Oh, Pro-Life Activists, Why Must You Be Such Immoral Asshats?

Y’all, this is so rich I about can’t believe it.   And I hate to give it any more hits than it deserves (which is clearly none), but you have to see this to believe it.

I have been linked to by a pro-life blog.  No, not just a pro-life blog, which I would be fine with.  Blogs are for linking and being linked to.  But I have been linked to by a pro-life blog aggregator which skates so far close to the line of unethical that it just skates right over it into asshat land.

Let’s count sins, shall we?

1. Not being clear that you’re an aggregator who is reposting bits of other people’s content, but instead making it look, at first glance, like all of the content is yours.

2.  Not identifying that that’s my content you’ve put up on your site.  My words, which I wrote.

3.  Using my words, which I wrote, which you failed to identify as mine as content for your blog WHICH YOU SELL ADVERTISING ON.

You didn’t write those words.  You didn’t add commentary to those words.  But you’re making money off of my words.

You know what that makes you, Martin Marks, and your Pelican Project?

Asshats.

You’re stealing my content and then turning around and selling it to your advertisers.

You know what God says about that kind of bullshit?

I don’t know, sometimes the Bible can be hard to understand, but let’s see.  God says, “Thou shall not steal.”

That means, um…

Yes…

Well, that you should not take things that don’t belong to you and pass them off as your own so that you can make money.

I see no room for special dispensation for pro-life folks, so shape up, motherfuckers.

Giving Women $1,000 to Have a Baby

I haven’t seen anyone point out the obvious yet, but I’m just going to say it.  There is absolutely NOTHING surprising about Steve Waldman advocating trying to come up with a small, suitable, not unseemly fee we might pay pregnant women who would otherwise have abortions to have their babies and then give them up for adoption.

Because, after all, saying “paying women who would otherwise have abortions to have their babies and then give them up for adoption” is just a long-handed way of saying “let’s buy babies from women.”

And what’s surprising about this?

The core belief of the pro-life movement is that it’s okay for the State to step in and take control of a woman’s body for nine months in order to force her to give birth, if she gets pregnant.  In other words, that there are some circumstances in which your body is not intrinsically you, but is instead a thing that the State might need to own and control if you yourself cannot control it properly.

Well, if the pro-life movement already believes that women’s bodies do not belong to ourselves, but can under very ordinary circumstances, belong to the State, what’s so surprising about learning that some pro-lifers believe that a baby’s body might also be up for grabs?  Also available as a commodity to be bought and sold?

If you believe you have the right to commandeer a woman’s body and force her to give birth, it is not at all surprising that you believe that you then should be able commandeer the baby’s body, too?

No.  It’s extremely consistant.

Operation Rescue

At this point in the story, my credulity is so strained that I think it’s in danger of snapping.

Dr. Tiller’s murderer regularly hangs out on Operation Rescue websites.  He’s in regular contact with Operation Rescue workers.  When he’s arrested, he has the name and phone number of an Operation Rescue person in his car. And now that Dr. Tiller’s practice is not reopening, Operation Rescue wants to buy the building and move their headquarters into it.

And yet we’re supposed to believe that this is all just a giant, wonderful coincidence?

In the real world, when one person affiliated with a group kills a person so that said group can get a decent price on the dead person’s property, we call it organized crime and prosecute it as such.

The Pill Kills Day

So, tomorrow is “The Pill Kills Day” among anti-abortion activists.  Some of them will even be protesting at the Planned Parenthood here in Nashville.

On the one hand, of course this makes complete sense.  Anti-abortion activists do not believe that a woman should have control of what happens to her body.  And The Pill gives women a great deal of control over what happens to our bodies.

But on the other hand, it really makes no sense.  You could probably get most of America on-board with the idea that a lot of abortions are “wrong,” even if most of America still wants to be able to get an abortion when it needs it.  But the Pill?

I can only assume that these anti-abortion activists have never had the kinds of cramps that make you seriously contemplate stabbing yourself through the back with a fork and plucking out your ovaries.  Because, if they had, they would know that, when a woman, like any other animal, is scared and in pain, the truth comes down to “What will get me through the next minute?”

And if someone can promise you that, if you take this pill, you won’t feel pain like that again, you don’t really give a shit if someone, somewhere is concerned that, maybe, if you happen to ovulate while on it, even though there’s a 99.9999% chance that you won’t, and get pregnant, there’s a .00000000001% chance the pregnancy might not take.

Are anti-abortion activists really expecting women to be all like “Sure, take away the thing that keeps me from doubling over in pain.  Take away the thing that lets me take this other medicine I need to live, because the pharmacist can’t give it to me otherwise.  Etc.”

I mean, do anti-abortion activists even know all the reasons why women take The Pill?  Are most women even aware that anti-abortion activists are taking on the Pill next?

Anyway, there’s a vigil planned for Dr. Tiller at the Planned Parenthood tomorrow, which you should check out.  It goes from 9-11.

Here’s some stuff you can read:

Pete

Rachel

Kleinheider

and here’s Rachel Maddow talking about Dr. Tiller as well.

