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January 28, 2011 9:24 PM   Subscribe

It's Only Rape if They Say So House Republicans decide to fight abortion access by redefining rape.
posted by emjaybee (168 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Disgusting. I would say something I am thinking, but I am a better person than to wish on them what I am wishing.
posted by strixus at 9:26 PM on January 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


Fucking hell. Fuck fuck fuck. What disgusting, despicable human beings.

Fuck.
posted by kmz at 9:29 PM on January 28, 2011 [28 favorites]


well time to write a check to planned parenthood i guess just gotta wait until my eyes stop spurting blood jesus it's really getting everywhere
posted by boo_radley at 9:29 PM on January 28, 2011 [35 favorites]


I have been feeling pretty ill about this all day. What a bunch of despicable shitheads.

Sady Doyle is organizing an internet campaign against it if anyone is interested in helping out.
posted by bewilderbeast at 9:31 PM on January 28, 2011 [22 favorites]


So if you get date-raped with roofies or whatever, and end up pregnant -- well, it's up to you to fix it. You're on your own. Individualism is what America is all about! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
posted by Capt. Renault at 9:37 PM on January 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


Here's how it feels... we couldn't fix it in two years, so now the pendulum swings back the other way. For the next two years nothing will happen, the country will be so divided that we'll be at a standstill.

Then, 4 (8?) years of repressive, backwards, hateful leadership... That will take us to 2021 or so...

Can we survive that long?
posted by HuronBob at 9:42 PM on January 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yay people that don't have vaginas making up rules that affect people that have vaginas.
posted by djduckie at 9:43 PM on January 28, 2011 [35 favorites]


What the fucking fuck!!! Fuck.

I wish I had something articulate to say about this, but I'm reduced to sputtering...
posted by mollymayhem at 9:44 PM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


All this election-season bombast is just that. I'm sure once they are elected and actually take office, cooler heads will prevail.
posted by dhartung at 9:45 PM on January 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


I couldn't read past the first few paragraphs..

UUUGGHHH!
posted by MuChao at 9:45 PM on January 28, 2011


<<--- adds one more thing to her list "reasons why I'm applying for permanent residency in Canada."

Srsly WTF people. RIP human decency (again).
posted by wowbobwow at 9:45 PM on January 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


What?

What's that you say?

Elections? Have consequences??

Sure this is horrible and horribly petty, but it's also kinda good to see conservative Republicans doing what they promised to do in order to get elected, because it should and will send a message to the voters.

Specifically, the voters who rationalize "well, I'm for women's choice, but I also don't want to pay any taxes, and you know, the Republicans won't really enact the crazy they promise, that's just to get the right-wing suckers' votes".
posted by orthogonality at 9:49 PM on January 28, 2011 [26 favorites]


Well this is just dandy.
posted by rtha at 9:51 PM on January 28, 2011


"and you know, the Republicans won't really enact the crazy they promise, that's just to get the right-wing suckers' votes"

I used to think that before 2001. Never again.
posted by Xoebe at 9:53 PM on January 28, 2011 [26 favorites]


Specifically, the voters who rationalize "well, I'm for women's choice, but I also don't want to pay any taxes, and you know, the Republicans won't really enact the crazy they promise, that's just to get the right-wing suckers' votes".

Well, if they don't want to pay any taxes, I'd assume they're against federal funding for abortions anyway.
posted by John Cohen at 9:53 PM on January 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wife's consent? Psh. You can't rape what you own.

(hooray for traditional values!)
posted by Eideteker at 9:53 PM on January 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm giving the win in this thread to bewilderbeast for pointing towards something that could make a difference...

That's what it really takes, folks.. keystrokes on a discussion board, probably don't mean much.
posted by HuronBob at 9:55 PM on January 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


It will not pass the senate, and it would get vetoed. This is not really worth getting worked up about.
posted by empath at 9:56 PM on January 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


ok, how does one prove forcible rape? - through a conviction of the rapist? - now how long does that take? - more than 9 months?

this bill is a shameful travesty - what they've really done here is exclude abortions for rape, period
posted by pyramid termite at 9:57 PM on January 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


What they've done here is grandstand for right wing voters by proposing a bill that everyone damn well knows will never be law.
posted by empath at 9:58 PM on January 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


Bastards.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:59 PM on January 28, 2011


It will not pass the senate, and it would get vetoed. This is not really worth getting worked up about.

Please, no. We *must* show the world the crazy.
posted by scrowdid at 10:00 PM on January 28, 2011 [13 favorites]


But isn't it kind of scary that they could/will be in power next time around? And then there's really nothing protecting us from this hateful bullshit and worse?
posted by amethysts at 10:00 PM on January 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, this seems like high level RNC efforts to groom some candidates for presidential nomination. They can say to the base: "see, I voted for these things".
posted by Burhanistan at 10:05 PM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]



Specifically, the voters who rationalize "well, I'm for women's choice, but I also don't want to pay any taxes, and you know, the Republicans won't really enact the crazy they promise, that's just to get the right-wing suckers' votes".


They did nothing when they had both houses of congress and the presidency. This bill has no chance, it's more theater like healthcare repeal.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:06 PM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


"This is not really worth getting worked up about."

I agree with scrowdid on this.... not being vocal and enraged at this point just moves this type of position further down the road. So often we begin to acclimate to a positon because it's been voiced without action, over and over again, until it becomes the norm. Be vocal now, be heard.
posted by HuronBob at 10:06 PM on January 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


WTFFFFFFFFFFUCK'S SAKE!

I was wondering why people opted for just sputtering the F word in rage and all I had to read was read less than half of that and here I am, back, immediately. I can't fucking believe this. This is America! I thought we were supposed to be in some kind of forefront of human rights or at least pretending to be.

Did Glenn Beck ghost write some of this legislation?
posted by fantodstic at 10:10 PM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean, sure, vote against Republicans, but is there anyone that's upset about this that wasn't doing that anyway?

But this is a distraction, and I think spending time and money fighting non-symbolic votes is probably more important.
posted by empath at 10:11 PM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


(like, conscience laws that allow pharmacists to let people they don't like bleed to death)
posted by empath at 10:13 PM on January 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


empath, I understand what you're saying... but, this isn't a battlefield with limited resources... it is fully possible to address this kind of "distraction" and counter that way of thinking/feeling/acting, even as bigger issues are dealt with as well.

There are MILLIONS of us here that know the difference between right and wrong... some of those forces can be mobilized to confront even the most benign sounding statements... why not do so...?
posted by HuronBob at 10:20 PM on January 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


LOOK HERE

Some may consider it their duty to make sure that the sponsor/supporters of this bill in congress do not get to make decisions for America again.

Take all that anger and do something responsible and constructive.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:21 PM on January 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't really understand why anyone would want these provisions. I know they're old white guys, without vaginas, but don't they have female relatives or friends? They think date rape victims aren't really raped and should have to bear their attackers' babies? I can't believe these guys. Too much crazy.
posted by theredpen at 10:21 PM on January 28, 2011


They get to use my tax money to kill foreigners. Why can't we use theirs for abortions? We should work out some kind of deal where they give up war first.
posted by theredpen at 10:24 PM on January 28, 2011 [25 favorites]


/derail unintended, but definition needed

I'm an "old white guy" (I probably hate that phrase as much as an African American person hates the "n" word). Can we avoid that phrase as we would any other ethnic, racial, ageist, sexist word?

There are a lot of "young, un-white, non-male" individuals supporting this crap as well.

(Sorry, theredpen, I'm sure you didn't mean anything offensive.)
posted by HuronBob at 10:30 PM on January 28, 2011 [12 favorites]


It will not pass the senate, and it would get vetoed. This is not really worth getting worked up about.

Of course it is. This is yet another case of an insane moving of the goalposts. Republicans are trying to take the non-crazy-people general assumption that at a bare minimum abortion should be allowed for rape victims and trying to make it a negotiating point, as if allowing that to remain would be a concession from them. And then that becomes "common ground" just as we actually consider it a "deal" that health care gives exceptions to banning abortion coverage when in a sane country women should have full access to one of the safest and most common medical procedures available to them.

