Sunday, February 16, 2014

Yes I'm Angry! A Complete Abortion Rant For Florida and Beyond

Crossposted on DKos

2011. The tea party took full control of Florida and other states as well. Anti-abortion laws skyrocketed to an all-time high. Florida passed so many that Rick Scott actually threw an abortion assault party at the governor's mansion:

  • They passed the strictest parental notification law in the US.
  • They took license plate funds going to adoption services and diverted them to anti-abortion groups.
  • They prohibited insurance from covering abortion.
  • Last year, they even tried to remove Florida's privacy protection in our Constitution with an amendment vaguely disguised as something else.
  • Under Scott, Florida women must now undergo a medically unnecessary and expensive ultrasound. (Charlie Crist vetoed this bill in 2010 when it also required women to listen to the description on the ultrasound. I don't know exactly how they were planning to force them, but that's what the bill said.)
Next year we are faced with the personhood amendment. GOP Rep. Andy Gardiner summed up the justification: "We all say we are for less government, except here."

I was angry, but in July 2012, I hit a boiling point.

A federal judge finally allowed a Tampa Bay woman to seek damages for a horrible wrong. This poor woman was victimized three times. First, she was brutally raped. Second, when she tried to get help, she was instead thrown in jail for an outstanding warrant (for a "failure to appear" charge when she was a juvenile). As bad as it was for the rapist to be walking free while the victim was thrown behind bars.... it got much worse. A "rape kit" procedure was performed and the Tampa Rape Crisis Center doctor prescribed two emergency contraception pills: one to take immediately and one 12 hours later. Yet when she asked the person running the jail for the second pill 12 hours later, she was denied because of the jailer's "religious beliefs".

Florida has a broad refusal clause that allows people other than just pharmacists to deny prescription medication. Now call me cynical, but I believe the most personal decision a woman can make, the decision to have a baby, should at least include the woman. Since she will be the one to raise it, take care of it, and financially support it, I just think she should have some say in this. I don't think a monumentous decision to have a baby should be made only by a violent criminal and an ideologically-driven jailer. (I don't say "religious" jailer because the terrible things that go on at that jail, like throwing a quadriplegic out of his wheelchair, isn't religious in any sense of the definition.)

Ideologically-driven crusaders not only defended the jailer's actions but regarded the jailer as some sort of hero. Its easy to blow these people off, but in our state they "serve" in the legislature. The only thing worse than an ideologically-driven crusader is one with legislative power...

Because it is here that our leaders see nothing wrong with people denying prescription drugs they don’t like, or promoting the rights of a soon to be discarded Petri-dish over a sick child, injecting themselves into a family fight over a legally dead woman, or making inappropriate pro-life license plates with proceeds going to deadly “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” that are actually state-funded anti-abortion propaganda centers that pretend to be professional health facilities.

Strangely enough, these folks lament the right of abortion while simultaneously promoting it. They oppose comprehensive sex education courses in favor of sexual ignorance, and make ridiculous cuts to our most vulnerable citizens that make it almost impossible to raise children in favor of tax breaks and giveaways for those who need it least. (This hypocrisy makes. me. ill.)

All of this is illogical if your goal is to curb abortions, but logic rarely enters into the abortion debate. It’s about feelings. The feelings of anger or even hate that I have for the fat, well-dressed man screaming at the frightened teenager in front of an abortion clinic are the exact same feelings the abortion protestors feel towards the poor teenager. (With the added glee of taunting “You Got to Play, Now You Got to Pay!”)

Forced birthers will fight for a fetus and insist it be given more rights than the mother. However, once the fetus becomes a baby, when NO ONE questions or debates that it is a life, they don't seem to care if it gets kicked to the curb. Food stamps, programs for the disabled, health care? They fight AGAINST these things while trying to force a woman to bear child. The same ones protesting abortion wouldn't consider lifting a finger to help improve the horrendous state of our orphanages, mentor a needy child, or, God-forbid, consider adoption as an option—especially if he or she is a minority. But they'll protest up a storm on the weekend. (One protester explained that God “called” him to protest, but probably others are “called” to do “that other kind of stuff”.)

I HATE self-righteous indignation. I hate even more people without morality, empathy, or common sense. If you are cursed with any or all of those values, then you understand my suffering.

Yes, I am angry. I can't write about abortion without getting angry. You so-called "pro-lifers" reading this probably feel the same way. I'm sure you are calling me names and spewing venom as you finish this sentence. I get it... but now that I've ranted, let me propose putting past our mutual contempt for just a moment and lets agree on SOMETHING:

By making it easier (and cheaper) to adopt, by making day-care more affordable, and by making it easier for those who need it to get the help they need to support their baby—abortion rates would DROP dramatically.

I can PROMISE you that this way would curb a lot more abortions than making it illegal ever could.

The abortion debate has devolved into arguments over legalization. What I would argue is that abortions will not stop if made illegal: the wealthy will be able to afford to go wherever it is legal, and the poor will return to the back-alley procedures. The fight over legalization is a losing strategy anyway: the reality is that newer abortion drugs will make most procedures requiring a clinic moot. Then what will you do? Its a heckuva lot easier to target clinics than try to stop a pill.

Besides, think this through. Suppose Roe is overturned and your favorite Southern state makes abortion illegal. Now suppose a woman decides to go to a clinic and drives to a state where abortion is legal or even to Canada or Mexico. Who exactly would be charged? The doctor? (Not likely, its legal where he or she is and your Alabama laws won't apply) The driver/parents? (Really?) The impregnator? (No, never the male) The woman? (This is usually the consistent answer from the protestors... although the suggested punishment I hear varies from jail to some sort of "counseling").

Let me ask you straight up: ARE you serious about curbing abortions or just in promoting a misguided ideology that only results in increased abortions? If you are really serious about curbing abortion, try giving the woman the support she needs so she will want to have a baby and be able to take care of said baby. Again, changing minds and offering support is not only the Christian thing to do, but in the end, is the only real viable thing to do.


  1. I'm pro-life and I've been in favor of the sort of "SOMETHINGs" you refer to all the while. The modern Religious Right seems unaware that long ago, when the Romans got rid of unwanted infants (usually because they were female, or deformed, or what have you) by tossing them out into the cold, the Christian church took these infants in and cared for them. They were familiar with the concept of "changing minds and offering support." That seems to be unknown to a lot of people today.

    Crist in his book says much the same thing. He says he's pro-life, but also says it is better to change minds rather than laws. He's right. Changing laws is just a temporary fix that will be reversed as soon as the other side gets back in power. The whole "laws" approach is short-sighted.