What “Peaceful Protests” Consist of

The anti-abortion activists were in front of the Planned Parenthood again today and it literally made me sick to my stomach.  The idea that these folks could not, for one week, imagine what the people at Planned Parenthood must be feeling, and not show up and add to their terror, considering what happened on Sunday, just made me want to vomit.

Seriously, what kind of sickos, knowing you’re afraid of them, show up where you work?  But, apparently because they have Bibles, I’m obligated to believe they have the best of intentions (though apparently they train their volunteers to lie, lie, lie).

But after reading Joe Powell’s post, I no longer feel obligated to believe that these folks are anything other than evil.

Dr. Tiller

I don’t have anything to add, really. I wish the same thing I wished after the Knoxville shooting–that these media personalities would stop to consider that, while they’re using their culture war rhetoric to drive up ratings, there are people who listen to them and take them seriously.  If you’re going to accuse someone of being a baby-killer, you don’t get to act shocked or surprised when the folks you tell and who believe in you take you seriously.

The idea that folks are coming into churches to shoot people…

I don’t know.  I keep seeing all these people talking about how this is not what the pro-life movement is about and I just want to ask them what rock they’ve been living under.  This is exactly what the pro-life movement boils down to.  That’s why so many anti-abortion folks AREN’T involved with the pro-life movement, because it’s always been a bunch of religious extremists who egg each other on to more stupid and evil ends.

I don’t know.  That’s what I think, anyway.

Sorry, I just can’t get my head around the idea that we’re being gunned down in our churches now.

Sara Robinson points out that this is the anniversary of Eric Rudolph’s capture.

Southern Beale urges people to stop acting like assholes.

I’m going to bed.

Well, That’s That

SJR127 passed.  I wrote about it at Pith.  It’s hard for me to write about politics, I have to say.  Because when a man can stand up in front of the whole damn state and say, “If my daughter was raped, I’d want her to have a choice, but I’m still going to vote for this” I just don’t know how to let that roll off my back.  I mean, is that evil or is that just a level of disconnect so large between one’s desire and one’s actions that it’s… I don’t know… it hurts my head and my heart to try to understand it.

How do you say “I want my daughters to have a choice” and then vote against it?

How do you face them after that?  How do you look in the mirror and see that you are either a coward or a liar, because either you want that for your daughters but are too chickenshit to do right by them or you actually don’t want it for your daughters, but for some weird reason feel like saying you do.

I cannot understand it.

And I know it makes me naive.

But it hurts my heart.

And it makes me so angry.

Judy Blume? Really?

For the past few Wednesdays, some busybodies have been crowding the sidewalk in front of the Planned Parenthood on my way to work.  I resist the urge to stop and ask them questions.

But maybe next week I will stop and ask them if they believe that folks who send death threats to Judy Blume really help their cause.

Because, seriously, if you claim to be pro-life and you send death threats to a beloved children’s author, you look like you are deranged.

You really think that people who are sane and who are uncomfortable with abortion are going to be galvanized to the pro-life side by tales of how you threatened Judy Blume’s life?

Because I’m not seeing it.

One More Thing on Lila Rose

I thought this went without saying in my “evidence that the intake worker at the Planned Parenthood in Memphis would have immediately been like ‘This is weird.'” but Lila Rose is white.  And has a discernible non-Southern accent.  So, a white woman with a non-Southern accent and a weird baby voice walks into the Memphis Planned Parenthood and claims to be 14 and in need of an abortion.  And every Republican in the state is standing around yelling about how this proves that we need to defund Planned Parenthood.

First, it sucks that some zealot is going to get to lie her way into ruining affordable healthcare for the rest of the women in Tennessee.  Most women in Tennessee are never going to need to have an abortion, but access to free or inexpensive birth control, STD screening, PAP smears (without needing a sermon on the glories of Jesus)?   We need those.  And where do we often get those?

And second, you could write a book about all of the anxieties about “good” white girls playing out in this scenario.

But I want to talk just for a second about the thing about this whole thing that really, really pisses me off.  And that is Lila Rose’s (and most of her viewers’) assumption that she should be believed.

A white woman walks into a Planned Parenthood in Memphis, talking with a strange accent in a weird baby voice, claiming to be a 14 year old girl with a 31 year old “boyfriend” and she needs an abortion.

Each one of those things individually is not strange.  White women do walk into the Planned Parenthood in Memphis, though they are not the norm.  Women who have accents that differentiate them from the locals do walk into the Planned Parenthood in Memphis.  Women with weird baby voices.  Women claiming to be 14 who aren’t.  Girls who actually are 14.  Girls who are actually the victims of crimes.  And girls who need abortions.  But taken all together?

And yet, most people, when the talk about this, talk as if it is obvious that the woman Lila Rose is talking to should of course believe everything she says about herself and treat her as such.  And, don’t get me wrong, maybe that’s the case.

But where in the world does that actually happen?

You have to be the motherfucking Goldilocks of white girls to have lived that kind of charmed life.

