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Women should just keep their legs shut, amirite?

Republicans have gone a long time attempting to hide their motivations for being against contraceptives and abortion. But as the debates ramp up, their true colors are becoming more and more obvious. For example, take the discussion surrounding Virginia’s disgusting ultrasound bill (emphasis mine):

This week, the Virginia state Legislature passed a bill that would require women to have an ultrasound before they may have an abortion. Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced. 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.

[...]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 Rep. 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.)

That’s the same logic that animates the bill’s sponsor in the House of Delegates, Del. Kathy J. Byron, who insisted this week that, “if we want to talk about invasiveness, there’s nothing more invasive than the procedure that she is about to have.” Decoded, that means that if you are willing to submit to sex and/or an abortion, the state should be allowed to penetrate your body as well.

Santorum’s main donor puts it a little more crassly:

Appearing of MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell today, Foster Friess, the main donor to the Super PAC backing Rick Santorum’s presidential bid, dismissed the controversy surrounding President Obama’s new birth control rule by suggesting that women should just keep their legs shut. Asked if he worried that Santorum’s Puritanical views on sex and social issues could hurt the candidate in the general election, Friess offered a more home-spun family planning scheme:

FRIESS: On this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s so inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they used Baer Aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.

That’s the real reason Republicans care about restricting access to birth control and abortions. It has nothing to do with religious beliefs or concerns about the lives of cute little babies. It’s about punishing sluts.

How else can you reconcile the platforms of anti-choicers? If you truly were against abortion, you would be fighting desperately for comprehensive sex education and easy access to contraceptives – things that actually reduce abortions. If you truly thought abortion was murder, you would never make exceptions for cases of rape or incest. If you truly were concerned with women’s health, you wouldn’t use HPV statistics to scaremonger young girls about sex while simultaneously fighting against a vaccine. If you truly were pro-life, you’d want improved child care, education, and family leave instead of losing interest in someone once they pop out of the womb.

It’s simple. These people want you to catch STDs and have unwanted children, because you’re a dirty slut who deserves punishment. And they love babies so much that the punishment is babies.

Comments

  1. gregorylynn says

    How many of these folks you think would vote to deny women the right to vote if they thought for a second that they could get away with it?

  2. says

    What they really want is the return of the shotgun marriage. All this “family planning” business is anathema to them. People who both know how to use birth control and can easily get ahold of it have this annoying habit of having children only when they’re good and ready, if ever. That means less cheap labor for people like Foster Friess.

  3. PDX_Greg says

    Obviously, those damned sluts are getting pregnant all by themselves! When will these women learn?

    How different would this be if it was the man stuck with the pregnancy and the resulting changes in body, health, lifestyle, career, etc? I’m certain they could deal with it by simply remaining celibate. After all, men have such a brilliant track record of keeping it tucked away until they consciously decide it’s time to make a child! I’m certain all of the male legislators that wrote and voted for the bill have all lived flawlessly by that standard.

    I personally would give anything to force every single one of those hypocritical nutjobs give birth to a full-term baby through their penis.

  4. MCJB says

    Thus continuously helping my hypothesis that there is a difference between being anti-abortion and pro-life

  5. Pteryxx says

    Argh… now I have imagery from a hypothetical “PUNISH THEM WITH BAYBEEZ” meme running through my head. Thank you, Republicans.

    “I don’t hate women – I just have a forcible transvaginal ultrasound fetish!”

  6. PDX_Greg says

    Sorry for the poor grammar in my last sentence, I meant to say:

    I personally would give anything to force every single one of those hypocritical nutjobs to give birth to a full-term baby through his penis.

  7. says

    To be fair, one suspects a fair number of them would deny everyone the right to vote if they thought for a second that they could get away with it. Not that they wouldn’t be happy to start with women.

  8. says

    You know, just when you think they can’t get any more stupid …

    I don’t know if I believe what some people are saying — that the Repubs are finally crashing and burning — because it seems like too much to hope for. They’re certainly not pussyfooting around the way they used to when it comes to saying out loud what they’re really thinking.

    But there’s something going on here that I almost hate myself for finding hope in, because all the right people are squealing like stuck pigs over a future that they can see coming and can’t do anything to stop.

  9. inspectorspacetime says

    As I understand the precedent, this law should be unconstitutional. The rule, generally stated, is that before viability, the state cannot put an undue burden on a woman seeking abortion. So assuming that nobody changes the standard, the goal for the good guys will be to prove that this is an undue burden.

    Undue burden is a subjective, ill-defined standard. We’ve seen that spousal notification is an undue burden, but 24-hour waiting periods are not, nor is parental notification for a minor an “undue burden” when there’s a way for the kid to avoid it by asking a judge for permission. So the court makes it up as it goes along, roughly.

    The lesson we learned in Perry is that the trial court matters. The Supreme Court will get a chance to evaluate the record, but they’re not able to call new witnesses, the record is set. So the people litigating against this bullshit are going to have to have a field day with witnesses, explaining in excruciating detail why this is so intrusive it becomes an undue burden. I think we’re going to beat this. But courts are unpredictable.

  10. says

    So when these fuckers get prostate cancer can we shove a probe up their uanasteticed pricks and take a picture of the tumour before we yank it out?

    The economy is going to shit and they’re wasting time telling women what they can and can’t do with their own bodies? Especially since you just know that if any of their own daughters, or sons who got girlfriends pregnant, would never be subject to these rules.

    Since this requirement has no medical need and, like Jen pointed out, its pretty much State Sanctioned Rape, can someone sue?

  11. says

    The idea behind the “aspirin between the knees” bit is “keep your knees together” IOW don’t have sex and you won’t get pregnant. What role the men who participate in potentially procreative sex are supposed to play is never acknowledged.

  12. says

    #10 Elena says: February 16, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    Can someone explain the asprin thing to me? Does that work? If not, what’s the joke?

    If you hold the aspirin pill between your knees you can’t be a dirty slut and have that deeply immoral vaginal sex.

  13. inspectorspacetime says

    I think it’s a really old joke; the response of people who were already old when the Pill was invented. “Birth control? We didn’t have that when I was growing up. The only birth control pill was an aspiring, blah blah blah.” It’s significantly more offensive as a slutshaming joke in 2012 than a newfangled-things-are-newfangled joke in 1955.

  14. says

    Oh, I forgot this blog has nested comments… sorry!

    Anyway, that’s the gist. What he’s saying in his snide little joke is that if you don’t want to get pregnant keep your legs clamped shut so you can’t have sex. Why Bayer aspirin? Dunno for sure, but I’d be willing to wager he holds Bayer stock. There’s not a word comes out of these people’s mouths that isn’t intensely self-centered.

  15. Elena says

    Oh, Jesus. I heard “between their legs,” like “in their vaginas,” as a spermicide or something. But why aspirin? Ugh, now I’m even angrier. Fuck him and his smug smile.

  16. Libby Anne says

    You be right. It’s funny, growing up all I got was the saving babies bit, and I’m still completely convinced that lots of them honestly believe that saving babies is the key thing. But I’ve also come to realize that there’s a whole lot of policing of sexuality going on, for the reasons you describe – if it was JUST about saving babies, they’d be passing out condoms and pills. It’s about saving babies, but it’s also about making sure you only have sex they’re okay with. And about making sure that any sexually active woman is open to the possibility of becoming pregnant and will have to go through with a pregnancy and raising a child if she does, because, you know, making babies is, like, the woman’s job.

  17. E.A. Blair says

    Friess’ joke was old when I first heard it in grade school, and it wasn’t funny then.

