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XOXO to Title X
February 18, 2011 5:45 PM   Subscribe

Enjoying your Friday night? Be careful out there. In between other things, including voting for huge cuts to the EPA's budget and regulating power, the U.S. House of Representatives just voted to eliminate Title X, originally signed into law 40 years ago by Republican President Richard Nixon, which provides funding for Planned Parenthood.

If Title X is cut, a number of services for low-income women would likely be reduced or eliminated across the U.S.—including vaccines and screening to prevent cervical cancer. According to CDC statistics, cervical cancer was previously the leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States. The single biggest factor, according to the CDC, in reducing cervical cancer mortality over the last 40 years: the availability of Pap tests, which can detect precancerous cervical cells (for instance, changes resulting from HPV, which more than a quarter of U.S. women ages 14 to 59 tested positive for in 2007) before they develop into cancer.

The House did not, incidentally, vote to prevent the military from sponsoring NASCAR race cars.
posted by limeonaire (130 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
God I hate the 19th Century 2.0.
posted by The Whelk at 5:48 PM on February 18, 2011 [67 favorites]


There are a litany of issues that serve as a goalpost of incompetence and ridiculousness when it comes to the electorate and what gets politicians in their seats, however:

[NASCAR] became all the rage after Democrat Mark Warner won the Virginia governorship in 2001 partly on the basis of his assiduous attendance at NASCAR races.

really takes the cake for me.

The fact that public policy is being decided by someone who was elected as a representative largely on the basis that this person attended one of the most worthless, wasteful events to happen on the face of this planet further disheartens this cynical taxpayer.
posted by AndrewKemendo at 5:55 PM on February 18, 2011 [9 favorites]


I want to put together a coherent argument, but the closest I can get to right now is:

fffffffffuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuccccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkk..
posted by dflemingecon at 5:58 PM on February 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


The current House is full of painfully stupid and harmful assholes & is proud of itself for it.
posted by CNNInternational at 6:00 PM on February 18, 2011 [19 favorites]


The hatred shown to women by the Republican party sickens me. This is absolutely heartbreaking.
posted by item at 6:02 PM on February 18, 2011 [19 favorites]


This is meta-dogwhistle politics. These fucks have spent so many years posturing that they've, seriously, forgotten how to govern.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:03 PM on February 18, 2011 [9 favorites]




These guys can vote for any crazy thing they want to, because they know none of it will see the light of day. They can pass a bill that outlaws abortions for Martians, they can pass a bill that makes teenage pregnancy a capital crime, they can pass a bill to ban the moon, and they can pass a bill making me the King of Australia (I'm not even from there!), because none of it matters. It's all cynical bullshit so they can run back to their idiot voters and say, "See! We tried to save the babies and punish the coloreds, but the dang Libruls in the Senate wouldn't let us!"

The worst thing about this is how cynical and wasteful it is, a pure waste of energy and money in the service of untenable positions that appeal to their radicalized electorates in their gerrymandered districts.
posted by Mister_A at 6:06 PM on February 18, 2011 [37 favorites]


These fucks have spent so many years posturing that they've, seriously, forgotten how to govern.

They don't care about governing. That's really not what any of this is about.
posted by nevercalm at 6:06 PM on February 18, 2011 [11 favorites]



The hatred shown to women by the Republican party sickens me.



Well, I mean, it's not like we're people or anything.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:07 PM on February 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I do hope they ban the moon though.
posted by Mister_A at 6:07 PM on February 18, 2011 [22 favorites]


Isn't kind of weird how in retrospect Richard Nixon was one the most effective Democrats we've had as a president? Huh? He was considered a very conservative republican in his time? Oh.... fuck.

Though oddly prescient policies aside, he was still a total asshole any way you look at it.
posted by Telf at 6:08 PM on February 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Planned Parenthood, of course, prevents unwanted pregnancies through education and birth control distribution, thus reducing the need for abortions.

By cutting off funding for Planned Parenthood, Republicans are increasing the need for abortion, which would, in turn, increase the total number of abortions.

Ergo, Republicans support an increase in the number of abortions.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:11 PM on February 18, 2011 [47 favorites]


So how likely is this to actually take effect? Didn't the the last House also pass climate change legislation in 2009?
posted by cnanderson at 6:11 PM on February 18, 2011


Also, I'm more and more convinced that Republicans campaign and vote to make the country one in which they really would not want to live
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:11 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where does debate currently stand on Levitt and Donohue's "The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime"? I just recently heard about it. Seemed interesting, but I've not gotten to the book yet.
posted by Trochanter at 6:13 PM on February 18, 2011


You're not thinking about this! Planned Parenthood is a liberal conspiracy to keep white Americans from having babies. Who has the most babies? That's right- Non-whites. Liberals would love nothing more than to have a country full of illegal immigrants so that they can cover the nation in a cloud of dope smoke!

(Yes, I'm kidding. This is insane. )
posted by GilloD at 6:14 PM on February 18, 2011


You really think the Senate won't pass this, or at least some part of this as part of some deal, or as a show of "bipartisanship" or something similar?

