healthcare, law, politicians, politics, poor judgment

Lindsey Graham proposes a federal 15 week abortion ban… so much for states’ rights!

A few months ago, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, much to the delight of conservatives. Finally, the abortion issue was going to be settled by the states! And those in red states, like Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas could finally look forward to not allowing abortions for ANY reason. It was one more tool for males to control females… or, those who are able to give birth.

But then, usually red state Kansas had an election, and voters there turned out en masse to protect the human right for the already born to have an abortion. Suddenly, Republicans realized they’d royally fucked up with their overreaching plan to eliminate the right for people to choose for themselves whether or not to be pregnant and give birth. Besides that, there were many awful stories from women who needed to access abortions for legitimate healthcare reasons and were being denied. Some women’s doctors were sending them home to get sicker when their patients were miscarrying, because the doctors didn’t want to be arrested or sued. And some physicians were even calling lawyers before offering standard treatments.

The most troubling and awful story of all, though, came just days after the overturn caused the state of Ohio to ban abortions. A ten year old CHILD was raped by her stepfather and forced to go to neighboring Indiana to get a very necessary abortion. At first, conservative pundits scoffed at the story, thinking it was fake news put out for political reasons. But, soon enough, it became clear that the story wasn’t fabricated. Sadly, the attorneys general in Ohio and Indiana were too narcissistic to admit that policies against allowing abortions were going to ruin or potentially end people’s lives. Instead of examining bad policies, they vowed to go after the female physician who provided healthcare to the ten year old who was pregnant through no fault of her own.

Savvy Republicans have finally also started to notice that people are pissed off enough about this egregious affront against the already born, that those who usually vote third party or Republican are voting for Democrats who have vowed to protect abortion rights. Crazy Trump supported candidates are winning their primaries, but losing general elections– see Sarah Palin’s recent disastrous run in Alaska. And so, Republicans who used to have anti-choice language on their Web sites are silently scrubbing them of any evidence that they are against allowing pregnant people the right to choose. They KNOW that abortion is one of those bipartisan issues, and they are finding out that their little stunt in overturning Roe v. Wade is backfiring spectacularly. And… they are now finding out, way too late, that allowing Trump to be the Republican candidate in 2016 has completely ruined their political party. It’s now been taken over by extremist MAGA asshats whose policies don’t work for most rank and file Americans.

South Carolina’s Senator Lindsey Graham, a man who is not married and never fathered any children, has decided to address this abortion fiasco by proposing a federal abortion ban. In the past, Graham had championed legislation that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks. Now, he wants a FEDERAL abortion ban at 15 weeks. On the surface, this may seem okay to some people, since most abortions happen well before the proposed 15 week limit. At least it’s not a total ban, right? However, this bill does nothing to address the unreasonable and dangerous abortion bans that are currently law in many red states across the nation. What Graham’s legislation would do is make it federal law that abortions aren’t allowed after 15 weeks, except in certain cases, EVEN in states where abortion is currently allowed. So much for letting the states decide, eh? According to Slate magazine:

Unfortunately, many genetic and physical defects can only be detected after the 15th week of pregnancy. As The 19th reported in August, the earliest point when doctors can detect anomalies is between 15 and 22 weeks, when scans show fetal organ structures. Certain abnormalities detected at this stage, like Trisomy 18 and anencephaly, render fetuses “incompatible with life,” meaning they will die during birth or shortly thereafter. At most, if carried to term, these children will live just for hours or days in immense pain. And continuing the pregnancy often puts the patient at heightened risk of medical complications.

The lack of an exception for fetal anomalies in Graham’s bill is intentional. For years, the anti-abortion movement has sought to outlaw abortions due to fetal “disability.” Before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, at least nine states had passed these bans. Three states also gagged doctors from even raising the possibility of termination with patients after diagnosing fetal abnormalities.

What really pisses me off about this plan is that, yet again, conservatives are pushing a narrative that late term abortions are rampant and done for convenience. That simply isn’t true. First of all, later term abortions are rare. Secondly, I won’t say there aren’t people out there who want a second or third trimester abortion because they’ve changed their minds about having a baby. There might be one or two people out there in the world who actually are that cruel and crazy. What I will say is that the vast majority of people who need later term abortions are folks who desperately wanted their babies, but found themselves in devastating medical situations that forced them to make a terrible and heartbreaking choice. Nothing about having a late term abortion is fun or convenient. Any legislation that addresses the so called “wanton sluts” who slaughter their almost viable babies in utero, just because they’re murderous, is just a bullshit conservative narrative.

