Wednesday, November 10

Pro-Life = Pro-Coathanger

Propoganda is important. As of today, I won't use the term "pro-life" any longer to refer to people who think the government should interfere with women seeking to terminate a pregancy, for whatever reason, in a non-life-threatening manner. "Pro-life" frames the argument in their preferred format -- are you for life or against it, a classic "when did you stop beating your wife" framing. What is at stake is, are poor to middle-class women going to have access to medical clinics for abortions, or are they going back to the dark alleys of forty years ago? Because, like prostitution, it's not a question of whether or not this practice will continue if outlawed, but whether we as a society, and the women directly involved, are better off if this is something we deal with rationally in the open, or leave for an underground economy to regulate and (fail to) police. Hence, my more-accurate term for their position, "pro-coathanger."

I sort of doubt that Roe v. Wade is seriously in danger of being overturned. Every family, including the most right-flung one, has had some brush with abortion. If you're the most pious corn-fed Republican in all of Iowa, you probably have a sister or cousin that "got in trouble" at some point and decided to abort the pregnancy -- would you really want to decrease your cousin's chance of surviving the procedure by a factor of ten? Is the cost of deterrent worth losing cousin Emma? But then, I'm usually wrong about just how stupid and hateful the religious right is capable of being. (Of course none of this applies to the rich, who will simply jet off to Europe "on hols" and see a doctor in a civilized country.)

The scary thing, of course, is that the right isn't going to stop at abortion -- you can't really control the womens unless you can keep them from deciding when to get pregnant as well, hence the twin examples of right-wingnuttery here and here.

I'm not leaving America just yet -- hell, I'm even thinking that we should all join the Republican party and subvert it from the inside -- but it's pretty clear that America is in the process of leaving me. These things tend to be cyclical, but Bush is in position to do a lot of damage to my America over the next four years.

In the meantime, please join me in advancing the anti-coathanger position.

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