The Watering Hole, Thursday, March 29th, 2012: The Republican War on Women, Part 3

This third and final column was published in the Pawling Press on March 23rd, 2012. (See Part 2 below.) As previously stated, there have been updates to this and other legislation assaulting and limiting women’s rights, but I’ll cover those at a later date.

“Good Luck, Ladies”

A few weeks ago, when I first wrote about several States having passed or trying to pass legislation to limit legal abortions, I didn’t realize that this was going to be a multi-part series. Unfortunately, more States continue to try to pass laws infringing on women’s rights and privacy, so here is the third installment.

Arizona, which already has a law in place that bans tax funding for abortions, is now about to defund Planned Parenthood entirely via HB2800, which Governor Jan Brewer is expected to sign into law. As has been stated again and again, abortion services comprise only 3% of the services that Planned Parenthood provides to women. For poorer women who have no health insurance, this will take away their access to free or low-cost mammograms, cancer screening tests and prevention services, STD testing and treatment, and other women’s health services, along with their access to contraception. Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, now running for Arizona’s U.S. Senate seat, stated, “As a longtime health care professional, I can say without hesitation that restricting access to reproductive health care is detrimental to the health and safety of women. Period.”

Another Arizona bill, HB2625, amends the statute that gives “religious employers” exemption from providing insurance coverage for the birth control pill, unless it is medically necessary for reasons other than birth control. The bill completely removes the State’s statutory definition of “religious employers”, and instead allows “the employer, sponsor, issuer, health care services organization or other entity offering the plan” to deny “coverage of specific items or services… because providing or paying for coverage of the specific items or services is contrary to the[ir] religious beliefs…” In other words, not only the employer – any employer, not just a ‘religious entity’ – but also the health insurance company and, it seems, just about anyone in between, can deny coverage for any services, based on religious grounds. At least this particular bill would theoretically affect men as well as women, even though the majority of its limitations seem to be aimed at women. Maybe it would be a good thing if enough men realized that their healthcare coverage could be limited by someone else’s moral judgment.

On to New Hampshire: HB1659 requires doctors to give women seeking abortions “informational materials” – written by the State – which refer to a link between abortion and breast cancer in several sections. One section reads:

“It is scientifically undisputed that full-term pregnancy reduces a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer. It is also undisputed that the earlier a woman has a first full-term pregnancy, the lower her risk of breast cancer becomes, because following a full-term pregnancy the breast tissue exposed to estrogen through the menstrual cycle is more mature and cancer resistant. In fact, for each year that a woman’s first full-term pregnancy is delayed, her risk of breast cancer rises 3.5 percent. The theory that there is a direct link between abortion and breast cancer builds upon this undisputed foundation.”

Too bad that the American Cancer Society disagrees with this “theory that there is a direct link between abortion and breast cancer .” From the ACS website:

“Simply being a woman is the main risk factor for developing breast cancer.”
“Women who have had no children or who had their first child after age 30 have a slightly higher breast cancer risk. Having many pregnancies and becoming pregnant at a young age reduce breast cancer risk. Pregnancy reduces a woman’s total number of lifetime menstrual cycles, which may be the reason for this effect.”
“Several studies have provided very strong data that neither induced abortions nor spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) have an overall effect on the risk of breast cancer.”

So the State of New Hampshire wants to mandate that doctors lie to their female patients. This would violate doctor-patient confidentiality, and would also violate a doctor’s First Amendment rights. Considering that the American Cancer Society says that “having many pregnancies and becoming pregnant at a young age reduce breast cancer risk”, one might wonder why New Hampshire isn’t pushing for teenage girls to get pregnant as early as possible, and keep women reproducing for as long as possible, if the State is so concerned about their risk of breast cancer. (Okay, that last part was sarcasm, but warranted.)

As of this writing, two more States, Pennsylvania and Tennessee, are proposing more anti-abortion legislation. Pennsylvania has its own version of Virginia’s mandated-ultrasound bill, while Tennessee wants, among other things, to publish the names of doctors who perform abortions. Apparently this country hasn’t had enough bombings of clinics, shootings of clinic personnel, and murdering of doctors.

