Friday, March 16, 2012

The Latest in Double Standards

My views on abortion and women's rights in general are well-established: I believe that the law should give the same rights and privileges to people, regardless of their plumbing.  This applies to wages, opportunities, and rights.

Lately, the GOP - fresh out of ideas on how to speed up our economic recovery - has resorted to its tried and true methods of getting the base stirred up: legislating morality.  They're telling us that America is a Christian nation (it isn't) and that those few sad non-Christians out there need the Christian Taliban to enact all sorts of legislation to help us tell right from wrong (we don't).

The latest wave of bad ideas from the Far Right has them attempting to roll back women's rights that were firmly decided 40 years ago: their right to terminate their pregnancies and their right to birth control.

Specifically, the attack is on insurance companies and the government paying for birth control.  Let's just set aside the obvious observation - that it's 99% men who are telling women what's what.  My only point here is that if I, as a husband, don't get to dictate policy to my wife, why should a bunch of men who never met her get any say?  I'm grateful that most of this silliness is taking place in flyover states in the Midwest.  Can you imagine some fool trying to push these ideas here in lovely, liberal California?  We might just have to bring back tarring and feathering.

But I digress.

Let's take a look at this issue from the perspective of the insurance companies (and the government, while we're at it).  The issue here for them is dollars and sense.  Pop quiz: which is cheaper - to pay for a woman to be on the pill, or to pay for a pregnancy?  You can't blame the insurance companies and the government for offering to cover the cost of birth control.

Employers who object to their employees using birth control baffles me.  I get that people are entitled to their own ideas of right and wrong, and that some religions (foolishly) frown upon birth control.  And that's fine if that's you.  You don't want to use birth control, no one is going to make you.  But how is the sex life of your employees any of your business?  Let me get this straight: you'd rather have your employees to take medical leave when they have a baby, hold their job for them while they recuperate from childbirth, and then deal with the better-than-average chance that they'll leave anyway rather than pay for daycare?  Is hiring their replacement what makes them "job creators"?  I'll admit, their logic escapes me.

But this current rash of attempted legislation - forced (unnecessary) ultrasounds and other proposed laws designed to generally shame women and restrict their overall rights - flies in the face of their stand two years ago, when President Obama's healthcare reform was being pushed through Congress.

You see, the whole argument against "Obamacare" was that government has no business getting involved in health care.  Or did I miss the point?  I watched as pundits like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh decried the President's effort at overhauling the health care system.  On and on they raged, insisting that big government has no place in health care.

What changed?  Are they now in favor of Obama's health care reform?  No, even now, state supreme courts are choked with challenges and efforts to derail health care reform.  Ask them about "Obamacare" and why they object, and you're bound to get some variation of the argument that big government should stay out of the health care industry.  That is, I suppose, as long as we're not talking about a pregnant woman.

One of the worst things you can do in an effort to prove a point is to use inconsistent logic.  Either government has the right to step in between doctors and patients or they don't.  There is no "I before Except After C" here.  It's one or the other, campers.  If you objected to healthcare reform on the basis of big government meddling with private healthcare, then you're obligated to shut the hell up when it comes to women's pregnancies and their options. 

If you don't trust women to make their own decisions with regard to their pregnancies, where does it end?  Do you trust them to choose whether to breastfeed?  Do you want a say in which brand of diapers they buy?  Are you going to tell them what religion to raise the child with?  Stepping in and interfering with a woman's rights when she is pregnant opens up a dangerous precedent. 

The bottom line here is, mind your own damn business.  What happens in your bedroom is your business, and what happens in other people's bedrooms is not.  Just like what you and your doctor decide is between you and your doctor.  What someone else and their doctor decide is none of your damn business.  Unless it's your pregnancy, butt out.  And to the Right Wing in general, I would suggest keeping your mouths shut unless you've got a good idea on getting unemployment down to 4%.

I'm just saying.