I'm betting on a deal, that seems to be the Democratic MO these days: sell out anyone you can for a tiny little almost illusory gain.
posted by sotonohito at 6:15 PM on February 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


My favorite part of Idiocracy was the part where they showed the current Republican House on the toilet writing out in crayon a fantasy list on farts on McDonald's placemats.
posted by CNNInternational at 6:16 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Very true, Telf. In a similar vein, the best thing for the reputation of George HW Bush as President was the presidency of his son.
posted by Mister_A at 6:16 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whoops, my edit: a fantasy list -of- farts. But maybe a list -on- farts is appropriate too.
posted by CNNInternational at 6:17 PM on February 18, 2011


Here's a tool for retrieving the your seanator's contact info. The record for each includes telephone, email, and social media. Be sure to contact both senators using all of the above.
posted by clarknova at 6:17 PM on February 18, 2011 [8 favorites]


The futility of the bill should not hinder anyone from contacting their senators. Well done and thanks clarknova. Even more importantly, if your rep. voted for this horror of a bill, call him or her and give 'em what for.
posted by Mister_A at 6:19 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Brian B. at 6:20 PM on February 18, 2011


...originally signed into law 40 years ago by Republican President Richard Nixon, which provides funding for Planned Parenthood.

Freakin' liberal.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:21 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meh. This doesn't seem like such a big deal to me: I don't think the government should be paying for birth control. Grow up, take some responsibility, and buy yr own d*mn condoms or pills, y'all.
posted by philokalia at 6:30 PM on February 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


I know man, spending all that money on condoms and birth control pills is exactly what got us into this financial mess!
posted by Mister_A at 6:32 PM on February 18, 2011 [22 favorites]


Grow up, take some responsibility, and buy yr own d*mn condoms or pills, y'all.

Translation: "YE GODS, I HEREBY CALL DOWN THE STORM OF SHIT UPON MYSELF!"
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:32 PM on February 18, 2011 [55 favorites]


Meh. This doesn't seem like such a big deal to me: I don't think the government should be paying for birth control.

Yes, well, we can all agree that Viagra is a much better use of taxpayer money and should be covered on all insurance plans. In fact, the government should just send you some RIGHT NOW!

This is exactly as nice as I am capable of being right now.
posted by sonika at 6:33 PM on February 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Viagara? Whatever helps your john boehner.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:34 PM on February 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


This bill will fail. Contact your reps anyway.

It's all about moving the goalposts closer and closer to upending Roe v. Wade.

On preview: For fucks sake, fucking fuck you fucktard heartless fucking fuckers!.... etc.
posted by wowbobwow at 6:34 PM on February 18, 2011


GilloD, you're kidding, but MLK's Niece, Alveda King isn't when she makes the claim that abortion is a white conspiracy to murder black babies.
posted by symbioid at 6:34 PM on February 18, 2011


I don't think the government should be paying for birth control. Grow up, take some responsibility, and buy yr own d*mn condoms or pills, y'all.

Classic attempt to troll, philokalia. And by "classic" I mean "blindingly obvious." I hope nobody bites.
posted by dersins at 6:34 PM on February 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


philokalia: Responsible people often require the services that Planned Parenthood clinics provide. In fact, it is the use of such clinics itself that constitutes personal responsibility.

Your oversimplification of the issue suggests to me that you don't understand what these facilities are for, who uses them, or why.
posted by pts at 6:35 PM on February 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


Can some one please explain why the odds of this bill actually getting passed are so low? I'm sure it's true, I'm just wondering why exactly.
posted by SouthCNorthNY at 6:35 PM on February 18, 2011


"Well, I mean, it's not like we're people or anything."

Do you still get a whole vote, or is that just for the pregnant ones?
posted by klangklangston at 6:36 PM on February 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sometimes I wish that 'conservatism' meant exactly that -- keeping shit exactly the same, instead of insisting on going backwards.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:36 PM on February 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


why the odds of this bill actually getting passed are so low?

The Senate and White House are both controlled by the Democratic party.
posted by dersins at 6:36 PM on February 18, 2011


SouthCNorthNY: Senate will have none of it. At least, that's the thinking.
posted by wowbobwow at 6:36 PM on February 18, 2011


SouthCNorthNY: review this material.
posted by Mister_A at 6:39 PM on February 18, 2011


I wasn't alive at the time (okay, maybe for the final two weeks of it, but I had other concerns then) so can someone confirm or deny what I am more and more rapidly understanding the narrative of the Nixon-through Reagan years to be?

I have it as: Nixon gets elected because after years of democratic presidency and Vietnam War escalation, the majority of Americans wantsomething to change there, plus the cultural revolutions of the 60s left a lot of people scared enough of a world they didn't understand that the Eisenhower nostalgia kicked in and despite seeing that he was a total asshole, Nixon being Eisenhower's VP gave a certain part of the population the hope for a return to a "simpler" time. As much of an asshole as he was, Nixon was shrewd enough to see where things were going and be pragmatic about it, while getting us out of Vietnam, and establishing relations with China, but then Watergate happened and Ford pardoned him and no matter what Ford was going to be radioactive and really the GOP as a whole so they elected the most Family-Values Southern Democrat they could, who tried to micromanage everything to a degree beyond his (or any actual human's) capability and was too easily caricatured besides, allowing the Republicans to sweep in with Reagan in '80 by selling the country on this being a clean slate for the party - what, forget that last guy - only this time the GOP had sold the value voters on the idea that Republicans were their only option and pay no attention to Lee Attwater over there.

