Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The war against women and children - Phase 2

The House of Representatives voted 240-185 last week to defund Planned Parenthood and any other health care services provided through Title X. The Republicans pretend that this vote was to protect fetuses against abortion, but surely they are intelligent enough to know that Title X specifically prohibits funding for abortions.

The bill that became Title X was signed into law in 1970 by President Nixon, and its purpose is to provide contraceptive information and services, cancer screening, STD testing, screening for certain blood disorders, gynecological exams and community outreach. By passing the bill that outlaws funding for all those services, the Republicans are now seeking to actually block access to services that help prevent the need for abortions, thus making an increase in abortions more likely. Just what they say they want to prevent.

This is just one skirmish in the GOP's war against women and children. Yes, they've extended their war to include children, also, by trying to get rid of the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program. This is the program that provides nutritional assistance and information to poor women who are pregnant or nursing, as well as for their babies, thus contributing to better health for mothers and babies. But who cares about better health for women and children? Not the Republicans, obviously.

On yet another front in the war, you may remember that in South Dakota recently the state legislature tried to pass a law that would make it "justifiable homicide" to murder a doctor who had performed an abortion. After a great outcry from the people of South Dakota, that particular plan was apparently dropped - for the moment. I have no doubt that it will show up again because these people never give up on a bad idea.

And now, in Georgia, a legislator is floating a bill that would make it capital murder if a woman has a miscarriage. Yes, you read that right - a woman could face the death penalty if she has a miscarriage. I wonder how many women voted for the yahoo who thought this one up. I wonder if any of those women ever had miscarriages. Do you think they might be regretting their vote?

All across this nation, in state legislatures as well as at the national level, Republicans are doing everything in their power, no matter how crazy, to deny women access to gynecological health services of all kinds. At the same time, they are working toward having the idea established in law that when a sperm and an egg come together and a zygote is formed, that zygote is a citizen with all a citizen's protections and rights. (I guess the next step would be to declare that all zygotes are assumed to be MALE until they are born, because, you know, we wouldn't want to provide a citizen's protection to a FEMALE.)

Yes, "every sperm is sacred," as someone once sang in another context, and that makes every zygote sacred and it must be defended by all means available. But, little zygote, once you reach term and are expelled from your cushy life in the womb, you are on your own, baby! Don't expect any help from the Republicans.

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