Thursday, March 22, 2012

The War of the Uterus - an update from the front lines

Right off I need to acknowledge two things.  First, this is long overdue.  The War has so many fronts, and new battles popping up every day that touring the battle lines, in a hopeless attempt to gather as much information as possible has kept me hopping.  I haven't made it to every known battle, but I'm going to try to cover the major developments.

Second, since so much is happening, with changes in the front lines occurring almost hourly, I'm not going to try to "write" this story as much as simply present several synopsises (yes, that is the dictionary spelling of the plural form) and then provide links to the original data.  Sorry, but otherwise this posting is going to be millions of wasted words.

So, let's get on with it.  In no particular order, here are things that have happened.

After the initial attacks, those supporting the Uterus began to gather together...the old strength in numbers game.  Although I hesitate to call this a "marketing program" because it existed well before War was declared, this page at CafePress does allow the defenders of the Uterus to find a full selection of uniform apparel to fit their individual tastes and styles.  Way back when, I suggested to the creative artist that she "beef up" the look a little, but she said when she tried that she just ended up with an image that appeared to be afflicted with she decided against it.  Makes perfect sense to me.  I should mention that all profits from this site are donated to Planned Parenthood...for obvious reasons.

There is also a web site where people can officially enlist.

The biggest news was most likely the opening of a whole new battle front, led by the self-declared knower of all knowledge worth knowing, Rush Limbaugh.  First, a little background.

The House, which is led by its Republican Majority, scheduled a hearing on the implications of the President's mandate regarding birth control.  Those testifying were all men, and when the Democrats proposed having a woman testify, it didn't happen.  There was much more than that, but I'm trying to keep this focused and brief.  If you don't already know, and want the details of that Google can find it in a heartbeat.

In the aftermath, the Democrats held another hearing, and the woman who had originally been invited, a Georgetown law student named Sandra Fluke, had a chance to speak.  She presented her ideas politely and, not surprisingly, spoke of things the men didn't consider or discuss.  Then into the fray came Rush, publicly calling the woman a "slut" and speaking of how she wanted the government to pay for her sexual activities.

Certainly this isn't the first time Rush has gone off, but this time he took on a non-public figure who deserved better.  The public noticed, and all hell broke loose.  In "regular warfare" there is a term used for artillery fire called TOT, or Time on Target.  It means that you fire all guns so that every shell arrives at the same the first shell doesn't provide warning that others are on the way. military terms, Rush got TOT'd.

After the firestorm exploded, he (supposedly)issued an apology, but like everything else in his life, he's not about to admit he was wrong, so the apology was no more than a laughing "gee, I didn't think you'd get upset about that" sort of statement.

So, here's a bunch of links, more or less in the order they report the news.

Given that, he, or at least his advertisers quickly learned a hard fact of social media, namely that when you get caught, everyone finds out real quick, and if you're wrong, it can really hurt.

Individuals and organizations took the internet to produce their own firestorm, so the rain of fire continued, coming from some interesting places.

From a CNN iReporter:

From female military veterans demanding that his show be removed from Armed Forces Radio:

Some well known people even asked for the FCC to toss Rush off the broadcast airwaves:

Some even asked if the firestorm was fair.

In truth, to a degree it probably isn't, but that's not really the point.  Limbaugh claims to be speaking for the Conservatives in the country, and, by default, he claims to be the voice of the Republican Party.  Of course, the Party never appointed him to that post, but, more importantly, the leadership of the party took pains to not disavow his words.  THAT speaks volumes...and it came through loud and clear.  The GOP Presidental candidates had little problem with his statements beyond saying things like "maybe not the best choice of words."  Hardly the words we'd expect from someone who claims to be qualified to Lead the United States.

Along the way, others joined in, often choosing humor to make their point: 

Someone even went back to the archives and dusted off this wonderful old routine by George Carlin:

Okay, enough on the Rush Front, let's move on.

I think before I provide more details from specific fronts, I should toss in words uttered today, March 22, 2012, in the well of the United States Senate.  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking on the second anniversary of the passing of the Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare) said this:

It's time to repeal Obamacare and replace it with the kind of commonsense reforms Americans really want, reforms that actually lower the costs and which put health care back in the hands of individuals and their doctors, rather than bureaucrats here in Washington.

Obviously his comments about the health care act are pretty much standard party line spew...hardly worth noting.  However, take a look at the section I've highlighted in red.  That thought flies directly in the face of almost everything remotely related to health care that Republicans throughout the country are proposing daily. The concept that decisions should be made by individuals and their doctors could not be further from the actions being taken.  There are lies...and then there are LIES!

Now, some of the state battles:


It isn't much, but after seeing the pending army mustering for attack, they decided to table the personhood bill until sometime later.  It's not gone, and not forgotten, but at least the forward motion has been stopped:

Maybe this was part of what led to that decision: 

Idaho joined the states forcing un-necessary, un-needed ultrasounds upon women seeking a legal abortion.  Remember that quote from McConnell.  There's talking...and then there's the doing.  Which one is a Lie?

Elsewhere people are fighting back, and although these proposed bills might be considered laughable or frivolous, the fact remains that they reflect the growing sense of outrage that's spreading as the War continues.
In Wilmington, Delaware, the City Council passed a resolution declaring that "Egg people" and "Sperm people" should also be granted personhood status, since they are clearly potential humans:

In Utah, the Governor vetoed a bill that would have prevented Sex Ed classes from stating the obvious:

In many states there are bill to further regulate the process for prescribing Viagra and its clones.  Many women in the legislatures point out that if the concerns are valid for women, they are equally valid for men, and some bills include things like psychological counseling, and the ever-popular rectal exam, before a prescription can be issued:

With a bill that obviously seeks to expand the battlefront to entirely new terrain, Wisconsin, as if they don't have enough problems already, added this twist:

And finally, perhaps the ultimate intrusion of politics into the examining room, I offer this.  In Kansas, there is a bill that would formalize instructions to doctors that they cannot be required to tell the truth to their patients.  Huh?  Yup, you read that right.  Doctors should be free to lie to you, and this makes it official.

The thinking, although I hesitate to call it that, is that if your doctor told you the fetus you were carrying was deformed or autistic or whatever, you might chose to (legally) abort the pregnancy.  So. if they don't tell you, you won't take that action.  While the ethic of such a move seem beyond possible comprehension, I actually think there's a real interesting potential legal challenge should this happen.

If your doctor knew, but didn't tell you because the government said not to tell, could you place the responsibility for the care of the child in the hands of the government, simply saying..."Hey, you told the doctor to lie, so the responsibility for the care of this special needs child is yours, not mine...since you took away my choice."  I'm not sure that would fly, but boy would it be an interesting legal presentation.

Sadly, Kansas isn't the only place working on this.  Arizona seems bent upon the same track to self-destruction:

In summary, the War of the Uterus continues, with no signs that the GOP is prepared to back off.  In fact, as I write there are new dispatches arriving from the far-flung battlefields, and I promise the next update won't be as far off.  Stay tuned.

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