That would be a quote taken from a comment to this article, from a blog at US News and World Report. It was too good not to share. If you’re brave, you’ll also find racist fearmongering about the rise of “Eurislam,” a lot of frothing about Jesus and the Church and Evil and Other Unnecessarily Capitalized Nouns, claims that oral contraceptives are abortifacents and condoms increase the rate of AIDS infections. And then there’s SHOUTING ABOUT THE PWESHUSS BAYBEEZ. You’ll be laughing too hard to taste the bile rising in your throat.
Aaaanyway, the blog entry itself is about how the new administration might frame its approach to the ongoing reproductive rights debate, given that Obama has been playing the “let’s find common ground” card on this issue (and many others, which seem to end up with “minority” groups getting shit on again. See also: LGBTQs). That Obama appointed Alexia Kelley, who co-founded the anti-choice Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, to head the HHS’s Faith-Based Initiatives Committee isn’t doing anything to ease my mind. While I can’t think of anyone who thinks we should aim for more abortions, I am suspicious of that phrase “common ground,” and I fear that it will lead to concessions from nominally pro-choice advocates in Congress.
Dan Gilgoff, who writes the blog, identifies two main concerns for the administration are “preventing unwanted pregnancies and reducing the need for abortion.” That seems like a single point of concern to me, as women who are gleefully pregnant rarely seek out abortion, but as you’ll see, we’re beyond the realm of logic here. We’re talkin’ BABY. SLAVERY. What Gilgoff really means is that there are competing bills: one aimed at implementing comprehensive sex ed and supplying or subsidizing contraception, and the other focused on “supporting pregnant women.” I assume that incredibly generic phrase means providing financial incentives to women to persuade them to carry to term, although that wouldn’t square with Republican “values” regarding social programs and the undeserving poor/sluts/brown people who suck greedily at the government’s monstrous teat, so it isn’t quite clear.
In any case, people on both side of the debate (that would be the “I respect women as people with the attendent right to bodily sovereignty” side and the “PUNISH THE WHOOOOORES” side) are anxious about how these bills might be introduced. Pro-choice types are understandable leery of the language of The Pregnant Women Support Act, introduced by the banally evil Bob Casey (D-PA, sob!), which is designed to
increase resources for pregnant women seeking alternatives to abortion and would extend the federal children’s health insurance program to “unborn children.”
There you have it: not only will money not go towards a reproductive healthcare plan that would, among other things, subsidize contraceptives for women who cannot afford them (and that’s a lot of women) thereby reducing unwanted pregnancies, but fetuses will be granted universal health care, instead. Next year, I assume there willl be a fetal suffrage bill.
These same anti-choicers are outraged by the Prevention First Act, which, as its name implies, is focused on education and contraception. How they reconcile their opposition to education and contraception with their professed desire for reducing the rate of abortion is quite beyond me, but I’m guessing it has to do with the aforementioned Baby Slavery or something equally logical.
The question remains: will the bills be yoked together, in an attempt to make everyone happy (and we know where that often leads), or not? And if not, which bill gets precedence? My cynical spidey-sense says that we’re going to end up with more money for “crisis pregnancy centers” that do their damnedest to frighten and/or threaten women into maintaining pregnancies they did not plan and do not want, while education and contraception, which has been proven time and again to lower the rates of STIs and unintended pregnancy, will go by the wayside. Not only will that give Republicans their “moral high ground,” when their efforts fail, as they most certainly will, they’ll have the bone-deep satisfaction of blaming Big Government for ineffective programs and wasteful spending. Since they’re not actually interested in reducing abortions, it’s a win-win for them. And it’s lose-lose for women.
I would say there is no “common ground” on the issue of abortion, except there is. There always has been. It’s called the pro-choice position. You choose to stay ignorant, you choose to forgo contraception, and when facing a pregnancy, you can choose to continue it and keep the resultant child, or put it up for adoption. I’ll choose to be educated, to use appropriate contraception, and to have an abortion when and if I become pregnant. You get what you want, I get what I want.
Except that’s not what anti-choicers want. They want scarlet letters. They want shame and punishment for women who have unsanctioned sex (however they’re defining it at the moment). And of course it’s about punishing women, not men. The people Obama is having to placate on the issue of abortion are largely dudes. Dudes like Catholic Bishops. Dudes like the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dudes like fucking William Saletan, who seems physically incapable of shutting his enormous, ignorant piehole when it comes to abortion (or anything else that really doesn’t concern him). Dudes, who will never ever ever be pregnant.
I don’t have a tidy ending to this post. I’m pissed. I can’t believe I’m having to engage with this shit over and over again, and I’m barely scratching the surface of all the goings-on. If you’re looking for something to do, go to Planned Parenthood, or NARAL, or their Facebook sites (friend them already!), get on their action list, and find out if /how you should be harrassing your state senators and representatives on these issues. And I promise, the day the President of my country clearly and firmly states that she will not do anything to restrict abortion rights, but will instead focus on giving women real choices (where to work, whether to marry, etc.) through education and a solid system of social supports, I will free every last one of my slave babies. Common ground, bitchez.