    How about shoving a 2-liter soda bottle up the rumps of every male legislator who voted for that measure and see how they like being penetrated without consent?

  18. Holms says

    The solution to the state-granting-itself-the-authority-to-rape thing is obvious: redefine rape such that it is not rape if carried out by the state, in much the same way that homicide is homicide unless it’s capital punishment.

    They’ll actually attempt it too I bet.

  19. inspectorspacetime says

    Isn’t that the intent of these laws? To force people to abstain from sex with the threat of state violence?

  20. Pteryxx says

    Is there a #waronwomen hashtag yet? They’re spewing garbage faster than I can read blogs to keep up with it all.

  21. wendibragg says

    Especially since you just know that if any of their own daughters, or sons who got girlfriends pregnant, would never be subject to these rules.

    I can assure you if their daughters got pregnant, they’d send the girls go visit an “aunt” for a few months. A sick aunt. That they were helping care for.

    Just like in the ’20s.

    If it was their sons that knocked the girl up, they’d be using the “well, you’ll get married to her before anyone finds out” answer, or the girl would be shipped off somewhere for a few months. Or she and her family would be shunned right the hell out of town.

    Do not make the mistake of thinking that this particular class of religious extremist Republican thinks of women as actual human beings, capable of our own independent thought. They don’t. We’re property.

  22. nanoboy says

    I know of a couple of positions of coitus that would render the aspirin thing moot. As much as these people obsess about sex, they are apparently bad at it, at least in terms of sexual positions.

  23. Andy J says

    I love how it’s always men against women’s health and are into slut shaming in general. You never see women making comments like this.

    Then again, I think it was George Carlin who said something along the lines of “you ever notice how women who are against abortion are women you wouldn’t want to fuck anyway?”

  24. inspectorspacetime says

    I appreciate the sentiment, after all the “feminists are ugly” bullshit out there, but ultimately, Carlin’s still playing their game with that comment. When you’re right, you don’t have to take cheap shots. Moreover, discrediting anyone’s political beliefs–no matter how abhorrent–based on their fuckability reinforces the whole right wing paradigm on gender.

  25. inspectorspacetime says

    Yeah, there’s no reason to think that they’re not equally shitty to their family members as to strangers. Though there are surely a few who will happily send their daughters to New York on a ‘shopping trip’ to make a pregnancy go away, because all this religion stuff is just a way to garner votes for corporate tax breaks.

  26. Azkyroth says

    If it was about saving babies AT ALL they would be fighting for decent healthcare and a social safety net.

  27. says

    And maybe those litigating in favor of this garbage should explain why subjecting any other patients to an invasive, unnecessary procedure without their consent is prosecuted as assault, but subjecting a subset of pregnant patients to the very same thing should be legal.

  28. says

    Then again, I think it was George Carlin who said something along the lines of “you ever notice how women who are against abortion are women you wouldn’t want to fuck anyway?”

    This sentiment is not only wrong owing to the pure subjectivity of attractiveness, it objectifies women by putting their appearance over their arguments. Note how there is nothing equivalent with regards to men — only the antichoice women get their appearance demeaned.

    Stay on how their arguments are horrible and off the objectification, please.

  29. Azkyroth says

    I love how it’s always men against women’s health and are into slut shaming in general. You never see women making comments like this.

    I love how it’s always men against women’s health and are into slut shaming in general. You never see women making comments like this.

    This sentiment is not only wrong owing to the pure subjectivity of attractiveness, it objectifies women by putting their appearance over their arguments. Note how there is nothing equivalent with regards to men — only the antichoice women get their appearance demeaned.

    I appreciate the sentiment, after all the “feminists are ugly” bullshit out there, but ultimately, Carlin’s still playing their game with that comment.

    Is assuming sexual desirability could only, possibly be a matter of physical appearance really that much better?

    Moreover, discrediting anyone’s political beliefs–no matter how abhorrent–based on their fuckability reinforces the whole right wing paradigm on gender.

    This still applies, though.

  30. SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant says

    I’m wondering. I’ve asked this to as many pro-lifers as possible, but I only interact with those few I meet online. In your experience in pro-life circles, do they ever really seriously consider whether abortion should be totally illegal, and what that would entail? How long a woman should go to prison for murdering her fetus, for example? Or was talk of prison sentences for abortion doctors more popular? What is supposed to happen after Roe is overturned, according to them?

  31. RowanVT says

    I had to have a transvaginal ultrasound when I had my appendicitis, because at first I thought it was maybe ovulation (turns out I have some ovarian cysts that are the cause of my pain when I ovulate) and it was not a nice experience. The probe is huge, and they apply a lot of pressure at strange angles.

    It was incredibly uncomfortable bordering on sometimes painful, embarrassing. and altogether exceedingly unpleasant experience. And it’s definitely not something I’d wish on another woman who is already going through a difficult time in her life. And to want to force a rape victim through that? That’s just pure evil.

  32. Azkyroth says

    Err, what the hell happened?

    Anyway, I see women making comments like that somewhat regularly. In fact, a particularly bitter and clueless one ruined a game of A Question of Scruples recently. >.>

  33. Pteryxx says

    Off topic to Libby Anne: Somewhere in your FTB profile should be a way to have your name also be a link to your blog in these comments, so folks know to go check it out?

  34. TheVirginian says

    Brace yourselves in your chairs.
    Swallow any liquids in your mouths.
    If you have a weak heart or other medical condition that makes your susceptible to heart attacks, strokes or seizures, do not read any further.

    The daily newspaper in Baton Rouge, La., had a letter in the Thursday edition that is obviously from a rightwing extremist who claims the contraceptive pay rule treats having babies as a disease.
    No, that’s not the part that might make you spew liquid all over your computer. It includes this sentence: “A devout Catholic never has any need for artifiical birth control because he does not need it.”
    Leaving aside the use of “he” when it’s “she” who is affected by pregnancy, studies show that nearly all Catholic couples use birth control! (98 percent is the figure I’m seeing.) If they didn’t, then most Catholic families would have 10-20 children! I only know one Catholic couple that has more than 3 children (4). So common sense says the 98 percent figure must be reasonably accurate.
    This rightwinger has the perfect answer to the contraception issue: “Quit having sex.” It’s a “surefire method” to avoid pregnancy.
    That leads to the question: Does he endorse the Bill Clinton method of not having sex? That’s a surefire method” to avoid pregnancy while allowing couples to remain intimate.
    Somehow, I have a feeling this guy would not agree.

  35. redleg says

    And don’t forget – it is far easier to indoctrinate children into a religion than convert adults. No birth control = many, many children.

  36. DaveyGTi says

    It’s just a way to keep people under control, by forcing women not to terminate unwanted pregnacies without having an invasive procedure (one that is clearly tantamount to rape). They keep women occupied with child rearing and men struggling to pay child support and have enough left over to support themselves (which of course in thier traditionalist eyes is how it should be, women? Work? Pah they should be having babies) so no-one has the time or energy to notice things are wrong with society, also people with children are more likely to behave in a certain way politically, I’ve noticed friends and family of mine go from being lefty liberal types over to full blown conservatives as soon as they pinch off a couple of kids.

  37. says

    I think it’s a really old joke; the response of people who were already old when the Pill was invented. “Birth control? We didn’t have that when I was growing up. The only birth control pill was an aspiring, blah blah blah.

    Funny, that’s exactly what Foster Friess’ excuse was. Foster? Izzat you?

  38. Riptide says

    I never got the “close your legs” bit, especially since I became sexually active. Need I point out that several perfectly procreative positions can have knees clamped together as tightly as either partner desires? Human anatomy allows for exposing the vagina whenever a woman’s thighs are at a sufficiently small angle to her torso, regardless of how closely her thighs are spread.