Is that about right?
posted by Navelgazer at 6:39 PM on February 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Kind of. I think you underestimate, to some degree, the pervasive fear that ran through the country in the early '70s. I mean, there were armed leftist groups, the USSR was up to its usual dirty tricks, there was an epic oil crisis, student protests were everywhere, all sorts of things were going on to make people not want things to change so damn fast anymore! It was a really crazy time, and not just in the fun "let's get stoned" Haight-Ashbury sense.
posted by Mister_A at 6:45 PM on February 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


I contacted my Senator. I don't honestly think that this budget will pass the Senate, but this is too important for me to let slide.
posted by lekvar at 6:46 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought there weren't supposed to be a new spending programs? How does the GOP justify that?
posted by maryr at 6:53 PM on February 18, 2011


I'm going to contact my senators, but it's not like John Cornyn isn't salivating at the chance to vote for something like this. I wish I thought it would be a bridge too far for Kay Bailey Hutchison, or that her supposed retirement in 2012 meant that she'd vote her supposed conscience against a bill like this. She keeps telling us she's not as anti-woman as the rest of them but it's hard to believe when she votes like she is.
posted by immlass at 6:53 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meh. This doesn't seem like such a big deal to me: I don't think the government should be paying for birth control. Grow up, take some responsibility, and buy yr own d*mn condoms or pills, y'all.

Even some otherwise responsible people don't have the $500 it would take, unsubsidized, to get fully vaccinated against HPV—which, again, can cause cervical cancer, and which condoms and the pill don't protect against. And no, "buying yr own d*mn pills" won't cure it, either.

In case you missed the [more inside], there's more at stake than just someone's contraceptive method of choice. Even if you don't care about Title X's impact on the lives of women, try doing a Google Image Search for "penile cancer."
posted by limeonaire at 7:02 PM on February 18, 2011 [19 favorites]


buy yr own d*mn condoms or pills, y'all.

Planned Parenthood IS how I bought my own damn pills. Y'ALL.
posted by scody at 7:11 PM on February 18, 2011 [59 favorites]


God I hate the 19th Century 2.0.
posted by The Whelk at 5:48 PM on 2/18
[15 favorites +] [!]


Get back to your loom you commoner! I'll have no talk of socialism and jazz and orgasm in this shop! Now sing a hymn and beseech the Lord to keep China British and the Moslems and Hindoos at bay.
posted by Avenger at 7:15 PM on February 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh, and Planned Parenthood is also how I got pap smears, STI screenings, etc. through my 20s. I would have taken the "personal responsibility" to do them myself, of course, but I was just too lazy to set up a laboratory of my own to run the results.
posted by scody at 7:17 PM on February 18, 2011 [52 favorites]


This is pure political theater.

Also, many programs that give out "free" things actually benefit society tremendously, such as NSF/NIH grants and food stamps ($2 earned for $1 spent!) and public roads and military protection.

Government funding for PP helps prevent negative consequences that would ensue if we did not fund PP, such as higher rates of abortion, unwanted pregnancies, STDS, cervical cancer, etc. If you're married to the principle of never giving anything away for "free," then that's your opinion, but it's not a practical idea - it's as childishly idealistic as giving away everything for free.

I am glad that wiser minds have prevailed throughout the developed world.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:38 PM on February 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


In case anyone thinks this is actually an attempt to be fiscally responsible: Every dollar spent on Title X saves $3.80 in the long run. Source: The Guttmacher Institute

Helping women avoid unintended pregnancies is smart policy. Providing publicly funded contraception to low-income women who want do not want to become pregnant not only improves access to health care, but also reduces costs by preventing pregnancies that would be covered by Medicaid. Pregnancy, pre-natal care, birth, and neonatal care cost a hell of a lot more than a pack of pills (not to mention WIC, which, not coincidentally, is also slashed dramatically in the C.R.).
posted by SugarAndSass at 7:41 PM on February 18, 2011 [14 favorites]


The amendment defunding Planned Parenthood was added to the bill that funds government operations from March 4 until the end of the fiscal year. If the Senate kills this bill, then the federal government goes into shutdown mode on March 4. The people are fucked either way.
posted by Ardiril at 7:42 PM on February 18, 2011


Is there a link to the vote to see who voted for it, from where?
posted by cashman at 7:44 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


They got into office by spending 2 years criticizing Obama, Reid, and Pelosi because of the unemployment rate but nothing they have done will affect it in a positive way one bit. They're lying scumbags with nothing but a strict social agenda.
posted by Daddy-O at 7:51 PM on February 18, 2011


[T]he names of those Dems who voted with the Rs to defund: Dan Boren (OK), Jerry Costello (IL), Joe Donnelly (IN), Dan Lipinski (IL), Mike McIntyre (NC), Collin Peterson (MN), Nick Rahall (WV), Silvestre Reyes (TX), Mike Ross (AR), Heath Shuler (NC).
posted by Ardiril at 7:51 PM on February 18, 2011 [6 favorites]


Republicans are proving they aren't pro-life, and they aren't for protecting the life of the fetus. Otherwise, they'd be all for giving funds to PP on the condition that they use the funds for birth control and education.

Instead, they're more interested in being anti-premarital sex. Way to be the party of new ideas, guys.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:04 PM on February 18, 2011


I donated to Planned Parenthood, and signed a petition at the same time. I recommend it.
posted by Existential Dread at 8:22 PM on February 18, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I work at Planned Parenthood. I am just about speechless with disappointment tonight. Probably because I spent all day (and all week, and all month, and the past year) talking to women in desperate need of basic reproductive health services that their insurance won't cover, their partners don't help with, and their society shames them for accessing and I am so. damn. tired.

