I’m related to a lot of people who vote for the GOP. This is something I really, really don’t understand. I don’t understand how we can have the same DNA, the same stuff that programs our brains and such, look at the same actions by Republicans and have completely divergent reactions.
For example, my reaction to the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is one of abject horror that something this misogynistic passed through the House of Representatives. The fact that it will likely die in the Senate is a cold consolation; what would make me happy is knowing that bullshit like this couldn’t survive long enough to make it to the House at all.
And yet, you don’t have to go far along the family tree to find beings who are almost exactly like me in terms of DNA who likely think that this is a great idea, who would have almost certainly voted for Franks if he was representing our district (he’s actually representing a district in Phoenix, which should come as no surprise to anyone ever).
The only answer that makes sense to me is that I’m a genetic aberration, a mutant who was born with a defective brain bucket that renders me incapable of understanding the wisdom of this action, or anything else that the GOP does. That must be it.
3 thoughts on “And In Other News”
“Misogynistic” is a strong word, and probably an inappropriate accusation here. I tend to take a black/white view of government involvement in things (police are good, patriot act is bad, etc.) but I see abortion as a gray area. I mean, the constitution protects the basic rights of its citizens (life, liberty, property), but at what point does it begin protecting those rights? When does the mother’s right to liberty interfere with the baby’s right to life?
Obviously a parent doesn’t have a right to stab their baby in the chest, but I also don’t think that wearing a condom is wrong. Somewhere in between those two points the child’s life becomes a tangible right which the government must protect, and the line in the sand where that’s drawn is not exactly an easy answer.
Honestly, I’ve never given this concept enough thought. I’m against “late-term” abortion, but I’ve generally drawn that line at third-trimester with little data to back that specific claim up. The idea of the fetus’ ability to experience pain as a metric seems to make sense, though I would argue that “human-like” brain activity is a better sign of human rights. Unfortunately, that’s just vague enough that it could prevent abortion entirely, a concept that I’m not on board with.
In my mind, the “Pro-Choice” vs “Pro-Life” dichotomy is too harsh. I’m “Pro-Rights,” and I respect both the mother’s liberty to make decisions about her body and the baby’s right to life once it has achieved a level of development appropriate for those rights. Drawing the line in the sand where those two overlap is not as simple as either extreme would seem to suggest.
The reason why I feel misogyny is an appropriate word here is because abortion laws are, at their most basic level, a political attempt to tell women “you’re too stupid to make the ‘right choice’ about your unborn baby, we should be the ones making it for you.”
In my opinion, it’s a mistake to try and base the decision on the moment when a fetus becomes a person and thus gains a right to life. The argument that helped me decide was Judith Thomson’s “A Defense of Abortion” paper, in particular the thought experiment about the famous violinist. Here’s the salient part of that paper, quoted from the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Defense_of_Abortion
“You wake up in the morning and find yourself back to back in bed with an unconscious violinist. A famous unconscious violinist. He has been found to have a fatal kidney ailment, and the Society of Music Lovers has canvassed all the available medical records and found that you alone have the right blood type to help. They have therefore kidnapped you, and last night the violinist’s circulatory system was plugged into yours, so that your kidneys can be used to extract poisons from his blood as well as your own. [If he is unplugged from you now, he will die; but] in nine months he will have recovered from his ailment, and can safely be unplugged from you.”
Thomson takes it that you may now permissibly unplug yourself from the violinist even though this will cause his death: the right to life, Thomson says, does not entail the right to use another person’s body, and so by unplugging the violinist you do not violate his right to life but merely deprive him of something—the use of your body—to which he has no right. “[I]f you do allow him to go on using your kidneys, this is a kindness on your part, and not something he can claim from you as his due.”
For the same reason, Thomson says, abortion does not violate the fetus’s right to life but merely deprives the fetus of something—the use of the pregnant woman’s body—to which it has no right. Thus, it is not that by terminating her pregnancy a woman violates her moral obligations, but rather that a woman who carries the fetus to term is a ‘Good Samaritan’ who goes beyond her obligations.
Hopefully your aberrant gene came from me!!! I do however agree with the previous comment in much of what was said, except I do agree with your use of “misogynistic” in your blog. I do get the sense that while on the surface many of the GOP act like they are behind women’s rights, there is still the “Good Old Boys” that think they run the world. The continuous tirade on the rights of women to make the most difficult decision in their lives has got to stop. I also am Pro-Rights….no woman I know who has had to make this decision has ever been Pro-Choice. It is seldom a “choice” that anyone wants to make. For whatever reason she may have, it is not an easy thing to do. To take away that option is just wrong.