Reproductive Rights: Why Is This An Issue?

Woman in chains: why is this acceptable in the “Land of the free?”

Who is winning and why do the battles rage on?

I was saddened, but not surprised, to find Joy Reid discussing the Republican Party’s attempts to roll back the birth control mandate aspect of the Affordable Care Act on Twitter.

My first thought was, “What is wrong with these people?!”

Authoritarianism

That is what’s wrong with them, and the idea is to control female sexuality. I’m not even joking, that’s what it is about:

I realized that the only world in which opposing birth control made any sense was one in which the goal was to control women’s sex lives. After all, birth control allows women to have sex without having to face the “consequences” of sex. - How I Lost Faith in the “Pro-Life” Movement, by Libby Anne on Patheos

When people cite “sincere religious beliefs” as a reason for denying employees the coverage they need for birth control, etc., that is what the belief is. Can I use my sincere religious beliefs to deny men Viagra? That’s not an issue at all, don’tcha know. Nope, this is all about “Wimmin be ho’s.” And the authoritarians are enforcing this by running a system in which employers are obliged to pay towards their employees’ healthcare and now to pick and choose what medicines and procedures they can access under their coverage. Separating employers from healthcare coverage provision would go a long way to getting their noses out of womens’ knickers but America isn’t ready for a single-payer healthcare scheme yet because the Right is having none of it and the Progressives can’t sell it well enough to make the idea mainstream. My personal take is, when we can choose which illnesses or accidents to have, there will be a free market in healthcare.

Religious power-grabbing

The Evangelical Right are among the most horrifying people in all existence. I’m not even joking, they’re all over the Neocons (responsible for the disastrous campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and still wibbling on about regime change in Syria and Iran) and are driving the horrible legislation that actually kills people (by which I mean “women and their babies”) in American hospitals. Honestly, if they were so pro-life, why aren’t they doing something about America’s horrendous maternity mortality rate?

Conflicting moralities

I’ve already covered this in my post in On t’Internet, Who Has A Lock On Morality — The Left, The Liberals, Or The Right?

So it is that we see American conservatives claim nobility for their outright lies in this post claiming that healthcare is a scarcity:
Health care is physical, not metaphysical. It consists of goods, such as penicillin and heart stents, and services, such as oncological attention and radiological expertise. Even if we entirely eliminated money from the equation, conscripting doctors into service and nationalizing the pharmaceutical factories, the basic economic question would remain.
We tend to retreat into cheap moralizing when the economic realities become uncomfortable for us. No matter the health-care model you choose — British-style public monopoly, Swiss-style subsidized insurance, pure market capitalism — you end up with rationing: Markets ration through prices, bureaucracies ration through politics. Price rationing is pretty straightforward: Think of Jesse James and his “Pay Up, Sucker!” tattoo on his palm. Political rationing is a little different: Sometimes it happens through waiting lists and the like, and sometimes it is just a question of money and clout. American progressives love the Western European medical model, but when Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi needed a pacemaker, he came to the United States to have it implanted. — The ‘Right’ to Health Care, by Kevin D. Williamson
Williamson reserves healthcare to the rich on the ground that it can be expensive. In his view, they alone have the right to it because they can afford it. The noble lies here are “scarcity” and “monopoly,” the idea being that the protected object is the American taxpayer, who should, to his mind, not be obliged to pay for other people’s healthcare and certainly not for services they don’t need or use themselves.

I’ve called Williamson, The National Review, and David French out for lying to protect the money and not one of them has even acknowledged my points. They just ignored me. The point is, you can control people more easily by controlling access to healthcare and other essentials, at least in principle. This is alienating potential converts: churchgoing in America is in decline and has been for some time, so the people in power are resorting to control-freakery to maintain their influence over our society. And they’re more interested in power than in helping people.

Yes… that refusal to take responsibility for the lives they have forced into existence appears to be a hallmark of right wing Evangelical thinking. As a Christian I deplore these people and their awful ideology. The worst part of it is the mealy-mouthed appeals to save the widdle bay-bees. They don’t care about the babies! Good news: people who actually believe in Christ’s teachings advocate for healthcare for all.

Who is winning?

America is so deeply divided that the winners and losers in the culture wars are divided according to which states they live in. People who live in states controlled by the Right have fewer reproductive rights than those who live in states controlled by Democrats. As the cultural and ethnic demographics change, you may find that the paranoia, bigotry and control freakery get a lot worse. So basically, everyone who’s not a religious white supremacist is ultimately winning; this is just their screaming death spiral on the way to the bottom of the proverbial cliff.

So the battles rage on

Americans can’t admit that their love of capitalism and rugged individualism has brought this upon them. Women want to have the same freedoms as men because we’re every bit as human. We seek employment as a means to gain our own incomes so as not to be dependent on anyone. As marriageable men fail to step up to the proverbial plate and marriage itself becomes less attractive as an option, more and more women are having babies out of wedlock. Under constant pressure from the sexual imperative (you know, that thing where you’re expected to have sex to prove you’re a normal adult) to engage in sexual activity and/or make themselves available and desirable for sex, women need contraception not just for medical reasons but for social reasons too. American conservatives fail to understand this so just blame the woman when in truth it takes two hands to clap. They allowed the hard right and the religious freaks to take over during the late Seventies and early Eighties, so now the country is going backwards. Ridiculously, they seem to think that their repression of female sexuality is about not paying for women to have sex sans consequence. Yeah… about that… it’s actually more expensive to keep a woman locked up in jail for having a miscarriage or to pay for emergency care than to provide contraception and effective ante and post natal treatment.

Conclusion

Reproductive healthcare is a wedge issue used to separate “the left” from “the right,” leaving us a binary political option. This is all about control and we should resist it, whatever side of the aisle we are on. My take: it’s not our job to control other people or to attempt to restrict their access to medicines, etc., in order to force them to make the choices we deem correct. Who’s with me?