I get feedback from our patients, and the common thread that people are surprised at the respect with which we treat them. Over and over, I hear how impressed people are that we're friendly, we're clean, we don't make them feel like bad people for accessing (STI services, birth control, abortion services). I was surprised, when I started talking to folks, at how "you treated me like a real person" was such a huge theme, but this latest governmental insult really does provide some context. We (I say we, because like almost all of my co-workers and the vast majority of my patients, I'm a young woman) are pretty much screwed by our culture, with no protection at all. We brave the expense, judgment, health risks, variable efficacy, and endless hormonal experimentation of birth control OR we run the risk of pregnancy. If we become pregnant, we're called murderers if we terminate that pregnancy or lazy welfare queens if we continue with that pregnancy and can't afford the expense of raising a child all by our damn selves (some of us have the help of family or a partner, but if there's anything I'm learning it's that most of us are eventually on our own when push comes to shove). We can't win. We're demonized no matter what we do, and by our very existence as sexual beings we're a social problem in some people's eyes no matter what we do.

So when the patients I talk to express their shock at being treated with respect by the staff I work with, I'm slowly learning not to be surprised. Because it really is a shock to go to a place where your decisions about your own body and your own choices are not some political punching bag or subject to a moral referendum. It really is refreshing to go to a place that's friendly, and open, and treats your sexuality as the natural, healthy part of life that it should be. I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of that, and I work every day to make sure that our space is safe for all women to have control over their lives in a culture that wants nothing more than to take that control away.

I created a sock puppet to post this comment because my real name is linked to my MeFi username and I don't want to be in danger because I announced that I work at Planned Parenthood. That idea should be laughably preposterous, but it kind of isn't right now.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 8:23 PM on February 18, 2011 [164 favorites]


buy yr own d*mn condoms or pills, y'all.

So, what's the "y'all" tossed in there for? Are we supposed to be alerted that you come from the South? Is that some sort of dog whistle or what?
posted by blucevalo at 8:25 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


I created a sock puppet to post this comment because my real name is linked to my MeFi username and I don't want to be in danger because I announced that I work at Planned Parenthood. That idea should be laughably preposterous, but it kind of isn't right now.

No it isn't preposterous, and I hate that you felt that you had to do it, but the truth is, you're right. There are some crazy fucks out there.
posted by blucevalo at 8:28 PM on February 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm amused that someone find the word "DAMN" offensive, but doesn't find d*mn offensive, even though they know, and the god they worships knows, that they thought it and typed it out anyway. Your god is not a rules lawyer--or if he is he's no god at all.

DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN.
posted by maxwelton at 8:29 PM on February 18, 2011 [7 favorites]


immlass: "I'm going to contact my senators, but it's not like John Cornyn isn't salivating at the chance to vote for something like this. I wish I thought it would be a bridge too far for Kay Bailey Hutchison, or that her supposed retirement in 2012 meant that she'd vote her supposed conscience against a bill like this. She keeps telling us she's not as anti-woman as the rest of them but it's hard to believe when she votes like she is"

Yep...same Senators here...I write them all the damn time. I have recycled reams of form letters that I get in response, usually letters thrilled to announce that they voted in completely the opposite way I would have wanted them to vote.

And it makes no damn sense to me that this state is as Republican as it is. There's small areas of the state that are populated by a wealthy demographic...it makes sense that they vote for the R. But the vast, vast, VAST majority of our state is much lower on the economic ladder than the yachting families of Houston, or the new money in Dallas.

Why sharecroppers and wage slaves and service industry and agriculture workers keep voting for politicians who obviously despise them baffles me.
posted by dejah420 at 8:50 PM on February 18, 2011




A point of clarification: The vote today was on an amendment to the Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1) offered by Mike Pence (R-IN). The Pence amendment bars Planned Parenthood from receiving any funds in the bill (which, I believe, includes federal Medicaid and Maternal and Child Health funds).

The continuing resolution, as originally written, would completely eliminate funding for the Title X program. This would not only affect Planned Parenthood health centers, but also local health departments, independent clinics, hospitals, and community health centers.

The Los Angeles Times has a pretty good explanation of the various attacks on family planning and reproductive health. (One note - I believe they mixed up the President's funding request for Title X - should be $327M rather than $372)
posted by SugarAndSass at 8:54 PM on February 18, 2011 [5 favorites]


This is all being pitched as "revoking government funding for abortions." But by law, Planned Parenthood already cannot use Title X funds for abortion.

So when the Republicans say "no government money for abortions," just remember: there already isn't.
posted by ErikaB at 9:05 PM on February 18, 2011 [22 favorites]


Conservatives (fiscal, social, it doesn't really matter) believe that 19th century society is superior to our own. Degraded living conditions are a feature in their world view.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:05 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's like life is a tacky movie, and the Republican Party is the cheesy, one-dimensional, evil-to-the-core villain (with the Democrats as the sniveling sidekick, of course).
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 9:08 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


In regards to the troll upthread, is there any way to block the comments of certain mefi users? A greasemonkey script or something? Not just for this thread, but often I come across users that I'm all like "dang"

Also, here's how Olympia shows it's support for Planned Parenthood.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 9:14 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Times like this I just want to throw my hands up into the air and say: those men wanna control the babies? Fine, fuckin' fine, YOU HAVE THEM THEN.
posted by cmyk at 9:18 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ergo, Republicans support an increase in the number of abortions.

Exactly. I say this again and again, but I'll repeat it here.... the "pro-life" contingent mostly has no interest in abortions except as a lever to punish sluts. They want women to become dependent on men again... they want sex to be risky and dangerous. They think that women being able to arrange their lives as they see fit is moral decay.

That's is why you see these incredibly stupid things from Republicans. For the most part, Democrats don't like abortions, so they try to enact policies reducing them to the minimum possible. Republicans staunchly champion policies that INCREASE the number of abortions, and actively endanger women, because their real goal is to stop all that evil sex.
posted by Malor at 9:32 PM on February 18, 2011 [20 favorites]


On Friday, moments after Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Democrat of Florida, suggested that the term “Obamacare” be excised from the House floor because that term disparages the president, Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, used the term repeatedly.


