Anti-Choicers Say the Darndest Things: Giving vs Forcing

Remember how I posted awhile back on South Dakota's intent to lengthen the already-ridiculous 3-day waiting period for abortions by decreeing that weekends and holidays don't count toward the 3 days, as if people seeking abortions can only think properly on weekdays?*

Well, they've decided they need to clarify why they're doing it.  It's not because we can't think on weekends and holidays.  It's because anti-abortion activists take the weekends off just like the rest of us, meaning they don't have access.

Which, on first glance, makes very little sense, until you get a bit further into their "explanation", where they say:
One of the other purposes (of the bill) is to provide the woman with the opportunity to seek out counseling from other persons or individuals within the pregnant mother’s natural support system, such as the woman’s regular care physician, who’s never going to be open on a Saturday or a Sunday, or such as a clergy member
Hoooo boy, what a lot of loaded language to unpack. 

So first of all, what catches my eye right off is the phrase "pregnant mother".  They're coercively labeling all pregnant people as mothers, regardless of their feelings on the issue, or indeed their actual fucking gender.  I would quite possibly actually slap someone who tried to refer to me as a "mother" simply because I was pregnant one time, if they said it to my face.  Being pregnant and being a parent are two separate things, even before we get to the issue of NOT ALL PREGNANT PEOPLE ARE WOMEN SO YOUR GENDERED TERM FOR A PARENT DOESN'T EVEN WORK.  Especially when you're specifically talking about a subset of the population of pregnant people who are actively seeking to terminate their pregnancies, you're probably going to find a fair number of them who do not see themselves as parents at all (unless they're already parents to actual children, which 60% of those who get abortions are) because if you don't intend to have the baby, why would you refer to yourself in relation to it like that?

From there I move on to raise an eyebrow at "natural support system".  It's not overtly a bad phrase, but something about it bothers me, and I'm having a hard time putting my finger on it.  Perhaps it's the "natural" bit, which casts a certain air of judgment over just who the pregnant person includes in their support system.  Because you know this guy means: the potential father, the person's doctor, their priest (because obviously he assumes everyone would seek counseling from a Christian clergyperson), or their immediate biological family such as parents.  But many people have very different support systems, including friends, chosen family, online friends, etc., which implicitly are excluded from this concept of "natural" support system.  It also subtly casts the counseling that patients receive at the clinic - which they do, they always do, even where it's not required by law, as it's not in California but I did have to sit down and talk to someone for long enough to make sure I knew I had other options and they'd help me with those if I wanted to do something else - as "unnatural" and inferior, which is probably the other thing that's raising my hackles.

But the real gem of this quote, the thing that throws their lies into stark relief, is a single word.


As in, "give her the opportunity to seek counseling from places that aren't open on weekends".

I dunno about you, but when you're legislating requirements for how someone handles a situation, I don't really feel like you can call that "giving an opportunity" to someone.  That's called "forcing them to do things your way" and it's a very, very different concept. 

I mean, do they think that there's a time limit between the initial consult and the actual procedure?  Like, once you have your consult, the timer is running down and if you don't finish up with your second appointment RIGHT THE FUCK NOW you'll lose the chance to have it at all?  Because people are quite capable of waiting an extra few days if they feel the need to.  They're not being rushed by anybody but the ticking clock conservatives have turned biology into with their X-week restrictions and bans, so if pregnant people are feeling pressured to hurry up and get their abortion, it's not pro-choicers' fault.  It's standard business tactics, though, I suppose.  Create the problem so that you can tout your ability to create a solution to it. 

You can't forcibly give someone an opportunity.  That's not what "opportunity" means.  That's not what "give" means, either.  If you are taking charge and setting requirements, that's force, control, and coercion, not generosity and opportunity. 

If a pregnant person wants to visit a CPC or a member of the Christian clergy who isn't available on weekends, and get counseling, there is nothing in this universe stopping them from waiting an extra couple days to do so before returning to the clinic or making their second appointment.  Nothing.  At.  All.  They already have the opportunity to do so.  They have the opportunity to wait as long as they need to before making a decision. 

