Saturday, May 12, 2012

“Small Government” Conservatives and Women’s Bodies

I heard it said long ago that the difference between Liberals and Conservatives is that Liberals want to liberate people and control corporations while Conservatives want to liberate corporations and control people.
Like any broad statement, there are lots of exceptions on both sides.

But it does largely describe today’s Conservatives.

While insisting that (millionaires, billionaires, the top 1%, the Rich, those making over $250,000/year – pick your term) should not see their taxes go up in these economic times, while insisting that Corporate Tax rates are too high in a period of record corporate profits and a surging stock market while many very profitable Fortune 500 companies pay little or even no Corporate Income tax, these same Conservatives have decided that what they really need to be focused on is Women’s Reproductive Health.

While unemployment and budget deficits remaining frustratingly high, Conservatives across the nation, at both the Federal and State level have decided that what they really need to address is Contraception and Abortion and other issues of Women’s Reproductive health.

I have lost count of how many states have passed laws deliberately designed to make abortion, a procedure that is both safe and legal, as hard to get as possible.  You almost have to give them credit for a high degree of inventiveness in their cruelty.  They act like women do not already face an incredibly difficult choice of whether or not to terminate a pregnancy.  They act like women are just getting all these abortions on a whim without much thought or personal torment or regrets.  It’s like Conservatives think that women facing this choice do so happily and glibly.

I want people to read my blog so I won’t include my uncensored opinion of these Conservatives and their insistence on their right to force the government into the middle of this incredibly difficult choice.  Suffice it to say, I hold these Conservatives in the highest disdain.

So women who are already facing a choice that most of the realize will be life changing, that most of them realize will come with regrets either way, now have to run a gauntlet of new laws in order to be allowed control over their own bodies.

It started with waiting periods.  Some states passed laws that required women wait an arbitrary number of days between before they could get an appointment for the procedure.

Some states now require that a woman get counseling from a state approved (and anti-abortion) counseling organization.  In one state, that provision went into effect yet there were none of these counseling organizations licensed to do this counseling.

Many states have changed the laws regulating clinics that perform abortions to make their operations much more expensive.  There is no medical reason for the new laws, they just want to make it harder and harder for these clinics to operate.

Then some states started requiring the women get ultrasounds before being allowed control over their own bodies.  They had to look at the developing fetus or listen to its heart beat.  All designed to make an incredibly difficult decision even harder and more painful.  There is no medical reason for these test, and the women are required to pay for these tests themselves, raising another barrier to women controlling their bodies.

And now the latest outrage is laws in a number of states requiring that women have physically invasive procedures.  They are required to pay a doctor to stick a trans-vaginal ultrasound probe into their vagina though they are not actually required to look at the screen.


And it’s just one or two states, there are literally hundreds of these offensive laws being proposed in legislatures across the country and dozens of them are going into effect, all designed to make what is already a hard decision harder and more expensive and make it last longer.

And their next target is Contraception.  Senator Santorum, while running for President stated his personal opposition to Contraception.  Several states have proposed what are called Personhood Amendments that would attach the rights of personhood to the human embryo at the moment of conception.  This law would, among other things, have the effect of banning all hormonal contraception, the most widely used and most reliable form of contraception.

It will get worse unless we can throw these people out.

This is their idea of Small Government?

In these hard economic times, this is what Conservatives are focused on.  It’s as amazing as it is infuriating.

And it gets better.

Conservatives have now decided that Planned Parenthood is evil.

It started with a lie.

A lie told on the Floor of the United States Senate.

A Conservative Senator went on the Floor of the United States Senate and stated as if it was a fact, that abortions were 97% of what planned Parenthood does.  The real number is like 3%.  When confronted with this gross discrepancy, this Senator’s office issued a statement that what he said on the Floor of the United States Senate was, and I quote, “not intended to be a factual statement”.  Nice use of a thesaurus.  His office released a statement admitting that he LIED.

But now all of a sudden, Planned Parenthood was a target of these demented people.

90% of American women will make use of one Planned Parenthood service or another in their life time.  From Mammograms and other cancer screening, to contraceptive services to counseling, Planned Parenthood has been serving women in America but now these small government conservatives have decided that it’s evil and needs to be stopped.  Several states have stopped funding Planned Parenthood clinics.  They tried to get a federal funding ban and failed.  One conservative woman led the Susan Komen Foundation down this path and the foundation stopped its funding for Planned Parenthood.  I am happy to say that particular attack on Planned Parenthood failed.  In response to that move, many people made increased donations to Planned Parenthood, far more than the funding the Susan Koman Foundation was taking away, and money stopped flowing into the Susan Komen foundation and donors took their money elsewhere.

Some other these (unprintable) people have even decided that the Girl Scouts are evil because of their supposed link to Planned Parenthood and Girl Scout organizations around the world.

And this is their idea of small government.


Bill said...

What you define isn't what I call Conservatism. It seems to me that the principles of Conservatism are lost in the American landscape. The Republicans and Tea Partiers are NOT conservatives. They are religious zealots, narrow minded bigots, and seem focused only on single issues. I tend to believe that the strong defense posture of conservatives against the communist bloc got lost when the Berlin Wall fell. That zealotry got redirected into single issues with no ideology. Conservatism, to me, is about strong local governments. Our greatest strength should be with the people who touch our lives every day. Water, distribution, refuse collection, public health officials, roads, schools, libraries. Conservatism is also about individual liberties and responsibility. It's about strong education and working to become productive, responsible citizens. Republicans lost that. I told you about my encounter yesterday with a Romney soccer mom. The bile from her was shocking. She insulted everything from my intelligence to Barack Obama's race. A young lady at the coffee shop I go to told me that a customer told her she was going to hell because she had an Obama button on. This isn't conservatism. This is intolerable bigotry and hatred. It has to end!

Uncle Walt said...

Which gets back to the statement I made on a different post. I used to be able to respect Conservatives/Republicans while I disagreed with them.
Now there is nothing in what they are doing that is worthy of respect.