More reproductive insanity in the U.S.

How often is my government going to embarrass me this year? Election season in America is always insane, and this year even more so as the Republicans try to out-conservative and out-religion each other in their desperate bid to gain the G.O.P. nomination for President.  This has trickled down to Republican state legislators, whose activities would be funny if they weren’t so dreadful—especially with regard to women’s reproductive freedom.  Here are two items called to my attention just yesterday.

1. Bill to force women to carry dead fetuses. In Georgia (of course), a Republican state legislator (of course) has introduced a bill that would force a woman to carry a fetus to term even if the fetus is dead.  According to ThinkProgress:

State Rep. Terry England was speaking in favor of HB 954, which makes it illegal to obtain an abortion after 20 weeks even if the woman is known to be carrying a stillborn fetus or the baby is otherwise not expected to live to term.

He then recalled his time working on a farm:

“Life gives us many experiences…I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive. Delivering pigs, dead or alive. It breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.”

Suggesting that if a cow or pig can give birth to a dead baby, then a woman should too was not enough for Rep. England though. He then delivered an anecdote to the chamber in which a young man who was apparently opposed to legislation outlawing chicken fighting said he would give up all of his chickens if the legislature simply took away women’s right to an abortion.

Care2 notes:

And recommending continuing a non-viable pregnancy is a violation of the standard of care, meaning the Georgia Representative would like to legislate medical malpractice standards despite the fact that England is not a doctor.

Here’s a video of England spewing his insanity at the Georgia legislature:

And that’s how Republicans like England see women: as cows—reproductive machines who must give birth, even to a dead baby, at the behest of their masters.  Carrying a dead infant, of course, poses serious risks to a woman, including the deadly risk of infection from a decomposing fetus.  England wants women to run that risk—for what?

2. Pennsylvania proposes mandated ultrasound for women seeking abortion, and, unlike the bill in Texas, would force the women to watch it.  She does, however, have the option of closing her eyes!  From HuffPo

During a discussion of a far-reaching mandatory ultrasound bill, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) on Wednesday dismissed off-handedly the insinuation that the measure goes too far, saying, “You just have to close your eyes.”

Corbett reaffirmed his support for the “Women’s Right to Know” Act, which would require doctors to perform an ultrasound on a patient, offer her two personalized copies of the image and play and describe fetal heartbeat in detail before she can have an abortion — “as long as it’s not obtrusive.”

Invasive transvaginal, as opposed to abdominal, ultrasounds are required in the first trimester; these would presumably include every woman who had been raped, producing a second violation:

Pennsylvania’s ultrasound bill, unlike the revised version passed in Virginia, does not specify a type of ultrasound, so the doctor will have to use an “interior” procedure for most first-trimester abortions in order to meet the requirements of the law.

And can you believe this inhuman requirement?

Even if the woman opts to “close [her] eyes,” as Corbett suggests, the doctor will have to turn the ultrasound image toward her face, give her two signed copies of the printed image, describe the number of heartbeats per minute and tell her if that’s normal or not for a fetus of that age. She then has to wait 24 hours and bring all the signed paperwork and both ultrasound images to her abortion doctor in order to have the procedure legally, and the doctor has to repeat to her the age of the fetus.

Here’s Corbett defending the bill and saying that women don’t have to watch the ultrasound:

It’s always the men proposing this stuff, isn’t it?  I hope this kind of wickedness drives women away from the Republican party.  I weep for my nation, and can only imagine how this looks to people from other countries.

Meanwhile, women—even Republican women—are starting to push back.  Several bills have been introduced to regulate the reproductive “rights” of men.  These include an Ohio Viagra bill, which, while clearly tongue in cheek, makes a deadly serious point: men wouldn’t want their reproduction regulated in the way they’re trying to do to women. Business and Health describes one:

The most recent gambit came late last week, when Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a Cleveland Democrat, introduced a bill that would effectively regulate the sex lives of men. The legislation, Senate Bill 307, would require men seeking prescriptions for the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra to see a sex therapist receive a cardiac stress test and obtain a notarized affidavit signed by a sexual partner affirming the man’s impotency.