I have an idea.  Why don't we force generously give everyone the opportunity to consider their decision to undergo ALL elective medical procedures?  Institute three day waiting periods before tooth whitening.  Before rhinoplasties and breast augmentation.  Before gastric bypass surgery.  Before wart removal.  Before laser vision surgery.  Before vasectomies.  Don't the people undergoing all these things also deserve the opportunity to consider their decision and seek out second opinions and counseling from their natural support network, including their hypothetical clergy?  I mean, if that's the logic we're operating on, why restrict our legislative generosity only to pregnant people?  Let's give EVERYONE lots of time to think about their medical choices before they do anything. 

Weekends and holidays not included, of course.

*I just heard a bit ago that the SD House passed the measure; I'm unclear on whether the SD Senate has also done so and it's on to the governor yet or if there's still a chance to stop it before it goes that far.


Anti-Choice Hypocrisy, Teens and Parents' Rights Edition

Let me start by saying I'm glad this case turned out the way it did.  I think what the parents were doing to her was despicable and fucked-up and crossing a line into outright abusive, and I'm happy that the court sided with her against her parents.

But I have one question.

What makes this case, where the parents were going to force a young woman to have an abortion, different from a situation in which parents force their teen to have a baby?

Because they are different.  Anti-choicers will applaud the fuck out of "parents' rights!" and such when it comes time to restrict a young person's ability to make their own decision about ending their pregnancy, when their decision is to have an abortion - witness anti-choicers' repeated and often-successful efforts to pass the most restrictive possible versions of parental consent/notification laws, which require a teenager to at least notify, and in many cases get a permission slip from, their parents before having an abortion.  Which gives the parents the opportunity to interfere, thus forcing the pregnant teen to give birth.*

Yet they're also applauding the fuck out of this case, where the court sided with the young woman in question to override the "parents' rights" in order to let her make her own decision about ending her pregnancy.

Good gods.  The malodorous stench of hypocrisy is so thick in here, I may need a gas mask.

Which is it, anti-choicers?  Do you support the rights of the parents to control which medical procedures a teenager may, may not, or must undergo?  If so, why are you viewing this court case as a victory?  It specifically placed an injunction against the parents' attempts to assert their "rights" to control their daughter's reproductive health.  It placed the teen's wishes and choices above the parents' "rights" to make fertility decisions for her.

And if you support the right of pregnant teens to make their own reproductive health decisions independently of their parents' wishes, as your behavior regarding this case suggests, then why have a large portion of your legislative efforts historically been dedicated to attempting to enact laws that require parental consent before a minor undergoes an abortion?  You'll take "notification" if that's all you can get, but you're always angling for "consent" whenever possible, and y'all have gotten pretty fucking stingy about those judicial bypass clauses too, putting as many obstacles as possible between a pregnant teen and their ability to make independent choices about their pregnancy.

So with one hand, you work to enact laws that take decisions about a minor's reproductive health and fertility out of that minor's hands and place them firmly under parental control, while with the other, you work to give those decisions back to the minor even if it means getting a court to overrule the parents' control.

And you do this based purely on which decision the teen is making and how that aligns with your opinion on how the situation should be handled.

Either you trust teens to make their own reproductive health choices, or you don't.  If you're going to help and be happy for this girl because she gained the legal ability to choose for herself how to manage her pregnancy, then you damn well ought to be extending that same courtesy to young people who need that legal ability to make their own decisions, even if you don't agree with the decision in question.

Because "More rights...for people who agree with me, and fuck the rest of you, I will legally force you to "agree" with me too!" is in no way a morally-sound position to take.  And since y'all are so attached to your notions of being on the moral high ground, you might want to attend to that little problem.

*And indeed, I've heard some horror stories about parents who refused to sign consent forms for epidurals or other pain medications during labor, to "teach her a lesson she won't forget".  It's not about "preventing abortion" - that's just the mechanism by which it works.  The true intent is to force them to give birth.*


Who should we entrust with the care and teaching of our children?

So, let me get this straight. 

A teacher, who had performed in porn prior to her teaching career, can be fired for her past conduct because her students and colleagues are hateful whorephobic fucks who couldn't remember that a sex worker, former or current, is also a human being who deserves respect, with the district superintendent saying that her past experiences in sex work are "incompatible with her responsibilities as a role model for students"...

