Sunday, March 04, 2012

Contraception Kerfuffle

It's very rare that I write an "angry" post anymore in a blog with "angry" in the title. Even my recent dissection of the Missouri Creationism bill wasn't in anger, but in annoyance.

But the recent discussion in the political arena has gotten me downright irate.

For those that haven't been following the story, here's the recap:

The GOP decides to have a hearing on the bill that would require health insurance companies to help pay for birth control. Of course, their panel of "experts" was filled with anything but; it was a bunch of men, at least two of which only had the "expertise" of being religious.

The Democrats tried to get a woman, Sandra Fluke, on the panel to testify, but the GOP decided she wasn't expert enough and blocked her.

So instead of hearing from someone that the issue actually impacts directly, we get a bunch of men missing the issue completely.

Indeed, the discussion has revolved around the wrong points entirely. Whereas the requirement for health insurance companies is about treating health issues through birth control (where there are many), the "experts" whined about how their religion says people shouldn't have sex unless they're married, in which case, there's no reason for birth control and they didn't like paying health insurance companies that would have to pay, in part for birth control because, to them, it's all about fornication.

Then we get some chucklehead supporter of Santorum saying that women should avoid getting pregnant by putting an aspirin between their knees (ie, keep your damn legs shut). Again, missing the point by a mile.

So the Democrats allow Sandra Fluke to testify in their own hearing, where she talks about how her friend had to lose an ovary because her loving Catholic institution wouldn't help pay for her prescription birth control which would have helped treat the issue.

But yet again, missing the point by the distance of the moon, we get conservative clown Rush Limbaugh claiming she's a "slut" and a "prostitute" and that she's asking for handouts to have sex and if she's going to get paid, then she should post sex videos online.


Of course, crackpot Bill O'Reilly has to pile it on claiming Sandra wants government to pay for her "social life".

The whole point of Sandra's testimony was that contraception isn't about sex. It's about women's health. Furthermore, Limbaugh repeatedly implied that the more sex someone had, the more expensive it would be to pay for birth control. Obviously he doesn't even know how hormonal birth control works.

Rachel Maddow nailed this one and revealed how it's not just a problem of the commentators, but of the GOP itself where GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney claims to support a "personhood" amendment which would make the destruction of a fertilized embryo a crime, but failed to understand that this is precisely what hormonal birth control does: It prevents fertilized eggs from implanting.

Meanwhile, I see Santorum giving a speech on how we shouldn't have the federal government taking over health insurance because people shouldn't have to pay for things they don't want to (like birth control). Does he really even think about what he's saying? We already have to pay for things we may not want to because it's part of the greater good; This is the entire point of taxes! All of them go towards things we may not even use, but collectively, we have acknowledged that there's massive benefits to paying for them. This is how we have schools, police, fire departments, and a military. If Santorum was intellectually consistent and honest, he would admit that there should be no place for any of those if we truly abolished requirements making people pay into things with which they may not agree.

And Santorum and Romney aren't the only ones making ignorant statements showing they don't understand what they're talking about. When Newt Gingrich was asked about his view on the issue, he also stated that he didn't want people to be forced to pay for "abortion pills". I suppose you could argue that he's a bit closer to the mark than Romney, but the closest thing I think anyone could call "abortion pills" is Plan B. And as I understand it, that's not covered in the bill, which again, reaffirms the fact that this isn't a debate about pregnancy so much as it is about healthcare. But the GOP doesn't want to hear that.

Additionally, to support this myopic crusade against women, religious institutions spread outright misinformation on birth control (kinda like Herp Derp Kirk Cameron claiming honosexuality is "unnatural" when it's been observed in numerous other species, but don't let the facts get in the way pal).

So to bring this together, here's what pisses me off:

This encapsulates the state of right-wing politics in our nation today - It's built on a foundation of ignorance and willfully misses the points, rejecting the people that actually have the points and expertise on a topic in favor of misplaced, self-righteous religious morals, attempting to slut shame women, instead of promoting their well being.

I don't buy into either political party, but while I think the Democrats are rather worthless, it's things like this that are simply a reminder of why the GOP is nothing short of vile.

(Side Note: Thanks to a concerted effort online many companies that advertised on Limbaugh's show have dropped their sponsorship.)

UPDATE: Shit like the above has real world consequences. Not only is it vile that the GOP is so scared of women having a sexuality that they'd rather punish them on medical issues, but they pass this crap onto their kids who outright harass others. The kids that echo this sort of thing are bad, but the parents are worse. The climate of condensation that the conservative right fosters is nothing short of loathsome. These people lack human compassion and should be shown none in return.

UPDATE 2: Added paragraph about Gingrich's ignorance as well.


Wayne Keith said...

Not only is it ridiculous to imply that pill = having sex, it's also ridiculous to imply that only unmarried women use it, or that it's somehow automatically sinful. My wife and I didn't have sex until we were married, but she started on the pill shortly before our wedding and stayed on until we were ready to have kids. I can tell you that paying for birth control is a lot cheaper for everybody that paying for a pregnancy, the GOP has really gone off the rails with this one. If only health insurance wasn't so closely linked to employers this wouldn't even be an issue.

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