Of course, ironically I have to at least respect in a way the fact that the hard right is finally just ending the bullshit to begin with. No more so than elected officials, if you think that abortion should be allowed under "circumstances" like rape and incest only then you're honestly full of shit to begin with. Either you think abortion is terminating a human life or you don't. The argument is, has and always will be rank hypocrisy. At the very least it's a rhetorical improvement for Republicans to be assholes instead of just being liars.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:31 PM on January 28, 2011 [56 favorites]


They can't be serious.

What fucking century do these people live in?
posted by Skygazer at 10:38 PM on January 28, 2011


I'm an "old white guy" (I probably hate that phrase as much as an African American person hates the "n" word).

Now this. THIS is offensive.
posted by drpynchon at 10:40 PM on January 28, 2011 [39 favorites]


Shit like this is getting floated because not enough people feel women's rights are something 'really worth getting worked up about.'

This isn't simply political grandstanding. Whether or not this bill has any hope in hell of getting passed isn't the point. It's opening up a national conversation that suggests that it's reasonable to decide whether a women is eligible to receive health care for a legal procedure based on whether she's "really" enough of a victim.

Thank you, Sady Doyle.
posted by Space Kitty at 10:41 PM on January 28, 2011 [17 favorites]


@"fantodistic: yes Glen Beck was in on it. We have a country that has people who really are Christianity's version of the Taliban. They have nearly all the same vices.
As far as the people proposing these ideas as law, don't they have sisters? Daughters? Wives? Mothers? Do they disdain their female kin do much?
I guess this is what to expect of people who waited until the 20th century to allow votes for women. Until nearly the 20th century, American women could not inherit, they had no right to their wages if they worked, nor any right to equal wages, or custody of their small children in the event of widowhood or divorce. So much struggle went for every right women have in the U.S. Canada and Europe. Not one right can be taken for granted.
Now it looks like the American legal definition of rape could become more like thevTaliban definition of rape.
I can't stand any of the people who are trying to make these laws.
They are trying to impose a theocracy on the United States of America. Can't they see how that stuff goes elsewhere with people coming to hate their ruleing classes?
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:42 PM on January 28, 2011


This is fucking unacceptable.
This is very fucking unacceptable.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:47 PM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm an "old white guy" (I probably hate that phrase as much as an African American person hates the "n" word).

This is probably the most offensive thing I have read on metafilter. Holy shit.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:49 PM on January 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


I've noticed, when I talk to my pal who's a right-wing conservative (he is a dude, and he is white, but he is nowhere near old, for the sake of anecdata), that he often just doesn't really think past his own immediate situation. He doesn't grasp the larger societal picture-- he's not stupid, he's just never had to actually ponder his privilege. If I provide a few examples of things he hasn't considered because he never has to think in those terms, he tends to eventually back off positions that are untenable for people who don't share his privilege.

I'm guessing that when you are a politician and your party machine and your most rabid donors support and shelter your privilege-- and you know that your entire livelihood depends on that illusion being upheld at all costs, often under media scrutiny-- you never bother to check your privilege, and you do not have the kinds of friends or family members who would dare to call you on your shit.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:54 PM on January 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


Um, dude you've posted more offensive things than that.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:54 PM on January 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm an "old white guy" (I probably hate that phrase as much as an African American person hates the "n" word). Can we avoid that phrase as we would any other ethnic, racial, ageist, sexist word?

There are a lot of "young, un-white, non-male" individuals supporting this crap as well.


First off, theredpen was talking about the politicians being old, white guys, not the people supporting this. Second, are you really that fucking ignorant?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:56 PM on January 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Can we as a nation just allow that HuronBob said something boneheaded and ignore it?
posted by Burhanistan at 10:58 PM on January 28, 2011 [20 favorites]


All this election-season bombast is just that. I'm sure once they are elected and actually take office, cooler heads will prevail.

You think so, huh? Haven't been paying a lot of attention recently, have you?
posted by Aversion Therapy at 10:58 PM on January 28, 2011


Also, NARAL has made it easy for you to reach out to your representatives. Personalize your letter. Be polite. Back off the confrontational language. Lay out the facts.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 11:01 PM on January 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought "Cartoon Evil" was supposed to only exist in, you know, cartoons.

Thank you House Republicans for demonstrating that my expectations can never actually be low enough to encompass the depths you'll eventually sink to.
posted by quin at 11:01 PM on January 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Really, rape by definition is forcible. Unless they're making a point of further defining forcible as "only when violence or threat of violence beyond unwilling vaginal penetration is involved," this is another infuriating example of the Republicans trying to control language - not entirely unlike the "Job Killing Health Care Repeal" bullshit.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to try and rename some Republican initiatives so that they are propaganda of a similar nature. In that context, I propose that from here on out, every attempt by Republicans to restrict abortion rights be referred to as part of the "Republican Party We Fucking Hate Women, Even Those Who Mothered Us, Who We Married, and Who We Fathered Act."
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:01 PM on January 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Aversion Therapy: You think so, huh? Haven't been paying a lot of attention recently, have you?

Psst! You are responding to a sarcastic comment
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:02 PM on January 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Mary... demeaning generalizations regarding race, sex, and age are never a good idea, and, no, I'm not "that fucking ignorant", but thanks for assuming that I am.

I'm not going to enter into a discussion on this, I don't want to derail this... my point was, that, as an "old white guy", it gets a bit discouraging to hear a description of my demographic to be used in that manner. e/mail me if you want to discuss this.
posted by HuronBob at 11:02 PM on January 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


Yay people that don't have vaginas making up rules that affect people that have vaginas.

As much as I hate this bill and men coming up with this kind of nonsense in general and Rep. Chris Smith in particular,* the bill does have about a dozen female cosponsors. They are:

Rep Bachmann, Michele [MN-6]
Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7]
Rep Buerkle, Ann Marie [NY-25]
Rep Ellmers, Renee L. [NC-2]
Rep Emerson, Jo Ann [MO-8]
Rep Foxx, Virginia [NC-5]
Rep Hartzler, Vicky [MO-4]
Rep Jenkins, Lynn [KS-2]
Rep McMorris Rodgers, Cathy [WA-5]
Rep Miller, Candice S. [MI-10]
Rep Noem, Kristi L. [SD]
Rep Roby, Martha [AL-2]
Rep Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana [FL-18]
Rep Schmidt, Jean [OH-2]

Just for accuracy's sake.

*Do not even get me started on how much I hate this man. I have personally witnessed him disseminating the old "abortions breast cancer!" canard long after it was proven to be nonsense. Argh.
posted by naoko at 11:07 PM on January 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Burhanistan, "boneheaded"... sigh..

fuck it... there was a time when I enjoyed being here, but this is a bit absurd..

I'm 63, that makes me "old" in comparison to most of you. I'm "white"...yeah, sorry about that, and I'm male, not much I could do about that.

So.. consider this...and I fucking hate this derail.... Would we, as a "nation" tolarate someone saying "young, black, woman", in a tone that implied that there was something wrong with being that "type" of individual, and think it was acceptable? So, it's "boneheaded" for me to advocate that using the "old white guy" slur is any less acceptable.... ?
posted by HuronBob at 11:09 PM on January 28, 2011 [19 favorites]


"'I'm an "old white guy" (I probably hate that phrase as much as an African American person hates the "n" word).'

"Now this. THIS is offensive."

"This is probably the most offensive thing I have read on metafilter. Holy shit."


stupid != offensive
posted by Eideteker at 11:10 PM on January 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Out of curiosity, how much does an abortion cost as a medical procedure? This isn't noted in the article; my assumption is that this would be cost prohibitive on an individual basis.
posted by graxe at 11:10 PM on January 28, 2011


That should read "'abortions cause breast cancer!' canard" - as you can see, Rep. Smith even impedes my ability to write clearly.

Anyway. TPM has more to say about defining "forcible rape."

posted by naoko at 11:11 PM on January 28, 2011


HBob,

You just equated being called a member of the majority (no matter how it's said, or the tone involved, or how that all makes you feel) with being called "nigger." (I can say that, it's our word, or so the comedies tell me.)

Stop and think about that. Stop and think about 400 years of slavery and institutionalized discrimination. Sure, it's no fun to be called slavemaster (personal kinks notwithstanding), but it's less fun to be called slave (again, same kink disclaimer). "Guys, stop reminding me that the choices I make every day and the things that I ignore/don't have to think about BECAUSE I'M WHITE may possibly be hurting other people!"