This Steve King character. He gives Iowa a bad name.
posted by wowbobwow at 9:39 PM on February 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the Senate kills this bill, then the federal government goes into shutdown mode on March 4.

Oh no! That would be terrible.
posted by anigbrowl at 9:45 PM on February 18, 2011


Just when I thought the solar flare spelled our doom, a reason to go on: government.
posted by MidSouthern Mouth at 9:48 PM on February 18, 2011


I'm ready for a march on Washington. If we could get even half the people who have ever used Planned Parenthood for something to show up, imagine the crowd we would have.

Egypt has shown that we don't have to be afraid to stand up to our government, when our government has obviously gone off the rails. This is an all out war on women. Either we stand up to them, and get rid of them...or our daughters will grow up second class citizens who will never be allowed to have sexual autonomy.

This isn't about abortion. the Republicans are writing laws to make sure women couldn't get insurance that covered abortion, or writing laws to redefine rape, or writing laws saying that hospitals should let women die, rather doing any action that might harm the fetus. In other words, the woman, she's just a fetus carrier, she's not important.

This isn't about abortion. This is about agency. This is about autonomy. This is about full freedoms of citizenship. Either we are equal to men, and allowed full control over our own bodies and medical choices...or we are second class citizens who serve at the whims of our masters.

I have faced off against the spittle flecked mottled faces of the fundamentalist protesters as I've walked women into clinics. Their rolling eyes and screaming throats...they are living maelstroms of repression. I have not let them bully me for the last 25 years, and I will be god-damned if I'm gonna let them bully me now, just because they're wearing suits and waving legal documents instead of fetus dolls in a mason jar.
posted by dejah420 at 9:56 PM on February 18, 2011 [47 favorites]


Jackie Speier, my new hero.

My Congresswoman is a a lot more impressive.
posted by anigbrowl at 10:30 PM on February 18, 2011


I'd march.
posted by RampantFerret at 10:45 PM on February 18, 2011


Better, somewhat related news: "The Obama administration rescinded most of a federal regulation Friday designed to protect health workers who refuse to provide care they find objectionable on personal or religious grounds . . . the new, much narrower version essentially leaves in place only long-standing federal protections for workers who object to performing abortions or sterilizations."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:09 PM on February 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


There! Has! Got! To! Be! A! Way!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:29 PM on February 18, 2011 [4 favorites]


Well, I will say this: Republican sure know how to get people to go out and vote. Cuz stupid shit sure to bring out the Dems the next elections.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:43 PM on February 18, 2011


Pandering to the base means the base comes out to vote.

It also can mean the other side's base comes out too, because they find you so offensive they feel they must destroy you.

2012 is going to be interesting times, but I'm hoping not violently interesting.
posted by mephron at 2:08 AM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


they can pass a bill to ban the moon

The moon, pfft. The moon was invented by liberals fifty years ago. Before then the tides were commanded by GOD.
posted by telstar at 2:29 AM on February 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't think the government should be paying for birth control.

There's your future, America. Hope you're happy with the children you've produced.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:31 AM on February 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't think the government should be paying for birth control.

Funny that a professional academic is complaining about the government spending money on something. Especially a professional academic who went to a state school. How about taking personal responsibility for your own education, y'all.
posted by rodgerd at 4:47 AM on February 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


I was at the Capitol last night, looking at the lights in the windows wondering what the hell they were up working on on a glorious, warm Friday night.
Now I know.
Fucking inbred idiots.
posted by SPUTNIK at 5:14 AM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why any woman, working person, or member of any minority would support Republicans in any way, shape, or form is beyond me.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:17 AM on February 19, 2011 [9 favorites]


Here is the Roll Call vote on the Pence amendment for anyone who is interested. You can see everyone who voted for, against, present, or didn't vote. It only lists states for duplicate last names, though. If you don't know who represents you, go to the House website and enter your zip code in the upper left corner where it says "Find Your Representative."
posted by SugarAndSass at 6:42 AM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


The continuing resolution passed at 4:40 a.m. Here's the roll call vote.

Onto the Senate.
posted by SugarAndSass at 6:47 AM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here is the Roll Call vote on the Pence amendment

Thank you for the continued details on this, SugarAndSass. There are definitely some things you've linked to that I probably should've included in my original post.

But man—they could really make the House's roll-call vote pages easier to parse and/or richer with information. (Though they're not quite as bad as the Library of Congress Thomas page on the amendment, which I'm not even sure is up-to-date. Or if it is, then its status is worded in a way that's completely confusing.) I think I may have seen both pages when I was pulling links together for the post, but skipped over including them 'cause they were just so useless to anyone who's not already a congressional wonk. And I couldn't find a media outlet that had a good annotated version that was actually up-to-date. Even OpenCongress isn't particularly useful in this respect—it provides annotated views and pie charts of votes, but doesn't provide much in the way of descriptive text for amendments, making it really difficult to find what you're looking for.
posted by limeonaire at 8:20 AM on February 19, 2011


It's going to be a long 2 years...
posted by mikelieman at 8:49 AM on February 19, 2011


Planned Parenthood is gathering stories from people who have had their life saved, changed or made better by PP.

Please note the privacy statement, and note that it may be safer for some women to use an alternate identity. The anti-woman crowd is armed and dangerous. Trust me, I know.
posted by dejah420 at 9:26 AM on February 19, 2011


"Before then the tides were commanded by GOD."

