Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Reminder of What is At Stake

I am posting something that I wrote over six years ago. I have updated it a bit, and I am posting it to make a point.  I keep hearing from Sanders and Clinton supporters that if their candidate isn’t nominated they won’t vote.  Many who support Sanders say they will vote Green.  The one thing that is absolutely true in all of the spin, slime, sludge, shit and stupidity of this dog fight currently consuming the Democratic Party is simply this – NEITHER side can win without the other side’s supporters.

Let me be clear, I don’t like Clinton.  I don’t like anything about her.  Bernie Sanders is my candidate, and I will support him until the last delegate count, of the last caucus.  However, if he isn’t nominated I will vote for Hillary Clinton.  I get that the Democratic Party is currently its own worst enemy.  The time maybe approaching for a third party, an Independent Party that cares less for its own power and more for the will of its members.  That is yet to come.  This is now, and we cannot risk extending the influence of the extremism, zealotry, bigotry, and religious tyranny of the Republican Party.

…And Freedom for All
by Barbara Carvallo

“From December 9, 1946 to August 20, 1947, in the American sector of Germany at a place called Nuremberg, a legal proceeding known to history as the Doctor’s Trial convened. United States of America v. Karl Brandt, et al, as it was officially captioned was a war crimes trial during which many Nazi doctors and SS officers were accused of conducting or facilitating some of the most egregious and horrifying medical experimentation in history.

At the end of the presentation of evidence and during sentencing the American Judges Beals, Sebring, Crawford and Swearingen laid out their opinions in such a cogent and compassionate way as to create a foundation for modern medical bioethics. At the core of their judgment, as it does at the heart of modern medical practice, sits the tenet of informed patient consent. A patient must be told what is wrong, what can be done, who will do it and what if any good they can expect to experience. They also have the right to refuse any treatment or testing. This is not negotiable. It hasn’t been for a very long time.

Let it be known that the State of Oklahoma decided in 2010 to set aside all of this when it comes to women and their pregnancies. In HB2656 the State House of Representatives decreed that it is perfectly acceptable for a physician to lie to a patient carrying a child suffering from birth defects so that she can’t make the choice to terminate. They also overrode a veto by their Governor, Brad Henry, of another grotesque law, HB2780, insisting that a woman view an ultrasound of her fetus prior to having an abortion. The Senate concurred.

I haven’t the words to express my anger at this unethical, vicious and totally amoral misuse of power. Suffice it to say that many who have spent years honoring the craft of medicine are not likely to take ethical instruction from sleazy politicians, two-for-a-penny John the Baptists drumming up votes. Yet, some practitioners will certainly take the law as license to shove their religion down their patient’s throat; others who are too gutless to stand up to these vile politicians will keep their mouths shut and go along to get along.  Goddess help our sisters in Oklahoma. 

She certainly interceded on behalf of our sisters in Virginia where in 2012, Governor Bob McDonald signed a bill mandating that a woman be forced, forced I say, to undergo transvaginal ultrasound prior to being given the option of exercising her right to a safe and legal abortion.  The good news about McDonald is that owing to the intransigent foolishness of his fellow Rightwingers at the federal level who are refusing to seat a 9th justice on the Supreme Court, he will undoubtedly, belatedly and deservedly end up in prison against his will.  Karma is a bitch, but let that go.

To force a woman to look at an embryo or fetus she is terminating or to undergo unnecessary and invasive medical procedures is almost as scandalous as some of the evidence in the Doctor’s Trail.  People who think women have abortions without considering, feeling or grieving about what they are doing, are too bloody dim-witted to live. I had an abortion over thirty years ago. I had no choice. There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t remember, feel or grieve for that child. That is my burden to bear, and I will be damned if some governmental appendage will define or deny it now based upon a religion I don’t follow. In point of fact, they may not follow it either when it comes time to aid in the care of a child born with a serious birth defect to an unknowing mother.  They certainly don’t follow it when time comes for feeding, housing, clothing or educating children born to women without the financial or emotional resources to deal with motherhood.  For all their bellyaching about the sanctity of life, their insistence that the male parent shoulder his share of the burden doesn’t seem to come under the heading of Christianity either.

There is a great authority in the Bible for misogyny and cruelty to women. There is also a great tendency in these God fearing, freedom loving, and Constitution worshiping states like Oklahoma and Virginia to conveniently forget that the right to a safe legal abortion is as much the law of the land as the right to bear arms. When you put religious authority together with selective application of the law you end up with a bunch of hooligans, bullies, who would never consider treating men the way they treat women and might not treat their women the way they treat strangers.

My Irish grandmother used to say, "If men had to have babies abortion would have been a foregone conclusion in the time of Christ. If men had to have every other child in a family there would only be one." Women give birth to the human race. Our bodies belong to us. Our sons and their female sycophants need to step aside.”

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