And what do all of these States have in common? All have Republican governors and majority-Republican legislatures. Yes, the “small government, “individual freedom” folks. So, to all of the women who are unlucky enough to live in all of these hostile States, I wish you the best of luck. You’re going to need it.

This is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind?

91 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Thursday, March 29th, 2012: The Republican War on Women, Part 3

  1. Apart from geography and attire, is there any difference between the GOP and the Taliban with regard to their view of women?

    • None whatsoever.

      When Wayne and I first moved to Pawling, one of the local pharmacies was owned by a Pakistani family. I shopped there for odds and ends, but mainly I would be dropping off film to be developed, both for my own photos and my boss’s photos for some of his engineering projects. Although the Pakistani woman behind the counter spoke very little English, after a short while she knew who I was, and if I was picking up photos she always asked “For you or Joseph?” Her traditional clothing had the most beautiful patterns and colors, so intricate and opulent-looking, and I complimented her many times. She always had a big smile for me the moment I walked in the door.

      Unfortunately, her family eventually sold the business and it’s now a CVS. After that I switched to the only other independently-owned pharmacy in our village, but it went out of business several years ago when the owner retired.

  2. Sorry, there’s no direct link to this poll. It’s showing up on the right on some Fox pages, but it’s not yet on their main page of polls…

    What should happen to the rest of the health care overhaul if the individual mandate is struck down?

    The whole law should be invalidated. And let us never return to health care reform again 55.02% (27,458 votes)

    The whole law should be invalidated. But Congress should craft a better law to replace it 40.1% (20,013 votes)

    The rest of the law should stand as is 2.45% (1,223 votes)

    Only the parts most closely tied to the mandate should go 2.43% (1,212 votes)

    Total Votes: 49,906


    55% are okay with letting people get denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

    55% are okay with children not being covered.

    55% are okay with young adults (who can’t find jobs) not being able to stay on their parents’ insurance

    55% are okay footing the bill for emergency room visits for routine healthcare

    55% are okay with the doughnut hole in Medicare

    55% are okay with 40 million people not being insured

    55% are assholes

    • As someone in the industry with a great deal of insight into the airline captain mentality I can say with some authourity: They are all head cases.

  3. The only contraception/abortion ‘mandate’ I could ever support would be one which demands that no right winger can ever reproduce. Period.

    I know, I’m a mean, awful, and rotten person. Oh well . . . at least I hold the future best interests of not only the human species but also the planet itself in highest regard, and that I am secure in the knowledge that in me, at least, the spirit of hope still persists. Must be something good to be said about allathat, no?

  4. ‘The Conservative Teen’ Is the Worst Magazine Ever:

    Actually, it’s even worse than the article states. How so? The Aryan looking right-wing couple on the cover aren’t even Americans. It’s a free stock photo and they’re Danish:

  5. Margaret Sanger: “We hold that children should be (1) Conceived in love; (2) Born of the mother’s conscious desire; (3) And only begotten under conditions which render possible the heritage of health. Therefore we hold that every woman must possess the power and freedom to prevent conception except when these conditions can be satisfied.”

    “No woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. “

  6. Listening to a Fux interview with Shooter Zimmerman’s dad, and he is lying his fucking ass off.

    Not one bit of this story lines up with any of the known evidence. A former judge ought to know better. If he wants to support his son, he shouldn’t do it by lying. Go home and shut up, liar.

    • I read somewhere that he was a magistrate in Prince William Co., VA. Pretty much anyone with a clean criminal record can become a magistrate, no law degree required. It doesn’t even pay very well.

      • I was wondering, since listening to him speak made me think he didn’t have a very high level of education (or it didn’t stick).

        Magistrates are very different things in Idaho.

          • Daddy still hopes George can go on and be a judge< just like him.

            Uhhh, yeah. With domestic violence and resisting arrest charges behind him, and now the murder of Trayvon, that was never going to happen. They are delusional.

            • Wonder how many “get out of jail” cards he got growing up because of his fathers position?

