Last Week’s News: On Birth Control, Abortion, and Sluts…Body Control
For the past month or so I’ve noted the steady onslaught against what I may choose to do with my body, against organizations that are meant to provide services to poor people who can’t afford but need them, against people who dare to suggest that women should receive certain products and services. A cathartic but still coherent rant is long overdue.
It began with The Susan G. Komen Foundation withdrawing funding support from Planned Parenthood. Never mind that the funds were used by Planned Parenthood to ensure that women who could not afford it were able to get breast health services (mammograms and the like). Outrage grew steadily as did the dot connection. Soon Planned Parenthood got the monetary support it needed to help those who needed it; people stepped up. I don’t think the folks over at Susan G saw it coming, though how they were so oblivious is beyond me. Daft. Soon folks realized that Susan G. was run by some pretty staunch pro-life people, which is, of course, fine. But keep your damned political paws off the movement and efforts meant to help people with cancer and to help prevent it. Further, who the hell are you to tell me what I may or may not do with my body?
Susan G. withdrew funding ostensibly because Planned Parenthood was under investigation by Congress. Susan G. had a new policy meant to “block grants to organizations currently under investigation by any local, state, or federal authorities.” OK fine. Except the policy was so new and shiny and seemed to only apply to Planned Parenthood. And never mind that the investigation that led to the application of the policy against Planned Parenthood was yet another inquiry led by conservative-leaning representatives into how Planned Parenthood uses its funding. Law forbids Planned Parenthood from using federal funds for abortion services. Fine (well, no, not really but laux that’s a whole other issue) so every so often it seems that someone in Congress who needs to bang the social conservative drum investigates Planned Parenthood. Yeah so the organization with a HUGE target on its back would be so fucking dumb as to violate a hot topic law to which it is subject. Uh-hmm. O, and never mind that most of the services that Planned Parenthood provides are not abortion-related. Three damn percent. That’s how much of Planned Parenthood’s total services is abortion-related. Never mind that Planned Parenthood is a significant resource for men and woman who can’t afford a regular doctor’s visit because it’s so damned expensive. I have good insurance and sometimes I cringe at the cost of routine, preventative care and tests. Ugh. My lessons from the Komen-Planned Parenthood battle: Look closely into the charities to which you donate. Just as anti-abortion folks scrutinize everything, so should everyone else. Also, spend the time volunteering in your community; give local charities the direct benefit of your resources and you get the benefit of seeing how things are run before you give your money.
More recently we have the candidates for the GOP nomination for U.S. President again beating the social conservative drum with women’s bodies. Santorum especially seems convinced that women should have access to nothing but a man’s penis and the children that result from that access. Newt wants a colony on the moon and Romney is trying not to be so overt with this wealth. Paul…goodness what the hell does Ron Paul want? I have tried to give at least two of Unfortunate Quartet a chance but they make it so damned hard. I have not heard one coherent sentence from either of these men about how they will do a better job than President Obama is doing on the issues that matter. Not one. Sway me, nuh? Sway me. Jus’ try. So while we have folks banging the war drums, homeowners struggling to hold on to their investments, and too many people underemployed and unemployed we have these loons scrutinizing what I and other women do with and put into our bodies. Unless that something is a penis of course then it’s fine. Families in this country are struggling so hard to hold things together and this is what these people focus on? Homelessness is rife and among them are too many veterans who were sent off to fight unjust wars and you’re focused on whether I use birth control or may choose to have an abortion? More people than ever are going hungry, children are going hungry and this is your focus? Really? And I can’t even lay blame on the media for this one because they are actually reporting what this Unfortunate Quartet is saying. They have no plan to either cut this government’s spending or to prepare us for an increase in taxes, or both. Unless it’s to deregulate on rapid…and then cry for shame when something bad happens. Ha. O and another war with a country led by a batshit crazy man who looks like he could do something worse than horrible is OK? Uh-huh. How can the U.S. honestly try to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon (if that is, in fact, what they’re trying to do because damn I remember that silo photograph and Colin Powell before the UN all too well) and work for peace between Israel and Palestine while Israel is not condemned for having nuclear weapons and being o-so-willing to use them? How can the U.S. be an honest broker? These are the issues we are really facing and these people are talking about contraception? Sure, bring it on. Listen to me: I’m tired of this nonsense. I’m naturally not a partisan person; I’m not aligned with any party or registered with one but Jesus, Mary, and Joseph these people are doing their damned best to push me toward the liberal netherworld.
