Posts Tagged pro life

Deserving Better

deserve abortion

Actually, women deserve better than to have their agency and right to bodily autonomy undermined.

They deserve better than to be treated like incubators for fetuses. 

They deserve better than seeing their lives valued less than the lives of the fetuses they carry.

They deserve better than having to stand by and watch when others seek to legislate control of their body without their consent.

They deserve better than having to let others make decisions about their body without their consent.

They deserve better than being constantly subjected to hostility of both their autonomy, consent and personhood. 

They deserve to have a choice and a say over what do with their bodies, and by extension, with their lives.

Women having control over their reproduction is one of the most important factors in their empowerment because not having control over ones body, reproduction and ultimately life is inherently dehumanizing as well as hostile to agency.

Women who do not have control over their bodies and reproduction are more subjugated, they are poorer and overall more disadvantaged economically; they are nothing but disempowered puppets in the societies they live in. They are breeding machines, a means to an end;  second class citizens and human beings.

Not having access to safe abortions harms women as they will then have to turn to backdoor alley procedures and abortion pills from across the border to have a procedure performed to which they have every right.

I fail to understand how undermining safe access to abortion can be considered a thing that makes one pro-life.

Having control over one’s body is a right and has nothing to do with deserving unless one considers human beings having their agency and autonomy respected and upheld as something we all deserve.

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The United States Is Bringing Back Metal Coat Hangers and Back-Door Alley Abortions

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This week, Republican Mississippi State Senator Angela Burks Hill said that Mississippi State Legislature’s passage of a 20-week abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest was “not about a woman’s body. This is about the life of an unborn 20-week-old baby.”

Earlier this year, Republican Virginia State Senator Steve Martin defended his anti-abortion views in a Facebook rant by stating that he does not “expect to be in the room or will do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive. However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.” 

This is not about a woman’s body. 

The child’s host. (As if a woman who is carrying this fetus was harboring a parasite)

This pretty much sums up the Republican/Conservative’s view on not only the whole issue of abortion but on women in general. It is not about our bodies and we are just incubators to grow babies in.

originalI cannot imagine anyone viewing the demeaning, dehumanizing  and disgusting manner in which women are referred to and treated like as anything but hatred for women. Hatred and misogyny masked under the auspices of right-to-life.

Republicans don’t even try to hide their bigotry anymore,. On the contrary, they are carrying it like a badge of honor.

And as much as some of them insist that it is about preserving life and sanctity of life blah blah blah, it is painfully obvious that it is actually about control and subjugation of women by reducing them to nothing but incubators, vessels in which fetuses are to be grown while the body of the woman host is state property.

The tragic irony here is that the same person that refers to women as mere hosts could not give an infinitesimal fuck what happens to that parasite child the “host” harbors after it is born as evidenced by callous Republican policies that assume that most human beings are irrelevant and such things as not being entitled to food.

You cannot even make this shit up. If i had not seen it with my own eyes, I would never have believed that a lawmaker in this country would actually, seriously refer to women as nothing but hosts to incubate a baby.

And then they call the Taliban fundamentalist and backwards.

This is the shit we are served in the 21st century and four decades after the Supreme Court upheld a woman’s right to choose, namely a man referring to a woman as nothing but a vessel to hold a fetus. That is why pregnant women once again find themselves crossing the border to Mexico and haunting back-alleys in search of medical care.

More abortion restrictions have been enacted from 2011-2013 than in the entire previous decade

abortion restrictionForty-five percent of the abortion restrictions enacted over the last three years fall into four categories: targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP), limitations on insurance coverage of abortionbans on abortions at 20 weeks postfertilization (the equivalent of 22 weeks after a woman’s last menstrual period) and limitations on medication abortion. States enacted 93 measures in these four categories from 2011 through 2013, compared with 22 during the previous decade.

Texass is a particularly big offender. In 2011, the state had 44 abortion clinics, but more than half of them have since shut down due to new anti-abortion laws. In September, when a state law requiring all abortions to take place in ambulatory surgical centers goes into effect, reproductive rights advocates expect 14 more clinics will have to close, leaving only six facilities to serve the nearly 75,000 women who seek abortions in Texas each year.

The poorest area of Texas, the Rio Grande Valley near the Mexican border, has no remaining abortion clinics. Women who live there have to drive roughly 240 miles to San Antonio for the nearest clinic, but many of them are Mexican immigrants with restrictions on their work visas that prevent them from traveling that far.

