I have been quietly restraining myself for the last few weeks from screaming and yelling at the multitude out there. But I am losing my patience. First, there was the ruling by the Obama Administration that all health insurance plans had to offer and cover for women’s’ contraceptives. The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church pleaded for exemption in their institutions, which included hospitals and schools run by their religious orders. When this was rejected, the religious powers-that-be came rallying to the media, pontificating and decrying the “forced violation of their religious consciences,” and they vowed to fight this to the very end! I kept rolling my eyes and shaking my head. How dare these religious leaders throw their weight around and impose their beliefs under the banner of their conscience!
And then came the news that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, which for the longest time was THE EPITOME of women’s’ rights advocacy, was terminating their longtime support and partnership with Planned Parenthood for such a lame excuse that they would not be funding any organization that was under investigation. I could not help but wonder if the Komen foundation was also planning to terminate their support of Penn State since it has been embroiled in the mess resulting from formerly esteemed football coach Joe Paterno’s acts of omission over child molestation. What it really was: the Komen foundation bowing to extreme religious right-wing politics pressure — the very group of people who still have this antiquated notion that they can still control women’s lives by controlling when and what goes on between their legs. What’s more disgusting: the women belonging to these groups who parrot out what they have been brainwashed since childhood as sound doctrine. Pathetic! Mayor Bloomberg of New York who is a known Planned Parenthood supporter, said it so succinctly in an interview: “Politics has no place in health care.” Well, neither should any religious group!
And then there was this snippet of news late in February about a bill in the Virginia legislation that will require that all women who opt to have an abortion would be required to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound 24 hours prior to the termination of their pregnancy. Of all the ridiculous maneuvers these ultra-religious right have done, this one is a real piece! Now it really showed where a woman’s right and dignity stand in their hierarchy of importance. She now has to be subjected to an invasive and intrusive procedure tantamount to rape, against her will, with no added medical benefit or sense, just so the ultra-religious right can humiliate and punish her for making the informed decision to terminate her pregnancy. Talk about these men getting down and dirty! (BTW, external ultrasounds have been routine in many medical facilities as part of the work-up before any abortion.) I love how Jon Stewart made a laughingstock of these legislators in his “The Daily Show.” Including the woman who supposedly authored it! She can’t seem to make up her mind whether the government should interfere with your healthcare decisions or not! You will love Jon’s equating the procedure “to a TSA pat down of your vagina!”
The last straw for me was the downright ultimate “BASTOS!” (look up in google translate. All 33 meanings collectively are appropriate!) act by none other than Rush Limbaugh when he denigrated and humiliated Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke 53 times over three days on his radio show. Jeff Lord, former Reagan White House political director and contributing editor for the American Spectator, had the nerve to defend Limbaugh’s actions as his first amendment rights. Sure, everyone is entitled to their opinion. But does everyone have a well-publicized radio talk show with a wide audience, many of whom will not likely bother to ensure that all the twists and turns his rhetoric takes, does indeed check out to be true or actually did happen? I invite you to listen to Michael Krasny’s Forum episode of different people weighing in on his actions, on KQED.
I heard on the news that a lot of advertisers have withdrawn their accounts from Mr. Limbaugh’s show. But you know that, if this persists and escalates, Mr. Limbaugh, who has enriched himself over the years spewing hate and deceit on the airwaves, married several times, belittles women, people of color, and LGBTs, will do what every shrewd businessman would do: Save himself. Just watch.
Linda Greenhouse, contributor to NY Times “The Opinion Pages,” wrote a piece about comparing Ms. Fluke to the Lilly Ledbetter case, in “Accidental Heroines:”
“We need a serious conversation about how women live their lives and how their ability to control their fertility contributes to the welfare of American families.”
I saw an interview of Ms. Fluke on MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” a few days ago. Chris O’Donnell interviewed her and thanked her for maintaining her poise through this ordeal that she definitely did not expect. Was not prepared for. Did not deserve.
There is so much polarity in our world these days. I suspect that a lot of these restrictive and exclusionary groups are borne from fear. Fear of the unknown. Ignorance of other cultures. Fear of change. That my life is better than yours. My way is better than yours. Why do people have to exclude, reject, destroy, alienate what is different? We are a land of many cultures, ethnicities, religions. We can coexist peacefully and amicably. But certain things are basic and not negotiable and it transcends the differences in culture, religion, color, race, ethnicity: Women, people of color, gays and lesbians are human beings first and foremost. They are people with “inalienable rights,” “are equal,” and have the right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Therefore:
- Health Care is a human right. It should be available to all who are citizens of this country. We are one of the very few developed countries without universal health care for its citizens.