    Given how often Conservadroids are embroiled in sex scandals, you’d think they’d know at least *that* much. But then again, given how often those scandals happen in all-male environments, maybe they lack the requisite anatomical experience…

  39. sithrazer says

    In a strange coincidence, it appears contraceptives (condoms) are used in the procedure for transvaginal ultrasounds.

    From the NLM/NIH website:
    “The health care provider will place a probe, called a transducer, into the vagina. The probe is covered with a condom and a gel.”

    I guess those crazy cons will have to think up a new way to humiliate and shame women out of abortions once they outlaw contraceptives.

    …I’m not entirely sure how much sarcasm is in that last sentence, haven’t had nearly enough sleep.

  40. isilzhaveni says

    So, let me see if I’m understanding this correctly, if a woman ever has sex then she signs away all rights to her own body because she has chosen to be vaginally penetrated by a specific man? Once a woman has made the choice to have a particular penis in her vagina then she must give up all say in what goes into her vagina afterwards?

  41. inspectorspacetime says

    Kids leave, though. No better way to alienate your kids than refusing to accept them, and there are many stories of evangelical-born liberals/skeptics. And even the ones who stay are onto this bullshit: young evangelicals are split about evenly on gay marriage, despite the virtual unanimity of their elders.

  42. inspectorspacetime says

    That is precisely what they believe. Word for word. When South Dakota tried to ban abortions even in the case of rape, note this comment from a legislator, find the occasional when abortion might be appropriate.

    “A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.”

    Yup. If you’re a good religious virgin, then maybe you deserve health care. Everyone else is dirt. That’s the mentality.

  43. Gus Snarp says

    You don’t even have to read between the lines. Here’s Santorum flat out saying it:

    It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They’re supposed to be within marriage, they are supposed to be for purposes that are, yes, conjugal, but also [inaudible], but also procreative. That’s the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that’s not for purposes of procreation, that’s not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can’t you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it’s simply pleasure.

  44. christophburschka says

    Santorum is now distancing himself from the donor’s aspirin joke, saying it was a “stupid joke” and “in bad taste”, possibly with a straight face. Then he followed up by calling the donor “a good man” and “a great philantropist”.

  45. says

    I live in Virginia. I had not heard of this. WTF? I mean, we have Richmond, where I live, which is a pretty progressive cite (at least not regressive), and also NoVa (northern Va) which is essentially an affluent massive suburb of D.C. I have no clue as to how this slipped under the radar. I mean, We’re not Mississippi for fucks sake! This will get reversed real quick like. No one else I know has heard of this either. Once it becomes “news” There are gonna be some motherfucking shit stains out of a job! Jesus fucking christ. In MY STATE goddamn it. I just got word at work that I am to attend a sexual harrassment seminar. I’m not the one who fucking needs it. Hey…No one does…Since it’s legal now! woooohoooo. We have to stop these motherfuckers. If there had been people so openly anti-woman 20 years ago, they would have been fucked. Maybe their openess is good in a sad way. At kleast we know who they are and where they are. We just gotta stop ‘em

  46. says

    The Republican ℞ for birth control.

    Woman: Doctor, I’d like a prescription for birth control pills.

    Doctor: Put an aspirin between your knees and call me in the morning.

  47. says

    Yep, just as I thought…from an article in Slate

    …What’s more, a provision of the law that has received almost no media attention…

    oh it will….trust me, it will. Did they really think they could get away with it?

    Also, remember that it will be the abortion providers that will be required to do these ultrasounds. I can’t imagine that someone who provides that service would be down with that intrusiveness. They clearly are not against providing this service and see it as the health issue it is. Will they be required to provide “proof” that they gave the ultrasound. Can they legally REQUIRE YOU TO FUCKING LOOK AT IT? Huh? That just dawned on me. M’am you are reqired by law to look at this picture. no.no.no and no….I’m gonna find out who these fuckers are…The ousting has begun!

  48. says

    I live in the Republican stronghold of VA Beach (help me!) I’ve been following the story for the past several days on MSNBC and Twitter. I’ve lived here for less than two years, and thought that the Commonwealth was in a sorry political state when I arrived. It’s gone way downhill since.

  49. says

    not done yet…sorry. Women have to PAY for this ultrasound!

    1.How can a medical procedure be government mandated? We don’t even do that for vaccines, which is arguably ethically the right thing to do.

    2. How can someone be required to pay for a procedure THEY DID NOT ASK FOR OR WANT?

  50. EmbraceYourInnerCrone says

    Maybe it’s me overthinking this but seems a giant oversight (by Republicans , what a surprise!) that they think the only people who need abortions are unmarried. Married people have sex too, and sometimes birth control fails. If you are living close to the edge perhaps you can’t afford either the cost of a pregnancy or another child. Many couples I know work jobs that do not have medical benefits, or sick days. Some of them used to have those things and they had their kids when they had medical coverage. Now they work minimum wage or close to it jobs and are trying to keep a roof over the heads, and food in the mouths of the kids they already have. I know the men on this panel of Issa’s would say then they should just not have sex, well sorry its one of the few fun things they can still afford, not to mention one way for a couple to feel close to each other when times are tough.

    I hate them shaming people for having sex whether they are married or unmarried. I also hate them for being so willfully stupid. Abortion is a legal medical procedure and what tests are performed before you get one should be between you and your doctor, because they are medically warranted and not for ANY other reason.

  51. says

    Hey, how come Santorum’s Wife’s abortion isn’t always the first thing mentioned after his name? I thought that fact would have squashed him. I mean the right wingers won’t mention it because they are fucking hypocrites, But the liberals. Why not? Jesus…Mention it in any sentence that contains his name

  52. Zerple says

    I don’t think it is referred to much, since people are arguing if it actually was an abortion, or if referring to it as an abortion is misleading. Technically it was a spontaneous septic abortion, but the word “abortion” when used colloquially is usually understood to mean “induced abortion”.

    I think that calling it an abortion puts us in the same boat as creationists who like to say that evolution is “just a theory”. It relies on the same tactic of trying to replace the meaning of the word with the colloquial usage when the technical usage is appropriate in the context the word is used in.

    However, Santorum also stated in an interview that he gave about the event that he would have asked doctors to induce labor if it had come down to saving his wife’s life. So you can still fairly go after him for being a hypocritical retard.

    This article details fairly what happened:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/01/06/karen_santorum_did_not_have_an_abortion/

  53. timbo says

    Gonna drop a little knowledge on you idiots here. It is called ‘personal responsibility’. If you can’t afford at least a condom, then keep your pants on. Pretty simple. Here come the haters.

  54. sambarge says

    I wonder how many of these Republicans have heard about Nicolae Ceausescu and the result of his 1966 decree on abortion in Romania. A funny thing happened in Romania; in an attempt to increase the birth rate, Ceausescu outlawed abortion (which behind the Iron Curtain was the only available form of birth control available), made divorce more difficult and rewarded families for large numbers of children. And it worked. There were a shitload of Romanian kids born (many abandoned to orphanages) even though women still tried to limit births through illegal means, many dying in the process.

    Anyway, when these kids entered their late teens and early 20s, they did what all kids do at that age – they started questioning authority. Of course, these kids were doing that while the wall was coming down in Berlin and the Soviet Union was crumbling. And there were a lot of these Romanian kids. They were the rank and file of the army too.

    In the end, they revolted and shot Ceausescu (and his wife).

    Republicans need to learn history. All this shit has been tried in the past so it’s not usually all that hard to figure out how it will work out in the end.

  55. timbo says

    Feminism – established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.

