Monthly Archives: January 2009

I write letters

(h/t Shakesville for the title)

I was upset to hear that one of my senators, Mel Martinez (R – FL), sponsored an amendment to the SCHIP bill that would reinstate the Global Gag Rule, aka the Mexico City Policy. Luckily it got shot down, but still.

So, I wrote him a little email.

I was disappointed to hear that you sponsored an amendment to reinstate the Global Gag Rule. As you should know as a responsible politician who would research the effects of a policy before promoting it, it does not prevent money from going to abortions at all, which is still prevented by the Hyde amendment. What it does is prevent accurate information from being given out, and restricts funding for clinics who do not perform abortions at all.

Do a simple search for “deaths global gag rule” and you will see dozens of scientific reports showing that the Global Gag Rule contributes to maternal deaths world wide, and deaths of children and full families due to unsafe abortions, increased infection and lack of access to care. Shame on you, for someone who calls himself “pro-life”, for supporting such a policy.

Well, at least he has announced he isn’t running for reelection. Good riddance.

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I give up. I need help.

Can anyone help me convert a .doc or .pdf to a .jpg? I desperately want to update my Mommy Wars Bingo card to specifically include women who cannot breastfeed (I had that in mind when I made the card. I can’t believe it wasn’t specifically spelled out in the cloth diapering, etc. box) and women who are not heteronormative (again, a major oversight). So, please comment if you can help! I give up.

Oh, and just this morning, I had a doctor tell me that she thinks anyone who gets any government money should not be allowed to have children. I am assuming she means welfare. Because any government employee, member of the military, person who receives public grants, employee of a public school, health care practitioner who gets reimbursed by Medicare or Medicaid (like her), etc. receives government money. She went on to say that no one who can’t afford it should be able to have a child. This was her way of agreeing with me about how the funding for Medicaid coverage of birth control should have been left in the stimulus package. I tried to answer tactfully, without yelling “Circle gets a square!” I said something weakly, like, how forcing people to use contraception can be “controversial” and we should first make sure that everyone who wants contraceptives has access.

To make the matter worse, this was right after the wonderful doctor who is the site director talked about his upbringing as one of four children of a single mom. Not like she should only watch was she says due to the present company, but, come on, lady.

Sheesh.

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Surprise, surprise

Wow. The Republicans unanimously voted against the stimulus package. And I thought kicking low income women to the curb was going to convince them to vote for the stimulus package. Oh wait, that wasn’t me, that was President Obama.

Let’s hope women’s reproductive rights are not the perpetual sacrificial lamb of this administration.

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Don’t cave, Obama!!

I was disappointed to hear on NPR this morning, on Shakesville, and in my email inbox from the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA), that Obama has caved to Republican pressure and has personally called Henry Waxman to remove provisions from the bailout that would increase funding for birth control for low income women.

First of all, there is no argument that this would increase jobs, both at clinics and at pharmacies. Secondly, it would DECREASE ABORTIONS. 40% of unplanned pregnancies end in elective terminations. Low income women are MUCH more likely to get pregnant and to choose abortion than higher income women. Third, it would decrease unplanned pregnancies that are carried to term by women who are on public insurance and other social welfare services. More pregnant low income means more government on WIC, welfare and Medicaid. A lot of that is state money. States are really strapped right now.

I cannot believe Obama is caving on this issue. Women’s reproductive issues have already been the red headed stepchild of this administration, when they buried ending the Gag Rule in some effort to make it seem less controversial. We need to stop letting the minority define this position. Also, I don’t believe for one second that taking that provision out will increase Republican support for the bailout. I think it’s pretty clear that the main Republican strategy for rejuvenating its base after this last catastrophe of an election is to oppose the bailout. Throwing poor women’s uteri under the bus is not going to change that one bit.

If anyone wants to take action, check out the action alert at the NFPRHA site.

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Reply turned post, high priced prostitution style

Feministe has a good post up about the women’s studies student who is auctioning off her virginity on the internet. Natalie Dylan (the pseudonym she is using) claims that this is a sort of social experiment. She claims she is somehow flipping the patriarchal power structure by profiting off of this. Somehow, she sees this as subversive. Here is my reply:

I don’t find it subversive at all. Taking something that is valued by a patriarchal capitalist society and selling it for a lot of money for personal gain is not subversive and really isn’t much of a social experiment.

And I have a question. What if she was a virgin who did not meet conventional beauty standards? What if she is truly a hetronormative virgin, but she is not young, not thin, or not attractive? How much money would her virginity be worth, then? She is using a pseudonym. Has she promised that the picture is accurate and current? Would it be a breach of contract if she is indeed a virgin, as promised, but somehow fails to meet some of the other epitomes of patriarchal dreams? Is that all part of the bargain?

It’s hardly likely, but I would be highly amused if some millionaire paid for his wet dream and ended up with something less, in his estimation. (Not mine). THAT would be a social commentary.

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Jay Smooth defines patriotism

I love love love Jay Smooth. In this vlog, he defines patriotism. After all of the BS in the election, especially from Palin, about who is “UnAmerican”, not to mention constant accusations by the former administration that people who did not agree with the Iraq invasion or the use of torture or in any way criticized our government’s actions, domestic or international, was somehow unpatriotic, it is nice to hear someone defining what is patriotic in a way that I support.

“…patriotism is not about pretending this country is already perfect, it’s about believing that this country can always be better. That there is no truer patriotism than valuing our founding principles enough to know that they have never been fully realized, and having faith that we can always keep working towards those perfect ideals.”

Thanks, Jay Smooth.

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Obama repealed the Global Gag Rule!

Hooray! Government money can, again, go to health care organizations world wide that *gasp!* acknowledge that legal abortion exists as on option for women.

I was a little disappointed that he didn’t repeal it yesterday, on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. I hope that he did it today to strategically bury it from the people who would complain, not because he isn’t committed to comprehensive women’s health worldwide. I wish he would take a more dramatic public stand, but the actions are good enough for me. He needs to be political, too.

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