Never a miscommunication.
posted by xarnop at 9:27 AM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The anti-woman crowd is armed and dangerous. Trust me, I know."

: (
posted by xarnop at 9:27 AM on February 19, 2011


I don't think the government should be paying for birth control.

It saves us billions per year to prevent teen and unwanted pregnancies. What bothers me though is that I know what those idiots are doing here. In order to get people to ignore their economic interests they must change the subject to religion, which only divides people and masquerades what's really going on.
posted by Brian B. at 9:38 AM on February 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Mister_A: It's all cynical bullshit so they can run back to their idiot voters and say, "See! We tried to save the babies and punish the coloreds, but the dang Libruls in the Senate wouldn't let us!" The worst thing about this is how cynical and wasteful it is, a pure waste of energy and money in the service of untenable positions that appeal to their radicalized electorates in their gerrymandered districts.

Well said, except I wish it were ONLY just cynical and wasteful. If ONLY it were just about perpetuating the minor celebrity of a congressional position.

The elephant in the room is that the legislation that make fewer/no headlines, mefi posts, etc. is the stuff that furthers this kind of inequality. THOSE kinds of decisions are much more quiet and rarely packaged for partisan grandstanding.
posted by O Blitiri at 9:45 AM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


What bothers me though is that I know what those idiots are doing here.

What bothers me is that these rubes don't see what they're doing. They're both the executor and the subject of shamelessly transparent social manipulation. They remind me of the Jewish kapos in the concentration camps: willing, even happy to help their masters subjugate as long as they got a slightly larger slice of bread in their daily rations.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:50 AM on February 19, 2011


Over on SLOG, they point out why this bill is actually unconstitutional.

Which begs the question, are the Republicans just grandstanding, or are they ignorant? I am no longer sure. Combined with the attempt to use the same tactics as they did on ACORN, it seems this has been planned for some time. i.e. the sending of "undercover" people to film supposed illegal activities.
posted by annsunny at 10:17 AM on February 19, 2011


Sacred Cows, Angry Birds
posted by homunculus at 11:20 AM on February 19, 2011


In case anyone thinks this is actually an attempt to be fiscally responsible: Every dollar spent on Title X saves $3.80 in the long run.

No, every dollar spent on Title X saves the government $3.80 on programs that the GOP doesn't like anyway. Eliminate those programs and it's pure savings.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 11:47 AM on February 19, 2011


this bill is actually unconstitutional.

I doubt even the most liberal of US Supreme Courts would find defunding a program unconstitutional.
posted by Ardiril at 12:15 PM on February 19, 2011


I'm starting to get the strong impression that Republicans believe only the Rich should have access to health care. Let's see...vote against a National Health Care plan, attempt to pare away benefits for State Employees, defund centers providing health care for the poor and uninsured. Am I crazy? Do Republicans think only the strongest, most fit should survive?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:26 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are a litany of issues that serve as a goalpost of incompetence and ridiculousness when it comes to the electorate and what gets politicians in their seats, however:
[NASCAR] became all the rage after Democrat Mark Warner won the Virginia governorship in 2001 partly on the basis of his assiduous attendance at NASCAR races.
really takes the cake for me.
The fact that public policy is being decided by someone who was elected as a representative largely on the basis that this person attended one of the most worthless, wasteful events to happen on the face of this planet further disheartens this cynical taxpayer.


First of all, I think that quote overstates NASCAR's role in Marke Warner's election. Warner is a bright, hardworking guy who turned out to be a pretty good governor and is now a decent senator (if more centrist than I would like) - Virginians have certainly voted for much worse. When you're campaigning for political office, it's normal to go to highly-attended events where you have the opportunity to meet as many voters as possible (although some politicians, e.g. Jim "Wait, I have to shake hands with people at a parade?" Webb, have trouble with this - note that he is not running for reelection), and voters want to vote for someone who seems interested in interacting with them and hearing their concerns. In Southern Virginia, if you want to go to an event where you can meet a lot of people, the Martinsville or South Boston speedways (as examples - there are others) are smart places to go. I agree that we have a problem in American politics where voters care too much about whether a candidate is likable, whether we would have a beer with the candidate, whether the candidate seems "like me" or not, and that this attitude has gotten us into trouble. But let's not get completely carried away hating on candidates who put in the effort to go out and meet people. By the way, if anyone is interested in Mark Warner's 2001 campaign strategy Foxes in the Henhouse is pretty much a book about just that, and also generally about strategy for Democrats in the South - basically, how to connect with the NASCAR dads but still stay true to Democratic values and not just run as Republican-lite.

Derail aside: fucking Republicans.
posted by naoko at 1:18 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow! A lot of emotional hyperbole around this issue. The only argument that I read that was compelling is that each dollar spent saved $3.80 in the long run. Good arguments start with emotional stability. Maybe if we could argue our positions without calling the other side fascists and other ridiculous names, our leaders might learn to do the same.
posted by jamesww at 1:22 PM on February 19, 2011


jamesww, I suspect the lack of compelling arguments here is because they would be considered preaching to the choir.

Planned Parenthood uses Title X money to provide confidential low-cost and free STD care, pelvic exams, and cervical cancer screening.

If you're against that, then what possible argument will convince you otherwise?
posted by ErikaB at 1:32 PM on February 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Considering the heated tone of threads like this, I just want to clarify that I'm not being snarky or huffy. That was a genuine question.

I probably should have phrased it as, "Most people either find Planned Parenthood's validity self-evident, or they are so deeply opposed to abortion that no argument will be compelling enough to persuade them otherwise."