And, in Georgia, eight of the nine women senators (all Democrats, of course) walked out of the legislature protesting the Republican “war on women” (and that’s indeed what it is). You can see the video here.

h/t: Gayle, Sigmund

98 Comments

  1. Rob
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    It’s always the men proposing this stuff, isn’t it?

    Umm, no. Isn’t the Az one for birth control from a woman? Or at least, she’s the public face of the bill.

    • rmw
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      Yep, one Debbie Lesko, who’s afraid reproductive freedom will turn the US into the 21st century version of the USSR.

  2. gbjames
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    This insanity will, I predict, lead to the end of the Republican Party. They creating such a backlash among half of the population that I don’t see how they have much of a future. Perhaps I am overly optimistic. I hope not.

    • Rob
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      My major concern is how much are they going to bring down with them?

    • Adam M.
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      I donno. I hope so, but it sometimes ends up that women are the strongest (if less vocal) supporters of repressive anti-female policies and behaviors, such as female genital mutilation.

      On the other hand, perhaps that’s due to a sense that “I had to go through it, so you have to too,” which wouldn’t apply so much here.

      • Adam M.
        Posted March 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Ahh, Tim has a better reply in this vein, below.

      • rmw
        Posted March 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Yes–the women who support this kind of legislation have a mindset that only sluts use birth control or get abortions. But as good, God fearing Americans, they would never have to use any of these medical services.

    • wildhog
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      Yes, youre overly optimistic. Check the polling numbers; insane Republican candidates barely trail Obama. American are far far dumber than you think.

      http://www.pollingreport.com/wh12gen.htm

    • PB
      Posted March 17, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Usually, in many instances women are the enforcers of men-in-power to enact anti-women measures.

      This happens in Islamic societies today. I expect it will be similar with Republicans.

  3. Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    NPR posted a story yesterday about some Democrat legislators (all women) proposing new laws to regulate MEN’S reproductive health. Apparently vasectomies and masturbation are now on the table (although it’s being done as a protest). Personally, I think it’s high time we stamp out the sin of Onan!

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/03/15/148695307/in-protest-democrats-zero-in-on-mens-reproductive-health

    • Rob
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Personally, I think it’s high time we stamp out the sin of Onan!

      We need to impregnate our brother’s widow?

      /not b&
      //only child so I get shortchanged

      • CarlosT
        Posted March 16, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        If you didn’t, she would haul you in front of the town elders, slap you, spit in your face, take your shoe off, and your name would be changed in Israel to “He who had his shoe loosed.” Deuteronomy 25 5-10

        Just so you know.

  4. Tim
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I suspect that if a veternarian told the owner of thoroughbred breeding mare that the foal the mare was carrying had died and the mare subsequently developed an infection because the vet hadn’t induced delivery (if medically indicated), the vet would be sued.

  5. Oskar
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    As a person not from the U.S. I would like to answer the question.

    Absolutely insane, if anybody here in Iceland would want to do this he/she would be laughed out of the room

    • Tim
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Does Iceland have a highly profitable, far-right propaganda network of radio and television stations broadcasting their poison all day long?

      • Tim
        Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        …that has, for the most part, successfully portrayed itself holding the moral high ground by virtue of its godliness?

        • Oskar
          Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          Well no.

          • Tim
            Posted March 16, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

            Lucky you.

            • S A GOULD
              Posted March 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

              Ah, the good old days, when we could laugh at absurd notions! We just can’t laugh at insanity.

    • Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Yeah, um, so, like, are you single?

    • Niklas
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      “Absolutely insane…”

      I concur, it is truly incomprehensible for me, and for a great majority of all Swedes I believe.

      I also got this blog post in my twitter feed this morning, with a absolutely horrific tale of these laws in action.

      http://blogs.bmj.com/medical-ethics/2012/03/16/how-abortion-law-works-in-texas/

      • CarlosT
        Posted March 16, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Is Sweden one of the most atheistic countries in the world? That probably goes a long way towards explaining why this isn’t an issue there.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted March 16, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          I think it isn’t an issue in most countries of the world. I think it’s likely only an issue in countries where religious loonies hold real power like (a) some Muslim ones and (b) USA.

