A bit obvious, but still, points for the follow through:
A bit obvious, but still, points for the follow through:
New Hanover Commissioners choose not to accept family planning funds
Following opinions on public funding of contraceptives, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to turn down a state family planning grant that would cover contraceptive supplies along with other medical services related to family planning.
. . . .
“The answers that I got were that there were patients that were not being responsible with existing family planning that was being offered and that this would provide a more reliable solution for those people,” Catlin said at Monday afternoon’s commissioners meeting.
He added that he had an issue with “using taxpayer dollars to fund someone’s irresponsibility.”
The county’s health department was awarded $8,899 in family planning funds that would “provide medical services related to family planning including physician’s consultation, examination, prescription, continuing supervision, laboratory examination and contraceptive supplies,” according to a budget amendment item included in documents for Monday’s commissioners meeting. The county was not required to match the state grant.
Chairman Ted Davis said he thought it was a sad day when “taxpayers are asked to pay money to buy for contraceptives” for women having sex without planning responsibly.
“If these young women were responsible people and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Davis said.
Commissioner Jonathan Barfield said he was “one of those abstinence guys” and agreed with Davis’ comment.
. . . .
h/t Dan Savage, The Stranger
Buncha thoughts, none of which currently coheres into an argument or essay:
Why should I have to pay for a woman to fuck without consequences?
An attack on women’s sexuality—yeah, yeah, nothing new—but the logic behind this bares not just hostility to women claiming their full humanity, but to insurance itself.
Why pay for contraception is a question that could be asked of any medical intervention. Why pay for Viagra is the obvious follow-up, but the underlying sentiment is why should I pay anything else for anyone for any reason?
Actually, that’s not just an attack on insurance, but on politics itself.
When to stay and when to go?
This is an ongoing conflict between my civic republican and anarchist sides: When should one fight to stay within any particular system, and when should one say I’m out?
One part of me wants the full range of women’s health services wholly ensconced in medical education and practice, an integral part of the medical establishment, and another part of me says Enough! We’ll do it ourselves!
I’ve mentioned that when I was in high school I helped to start an independent newspaper. We wanted to be in charge of what was covered and what was said, and decided that the only way to assert that control was to strike out on our own.
Given our options, given our willingness and our ability to do the work, and given what we wanted to accomplish, it was the right choice.
I’m not so sure that peeling ourselves off of the medical establishment would be anywhere near as good an idea, not least because the conditions are, shall we say, rather different from starting a newspaper; more to the point, what would be the point of such disestablishment?
In other words, what’s the best way for us to take care of ourselves?
For all my anarchist sympathies, I am not an anarchist, and my sympathies do not run in all directions.
I am not a fan of homeschooling, for example, and have at times argued that, in principle, it should not be allowed. I have at times argued that, in principle, no private K-12 education should be allowed.
I have principled reasons for these arguments, but, honestly, there is a fair amount of unreasoned hostility to such endeavors.
This is a problem.
No, not the contradiction, but the lack of reflection. If I’m going to go against myself, I ought at least know why.
I might be done with Rod Dreher.
I’ve followed Dreher on and off for years, first at BeliefNet, then at RealClearReligion, and now at American Conservative. He’s a self-declared “crunchy conservative”, writing about a kind of conservation care, community, and his own understandings of Orthodox Christianity. He also wrote quite movingly of his beloved sister Ruthie’s ultimately fatal struggle with lung cancer.
As an unrepentant leftist I think it’s important for me to read unrepentant rightists: not to get riled, but to try to understand. And Dreher, because he has so often been thoughtful about so many aspects of his own conservatism, has been a mostly welcoming guide to a worldview not my own.
More and more often, however, that thoughtfulness about his own side is being drowned by a contempt for the other side. This is not unexpected—one remains on a side because one thinks that side is better—but Dreher has turned into just another predictable culture warrior, launching full-scale attacks on the motives of the other side while huffily turning aside any questions regarding his own motives.
Perhaps he thinks the best way to deal with the alleged loss of standards is to double them.
And that, more than any political difference, is what is driving me away: he no longer writes in good faith.
“. . . I’d fuck a senator.”
Oklahoma state senator Judy McIntyre spotted this sign held up outside of her office in protest of a proposed personhood bill and decided she needed to pose for pictures with that sign.