...but a school counselor who openly says, on the news, that gay kids have no purpose in life unless they un-gay themselves and become straight Christian kids is just "expressing her First Amendment rights," and so no disciplinary action will be taken.

What the flaming, festering fuck?

Does the school counselor not also have responsibilities as a role model for students?  Are gay students not also students for whom this counselor is responsible for being a good role model to?  How can she be a good role model for students who she has already told she believes are worthless and without purpose? 

How is one's past history, which would not have been known to the kids she taught at all, if her colleagues hadn't found her videos and downloaded them onto their phones to share around and show the principal (what a way to treat a colleague, huh?), somehow worse than a recent statement made in a very public forum advocating overt discrimination against a section of the student body for which one is responsible?

Chose at one point in the past to use your body to engage in sex on camera to make money, which you no longer choose to do and have not since becoming an educator?  FOREVER IRREDEEMABLE SHOULD NOT EVER BE PERMITTED TO EXIST IN THE PRESENCE OF DELICATE, PRECIOUS, INNOCENT CHILDREN LEST THEIR HEARTS BE TAINTED BY YOUR SLUTTINESS.


This is a truly sickening clusterfuck of misogyny, slut-shaming, whorephobia, homophobia, and Christian supremacy in action.  Look at all the messages being sent:
  • Once a woman engages in sex work, she is forever worthless and should expect to be thrown aside once any non-sex-work profession she attempts to move into gets wind of her past. 
  • Women's sexuality is hot and belongs on-camera, but once a woman has put her sexuality on camera, that's the only place she belongs and the only thing she should expect to do forever because she has sullied herself for anything else. 
  • If you find out that someone you work with as an equal was once a sex worker, you are freed from all obligation to treat her with respect, and it's fine to share around the evidence of her prior career among other colleagues while at work.
  • If her effectiveness in the classroom is compromised by the blatant and disgusting disrespect and shaming aimed at her by colleagues and students alike, the solution is not to enforce codes of conduct that require everyone to behave their damn selves, but just to throw her out on her ass instead.
  • Advocating discrimination against as many as possibly one in ten of the kids you serve, telling children who are in a high-risk category for self-harm and suicide that they're worthless and their lives have no purpose, is totally fine, and you'll be protected from consequences. 
  • Gay children's emotional and mental health isn't worth protecting, and they should be expected to still work with and under the "guidance" of someone who has outright told them they're worthless, so long as she said it because Jesus.
Fuck every single person involved in the handling of both of these situations.  Principals, colleagues, judges, superintendents, everyone.  Y'all can just rot in hell for being terrible, terrible examples of human beings.


Abortion Tourism

Here's a hilaritragic word of the day for you: "abortion tourism"

Which of course just makes me think about like...abortion cruises*, destination abortions, abortion getaways, guided abortion tours...

But according to a clinic worker who testified at a hearing earlier this week in Alabama, on a new TRAP law** that could shut down all the remaining clinics in the state, it was used in earnest.  (Well...as earnest as Republicans ever get in their maximum plausible deniability mode when they're trying to explain away their actions with the guise of "concern" for women.)  When confronted with their obvious motivation of trying to close down all the remaining clinics, they claimed that they weren't doing any such thing, but such regulations were needed to stop Alabama from becoming a "haven of abortion tourism".

I, um...wait, what?