    • Marg
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      I just read about Iceland, A place that treats women the best in the WOrld. I am thinking bout moving there, because I cannot stand this myoginistic AMerica.

      • Marella
        Posted March 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Well I’ve been considering where I should retire to (not going to happen for ages but I’m the planning type) and though I had somewhere with better weather and food in mind I may have to consider it. ;-)

    • Claimthehighground
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Could you please forward a listing of homes for sale and rent in Iceland, as a public service.
      And then step out of the way of the rush.

    • Torie
      Posted June 26, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      I agree. I’m from Canada and no one here would ever tolerate it. I also went to Iceland last summer and decided that I’m heading there if Canada ever absorbs too many American “moral” standards.

  6. Tim
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    As for driving women away from the Republican party – I’m afraid that Stockholm syndrome applies. All the GOP candidates are really bad, but Santorum is the worst. Nevertheless, check out the exit poll results from Alabama:

    Men
    (50%)
    Gingrich 34%
    Paul 5%
    Romney 28%
    Santorum 31%
    Uncommitted 2%

    Women
    (50%)
    Gingrich 25%
    Paul 5%
    Romney 30%
    Santorum 38%
    Uncommitted 2%

    Mississippi:

    Men
    (50%)
    Gingrich 34%
    Paul 6%
    Romney 28%
    Santorum 31%
    Uncommitted 2%

    Women
    (50%)
    Gingrich 29%
    Paul 3%
    Romney 32%
    Santorum 35%
    Uncommitted 2%

    The most odious theocrat in the race, “they should just have the rapists baby and buck up” Santorum won both states with the women’s votes.

    • Tim
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      (I was shocked as well.)

      • Sigmund
        Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        There’s something seriously wrong with the mindset in that part of the US. There was another poll on Monday that showed almost 29 percent of likely GOP voters surveyed in Mississippi believe that interracial marriage should be illegal. In Alabama the figure was 21% who thought it should be illegal.

        • truthspeaker
          Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          I think many Americans – myself included, at times – suffer from the naive idea that once institutional racism was outlawed, racist ideas in the general population would fade away.

    • gbjames
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      I take hope in that these numbers only represent that portion of the electorate who is part of the insane Republican Party, or at least inclined that way.

      The real measure of how much the Stockholm Syndrome applies will not be seen until you get results from contests between the bat-shit-crazy Republicans and candidates who are not attacking half of the population.

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Keep in mind, those exit polls are for the Republican primaries, not a general election.
      .
      I wonder what their motivation is for taking these actions now. Are they trying to fire up their base for the election season? Or are they trying to make the most of the Republican majorities they gained in 2010? Whatever, I hope it backfires on them big time.
      .
      The reason they won elections in 2010 was economic, and if they win this year it will be the same. Which is sad, because their economic policies are no better than their reproductive policies.

      • rmw
        Posted March 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        So, is their platform “We can’t fix the economy, but we’re going to try to turn back the clock and make women chattel again!”?

      • FastLane
        Posted March 19, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        This is a good analysis (at least it makes sense to me) that I read elsewhere:

        “Power is not just winning elections. This is an idea easily sold to the population because civic engagement is seen as voting and little else, but it isn’t the actuality of politics. The Republicans do much better at directing the agenda from opposition than the Democrats, so remaining in opposition is a viable strategy. Given that Democrats don’t really filibuster, Democrats don’t push a completely partisan agenda, Democrats don’t act in solidarity with their Party, and the current Democratic President will sign Republican legislation without hesitation why should “winning the election” matter?”

        • truthspeaker
          Posted March 20, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          “The Republicans do much better at directing the agenda from opposition than the Democrats”

          Ain’t THAT the truth.

    • Dave
      Posted March 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      I live in a family of Mormons and it is the women who are the most actively opposed to abortion. They love children/babies and believe that abortion is the killing of an innocent human being.

      • gbjames
        Posted March 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        How do they feel about pap smears and breast cancer screenings? Are they OK with young women being forced to carry babies for rapists?

  7. Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    How can they continue to hide behind the phrase “pro-life” when they are talking about protecting a dead fetus?