    I was looking for a bunch of losers, and I have found them here on this blog. How many of you are in the Occu-Stool movement? Get a job, and find some purpose with your life instead of attacking others that are far more intelligent and advanced than you are.

    And you wonder why you can’t earn more than minimum wage?

  56. sambarge says

    No hate, just the truth. Working at a job that provides a health insurance policy that assists you with the cost of medication and preventative health measures is exercising personal responsibility.

    Telling people that they can’t have that insurance because it goes against your personal views on human sexuality is infringing on their rights and their ability to exercise personal responsibility.

  57. Zerple says

    Nah, Virginia is worse. In addition to the probe thing, they’re also pushing personhood:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/14/fetal-personhood-virginia_n_1276824.html

    I’m from, and currently live in Oklahoma. Unless one of the few pro-choice democrats left between this bill and Mary Fallin has some super cool procedural move to block it from getting to the governor, it’ll probably be signed into law pretty soon.

    My wife is worried that it is going to outlaw her birth control, which she takes for migraines. We can’t even have sex because of what her doctor referred to as “the worst case of endometriosis in the world”. Yet medication which keeps her from being curled into a ball in bed sort of half-zombie crying with a migraine might be illegal because of some retard’s Bible-inspired beliefs.

    Sorry if this is incoherent/rambling. I have a super-cold and cold medicine makes it impossible to think clearly.

  58. says

    “It’s about punishing sluts.”

    This says it all right there. Ooh, this makes me so furious, I am sick and tired of men calling women names for being sexual and at that same time when a guy does it, claim, well “boys will be boys” or some other BS.

    I am still of this, I can hard type my ire is up so much.

  59. sambarge says

    Did you take a wrong turn, muffin? I don’t think you’re where you want to be. Run along, now, before your mother gets worried.

  60. hieropants says

    Dude, if you’re gonna troll, shouldn’t it be at least marginally related to the original post? Is it just easier to copy-paste GET A BRAIN MORAN while you’re spamming the list of blogs RedState tells you to hate?

  61. Kes says

    Actually, I think what they *really* want is a return to unwed teen mothers being socially pressured/forced into giving up their (healthy) (white) babies for adoption by (white) (Christian) couples. One reason that there has been such a boom (and subsequent bust as abuses were uncovered) in foreign adoptions in the US over the past three decades is that the supply of infants from desperate pregnant teens has dried up. How much that is due to available, safe, legal abortions and how much to the decreased social stigma of signal motherhood is, I think, still up for debate.

  62. timbo says

    No problem with insurance that assists with cost of medication and preventative health measures, but birth control is not one of them. If you decide to drop your pants, I am not paying for your consequences. That is the difference between a responsible adult that owns up to his decisions vs. someone who blames others for their plot in life, and expects others to bail them out.

  63. interrobang says

    At Balloon Juice, someone quoted the statute about rape in the comments. Apparently Virginia doesn’t recognise marital rape (in 2012, in Virginia, saying “I do” apparently revokes your ability to say “Not tonight, dear, I have a headache”). There’s going to be some poor married woman in an absolute world of hurt after her abusive husband sabotages her birth control (disturbingly common, alas).

  64. says

    If you have ever eaten bacon, then we should not have to pay for any heart health care for you. If you’ve ever pumped your own gasoline, then you’ve exposed yourself to carcinogens. Thus, covering an expenses related to cancer care would only be rewarding your selfish stupid behavior. If your BMI is above 25, then we shouldn’t pay for any medication. Also, if you ever go to the emergency room, it’s probably your fault, so we shouldn’t pay for it. It’s called personal responsibility.

  65. timbo says

    That would be ‘moron’.

    I will leave now and let you ‘smart kids’ try and solve all the worlds problems. Just clean up after yourselves when you are done.

  66. Kes says

    Condoms break. Furthermore, any fertile woman should, in the best case scenario, rely on two forms of birth control, in case one fails. Even with perfect use, the success rate of HBC is not zero.

    Furthermore, 58% of women who use HBC do so for reasons aside from pregnancy prevention. They use it to regulate their cycles. They use it to relieve pain. I personally use it for both those reasons, and to keep away teh babiez. Does the word endometriosis mean anything to you? When you have a biological function that reduces you to a bed-ridden state for three-four days a month, and a body of religious virgins insist that you don’t deserve to use the drugs that will help, then we can talk, dipshit.

    And while I’m at it, abortion is also a necessary medical procedure. Pre-eclampsia, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, death: all these things (and more!) can result from a pregnancy. This is an unreasonable burden to place on an unwilling person. If you’re okay with those risks, *you* take them. You have no right, morally or legally, to compel anyone else to take a risk they don’t want.

  67. timbo says

    And that is why no one takes you folks seriously. Keep trying to sound smart, maybe someone will believe your shit one day.

  68. timbo says

    Oh my gosh….those are a lot of big and scarry looking words. To stay away from all those awful things…I would just keep your pants pulled up.

  69. Svlad Cjelli says

    Bullshit. If it were true that you are entirely selfreliant, your money wouldn’t be in the tax-system to begin with.

    J’accuse.

  70. Svlad Cjelli says

    Hold your horses. They also operate on a concept of “real rape” which entails that there is no such thing as rape because female = slut who wants it.

  71. sambarge says

    I don’t think you understand how insurance works. Let me explain for you.

    A person, let’s call them Timbo, gets a job. Part of the compensation package for that job (i.e. what Timbo gets paid for doing the work) is a health insurance plan that covers Timbo and his/her family. That plan may include a co-pay for Timbo but typically the employers pays the insurance provider something called a “premium” which is what the insurance company charges to cover the cost of health care.

    Now, this is where it gets confusing and medical, so pay attention, birth control is considered preventative medicine, in as much as it prevents a condition called pregnancy (very expensive medically but usually fatal) and is considered medication because it can assist with dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation).

    When we talk about ‘personal responsibility’ in relation to health care, it’s important to realize that sometimes people make choices that may be different than the choice you would make. That doesn’t make either choice wrong, just different. What is wrong is withholding access to health care on ideological grounds, particularly when those ideological grounds are not shared universally.

    Do you understand now?

  72. sambarge says

    Oh, timbo honey, don’t be afraid of big words. They don’t hurt you and they might make you feel better about yourself if you learn to use them effectively in sentences.

  73. Kes says

    I kinda wanna slap you down with some more easily-Googled Ladee Medikal Knowaledge, but your anencephalic attempts to be condescending are just Too. Adorable.

  74. says

    Well, I’m sure that’s a solution for when you’re around.

    Why do you hate sex so much? It’s fun, burns calories, makes you feel good, contributes to pair-bonding (including but not limited to a loving marriage).

    And yet, you would deny a couple these benefits — why exactly?

    When done between consenting adults who are mutually monogamous, it’s safe as all get-out. Can’t get an STD from a partner who doesn’t have an STD. And when effective contraception is used, no unwanted pregnancy results. No unwanted pregnancy = no abortion. I can’t for the life of me think why someone who is against abortion would be against effective contraception, except that they’re against sex in general and unprotected vaginal-penile sex specifically.

    I think you must not have had a lot of sex in order to hate it so much. Or maybe you’re not doing it right. A couple of tips. Concentrate on the foreplay, not just the act. Let your partner have the first orgasm. It’s about being polite.

  75. says

    Well, yes, there’s also that. They’d like to see everyone below a certain income bracket cede the scant control they have over life decisions. When there are more adoptable babies than adopting couples, the remaining orphans grow up to be cheap labor.

  76. says

    …evidence required.