I feel for you, I really do.
posted by Eideteker at 11:15 PM on January 28, 2011 [46 favorites]


Out of curiosity, how much does an abortion cost as a medical procedure? This isn't noted in the article; my assumption is that this would be cost prohibitive on an individual basis.

I had a notion of something like $200-500 in my head, but some googling suggests more like anywhere from $350 to $1000 - and that's in the first trimester; it gets more expensive later on.
posted by naoko at 11:17 PM on January 28, 2011


I know they're old white guys, without vaginas, but don't they have female relatives or friends?

Misogynists (of all genders) typically have female relatives - yet, hey, women can't be trusted to make good decisions for their bodies/theoretical viable life is more important than actual viable life/rape is always the woman's fault, etc.

Hate never sees itself as hate- it sees itself as the natural order of the world, held back by all these people who don't seem to know their place.
posted by yeloson at 11:17 PM on January 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


And with that, I've resolved the derail. Further comments go to MeTa, pls. Pile-ons may make you feel better, but this thread is not about stroking your ego. This thread is about an issue that very possibly could hurt our mothers, sisters, daughters. Let's please devote all our energy to making sure they don't need to feel the fear/outrage/trauma that this proposal heralds.
posted by Eideteker at 11:18 PM on January 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


I've lived in the home districts of both John Boehner and Jean Schmidt in the recent past, and I tried to vote both of them out when I had the chance on multiple occasions. I tried like hell. Sorry, rest of the country.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:20 PM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Misogynists (of all genders) typically have female relatives

Except for Jean Schmidt, who was in fact birthed by darkest magicks in the fetid pits beneath Orthanc.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:23 PM on January 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


God, I love being Canadian.

By the way - there's plenty of room here. Come on over.
posted by empatterson at 11:25 PM on January 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Eideteker... I suspect that we're on different ends of this continuum in some manner. My point that, no matter how much it is misunderstood, is that referring to people in negative terms based on age, sex or race is wrong no matter what the history is, seems to be lost here. I'm sorry for that, and it saddens me.

I've spent 30 years working with minority youth, and that many years attempting to bring some respect to the community I live in. Trust that I understand the point you're making, please try to understand mine.

I'm sorry this detracted from this thread, that wasn't my intent.

And, the irony that comes to me here, is that, on about a daily basis, the students I work with call me "nigger", 'cuz that's the word they use when they talk... I'm not offended when they say that, it's not a slur in that context... but the sadness that is evoked when that word is used in such a casual manner without a realization on their part what the truth of the history is, is huge.
posted by HuronBob at 11:25 PM on January 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


Didn't the pro-life groups announce years ago that they'd seek 'death by a thousand cuts' rather than combat Roe v. Wade directly?

If you oppose this, you've kinda gotta give money to planned parenthood, sign up for their call your senator email list, or adjust your shopping based upon store's stance on abortion. You'll never see the numerous little moves against abortion rights if you wait for a post on metafilter.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:27 PM on January 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


This must be the work of The No Men.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:30 PM on January 28, 2011


The people who say this is political posturing are absolutely right. There is no danger that this will actually became a law.

This time. Every time they bring it up, they make it appear normal to talk about women this way. These bastards are very much using the bodies of women as poker chips, but don't think for a minute that they won't go all in if the opportunity presents itself. Call it out now.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:36 PM on January 28, 2011 [27 favorites]


Obviously, we must blame Obama.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:38 PM on January 28, 2011


Well, I got an abortion two weeks ago, in Seattle, which is kind of an expensive city, and based on my total lack of income, since my husband's health insurance wouldn't cover it, it was $530.00. We had to cash some things in to cover it, but it was worth it for us, and we could handle it. All the prescriptions I had to get after I got a uterine infection probably didn't come to much over $30, sine health insurance will cover antibiotics.

This makes me VERY angry.

On another note, I would like to come out in support of Old white Guys (TM). Not the assholes-- those are just assholes. But I've been socially liberal for a damn long time, and I have had to watch my various liberal cohorts deal with a fair bit of unwarranted abuse from less privileged groups, who have difficulty believing that white, heterosexual, meat-eating males really *can* agree with them, and support of their struggles, despite not having experienced the same difficulties themselves. Stereotyping is stereotyping, even if "we"'re doing it, and, damn it, some of my best friends are white guys.
posted by Because at 11:38 PM on January 28, 2011 [34 favorites]


To clarify-- $530 doesn't make me angry. The article makes me angry.

Also to clarify, I *can* spell. Just... not tonight.
posted by Because at 11:43 PM on January 28, 2011


Just for clarification, people who support abortion rights for women are usually "pro-life".
posted by Brocktoon at 11:51 PM on January 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I join you in your anger, Because.

A quick google check confirms that anesthetic for surgical abortion costs extra.

/barbaric
posted by Space Kitty at 11:53 PM on January 28, 2011


God, fuck these guys.
posted by NoraReed at 12:09 AM on January 29, 2011


I thought "Cartoon Evil" was supposed to only exist in, you know, cartoons.

Snidley Whiplash and Dick Dastardly abandoned the party a decade ago; they knew they couldn't compete with Cheney.
posted by JHarris at 12:14 AM on January 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Thank you for linking that page, Space Kitty. That clarifies many of my questions.

I can understand the white guy stereotyping issue. Having been the white guy in a group of pseudo hippie protesting friends, it really does occur.
posted by graxe at 12:17 AM on January 29, 2011


Space Kitty writes "A quick google check confirms that anesthetic for surgical abortion costs extra."

General anaesthesia costs more than a local. IIRC that is the case for pretty well all medical procedures as a general takes longer, requires more recovery time, is generally more dangerous, and often requires the services of an anesthesiologist. Would you prefer that abortion providers charge all patients the same with the effect that women electing for a local subsidized those women choosing a general?
posted by Mitheral at 12:28 AM on January 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


A quick google check confirms that anesthetic for surgical abortion costs extra.

Your link does not in fact support that assertion. What it says is that general anesthesia (i.e. putting you under) costs more than a local (i.e. numbing / deadening the are to be operated on). And it should-- it costs the provider a lot more. In fact, given the fact that the cost of equipment, drugs, and staff required for a general are all higher than for a local, a cost increase of $125 - $150 seems pretty reasonable.
posted by dersins at 12:36 AM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Way to preview, me.
posted by dersins at 12:38 AM on January 29, 2011


Aren't pro-life proponents frequently criticized for having inconsistent/incoherent views on abortion in part because of rape exemptions? Isn't this a step in the "less hypocritical" direction?

I'm hoping that aligning their goals more closely with an "abortion is murder, let's treat it that way" mindset, the pro-life movement will alienate people who don't actually believe it's murder, but are pro-life for other reasons (from "slut-shaming" right on through to peer pressure), and they'll fracture, losing a lot of their clout.

Too naive?
posted by ODiV at 12:46 AM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


As I said, it was a quick link. In my experience, not just general, but local anesthesia and valium cost extra. Standards for what constitute reasonable charges vary greatly when you're under the poverty line - and that's exactly who the bill proposes to cut funding from.

Another example of the punitive nature of legislating reproductive rights, particularly for the poor. Even if you can get the money together for the cost of the abortion, pain relief is a luxury you can't afford.
posted by Space Kitty at 12:53 AM on January 29, 2011


My take two pills (only allowed in the first eight weeks of pregnancy) abortion was almost $600. This is including a medical before and after, two ultrasounds, and some medications for the side effects of the abortion process.

During one of a visit soon after (to get a pap smear) at the same Planned Parenthood, there was about 40 people from a church on the street protesting abortions. I was a bit surprised, because I didn't expect this in Southern California. When I went inside, the receptionist told me I was the first woman to show up in four hours. So several other women didn't get their health checkups (since that is PP's main mission) because they were afraid or embarassed. It didn't occur to me to be ashamed, but it pisses me off that the protestors drove women away who just want to take care of their health. These are women who are trying to be responsible so they don't get pregnant or a disease, or not have a baby they can't take care of right now.
posted by Monday at 12:59 AM on January 29, 2011 [19 favorites]


My $530 abortion didn't include general anesthesia, but they did give me a shot of some sort of painkiller that did an excellent job, as well as 2 injections directly to the cervix (because I was still experiencing significant discomfort after the first one).