No one who is in that situation– where either the mother or the developing fetus is desperately ill and facing death due to pregnancy– should have to explain to anyone else why they are choosing abortion. It is NO ONE else’s business. And no, we don’t need Lindsey Graham to ride in on a white horse and come up with an extremist federal abortion ban, especially since he is rumored to prefer the company of other men over women. I don’t understand why so many people are focused on abortion, when there are so many other problems in the world that affect people who have already been born. Why not focus much more attention on agendas like inflation, healthcare access, public safety, and international relations? You know– things that affect everybody?

Why don’t lawmakers listen to actual physicians about this issue? Mama Doctor Jones tweeted this just this morning:

Because people are pointing out medical emergencies that necessitate abortions– and YES, treatment for ectopic pregnancy is ABORTION– some “pro life” people are getting confused. Abortion is not a dirty word. Sometimes, it even happens naturally.

Another fair point by Mama Doctor Jones.

Not that I am upset that a lot of Republicans are facing uphill battles in their upcoming elections this year, but some of them need to realize that most people aren’t completely stupid. Taking away other people’s rights to choose, especially when planned or unplanned pregnancy is a condition you’ll never have to face, is just a bad idea. This summer, we’ve already seen the terrible unintended aftereffects of abortion bans. It’s only going to get worse. I think a lot of people who have given serious thought to this issue, for themselves, loved ones, or just people in general, have realized that this is an issue that politicians simply need to stay out of. Especially when they are Lindsey Graham. I don’t think he did his party any favors with this proposed federal legislation. It’s not going to pass, and it makes him look like an uninformed jackass. I’m glad to see that some people are finally seeing the light and voting accordingly. Sadly, some people are changing their minds, because they have been personally affected by the abortion bans. And some of those folks are people who were once vehemently “pro life”, but learned firsthand why being able to access abortion HEALTHCARE is essential for their own well-being.

I think it might be time for Mr. Graham to retire. Maybe his fellow Republicans will do what they can to convince Graham to find his next passion in life.

condescending twatbags

“I want to protect our children. All of them!”

This morning, as I was trying to work the stiffness out of my lower back and coaxing Zane to stop being an attention whore and eat his breakfast, I happened to read a super sad story on Huffington Post entitled “I Wish I’d Had A ‘Late-Term Abortion’ Instead Of Having My Daughter”. The article was shared by a friend of mine who is a nurse, so I knew it would be worth the read.

At age 17, Dina Zirlott was a high school junior, an honor student, a varsity cheerleader, and show choir singer. One day, she invited a male friend over. While they were watching TV, he started running his hand up her thigh. She asked him to stop, but he wouldn’t. She got up to go into the kitchen for some water. He followed, and then raped her. She told no one about the attack.

Following the rape, Dina’s grades plummeted. She got sick, lost weight, quit all of her extracurricular activities, and was so despondent that she considered suicide. Two weeks into her senior year, she quit school, because she was forced to see her rapist in the hallways.

One day, about eight months after the rape, Dina’s mother found a book about recovering from rape wrapped in newspaper under Dina’s bed. Concerned about what her daughter was reading, Dina’s mom confronted her daughter, then took her to a gynecologist. The doctor ran tests for diseases and pregnancy. Dina’s pregnancy test was positive. An ultrasound revealed that the fetus was a girl and, tragically, had many birth defects that were inconsistent with life. Dina’s unborn child had hydranencephaly, which meant that she was missing a significant portion of her brain. The doctor explained that in the womb, the baby would develop because her brainstem was intact. But she would be born blind, deaf, and cognitively stunted. She would have seizures, and would likely suffer from diabetes insipidus and hypothermia. Then, after significant suffering, the baby would eventually die.

Dina was living in Alabama when she was pregnant. At the time, it was legal to have an abortion up to the time at which a fetus was viable, somewhere around 24 to 26 weeks. However, Dina’s fetus was already beyond that point and, even if she could afford to travel to another state to have an abortion, she lacked the money for the procedure itself. Any attempts to end the pregnancy would also be stalled by red tape.

Dina’s daughter, Zoe, was born on October 27, 2005, when Dina was 18 years old. Months later, Zoe died in a hospital, cradled in Dina’s stepfather’s arms. During her short life, she’d endured multiple medical procedures and was on many drugs to treat her vast array of medical problems. Even though Dina was full of love for her baby, and she has since had three more daughters, she has been “consumed” by grief. If a late term abortion had been an option for Dina, she says she definitely would have opted for it. It would have spared her, and her baby, a lot of pain.

I couldn’t resist reading the comments on this piece. Most of them were very compassionate. But then I ran across one that left me scratching my head. It was written by a man named Danny who apparently resents the government telling him that he must protect his children by putting them in seat belts.