Fellow Democratic senator Constance Johnson had her own take on the bill, proposing a “spilled semen” amendment declaring wasted seed an act against the unborn (which dovetails with alleged historian David Barton’s musings that “I have to consider that Biblically, life begins before conception because it says ‘before you were in your mother’s womb I knew you’,”. . .).
And, of course, Virginia senator Janet Howell offered her own rectal exam bill in response to her state’s stick-a-wand-in-a-woman bill.
Fine responses, all.
And the appropriate response to sex-is-dirty (-for-all-of-those-slutty, slutty-women) comments and the US bill to favor the rights of conscience of employers in matters of contraception by erasing the rights of conscience of employees?
Why, Miss Piggy singing Peaches!
(So, so, so NSFW)
Seems. . . right on so many levels.
Now, to be fair, he wouldn’t actually mandate that women remain barefoot and pregnant, but there’s no reason for the government to make it easy to women to purchase footware, is there?
No good can come from that.
My college roommates and I once asked the assorted male guests in our apartment if they hung to the left or to the right.
Answer (unanimously): left. (We theorized it was because they were all right-handed and so put their keys and whatnot in the right pocket.)
We also asked those who had been on swim teams what they did if they got aroused in their Speedos.
Answer: it was usually too cold for this to be a worry, and, anyway, that’s what judiciously-wrapped towels were for.
h/t PZ Myers, Pharyngula
Let’s not talk about contraception—oh no, no no no.
Can’t talk about contraception—except, as in the case of Senator Lynn Blankenbeker, a Republican legislator in New Hampshire, to talk about not using birth control:
“People with or without insurance have two affordable choices, one being abstinence and the other being condoms, both of which you can get over the counter,” she said. [. . .]
“Abstinence works 100 percent of the time,” she said.
Blankenbeker also asserted that condoms and abstinence offer married couples a wider range of family planning options than oral contraceptives.
“If you decide you want to get pregnant you can refrain from abstinence,” she said.
If nothing else, Blankenbeker helps to remind us that women may also qualify for the title as American idiot.
Anyway, let’s talk about all of those who don’t want to talk about what everybody’s talking about: sex and not-making babies. Let’s start with an inquiry into how many children these got-my-fingers-in-my-ears-lalalalalala-can’t-hear-you legislators have.
There are a lot of legislators, of course—100 senators, 435 voting representatives, plus hundreds more state legislators—so why not start small, with, say Representative Darrell Issa (he of the all-male panel on not-contraception) and the 112th Congress’s Full Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:
So what can we tell from this august group? Of the 40 members, 4 are women, 38 are some variety of Christian, and, apparently, damned near all of them almost certainly practice some form of birth control.
“Almost certainly”: I do not know and do not want to know the sexual habits or fertility of these men and women, whether they or their sexual partners have miscarried or had abortions, or whether there were any health problems during pregnancy or with any of their children.
None of this is my business. None.
But what is my business is the public activity of these 36 men and 4 women and what they prescribe to the rest of us in terms of our own, private, business. And while I tend not to make much of the usual gaps between private behavior and public pronouncements—I don’t actually know if any of these representatives have voted against making birth control more accessible—it is nonetheless worth noting that evidence suggests that these representatives (or, perhaps, their wives) have accessed birth control themselves.
*Joe Walsh deserves special mention, and not just because he’s been sued by his ex-wife for child support and chastised by a judge for his non-cooperation; at the not-contraception hearing he stated This is not about women. This is not about contraceptives. We know, you’ve said it, we’ve said it up here. This is about religious freedom. This is about religious liberties.
Because women and religion have nothing to do with one another. Perfect.
(Biographical info from Wikipedia, Project VoteSmart, official home pages)
Delegate Marshall, meet Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA).
Representative Issa put together the following panel of experts for “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?”
Notice anything about this panel? Uh-huh.
The one woman who was invited (by Democrats) to testify, third-year law student at Georgetown Susan Fluke, was blocked from doing so by Issa.
Democrats Elijah Cummings (MD), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), and Carolyn Maloney (NY) responded by walking out.
Issa offered his own response to the criticism of the all-male panel by Twittering a photo of Martin Luther King and noting We hear from religious leaders whose positions might not be popular, like MLK’s was not so long ago.
Yes, the anti-birth control men on this panel are exactly like Martin Luther King.