    • xuuths
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      ++1

    • Posted March 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      I can just hear it, now… Big-mouthed rebliblican with an MD degree (and no “belief” in evolution) blustering, “It ain’t dead until it’s born and dead, ya hear me???”

  8. darrelle
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    This is exactly the kind of thing that makes it so difficult for me to be civil to anyone who indicates in any way that they hold any convictions common with current conservative political ideals in the US.

    Drives me nuts when someone sternly proclaims that we must be civil to people who forthrightly proclaim their morally reprehensible ideals and even strive to make them law that everyone will be subject to. “Incivility will only cause them to reject your counter arguments”, they say. Too Bad.

    For example, a Mormon elder who is a regular poster at the blog of a notable “liberal” sci-fi author who argues, and has worked hard at his local level, for prop 8 in California. Anytime the subject comes up the insufferable bastard immediately pulls the persecution card, before the discussion even gets started. Then of course the goal posts get shifted again and again, nobody understands his reasons, blah blah blah. And the blog host requires everyone to be civil and show respect to this person.

    Can’t do it.

    Oh, and I am sick and tired of hearing the word “nuanced” out of these peoples mouths. There is no “nuance” and I understand you perfectly.

    • rmw
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      I don’t hear the civility argument so much. What I hear is “Well, you’re not an expert, so you can’t argue the point.” But when an expert comes along, it’s “Oh, you’re too close to be objective.”

  9. mday
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    As a Georgia resident, I applaud the women senators who walked out during this display of breathtaking inanity. I love how the Pennsylvania proposal is called the “Women’s Right to Know” act; that’s breathtaking obfuscation right there…

    • truthspeaker
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      The Minnesota law is also called “Women’s Right to Know”. When Jesse Ventura vetoed the first attempt, he called it the “Women Are Stupid Act” because it implied women weren’t capable of researching their health issues on their own.

      • darrelle
        Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        I have new found respect for Jesse “The Body” Ventura.

        • truthspeaker
          Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          He was a decent governor and really got under the skins of the political establishment of both parties. Unfortunately he turned into a 9/11 Truther.

          • Posted March 17, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

            Correct me if I am wrong, but he was his own guy, not handled by the theocrats or the plutocrats (despite his own plutocratic tendencies), no? This is at least is refreshing …

            • truthspeaker
              Posted March 20, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink

              Pretty much.

    • Buzz
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Using these kinds of names is a carefully considered strategic move. They want to appeal to moderate women who have no first-hand experience with abortions; so they portray things as if there were a vast, evil cadre of “abortionists,” whose goals are to mislead women and to fool them into getting abortions that they don’t really want.

      What amazes me is that they do manage to find a few women who’ve had abortions, yet are so amazingly clueless that they can give testimonials like, “I had no idea that the fetus I was killing was an unborn baby,” or, “Nobody told me that the abortion was to end a pregnancy; I just thought I had some kind of abscess growing in my belly.”

  10. truthspeaker
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    But remember, pro-life people vote pro-life because they care about unborn babies, not because they’re trying to control women’s sexuality.

    ^the above is a bald-faced lie

  11. Marta
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Why do they hate us so much?

    • truthspeaker
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Because you got uppity.

      50 years ago a guy could come home from work and expect his wife to smile, feed him dinner, and clean the house without complaining. She would take care of all the dirty work involved in childcare, and generally put up with whatever criticism or abuse he dished out because, economically, she had no other options.

      Then those women’s lib types came along and all that started to change.

      Some of those men are still angry about that and want to roll back the clock.

      • Posted March 16, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        +111111111

      • Dave
        Posted March 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        We can always go back to those good ol’ days by watching some B&W classics on TV.

  12. emmageraln
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    This is utterly abhorant, if such laws were passed in countries outside the US it would be be widly condemned. But it’s in the US, so the rest of the western world ignores it. It just makes me so angry that these psychotic loonatics still manage to flourish in the 21st century.

    • truthspeaker
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Well we’re a shining beacon of democracy and human rights, doncha know.