To reiterate, although Planned Parenthood does perform abortions, it is legally prohibited from using government money to do so. Instead, it uses that money to provide health care which is difficult, expensive, non-confidential, or entirely absent in many communities.

You may be thinking, "But I'm a dude! What do I care about pelvic exams?"

Point #1: Planned Parenthood offers many services to dudes, as well. These include UTI treatment, testicular cancer screening, STD screening, birth control, and more.

Point #2: Not to point out the obvious, but you yourself are the direct result of a healthy female reproductive system (as are we all).

You may be thinking, "But I buy my own condoms! Everyone else should, too!"

Planned Parenthood is commonly misunderstood to be providing "free condoms and abortions." As you can see, they offer a lot more services than that. They are frequently the only provider of these services in communities which are under-privileged, including both inner city and rural areas, as well as communities in conservative areas (cough deep south cough).

And surely it benefits all of society if poor people receive adequate contraceptive care? Birth control is expensive. And yet, the fewer kids you have, the more likely you will be able to climb out of poverty. (The reverse is also true.)
posted by ErikaB at 2:08 PM on February 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


buy yr own d*mn condoms or pills, y'all.

I thought you was on the pill or some shit!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:37 PM on February 19, 2011


to add to ErikaB's excellent points about why dudes should care about this every bit as much as women:

#3: Women you know and love -- your mother, your aunt, your sister, your girlfriend or wife, your daughter, your friend, your coworker -- have vital need of the full range of services PP provides. In fact, at least some women you know and love have almost certainly already made use of Planned Parenthood's services at some point in their lives already, even if they didn't happen to share that info with you. Tens of millions of women have no health insurance, and tens of millions more women have health insurance that doesn't adequately cover birth control or other services. Their only option is Planned Parenthood.

Women are not some sort of alien species whose health has nothing to do with the day to day lives of all 300 million people in this country. I mean, not to put too fine a point on it -- though obviously it has to be spelled out for certain people, y'all -- but men are affected when their partners cannot access safe, affordable contraception or when their mothers or sisters or daughters die of cervical cancer because it wasn't detected early enough.
posted by scody at 2:54 PM on February 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


to add to ErikaB's excellent points about why dudes should care about this every bit as much as women:

Child support.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:56 PM on February 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


(Ha! So much pithier!)
posted by scody at 2:57 PM on February 19, 2011


The problem with your argument, scody, is that it takes the responsibility from men and places it on the government. Yes, it is a benefit that serves society, however to use it as an argument for government funding backfires when used against those who are trying to limit or eliminate government funded programs. The liberals are looking at the trees when the conservatives are looking at the forest. Arguing for trees here is pointless since the conservatives have the power to decide the overall budget.
posted by Ardiril at 4:02 PM on February 19, 2011


The problem with your argument, scody, is that it takes the responsibility from men and places it on the government.

I don't understand what you mean here. It takes the responsibility from individual men to do what -- to provide women with affordable cancer screening and breast exams and birth control and abortions?

Yes, it is a benefit that serves society, however to use it as an argument for government funding backfires when used against those who are trying to limit or eliminate government funded programs.

It doesn't backfire at all, it seems to me; it points out the practical human damage that will be done by eliminating many government-funded programs supposedly in the name of "responsibility" (either fiscal or personal). If that means that some (many? most? certainly not all?) people who support this measure don't give a flying fuck about the practical human damage, then that is a fact worth exposing.
posted by scody at 4:10 PM on February 19, 2011


it takes the responsibility from men and places it on the government.

Why should womens' health be the responsibility of men in the first place? Organizations like PP place the responsibility, the access, the decisions, squarely in the hands of women. To do otherwise is to imply that women are incapable of handling these decisions themselves and need to be told what is best for them.
posted by cmyk at 4:19 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Men's share of responsibility for contraception. "it seems to me" - yes, it seems to you, but it does not seem that way to those who have the power to make the decision. "that is a fact worth exposing" - that fact has been exposed long ago, and reiterating it just beats around the bush. Conservatives know that they don't give a fuck about what liberals call "practical human damage".

That is my point here, liberals are arguing one thing and conservatives are arguing another. If liberals continue to ignore that while conservatives are in power, the conservatives will ignore the liberals completely. Look at Wisconsin.
posted by Ardiril at 4:22 PM on February 19, 2011


Besides, I'm not framing my argument to persuade right-wing legislators who don't care about human suffering; hell, that's essentially a prerequisite to becoming a right-wing legislator now, isn't it? My argument is framed to individual men who think that just because they themselves lack a uterus, that defunding Planned Parenthood doesn't affect them. It does and it will.

On preview: Men's share of responsibility for contraception.

Again: Planned Parenthood does far more than supply contraception. But even on that score, a couple of points. 1) Condoms are not the only form of birth control; 2) Without insurance or access to subsidized organizations like PP, birth control pills, diaphragms (and diaphragm-fittings), and cervical caps (ditto) are not cheap, and not every woman's partner will be able to afford it any more than she can; 3) millions of women are on birth control even when they're not in a relationship with a man to share the cost.

Beyond that: pelvic exams, cancer screenings, STI screenings, abortions, etc. -- all of these things are EXPENSIVE. If a woman doesn't have health insurance or the means to afford a $1,000 test on her own, for example, chances are her husband or boyfriend can't afford it, either. And what about women who don't have "a man in their lives" to provide the financial support anyway? You do know that single women get cervical/uterine/breast cancer, too, right? Just like single men can get penile and testicular cancer? (Oh yeah, PP provides screenings for those, too.)
posted by scody at 4:37 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not framing my argument to persuade right-wing legislators - Oh, nevermind then. I thought you were.
posted by Ardiril at 4:44 PM on February 19, 2011


I'm starting to get the strong impression that Republicans believe only the Rich should have access to health care.

