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:

Dear women,

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.

Sincerely,
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?

Nothing.

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.

Bullshit.

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.

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Posted on August 27, 2008, in Abortion, Feminism, Fuck America, Legal Illegalities, Liberal Dudez, Politics, The Federal Womb, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. radfempornbasher

    Currently pregnant.

    Still 100% pro-choice!

  2. The possible implications of this legislation are terrifying to any het women of child-bearing age, but I have seen precious little written about it or broadcast about it. It’s the beginning of the big clamp-down on birthcontrol, but as long as Americans have our bread and circuses (the latter including TV and porn) only the radfems are talking about it!

  3. Hey! Someone on IBTP has provided a link to go complain to HHS about this:

    https://secure.aclu.org/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&id=999&page=UserAction

  4. theladyisequal

    We in my family have enough troubles getting our medication without running around from pharmacy to pharmacy trying to find a pharmacist who is human enough to serve me without regard to his/her religious beliefs…..and what’s next, a vegetarian waiter refusing to serve red meat? A movie ticket seller being allowed to refuse me an R-rated ticket? A shoe store salesman refusing to sell leather shoes?…teachers refusing to teach children from families who have used birth control?…where does this end?….of course, it’s generally us WOMEN who have to deal with birth control and abortions……

    It’s scary that the fundamentalist ‘Right’ are bit by bit obtaining more rights than the rest of us. (Back to mentioning Saddleback Ranch) Obama said he was for “religious tolerance” throughout the US. My mom said to me, “Notice how the audience didn’t applaud for that?”

    Oh and btw thank-you for acknowledging that Biden is a racist. I thought I was the only liberal who thought that.

  5. .and what’s next, a vegetarian waiter refusing to serve red meat?

    Actually…

    From what I’ve read already, that’s an acceptable situation. There have been servers who don’t want to serve meat, and someone else will bring the food out. There have also been checkout clerks who don’t want to ring up meat products at a grocer, and they’ve been allowed to step aside for someone else to do it.

  6. radfempornbasher

    Sure, but they aren’t exactly professionals in their field. A pharmacist wants to refuse to do the job- the profession they studied for? Out with them. They had time and opportunity to understand that their profession requires them to fill prescriptions. A waiter or clerk, eh? Minor inconvenience. Having to deal with a pharmacist basically giving a lecture to a woman? Get the idiot out!

  7. @Levelbest – I’ve seen some of the more “mainstream” feminists talk about it, although I was ashamed that I was the only one in an almost fifty-member campus feminist organization to know what was going on. Anything regarding women is just not cool and hip, ya know. Only men talk about politics, only men are effected by politics, and only issues that affect men are relevant.

    @theladyisequal – not to mention that within a day of getting the nomination for VP, Biden makes a quip about how attractive his wife is, if you ignore the PhD. Democrat, yes. Ally? No.

    @D – a couple of reasons why your meat and waiter analogy is mostly irrelevant (as most metaphors are, when it comes down to it):
    a. There is no right to eat meat, there is a right to reproductive agency
    b. The denial of meat results in little reduction to one’s living conditions. Denial of birth control, or the necessity of driving longer or getting a babysitter to get it, does.
    c. Another waiter can serve the meat. If a pharmacist will not fill a birth control prescription, many times there is not another pharmacist on site
    d. Waiters are not food experts. Pharmacists and doctors are, supposedly, medical experts
    e. Requiring one to eat and touch and facilitate the consumption of meat does violate ones religious freedom (meat is explicitly banned in a few religions). Requiring one to sell birth control is not violating ones religious freedom (birth control is not banned explicitly if you yourself are not using it by any religion I know of).
    f. Not all restaurants are expected to sell meat. All pharmacies and other medical facilitates are expected to aid patients to the best of their ability
    g. Whatever discrimination happens in a restaurant is not funded by my tax dollars. Protecting discrimination against those who seek reproductive agency is paid for by my tax dollars. Hospitals and doctors take money from the government, whereas restaurants do not.

  8. First, it was someone else’s analogy. I just pointed out that in fact, people CAN refuse to do what they were suggesting.

    a. There is no right to eat meat, there is a right to reproductive agency

    Well, technically, there’s not a right to either. I don’t see either one specifically outlined in the bill of rights. If you fit reproductive choice under the right to privacy, then you’d have to include the right to eat meat.

    The denial of meat results in little reduction to one’s living conditions. Denial of birth control, or the necessity of driving longer or getting a babysitter to get it, does.

    The denial of meat does change one’s living condition. Not having the nutrients required to stay alive, I’d think, would put a large damper on my lifestyle.

    Moving on, to not have birth control means one needs to use condoms, or refrain from sex. Which is more harmful to your life? Lack of nutritious food, or lack of sex?