- Women have the right to control their bodily functions. This includes control of whether they want to have children or not, when they want to or if they want to.
- Politics and Religion do not and should not have any place in Health Care.
- Capitalists should not have control over Health Care.
- Religious groups do not and should not have any place in government. The law should serve our human-ness, not our religious affiliations.
- Freedom of Speech, First Amendment Rights are a freedom the founders of this country have espoused and held sacred. But we all know that Freedom alone is frivolous, reckless, and risky, without its counterparts Responsibility and Respect. (There seems to be an alarming shortage of the latter two.)
How about you? Have any of these bothered you lately?
Other Great Reads:
- Lazy media reports Komen Foundation decision as ‘reversal.’ It isn’t. (dailykos.com)
- Overheard on CNN.com: Politics of Komen’s Planned Parenthood reversal (news.blogs.cnn.com)
- Top 10 Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Attacks on Women’s Rights (queerlandia.com)
- Statement from Women’s Media Center on Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood – blog (transmediawomen.wordpress.com)
- Fear The Vagina: Rush Limbaugh Latest Victim In War On Women (mediaite.com)
- Shame On Susan G. Komen (eleftheria64.wordpress.com)
- Sandra Fluke’s Editorial And Some Thoughts On This Debate (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Rush Limbaugh: Vile parrot in the war on women’s health. But he’s only one in a woman-hating army (dailykos.com)
- Are US Republicans waging a war on women? – Toronto Star (thestar.com)
- Martha Burk: Rush Limbaugh and the Live Volcano (yubanet.com)
- Fluke Isn’t Scared of Limbaugh (thedailybeast.com)
- The Power of Social Media. Again. (centerforhealthmediapolicy.com)
- Reproductive bullying… (robinleighormiston.com)
- The Gift That Keeps On Giving. (isellerfinance.wordpress.com)
- 23 | Sandra Fluke Says Limbaugh’s “Apology” Doesn’t Change Anything (grainnemcmahon.wordpress.com)
- The Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke Story (tiyhampton.wordpress.com)
- Religious Right Orgs Bearing False Witness Against Sandra Fluke (alternet.org)
- Could The End Of Political Hate-Speech Be Due To a Fluke? (jonathanturley.org)
- the Progress Report (ynative77.wordpress.com)
- RushLimbaugh.com Removes Offensive Attacks On Sandra Fluke From Transcript Archives (kaystreet.wordpress.com)
- Sandra Fluke’s Op-Ed: Name Calling Won’t Silence Us (inquisitr.com)
- Bishops ‘helped sway’ Komen to anti-Planned Parenthood policy (dailykos.com)
- Guess How Many Advertisers Have Now Abandoned Rush Limbaugh [Sandra Fluke] (jezebel.com)
- Update on Rush Limbaugh (maboulette.wordpress.com)
- How Much Does PR Malpractice Hurt? The Case of the Komen Foundation (chariotofreaction.blogspot.com)
- 6 Things You Need To Know About the Komen Foundation/Planned Parenthood Controversy (alternet.org)
- New York Susan G. Komen affiliate cancels annual gala (dailykos.com)
- The Susan G. Komen Foundation Joins Republican Effort to Destroy Planned Parenthood (sayitaintsoalready.com)
- Komen Foundation Caves to Right Wing Pressure, Defunds Planned Parenthood (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Susan G. Komen Foundation Begins Backpedaling For The Cure [Planned Parenthood] (jezebel.com)
- Lay Group Reacts To Roman Catholic Church’s Contraception Politics (lezgetreal.com)
- Lay Group Reacts To Roman Catholic Church’s Contraception Politics (pinkbananaworld.com)
- NYT Ad: Quit The Catholic Church (creativeminorityreport.com)
- Open Letter To Quit The Catholic Church (truelogic.wordpress.com)
- Religious freedom and religious privilege – Russell Blackford – Talking Philosophy (richarddawkins.net)
- Enough Of The Fake Outrage Over Contraception (angrydd.wordpress.com)
- American Roman Catholics and “Religious Liberty” (sandwalk.blogspot.com)