Anti-Women’s Health

I was sitting around with the Missus this afternoon (not my Missus, obviously, but the woman with the nickname “The Missus”) and she was saying that, in the wake of all the HHS stuff and just the general nonsense we face, that she’s not going to worry about framing people’s stances as anti-abortion or pro-choice or whatever, because we’ve moved beyond that at this point, into whether you’re pro-women’s health or anti-women’s health.

I was thinking about that on my way home, going over in my head my own situation.  Here I am, thirty-four years old and when I went into Walgreen’s to get my birth control prescription filled, I was momentarily concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get it.  That was a strange moment for me, to think that I, a grown woman, who has been responsible for all my own health care choices, might get that far and find I had to justify what I was doing to my own body to a total stranger.

Especially because I’m now on the Pill because of all this PCOS shit and the birth control is just a nice side effect.  It’s not just to bring my hormones into line, but it’s also because my endometrium is on the verge of being too thick, which puts me at a risk for cancer.  Apparently the Pill will help with that.

But as my doctor and I were discussing that, she said, “Yeah, much thicker and I’d be carting you downstairs for an emergency D&C.”

Yep, that’s right.  I was a millimeter or two away from having a D&C.

I think you see where I’m going with this, but let’s walk through it.  A D&C is method of medical abortion, but it’s also a necessary medical procedure for women in my position.  And as more and more medical students decline to learn abortion methods, you’ve got to wonder, where does that leave women like me, who might need a procedure that can also be used as an abortion procedure?

When anyone at all who works in healthcare and who comes in contact with me can refuse to work with me on the basis of their discomfort with my medical care, it of course impacts my medical care.

This, my friends, is like bizarro world here.  I, an actual person, am at risk of having medications and procedures I need denied to me because other women use them in ways that people find objectionable and, apparently, I might hypothetically use them for objectionable purposes.

I cannot stress enough how important it is for women to have control over our own bodies, to plan if and when and how often we get pregnant and if and when and how often we give birth.  Without that basic ability–to have just that basic level of autonomy–we aren’t equal to men.  Period.

Heh, period.

Things I Have Seen on My TV

1.  The Illusionist, which, when it came out in theaters, had the unfortunate luck to be an obvious rip-off of The Prestige, and released at basically the same time as The Prestige.  On my tv, it still had the unfortunate luck to be an obvious rip-off of The Prestige.  The other thing that’s weird about it is that it’s set in Germany, right?  But no one speaks German, obviously, right?  So why do they have weird distracting pseudo-German accents?  Just speak in plain English, if you’re not going to speak in plain German.  And

[Spoiler alert]

If there was no reason for the Crown Prince to kill himself–he was, after all, actually not a murderer–even if it were better for the country that he not ever be Emperor, why does the movie treat his suicide as no cause for concern?  Why are the main characters treated to an unironic happy ending?

2. The Devil’s Backbone.  I still have no idea why this movie is called “The Devil’s Backbone” but I’m going to pretend that it has something to do with more than just the dead-baby rum Dr. Casares sells to impotent men in town.  Maybe it’s a metaphor for something I don’t understand about the Spanish Civil War.

Aside from that, it’s an awesome film and I can’t recommend it enough.

One of the things that works so well in the movie is this.  You know how in most horror movies, when you actually get a good look at the ghost or monster or whatever it’s kind of a let-down because it’s never actually as scary as you’d like it to be and it’s motivations–to kill you ususually–become utterly apparent?  But the movie continues on as if the appearance of the ghost has made it more scary instead of less?

This movie does not do that!  This movie understands that once you know what something is it becomes less scary and this movie uses that knowledge to brilliant effect.  I love it.

3.  Gustav.  I just feel this terrible pit in my stomach.  I really, really hope this somehow sputters out over the Gulf, though, I know that’s impossible.  And yet, it’s hard not to watch.