the law for their discriminatory actions. No one benefits when women do not have access to even the most basic tools of reproductive agency. If the very people that should be the most aware of that fact continue to defend their “right” to deny someone else’s concrete and unalienable right to exercise their reproductive agency, it is they that the law and federal funding should be concerned with.
This blatant play to strengthen the perceived federal ownership of women’s bodies during the Summer Olympics and the DNC to minimize press is abhorrent. I, myself, have already written letters to my Congressmen (my Senators are Republicans, one is McSame himself, so I’m not obliged to send them anything as pleasant as a letter) urging them to stop letting a bunch of assholes walk all over the fundamental rights of half of the population.
No more. If measures such as these can go into affect with a Democratic majority in our Legislator while our Presidential Nominee remains silent, then it is obvious that not even Obama can, or is willing to, stand up for the reproductive agency of women if it does not appease his target audience. Whom, I have concluded, are not women at all, but those who would rather see our uteri floating in a guarded tank in D.C. than being used at the whims of their rightful owners.