I thanked the doctor for how kind everyone in her office had been, because it had been important to me that they had been so understanding and helpful in what was, of course, a somewhat difficult time for me. She replied, somewhat bitterly, that she appreciated it, even though everyone seemed to think they were the scum of the earth for offering abortions there. Since I was on painkillers, I didn't know how to respond. Now, I am sadly unsurprised by her reaction.

I think I'm going to write them a thank-you note.
posted by Because at 1:07 AM on January 29, 2011 [13 favorites]


Every sponsor of this bill should not get reelection.
posted by Catblack at 1:15 AM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


You just equated being called a member of the majority (no matter how it's said, or the tone involved, or how that all makes you feel) with being called "nigger."

If you can actually do what you just did there with a straight face, you're going to be contributing to the politics of personal, social, and racial discord just like any old white dude you care to pick out. Maybe a difference in degree, but not in character.

Yeah, most people who can think about this topic understand that white and male means certain privileges. It's worth appreciating. But HB has a real point here about principles of respect that go beyond minority rights and identity politics. And when he tries to make it, you are the one that goes ahead and loads his language with slurs.

Tell you what: I'll make an extra effort to help my white and male friends ponder their privilege in the next week or two if you'll kindly just agree shut the hell up when this kind of topic comes up, because I'm pretty sure whatever work remains to be done on this front, it's not going to be you who's going to be able to do anything to help.
posted by namespan at 1:26 AM on January 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


The "Get Away With Drugging, Raping, and Impregnating Low-Income Women And Forcing Them To Give Birth (Like Livestock) Act"
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:30 AM on January 29, 2011 [30 favorites]


call NINE-ONE-ONE, many are off their Meds, and their heads are NOT on straight again!
posted by tustinrick at 1:31 AM on January 29, 2011


Aren't pro-life proponents frequently criticized for having inconsistent/incoherent views on abortion in part because of rape exemptions? Isn't this a step in the "less hypocritical" direction?

It depends on who you talk to. If you're talking to someone whose objection to abortion begins and ends with the idea that blastocysts are human too, then yeah. But the reason why there have long been exceptions for rape and incest and threats to health is that some of the rationale out there is more nuanced and takes into account some measure of pro-choice and individual rights philosophy. There's at least one semi-common school of thinking that views the choice to engage in a reproductive act as the central choice in the matter, and if that's thrust on you involuntarily, then you have the moral right to take steps to recover that choice.

Apparently increasingly less common, though, and more's the pity.

Of course, I'm sure that XQUZYPHR is right and some of this isn't so much about policy at all as it is an attempt to move the window of discussion... and present stunt bills in order to get the Republican conservative base fired up by saying "See? SEE? This is the kind of stuff we could have PASSED if we just had the Senate and the Presidency!"

But I'm kindof done giving today's Republican party even this kind of shadowy "benefit" of the doubt. I'm probably somewhat more pro-life than a lot of metafilter, but I'm pretty much ready, as orthogonality says, to believe that any concern for any measure of reproductive choice and health is no longer something the Rs are capable of as a caucus.

Not that I needed another reason to not vote for them, but isn't it always nice to have a few extras of everything?
posted by namespan at 2:08 AM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


A very great deal of social progress towards equal rights for all has been driven by old, white guys. Privilege is not inherently evil; what is done with privilege is evil, or good. Division of privilege is unavoidable in any human society. There have never been any exceptions. Some members of any given society will be privileged over others, largely for random reasons.

Even the concept of "merited" privilege is somewhat questionable, as one's social merit is very strongly correlated with unchosen factors; most of what you have achieved by virtue of your "merit" has been due to your innate intelligence, which you did not choose, and the values, philosophies and worldview inculcated into you by your parents and family, your/their sub-culture, your childhood and school, your peer group, and so on - none of which you chose either. Even in your middle and old age the question of how much of your life is driven by your actual "choices", and accordingly counts as "merit" on your part, as opposed to being merely the accretion of prior largely-random experiences, is open.

Even old, white, guys who are emotionally and intellectually and morally driven to share privilege, to whom the idea of equality appeals to such a great extent that they will, and have, argued, fought, beggared themselves, even died to share privilege, do so due to their accumulated life experience, which can be summarized as "life is good for me, others would appreciate the good life too, I shall try to make that happen".

"Nigger" is a slur, and a slur smears its target as a member of a despised (under)class. "Old white guy" is a description. I don't think there really is a comparable slur, anything that smears them as a member of a despised class, that is applicable to old white folks. The lack of a comparable slur is a part of white racial privilege. If and when such a slur ever existed, it would indicate that a drastic shift in racial (and/or class) privilege had occurred. It's not impossible that such a thing could occur, but it damn well hasn't happened yet.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:17 AM on January 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


On the topic at hand: I (and many others) see a pro-life philosophy based on the view of a fetus as a human, and hence abortion as the murder of a human, as completely inconsistent with rape and/or incest exceptions. The fetus exists, it has the spark of life, it is human; its provenance is not its choice in any way, it is not responsible.

Only a choice made by the (prospective) mother or by others, as to whether she should keep the fetus and have the baby, or not, can encompass such a distinction. Now there is an argument consistent with the "pregnancy as duty of a woman" position which allows for rape and/or incest exceptions, which is simply that such a child should not exist, its very existence is the result of a sin, and although it is human, it is not a human who has a right to live, and it ought therefore be killed even if the pregnant woman wanted to keep it. (In theory, this reasoning may equally justify the forced abortion of fetuses conceived outside of marriage, or even outside of Christian marriage.)

Now following that chain of logic further, our merciless theocrats could entertain the idea of a "mercy" exception, in that if the woman expresses genuine love for the child of rape (or a bastard child), and agrees to raise it as if it were validly conceived, then the child's conception could retroactively be blessed, the rapist forced to marry (or at least work to support) her, etc.

Personally I find such a worldview frankly repulsive, not so much on the basis of the specific religious provenance of it (it could arise from a wide variety of authoritarian ideologies; Juche, for instance, which is at least equally abominable as Christian Dominionism), but on the basis that it denies a person, the woman, self-determination. I bring it up to make the point that you can't get there from here. "Abortion is always murder" does not lead to rape/incest exceptions. It seems to me that those who attempt to argue those two ideas together, are doing so in bad faith.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:34 AM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Another issue that really bugs me about this - state payment or otherwise is not an endorsement of morality, in many ways it is the opposite of a moral choice, it's an amoral sidestep. If to do X is immoral, then it ought not be allowed. If it is moral, then it ought to be allowed. If it is moral if you can pay for it, that raises the mere capacity to pay for it to the status of moral determinant.

I wouldn't expect that to trouble a Repug, for that worldview in many ways is their ideology in a nutshell, but it ought to trouble a morally literate human being.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:39 AM on January 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," a bill with 173 mostly Republican co-sponsors that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed a top priority in the new Congress

Really people? Holding women down is a top priority? REALLY? IT'S A TOP PRIORITY? Your priorities may be out of order than, Sirs...

Moody’s Investors Service said its time frame for possibly placing a negative outlook on the Aaa rating of U.S. Treasury bonds is shortening as the country’s deficit widens.

The United States Republican party looks like an alcoholic that keeps drinking whilst complaining about something irrelevant. The noose of addiction grows tighter whilst the individual, so terrified of confronting their own fragile ego, complains about everything else, making a mess of people's lives, without ever tackling the real problem.
posted by nickrussell at 2:47 AM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know they're old white guys, without vaginas, but don't they have female relatives or friends?

Well, of course they do. But they're certainly not related to anyone who would have to use public money to fund the procedure. Perhaps some of you don't remember when abortion actually was illegal in this country. What that meant was that it was illegal for poor people; wealthy people always have had the resources. Women could travel; their doctor could give a therapeutic D&C; sometimes it was deemed a medical necessity because of the mental health of the woman.