In addition, the state has slashed funding for family planning, forcing 76 clinics that offer birth control and other reproductive health services, but do not perform abortions, to shut down.

Every time I perform an abortion, I have to offer the woman the ability to see or hear the heartbeat of her ‘unborn human individual,’ which is what the law states it must be called,” Dr. Kate Davis, whose work in Ohio forces her to navigate several incredibly restrictive anti-abortion laws, told ThinkProgress. “I need to tell her the probability of this pregnancy going to term if she chooses to continue the pregnancy and doesn’t have the abortion. I need to do this both verbally and in writing. From my medical point of view, this is totally unnecessary. But I’m doing it so I don’t get fined, or charged with a misdemeanor or, heaven forbid, a felony.”

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Dan Grossman, vice president of research for Ibis Reproductive Health, an international nonprofit, who is part of a research team that is currently studying the effects of the new abortion laws and family planning cuts in Texas, said he is already witnessing the consequences of the new restrictions.

It seems like [women] are becoming more desperate to find an option,” he said. “We’ve heard reports of women taking herbs or other substances, or intentionally getting punched in the stomach or beaten up — the same kinds of things they did before abortion was legal.”

Anti Abortion Harassment

Over the past few years, abortion opponents have been working around the clock to make it too difficult for doctors to provide abortion care by enacting dozens of complicated state-level restrictions that dictate how these services may be performed. Once state legislatures pass tighter restrictions, anti-choice activists can start filing complaints alleging clinics are breaking the new law and endangering their patients. Sometimes they’ll conduct undercover “stings” — posing as a minor trying to get an abortion without telling her parents, or pretending to be a woman forced to have an abortion against her will — in an attempt to catch the clinic staff making a wrong move.

Ultimately, they’re hoping to trigger the state’s agencies to step in and conduct surprise inspections, which, in turn, are expensive and time-consuming for clinic staff who have to spend a substantial amount of their time and efforts refuting these false claims.

In Texass, new state law is forcing dozens of abortion providers out of work because they can’t comply with a regulation that requires them to obtain admitting privileges, which is essentially a superfluous partnership with a local hospital. It’s hard enough to get these admitting privileges as it is, and many doctors are unsuccessful. But becoming a target of local anti-choice groups can make it even worse. That can lead certain hospitals to refuse to work with you.

In Ohio, another state with some of the harshest abortion laws on the books, Dr. Kate Davis is similarly wary to elevate her profile. She decided not to publicly identify herself because Ohio Right To Life, the most prominent anti-abortion group in her state, already knows who she is. Her name is on their website; they send letters to her home. “They’re praying for me. I get Christmas cards. Stuff like that,” she said.

Dr. Davis is well aware of the vast ripple effects of being targeted by the country’s network of anti-choice groups. Protesters will often try to get abortion doctors evicted from their clinics, either by pressuring their landlords or by lobbying to rezone the local area. They’ll implore other medical professionals to refuse to work with the doctors who provide abortion care. And they’ll direct their attention to the hospitals where abortion doctors work, flooding the institutions with phone calls and letters. Davis doesn’t want to invite those type of “shenanigans,” as she calls them.

They can do whatever they want to do to me. But I don’t want other people who didn’t choose to do this work to have to deal with this,” Davis said.

Over the last 30 or 40 years since Roe, the different ways that abortion opponents attack safe abortion care have really changed over time,” Amy Hagstrom Miller, the founder and CEO of Texas’ largest independent abortion provider, Whole Woman’s Health, told ThinkProgress. “In the 1980s and 1990s, there were a lot of clinic blockades and bombings. Then they started specifically targeting physicians — there were a lot of murders. Now, you’ve seen a change in the approach. We have this new front of anti-abortion harassment through the legislature and through the court system.”

Anti-abortion activism, which really is a war on agency, has become a truly systemic endeavor. It is no longer just a few outliers picketing abortion clinics. The new movement has been working hard to systematically eradicate access to safe abortions for women in this country.

Legislation enacting abortion bans, restrictions on abortion providers, limitations on the provisions of medication and restrictions on coverage for abortion in private health plans accounted for 56% of all restrictions enacted in 2013 alone.

States also adopted a wide range of other major abortion restrictions in 2013, including those on parental involvementpublic funding for abortionwaiting periods and counseling, and ultrasound

Targeting state legislators to pass ever more stringent laws curbing access to safe abortions is just the beginning. To further complicate matters, there is also a growing lack of available doctors.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has warned that “the availability of abortion services is in jeopardy” because only about 14 percent of doctors actually know how to perform one.