    • Were they hiding his identity, the way other news outlets did when giving him a free platform to lie? If so, why? The man was supposedly a magistrate, which means he had to expose himself tot he public somewhere along the line. So why hide his identity now?

      If they are still hiding his face, I have a wild-ass theory as to why – the man isn’t really George Zimmerman’s father. All we have is a person claiming to be George Zimmerman’s father, a magistrate whose word, in the public eye, might be considered good. They are using this “person” (whoever he is) to try to give George’s version of the story credibility. But as far as I’m concerned, if they can;’t prove he’s really George’s father, then whatever he says is meaningless.

      • I think he’s a friggin’ nutcase, who wants to perpetuate the myth that his family is being hunted like mad dogs.

        Of course, there might be some truth to that thought, but that shouldn’t preclude him from showing his face.

  7. How many Americans would die if Israel attacked Iran?

    “According to a war simulation conducted by the U.S. Central Command, the Iranians could kill 200 Americans with a single missile response to an Israeli attack. An investigative committee would not spare any admiral or general, minister or president. The meaning of this U.S. scenario is that the blood of these 200 would be on Israel’s hands.”

    “At 8:58 P.M. on Tuesday, Israel’s 2012 war against Iran came to a quiet end.”

      • Not really, it’s just that’s what happens when you have a paranoid, far right-wing government in control of your democracy.


      • Israel is weird, as is any country that has even the most remote interest in starting another fucking war with anyone whose “threat” is defined solely by hysteria and the collective fear of not much that hysteria tends to exacerbate amongst the poorly-educated and misinformed masses.

        IOW, Israel is weird. So is Amurka. Amurka is probably even weirder, actually. Might well be one of the weirdest fucking countries in the history of the human habitation period of the planet, in fact.

        Why is that?

        • Similar foundations perhaps. Both nations operate on the “Promised Land” paradigm. The land is for the taking, regardless of who might be living there already.
          Israel started with the Canaanites, followed by the Palestinians millenia later.
          America wiped out the Native American cultures, and imported African slaves to help them do it.

          • Yep, true true true. Most of that nonsense derives from that god shit, that mystical mythology created by the mind of the first dude that figured out the means of imposing a tyranny that would ensure the masses groveling at his feet, and that in result he’d wind up with immense wealth and power sufficient to guarantee him having a permanent and non-deflatable woodie.

            I think he wrote that whole story in the bible someplace, but I can never remember just where.

            • Monotheist mentality:
              Leave the plows to rust in the fields, get someone else to grow your food, and keep digging for more iron to make swords.

  8. So, poor conservatives vote Republican because they think they might someday hit it big. Now Fox is spinning, that you really don’t want to hit it big because it messes up your life. The serfs need to just enjoy serfdom.

    Lottery’s Biggest Losers: Big Wins Don’t Equal Better Lives | Fox News

    But winning the Big One isn’t a guaranteed ticket to the good life, as these previous winners can attest:

    -Jack Whittaker: This West Virginia businessman won $315 million in the Powerball lottery in 2002, the largest jackpot ever from a single ticket in American history at the time. After being robbed of $545,000 in cash while at a strip club, Whittaker’s granddaughter and daughter were later found dead, and Whittaker was sued by Caesars Atlantic City casino for bouncing $1.5 million worth of checks to cover gambling losses.

    -Juan Rodriguez: This New York City parking attendant was earning less than $30,000 in 2004 when he won $149 million in a Mega Millions drawing. But soon after taking the lump sum option of $88 million, his wife filed for divorce and was awarded half of his winnings.

    • “After being robbed of $545,000 in cash while at a strip club” – dude is that stupid, he deserves it

      “But soon after taking the lump sum option of $88 million, his wife filed for divorce and was awarded half of his winnings.” – dude is $44m up and *single* – just needs to stay away from the skin palaces…

  9. Weather update:

    The numbers are in. If we are within a couple degrees of the predictions for the next two days, Southern Minnesota will be 17.5 degrees above normal for the month of March. This is especially alarming because the “normal” temperature was adjusted up by 4 degrees last year to reflect the warming since 1970. There is some good news though. It looks like the unprecedented weather is finally convincing the FAUX”News” worshipers that, despite the lies from their favorite network, something really screwy is happening. Polls are showing that the number of deniers is shrinking. I guess that they aren’t, as I’ve always suspected, too damned stupid to read a thermometer. Or, perhaps, they just realized that it’s the first time they’ve ever had to mow their lawns in March. Of course, if the predicted drought conditions occur, they may not have to mow their lawns again this summer.