To get to run around the country acting like, of course, you should be believed when you tell your crazy story in your crazy edited fashion, because… Because you’re “just right.”  Everything about you says “I have the privilege of being taken at my word” and then, when people do afford you that, you fucking turn on them, like they’re the ones doing something wrong, not you using your Goldilocks white privilege to sneak into where you don’t belong and try things out like they’re yours and run away the hero of the story.

Every day in this country women are actually raped and real rape victims have to listen to rape apologists talk about how you need to really be sure you’ve been raped or you might ruin some man’s life and make it harder for “real” rape victims to get the help they need.  Every day, women have to hear about the evils of falsely accusing someone of rape.

And yet, here is this woman whose whole act is lying about being raped and everyone in my state is sitting around talking about what a hero she is for supposedly uncovering a supposed Planned Parenthood worker who didn’t actually do anything against the law.

You want to talk about women who lie about being raped ruining it for other women?

Look no fucking further than the darling of the Pro-(Some) Life Right in this State.

But I guess it’s okay because no actual man was harmed in the making of her vast crazy lie.

Once You Start Making Things Up, It’s Not the Truth Any More

So, Tiny Pasture’s got footage of this UCLA student getting told that she should lie about the age of her boyfriend when asked if she wants an abortion.  And he’s got news that this “damning” piece of evidence is being used by the Right to (Some) Life crowd to push State Legislators to pass SB 470, which would defund Planned Parenthood.

But the whole thing is really strange.

For starters, you never see the front of the Planned Parenthood building.  So, who knows if that footage was actually shot even near the Memphis Planned?  I see a sky and some trees.  I don’t even hear the traffic on Union.  And I don’t see the face of the intake worker, so how can I know if she’s an actual Planned Parenthood employee?

But let’s get on to the second problem.  We don’t get to see Lila Rose’s face.  But you can get a glimpse of her here on Bill O’Reilly’s show.  And she doesn’t look thirteen.  Or fourteen.  Or fifteen.  Or whatever other ages she’s pretending to be when she goes on her little stings (if, indeed, she goes on them all).  And she certainly doesn’t sound like a young teenager on her own tape.  She sounds like a grown woman pretending to be a young teenager.

So, even if I might be sympathetic to the idea that she’s discovering some wrong behavior on the part of some Planned Parenthood workers, when I try to put myself in the position of the supposed Memphis worker, I wonder what my response would have been.  Not because I think it’s right to break the law.  If someone in the Memphis Planned Parenthood is faced with an actual 14 year old actually claiming to be impregnated by a 31 year old, she sure as hell needs to report that.

But even from Lila Rose’s own tape, which she has edited to be as damning as possible to Planned Parenthood and to put herself in the best possible light, I hear hesitancy in that worker’s voice, like she’s not sure who she’s being faced with and she’s just trying to get through her part of the job so she can pass Lila Rose along to someone else.

And if you consider what she’s facing, it’s hard to blame her.  Workers at Planned Parenthood see women of all ages all the time; not just for abortions, but for all kinds of healthcare.  So, here’s this worker standing in a room with a 20 year old woman who’s claiming to be 14, who’s speaking in a weird baby voice.  And who wants to have an abortion.  That’s what that worker (if indeed it’s a worker and not someone else also lying) sees–a girl who is already obviously not telling her the truth, but who seems pretty sincere about what is obviously not the truth.

Okay, so then there are two types of people in the world who seem like they believe the lies they tell you–con artists and people who have an untreated mental illness.  Though Lila Rose happens to be a con artist, why would the Planned Parenthood worker have any reason to think that she was anything other than a woman in need of mental healthcare?  And yet, as we know, people with mental illnesses have a hard time getting that care.  So, it’s not surprising to me to hear her kind of feeding the delusion, even as her voice seems to give away that she thinks there’s something peculiar here.  She’s saying what she needs to say to pass Lila Rose off on someone else.

The whole set-up is so obviously bizarre that I’m not sure we can draw any conclusions from it (though mark my words, it won’t surprise me if this video makes the rounds and convinces the State Legislature to pull funding to Planned Parenthood).

Lila Rose says “I said I was 14 and they said these things to me.”  But she’s not 14, so she’s established herself as a liar.  Everything else that happens in that video?  How can we trust the truth of it?  I don’t know that it was shot in Memphis.  There, suspiciously, aren’t any good establishing outside shots.  I don’t know that she actually talked to a worker at the Memphis Planned Parenthood, because, suspiciously, there aren’t any shots of her face.  And I only have Lila Rose’s word that the alleged Planned Parenthood worker believed that Lila Rose was 14 and pregnant and not the scenario which is just as plausible–that the worker thought she was an extremely fucked up 20 year old who was lying about her age and hoped to pass the problem off to someone else.

The Truth is Out There, Now

I wanted y’all to see what Representative Favors did yesterday, because it’s important.  She stood up in front of her fellow legislators and said, “I was there when the women came in … dead on arrival or hemorrhaging.”

Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga and a registered nurse, passionately objected to the resolution and told committee colleagues that “it disturbs me that we spend this much energy on something we can’t prevent. If we reverse Roe v. Wade tomorrow, it will not stop abortions; if we amend our Constitution, it will not stop abortions.”