  13. Anthony Paul
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    In order to be truly comparable, even as a joke, shouldn’t the proposed Ohio law require that the impotence affidavit be signed by a female spouse, rather than merely a “sexual partner”?

    • darrelle
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Maybe they are trying for the LGBT vote on that one?

      • Posted March 16, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        I still think it should require a rectal ultrasound of the prostate, etc. At least, get way up close to the vascular supply to make sure it’s adequate in the first place. Press good and hard on those blood vessels, if need be, no matter what nerves get compressed for lying under or alongside them. Yeah, that should do it.

  14. Rudi
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    “I weep for my nation, and can only imagine how this looks to people from other countries.”

    Bad. It looks bad.

    How has it come to this?

    • eric
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Its come to this because GOP legislators know their plans won’t fix the economy and GOP candidates are too incompetent to beat Obama on the economic issues – even though he’s probably the most vulnerable President on economic issues since Carter.

      So, they bring up other issues and hope the distraction will help them.

      I also suspect that the national GOP leadership is intentionally using 2012 as a sort of venting period. Let all the idiots run, let them air all their crazy crap. Get it out of the GOP system now, so that in 2016, when the Democratic incumbent must step down, the crazies won’t feel the need to bring it up.

      • Hamilton Jacobi
        Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        They’re not going to get it out of their system. The number of people saying things Orwell would have been embarrassed to put in 1984 is now so large that it’s come to be viewed as normal. That’s the problem.

      • truthspeaker
        Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

        It’s kind of a reverse from 2004. George W. Bush was probably the most vulnerable president on foreign policy and civil liberties since Nixon, but the Democratic leadership supports nearly identical approaches to foreign policy and civil liberties, so Kerry couldn’t run on that.

        The fact that the GOP is concentrating on one of the few issues where the parties differ helps the Democrats, because it distracts voters from Obama’s war-mongering, pro-torture, anti-Bill of Rights agenda.

        • Posted March 16, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

          We don’t have much choice. The GOP is even more war-mongering, pro-torture,anti-Bill of Rights, as well as anti-environment, anti-women, pro-corporations-as-people and pro-money-as-speech.

  15. Hamilton Jacobi
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    England wants women to run that risk—for what?

    So that he can show them who’s boss, of course.

  16. truthspeaker
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, one thing you didn’t mention is that England is either lying about working on a farm or he worked on a poorly-run farm. Veterinarians do indeed extract dead fetuses from livestock, and one reason they do so is because carrying a dead fetus can cause deadly health complications.

    • Janet Joyce
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for pointing that out. They have neglected to mention (but are speaking loudly) that they really don’t care whether women suffer “deadly health consequences. And obviously they don’t understand that removing a non-living fetus is NOT terminating a pregnancy! It is saving the life of the mother and giving her a chance to go on to have a viable pregnancy.

  17. Posted March 16, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Arizona is getting into the act as well.

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/15/politics/arizona-contraception-controversy/index.html

    Contraception would only be provided to women if they could prove a “medical necessity.”

    HB2625

    Sorry for doing a post-and-run…I’m afraid I’ll explode if I dwell on this too much.

    b&

    • rmw
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      But it’s about freedom! Or something.

      Also, wouldn’t this be in violation of medical privacy laws?

  18. Marella
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    It makes the USA look very bad, and of course with the internet we can all know about it. It makes me feel fortunate to live in Australia (which has been known locally as “The Lucky Country” for many decades) and very sorry for the plight of my fellow English speaking nation. It also makes me wonder how the US will cope with the rise of China, will it get nastier and nastier or will in knuckle under and find itself again? I dunno.

  19. Carol
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    HOUSE BILL 5262 – ARIZONA REVISED STATUTES; RELATING TO HEALTH INSURANCE.

    Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

    Section 1. Section 62-802, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:

    B. Any contract between an insurer [health care plan] and its subscribers [employers] is subject to the following:

    If the contract provides coverage for prescription drugs, the contract shall provide coverage for any prescribed drug or device that is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for erectile dysfunction (i.e., Viagra, Cialis, Levitra, penis pumps, etc. etc.).