The point is that this is just another law that these legislators can look at as affecting "Them," not themselves or their loved ones.
posted by leftcoastbob at 2:58 AM on January 29, 2011 [10 favorites]


The opposition parties in Canada should just collect incidents like this and run them in ads against the Harper Conservatives: "Take a good look, Canada, 'cause that's where you're headed!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:05 AM on January 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


I don't suppose we could take all the whining about how one 'old white guy' chooses to express himself to Metatalk, where it belongs, could we?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:11 AM on January 29, 2011


Personally, I'm surprised there's public funding in America for any medical procedure. Kudos for managing to get any kind of abortion, for anybody, actually onto whatever tiny foothold free healthcare has over there.

Seriously, that's worth a cheer, although there's still a way to go to catch up with Holland, for example, where they perform abortions for anybody, even non-citizens, at no cost whatsoever, and no questions asked.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:50 AM on January 29, 2011


Disgusting. I would say something I am thinking, but I am a better person than to wish on them what I am wishing.

I'm not. Those motherfuckers should all die in a fire. I am, however, a better person than to wish on the women supporting this what I am wishing...

Slowly, The Handmaid's Tale is seeming less like a cautionary tale and more like an agenda.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:13 AM on January 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


The opposition parties in Canada should just collect incidents like this and run them in ads against the Harper Conservatives: "Take a good look, Canada, 'cause that's where you're headed!"

This, this, a hundred times this. Anyone who thinks this sort of anti-human lunacy can only happen in the United States (or Pakistan, or Uganda etc.) is deluding themselves. Cartoon evil is still evil, and it knows no borders or ethnic bounds.
posted by spoobnooble at 4:29 AM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's Only Rape if They Say So House Republicans decide to fight abortion access by redefining rape.

Brings to mind:
"[Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael] Steele said [on Rachel Maddow's Thursday show] that the culture wars are 'virtually over,' at least on the national level"* [video | 16:49].
posted by ericb at 5:12 AM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


This just makes me hopping mad. The Republicans who support this should be removed from office as soon as possible as they clearly don't have the necessary capacity to care for ALL their constituents, and not just the vocal minority of wingnuts. In which skewed version of Earth would this ever be right?
posted by arcticseal at 5:16 AM on January 29, 2011


"it's no fun to be called slavemaster ... but it's less fun to be called slave"

Really? If I'm going to be accused of something, I'd much rather be accused of being a victim than accused of being an abuser. The latter implies I'm evil whereas the former could mean that I was just unlucky or disadvantaged in some way.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:27 AM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think we've largely moved on from chastising HuronBob here, so at the risk of reigniting a derail, while yes, HB didn't do himself any favors by picking that particular comparison point, the man does have a point w/r/t how quickly we jump to ageism when subjects like this come up. I say, fuck that. Think about this:

1. We're all living longer. Barring illness, accident or murder, you will live longer than your forebears; many of the people reading this will measure their ages in three digits one day. If someone reaches a certain age and becomes irrelevant to your mind, then I guess get used to the idea of a whole lot of years as irrelevant your damn self. You will be a useless old fuck way longer than anyone in history has ever been a useless old fuck before you! You will be a useless old fuck for way longer than you will have been a bright young thing. So, I dunno, start hoarding cats now. Get a jump on it!

2. If you write off people as married to bad, antiquated ideas and incapable of change once they have reached a certain age, you are discounting as positive agents a segment of the population that is not only large, not only growing, but burgeoning. You're saying, "Well, gosh, I guess there's nothing we can do about those people, you know, the old ones," while failing to understand that those people outnumber you, and that there are more of them every day, and all of them vote.

3. If you really think that the people who are responsible for this idiotic legislation were not assholes until around the time of their fiftieth birthdays, you haven't been paying attention.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:34 AM on January 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


Really? If I'm going to be accused of something, I'd much rather be accused of being a victim than accused of being an abuser. The latter implies I'm evil whereas the former could mean that I was just unlucky or disadvantaged in some way.

Thats a nice academic argument.

But I bet if you ask anybody who was called "slave", they would rather have been "slavemaster".

Slaves didn't have much fun.
posted by hal_c_on at 5:36 AM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


This has nothing to do with fetuses. It is, as it always is with the Republican party, about slut shaming and hating women. And yes I include Republican women like Michelle Bachmann and Virginia Foxx in this. It is very easy to be a self-loathing woman or an exceptionalist woman, especially when there are so many incentives for doing so.

Redefining rape is important to them. If "date rape" (how I hate that phrase) is rape, if roofies are rape, if anything except some stranger with a gun in an alley pointed at a blameless Christian virgin is rape, then the sons of the rich and powerful, and indeed many of the rich and powerful themselves, are rapists. But everybody knows that when a rich guy rapes somebody it's the slut's fault for putting herself in the position. Redefining rape in this legislation sets them up to redefine rape in other legislation in the future.

Abortion is only for women who are absolutely blameless, and the rich and powerful get to say who those women are.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:41 AM on January 29, 2011 [28 favorites]


"If to do X is immoral, then it ought not be allowed. If it is moral, then it ought to be allowed. If it is moral if you can pay for it, that raises the mere capacity to pay for it to the status of moral determinant."

I'm as pro-choice as they come, but this argument is nonsensical. Just because it's moral to obtain/consume something doesn't mean that it should also cost nothing.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:42 AM on January 29, 2011


This discussion should be about the women who will be hurt by this law, not men whose feelings are being hurt. Please?
posted by hydropsyche at 5:43 AM on January 29, 2011 [16 favorites]


I'm generally inspired by the soaring rhetoric about how despite our political agreements we all want the same end goal, an America that's more free, safe, prosperous... though we might have different ideas about how to get there. Perhaps because it dovetails nicely with my own personal desire to believe that there is good in every human being, that every person has a right to my empathy.

But then I read stuff like this and I become pretty certain that me and the people working on that bill have VERY DIFFERENT ideas about the kind of America we want to live in, that we are NOT working toward the same goals, and perhaps there are people who have reached a state of complete corruption and evil.
posted by crackingdes at 6:06 AM on January 29, 2011


MetaTalk thread.
posted by availablelight at 6:09 AM on January 29, 2011


As a disinterested outside observer, you guys in the USA really seemed to have a thing for abortion. I can't seem to go a week without reading or seeing a news article with "abortion" in the title. Haven't most "first-world" countries moved past this issue decades ago? I mean there's big problems out there to solve, is this really one that requires constant revisiting?
posted by blue_beetle at 6:11 AM on January 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


God, I love being Canadian.
We're one election away from dealing with this ourselves, remember.
posted by monkeymike at 6:16 AM on January 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Tell you what: I'll make an extra effort to help my white and male friends ponder their privilege in the next week or two if you'll kindly just agree shut the hell up when this kind of topic comes up, "

Did you just tell eidetaker to shut the hell up about race?

Wow. Shitty.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:22 AM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


META.
posted by availablelight at 6:22 AM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


What is the source for the current definition of rape that this legislation allegedly changes?
posted by midnightscout at 6:40 AM on January 29, 2011


Sorry, missed it the first time.

This bill sucks and is disgusting. There's not much more to say about it, for me.

I support free and easily available abortion, no questions asked.

Rape/incest exceptions do nothing but classify some abortions as "good" and some as "bad" (hint: sluts who have sex voluntarily are bad).

We shouldn't be arguing over rape.

We should be pushing for insurance companies to be legally mandated to cover abortion.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:42 AM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


why don't Democrats play this fucking awful game right back at Repubicans? Force them to vote against legislation that plays to THEIR base. Make Republicans vote AGAINST tax increases for the extremely rich, make Republicans vote AGAINST universal health care. You know why Democrats won't do it? Because there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. Nader was right, just ahead of his time as usual. Democrats will debate this bill as if it actually has merit, it does not and if they were honest they would debate it as an absolutely disgusting attempt by Republicans to make sure their racist, fundamentalist base gets riled up to vote next year.
posted by any major dude at 6:46 AM on January 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


So what do they expect the women who bear children in rape to do? Let me guess, they don't want to fund programs to provide enrichment programs, quality learning programs, family health programs and intensive supports for the proven obstacles that poor single parents face in providing a quality of life that is comparable to homes that have money.

And let me make another guess, they want such women who have born children in rape to give up their children to some rich christian couple with fertility issues so that some adoption attorney/agency can profit to the tune of 20,000$ or more and everyone can say that's sweet.