    BTW: you have a grammatical error in your post. Second sentence of the second graph. I won’t bother to tell you what it is, because you’re so “advanced” and all.

    And you’re saying that only millionaires have the right to express an opinion? Can I see your investment portfolio, please? Your W2s and 1099s?

    Methinks a trolling troll is going to go the way of trolling trolls fairly soon. Whining about being treated unfairly.

  77. mnb0 says

    This nicely confirms my European prejudice that American neo-cons are basically sexual perverts.
    PS: I’m male.

  78. mightyamoeba says

    Don’t be crazy. Women don’t have rights to their own bodies, like they were people or something.

  79. Georgia Sam says

    > It has nothing to do with religious beliefs or concerns about the lives of cute little babies. It’s about punishing sluts.

    I have to disagree just a little with part of that. Yes, it is about punishing sluts, but I think it also (at least for a lot of people) has to do with religious beliefs beacuse punishment is the heart and core of their religion. PUNISH, PUNISH, PUNISH! That is the essence of their brand of Christianity. It’s also about using fear of pregnancy to discourage people from having sex.

  80. Lauren says

    Your last three paragraphs are SO RIGHT. I’ve heard Dan Savage say similar things and I just want to quote you both in every abortion debate out there (not that logic or reason has a big impact on people who care about you when you’re a fetus but don’t care about you when you’re a woman).

  81. says

    timbo, eh? From Urban Dictionary:

    5. timbo

    n. 1. a person who speaks so highly of himself that the audience becomes incredulous and hostile; 2. one who bloviates; 3. a pompous asshole constantly talking about how great he is

    Shall we just go with a pompous asshole and leave it at that?

  82. yoav says

    In addition to their rape the slut for wanting an abortion bill the Virginia returdlicans have also passed one of these, a fertilized egg is a person deserving of all rights, a full grown woman, meh, personhood laws (basically the same thing that even Mississippi considered too crazy recently) and they rejected a proposed amendment that said that this will not outlaw contraceptives.

  83. says

    I agree with most of what you say in the last paragraph. However, as the saying says, “never generalize”! Note that the goal of some conservatives is not to reduce the number of abortions, but to allow as many embryos as possible to be born, once they exist at all. You might not agree with this, but it is the motivation of some conservatives. Given this, it does not automatically follow that they should support birth control because it reduces the number of abortions. From their point of view, abstinence will also prevent unwanted pregnancies and, again, the goal is not fewer abortions per se but as a means to an end (allowing as many existing embryos to be born).

    Also, as you correctly point out, if “right to life” is the main issue, then there should be no exceptions. But, as you yourself have noted on your blog, there are conservatives who are against any exceptions for rape or incest regarding abortion bans. Thus, even though you might not agree with them for other reasons, not all conservatives are hypocrites (though they still might be wrong).

  84. yoav says

    Timbo darling, the only way you have a chance of finding anything less intelligent and advanced then yourself is if you dredge the bottom of a septic tank, and even then it’s a long shot.

  85. says

    In that video, there’s a part where Friess basically says we’re not focusing on the really important issues. We hear over and over again that any issue that affects women or a minority group isn’t really important. This so often comes from the same people who are obsessed passing laws that would harm women.

    They hurt people and then blame us for fighting against them. Maybe if they’d stop promoting their wrong ideas, we wouldn’t have to spend so much time fighting against them.

  86. mightyamoeba says

    You know what doesn’t require birth control and never leads to abortions? Gay sex. Pro-life people must be all for that, right? Right??

  87. VikingWarriorPrincess says

    So cupcake since you seem to have a deep insight into the use of legwear-contraceptives, could you tell me exactly how “pulling up your pants” would alleviate the symptoms of endometriosis?

  88. sambarge says

    Are you sure the nickname isn’t a reference to the sexual position?

    A timbo is a sexual position unparalleled in greatness. It occurs when a man is lying down on a bed and a woman mounts his member. She then places a firm grip on an above-hanging ceiling fan, as the fan spins, the woman will spin also. She maintains intercourse while spinning, which causes extreme pleasure for both parties.

    Because, he does talk about dropping trousers quite a bit.

  89. sylvia says

    ‘baer asprin’ method of birth control

    wait, I’m confused. does oral sex get women preggers? I thought if men keep their pants zipped, women won’t get pregnant. Where’s the campaign to keeps zips up?

    sylvia

  90. sylvia says

    timbo, did you miss the part about monthly pain from heavy bleeding?

    you might not know many women, but surely basic health ed teaches that monthly bleeding = not pregnant?

  91. Sally Strange says

    At long last… a bit of consistency. It doesn’t say anything about allowances for non-consensual sex, either. Frankly, although it’s reprehensible, it’s a bit refreshing to see them abandoning the hypocrisy in favor of blatant hatred of women.

  92. SallyStrange: bottom-feeding, work-shy peasant says

    If you were really more intelligent and advanced than me, you wouldn’t use “you’re ugly and poor” as your go-to insults.

  93. says

    I’m posting this comment in a few places because I’d like to know what people think.

    I think it’s time to organize a sex boycott. If your man is in favor of punishing women for having sex (pro-forced vaginal ultrasounds, anti-contraceptive, pro-personhood for sperm, anti-abortion, etc.) then don’t have sex with him. Problem solved. Hey, they’re all in favor of abstinence, right?

    Disclaimer: I realize not all women have the kind of power necessary to pull off a sex boycott, but many do! Imagine the impact if all the wives whose husbands voted for these bills announced that contraceptives would no longer be necessary in their households.

  94. dianne says

    If it makes you feel any better, part of the standard work up for prostate cancer is a trans-rectal ultrasound. With biopsy. Most men need or at least want sedatives before the procedure. And it is never done just because some legislators want to torture men. Unlike 99.9% of restrictions on abortion.

  95. Eric RoM says

    In my mind, I’d love to confront these motherfuckers face to face, although I know in reality I’d never have the quick wits (nor the memory of facts) to skewer them adequately.

    However, having had several days to (brood) think it over, I would now ask, “So, what did they have for overweening sanctimony back then, asshole?”

  96. smhlle says

    My source is only “the internet”, but I have heard people claiming to be PP workers/volunteers say that some of the women outside protesting against them have actually come inside and had abortions. (Oooh, but they are exceptional because they thought about it really hard and deeply regretted it.) (End sarcasm.)

  97. smhlle says

    Duh, even ugly women are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. What kind of reasonable system gives rights only to the hotter folks?

  98. wainrider says

    I agree, what a disgusting bit of legislation from Virginia Republicans.

    Birth control just isn’t pro-active enough for our environmental woes. The Earth’s population must be culled substantially. Individuals like Jen McCreight who use lots of resources relative to the rest of the world and are more or less completely unproductive (whinging is not productive) would be first in line for the Neubelzec I’d build in the middle of scenic Washington State (state full of useless autistic liberal faggots).

    The Earth’s ecosystem will finally emerge from its anxious crisis and those of us who are worthy enough to remain will have a surplus of lampshades and soap. What’s not to like?

  99. Karen says

    This confirms what I’ve suspected all along, that conservatives are more concerned with punishment and control of sexually active women than with the fetuses they claim to want to protect. If they really were pro-life then they’d be pro-birth control, pro-sex ed and pro-women’s rights, not to mention pro-universal health care.

  100. ckitching says

    Oversight? I don’t think so. There are plenty who think any kind of sex without the express purpose of procreation to be immoral. To them, it won’t matter if you’re married or not, a woman who engages in non-procreative sex is still a slut to them. Of course, I’m sure all of them are exceptions to this rule, because they have a Very Very Good Reason® for their use of birth control, and their Very Very Good Reason® is why they’re not sluts for using it.

