liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,

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Another Nudge to keep Fighting: The Birth Control Uproar Goes Mainstream

Roughly 2 weeks ago, I went on a long rant about how any healthcare worker who conflated birth control and abortion should not only flunk medical school, but deserved to have their sorry ass fired from their job in the medical field.

This rant was in response to the proposed DHHS regulation that would allow medical professionals to refuse to do their job provided they've got the 'it's against my moral code!' excuse. To help these no-goodnick busy-bodies to hold on to their jobs, the regulation re-defines abortion in such a way that birth control (hormonal birth control, emergency contraception, and IUDs) falls under the definition.

If you believe that birth control is an abortifacient, you are wrong. You are wrong on a medical level. You are wrong on a scientific level. You are wrong on a factual level. You are wrong. Period. And you've got no business working in the medical field, or getting within a zillion miles of a patient, if you believe otherwise.

In fact, after 2 weeks of reading the hopes and dreams of the religious right in getting this regulation through DHHS, I now firmly believe you should have your ass fired if you start invoking "morality clauses." And you should be barred from ever working for any medical organization. Ever. In any capacity at all.

Fuck it. Religious freedom ends right at the point where you start hitting people in the nose, and I'm sick of getting my nose broken because someone's delicate sensibilities can't deal with the idea that not everyone marches to the same religious beat. Hell, they go batshit insane upon finding out there are people out there who don't want to march to the same religious beat. I've reached the point of believing that maybe these people need to be sent into the political corner and forced to sit there until they learn to be civilized human beings.(1)

And this regulation? This one right here? Is designed to be a massive punch in the nose for U.S. women. I mean, how else am I supposed to translate this quote?

Administration supporters say the left's concerns are overblown and very few women would have real difficulty getting birth control. Still, some on the religious right are hoping the regulation would create some obstacles.

If the draft regulation were to prompt some insurance companies to drop coverage for prescription birth control, "that would be fantastic," said Tom McClusky, a strategist with the conservative Family Research Council.

Note that the above quote comes from the the Wall Street Journal. The same Wall Street Journal that normally takes the right-wing's side. The article here and the quotes used in it makes it manifestly clear: the anti-choice movement was never about abortion — which, duh, I could've told you that back when I was in a Catholic High School. It was always all about and still is all about making sure women never had clear title to their uterus, and that includes everything from birth control to abortion.

And just so you know: the Family Research Council isn't a bunch of little cranks with a mimeograph machine in the backroom. They are a major, major player in Christian-identity right wing politics and have been fucking over women and gays for years when it comes to their antics.

This MSNBC/Washington Post article explains that it's more than just the right to control our uterus that's at stake:

"This is causing a lot of distress," said one NIH [National Institutes of Health] researcher who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions. "It's a redefinition of abortion that does not match any of the current medical definitions. It's ideologically based and not based on science and could interfere with the development of many new therapies to treat diseases."

That's right. 'Tain't just teh wimminz that are gonna be fucked if this becomes permanent reality. Teh menz are gonna be fucked, too. And so are teh childrunz. This is a clear-cut case of cutting off your nose despite your face.

The really insidious part about this regulation is that states (like my beloved People's Republic of Massachusetts) that have passed laws essentially saying: "Do your job, or lose your job, your 'morality' be damned, because this is healthcare, and only the patient's religious beliefs count here" are gonna find those laws gutted. Health care institutions ranging from the hospital network to potentially the physician practice will have to jump through paperwork hoops to prove they're "accommodating" someone's religious beliefs or risk losing any federal funding at all.

And here's the really insidious part of the regulation: It doesn't just apply to medical personnel. As The Wall Street Journal article notes:

The draft also extends the conscience objection to most staff members and volunteers working for health-care providers. So, for instance, an employer couldn't punish a clinic receptionist for refusing to make appointments for patients seeking birth-control pills.

That's right. It extends that protection to everyone that deals with patients, and makes it impossible for these "moralists" to be punished if they deliberately fuck over a patient because their conscience dictates that they should.

If this becomes reality (however briefly), the damage done to patients seeking medical care could be incalculable. And any and all trust female patients might have in their healthcare providers will be essentially erased, because now there isn't a single woman out there that would be able to say beyond a shadow of a doubt that everyone in her doctor's office had her best interest at heart.

The good news 28 senators are trying to stop it. Big props to Sen. Clinton for being the first out of the gate to raise a stink about this.

A bigger stink needs to be raised, and raised right now.

But more than that, a lesson needs to be imparted on the the Christianist/Dmonionist religious right. We need to make them eat this whether it becomes reality or not. That means reminding people, educating people, and showing people that these assholes do not have your best interests at heart, not on a spiritual level and certainly not on a physical level.

They're all about control. Controlling the country, and controlling you. Whether or not you believe what they believe is irrelevant. Just remember: They're never going to give up until they get that control.

I think it's high time we start punching back, don't you?

(1) Note of warning to everyone who comments:

Do not give me that no true Scottsman argument with respect to Christianity. Not today. Especially not today. Because, you know what? For 8 fucking years I've been hearing that argument, and I'm sick and tired of it. For all that, "they're not really Christians" defensiveness I hear, read, and see, there are damn few Christians of any stripe standing up to these guys and telling them to go to hell. If they're not "real Christians," maybe it's time you do something more than throw around the "no true Scottsman" argument, don't you think? In short, prove it to me. Because the talky-talk bullshit isn't working any more.

Yeah, I know the above paragraph is intolerant, but right now I'm so angry that I've had a revelation of the "I've reached the end of my rope" variety. There are blessed few Christians out there taking a stand. Talk2Action, Street Prophets, and the Slacktivist, and some members over a dark_christian off the top of my head are at least trying, but where the hell are the rest of you?

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