    Another waiter can serve the meat. If a pharmacist will not fill a birth control prescription, many times there is not another pharmacist on site

    Most large pharmacies have more than one. Walmart, etcetera.

    Waiters are not food experts. Pharmacists and doctors are, supposedly, medical experts

    Doctors, yes. Pharmacists, no. One prescribes the medicine you need, the other just dispenses it.

    Requiring one to eat and touch and facilitate the consumption of meat does violate ones religious freedom (meat is explicitly banned in a few religions). Requiring one to sell birth control is not violating ones religious freedom (birth control is not banned explicitly if you yourself are not using it by any religion I know of).

    One could easily say “Other people eating meat isn’t against your religion, just YOU eating or touching it”. It’s a slippery slope, and one of the founding principles of the nation was the freedom to practice, or not practice, whatever religion you choose, free from discrimination. (Though, if you ask me, everyone still hates atheists. I’m not nearly as discrimination-free as I’d enjoy on that front.)

    Whatever discrimination happens in a restaurant is not funded by my tax dollars. Protecting discrimination against those who seek reproductive agency is paid for by my tax dollars. Hospitals and doctors take money from the government, whereas restaurants do not.

    A pharmacist is paid by the pharmacy they work for. The doctor isn’t responsible for you filling the Rx, just responsible for giving it to you.

  9. If you fit reproductive choice under the right to privacy, then you’d have to include the right to eat meat.

    How so? If there are dozens of substances just as satisfying as meat, why should it be protected? I have provided, above, dozens of factual reasons why full reproductive agency is necessary for a just quality of life. Furthermore, the acquisition of meat is not control of one’s body in the obvious sense that regulating one’s reproductive functions is. Surely you do not mean to argue that.

    Not having the nutrients required to stay alive, I’d think, would put a large damper on my lifestyle.

    How so? Can you not get other foods, some other meats, elsewhere? If your lifestyle necessitates meat, but mine doesn’t, does that mean I am failing to exercise my rights? It cannot be a fundamental right to eat meat, because if I don’t (once, twice, or ever) I can live a happy and productive life as any meat-eater. Whereas, surely you do not wish to argue that a woman who is denied birth control and abortions when she requests them suffers no fundamentally unjust reduction of her rights, living conditions, and health.

    Moving on, to not have birth control means one needs to use condoms, or refrain from sex.

    How about women who are allergic to latex? How about women that need birth control to regulate their menses (such as those who have serious medical conditions)? If you seriously wish to argue that asking people not to have sex is more productive than access to birth control and free information, you’d find more sympathy in Washington than here.

    Most large pharmacies have more than one. Walmart, etcetera.

    Read the quote from Clinton above. Women in rural areas would be even more at risk than they already are.

    It’s a slippery slope, and one of the founding principles of the nation was the freedom to practice, or not practice, whatever religion you choose, free from discrimination.

    The right of each individual to control their reproductive facilities is many times more evident than the “rights” of one to label abusive and discriminatory behavior “religion” in order to excuse it. Religious cannibals are not allowed, surely, in any just society to kill and eat because their “religious rights” are protected. Where one’s religious rights are interpreted to be enforcing one’s opinion upon those other than oneself, especially if that enforcement of opinion results in very real reductions of fundamental rights, is where those “religious rights” cease.

    A pharmacist is paid by the pharmacy they work for. The doctor isn’t responsible for you filling the Rx, just responsible for giving it to you.

    Read my post. The point of the new funding requirement is that it only applies to those medical facilities that receive federal aid. I have not said anything here about private medical facilities.

  10. How so? If there are dozens of substances just as satisfying as meat, why should it be protected?

    Well, there are alternatives to BC, too. Just as one can say “You can just eat something else”, it could be countered with “You can just skip sex unless you want to reproduce”. Neither is strictly necessary, as far as staying alive goes.

    (Though, the nutritional content of meat does make it pretty helpful in that whole staying alive thing. Vegans might be able to fill their stomach with nothing but plant matter, but they still have to turn around and take vitamin supplements to make up for what they’re lacking.)

    Just saying, if one is a protected right because of your privacy, so is the other.

    Whereas, surely you do not wish to argue that a woman who is denied birth control and abortions when she requests them suffers no fundamentally unjust reduction of her rights, living conditions, and health.

    Not having BC means you might have to use condoms, or skip sex. I fail to see how that’s fundamentally unjust, or detrimental to someone’s health. Sex is not necessary for a physically healthy body. Food is.

    If you seriously wish to argue that asking people not to have sex is more productive than access to birth control and free information, you’d find more sympathy in Washington than here.

    It’s more a devil’s advocate situation. The point was, food is still more essential to life than birth control.

    If they need it to control their menses, obviously, that’s a different situation. Just like people can be prescribed otherwise illegal or controlled drugs, etcetera.

