Monday, February 20, 2012

Republicans, Bishops, And The Assault On Women

This is what the Commonwealth of Virginia would mandate for every woman who seeks an abortion--no matter when she seeks such treatment or for what reasons.

On my days off I catch up on a lot of reading.  This morning I came across comments to articles that my mind linked together.  The comments followed articles on the USCCB religious freedom crusade and for me took this crusade to a deeper level.  The first comment follows this article at Religion dispatches.  The article by Sarah Posner, looks at Republican Representative Issa's stacked deck of a congressional hearing on the HHS insurance mandate.  The committee testimony and participants were virtually all male and one and all against covering birth control.  Here's the comment from 'wanda':

I left the religious right and the GOP in 1976 because I heard their messages loud and clear! Those messages are: Helping people is hurting them. Hurting people is helping them. Women are baby killers. I've been amazed that middle class Americans haven't listened until now. The GOP hates women with a passion and women who vote for them or legislate for them must be out of their minds.

Keep the bold sentences in mind when reading the next two comments from this NCR article on Cardinal Dolan's response to President Obama's insurance compromise.  The article was written by Francis Rocca of Catholic News Services.  It generated a great deal of good comment, but these two were two of the best:

The state of Virginia has taken the issue even further with the passage of their
Personhood bill. A woman who is getting an abortion for whatever reason must now submit to an vaginal ultra-sound, which is an intrusion by the state into her body. By law the Doctor has to order this procedure and she must follow the law. This is to be signed into the law by Virginia's governor, who by the way has made no bones about being available as a VP candidate for the Republican nominee. Who are these people and what is going on? Talk about big government by the party that claims they are the party of small government. How in the world did we end up with this issue front and center when having a job and feeding their families is the concern of most people. Why this attack on women's health? Humanae Vitae allows artificial birth control for medical reasons.


It's called 'object rape' —

It's called 'object rape' — sexually penetrating a woman against her will with a foreign object — ostensibly to "educate" her.     It's actually an attempt to intimidate,   humiliate and punish her for seeking an abortion.     It's no different than the mindset of a common street rapist toward women.

In addition,   there is no exception in this object rape law for women or girls who are already victims of rape,  incest,   (not even for a female internally injured from the violence of rape whom they will happily violate again)   or for a woman or young girl who is seeking to terminate a pregnancy that is literally killing her.     Imagine a woman or young girl who has endured a law enforcement rape kit collection,   then having to be violated a second time with a foreign object before she can be given pills to prevent a possible pregnancy resulting from that rape.     That is now Virginia law which the uber-Catholic governor is eager to sign.
But the culture warriors believe that the end justifies the means in their unholy war — the worshipful "sacrifice" of denigrating and traumatizing the already born with state mandated rape is the end result of single-issue embryo-fetal idolatry.     This is the culture warriors' supposed "right to freedom of religion".


Aileen is one of my all time favorites at NCR and this might be the hardest hitting comment I've ever read from her.  However, the subject she's discussing, Virginia's Personhood bill, deserves this kind of hard hitting commentary.  And additionally it perfectly illustrates Wanda's point about our current Republican party. Their core platform does seem to have three foundational beams:  

Helping people is hurting them. Hurting people is helping them. Women are baby killers.

I would hope that US citizens see through the verbiage and get to the heart of the matter.  The culture wars are about returning to the days where a woman's contribution to the economy was the production of workers.  This message can be found all over the Catholic world, from Gotti Tedeschi's (Director of the Vatican Bank) stupid rant about the European need to out birth the Islamic world, to the bishops in the Philippines threatening to excommunicate legislators who vote for the reproductive rights bill, to the USCCB insistence on marriage as only between a man and a woman, at heart of all of this is an atavistic need to get European and Anglo Catholics to have more babies.  The only way that happens is to make sure women have no choice about it.

The world doesn't need more babies.  The world needs more adults willing to find long term solutions for the babies the world already has. Those solutions are not coming from our bishops or the Republican party--and having written that, I will also admit I have no real faith those solutions will come from another Obama administration.  My only hope is that with a second term and no possibility for a third term, President Obama will start acting like the man who promised us the hope for the entire world, but so far has delivered a couple of city blocks.



  1. Truly Aileen is one of the more well informed who comments on NPR. I have enjoyed her many comments. I would hope the courts would quickly overturn this rather unfortunate bill. It truly is anti-women and invades women's lives in a very offensive way. We hear all the blarney from the Bishops about their rights but the idea that a state can pass a law causing medical rape with a medical instrument of a women is one of the most anti women actions I have heard about. But when we have Catholic Bishops who terrify people by telling them that BC is a mortal sin and then will not speak out about such torture as this is more than embarrassing.

    1. Must be nice to be a sanctimonious member of the male gender when it comes to fetal idolatry. You don't remotely have to pay the price for your sanctimonious stands.

      I cannot get my head around this law. Is this really what the party of limited government is all about? It's a limited government for all issues except women, and then it becomes totalitarian and abusive?

    2. My initial thought is that, since we can't make abortion illegal, let's make the process so horrific and onerous that nobody will have them. That constitutes 'freedom of choice', right? *ducks*

    3. We'd really have an impact on abortion if men had to undergo a catheterization while their significant other underwent vaginal ultrasound.

  2. A person can try and try to not see the political platform as one made up of class-warfare - whether the classes be the genders or or the haves vs. the have-nots. But it becomes harder and harder not to see it that way. All I see are problems and no possibility of solutions. There are no adults capable of compromise and reason. Just a bunch of 2-year-old wearing clerical collars throwing temper tantrums and sheeple who will follow without question.

    The local ring of Catholic hospitals runs a TV ad for their OB unit. It shows a woman who is drawn toward the idea of having a baby. At one point she is looking at herself in a mirror. Clearly she is NOT pregnant but the image reflected back at her is rather far along in a pregnancy. The viewer is supposed to think she is contemplating, making a choice to become a mother. It is a rather saccharine commercial actually. But it also shows very clearly what the Catholic view of women really is: Just not fulfilled as women without that positive pregnancy test.

    And the whole 'back in my day the gals just held an aspirin between their knees'. Santorum et al is just using that to make his anti-women policies look more moderate than they really are.

    1. In one respect the hospital TV ad is right on target with their advertisement. It's always and only about the woman. Why isn't there a husband in the mirror with her? Is she going to get pregnant and raise that child alone? This absence of a male presence sends quite the message. Maybe that's why the percentage of single mothers now exceeds married mothers. This type of thing only underscores the reason reproductive rights have to be portrayed as a woman's issue. Society doesn't seem to want to face the fact it takes two to tango.

    2. To be fair, her husband does come in as she is standing at the mirror and puts his arms around her from behind. But this part is clearly only an afterthought. Ah. Maybe I should see if the commercial is online and post a link. For certain: She is contemplating pregnancy because babies are SO MUCH fun, and he plays at best a minor, supportive role.

    3. Wouldn't you know it, I couldn't find the commercials online.