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Ok, so I’m getting on a lot of high horses today. This is an editorial comment and I’m thoroughly pissed.

For months, if not years, the GOP Ring-Wing blithering toads have served up red meat to a certain slithery segment of the evangelical crowd. Namely, the desire, usually in the name of JE-sus, to control women’s bodies.

Issues that have long been settled by decades of law and implementation are again being assaulted on a regular basis by Republican-dominated legislatures, by insane GOP presidential campaigns, and by all those evangelical whigs who seek to create a Pavlovian response in foggy heads around the country.

It comes under the guise of “big government dictating your lives, to religious freedom, to “right to life” and any other bell-ringer that they think might trigger a favorable response from those who are either unable or unwilling to actually learn the truth.

I have watched as GOP panderers have introduced and in some cases passed, legislation requiring women to view “sonograms” of their fetuses before proceeding with an abortion. Such legislation is ugly by its very nature, suggesting that women have no clue “what is in there,” and need be shown by benevolent men (in most cases) that “it’s a baby!” for God’s sake.

The Right has fought the use of “morning after pills” for those women who have been violently assaulted (in most cases) or otherwise find themselves compromised and unable for any of a hundred reasons to contemplate having a child. And they have attempted by every means to roadblock and delay women’s ability to seek abortive assistence.

While not a single person I know “favors” abortion, many of us are determined not to make that critical decision for someone else. It may be a religious issue for you, or a moral one, or neither. And it is not my right to decide, no matter my personal beliefs. Instead of helping women and girls to engage in practices that make abortion the last avenue of pursuit, the Right has sought to deny girls the right to learn about their bodies and contraceptive alternatives. They have insisted and successfully required that girls in some states be subjected only to “abstinence only”, a practice that is documented time and time again to not work.

Instead of working with “choice” people to help women in every way short of abortion, with the real result of their being less abortions, those opposed to abortion have dug in their heels and become even more draconian, denying abortive relief to victims of rape and incest. Some even question whether “the mother’s health” is a sufficient reason to terminate a pregnancy.

The Komen Foundation;s attempt to destroy Planned Parenthood was thinly disguised, apparently a result of their utter misreading of the public’s opinion. This, of course, is no new thing, as Republicans who have long supported Planned Parenthood and their life-giving assistence to women, especially poor women, have one by one, slipped into the more comfortable position of being against them. Comfortable I say, because it is a simple reponse to the rabid Right-Wing who has decided to make PPH the whipping girl for all their pent up anti-abortion hatred.

I need not report what is already well known. Planned Parenthood spends 3% of it’s budget on abortion services. The rest is largely spent on breast care, and other women’s health issues, providing women with no health insurance their only life-line to any health care at all in many instances.

Now we come to another “fake” crisis. That is the decision by HHS to require that all organizations, Catholic included, must provide contraceptive benefits within their insurance policy programs. This includes Catholic hospitals and universities.

First, some actual facts:

  • 28 states already require that Catholic (or other religious) hospitals and universities provide this through their own insurance regulatory provisions.
  • The mandate requires that the institution purchases a health care insurance that provides contraceptive care. It does not require any person to actually use it.
  • Such hospitals and/or universities employ tens of thousands of persons across the country (1 in every 6 hospitals in the US is Catholic), and a good percent of them are not themselves Catholic and should not be denied normal benefits by their employers.
  • Something in excess of 95% of all Catholics use contraception. It is disingenuous for the Church to claim that the government is attempting force them to “violate” their conscious. Contraception, right or wrong is considered to be a “matter of conscience” by the average Catholic, and they have so determined since the 60’s, when this issue first came forth. Tens of thousands of Catholics left the Church over precisely this issue, and the Church was seen to back off it’s insistance of compliance with a solution called “primacy of conscience.”
  • Before Mitt and Newt start bellowing, both Massacusettes and Georgia are of the 28 states who already require such adherence by religious organizations.
  • Note: by religious organizations, we do not mean the church. The offices of Dioceses and Archdioceses do not fall within the provisions.
  • So called “morning after pills” are not included.

The fact is, that as to the HHS mandate, most Catholics could probably care less. This “outrage” seems to be coming only from the Catholic hierarchy–namely the priesthood and those extreme Right-Wing commentators such as Bill Donahue.

While the Catholic institution can be expected to carry on about this, it will be seen as an opportunity by the GOP Right (which apparently is all there is now) to screech on about government control of religion, wars on religion, ad nauseum, when of course it is anything but.

It is time, ladies and gentlemen to stand strong against the extreme right wing and their desire to drive us back to the stone age of health, and to stand strong against the blatant pandering that the GOP is engaged in simply to gain votes. Of course, they don’t, by and large, give a rat’s ass about any of this stuff anyway. It’s just a means to gain control of the government reins in order to further their economic plans to keep us all serfs. Love a woman today, support her right to health!

And that’s what I think.

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