    Then you’ve got the MRAs and MRA allies who hold some horrifying beliefs about women’s motivations: Women don’t enjoy sex, and they only participate in it in order to ensnare men. Given this, it’s not hard to rationalize that having a woman’s life ruined by an unplanned pregnancy is a fitting punishment.

  101. Aquaria says

    That’s the real reason Republicans care about restricting access to birth control and abortions. It has nothing to do with religious beliefs or concerns about the lives of cute little babies. It’s about punishing sluts.

    Not quite, Jen.

    There’s a reason most of this crap comes from the deluded godbots.

    In their so-called thinking, people are supposed to be spending all their time sucking up to the genocidal scumbag in the sky and rhapsodizing over jayyyysuuuuss. Anybody who is doing anything else with their lives for pure enjoyment is evil, hence, why the filthy sluts need to be punished.

    It is over the religious beliefs, when you dig deeply enough.

  102. Aquaria says

    And to support my remarks above, consider how the same people who hate women and gays also hate movies, popular music, books, science–all of that stuff. If your life isn’t about fellating jaysus 24/7, you’re evil.

    This is really how the funditards look at the world.

  103. AylaSophia says

    You know, oddly what twigged me the most about this pathetic attempt at trolling is the use of “autistic.” But then again I’ve been in the best relationship of my life for the past year-and-a-bit with a mildly autistic man… a wonderful, intelligent, compassionate, witty, honest, and straightforward man (who is also incredibly handsome.) His being autistic means that we have great communication, since he is pretty much unable to be passive-aggressive and always says what’s on his mind. So really I have a hard time seeing “autistic” as a negative quality.

    I guess that goes to show that our failed troll is also an ableist piece of shit on top of the homophobia and weird prejudice against a very beautiful state.

  104. wainrider says

    You know, oddly what twigged me the most about this pathetic attempt at trolling is the use of “autistic.”

    What twigs me most about you is that you’re not willing to recognize the fact that millions, perhaps billions of human beings have to die in the name of sustainability.

    And it may as well be the chaff rather than the wheat. This means you people.

    So really I have a hard time seeing “autistic” as a negative quality.

    http://sonichu.com

  105. wainrider says

    weird prejudice against a very beautiful state.

    WA is a beautiful state. It would be even more beautiful if 80% depopulated.

  106. Svlad Cjelli says

    Oh, I don’t know about that. The fatality rate is much higher without treatment, and even if the patient survives it still frequently results in death.

  107. Azkyroth says

    Zerple:

    I think the standard is “would they consider it ‘an abortion’ if one of those ‘dirty sluts’ did it and try to legislate against it?”

  108. Petticoat Philosopher says

    Um, well that’s why you use birth control–so there AREN’T “consequences.” Do I need to draw you a flow chart here so you get how this all works?

  109. Petticoat Philosopher says

    I notice you have no real response. Does “trying to sound smart” mean actually making arguments to back up one’s claims and opinions and actually responding to those made by others without resorting to lame ad hominem attacks?

    Because, if so, at least nobody will ever accuse YOU of “trying to sound smart.”

  110. Petticoat Philosopher says

    Furthermore, condoms require the consent of the man. Unfortunately, not all women are in situations where they can count on that. There are plenty of women in relationships with unequal power dynamics that they can’t easily get out of where, if the man doesn’t feel like using a condom, it ain’t happening. Men who rape their wives probably aren’t overly concerned with proper condom use either. This is reality, and there are a lot of women who are not in situations where they can insist on condoms. This is why most early 20th-century birth control advocates actually opposed condoms–because they thought that female-controlled birth control methods were the only ones that a woman could count on being able to employ. 100 years have passed and gender parity in relationships is certainly more the norm now than it was then, but not everywhere or for everyone. Welcome to the real world.

  111. Katalina says

    Totally agree. I don’t love abortion any more than I love appendectomies, but I’m glad that we have the technology and ability to do both of these procedures. And if it were easy to prevent appendectomies 99% of the time, would we not encourage people to use the prevention?

  112. ckitching says

    As much as I love veiled death threats, maybe you could show us the strength of your conviction by offing yourself first. I’m pretty sure sociopathic antipathy for others and internet-toughguy-ism qualify you as chaff. We’ll be sure to honour your sacrifice suitably.

    On second thought, don’t. I hope you live a long life, free of serious tragedy, with no one paying any serious attention to you or your demented ideas.

  113. E.A. Blair says

    Just heard a news report about an avalance in Washington killing at least three people. I’m sure there are some here who are hoping who one of those three was.

  114. piero says

    Er… technically, you can’t keep youre legs “shut”, because they are neither a passageway nor a box. True, we refer to a doorr being “shut” when we actually mean that the passageway has been shut by the door, but that’s an acceptable shortcut, because doors are mostly used for that purpose. Using the same shortcut for women’s legs implies that their primary function is not locomotion, but preventing access to their genitals.

    Anyway, an almost equally convenient and cheap method of contraception is to hang a hammer from the dick of Friess, Santorum and other such dicks (though perhaps the aspirin will work just as well).

  115. Bear Dong says

    By this token, anybody who tells a man that he should “keep it in his pants” if he doesn’t want to pay child support for a kid that he never wanted is just a closet misandrist who wants to punish men for their sexuality.

    “If you truly were against abortion, you would be fighting desperately for comprehensive sex education and easy access to contraceptives – things that actually reduce abortions. If you truly thought abortion was murder, you would never make exceptions for cases of rape or incest. If you truly were concerned with women’s health, you wouldn’t use HPV statistics to scaremonger young girls about sex while simultaneously fighting against a vaccine. If you truly were pro-life, you’d want improved child care, education, and family leave instead of losing interest in someone once they pop out of the womb.”

    You’re assuming that pro-lifers must be utilitarians. This is sloppy reasoning. There’s nothing inconsistent about believing that the government should protect the unborn from murder whilst also believing that it’s not the government’s job to hand out contraceptives or educate people’s children about sex. And there’s nothing inconsistent about believing that a woman’s obligation to her unborn baby/fetus/whatever you want to call it is null and void in instances of rape. I agree with you about incest and the HPV vaccine though.

    Now that that’s done, let me flip this argument back around on you. How many “pro-choicers” actually care about choice outside the womb? How many of them are radical libertarians or anarchists? Most pro-choicers are progressives, who think that the government should be able to tell people that they can’t self-medicate, obtain a surgery or give birth to a child outside of a hospital, sell their organs, obtain risky medical treatments from non-medical professionals, et al; and in general are fond of regulating the shit out of people’s lives when it comes to healthcare. And I hardly see any self-described pro-choicers fighting for a man’s right to not have to pay for a child that he never wanted, or even against the Draconian way that child support is handled by the American family court system (e.g. having to report to what is essentially a parole officer when you’re not a criminal, giving judges the arbitrary right to jail a man who wasn’t able to find a job or obtain the necessary funds to pay last month’s CS check, et al).

    So are feminists a bunch of anti-natal misandrists? Or is this just a sloppy argument?

    Also, why the particular outrage over mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds? You’re not one of those simple-minded patriarchs who thinks that a woman’s vagina is this special naughty no-no part which constitutes the very essence of her being, are you?

  116. DSimon says

    How many “pro-choicers” actually care about choice outside the womb? How many of them are radical libertarians or anarchists? Most pro-choicers are progressives, who think that the government should be able to tell people that they can’t self-medicate, obtain a surgery or give birth to a child outside of a hospital, sell their organs, obtain risky medical treatments from non-medical professionals, et al; and in general are fond of regulating the shit out of people’s lives when it comes to healthcare.