Many doctors don’t learn enough about abortion care while they’re in medical school — a 2009 study found that athird of medical schools don’t talk about elective abortion at all during the first two pre-clinical years. And as an increasing number of abortion clinics are being forced to close, and as hospitals have eliminated abortion from the services they provide, students in residency are losing out on opportunities to train. For instance, the doctors training in one of the 600 Catholic-affiliated hospitals across the country are barred from doing abortions. Even if new doctors do enter the field with the knowledge and the desire to practice abortion care, it’s often difficult for them to find a jobthat allows them to do that work.

It is important to realize that abortion restrictions that gnaw away at a woman’s access to safe abortions will not result in less unwanted pregnancies. In fact, unwanted pregnancies will still be ended. However, now that legal venues have been, and continue to be slashed away, many women just have to, literally, go seek backdoor-alley abortions that are not safe and which will result in illness or death. In other words, all this so-called pro-life movement does is grossly endanger the lives of women and they do so because hey, after all, she is merely the host.

That the anti-abortion movement calls itself pro-life would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic and just right-out callously untrue.

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Pro-Life

People who are against abortion usually label themselves as pro-lifers or “pro-life”. Pro-lifers, in turn, are almost always Conservatives who vote for politicians and policies that favor and help wealthy entities so they can enrich themselves at the backs of the poor and middle class wage earners, while having manipulated their voter base, that mostly consists of poor and middle class wage earners, to subscribe to bullshit bootstraps narratives and other associated Gordon Gecko prosperity dribble.

The real problem arises because Conservatives categorically vote against social safety net programs that lend a helping hand to people who cannot afford to properly provide for, oh, I don’t know, the children they were just forced to have.

A social safety net program may include anything from minimum wage laws, union representation to welfare checks. Pro-lifers are categorically opposed to a host of social safety net programs aimed at keeping the middle class strong and prosperous, instead of weakened and exploited.

 The pro-life advocates are the same people who vote against unions – which are in place to protect workers against exploitative employers; they are the same people who vote for giving the wealthy and corporations tax breaks they do not need at the expense of the middle class, which then will have to pick up their slack; these are the same people who vote against proper safety standards on the job and unemployment/disability benefits; they are the people who vote against increasing the minimum wage and providing everyone with affordable, proper access to health care regardless of their employment status. These are the people who think people aren’t entitled to food!!

The thing is, when you, for example, vote against unions, fair wages and benefits and thus take away a person’s ability to protect themselves against their employer, or when you subscribe to the notion that people aren’t entitled to food, then not only are you not “pro-life”, but you render people vulnerable to a host of exploits and abuses by their employers, thus ultimately leaving them unable to properly provide for themselves and their families, including the baby you just forced them to have.

When you do not have protection on the job and become subject to a host of exploitative tactics by your employer. without any avenues of recourse available to you to protect against such exploitation, you slide down and eventually end up needing assistance too.

Note how these things are interconnected: when you vote against unions, fair wages, overtime laws and so forth, you help create more poverty, which then results in people having to rely on welfare programs that you voted against as well.

Despite these realities, one will, however, be hard pressed to find a so-called pro-lifer who would vote for social safety-net programs such as unions.

What they do want to do is be able to shame and coerce a woman into giving birth to a child she does not want to have, under the guise of love, god and reverence for life. After having shamed and coerced said woman to give birth to a child she does not want to have/cannot afford, they then refuse to vote for policies that would allow that woman to properly provide for said child.

That anti-abortionists would call themselves pro-life is both ironic and deeply hypocritical because their position is anything but pro-life as they merely want a child to be born, but not fed, or educated, or clothed, or housed, because doing so would require prioritizing and funding social-safety net programs instead of defunding and de-prioritizing them to subsidize corporations, the wealthy, banks and oil companies – thus effectively siphoning and redistributing wealth from the bottom to the top under the guise of The American Dream, hard work and other such prosperity gospels.

To be clear, wanting a child to be born but then not giving a damn what happens to it once it is out of the womb is unequivocally not pro-life but, it is, in fact, hostile to life. Theirs is a position that is pro-birth and there is a chasm of a difference.