Meanwhile the woman who was raped is then left a shell of human being having been thrown in the hell of dealing with the aftermath of rape and also losing the child she was required to carry for 9 months, carry all the hormones, fall in love with, go through the birth of, and hold in her arms before the "more worthy" couple walks off with her child.

Sounds about like the proposed solution right?

How sweet.

The only problem is that the kids in this situation grow up one day, and have the courage to speak about what a dispicable social policy this is.
posted by xarnop at 6:47 AM on January 29, 2011 [10 favorites]


Haven't most "first-world" countries moved past this issue decades ago? I mean there's big problems out there to solve, is this really one that requires constant revisiting?

If you have a better way to keep one half of the population perpetually pissed off at the other half, I'd like to hear it.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:56 AM on January 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've realized that I can't trust clean-shaven people who wear business attire. I was born in the '80, and business suits are the uniform for people who will lie to me and try to take my rights, rape my friends, and take away my freedoms. Nothing signifies untrustworthyness than a tie and matching pants and suit jacket; suits has become my visual indicator of evil, since all my live people in businesssuits have been perpetrating great evils.

Now they are taking the first steps to legalize rape.
posted by fuq at 7:15 AM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Folks! Get in touch with your representatives and your congress people!
posted by ChuraChura at 7:19 AM on January 29, 2011


Let's hope we're not brought to a point where we need the Internet route around censorship just to ensure women have access to safe medical treatment. Of course, it's not looking so bright, so let me conclude by saying, "You can't stop the signal."
posted by mikelieman at 7:21 AM on January 29, 2011


gak. "need the Internet TO route around..."
posted by mikelieman at 7:21 AM on January 29, 2011


This is truly beneath contempt. Is there no limit to how far these people will stoop? Legislation in the 21st century has become a farce in which the chosen few, safe and secure behind their monied walls of healthcare and security, make laws to benefit themselves which in turn damage the citizen populace. The millionaires in congress have no loyalty to the people they represent, only the people who line their pockets.

The government has become morally bankrupt while at the same time cementing the power they wield over the general public. We have been legislated back to the age of fiefdoms and peasants. Once a great country lead by learned and moral leaders like Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, we have sunk to a corporate-controlled police-state where company shills like the GOP have the actual gall to stand up infront of their fellow men and women and claim that rape isn’t really rape.

Have these people no shame? Of course not. They auctioned it off to the highest bidder in exchange for money and power. And they fear no repercussions because their own sons and daughters are protected from the laws they pass by this same money and power.
posted by valkane at 7:23 AM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


This bill is going to disproportionately affect poor minorities*, as if they don't already have enough to deal with. And then Republicans can cry "OMG WELFARE BABIESSS!!!" when these women are forced to have children.

*Minorities (except for Asians) have the highest lifetime rate of rape.
posted by desjardins at 7:29 AM on January 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was trying to figure out which of the sponsors of this bill is the horse, but then I remembered that the horse is a member of the Senate.
posted by localroger at 7:29 AM on January 29, 2011


mumble mumble mumble But Democrat and Republicans are the same!!!

Now... Yes, get angry get out and do something to counter this. But is anyone really surprised about this? The Republicans where supposedly elected on a fiscal conservative platform (Despite the myth, Republicans as a bloc are not fiscal conservatives) and it takes them less than a month to propose go nowhere legislation on social conservative issues.

Now, this all could be a well timed thing. Get the most contentious, base pleasing, issues out of the way with these grandstanding votes early in the cycle. Then in 2 years they don't have to have the votes that get people riled up, but the base will remember the early days. Will people other then the bases remember come Nov 2012? I hope so, but I also think the American electorate is pretty fucking stupid as a whole so don't count on it.
posted by edgeways at 7:38 AM on January 29, 2011


We should be pushing for insurance companies to be legally mandated to cover abortion.

Do you mean in cases of rape...or in all cases? I agree with the first (or actually...the gov't should)...but if you mean the latter, can you explain that as I haven't really explored that line of thought.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:13 AM on January 29, 2011


All that happens if you get "legally mandated for women who have been raped only" is a lot of women will claim to their doctors that they were raped, but they do not know who, no, they washed and burned all their clothing, they do not want to prosecute. It's a really bad incentive.

(FWIW, I think that the government should pay for all abortions. And I live somewhere where, in theory, they do. If you cannot afford a few hundred dollars for an abortion, can you afford a child?)
posted by jeather at 8:26 AM on January 29, 2011


Abortion is a safe, relatively easy to perform, and relatively inexpensive medical procedure that helps a lot of women preserve their own health and sanity, not to mention helping to ensure that any children they already have or will have in the future have a better life. Covering abortion probably saves the insurance company huge amounts of money in the long term. What would be the reason for them not covering it?
posted by hydropsyche at 8:37 AM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


We should be pushing for insurance companies to be legally mandated to cover abortion.

Do you mean in cases of rape...or in all cases?"

I wonder the same thing about funding programs to help low income parents provide the same quality of life as wealthier families.

It seems if a woman was raped, it should be ethical to financially offer her the means to achieve her desired outcome for the (potential) child; whether that be abortion or parenting are (shudder) adoption. However when thinking about it this way, doesn't refusing to make such programs available to all low income families only punish the child?

And if we restrict financial support for abortion, parenting success programs--- to ONLY victims of rape, it seems this would both A: potentially increase false rape claims and B. Increase the publics PERCEPTION that rape claims are false by giving such a motive.

Meaning: Even if it didn't cause more false rape claims, it would give people who belief "lot's of rape claims are false" more fuel for their agenda in proving that women who cry rape are lying.
posted by xarnop at 8:38 AM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've realized that I can't trust clean-shaven people who wear business attire. I was born in the '80, and business suits are the uniform for people who will lie to me and try to take my rights, rape my friends, and take away my freedoms. Nothing signifies untrustworthyness than a tie and matching pants and suit jacket; suits has become my visual indicator of evil, since all my live people in businesssuits have been perpetrating great evils.

Are you TRYING to cause another derail? What a stupid, stereotypical, asinine contention. It's like saying, "Don't trust anyone over thirty." You DO realize there are liberal democrats who fit in both categories, right?
posted by misha at 9:17 AM on January 29, 2011


At least they are keeping their eyes on the ball - this will surely lead to jobs, jobs, jobs.

But, seriously, conservative Republicans are fundamentalist, reactionary culture warriors. This kind of shit is their ultimate goal. The "economy" and "jobs" and other important issues are just talking points they use to get in power so they can lead their moral crusade. If you haven't known this for at least twenty years, you haven't been paying attention.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:19 AM on January 29, 2011


Wow. I am having a really hard time conceiving how disgusting these people are.
posted by brundlefly at 9:35 AM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sent an email to my [almost] representative explaining why this is such a bad idea and how lowly he is in my consideration now.

I wrote it from a man's perspective though, because I figured no one listens to women re: their reproductive health.
posted by rubah at 10:01 AM on January 29, 2011


Have these people no shame? Of course not.

Why should they? What's the down-side for them? Oh no, some people will get angry on the internet for a few minutes, but then the microwave burrito will be done and life moves on. Oops, NCIS is on, gotta go!

They're monsters, but only because we allow them to be.
posted by aramaic at 11:33 AM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


America, I am disappoint.
posted by dougrayrankin at 11:34 AM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are you TRYING to cause another derail? What a stupid, stereotypical, asinine contention. It's like saying, "Don't trust anyone over thirty." You DO realize there are liberal democrats who fit in both categories, right?

You can tell which ones are the Democrats by their Jerry Garcia ties...
posted by mikelieman at 1:00 PM on January 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I sent a letter to my representative encouraging her to speak up against the misogyny behind this act. Don't know if she will go that far, but her record indicates she won't support it.