    S. However, a contract does NOT have to meet the requirements of subsection B if the contract’s failure to provide coverage of specific items or services required under subsection B is because providing or paying for coverage of the specific items or services is contrary to the religious beliefs of the subscriber [employer] offering the plan, i.e., their firmly-held beliefs that (1) sexual activity should only be taking place within the marriage relationship, and (2) then only for purposes of procreation. This subsection shall not exclude coverage for prescription erectile dysfunction methods ordered by a health care provider IF the enrollee [employee] first pays for the prescription and then submits a claim to the insurer [health care plan] along with evidence that (1) he was legally married at the time he obtained the prescription, (2) his wife is of child-bearing age, and (3) she was not using contraceptives. An insurer [health care plan] may charge an administrative fee for handling these claims.

    After all, if the State of Arizona is allowing subscribers [employers] to refuse to provide contraceptive coverage to their female enrollees [employees] unless said enrollees first pay for their prescriptions and then submit a claim to the insurer [health care plan] along with evidence that the prescription is for a non-contraceptive medical purpose (and not just for the purpose of having fun), then we must treat both sexes equally.

    • rmw
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      If only these jackass lawmakers would take the hint. But it’s not about equality of the sexes. It’s about putting women in their place (that place being the kitchen, preferably whilst being barefoot and pregnant).

  20. Posted March 16, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    “I weep for my nation, and can only imagine how this looks to people from other countries.”

    I can tell you, how this looks to people from other countries. It looks completely bananas. Insane. Ridiculous. Idiotic. Even obscene.

    I thought that politics in Europe is bad, but that was before I have seen how it is done by your rethuglican party.

    • truthspeaker
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad people in other countries pay attention. I hope other countries start to reconsider whether they want to continue to rely on the United States for assistance with security. I think we’d all be better off if they did.

      • Posted March 17, 2012 at 12:39 am | Permalink

        I think you omitted “not” in your last sentence?

        Do not be overtly optimisic. In non-english speaking countries there are very little people who know about this kind of stuff – mostly “new” atheists with high education, who read blogs like these. It does not hit the main media here at all and our polititians do not care. And polititians decide on whom to rely with security.

        Nevertheless, if anyone tried to push this sort of legislature here, he (I think I might be forgiven omitting /she here) would get laughed at. There is enought insane stuff our polititians do, but this is beyond pale.

        • truthspeaker
          Posted March 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          I meant we’d all be better off if they reconsidered it. Poorly worded sentence on my part.

  21. papalinton
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing, nothing so insightful or germane to the deep-seated malaise in American society as expressed by the ‘Hitch’. Religion does indeed, without equivocation, without a scintilla of doubt or uncertainty, ‘Religion Poisons Everything’.

  22. Kevin
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    How should an Australian or a Briton feel reading the following words published on the BMJ Web site, and attributed to two academics with associations with Australian universities:

    “Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled”.
    (Abstract of “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?”, March 2, 2012)

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Are you trolling? This has nothing to do with the current thread. It’s not the British Medical Journal as such, it’s the Journal of Medical Ethics (the right place for it I would have thought) and it’s essentially a discussion paper. And I think the authors are Italian, though one now hails from Melbourne. And the abstract you quoted is somewhat misleading. If you bother to read the whole paper, which is here http://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2012/03/01/medethics-2011-100411.full, you’ll see it’s concerned largely (I’m simplifying here!) with cases where the child is found to have severe medical defects on delivery.

      I don’t think this is the relevant thread for this topic though.

      But since you ask, I feel fine with it.

  23. KP
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Hey all, I just read through Georgia HB 954 and there is no explicit language saying that a woman has to carry a stillborn fetus until giving birth to it. There’s a lot of other insidious language in it though. We should just be sure to make the distinction that it’s Terry England’s disgusting interpretation of the law evidenced in the video. The actual bill does have some language in there about “if there is an immediate threat to the life of the mother.”

    http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2011_12/sum/hb954.htm

  24. Julien Rousseau
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I weep for my nation, and can only imagine how this looks to people from other countries.

    It’s like Osama Bin Laden didn’t die but instead won but converted to christianity and thus imposed Christian sharia instead of Muslim sharia.