I just have two questions for these...people.
  1. What exactly is so wrong with so-called "abortion tourism"?  An abortion is an abortion is an abortion, whether it takes place in New York or Indiana or Nevada or anywhere else.  Please explain to me how traveling to obtain an abortion in another state is somehow worse than obtaining an abortion in your state of residence.  Explain it to me like I'm 2, because this does not make any sense whatsoever.  More specifically, explain it to me in a way that makes sense without relying on the premise that "women shouldn't be able to wiggle out of the laws we instituted to give us control over their bodies."  Because it sounds an awful lot like that's exactly your problem, that some people will be able to escape your control - and "maintain our (illegal and gained by deceptive piecemeal restrictions since a true ban is unconstitutional) control over the bodies and decisions of pregnant people by keeping them trapped in states where we've managed to functionally ban legal abortion without banning it" is a downright abusive goal. 
  2. And how exactly does your TRAP law prevent such "abortion tourism"...without closing the available clinics?  This makes even less sense than the objection to the concept itself.  I mean, you're using "regulatory non-compliance" as your smokescreen here, but as soon as it becomes about "abortion tourism", that smokescreen blows right away.  Are wider hallways and larger elevators going to keep non-Alabamans away?  Perhaps you believe non-Alabamans couldn't bring themselves to get their abortion from a doctor with an Alabama medical license and admitting privileges at a local hospital?  Please, explain how regulations ostensibly intended to "protect the safety of women" seeking those services will cut down on the number of people able to access those services?  Because that's...not what safety regulations are for, nor is it what they do when applied properly.  So if you intend for your so-called "safety" regulations to reduce the rate of use of the service they're being applied to, UR DOIN IT WRONG.
So not only are the GOP trying to sneak de facto abortion bans past the Constitutionality issue - what's that hissy they always throw about Dems "disrespecting the Constitution" and such? - they're being a bunch of lying liars who lie about the issue.

Stellar morals there, guys.  And you wonder why you have to resort to electioneering and voter suppression to keep from being rendered utterly irrelevant as a party.

*Paging Women on Waves...
**Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.  Things like requiring admitting privileges, forcing abortion clinics to adhere to more stringent building codes by reclassifying them as "hospitals" or something more strictly regulated than regular outpatient clinics, playing zoning games, using administrative pressure and unreasonable reporting requirements to try to shut down as many clinics as possible.


Shitting on abuse survivors: totally the Christian thing to do.

The Violence Against Women Act, which provides funds and programs to help victims/survivors of domestic violence and all kinds of abuse, is the sort of thing you'd think would be a no-brainer for wide bipartisan support.  Who could be against helping women who've been abused?  Only actual abusers themselves, right?  Or abuse apologists?

Or, apparently, devout professional Christians.

The FRC seem to be shitting their pants over this mainly because the current update to VAWA would help those gross unnatural queer women, illegals who deserve whatever they get for being in this country in the first place, and Native women who haven't had the courtesy to die off and stop reminding us of our genocidal roots.

I mean, I'm trying to be hyperbolic here, but I kind of feel like it's not that far from the truth.  Those are the things they cite in their opposition - that they can't approve of a bill which has provisions to help queer women (because that's "giving them special rights"), undocumented immigrants, etc.  Their contempt is further measured by their claim that the Democrats added these oh-so-awful pieces to the bill purely in order to force Republicans to oppose it so the Dems can point to it as evidence that the GOP is anti-woman.

First of all, we didn't need additional evidence.  Y'all trumpet your misogyny to the skies each and every damn day.  You are to the point where people are trying to hold workshops to teach you fuckers to keep your goddamn mouths shut about women's issues because of the massive backlash every time you speak.  WE KNOW you're anti-woman.  It's never been up for debate.

But second of all, it's disgusting that the only reason they can apparently think of for specifically ensuring that underserved and more-vulnerable populations receive the help they need is for political maneuvering.  Not because there are people who need help.  Only because politics.

Projection complex, thy name is the GOP.

Oh, but it's not just that the bill specifically looks to help someone other than straight white American citizens.  It's that, and the money:
You can help by contacting your Senators and urging them to vote against VAWA and end the real abuse of taxpayer dollars.
Emphasis original. 

So let me get this straight: women being repeatedly assaulted, physically, emotionally, and/or sexually: not really abuse, why are we wasting our time on this?  The government spending money to help those women: ABUSE!  SHUT IT DOWN RIGHT NOW STOP ABUSING MY WALLET WAHHHH

I feel like a fucking broken record here, but Republicans, JFC your priorities are terrible.


Sen. Campfield, what the fuck did I JUST say about not wanting to write about you any more?