I find it beyond ironic and immeasurably despicable that these same people – conservatives, social conservatives, whatever the popular label of the day is – who champion individual liberty, free markets, and laissez faire government are the same who think that they have any fucking right to take charge of MY body and for them to decide that the government should dictate what I do with MY body. O. So consumed are they that they would bar women from hearings about medication that women are meant to use.
Tangent: That hearing was on a situation where the Catholic Church is trying to justify not providing birth control to female employees by hiding behind religion. While they run public hospitals that get all sorts of government benefits as a non-profit…while the regulation provides an exemption for institutions meant, among other things, to serve people who share the same religious tenets and for which “inculcation of religious values” is a purpose. O, ok. Spare me the religious freedom argument; it has no merit here.
Back on track: Why don’t they focus on corporations that dump toxic waste away, that abuse the public trust, or that use “credit default swaps” to swindle people? But Lawdamercy a woman decides or even has the right to choose what she’d like to do or NOT do with her body and y’all have a body come down Holy Ghost come to Jesus moment. What is it about a woman’s ability to exercise power and control over her body that scares them? If y’all had your way I’m pretty sure I’ll need a permission slip to pee soon, worse when I’m doing so on government time since y’all won’t want to pay for that.
And then there’s Rush Limbaugh. That man… *deep breath*…and he has such a following and such clout that none of the Unfortunate Quartet has come out and explicitly said, “No, calling a woman who advocates for birth control coverage in health insurance plans a slut and prostitute and telling her to post videos of herself having sex online is not OK and I don’t support either Mr. Limbaugh or his comments.” Nope…it’s just unfortunate, eh? Ha. I’m taking note, y’all, I’m taking notes and remembering names! By the way free speech isn’t the issue here at all it’s about the way that you have degenerated into ad hominem attacks against a private citizen exercising her right to speak and demand appropriate representation from her Congress. How does the government requiring insurers and employers to not discriminate against women by providing them with coverage for the medical care and products that they need mean that a woman is being a slut or prostitute? Enlighten me. I’m glad that sponsors are deserting your radio show and I hope that they stay away. For too long you have gotten away with spewing this vitriol against other people (mostly minorities) so I guess this is your comeuppance.
Does this man (and others) even know that the birth control pill has uses far above and beyond preventing pregnancy? Listen, I laid in my bed in college every muscle clenched in pain because of cramps. I blacked out. I was afraid to go to the bathroom for fear that by standing up my uterus would fall out. Throughout high school until then I simply accepted that I was doomed to be in extreme pain for a couple days a month; it’s part of being a girl. Even worse is that I was too ignorant and ashamed to ask a doctor about how I could or should be handling this. But after that time in my single college room I was physically and emotionally exhausted and made an appointment as soon as possible to visit the appropriate person at the health centre. The first month that I started taking the pill things were drastically different. I almost wept with joy with being able to function each day. Like a normal person. I made the choice to take them very carefully and it was my choice to make. So, as Ms. Fluke explained before Congress, other women use the pill to prevent themselves from being far more ill than cramps.
Worse they do this under the guise of religion? And morality? Please to kirout. Jesus already died for my sins; He’s the ONLY Savior I need. Your efforts at trying to save me are not needed. You. Have. No. Right. Let me, within the confines of my own relationship with God and in whatever fellowship I have with others, exercise my free will and then lay these (apparent) sins before Him and seek forgiveness. Let me and other women choose. We’re capable. Get out of my body’s business.