    • Dave
      Posted March 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Jewish scriptures had misogyny before Islam even existed. Sharia law is the result of Muslims emulating our popular religions’ misogyny as we try to discard it, not the other way around.

  25. Nicolas Perrault
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Which is which? Cretinism or “Christianism”.

  26. ollipehkonen
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    One of the most famous appointments in history is Caligula wanting to appoint his horse the consul of Rome. Seems like he wasn’t crazy, just ahead of his time. Some other species could surely do a better job than your current politicians. That’s how it looks.

  27. Posted March 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    How about doctors asking patients what language they want the ultrasound description given in? A woman who speaks, say, English and Spanish could choose Hungarian, so she doesn’t have to understand a single word. This is one way doctors could push back to protect patients.

    • rmw
      Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure all descriptions would have to given in English, and English only. If you don’t speak English, then you are not eligible for an abortion. It would be a win-win for the GOP; they could be both misogynistic AND xenophobic.

      • Posted March 17, 2012 at 2:22 am | Permalink

        In that case, I’d have to recommend whatever version of English is the hardest to understand. What’s that dialect in Great Britain with so much angry slang it’s become a reality show hit? Or, how about Ye Olde English, like King James on steroides. Now, that sounds appropriately nonintelligible.

  28. David Leech
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    How do republicans manage to remember to breathe.

    • Posted March 17, 2012 at 2:23 am | Permalink

      It’s the ear-bud. You think that’s there so they can be on TV, but really, it’s connected to a recorder reminding them to “Breath in. Breath out. Breath in. Breath out…”

  29. andreschuiteman
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    Is this perhaps a cunning strategy of the GOP to make itself immune to satire? Terry England could be a character in The Simpsons, an amusingly exaggereted specimen of the religious wingnut. But in real life he is not so amusing anymore.

    It looks as if people like him are aiming at an equivalent of Shariah law. There is clearly some convergent evolution going on here. It’s scary.

    • andreschuiteman
      Posted March 17, 2012 at 3:44 am | Permalink

      exaggerated even

  30. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    How it looks? Like a banana republic – clearly those men (mostly men) have gone bananas.

    Seriously though, I support free speech. But in nations of limited moral maturity among representatives there could be a humanistic rule to limit harm to the public and the political process both.

    Say, where political representatives thrown out of the building for a limited time for inhuman suggestions that doesn’t apply to themselves but always to others. The bar could be set so England gets thrown out (suggesting harm and risking lives of others) and probably Corbett and his ilk too (suggesting psychological harm and the medical risk of an unnecessary invasive procedure).

  31. VikingWarriorPrinces
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    “I weep for my nation, and can only imagine how this looks to people from other countries.”
    Insane, total and utterly free roaming insanity that’s what it looks like.

  32. Posted March 17, 2012 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    With behavior like this from educated and (supposedly) intelligent lawmakers, I often wonder if we are devolving as a species. I know there will never be a shortage of stupidity however, I am unnerved when these selcouth “happenings” become commonplace and even more frightening; accepted by others.

    A~N

  33. VikingWarriorPrinces
    Posted March 17, 2012 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    This is wrong on so many levels and there are so many things I’d like to say but every time I try to compose something it just ends up in an allcaps rage feast.
    Why do the right-wing nutters despise women so much?

  34. Posted March 18, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Most Americans do not follow politics and will not start paying attention to the Presidential race until after the Republican nominee is selected. It seems likely that Santorum would continue the war on women. Romney might as well since he’s such a bad candidate, but more likely he will stay quiet on these issues during the general election. Neither have a chance of defeating President Obama unless the economy tanks in October, but the Senate is in real jeopardy. There are twice as many vulnerable Democratic seats as vulnerable Republican seats in this mix this time, so unless there is a generalized anti-Republican mood that motivates Democrats, sways independents and makes Republicans stay home, it’s likely the Senate will flip and seem to vindicate the crazies.

  35. Posted March 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I am amazed at the stupidity of Republican politicians. I sincerely believe it is their religious believes that drive them in this insanity. They listen and obey the man in the pulpit without question. Our government is in great peril if Republicans do not suffer a huge defeat in the next election.


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