Tuesday, May 12, 2015
The Number One Priority for Republicans - Abortion
The political parties argue about many issues - wars and spending and gay rights and climate change and on and on but truly, abortion is and has been for the last many years, the Republicans' main priority and, increasingly, that also includes contraceptives. They are obsessive about it. It's one of the first laws Republicans push when they have control of any legislature - national or state. This was all outlined by Rachel Maddow on her show last night. But what is it that really drives Republicans on abortion? Is it truly love for fetuses? If that is so, some of their legislation seems to work at cross-purposes with those declarations.
- For instance, Colorado has had one of the most successful programs for lowering teen pregnancy rates and teen abortion rates, one for which they've received national recognition. They did it by providing IUDs to girls who don't want to get pregnant. They lowered the teen pregnancy rate by 40 percent and the teen abortion rate by 35 percent. You would think Republicans would hail those results but no, as soon as they took control of the Colorado legislature, they de-funded the program. Presumably, the pregnancy and abortion rates will now begin to go back up so what was the Republicans' rationale?
- North Carolina has one of the most prestigious medical schoolsin the country at the University of North Carolina. Republicans considered banning the teaching of when and how to perform abortions at UNC until they discovered that such a backward move might lose the school its accreditation, then they back offed....reluctantly.
- Still North Carolina legislators did proceed with passing a measure that would mandate women who wanted abortions to be forced to have an unnecessary ultrasound against their and their doctor's will...and here's the good part - not only would they have to have an ultrasound, they would then have to send it to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to be filed. I guess this is the Republican idea of limited government. If the idea of seizing women's ultrasounds doesn't make you hear the Jaws theme playing in the background, then you are insensitive to government overreach (except when you believe it is your ox being gored because....guns).
- Tennessee's Republicans just voted on new restrictions meant to close their family planning clinics, much like the ones in Texas, Ohio and Wisconsin.
- Oklahoma's governor, Mary Fallin, just signed a bill mandating a three-day waiting period before a woman can proceed with an abortion.
- Alabama just passed three new laws restricting abortions.
- Arkansas, not to be outdone, passed six!
- So far, 11 states have passed 37 new laws restricting abortion in 2015.
And what about the national Republican party. Oh, yes, The House too is pondering what kind of abortion bill to pass next. If you remember, a so-called "fetal heartbeat" bill was the first legislation they contemplated voting on in 2015. It was so onerous that even Republican woman balked and in the end, the bill was pulled. But, not to worry, they haven't given up.
Despite the fact that in the next few days, they have to a) re-authorize NSA spying which was recently found to be unconstitutional as it stands, b) pass a Defense appropriations bill and c) decide whether undocumented aliens can enlist in our military, they still have plenty of time, it seems, to debate and vote on new abortion legislation.
Right now they appear to be struggling with a couple of components of the proposed bill. One is whether to impose a 48-hour waiting period on rape victims wanting an abortion, as well as requiring proof that the she has sought counseling. The second question deals with incest victims. At what age can girls who've been impregnated by their fathers or other family members be allowed to have an abortion? The current Republican thinking seems to be that if you are 17 or under and don't want to bear your freaking father's child, then yes, we guess, you can have an abortion. But if you're 18, nope, you gotta' go ahead and do it 'cause we say so.
They are considering this bill even though, if anything, they've made it worse, so will the Republican women who opposed it before suddenly decide to capitulate? Does it have a chance to get 60 votes in the Senate? (Unlikely). Will the president veto it? (Absolutely!) So, why do they insist on tilting at this windmill with all the serious issues they should be working on instead? Is it just to please their base? Does this so color their thinking, they can't not do it? Do they simply believe they must control women because God know what we'd do if they let us get out of hand?
So far as I've heard, all the Republicans running for president are pro-life, some more than others. To people like Mike Huckabee, pro-life not only means anti-abortion, it means anti-birth control as well.
The Republicans love them some fetuses, hell, they don't even have to be fetuses, they can be eggs, not even eggs, just their cute single little sperm is enough to call forth reverence from the Republicans. They feel this way right up until the sperm becomes a fetus becomes a baby and is born, then it's "hey, Mom, if life is tough for you and your little brat, too bad so sad. You want help with food, with housing, with healthcare, well, sorry, Exxon and Citibank come first."
I will simply never understand why any woman votes Republican.