    • Never before have I had to shield my perennials with a layer of ice to survive a freeze. We have hard freezes in March, but it’s not usually so warm that most things have broken dormancy.

      • Pretty much everything here is growing. Lots of plants will suffer if we get another hard freeze. Many birds have laid eggs as well. If we get a few cold days in a row I figure there will be losses but there should be time for a second clutch. I just hope we get more rain than expected.

    • I’m laughing as I think of the days I spent being concerned about drainage and flooding.
      I’m using about 10 gallons every three days, and it’s a 25 mile drive to get more. No showers.

  10. Earlier today it was asked here what’s wrong with America? Here’s one exhibit:

    The number one movie in the country, where dozens of teens brutally kill each other, gets a PG-13 rating. A documentary about the epidemic of bullying gets an R-rating because the kids used the F-word six times.

    • The issue is America has no problem with violence. They would rather watch a movie with chainsaws and dismemberment than any sort of soft porn. A titty shot will condemn you to hell whereas an ax murder is mildly entertaining.

  11. Heading for drought conditions along the Rio Grande Valley. Very dry, and another light snowfall on the mountains this past winter.

    The political climate is dusty. I’ve seen one Palin bumper already, and overheard her name in the post office. Not a good sign.
    They don’t like Romney (M) almost as much as they don’t like Obamacare.
    (obamacare! squawk! obamacare! awwwwkkkk! gimme cracker!

    Fortunately there a few few other odd birds out here, and we’ll hold our own.

    • The very odd part is that many localities that have seen drought conditions over the last year have also seen record floods. Mother nature is really, really, getting pissed.

  12. The trashing of Trayvon Martin just gets worse. The ironic part is that it’s coming from the same people who vented their outrage when “libruls spoke ill” of the recently deceased Breitbart. The difference, of course, is that Breitbart had a long history of slandering and abusing people and he wasn’t gunned down in cold blood by a guy who will probably suffer no legal repercussions for killing an unarmed youth.

      • There’s been some very limited talk of Trayvon amongst my classmates at trade-school–half of whom are black, or African-American (both terms apply and these guys use “black” themselves.

        None of them have expressed any outrage, but rather sadness—which goes against right-wing stereotype or even what one might expect as a white, sympathetic
        ‘left-winger’ such as myself/

        Granted these guys clearly aren’t deeply invested in social politics per-se, but that’s true of half of America anyway ( as illustrated by the consistently pathetic national average 51-53% voter turnout in Presidential elections) but from what I can tell they are at least politically aware-enough to express that Republicans have nothing to offer them. ( I don’t hear them ‘talk in star-struck terms about Obama, BTW–altogether they seem fairly resigned. And I should add they are also apparently more interested in sports, celebrity, music and whatnot, as are most Americans anyway , it seems.

        For that possibly representative ennui, the fearful. paranoid right-wing establishment should be damned grateful ( but never are, it seems—instead it pnly feeds their paranoia, because, really, how much more shit can the darker-skinned portion of society put-up with? (A lot,clearly).

        I remember the Tawana Brawley case, featuring Al Sharpton, which proved to be as substantial as the Salem Witch Trials, but the ‘processing’ of Zimmerman was outrageously suspect from the start.
        Regardless of State gun laws, when one person shoots and kills another, there’s at least a modicum of investigation, with the shooter held in custody for at least 24 hours, especially barring any material witnesses.

        Hell even a drunk driver who crashes into a tree, harming no-one else, is subject to more investigation and custodial retention.

        Instead Zimmerman was processed as though he’d been busted for a minor traffic violation and basically released on his own recognizance. Compare and contrast to the treatment of say,, OWS protesters.