Sort of. They believe that anyone can and should become rich (or least wealthy enough to cover their on expenses) in order to take care of themselves, as opposed to relying on government, i.e. their tax dollars to pay for some things. They're happy to give to charity, but they want to be the ones deciding what to do with their money, not some government that could be supporting causes they don't believe in or agree with.

This is their belief, as far I can tell.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:48 PM on February 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, nevermind then. I thought you were.

I don't know if you're being sarcastic or not. If you really think that any legislators (right-wing or otherwise) read our comments on Metafilter, though, that's... interesting?

Right-wing legislators aren't going to be swayed by the argument about the human cost of this measure; they SUPPORT the human cost of this measure -- they literally do not care if more women have unplanned pregnancies or die of cervical cancer. If they are to be swayed, they will be swayed by the degree to which they receive negative feedback from their CONSTITUENTS who do care about the human cost of this measure.
posted by scody at 5:01 PM on February 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


No sarcasm, and no, I don't think anyone with any real sway reads Metafilter.
posted by Ardiril at 5:10 PM on February 19, 2011


no, I don't think anyone with any real sway reads Metafilter.

Well, that's not true—Anil Dash reads MetaFilter. But that's probably not the type of sway you meant.
posted by limeonaire at 5:14 PM on February 19, 2011


To elaborate, scody, since you and I (under a different username) have an awkward history, my interest in this is on a more abstract level.
posted by Ardiril at 5:35 PM on February 19, 2011


I DONT HAVE A DIFFERENT USERNAME!

Heh, just kidding. Fair enough. And my own "I don't know if you're being sarcastic or not" comment was itself not actually meant sarcastically, which I realized after the fact it might have sounded like. Anyway, it's cool.
posted by scody at 6:18 PM on February 19, 2011


I had a different username.
posted by Ardiril at 6:28 PM on February 19, 2011


I know. I was joking.
posted by scody at 6:34 PM on February 19, 2011


You got me then.
posted by Ardiril at 6:39 PM on February 19, 2011


If you really think that any legislators (right-wing or otherwise) read our comments on Metafilter, though, that's... interesting?

(Going off-topic slightly yet again, sorry...) However, I think it's worth noting that there are a least a few legislators' staffers who do read MetaFilter. I was one for several years and I have seen a couple others around here. I'm guessing probably no right-wing ones, though.
posted by naoko at 8:26 PM on February 19, 2011


Have we forgotten Steve Tevis? Or does it not count because he ran, but did not win for Representative in Kansas?
posted by cashman at 9:10 PM on February 19, 2011


They're happy to give to charity, but they want to be the ones deciding what to do with their money, not some government that could be supporting causes they don't believe in or agree with.

Interesting anecdote - when we went through certain cuts out here to certain social programs, the Republican governor insisted that the private sector would make up the difference. Hey! Guess what! They never did, so all the cut programs are just fucking gone.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:00 AM on February 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


They never did, so all the cut programs are just fucking gone.

That should tell you something.
posted by Ardiril at 12:13 AM on February 20, 2011


They're happy to give to charity, but they want to be the ones deciding what to do with their money, not some government that could be supporting causes they don't believe in or agree with.

Not really, they typically "give" money to churches for their operational and missionary costs, sometimes under commandment, and then call it charity, writing it off on taxes. It's not only a scam, it's a fraudulent morality.
posted by Brian B. at 8:50 AM on February 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yuh know, I could find it in my heart to sympathize with pro-lifers if they were truly pro-life. But people who proclaim loudly their sanctity for all life, then prove how little they care about fetuses once they are born and become real people just drives me 'round the bend.

If you are pro-life, then care about the housing, nutrition, healthcare, education that that child will receive for the rest of their life.

If you are really pro-life, then you must support helpful, honest, realistic sex education and access to contraception for everyone, regardless of age so we can prevent unplanned pregnancies that drive women to seek out abortions in the first place.

If you are really pro-life, then you must support full access to excellent prenatal care for all women, including access to housing and nutrition, not just healthcare.

If you are really pro-life, then you must support programs that offer a high quality of life to those with any and all disabilities, including genetic disabilities, so that women can be assured that their child can have the best possible outcome.

If you are really pro-life, then you must support paid maternal/paternal leave, ideally for the first year of life.

If you are really pro-life, then you must support access to affordable quality daycare.

If you are really pro-life, then you must support universal healthcare.

If you are really pro-life, then you must support a basic minimal access to housing and quality nutrition for all.

If you are really pro-life, then you must support quality k-12 education for all, no matter what the income level of the area that any child resides in.

If you are really pro-life, then you must support access to affordable post-secondary education for all.

Lack of any of these life necessities may cause a woman to contemplate not going forward with a pregnancy, so you really must make sure that these are available to all, right?

If you call yourself pro-life and don't support all this, I may choose to respect you as a person, but I will have nothing but utter contempt for your political beliefs.
posted by marsha56 at 7:47 PM on February 20, 2011 [37 favorites]


buy yr own d*mn condoms or pills, y'all.

YOU start manning up and buy your own damn condoms. I'm not the one with the penis.


Yes I know plenty of guys do this already. But the kind of responsibility philokalia is talking about should go both ways and yet often doesn't.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:07 AM on February 22, 2011


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