We need to really think about, and ask ourselves, what the morality of the pro-life position is and who  in this debate really has the welfare of people in mind; who the entity is that respects agency  –  which is related to acknowledging  a person’s (in this case a woman’s) consent, boundaries, and autonomy – and which entity does not,  thus resulting  in women being dehumanized by being repeatedly robbed off their ability to consent and set boundaries and maintain autonomy over their own bodies, including their reproduction and family planning.

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Food Stamps in the Way of Republican Plans to Increase Entitlements for Military

Paul Ryan’s plan for helping the poor is to cut programs for the poor.

Now this is the kind of logic and policy advise Mary Antoinette and Louis XIV could have used to prevent having their heads chopped off: in order to help the poor suffering from lack of opportunity and destitution, keep cutting programs aimed at helping them out of poverty. Now why didn’t they think of that back in 1789 when people were starving and instead said something intelligent like “let them eat cake.” This is much more effective. And smarter.

See folks, being poor is a pleasure and choice many people consciously and willingly make. As we all know, there is nothing more fun than being poor and struggling to make it and being at the mercy of anyone without much choice or autonomy. And yeah, nothing beats that $200 a month in food stamps, which means something like a whopping $7.21 a day for food. Now that is what I call taking advantage of the system. Those food stamp recipients are getting away with highway robbery. After all, there ain’t nothing better than sitting on your ass getting those great food stamps sent to you so you don’t starve.

And as we all also know, welfare recipients in a country with a practically non existent safety net already have it so good: they get to send their kids to top notch schools on tax payer dollars, they live in the best residences in the best neighborhoods in this country, also funded by tax dollars, they have the best health due to the immense and affordable health care resources at their disposal and let’s not even mention those food stamps they use to eat and not starve.

Since they do so much better than anyone else could ever imagine, we have to put a stop to that; we have to put a stop to these people living in the lap of luxury wanting food, health care and jobs. We need to do such things so we can give more tax cuts to people making $250k or more a year and millionaires, since clearly they need the money while these poor mooches don’t. They worked for it remember, while most people don’t work for it.

So what you live in a poor neighborhood and go to a shitty, underfunded poor public school with 100% racial minorities and metal detectors at the door; you can totally move upward if you put your mind to it. This is America.

You are hungry from not having enough money to pay for your food at the school cafeteria? Go ask daddy to dip into your trust fund and help you out (by the way you should remember this for when you get into that Ivy league school with those amazing grades you totally had the chance of getting in a school falling apart at the seams and metal detectors at the door – if you can’t pay for it, just ask your parents, silly). This is America.

The thing is, our military needs more money and we need to take that money off the back of those pesky food stamp recipients referenced above.  It is not enough that we have a military spending that is greater than that of the next ten nations combined. We need more.

Think of all the defense contracts we will get to issue to places like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon  – corporations that pay little to no taxes while posting record profits – to build more weapons and ships we don’t need, but which we can sell to other nations so they keep killing people we do not approve of.  Or heck even to people we do not know anything about. Business is business and war is great for business. Food stamps aren’t. Why spend money feeding the poor and children or any human beings for that matter if we could spend that money to wage wars and take lives? Don’t you know what America stands for? We are a peace loving nation.

You have to understand that the Republican efforts to slash the food stamp program is based upon the conservative belief that low paid soldiers will fight harder for their starving families.

Poor defense contractors not being able to make the payments on their yachts or refurnish their second dream homes on the private islands that they own, on the other hand, is the real tragedy here. It is a real shame to ask the rich to be responsible enough to provide food for the starving among us. We really would not want the rich to suffer because they deserve so much.

So what you have become ill and had to stop working, have no insurance because no one will insure you for any amount and lost everything – going from a $60,000 a year income to something like maybe $14,000 a year and now have to feed yourself on less than $200 a month in food stamps. So what you walk into the grocery store and eat a mostly non-meat diet since meat is so expensive for someone who has a less than $200 budget for food every month and become anemic. And so what the $14,000 you do make are considered “too much income” for all those cozy benefits they want to slash becasue “lazy” people do not know how to be responsbile and starve to death with dignity.

Go beg rich people to help out and be at their mercy for a loaf of bread, access to health care and a roof above your head. We do not need to have compassion and a safety net for our hard working fellow Americans in need of those benefits becasue of the policy decisions the likes of Ryan and Romney push for.

In addition to waging wars against a number of nations on our hit list of nations we do not approve of, it is especially fun to wage wars against decency, women, reason, Hispanics, blacks, freedom, gays, democracy, students and the 99%. Paul Ryan is a true Christian and human being in that regard.