And Representative Vince Dean said, “I respect her opinion.  I have my position. And my position is in line with the wishes of my constituency.”

I want you to think on that just a little, because it takes a second to get past the condescending bullshit of the first part of Dean’s comments, where he dismisses Favors’ eye-witness testimony as so much “opinion.”  But just think about what this means.

Conservative legislators in this state now know (as if they didn’t before) that outlawing abortion will not end it and that it will indeed lead to the deaths of Tennessee women.  They have heard it from a person who has seen the maimed and dead.

And, in the face of that, Dean says, basically, “That’s the wish of my constituency.”

According to Dean, if you have an abortion and it kills you, that’s a knowable and acceptable outcome to him and the people that vote for him.

One wonders, of course.  Really?  If a 15 year old girl’s step dad is raping her and she gets pregnant and self-aborts and dies, that’s okay?  She basically deserved it?  If a stay-at-home mom with three kids discovers she’s pregnant at the same time her husband loses his job, we’re all fine with her dying and leaving him with no job and three kids to raise on his own?

This is the pro-life position in this state?  “Well, if some women have to die so that there aren’t any legal abortions happening, that’s okay”?

That’s the pro-life position?  “Eh, so some women die.  That’s okay with my constituents.”

Hello?!  “Pro-life”=”some dead women”?!

Holy shit.

Why is this Person Telling this Story?

I don’t know if you clicked through, but earlier Prin posted a link to this story about how there are rumors of girls in Wisconsin taking livestock drugs to induce abortions.  I was all prepared to write a post being all “Holy Jesus, how could this be happening?”  But then I read the story and did some googling.  And every single story about girls shooting themselves with cow medication seems to come back to one woman saying that she knows of ten girls who have done this.  I quote:

So far, the professionals in animal and human health and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction are treating the reports of girls inducing their own abortions with prostaglandins – drugs commonly used by cow breeders to regulate animals’ heat cycles – as rumors, because no cases have been officially confirmed by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

But Anna Anderson, the executive director of Care Net Pregnancy Center of Green County in Monroe, maintains that she has identified at least 10 girls ages 14 to 18 in a three-county area who admitted to taking some form of cow abortifacient in the past year. Care Net is part of a large system of pro-life, Christian-affiliated pregnancy resource centers that counsel women against abortions.

Anderson said the girls told her they took it because they found it to be a cheap and easy way to end their pregnancies without their parents finding out.

And I find this interesting because it sounds plausibe until you start to consider the details as we have them.  A cow weighs quite a bit and a teenage girl, in comparison, doesn’t.  So, girls are supposed to be self-medicating in this way and yet no one has ended up in the hospital or dead?  How would teenage girls find out about this?  The articles mention emails and websites, but I tried googling every thing I could think of that might bring up a site that would tell me how to induce an abortion with prostaglandin drugs, and the sites Google found, no matter what terms I used, seemed only to bring up stories about how Anna Anderson is telling everyone that girls are doing this.  And email?  In this day of cell phones and text messages, do kids send email anymore?

But weirder still–why would girls who have already done this report it to Anna Anderson?  She runs a pregnancy center that counsels women against having abortions.  Are the girls in Green County so depraved that after they have abortions, they come in to brag to the anti-abortion folks about what they’ve done?  Taunt them with their acts?  If so, then why supposedly go to the effort to have an abortion in a way that can be kept hidden?  Don’t get me wrong.  I know teenage girls are idiots, but it strains credulity to think that they’d be so desperate to hide their abortions that they’d inject cow drugs to keep their parents from finding out, but then they’d go brag to the local anti-abortion crusader–who seems to have a remarkably big mouth, with the calling of the school and the spreading it to the media–like it was no big thing.

So, the whole thing seems implausible.  Highly implausible.

So why tell it?

Why would Anna Anderson make this up?  In a weird way, it almost seems like she’s hoping that a girl near where she is will hear about this method and try it, thus confirming the story and proving that she was right all along.  But she’s right that a kid could die trying this, and I think we have to give Anderson the benefit of the doubt that she’s not hoping for anyone’s death.

Okay then what?  Is she trying to signal to the parents and school officials in her community that she is someone who must be listened to because she knows things about the children in their care that they don’t?  And what would that be?  That they might be sluts and you’d never know it?

Or is it some kind of anxiety about living in a farming community and seeing that livestock’s reproduction is manipulated casually in ways that you find completely inappropriate for humans?

Is it about the threat of girls being able to do what they want with their bodies without anyone knowing?  A way for her to call a bluff on girls who might be considering an abortion of any kind?  Trying to insinuate that they may think that what they’ve done is a secret but that she will find out and she will tell?

I’m not sure.

But I find it strange.