It is becoming more and more clear that Stacey Campfield is the sort of man who should not be in a position of authority over an amoeba, much less any more complex life-forms.  Check out this breathtakingly condescending and ableist response to a constituent of his, who emailed to criticize his recent legislative grandstanding:

Telisha Cobb:  Senator Campfield, I am writing to you today as a mother, active citizen, and born and raised Tennessean.  You are an embarrassment to our great state.  Folks all over the country and here in Tennessee are looking at the bills you are proposing in shock.  They are the most ignorant and morally lacking legislation that could be proposed this year.  It is clear that you are targeting homosexuals and low-income families with hogwash legislation.  You need to search your heart, your values and your Christianity to find a better way to represent us as a whole.  We will do everything in our power to make sure you are not here in 2014.  There are numerous grass roots parties that are making their voices heard.
Stacey Campfield:  You seem to have some serious, deep anger issues.  Have you ever thought about therapy?  I hear they are doing some wonderful things with medications these days.
What.  The.  Unholy.  Fuck.

Her email was simple, direct, dignified, and professional, a simple statement of "This stuff you're doing is Very Not Okay.  Stop it."  And to this, he thought it was acceptable to, in essence, tell her that she's crazy for disagreeing with him and should be medicated until she agrees?

Which is reprehensible in and of itself, but then you get into all the ways that a powerful white man telling a woman (of color?  I would guess so from the pictures I found but I don't know if she identifies as such) that she's "angry" and needs therapy or medications draws on a whole history of pathologizing women's anger and dissent as a major avenue of structural misogyny, and it gets about 100000x uglier.

Kitten, you seem to have forgotten how this whole elected-representative-thing works.  You are not the lord of your own little fiefdom by virtue of having been elected.  You are a representative - that is, you are there to represent the people who elected you.  And if they feel you are doing a poor job of representing them, they have every right in the world to tell you so and demand that you shape the fuck up, because while elected official/voter doesn't quite analogize with an employer/employee situation, it's close enough, and YOU ARE NOT THE EMPLOYER.  You are the worker.  And your bosses are hauling your ass in for a performance review and/or write-up for failure to adequately perform your job duties.  Which makes it absurdly inappropriate to sass them and display this kind of condescendingly rude attitude.  When the people who gave you your job call you on the carpet for wasting company time and resources on being an asshole, you listen up and change your ways, or your ass is out on the curb.

For someone who is an official in a democratic system of government, you have an awful lot of contempt for citizen input, which is one of the core mechanisms by which any sort of democracy operates.  Somehow I'm thinking you'd do better playing God on your own little private island somewhere.  Why don't you go try that instead of trying to play God here the U.S.?

And by the way, Stacey?  Yeah, they are doing some pretty amazing things with medications.  I'm on some of them and they've fucking changed my life.

But I still think you're a reprehensible shitbag with the morals of a bloodsucking insect, and my opinion and anger are in no way invalidated by the medication I take.

Fuck off back to the cesspit you crawled out of, you suppurating anal sore.

That angry enough for you?



Conservatives keep finding new ways to surprise and delight/horrify me.  It's pretty impressive, to be honest.  Today's hilaritragic dose of "Excuse me, in which reality do you live?  It sounds like a fascinating place to visit!" comes from Kevin Swanson of Generations Radio, a conservative Christian radio show based out of Colorado Springs:
[S]cientists that have done research on women’s wombs after they’ve gone through the surgery [have] compared the wombs of women who were on the birth control pill to those who were not on the birth control pill. And they have found that with women who are on the birth control pill, there are these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb. They’re just like dead babies. They’re on the inside of the womb. And these wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.
A stick-figure comic of a political rally.  One figure in the crowd holds up a large sign reading [citation needed] in the style of Wikipedia's superscript notation of incomplete sources.

DEAD BABY GRAVEYARD WOMB is going to be the name of my death metal band, you guys.  I just can't let a name like that go to waste.  Either that, or the title of my memoirs.  Maybe both.  It sounds like the title of a Dethklok album, doesn't it? 
Nathan Explosion: This is metal... for [dead fetuses].
Skwisgaar Skwigelf: [dead fetuses] don't gots no good music to listen to.
William Murderface: Yeah, it's true.
Props to Mr. Hyperbole for working in the phrase "dead babies" or "little babies" three times in five sentences, I guess.  Repetition, repetition, repetition.  Say it over and over again and people will eventually believe it. 