Remember, we cannot place any burden on the wealthy. Sure their causes and policies are what created the recession but that doesn’t mean we cannot go after the elderly, the poor, the Medicare recipients, those damn starving parasites on food stamps,  hard working middle class wage earners and students to clean up and pay for the mess the wealthy created. This is totally what Jesus would have done.

Paul Ryan’s Christ Like Path to Prosperity Begins With Throwing Everyone but the 1% Under the Bus 

So as Paul Ryan suggests, to avert the above mentioned from happening,  cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as food stamps, in place of looming cuts to defense spending are necessary and just the first step because the buck doesn’t stop there.

Here are some of Paul Ryan’s truly humane and conscionable cuts everyone in the lowest tax bracket, hedgfund millionaires, the 1% and Jesus himself completely endorse:

1) Paul Ryan’s most recent budget proposal would save those making between $20,000 and $30,000 just $246 in taxes, compared to savings of $265,011 for those who make over $1 million, according to analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

2)  The “Path to Prosperity” would cut $2.4 trillion from Medicaid and other health care programs for people with low or moderate incomes, according to analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

3) Under Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” as many as 44 million fewer people would be covered under Medicaid, according to CBS News

4) Ryan would raise the age of Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67. If the Affordable Care Act was repealed, something Romney has pledged, that means many 65- and 66-year-olds would be left uninsured, theCBPP reports..

5) Under Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity,” senior citizens would have to pay as much as 68 percent of their health care coverage, up from 25 percent today,

6) Ryan’s proposed “Path to Prosperity” includes $134 billion in cuts to SNAP, according to analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, CBS News reports.

7) A single mother of two working full time at the minimum wage would have her Child Tax Credit cut by more than $1,500, assuming she made $14,500 a year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

8) Compared to the most recent White House budget proposal, Ryan’s budget spends 33 percent less on education, training, employment and social services according to the Washington Post reports..

9) The current government worker pay freeze would be extended under the “Path to Prosperity,” meaning public-sector employees wouldn’t get a raise until at least 2015, the Washington Post reports

10) Ryan also plumps for his Medicare reforms as a solution to inequality. As you’ll remember, his budget proposes converting Medicare into a voucher system where seniors would be given a check and sent into a regulated private market to purchase insurance. The plan saves money because the check would grow at the rate of inflation, while health-care costs often increase three times faster than inflation, so, quite quickly, the check would cover only a small portion of an individual senior’s costs.

For rich seniors, this wouldn’t much matter. They could easily afford the cost of private insurance. For middle-income seniors, or lower-income seniors, it would be a disaster. Ryan offers them some subsidies, but not nearly enough. The cost of coverage would quickly outpace the resources many of them have to pay for it.

Republicans Aren’t Pro Life For No Reason

We are a government that deeply cares for its citizens, after all, we need them to pay taxes so the rich and corporations don’t have to, we need their kids as soldiers in wars that the rich kids don’t have to go to (that is, by the way where being anti abortion and “pro life” comes in handy *wink*), we need them as low wage workers in corporations whose stockholders and corporate executives are enriched by their labor, and if they get sick, hungry, disabled or become homeless well… tough luck. This is America, don’t you know.

Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are both deeply religious, god fearing  men to whom life is precious and begins at conception.  Exploiting people is the American Dream and the Christ like thing to do.

And if you end up not being able to pull yourself by the bootstraps you do not have, well then your demise is collateral damage for the wealthy and smug politicians who always get the best health care, nice pensions and benefits paid for by those warm bodies we call the middle class and the poor.

Do not mistake the GOP’s hostility toward the majority of the population as a sign of them not caring. They do. They want you to not abort a child so there is one more source of tax revenue for them to pay for all the programs that benefit the 1%. They need you to work long hours without benefits so they can keep getting richer at your expense. This is all part of the compassionate path Paul Ryan keeps endorsing.

So see you insolent fools, the real enemy here are starving people on food stamps and single mothers and college grads, not to mention the elderly. We do not want to create a society where people have rights, are well fed, get an education without going bankrupt, have access to quality and affordable health care and job prospects with fair wages and benefits. Such a world would make it so hard for the wealthy to keep exploiting everyone – which is their god given right after all. Remember, “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of god“…er, no wait.

Just remember that all the Republican policies referenced above  are nothing but a sign of love and care and respect for the American people and this grand nation, this beacon of light at the end of the tunnel, under the flag, guns and a cross.

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