    We’re in favor of regulations when, and only when, they help more than they hurt.

    Nearly all of your examples have the effect not of preventing access to a treatment, but of making sure that the person administering it is qualified to do so, and that the treatment has been verified to be safe and legit. A market alone would not be that great at managing such things because (a) a lot of medical decisions are made in emergency situations and (b) it takes much more test data to validate a medicine than, say, a cell phone. This is not exactly a recipe for carefully informed and well-considered consumer decisions. Finally, the extreme cost of screwing up medical choices magnifies this whole problem.

    However, the stated purpose of banning abortion is for the health of the fetus/embryo, rather than the person. Since fetuses and embryos are very certainly not people before they have properly functional brains, that reasoning is just outright broken.

  117. ... says

    Well, that’s certainly one way of looking at the bill requiring all employers to provide free contraception and sterilisation and abortion. Here’s another: it’s roughly analogous to passing a law that demands all Mosques hand out free bacon and, when there’s objection, yelling “They’re trying to ban bacon!”

    It makes me laugh seeing the American “left” whinge about things like this. They’ve spent decades enshrining the principle that the State – sorry “society” – has sovereignty over the individual, and then they’re all hurt and whiny when it get’s used against them. Sorry, too little, too late.

  118. E.A. Blair says

    That’s a false analogy and if you don’t know it, you’re stupid. What’s more apt is the example of an equally hypothetical hospital run by the Jehovah’s Witlesses telling you, “The only thing that will save your life is a blood transfusion, but we don’t believe in that, so you’re going to die.” Or having that same hypothetical hospital tell one of its employees, “We won’t cover your blood transfusion, even though you aren’t a Jehovah’s Witless”.

    When a religious organization operates a business (not a place of worship) that is required to follow government regulations (like not being allowed to deny nonbelievers treatment in the emergency room), it can’t be allowed to pick and choose which regulations to follow. Furthermore, when businesses accept billions in government money (as to Catholic hospitals and charities), they also assume an obligation to follow the law.

    Take away those subsidies and tax exemptions and let those hospitals, colleges and universities limit their employment to Catholics only and their clientele (patients and students) to Catholics only, and they can do what they want.

  119. Anri says

    Also, why the particular outrage over mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds? You’re not one of those simple-minded patriarchs who thinks that a woman’s vagina is this special naughty no-no part which constitutes the very essence of her being, are you?

    Um, no, we’re some of those reasonably intelligent people who believe that a woman’s vagina is part of her body, and that strangers shouldn’t be able to shove objects into it without her permission.

    Can we presume you disagree?

  120. ... says

    Well, I do hope that no one is lobbying using government for handouts for stuff they like. I mean, that’d be unthinkable. Goodness me, where will it all end?

    Okay, how’s this for an alternative – until the schools and universities teach the ethics I want them to, they can do without tax moneys. Sorry, what’s that? I’m not “the people” or “society”? Well, who is? If we go by quantity, those Christians outnumber you by a considerable margin. Welcome to democracy. You believe in democracy, right?

    As I said, it makes me laugh. Everyone yelling for the state to control the individual always assumes it’s their little plan that’ll get rammed down the rest of our throats. Then they act all shocked when it’s not theirs, and all indignant too. Please, please get real.

    On the one hand you’re complaining that businesses are getting tax-funded support, a complaint I share, and a correct one as it is forcing someone to pay for something they don’t believe in. Then you demand the power to force them to pay for that which they do not support.

    Who wins? Well, I get a good laugh at least…

  121. says

    Don’t knock the aspirin method. Back in the day you had to wheedle a pharmacist to unlock the condom case I was taught some of the. best. sex. ever. by a Catholic friend who claimed without a trace of sour grapes that vaginal sex was yucky. Something she would have to do some day to have a baby. Conditioned? Certainly, but even later with contraceptives and different conditioning vaginal sex was not routine. Those techniques worked for both genders.

  122. yoav says

    You clearly wasn’t listening when they were teaching about democracy in your school. Democracy is not the majority get to do whatever they want and fuck the minority, part of having a functional society is that the rights of minorities are protected from the tyranny of the majority. I guess that in the Randroid fantasy world you clearly live in your some sort of free superman who’s genius goes unrecognized by the statist mooching masses but I’ll be willing to bet that if you get your wish and the government vanish tomorrow you will starve to death in less then a weak.

  123. ... says

    Democracy is not the majority get to do whatever they want and fuck the minority

    Oh really, sunshine? Let’s take the Athenians – you know, the people who actually invented the bloody term – voting to put Socrates to death.

    part of having a functional society is that the rights of minorities are protected from the tyranny of the majority.

    Well, that’d be nice, sure, but it’s a little difficult when people like you think that they can override the rights of the only minority that counts, the individual. You can’t unleash that mechanism and then start whining when it does what it always does.

    you clearly live in your some sort of free superman who’s genius goes unrecognized by the statist mooching masses

    Oh, I’m hardly a genius kid, but listening to you certainly makes me feel like one. And we can all use a good pick-me-up from time to time.

    I’d be very happy to have a system of individual rights protected by stern restraints on what the State may do, but until people get serious, I am going to simply have to content myself with laughing when those who built the Moloch are fed to it.

  124. E.A. Blair says

    “Let’s take the Athenians – you know, the people who actually invented the bloody term – voting to put Socrates to death.”

    You must have flunked both history and civics at all levels from kindergarten to college. There is no comparison between the Athenian democracy and what today is usually referred to as “democracy”.

    The United States is not a democracy* but a republic – meaning that the people who really make the decisions are representatives elected for that purpose and not the citizens themselves. Furthermore, the definitions of “citizen” in ancient Athens and the current US are vastly different (although they were originally more similar).

    Of course nothing prevents the majority from trying to establish a tyranny over minorities, but in our case it is a minority trying to tyrannize the majority. Of course the theory is that the rights of minorities are supposed to be upheld, but it seldom works that way without cramming things down people’s throats.

    *The technical term for the US form of government is “democratic republic” since the representatives designated to run the government are elected by the citizens, but years of propaganda make Americans uncomfortable with that term.

  125. codelette says

    While I agree with the fact that the government should not “prescribe” (ha!) laws regarding medical procedures for whatever reasons; I also thing that the article is emotionally charged and over-reaching. When having an abortion, a simple pregnancy test and one’s recollection of “when was your last period?” is not enough to determine if a woman is indeed pregnant and how far along is she. Comparing a transvaginal sonogram to rape is something I’ll expect from a religious Christian zealot; not a bunch of secularist. A transvaginal sonogram is actually something a responsible doctor should perform before the procedure to make sure a woman is at the other end of a D&C and there’s indeed a fetus inside her uterus (and not a fibroid, an ectopic pregnancy, etc).
    On the topic of rape and TV sonogram -again-…really? Are we going to say next that the vacuum used for the D&C is also rape? If some women have issues with TV sonograms, stuff inserted up her vagina as part of a medical procedure or fear of looking at a grainy image of a bean on a screen; then clearly those women are not ready to go thru an abortion.

    BTW, don’t even mention a regular sonogram as an option. That’ll require a whole day at the clinic just drinking a whole gallon of water.

    To wrap this up: dudes, once the real vacuuming of innards or bleeding after taking the pill; you’ll long for the TV sonogram moments. That’s the easy part.

  126. codelette says

    PS. If I was a woman visiting an abortion clinic; I’ll be wary of a facility that didn’t mention a sonogram as part of both their pre and post screenings.

  127. ... says

    You must have flunked both history and civics at all levels from kindergarten to college. There is no comparison between the Athenian democracy and what today is usually referred to as “democracy”.