It's good to have a politician I like.
posted by cmyk at 1:20 PM on January 29, 2011


This just supports my theory that the West Wing universe has a TV series about our universe, only it's a farce.
posted by EarBucket at 2:06 PM on January 29, 2011 [2 favorites]



I dunno. I checked out a teabagger rally last year and a good percentage of them were women. But almost all past child bearing age. But still.
posted by notreally at 2:30 PM on January 29, 2011


"I cannot quite imagine the state of mind of a person who would wish to condemn a fellow human being to such a horror. I cannot project the degree of hatred required to make those women run around in crusades against abortion. Hatred is what they certainly project, not love for the embryos, which is a piece of nonsense no one could experience, but hatred, a virulent hatred for an unnamed object. Judging by the degree of those women’s intensity, I would say that it is an issue of self-esteem and that their fear is metaphysical. Their hatred is directed against human beings as such, against the mind, against reason, against ambition, against success, against love, against any value that brings happiness to human life.
In compliance with the dishonesty that dominates today’s intellectual field, they call themselves 'pro-life'."
-Ayn Rand (!)
posted by koakuma at 3:17 PM on January 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


I want to write my representative about this, but I'm afraid I won't be able to be polite. My teeth hurt from gritting. Everytime I try to put this bill into my own words, I just end up sputtering and frothing at the mouth. This isn't supposed to be my country. Goddamn.

This may not be the most relevant place to put this, but about a week ago, I had a strange encounter with a pro-life woman that I've been mulling over ever since. I was working in the junior's department, and there was a woman shopping for a dress with her teenage daughter. We chatted a bit since she asked me to take a dress off a mannequin (and helped) and then asked for my professional opinion on which dress was nicest. During this chatting, she revealed that her husband and her other two kids were in Washington for the March for Life. That made me uncomfortable, but I didn't say anything. In our short time together, I did however notice a pattern in the way she looked at the world.

While we were taking the dress off the mannequin, I joked, "Just think of it like undressing a gigantic Barbie doll!" and she commented that Barbie dolls were harder to dress and undress than they used to be. I didn't say anything, because I haven't played with Barbies since the early 90's, so what do I know? Later, she complained about it being a snow day: she said that when she was young, there were virtually no snow days because there was a school on every corner and kids walked to school instead of taking schoolbuses. I said without thinking, "Oh, did you grow up in the city?" And she said, "Yes..." with sort of a hesitant, awestruck voice. Like it had never occurred to her that maybe it was a city/suburbs difference instead of everyone just being hardier in the good old days.

She just seemed to have the impression that everything was worse now than when she was younger - including Barbies and snow days. The world was just constantly getting worse in every single way, and that was the only explanation for anything different in her life. I don't think this is unrelated to her pro-life position; so many conservatives seem to think that everything in the world is getting worse all the time, and the only thing they can do to make the world a better place is turn back the clock.

I'm afraid that they're succeeding.
posted by Anyamatopoeia at 5:11 PM on January 29, 2011 [11 favorites]


...and on shuffle up comes Bill Hicks: "Some of my friends think these pro-life people are just annoying idiots. Other of my friends think these pro-life people are evil fucks."
posted by notsnot at 5:52 PM on January 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Democrats need to counter this bullshit with a sweeping program for free healthcare and subsidies for life for the mothers and children victimized by rape, but of course they won't. They'll just take the bait and brand themselves yet again as the "party of baby killing" instead of the party of "fucking justice" - literally.
posted by any major dude at 6:19 PM on January 29, 2011 [12 favorites]


"Democrats need to counter this bullshit with a sweeping program for free healthcare and subsidies for life for the mothers and children victimized by rape."

Damn fucking straight.
posted by xarnop at 6:46 PM on January 29, 2011


I sent an e-mail to my Congress-critter (a co-sponsor of this abhorrent piece of legislation, of course) asking to to see this from another perspective. I know I live in North Texas, and the majority of his constituents would support this heartily, but it doesn't make it the right thing to do.

It's not going to have any effect - I'll get a form letter on Monday about how he thanks me for my comment. He'll never read it. Some staff assistant will get it and shift-click-delete it before it gets to anyone of import. I've worked on the Hill, I know how it goes.

But fuck it, I needed to do something right now. And I'll do more as I can. If I get a form letter, I'll write a hand-written letter. And I'll call. And I'll call his district office. He won't change his vote, but maybe someone will let someone who's higher up than a staff assistant know that not everyone in his district is behind him on this shit.
posted by SNWidget at 9:57 PM on January 29, 2011


Stupid Canadian question here... didn't all of these people get voted in on the whole "focus on jobs and the deficit" ticket? Then how come everything they've done since has been red-meat for the social conservative base?

Excuse me, I have to go throw up in my mouth a little bit.
posted by Theta States at 11:32 PM on January 29, 2011


Of the many, many things stoking my outrage here, the one I'm choosing to focus on is the idea that statutory rape would no longer be considered "rape" for this purpose.

I mean, isn't this sort of thing exactly the reason that we have statutory rape laws in the first place? A child is not considered mature enough to make an informed decision regarding the consequences of their actions in this situation, and an older partner is seen to have a de facto advantage in forcing the issue through undue influence.

So, they are (rightfully) saying that a child can't be imagined to be responsible for the possible consequences of sex, but then forcing them to be practically responsible for those consequences anyway.

Oh, wait, it's only the poor ones who will be forced to be held responsible? That's okay then.

Seriously, this is aimed directly (if not intentionally, though I wouldn't be surprised) at the poorest minority communities, and the inevitable results will be just the sort of thing Republicans can try to rail against in another two decades.

And empath, et el., I'd like to share your optimism, but this is the sort of thing that's designed to be tricky to fight against, from a cowardly political perspective, and I don't trust Obama to veto it if it crosses his desk.

A stink needs to be made NOW.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:35 AM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not going to have any effect - I'll get a form letter on Monday about how he thanks me for my comment. He'll never read it. Some staff assistant will get it and shift-click-delete it before it gets to anyone of import. I've worked on the Hill, I know how it goes.

But fuck it, I needed to do something right now. And I'll do more as I can. If I get a form letter, I'll write a hand-written letter. And I'll call. And I'll call his district office. He won't change his vote, but maybe someone will let someone who's higher up than a staff assistant know that not everyone in his district is behind him on this shit.


You know, I worked on the Hill too, and we never deleted anything, and my boss often asked me for tallies of how many letters we were getting pro/con various issues, so even if people got shitty answers (and since you were there, I assume you know that shitty answers are an unfortunate consequence of the volume of mail, not just "We hate constituents, fuck off"). And our staff assistant talked to the Congressman all the time. It doesn't always have to suck that bad.
posted by naoko at 1:35 AM on January 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oops, that should have been, so even if people got shitty answers, we were paying attention to what we were hearing.
posted by naoko at 1:37 AM on January 30, 2011


Okay, naoko: because of your comment, I followed the NARAL link upthread and sent my rep an e-mail. Their default e-mail was weirdly unemotional and focused entirely on economics. It didn't mention rape once. I'm not sure why. Democrats always do stuff like that - hide their best arguments, make only rational points, assume that everyone they're talking to is completely selfish and cares about literally nothing but his own taxes... It really pisses me off, because you'd think by now they'd know that that doesn't work, and they need to get angry every so often.

I added some of my own words to give it more of a punch, carefully keeping it polite while still making my disgust with the bill clear. My rep is a Republican, so I'm not holding out much hope, but hey, who knows?
posted by Anyamatopoeia at 6:55 AM on January 30, 2011


You know, I worked on the Hill too, and we never deleted anything, and my boss often asked me for tallies of how many letters we were getting pro/con various issues, so even if people got shitty answers (and since you were there, I assume you know that shitty answers are an unfortunate consequence of the volume of mail, not just "We hate constituents, fuck off"). And our staff assistant talked to the Congressman all the time. It doesn't always have to suck that bad.

I'm glad your office worked that way - but I knew many that didn't. A lot of times, that kind of thing was limited to the SAs, and it never really got past them. I'm wondering how my rep's office works - you've got me hoping that one of his LAs or LCs might get the info. I know that it does vary greatly from office to office, though.

I understand why the form reply is the standard reply - my anger was just more on the side of "this is really shitty legislation, and he's going to follow it because he's a party-line toeing back-bencher." My exasperation wasn't necessarily at getting a form reply; I was just pissed off at the situation in general an took a swipe in the wrong direction.
posted by SNWidget at 7:21 AM on January 30, 2011


Sure, I feel you, it's a shitty situation and I'm betting most reps have their minds made up already. I just always want to encourage people to not completely lose hope about the value of contact their representatives. Some of them don't care, some of them care at least because they want to do the most popular thing and get reelected, a few of them genuinely care. They get a lot of mail, but pro/con tallies or a particularly noteworthy personal story can sometimes help out, especially in edge cases. Constituent letters was also often useful for me in terms of questions to ask in meetings with lobbyists and interest groups ("We're getting dozens of letters saying Bill X will [hurt Z industry/hurt babies/hurt puppies/end democracy as we know it]. You are pushing for Bill X. Are our constituents wrong?") Also: everyone be sure to be nice to your rep's staff assistant or interns when you call; it is the only hope you have of potentially getting to talk to someone higher up the chain.