An Open Letter to Lowe Finney, Who Sold Us Out

Dear Senator Finney,

Just tell me this.  The next time a 12 year old girl in Carroll, Gibson, or Madison Counties gets raped and impregnated by her step-dad, will you be willing to look her in the face and tell her she has to carry her rapist’s baby to term?  Or what about the mother of two in Carrol, Gibson, or Madison Counties who desperately wants another child, but is carrying an ectopic pregnancy?  Are you going to look her in the face and say you don’t think she has the right to abort that pregnancy, but needs to just let it run its course, even though it means certain fetal death and likely the loss of her ability to reproduce?  What about the man who is sitting in a doctor’s office listening to the doctor tell his pregnant wife the she needs to start cancer treatments immediately if there’s any hope of her living out the year?  Are you going to tell him that those treatments have to wait?  What about the mother who’s pregnant with triplets and the doctor says that she isn’t able to carry all three babies to term?  Do you feel like you have the right to say to her that it’s better for her to lose all three babies than to give one the best shot she can?

I mean, frankly, just who the hell do you think you are?  Would you like it if I drove over there and followed you around and found the worst, most terrible moments of your life and then encouraged my state senator to get involved with passing a constitutional amendment establishing that you don’t really have the right to make your own decision in that moment?  I bet not.

Listen, trumping a policy that establishes that women have no constitutional right to make our own difficult decisions and especially no right to make them without considering what you, a stranger, might think is best might win you votes.

But it is wrong.

And, frankly, I think you know it.

Which makes it worse.  If you aren’t going to stand up in front of your voters and say, “You know, I think abortion is wrong, but I’m not going to go to Nashville and let them pass laws that say I know better than you your personal business” then why are you a Democrat?  If you can’t have principled disagreement with your constituents, then you aren’t a leader.

I was going to dog on you for not bothering to submit one piece of legislation that would make ordinary women’s lives easier–nothing that helps us get the prenatal care we might need, that helps us get time off from work, that helps us afford to take kids to the doctor’s, that expands sex education in schools, etc.–that does anything to help women choose not to have abortions and to end up with kids in good homes.  But then I saw the chunk of legislation you did submit all aided to help prosecute child abusers and I am dumbfounded.

You know.

You know what shitty parents can do to a kid.  You want to protect kids from shitty parents who abuse them and their other parent and then try to claim “parental alienation syndrome” during the divorce.  You want to redefine “serious bodily injury” to include broken bones in kids 8 years old or younger.  In fact, you’re doing a ton to increase the severity of punishment for child abusers.

So, you know.

You know that some people should never bring a child into this world.  You know that they aren’t going to have a baby and then give it up for adoption.  You know that when a woman like that finds out she’s pregnant, if she carries that pregnancy to term, that kid is in for Hell on earth.

You know.

How do you reconcile that with your vote on SJR127?

The next time someone in your area kills their kid, are you going to look in the mirror and say that was a better outcome than if they’d just never had the kid to begin with?

Disappointedly yours,

Aunt B.

Only Senator Marrero Stood for Us

I gave her a lot of grief, but I just want to point out that Senator Marrero was the only person yesterday to stand up and tell things from the pro-choice side and from the side of reality.

I’d like to have the opportunity to say there is a different perspective. There are those of us who really do care for and respect a woman’s right to make choices about her own body. … I don’t know of anything that’s more private or more important than for a woman to be able to decide whether she would like to carry a baby under whatever circumstances. It seems to me that some of these decisions are very agonizing, very difficult for people to make. But it’s a decision that should be made between a woman and her husband or her partner and her physician or the people who care about her. It seems to me unreasonable that the legislature should make this important decision for a woman.

We have so many children in this state right now who are in state custody who are being taken care of because they were in abusive situations. If you force people to have babies who don’t want or need babies, I can’t even imagine how many abusive situations you’re going to run into. Every child should be a wanted child. That is what a lot of us in the state of Tennessee sincerely believe, that a woman should make choice to have a child, to love that child and to take care of that child, and that is her right to make that decision. I oppose the state of Tennessee and the legislature making that decision for a woman. I applaud the fact that the constitution in the state of Tennessee guarantees a woman’s right to privacy. Nothing is more private than what you do with your own body.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–I feel like anti-abortion folks think that babies are magic.  That, if only they can persuade, or, if necessary, force, a woman to have a baby, she will transform into the perfect mother.  She won’t drink or do drugs while she’s pregnant.  If she doesn’t want to be a mother, she’ll happily give the baby up for adoption, and the baby will end up in a happy, perfect, wonderful home.

I have witnessed first-hand how this is not the case.  How women who shouldn’t have children at all have babies because “Hell no, she’s not having an abortion” who still drink and do drugs and smoke throughout their pregnancies, who refuse to consider even in-family adoptions because “it’s mine,” and who put those children in dangerous situations again and again and again.  I have seen the cigarette burns and the bruises from straps.

Babies are not magic.

They are not so powerful that they will be able to protect themselves from situations they should have never had to be in to begin with.  If a woman knows she can’t hack it as a mother, the State should not force her to be one.  That is not fair to her or her children.

Women of Tennessee, We are Screwed

Dear World,

I write to you out of such deep despair I don’t even know where to start.  I read Jeff Woods’s post an hour ago and I’m still so angry I’m shaking.

I’ll just quote:

Q: What else?

