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I'm a Minnesota Girl, living in the south. I tell my friends I try not to talk and think like a Yankee, but sometimes I slip up!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Smoking Crack AND Drinking the Kool-Aid


I wrote this post a few weeks back and wondered if I was too impassioned by what I consider to be a legitimate "War on Women".... and then this week the House of Representatives took a totally ugly position on Violence Against Women.  Another move that must have been inspired by crack and kool-aid.   It rekindled my fighting spirit.  See the next post on VAWA.  

Ok. So there are many state legislatures (Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Mississippi, Indiana, Virginia, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania) who have considered and passed laws in the last 18 months that sew up any possibility of ever getting an abortion within their bounds, forcing women to undergo unnecessary ultrasound procedures, and flirting with the concept of "personhood", which means, frankly, that a person exists at the moment of egg fertilization....thereby raising all kinds of potential problems for their populations. (Need to take birth control in an oral hormone variety? It may be for birth control or to regulate heavy mensturation. I used the pill for 17 years. 7 of those were for actual birth control.... It may not be legal with personhood because the medication takes apart a fertilized egg in its earliest stages.... Go horseback riding in the early stages of pregnancy and then miscarry? Be careful. You may be charged with endangering a "person" by pursuing your pastime.) Ridiculous? Of course it is.

Since the 30's the Catholic church has pursued a course of action that imposed religion on a married couple's desire to have children. They advocated the "rhythm method"... a way to count days on the calendar to reduce your chance of conceiving without the use of any device or medication -- procreation being God's will.  The large number of children in many Catholic families in the 50's and 60's was a testament to the people following the Church's teachings... and the unreliability of rhythm.   In 1965, a poll of Catholics revealed that 61% of them thought the church would reverse its position on birth control. Indeed, it seemed it might be so. However, the modern Catholic church anchored its position during Vatican II, when Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae . In the years that followed, polls found that American Catholic women were using the pill in 66% of circumstances... 75% for those under 30. You hear now that 98% of Catholic women have used birth control; in truth, that number is a little high, but the real usage exceeds 90%. So what does it mean? It began decades where the American Catholic church began a long retreat from Rome.... divorce prohibition was high on the list, as well. And now the American Catholic church has a dearth of priests; not only because of the past pedophile scandals but also because standing up for these dictums is unrealistic in today's modern world.  In 1987, deaf to what was happening to their rules made by men, and not by God, the church entrenched by announcing it was opposed to in vitro fertilization.. on the grounds that it is harmful to embryos.  

What do today's state legislatures in many of the states (and notably, the distinguished gentlemen, Governor McDonnell, Governor Brownback, Governor Perry, and the delightful woman governor, Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma) have in common with the church? For the most part, the executive hierarchies in state governments and the hierarchy of the Catholic church are made up of primarily men. And somehow, these men believe it is their destiny to cast the law, make the rules, on what women have achieved in terms of their control over their own bodies and plans to give birth ... fought for over the last 50 years... in this year's legislation.

They are smoking crack.

They are made more delusional by the Republican candidates for President who  ALL backed personhood legislation in this election cycle and support measures like the Blunt amendment, which would allow EMPLOYERS to decide if their health plans would cover...procedures that the company was MORALLY opposed to.  This not only would mean employers could outlaw birth control medication in their health plans, but could take a stand on any prescription drug or medically necessary (as deemed by the patient's physician and agreed upon by the insuror) medical procedure they didn't like.  Somehow, I don't think Employers will be allowed to determine that a man cannot have a vasectomy.  Somehow, I think people will cry "foul" if an employer decides it won't pay for a child's operation to have tubes inserted in their middle ears, because the employer believes the procedure can be "over prescribed" in children.  

And then there are our Federal legislators, who aren't really passing laws to limit choice and to intrude in the doctor/patient relationship (actually, they're not doing much of anything to pass any laws at all)...they are just doing political posturing because they think that the issue of religious freedom (it is religious freedom for a Catholic University to deny birth control for its Protestant, Hindu and Islamic women employees) will outway the bedrock it is laid upon.... the dialogue of limiting access to birth control. They SAY it is not about birth control, but about religious freedom. But they are losing the communications battle, because this matter has been outlawed in many of the states, by Governors like Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. It was never an issue then. It is only an issue because Obama directed the matter at the Federal level.

And, they have underestimated the groundswell of opinion of modern women. Call it what you will, call it religious freedom, call it birth control..... just get the hell out of our vaginal cavities and go win a damn war or anchor a wave of infrastructure rebuilding or jobs production.

They are drinking the Kool Aid.

There have been some cultural wars in America. Republican administrations need to heed the groundswell of sentiment among American women. Before it is too late. They need to put these types of legislation away, and focus on some of their other agendas... like limiting access to the voting booth and trimming the rolls of union labor. I am still an independent voter.  But what the party has become since 2010 is scary.  They need to dial it back.  Or they will doom the party.


Serena said...

Scary! The only explanation is that they really are zoned out on the crack and the Kool Aid.

raven said...

An excellent and deeply heartfelt post. I have created an account
with and signed the petition. Raven