    Read the quote from Clinton above. Women in rural areas would be even more at risk than they already are.

    Walmart is everywhere.

    Religious cannibals are not allowed, surely, in any just society to kill and eat because their “religious rights” are protected.

    Killing and eating another human being is a little worse than stepping aside rather than dispense a prescription.

    Besides which, it’s because there are no legally recognized cannibalistic religions in this country.

  11. Neither is strictly necessary, as far as staying alive goes.

    Where were you for all the studies that showed that abstinence does nothing? Of course, there is that little matter of ancient history in which people forgo eating meat for millennia (try most of India or any other Buddhist or Hindu populated area), and somehow, they are fine. I’m getting tired of re-stating my points.

    Sex is not necessary for a physically healthy body. Food is.

    Meat is not all food. Abstinence doesn’t work. End of story.

    It’s more a devil’s advocate situation.

    Then why the hell are you advancing it? Obvious the “devil’s argument” in this case is full of crap. I’m not going to continue to refute an illogical argument by restating my same points several times if you don’t even believe it either. What an exercise in absurdity.

    Walmart is everywhere.

    The nearest Walmart/Walgreens chain-store pharmacy to where my father lives, a town of 200 people, is thirty minutes away. The next one after that is about two hours away. That still doesn’t refute the point that if Walmart/Walgreens receives federal aid, then it can’t not hire people that refuse to do their jobs. Also, I don’t know which super-powered pharmacy you go to, because I live in the fifth largest city in the continential United States and I can definitively say that there is never more than one pharmacist on the premises unless it’s a hospital, and sometimes, not even then.

    Killing and eating another human being is a little worse than stepping aside rather than dispense a prescription.

    You’re entirely missing the point. Reproductive agency is a fundamental right. Denying that right via federal funding is unjust.

  12. Where were you for all the studies that showed that abstinence does nothing?

    No, abstinence-only education does nothing. Being abstinent however, doesn’t harm you, or create any societal problems.

    Of course, there is that little matter of ancient history in which people forgo eating meat for millennia (try most of India or any other Buddhist or Hindu populated area), and somehow, they are fine. I’m getting tired of re-stating my points.

    Hindus can drink milk. An animal product, which contains significant amounts of protein, which, funny thing, is what I require from meat.

    Meat is not all food. Abstinence doesn’t work. End of story.

    I require the proteins of meat. What do you mean, it “doesn’t work”? I don’t have sex. Works fine for me. Again, are you thinking of abstinence only education? Still doesn’t change the fact that orgasms are not essential for continued respiration.

    The nearest Walmart/Walgreens chain-store pharmacy to where my father lives, a town of 200 people, is thirty minutes away.

    30 minutes isn’t that far, and I don’t believe your father requires birth control.

    Also, as time goes on, Walmart opens more, and more, and more stores. I can reach no less than seven different Walmarts, without traveling more than 30 minutes in any direction.

    Also, I don’t know which super-powered pharmacy you go to, because I live in the fifth largest city in the continential United States and I can definitively say that there is never more than one pharmacist on the premises unless it’s a hospital, and sometimes, not even then.

    I don’t go to ANY pharmacies, as I don’t believe in taking 99% of most medications. That said, the nearest one where I occasionally have errands, never has less than 2 on staff at any given time. And it’s just a small Kerr Drug.

    You’re entirely missing the point. Reproductive agency is a fundamental right. Denying that right via federal funding is unjust.

    Again, we come back to the meat thing. Is it listed in the bill of rights?

    I don’t like that federal funding went to the sexist VAWA. (Even the ACLU is with me on that one, unless they’ve significantly changed it to include text for male victims of violence, as they are the primary victims of 70% of violent crime) Sometimes, money goes to stuff you don’t like. It doesn’t mean what you need or want is illegal, or that someone is stopping you from obtaining it, period.

  13. @ D – I tire of this fruitless debate. I feel that my points are not being addressed, or being mischaracterized for the goal of winning rather than the goal of understanding.

  14. D – I tire of this fruitless debate. I feel that my points are not being addressed, or being mischaracterized for the goal of winning rather than the goal of understanding.

    It’s not that.

    It’s that I do my best learning WHILE arguing.

    I dunno. I can’t help that I like arguing. It stimulates my mind.

    I can’t help that you’re the sort of person that I like to argue with.

    I had friends like you, some years ago. We could sit up for 12 straight hours doing this sort of thing.

  15. We’re going back and forth on inconsequential points about Walmarts and Hinduism. Neither of which have anything, really, do to with my original statements.

  16. I know that.

    Debate and conversation does evolve and flow, you know?

    You can’t force it on rails. It gets too boring. Once you’ve exhausted a great deal of it on one point, you let it evolve and debate those newer points.

    I can’t help it, like I said. I enjoy arguing.

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