Fowler: There are other things we could do as well if this resolution passes that we probably could not do under Planned Parenthood v. Sundquist. For example, many states now are requiring doctors to inform women that they’ve performed an ultrasound and that they have the right to see that ultrasound. Many women think it’s just a blog [sic]of cells or tissues. But literally within eight days, I think you can notice the heartbeat on the sonogram and when they begin to understand the truth about what is inside their body, they recognize it as a human being and a child. That kind of law probably would not be constitutional under Planned Parenthood v. Sundquist.

Women of Tennessee, I don’t care where you stand on the abortion issue.  I just want you to read that and see it for what it is.  Fowler CANNOT EVEN BOTHER TO LEARN ABOUT WHAT GOES ON BETWEEN A WOMAN AND HER DOCTOR BUT HE THINKS HE SHOULD GET TO SET THE LAWS TO GOVERN IT.  Just let that evil sink in.  He cannot even bother to get his facts straight, he can’t be bothered to learn about what you might go through if you have an abortion, he can just make shit THAT IS PLAINLY NOT TRUE.  Just demonstrably false.  LIES, lies, lies.

He can just lie, plain and bald-faced and make shit up and not even be bothered to learn about what you might go through when you go to the gynecologist and he and his buddies are going to win.

He doesn’t even give enough of a shit about you to bother to learn what you go through and he’s going to get laws that affect you passed.  He can’t even be bothered to learn basic science, and he gets to govern your body.

Let’s start with the “requiring doctors to inform women that they’ve performed an ultrasound.”  Most women have abortions in the first trimester.  In order to perform the abortion, her doctor does an ultrasound, at the least, to determine the age of the fetus.  In the first trimester, the fetus is so tiny that it cannot be seen using an abdominal ultrasound.  As you know, the doctor will therefore almost always perform a vaginal ultrasound on you.  There is no way you won’t know that they’re performing the ultrasound.  But Fowler doesn’t know that.  He’s apparently gotten his information on how doctors work from television, so you’re going to be ruled by laws set by a guy who doesn’t know basic gynecological procedures.

He can’t bother to learn that there’s not a heartbeat until 21 days after conception.  So, he just makes up 8 days, because he’s too lazy to learn the truth and anyway, he’s too busy protecting us stupid, stupid cows from ourselves.

And that’s what burns me.  He thinks that, if we only had more knowledge–the very knowledge HE CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO EVEN FUCKING ACQUIRE–we wouldn’t have abortions.

But it’s beneath him to worry about the details or the truth of what he wants to force us to know.

And yet, he’s going to get his way.  He’s a lazy, condescending liar who can’t even be bothered to learn about the stuff he wants to force on women and he’s going to win.

God damn, that burns me.  It insults me so deeply that some man–who will never be faced with this decision and who can’t even bother to learn enough about it to get his facts straight–is going to make the laws we have to live by.  Damn it’s insulting to the core.

But then, let’s look at the second half of the problem.  There’s not a woman in this state who hasn’t been through one kind of gynecological problem or another, even if she’s never had nor would ever have an abortion,  who would hear what Fowler says and not say to herself–“But wouldn’t they have to do a vaginal ultrasound?  Um, of course they would.  And wouldn’t a doctor already tell her what she’s doing and why?  And wouldn’t a woman notice that?”

It’s not Jeff Woods’s fault that he’s not a woman.  And it’s not his fault that he didn’t know, so it didn’t sound funny to him.  But he’s who Fowler’s sitting down with to spew this bullshit.  And he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know to be able to press Fowler about it.

And what do you do in the face of that?

Black Says Something Worth Thinking About

So, Tiny Pasture is still all up in arms comparing Camper to Campfield, because Camper dares to make men consider what it would mean if their reproductive decisions were at the whim of the state–Dear Adam, that discomfort you feel?  Like “who the fuck is this woman to even suggest messing with my junk?” That’s what we feel when the State wants to dictate what we do with our bodies.

Oh, and you know folks are all, “But an abortion isn’t analagous to a vasectomy!  It’s the same as having your tubes tied.”  But here’s the interesting part.  Look at what Representative Black says about getting your tubes tied, “and she can do that without anyone’s consent.”

But you don’t need anyone’s consent to have an abortion either.

Yet.

Why I’m Flip

Tiny Pasture is taking me and other female bloggers to task for suggesting that abortion is just another form of birth control and not the slaughtering of innocents.

And I am flip about it.  I think it’s clear why I’m flip, but let me be explicit.

I’m flip about abortion because most anti-abortion folks in this state aren’t themselves serious about ending abortion.  They always make it like if pro-choice people were just sorrier, if we just threw ourselves on the ground crying about what a great tragedy abortion is and how it’s always wrong, wrong, wrong, but sometimes we need it, pretty please, they could be moved to maybe let us have abortions when our own lives are at risk (with them getting to determine what “at risk” is) or when we’ve been raped (with them getting to decide if we’ve been “raped” enough).  But that’s not true.  There isn’t sorry enough.

And if there isn’t sorry enough, I refuse to be sorry at all.