Congratulations, Kevin Swanson.  Your hard-on for incredibly, absurdly inaccurate "science" and attempts to wring the most emotionally-compelling/viscerally disgusting insults out of it have, like vegangelicals and the "bloodmouths" thing, flopped so hard you've actually created a sweet new term for us to describe just how hardcore and metal our bodies are.

Thanks bro!

Mr. Campfield, back already?

The douchebubble who brought us death certificates for aborted fetuses, a bogus attempt to join the TN Senate Black Caucus (he then cried racism when they told him to GTFO), banning people on public assistance from winning the lottery (because clearly, people on welfare win the lottery ALL THE TIME and then stay on public assistance afterward, costing the state a metric ass-ton of money, right?), and the other day's cheerful "No grades, no food" bill, is back for another round. 

He's reviving last year's "Don't Say Gay" bill, which prohibits teachers and other staff at public schools from even mentioning homosexuality in any context for grades k-8, but with some fun new additions.  Specifically:
At grade levels pre-K through eight (pre-K-8), any such classroom instruction, course materials or other informational resources that are inconsistent with natural human reproduction shall be classified as inappropriate for the intended student audience and, therefore, shall be prohibited.
LEA policies and procedures adopted pursuant to this section shall not prohibit:
A school counselor, nurse, principal or assistant principal from counseling a student who is engaging in, or who may be at risk of engaging in, behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and wellbeing of the student or another person; provided, that wherever possible such counseling shall be done in consultation with the student's parents or legal guardians. Parents or legal guardians of students who receive such counseling shall be notified as soon as practicable that such counseling has occurred
Bolded is the new addition to the law.  The thing is, it's kinda sneaky.  Ostensibly it's just about making sure the parents know if their child is in trouble and might need help, and that's what conservatives will (and maybe already have, I haven't checked yet) claim as defense against it being pointed out that they're trying to legally compel outing children to their families.  (In fact, at first glance, that's what I thought.  For about half a second.)  But look at where it is in the law, and what it's attached to.  You can't in one breath you say "You can't talk about Teh Gay..." and in the next say "...except if the kid is in need of counseling and then you have to tell their parents" without the very strong implication that counseling a student *for* Teh Gay is what needs to be reported to the parents. 

This gets especially sinister if you're familiar with some of the common right-wing fundie arguments against non-het sexuality.  They genuinely consider it - non-het sexuality itself - to be disordered behavior, perversion, inherently harmful.  To them, two women who have been together for thirty years, never cheated, no abuse, no major issues at all, still as blissfully in love as the day they met, are harming themselves and each other simply by being together.  Take that and make it about teenagers, about whom conservatives are already having several large litters of kittens over their hormones and sex drive and the possibility that they might not remain utterly chaste and have their first kiss at their ultra-het church wedding...and any sign of Teh Gay could instantly be taken as "potentially harmful behavior".

So for all the plausible-deniability of "it's not about gay, it's about troubled children who need help!", it's not even the slightest stretch, especially in that area of the country, to imagine evangelical Christian school staff "counseling" a child simply because they believe the kid to be non-het, because they do believe it to be "behavior injurious to the physical or mental health and wellbeing of the student" - and then, per the new requirements, making a call to Mom and Dad to tell them "I think your child has a case of Teh Gay".  And who gives a shit what happens then, amirite?  It's not like GSM youths make up some 40% of the homeless population in that age bracket, despite being only 5-10% of the total population.  Not like anti-gay parents have ever, like, abused their gay children, or had them faux-kidnapped and sent to isolated abuse camps to try to "convert" them.  No, I'm sure a non-het kid being outed to a potentially anti-gay family is totally and completely safe.

And when I finish this sentence and stand up, a unicorn will materialize out of my ass.

Please, Campfield, stop wasting everyone's time with your reprehensible, harmful garbage legislation.  Crawl back into the hole you came out of.  I would very much like to not have to type your name ever again.  Kthx.


Related Posts with Thumbnails