So then why do people make laws forcing me to put a seat belt on my child? Either, as a society we protect the children that cannot protect themselves, or we do not. I love how liberals make laws that say I cannot smoke in a restaurant, buy a sugar drink that is too big, I must wear a seat belt, I must wear a helmet, I must buckle up my kids, but it is no ones business if a women kills a baby after 6 or 7 months in the womb except the mothers. Why does it matter to you If I wear a seat belt? Or a helmet? I am not bothering you. I am not effecting [sic] your life at all. And if the life of a child is not the business of society, then why must I buckle them up in a car. Why is it your business if I spank a child? It’s mine! I made it. You didn’t. If I want to smack it around what do you care? I want to protect our children. All of them! If the baby can survive out of the womb then it is too late for abortion. Sorry.

I guess what Danny is trying to say is that we have laws that require the parents of already born children to take care of them in a certain way. And telling men that they have no say over the lives of unborn children is somehow hypocritical, since the government “butts in” with laws about how he takes care of his children. Except children who are already born are not in the same situation unborn children are. An unborn child is still a part of its mother. It’s the biological mother who is going to be dealing with the gestation of the child, and sorry, but until the baby is born, it should be entirely her decision as to whether or not she wants to be pregnant. That’s just my opinion, of course.

The man who made this comment got a number of responses. Someone asked him what he had done to make life better for children. Much to everyone’s surprise, the guy claimed:

I have 2 adopted children. My daughter I adopted at 3 she is 22 and my son was 1 when we adopted him he is now 21. We Fostered a girl from grades 8-12 , She is currently a senior at Texas Tech. Growing up My parents fostered 3 kids while raising me and my Brother. He has one adopted son. My parent spent 35 years working with youth in our church. I currently, volunteer as a football coach for elementary boys because I love the game and teaching young boys to be young men. I am on the board of 2 local charities. One is dedicated to youth in sports and education and the other is to collect Bicycles for the youth in the area. Last year we collected 2600 bikes for local youth. I spent 2 years working for a charity that helped high school dropouts get a high school diploma through the largest charter school in Texas. And of course I donate to and work with my local church on a variety of projects including sponsoring a golf tournament (through my company) that raised $6000 for the Matamoros Children’s Home in Matamoros Mexico.

If he’s telling the truth, good on him. But I think I’d be more impressed and interested in his opinion about Dina’s story if he spent some time taking care of profoundly disabled babies who spend every day in pain because they were not allowed to die peacefully. It also surprises me that this guy, who apparently does a lot for disadvantaged children, has such a narrow viewpoint. Is it really compassionate to force extreme measures on profoundly disabled and sick babies? Everybody must die at some point. We offer much more dignity to our pets than we do fellow human beings.

The guy later came back with another comment, pretty much indicating that his argument is against hypocrisy and supporting the “right to choose”. He had more to say about those oppressive seat belt laws, too. As you can see, he’s not exactly the most eloquent writer:

Many state are enacting laws that do not let you smoke in your own home. I am not a smoker, I hate the smell. I live in a town that still allows it in restaurants, I choose not to go those places. But I support their right to choose. My whole point is Many that support the right for a woman to choose want to limits the rights of others to choose in many areas of their life. I am talking late term abortion. Many say a woman should be able to choose to terminate the life of that child. 100% the baby dies. On the other hand You say I cannot choose sugar drinks because I MAY get diabetes. but not 100% I cannot choose to not wear a seat belt, because it is possible that one day I MAY get in an accident. Not 100%. That if I got in a accident I could be permanently Injured not 100%. Check your hypocrisy. You want to choose what you want but limit my choice if you disagree with it. On your seat belt issue. I dated a girl that got in a car wreck not wearing a seat belt and was paralyzed from the waste down. However, The car that hit her came from the other side of the road. The radio call was the serious injuries are in the Convertible. Her car was not convertible, the other car ripped her roof off and was determined the seat belt would have decapitated her. Nothing is 100% except abortion and it is 100% death.

So… because you are “forced” to wear seat belts, you think women should always be forced to give birth, huh? Well, I, for one, fully support your “right” to drive around without a seat belt or ride a motorcycle without a helmet. You go right ahead, buddy.

