Friday, March 16, 2012

Sluts and Silly Girlies

The GOP war on women continues. Far right bloviator Rush Limbaugh got himself into all kinds of trouble recently, when he called a college student a slut and a prostitute, for testifying before a Congressional committee about the medical benefits of birth control. Limbaugh basically told all of his viewers that this young woman is a slut who wants taxpayers to pay for her birth control. He also suggested that she has an awful lot of sex, requiring prodigious amounts of birth control. He also made the curious demand that if taxpayers were going to subsidize her birth control, that she post videos of all of this sex she’s having, so that Rush and his cohorts could view the videos.

Trouble is, Sandra Fluke wasn’t testifying about her own sex life, or asking for free contraception. She was speaking about women who require birth control pills for medical conditions. Despite the best efforts of the prodigious media liars of the right, the bill that would guarantee that insurance companies cover birth control for women has nothing to do with taxpayers. Limbaugh doesn’t seem to understand that birth control pills aren’t taken every time one engages in sexual congress. He seems to be confusing birth control with the Viagra he is known to travel with a prescription for, under an assumed name. And finally, I’d bet my life’s savings of $3.62 that Rush Limbaugh doesn’t watch heterosexual porn.

Thanks to Rush, we now know that any woman who uses birth control is a slut, and members of the Christian Taliban and the far right propaganda machine are all agreeing right along with Limbaugh. It’s by far the most interesting strategy I’ve seen in an election year: the deliberate alienation of slightly more than half of the voting population.

NH’s GOP clown car is racing down the same track. Executive Councilor Ray Wieczorek voted against funding Planned Parenthood in NH, making this comment: “If they want to have a good time, let them pay for it.” Yes, Ray, nothing says good time more than a mammogram or a pap smear. Of course, he was referring to the sluts who use birth control. One can only applaud Mr. Wieczorek for the decision NOT to run for another term.

NH had a law in place that required contraception coverage in all health insurance plans. It was enacted during a Republican controlled legislature. However, the national fervor over insurance coverage for sluts got Speaker O’Brien all het up, and desperate to repeal this law. O’Brien and his trusty assistant, House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt, enlisted the aid of the Manchester Catholic Diocese to write up a new law. A scant year ago, young DJ referred to Bishop McCormack of that same diocese as a “pedophile pimp,” because he spoke out against the punitive budget that the O’Brien junta passed last year. The diocese apparently doesn’t hold a grudge, at least not when they have the chance to write a law that would negatively impact women. Since the diocese is dabbling in politics and writing laws, they should lose their tax-free non-profit status, immediately.

The NH House has just passed HB 1659, a bill that stipulates that women must be “informed” before having the legal medical procedure known as an abortion. At least 24 hours before the procedure (necessitating two appointments, and for some women that means losing at least 2 days pay) the woman must be orally informed about a number of things by the doctor. At that same visit, she must be given a lengthy stack of materials, and she must certify, in writing, that she has been spoken to, and handed propaganda. The doctor must also fill out a checklist that goes in her file. In the event that a physician is performing a medically necessary emergency procedure, he or she must still fill out that same form that goes in the woman’s file. There are at least 12 strictures in the bill about the kind of material the woman must be given, including the stipulation that she is given a handout on the link between breast cancer and abortion. This is a link pushed by the anti-science Christian Taliban, but it is a link that has been debunked by actual scientists and medical professionals. The NH House has just passed a bill requiring that doctors LIE to women. There’s something we can all be proud of.

HB 1659 also stipulates that information be gathered and reported on by the physician to the state, including the age of the patient, any previous pregnancies or abortions, the nature of those abortions, the age of the fetus, and the location of the facility. This is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from printing the names of these women in the newspaper. I hasten to remind you - that all of this regulation is for a legal medical procedure. Clearly, the men of the O’Brien junta don’t believe that women have any right at all to medical privacy or bodily autonomy.

My late husband had multiple myeloma. For a time, he was taking Thalidomide, the drug that caused birth defects during the 1950’s. He had to go through a monthly reporting process to obtain the drug, which is highly restricted. That process was not nearly as onerous as the one that the NH House would like to force on women who are availing themselves of a legal, medical procedure.. Also, no one insisted that he be given false information about the effects of the drug.

It’s clear that the NH legislature feels that women are silly girlies who need their help in making medical decisions, though it’s hard to square it with their constant assertion of “less government interference” in our lives. Their goal would seem to be to shrink government small enough to drown in a bathtub and fit neatly into a uterus. If women are so stupid that we can’t make our own medical decisions, how can you trust us with these lives you pretend to be so desperate to protect?

Meanwhile, the NH unemployment rate is still 5.2%. In February 6, 338 initial unemployment claims were filed. That doesn’t even begin to touch on the number of people who are substantially underemployed and barely making ends meet. Ten percent of NH’s children live in poverty. Our state infrastructure is a disaster. But, hey – why worry about that? There are bedrooms and vaginas to police.

“NH House GOP Agenda ’12: Focuses squarely on getting the 38,000 of our friends and neighbors who remain unemployed back to work.” DJ Bettencourt, on Twitter, February 4, 2012.


Anonymous said...

How interesting that Bettencourt referred to 38,000 as "friends and neighbors" while we all know full well he and his party may very well see many of these individuals as unregulated "sluts" who should be the vassals of men, barefoot and pregnant but more importantly, NOT voting. Their sheer hypocrisy is the only thing transparent. So much effort and empty words are spent on unborn life and life barely lived, but absolutely NO words are uttered on entering other nations and killing, torturing, disenfranchising and obliterating. The GOP refuses to admit MURDER which is what we have been committing since entering Iraq and Afghanistan. The "look what he did to my daddy" party of war mongerers appear to be all infested with brain parasites, since they are using little of what brain cells nature originally gave them. While condeming the nations we occupy, we appear to be turning into them. Perhaps stoning women will also be added to legislation? Viagra is handed out in this nation like candy and so it is also in Afghanistan to war lords by our armed services in exchange for what I wonder? There is already chatter in the realm of the GOP of war against Iran should they be the victors in November. Help me connect the dots between warmongering and contraception/abortion.

Anonymous said...

Ten percent of NH’s children live in poverty. Our state infrastructure is a disaster.

And yet free staters keep portraying NH as some kind of free-market paradise with such a wonderful standard of living. Ughhh.

I blame those far-right libertarians for messing up this state. They're enabling all these bills to be considered and passed. To them, it's more important for a boss to have the "freedom" to deny workers the things they need to survive and live healthily than it is for workers to have the right to demand that their bosses make sure they live healthily.

Free staters want to send NH to what it was during the Gilded Age. Sadly, it might just come true unless we do something about it. I'd suggest writing letters to numerous NH newspapers.