Instead of wasting my time trying to figure out how to be sorry enough to prove to them that I need to be able to control my own body and what happens to it, I’m taking the time to look and see what these anti-abortion folks are actually doing to make sure that women who don’t want to be pregnant can keep from getting pregnant and to make sure that women who would love to have a child can successfully carry that child to term, have it, and raise it and its siblings in a safe and healthy manner.

I think you know what I see. 

From most of them–jack shit.

They don’t want abortion, but they don’t want to extend unemployment benefits so that families don’t have to chose between having another kid and having everyone eat.  They don’t want abortion, but they don’t want schools to teach kids anything but abstinence.  They don’t want abortion, but they want to pass a bunch of legislation making it as easy as possible for men to get out of paying child support.  And the worst, they don’t want abortion, you know, except when it’s their precious daughter who needs one or when it’s their wife’s life at stake, and then they want to be the exception to the rule they’d like to force the rest of us to live by.

Well, if I seem unserious about the subject, it’s because I see you for who you are–recklessly unserious about it.

You want to boss women around, but you don’t want to do anything that would actually help a woman choose to have a baby.

So, fuck it.  If you’re not going to take the problem seriously, you don’t get to dictate that I do.

Playin’ Politics

I wanted to say just a hair more about what Representative Karen Camper is up to with HJR 132, because I love it.  Because, to me, this is brilliantly playing politics.

See, here’s the thing.  Right now, the Republicans are putting forth a joint resolution saying that nothing in the State Constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion.  And the Democrats have put forth a resolution nearly identical that says that nothing in the State Constitution protects a woman’s right to an abortion except in instances of rape, incest, or a threat to the mother’s health.

And many of us have said, “Oh my god, is that not the most moronic thing ever?”  Because here’s what the Democrat who explained to us this strategy said–they want to force a vote on the Democratic resolution so that they can get Republicans on record as either voting against a Constitutional Amendment to restrict abortion (note, though, the tricksiness, since it’s certainly not the only resolution) or get them on record as voting against exceptions that most people, even in this anti-choice* state support.

Of course, there seems to be no game plan for what to do if moderate Republicans do decide to vote for the Democratic version.  And no real acknowledgment that they don’t have to vote for the Democratic version because they have enough votes to pass their own version.

And so, either way, Democrats and Republicans alike are trying to pass bills that claim that the Constitution of this state doesn’t really trust women any more than they do.  That’s playing politics all right, but look who it lets right off the hook?

Any member of the legislative body who might have a slight chance of having an epiphany that “hey, I might think abortion is wrong, but I feel kind of gross about passing sweeping laws preventing it when it’s not my body on the line.” never have to have that.  The precedent is established–everyone thinks abortion is wrong, now we’re just talking how wrong.

What Camper’s doing, if she can pull it off, is drawing attention back to the fact that there are actual women whose bodies pregnancies and abortions happen in and to and that there’s something kind of gross about the State obsessing over women’s reproductive organs.

How does she do that?  By forcing a consideration of men’s reproductive organs and forcing folks to go on record voting “What men do with their bodies isn’t our business; what women do with their bodies is our business.”  Put the issue square on the table that way–that the State really, really does want to treat women differently than men.

I don’t know if it will change minds, but I am all for someone forcing the Truth to the table.

*And I use the term “anti-choice” reluctantly because there really isn’t a strong enough word for what’s really going on here.  As we’ve seen repeatedly, voters in this state keep voting into office people who are trying to enact laws that prevent women from even knowing what’s going on with our bodies.  We’re not just talking about cutting off your right to choose what happens to your body when you find out that you’re pregnant.  We’re talking about cutting off your right to even know about what types of sexual activity might help prevent (or in some cases guarantee it) pregnancy.

I mean, I’d like to tell you that we’re just having a fight over abortion, but if you look at the political landscape in this state, we’re having a fundimental fight over not just whether women should have control of their own bodies, but whether women should be given the information we need to take control.

It’s not about “choice” or “abortion.”  That’s all surface-level shit that sparks fireworks and gets people riled up.  It is about a fundimentally deeper problem–the state does not trust women.  It doesn’t trust us with information about how our bodies work.  It doesn’t trust us not to all be lying sluts.  It doesn’t trust us not to screw over and lie to men.  It doesn’t trust us not to fuck up our pregnancies.  It doesn’t trust us not to kill our fetuses on a lark.  It doesn’t trust us with children if some husband isn’t around to monitor us (but it doesn’t trust that any man would marry us without being tricked into it).

In this state, we can’t even get the legislators to accept us as neutral political bodies.  We are always already** viewed as evil con artists who must be kept ignorant and under surveillance for the safety of those around us.

**Damn straight I did too use “always already” correctly and smoothly and in a way that makes sense.

Won’t You Help Campfield Get His List of Sinners?

So, yes, Campfield has once again submitted his “Issue Death Certificates for Abortions” legislation.

Let’s recap why this is a terrible idea.