But it varies for sure, and my most recent boss didn't get reelected, so hey, maybe we were doing it wrong.
posted by naoko at 8:56 AM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a surprise. I thought the standard definition of "rape and incest" for right-wingers was "whatever a rich girl's dad says it is". See, that way abortion can be murder for everyone else, but if little Muffy gets impregnated by the leather wearing auto mechanic from the wrong side of town, her dad can call it rape and her will get to have the problem taken care of. (The abortion, and the dude gets shipped off to jail or the Marines)

Maybe they are just policing their own? Maybe they decided there was TOO MUCH of the above going on, and so now the girl has to show a black eye to prove it is rape?


This whole thread is disgusting. Playing into the "what counts as rape" derail is exactly what these maggots are trying for. By arguing it, they get to think that most people DO agree with them, that abortion is bad unless there is a really good reason for it. The next thing they try will be the "gay marriage is legal as long as one of 'them' looks like a man and one looks like a woman"?

They are TRYING to muddy the waters, to prove that the only "right" answer is a total ban. Never argue with a bully, because that's what they want.

Abortion is either murder and always wrong, or it isn't. There is no in between.

[At least when discussing circumstantial exceptions. Timing is a different discussion.]
posted by gjc at 9:35 AM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


This whole thread is disgusting. Playing into the "what counts as rape" derail is exactly what these maggots are trying for.

Wait, what? I don't see anyone here doing this. There is a hell of a derail in this thread, but arguing about what is or isn't rape isn't it.
posted by rtha at 10:42 AM on January 30, 2011


Well I think this has some relevance: "Abortion is either murder and always wrong, or it isn't. There is no in between." Except we aren't talking about legality.

The argument being made is not whether abortion should be illegal but whether it should be funded ONLY in instances of rape. If the woman got pregnant through deliberate choice to have unprotected sex, then the logic behind the no funding OUTSIDE rape would be "well it was her choice to have unprotected sex, knowing the consequences and now she should face the consequences, tax payers shouldn't have to pay for it"

The argument against taxpayer money being spent on abortion access without rape would be something like:

If people make bad choices, tax payer money shouldn't be used as bailout. (Sounds like a typical conservative policy?)

If a pregnancy results from rape, the person didn't make a bad choice, it was done to them. Therefore tax payer money could be spent IF that was the reason for refusing financial aid for abortions.

The message here however is, "Abortion is always wrong and we wish we could make it illegal, but we can't so we're going to try to make sure the government never provides taxpayer money for it."

What this does is of course ensure that poor people without access to resources to adequately parent are left with two options (if they are so poor they can't afford an abortion)-
1-parent inadequately, possibly so inadequately they will lose their child to the state
2- carry the child to term and let an adoption worker bank on their newborn child and deal with the after math of that.

So are we upset because the conservatives won't give financial aid for abortion to women who have gotten pregnant through no fault of their own (rape)... or are we mad because conservatives refuse to offer financial aid to women who get pregnant whether through their own fault or not?
posted by xarnop at 11:34 AM on January 30, 2011


We're mad because these conservatives have decided that the women in question can't make their own decisions about their own bodies, and must be told what to do.
posted by cmyk at 12:09 PM on January 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


cmyk--- yeah me too. However the deal here again isn't legality. Women are still allowed to choose abortion. They just aren't allowed to recieve funding for it.

Which is pretty consistant with the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps, cause we aren't going to help you" fiscal conservative platform. Which I disagree with anyway.

The one good thing about this is that they really are making themselves out to be total arses. Clearly they are restricting funding NOT because they are mad at women for not using protective measures to prevent pregnancy. They just don't want tax dollars to go toward helping the poor.

The fact they can tie that to reducing access to abortion is just an added bonus. Or make that vice versa.
posted by xarnop at 12:23 PM on January 30, 2011


Which is pretty consistant with the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps, cause we aren't going to help you" fiscal conservative platform. Which I disagree with anyway.
The one good thing about this is that they really are making themselves out to be total arses. Clearly they are restricting funding NOT because they are mad at women for not using protective measures to prevent pregnancy. They just don't want tax dollars to go toward helping the poor.


Although really if you look at it this way, abortion is a lot cheaper to the taxpayers than the cost of the social services a low-income mother and baby may ultimately end up using. Not endorsing this point of view, just noting the inconsistencies.
posted by naoko at 1:24 PM on January 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Although really if you look at it this way, abortion is a lot cheaper to the taxpayers than the cost of the social services a low-income mother and baby may ultimately end up using."

This is true, but I have noticed that things that would reduce long term costs like providing better services to low income families, providing preventative care the the poor etc etc are usually avoided in terms of short term tax reductions.

And further most conservative pro-life christians I know believe that the solution is simply to impress on girls/women in such situations the importance of realizing adoption is the right choice.

This eliminates the need for public services to the family and also fuels a high profit adoption industry. As far as "the solution" in a lot of the arguments I hear from pro-lifers, I frequently hear, "but there's adoption."

As if this is in any way equivalent in terms of emotional and psychological health for the woman.

I'm trying to stay coherant here, but this is one of those topics that is so upsetting that I'm trying to find the coherant thoughts within the "Goddammit this fucking sucks so for so many reasons"

I'm sure they knew that throwing in, "Yeah but some women aren't REALLY REAL raped" would throw a lot of people off in the coherancy of their arguments. It's hard to decipher what's going on when you're mostly thinking, "Oh my god, this policy will lead to so much suffering, I can't believe this can be ok."

There are real women who would be forced to raise children inadequately or lose their child to adoption because of this policy. I hope it can be changed.
posted by xarnop at 2:05 PM on January 30, 2011


Just popping back in to add, if you want to protest, you can do it by following the links here to contact your reps, and by joining the Twitter protest hashtag #dearjohn, aimed at @JohnBoehner but which you can aim at any congresscritter of choice.
posted by emjaybee at 12:56 PM on January 31, 2011


Reading this again makes me curious about government funding for abortions in the United States. So the linked article says this:

For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.)

So are these procedures usually government funded? Or is that only the case if the woman is covered under medicaid or some other government program? I don't even know how medicaid works (obviously).
posted by ODiV at 6:04 PM on January 31, 2011


Normally you would pay for an abortion either through your insurance or (if it's not covered by your insurance policy or you don't have insurance) out of pocket, regardless of the reason for the abortion.
If your health insurance is through a federal program (Medicaid, Indian Health Services, Federal Employee Health Benefits, etc.), abortion is not covered except in what are sometimes known as Hyde exceptions (i.e. rape, incest, life of the mother, as described in the bit you quoted). Some individual states do provide abortion funding, however.
posted by naoko at 11:53 PM on January 31, 2011


So if a woman is raped and uninsured (or not otherwise covered medically, which is not uncommon in the States I'm guessing?) then she would have to pay for the abortion? That's horrible and I'm sorry to hear that.
posted by ODiV at 10:03 AM on February 1, 2011


Yep, that's how it works. A lot (but not all) of the poorest Americans are eligible for Medicaid, though (I don't entirely understand the eligibility requirements, but it is more complicated than just your income).
posted by naoko at 10:26 AM on February 1, 2011


Republicans Silent on Rape Redefining Bill.
posted by ericb at 2:10 PM on February 1, 2011


Law Professor: Right-To-Lifer All Wrong On House Abortion Bill
posted by homunculus at 12:29 PM on February 2, 2011


Jon Stewart and Kristen Schaal Daily Show segment is a great comment on this farrago
posted by Philosopher's Beard at 8:48 AM on February 3, 2011


House Republicans Drop Controversial "Forcible Rape" Language
posted by dersins at 9:18 PM on February 3, 2011


Fabricating Evidence
posted by homunculus at 12:36 PM on February 4, 2011


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