Oh, and should we talk about Foster Friess, the genius moneypot behind Rick Santorum’s candidacy? Y’know, the guy who joked (?) to Andrea Mitchell that On this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s so inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly* ?
Okay, let’s not.
Finally, the reproductive specialists in the Virginia House of Delegates have been joined by the embyrologists in the Oklahoma Senate, which just passed its own personhood bill.
Unfuckingbelievable—in no small part because it is all too fuckingbelievable.
Anyway, I give the last word on bad laws to Dahlia Lithwick at Slate, who hammers (surprise!) Virginia’s new ultrasound-before-abortion law, one which will require most women to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound:
. . . Since a proposed amendment to the bill—a provision that would have had the patient consent to this bodily intrusion or allowed the physician to opt not to do the vaginal ultrasound—failed on 64-34 vote, the law provides that women seeking an abortion in Virginia will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason. I am not the first person to note that under any other set of facts, that would constitute rape under state law.
What’s more, a provision of the law that has received almost no media attention would ensure that a certification by the doctor that the patient either did or didn’t “avail herself of the opportunity” to view the ultrasound or listen to the fetal heartbeat will go into the woman’s medical record. Whether she wants it there or not. I guess they were all out of scarlet letters in Richmond.
. . .
Evidently the right of conscience for doctors who oppose abortion are a matter of grave national concern. The ethical and professional obligations of physicians who would merely like to perform their jobs without physically violating their own patients are, however, immaterial. Don’t even bother asking whether this law would have passed had it involved physically penetrating a man instead of a woman without consent. Next month the U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument about the obscene government overreach that is the individual mandate in President Obama’s health care law. Yet physical intrusion by government into the vagina of a pregnant woman is so urgently needed that the woman herself should be forced to pay for the privilege.
. . .
Of course, the bill is unconstitutional. The whole point of the new abortion bans is to force the Supreme Court to reverse Roe v. Wade. It’s unconstitutional to place an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy, although it’s anyone’s guess what, precisely, that means. One would be inclined to suspect, however, that unwanted penetration with a medical device violates either the undue burden test or the right to bodily autonomy. But that’s the other catch in this bill. Proponents seem to be of the view that once a woman has allowed a man to penetrate her body once, her right to bodily autonomy has ended.
During the floor debate on Tuesday, Del. C. Todd Gilbert announced that “in the vast majority of these cases, these [abortions] are matters of lifestyle convenience.” (He has since apologized.) Virginia Democrat Del. David Englin, who opposes the bill, has said Gilbert’s statement “is in line with previous Republican comments on the issue,” recalling one conversation with a GOP lawmaker who told him that women had already made the decision to be “vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant.” (I confirmed with Englin that this quote was accurate.)*
A-yup. As Lithwick noted, Today was not a good day in the War on Women.
*I actually heard this for the first time when I was 16 or 17 and one of the women at the NOW meeting I attended joked that this was the birth control advice she had been given. She lay down on the couch and demonstrated how it was supposed to work; the visual made all the difference.)
This man will not be president:
He will not be president because he will not win the Republican nomination, and he will not win the Republican nomination because he has no money, no organization, and an agenda which causes jaws to slacken, genitals to shrink, and the uncontrollable urge to giggle.
And no, I’m not talking about his Google problem.
ThinkProgress has a nice rundown of the top ten terrible tenets of the former senator from Pennsylvania, but I’d like to point out just one: the man is opposed to contraception. For everyone.
One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.
I remember my eight grade science teacher (a thoroughly decent man) try to teach sex ed by asking us to submit—anonymously—any questions we may have about sex in writing, which he would then try to answer.
Poor man. He never had a chance. I didn’t know a person’s face could turn that shade of red.
Yes, a class of mostly virgins somehow managed to come up with questions about “things in the sexual realm” which were “counter to how things are supposed to be.”
Santorum may also be a thoroughly decent man—although, given the nasty things he says about people who aren’t just like him, I doubt it—but unlike the stifled sniggers which greeted the science teacher, the ex-senator will be met with full-blown guffaws the moment he decides to engage the country in his version of sex education.
The sweater vest won’t help.
So I’m going to enjoy both Santorum’s moment in the media-sun and the evisceration soon to follow, a disembowelment made all the more sweeter because it will be performed by his fellow Republicans.
Ah, the carnage of campaign politics: couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.