1.  The State already keeps records on the abortions performed in Tennessee.  We don’t need another piece of llegislation to accomplish something we already do.  39-15-203 says “A physician performing an abortion shall keep a record of each operation and shall make a report to the commissioner of health with respect thereto at the time and in the form as the commissioner may reasonably prescribe. Each record and report shall be confidential in nature and shall be inaccessible to the public.”

2.  A death certificate is public record.  There is no provision in the Tennessee code to make parts of a death certificate unavailable to the public.  So, if Campfield wants to issue real, actual death certificates for aborted fetuses, he can’t say “Oh, but no one will see those records and the information in them” or “I’m only going to allow researchers to have access to the information” because that is against the law.  Those are public records.

3.  Because they’re public records, anyone who wants to could go through and compile a list of women who’ve had abortions and use that list for whatever nefarious purposes they like will be able to.

4.  Does Campfield support issuing death certificates for miscarriages?  If a 9-week old fetus who is aborted gets a death certificate, why wouldn’t a 9-week old fetus who is miscarried?  Okay, you say, fine, we issue death certificates for miscarried fetuses, after all, they’re people, too.  But what about the mother who doesn’t even know she’s pregnant?  She thinks she’s just having a heavy period?  How will we determine when an early miscarriage is happening in order to know we need to issue death certificates?  Will everything that comes out of your vagina when you menstruate have to be turned over to the State?

5.  An abortion is a medical procedure.  Has Campfield considered whether this violates HIPAA statutes?  What right does he have to reveal to anyone a medical procedure that you’ve had?

6.  There is no way for this law to not eventually drag women who miscarry into it.  There’s just not.  The law does not allow for two classes of people.  You can’t say some dead fetuses are people for the purposes of issuing them death certificates and some dead fetuses are not and their loss is just a private tragedy.  It just doesn’t work that way.  If you know any woman who’s been through a miscarriage, you know how terrible that can be for a woman.  Are we really ready to head down a path that is guaranteed to increase their suffering?

7.  By law, a child’s father’s name goes on its death certificate.  Right now, paternity is established by the mother naming someone and it being put on the birth certificate.  At the moment, there is also pending legislation that would require a DNA test before a man can go on a birth certificate.  Will such a test be issued before a man can go on the death certificate?

8.  According to Tennessee law, an abortion is “administration to any woman pregnant with child, whether the child be quick or not, of any medicine, drug, or substance whatever, or the use or employment of any instrument, or other means whatever, with the intent to destroy the child, thereby destroying the child before the child’s birth.”  That means, taking mifepristone to end a pregnancy would result in a situation in which a death certificate would be issued.  And yet, also according to Tennessee law, a death certificate can only be issued when a person is legally dead and, under Tennessee law, you are legally dead when you have sustained either “Irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions; or Irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem”

And yet, in cases when a woman takes mifepristone, she’s often inducing an abortion before there are developed circulatory and respiratory functions or a brain.  So, how can the State issue death certificates to people who don’t meet the legal definition of dead?

The bottom line is that the state already collects information on the abortions performed in the state and this piece of shit legislation is just designed to make it easy for folks to make a database of women who’ve had abortions.  Our only salvation as a state is that it’s so poorly thought out that, even if it does pass, it’ll be tied up in court forever.

But you can bet I’ll be waiting to see if Campfield has the balls to vote to make gun records private at the same time he’s trying to make medical records public.

The Giant Donut-Fueled Conspiracy to Kill Babies

You just could not make stuff like this up.

It’s almost a PETA-level shenanigan. where you almost wonder if the American Life League isn’t a Planned Parenthood front.  I mean, “Anti-abortion people want to steal your donuts”?!  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.  Well, fine.  If that’s what it takes.  First they wanted to control what goes in my uterus; now they want to control what goes in your mouth.  It would have seemed like a stretch of an argument too far for any pro-choice person to make and yet, here it is: fact.

Okay, Republicans, Let’s Talk Pro-Life

So, the state Republicans have been pretty clear about what their agenda for the coming legislative session is–defund Planned Parenthood, send the money to other non-abortion providing centers, amend the Constitution to take away a women’s right to an abortion, and pass more measures establishing personhood for fetuses, if not explicitly, then at least implicitly.

Then they’ll wave their Pro-Life credentials around at the next election and talk about how they love the babies and worked to save them.

In 2005 the infant mortality rate in and around the Napier Homes, not five blocks from where Zora Neale Hurston lived while her brother attended medical school here, was 20%.

One in five babies in that neighborhood did not live to see their first birthdays.  You have a better chance of celebrating your child’s first birthday in Afghanistan than you do on the south side of Nashville.  In Memphis, an infant dies every 43 hours (yes, those are tiny coffins).  Every other day a family loses their baby.

I will have more numbers later today or tomorrow, but my point is, now is the time for the Republicans to put their butts on the line for “Life.”  Banning abortion doesn’t cost you anything.  It’s a feel-good measure that makes it look like you’ve accomplished something, but it doesn’t require you to sacrifice or make any tough decisions.

I challenge you, Republicans: If you’re really pro-life and about protecting the babies, bring down the infant mortality rates in this state.

Save those babies, too.