    That people misuse words doesn’t change the basic point. So, get. real. However, I’m glad to see that you don’t believe in democracy. Good. Neither do I.

    If one wants to make a stand on individual rights, then the only defensible position is that no institution can receive funds from the government and they may all act as they wish. If you want some sort of a combo of both tax-raised funds being distributed to private groups/individuals, then the course that reserves the maximum freedom from state interference is that such groups may make up their own minds and follow their own consciences. And if that means that Catholic employers decline to provide contraception, then so be it. Want something done differently? Run your own business.

    There is no decent way of having this both ways.

  128. says

    “I think it’s time to organize a sex boycott. If your man is in favor of punishing women for having sex (pro-forced vaginal ultrasounds, anti-contraceptive, pro-personhood for sperm, anti-abortion, etc.) then don’t have sex with him. Problem solved. Hey, they’re all in favor of abstinence, right?

    Disclaimer: I realize not all women have the kind of power necessary to pull off a sex boycott, but many do! Imagine the impact if all the wives whose husbands voted for these bills announced that contraceptives would no longer be necessary in their households.”

    I think that if you look at the differences of opinion between men and women on this, or almost any other, issue, you will find them to be quite similar. In other words, the wives of the people you despise probably share their views. I don’t think Jen refusing to have sex with Gingrich and Santorum would have much of an effect. .-)

  129. DSimon says

    It seems like you’re just going around in circles. You appear to be implying that maximum freedom from state interference must be the overriding goal because otherwise, we won’t have maximum freedom from state interference!

    It’s actually possible to have a real discussion with people who argue that extremely open markets are the most effective way to a healthy society, but to propose that as the only legitimate terminal goal makes you as alien as a paperclip-maximizer. If you want to talk about “getting real”, then consider that actual real-world societies have more than one metric in their “how well are we doing?” function.

    Also, it’s just silly to declare that the most useful and common meaning of a word is a “misuse”, choosing instead to favor a historical example that has been obsolete, morally and politically, for literally millenia. Nobody’s defending early Greek democracy here, yet you continue to talk about it and attack it as though it were relevant. That’s not just a strawman, it’s like an example you’d come up with to explain to people what “strawman” means.

  130. ... says

    DSimon,

    To make this a little more simple then. The government has no role, none, in bullying private individuals or institutions to act in ways contrary to their conscience. Or how would you like it if, say, the Bush administration had said that all employers have to provide mandatory lectures on abstinence and “sexual morality”?

    I have little love for the Catholic Church, but I think this is disgraceful. I have even less love for Islam, but in my bacon analogy, I would be the first to denounce it as an outrage.

    It does no good to gripe “Oh, they take government money” – I could say the same thing in the case of my hypothetical move of the Bush admin. Moreover, there is no “government money”; the money is taken from the productive citizenry. So its a double insult and crime. But if you grant the principle that its okay for the State to take from the citizenry and redistribute it as it sees fit, then the only way to, not make it moral, but to minimise the immorality, is to say that none of that redistribution may come at the expense of the individual liberties of the recipients.

    An analogous case is the matter of embryonic stem cells. There is no question in my mind that these have an immense potential. However, it is not right to force someone to support the technology if they do not wish to; that is the reason why there is such an argument about state subsidies.

    So much for the moral case. I’m old and gnarly enough to know that that doesn’t convince people. So, let me make it simple: sanction this sort of thing, and the day is not far off when you’ll be on the receiving end of it. The religious outnumber you by a great margin, and don’t you forget it. There is no such thing as power that isn’t abused.

  131. ... says

    It also increases as suspicion I’ve had for a long time, with regards to the American atheist scene. I’ve noticed that there has been little complaint about, say, the mendacious bible thumper Al Gore. What’s being argued for is not a world without a church, something I’d be happy to see, but a world with a tamed, state church. If that’s the offer, I’d far rather have a strong church in opposition to a growing state, because that, historically, has been the guarantee of liberty – the two spend sufficient time fighting each other that they are too busy to make life difficult for the rest of us. It’s my fervent hope that the Catholic Church finds its balls, tells the Obama Administration to go fuck itself, and announces an immediate shut down of every Catholic hospice, hospital and charity within the United States.

  132. eric says

    Kathy, that is what one of the earlier posters was referring to when they said “Lysistrata.” Lys is a 2500-year-old play about women who withold sex to stop a war. :)

  133. Tualha says

    If the trends in education* and women’s rights they’ve been pushing go on long enough, they will be able to get away with it.

    * As in, here, kids, now you have to learn even more unconnected facts to pass this mandated test before you can be promoted. Too bad that leaves no time at all to teach you how to think about them, question them, or anything useless like that.

  134. DSimon says

    @…

    From your text, you seem to be saying that because it’s possible for unjust laws to be created, we should therefore have no laws. I don’t think that’s what you’re trying to get at, however.

    So let’s approach this from the opposite end of the spectrum. Do you agree that government should act to prevent murder done in the name of revenge? If so, how is this not a matter of the government forcing someone to act against their conscience?

    What distinguishes that sort of harm from the harm done when a medical doctor decides, for no practical reason, not to perform a life-saving procedure under otherwise normal circumstances? I think, and suspect you do as well, there is an important difference, but for the sake of mutual understanding we should nail down exactly what it is.

  135. ... says

    Firstly, please don’t tell me what “seems” to be in my words. It’s a particularly irritating internet debating tactic.

    The proper goal of government is to protect the rights of its citizens, and by rights I mean their freedom of action within society. That means punishing fraud and force. No one is allowed to initiate the use of violence against another human being (this is why there is a great amount of careful study and argument about the subject of what does and does not constitute “self defence” in legal terms). The contract between the state and the citizenry is that, except in instances of immediate personal threat, the citizens delegate their power of vengeance to the state.

    That is also what marks out the key difference in your hypothetical. A doctor may or may not have legitimate reasons to treat someone, but you have no right to force him to do so. To force someone else to work is called “enslaving” them.

    Of course, by definition, a deliberate killer should be stopped.

    Now where it all gets a little more complex is how the hell you enshrine that in practice. Even moving away from the more theoretical bits here, we both know that you can vote for a guy who is promising to do or do away with X, and, once in office, he might just change his mind.

    Looking at the American scene, I notice that a lot of american lefties are acting all shocked that the Obama administration refuses to relinquish powers such as extra-judicial killing etc. And a lot of conservatives are surprised that the powers delegated to Bush are being used by Obama. There’s the lesson – once you have given power to the state, it’s almost impossible to get it back. That’s the dangerous flaw inherent in democracy – once you have granted someone power by voting him in, you, you personally, have no power to restrain his actions, unless the structure itself keeps him in check.

    So people who are all shouting for the state to regulate belief – which is what is happening here – will be in for a nasty shock. One day the Christian right will be in a position to use that power, and do not think that they will have forgotten it.

    I’m a strong opponent of the death penalty. Not because I don’t think that there are people who deserve death, but because having it absolutely guarantees that it will be abused.

  136. ... says

    Addendum: A case in point would be state control of education. That’s a power that can and will be abused, unless sharply constrained. The US has its first amendment, which is why the creationists have not been successful in having the nonsense taught. However, the UK has no such protection, and the result is this:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1533011/Creationism-is-nothing-to-worry-about-says-Blair.html

    That’s in the face of a far less well organised push. You cannot grant power to the government without it being abused. The existence of government is a nasty compromise forced on us by our human and evolutionary history. We can be brought to accept a certain amount of abuse because there is no practical way of getting rid of it, but don’t fool yourself that that’s what it is.

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