He continues with this:

You have made a bunch of assumptions about me. The one that is true is I do not like to be told what to do. But I do not believe I should be telling others what to do. I do not know where I have ever demanded what a woman does with her body. In our world, we like to live in the black and white and not the grey. This is also where our division comes from. I do not believe in abortion, but I do understand that not everyone believes as I do and I recognize the difference. I am not for the world living under the rules of Danny. In an abortion, the grey area that pro choice people forget or overlook is that, at some point in a pregnancy it is no longer a fetus it is a life that can live without the mother. At this point, we are not talking about a woman’s body, but her body and the life inside. And how to protect both. That is the only thing I have discussed here. I think that life is worth fighting for. I will tell you that I think ANY woman that is raped should take the morning after pill immediately. But if you wait until month 8, the rules change because you are not talking about a single woman’s body but another life as well.

Yeah, but in this case, the fetus had no chance at all of a meaningful life. She was born very sick, and she spent her short time on Earth in constant crisis. Not only was she probably in pain, her medical issues caused pain for her family and very likely ran up enormous medical bills. It would have been good if Dina had been able to go to the doctor right after she was raped and get the “morning after” pill. I am very glad to read that Danny supports letting women take that pill. A lot of “pro-birthers” don’t, even in cases of rape. But he continues to argue, even adding curious commentary about “marsupial abortion”. What the actual fuck?

Last year a woman that was 5 months pregnant went into early labor and had the baby in the car on the way to the hospital. The Boy just turned 1. So after 5 months, it starts to become a life, not a gut feeling. Marsupials Give birth to a live fetus that is undeveloped. The Fetus then need to attach to a teat to finish development. At what point would you think it okay to abort that baby? Before birth? After Birth but before leaving the pouch? There comes a time for all mammals that the fetus is viable. To completely ignore the life is wrong. I am not saying we should completely the mother, but once there a second viable life involved, it is no longer the woman’s body alone to be considered.

After several more comments from people who tried earnestly to get Danny to understand reason, he wrote this:

You are correct about abortion being unique and no other situation like it. Most have missed my point. We make all these laws to protect children. People assume I disagree with them. That is not always true. I think we should force parents to protect the children with belts and car seats. Because the children are not developed enough to care for themselves. Unfortunately we do need to force the parents to protect their kids. There comes a time in a pregnancy that the fetus is a viable baby. This is the truly hard part of the late term abortion. At what point do we protect that child from the parent? I am not trying to tell a woman what she can and cannot do to her own body, but when she is carrying another life, She becomes responsible for the child whether she wants to or not. And like an infant that we force the mother to put in a car seat because the baby cannot speak for itself , the baby in the womb needs someone to speak for it too.

What Danny doesn’t seem to realize, despite so many people trying so hard to explain it to him, is that women who have late term abortions are not having them for “shits and giggles”. Late term abortions are very expensive and difficult to get. They are virtually always done in situations like Dina’s, where giving birth to the baby would be crueler than having an abortion would be. There are worse things than death, you see. Living in extreme pain, especially as a helpless baby who doesn’t know what’s happening and can’t make any choices, would be one of those things… in my opinion, of course.

I do think I understand Danny’s arguments. I just think his arguments have little basis in reality or practicality, particularly when it comes to the abortion issue. He seems to think that allowing mothers to have choices over what happens to their bodies during pregnancy, or allowing them to decide what happens to their unborn fetuses, is a grave mistake. I have a feeling that, deep down, Danny thinks women are lesser beings than men are and should be controlled. Like so many men who feel the need to opine about abortion, he thinks he should have a say, when it’s NOT his health at stake and never could be. Biological men don’t have abortions. It’s simply not an issue they face, thanks to basic biology. That means they aren’t equal in this situation. They can’t be. Just like women can’t speak to what it’s like to have a prostate gland and will never suffer illnesses or issues caused by the prostate gland.

Sigh… I guess Danny gave up after that last comment. I wish men could get pregnant. I wish they could experience everything that goes along with gestating babies and childbirth. I think that would be fair. But, as most of us know, life is not fair. It’s not fair that Dina was raped and so traumatized by the assault that she didn’t seek help right after it happened. It’s not fair that Dina found out she was pregnant with a profoundly disabled baby on the same day she finally saw a doctor about the rape. It’s not fair that Dina was forced to have the baby and the birth resulted in more trauma, grief, and extremely expensive medical care. What’s especially not fair is that it sounds like Dina’s rapist was never punished for his role in this tragedy! It looks like he may have gotten off free and clear! Who dealt with the entire nightmare regarding Zoe’s birth? Dina did. The “father” was nowhere to be found when all of this was happening. So why the hell should he have any say? I think he shouldn’t.

Anyway… with any luck, Danny and his ilk will someday see the light. Or, barring that, maybe drive without a seatbelt and be ejected or something. I’m glad he adopted his kids. Don’t need more from his gene pool roaming around.