        Zimmerman could at least have been busted by a token gesture of law enforcement in his failure to follow instructions from a police officer—he was told not to engage the “suspicious” Trayvon,yet he clearly did so anyway..

        i could go on..

        . . .

        • The whole situation is despicable, and it should be shocking to this country that your black classmates, having experienced this sort of killing in their community for years, are more resigned than anything else — because it happens so god-damned often, and nothing ever changes.

          But no, it’s easier to think of the President as hateful and the Martin family as uppity.

          • Yup.
            I’m just describing personal, anecdotal evidence in the above, and as an educated white I’ve often despaired at some of the perspectives and behaviors of my black/African American classmates BUT…. all our uncommon ground is circumstantial.
            Our very common ground is an attitude of live-and-live-let-live. I think I can afford such an attitude more than they, but my classmates seem to have it in great abundance. They irritate the hell out of me for all sorts of reasons, but that irritation has to do with adopted ( or imposed, or both) culture and nothing to do with any kind of standard of empirical worth.

  13. Chelsea Clinton to Sandra Fluke: I get it | The Upshot – Yahoo! News

    Clinton introduced Fluke by saying, according to BuzzFeed, “She and I actually have something in common: We both have been attacked by Rush Limbaugh.” Fluke was called a “slut” by the conservative radio host for her stance that health insurers should include contraception coverage. The veteran of public life added, “She was 30, I was 13.”
    The conservative pundit lashed out at the White House resident back in 1993 when he said on his TV show, “Socks is the White House cat. But did you know there is also a White House dog?” Up came a picture of the president’s daughter. He issued rare apologies on both occasions.
    Clinton later delivered this zinger picked up by Twitter, “I do also believe that if you have the right type of enemies, you’re doing something correct.”

  14. Rep. Jim Moran:
    “The Ryan proposal is not a budget for the America that we grew up in and the nation we know today. This is a budget for Grover Norquist’s America, a radical conservative fantasyland where government will not, and cannot, play a role in assisting those who need it and investing in our future to create jobs and grow our economy.”
    Yes Virginia, you do have some intelligent folk in Congress.

  15. Two years ago Mittens said:

    Romney: Oh, sure. Look, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to have millions and millions of people who have no health insurance and yet who can go to the emergency room and get entirely free care for which they have no responsibility, particularly if they are people who have sufficient means to pay their own way.

    I’m contemplating sending the free nearly $25,000.00 bill just received. Granted it does go from ER to include two and one half days in-patient.
    True I may qualify for a county plan that will reduce (not eliminate) the bill and allow me follow up care for tests and specialists.

    • The free thing is a lie and they know it. My unemployed impoverished son had a $600.00 judgement against him to prove it. I doubt anyone ever got free chemo in an emergency room, they stabilize you and discharge you. What did I miss Ebb? Were you seriously ill? I’m sorry I was unaware and hope you’re ok now. 25K? Yikes!

      • Anemia and my electrolytes went a bit wonky – sending me to ER and in-patient. My health is much improved!
        That bill was for the hospital only — professional bills will be arriving soon.

        • I sincerely hope that there will be help for you, that kind of bill would be difficult for 99% of the families in this country. I can kick in $50 if that would help in a small way. Perhaps the Zookeepers could provide a way for that to happen?

          • Oh, no, no, no..
            Truly appreciate the thought. There are plans and programs the county offers that I’ll be eligible for.
            The wheels grind slowly yet surely.

            • Ebb,
              My observation for you. My better half did volunteer work for the county for about twelve years. She has a masters in speech pathology and she received squat for that! She had an incident where she needed to have emergency transport. The County sent us a bill, 80% was fortunately paid by insurance, but, the question is: ‘Why was she not credited at all for her volunteer service?’, the equivalent of $250,000? Our only tax deduction was for mileage. Lawyers get far much more for ‘pro beno’?

    • That was a magnificent screen capture of the GBH with dinner in his/her beak!

      Warm thoughts to hold you, Wayne and family during this very difficult time.

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