Friday Activism: Will Shame Do What Party Affiliation Won’t?

Do Not Let Him Take Our Freedom Away!

Do Not Let Him Take Our Freedom Away!

Having garnered only pro forma support from some of her Senate colleagues (with the notable exception of her frequent partner, Senator Patty Murray) in her efforts to prevent George W. Bush’s HHS from denying millions of women access to birth control, Hillary Clinton joins with the president of Planned Parenthood and takes her case to the media:

The definition of abortion in the proposed rule is left open to interpretation. An earlier draft included a medically inaccurate definition that included commonly prescribed forms of contraception like birth control pills, IUD’s and emergency contraception. That language has been removed, but because the current version includes no definition at all, individual health care providers could decide on their own that birth control is the same as abortion.

The rule would also allow providers to refuse to participate in unspecified “other medical procedures” that contradict their religious beliefs or moral convictions. This, too, could be interpreted as a free pass to deny access to contraception.

Many circumstances unrelated to reproductive health could also fall under the umbrella of “other medical procedures.” Could physicians object to helping patients whose sexual orientation they find objectionable? Could a receptionist refuse to book an appointment for an H.I.V. test? What about an emergency room doctor who wishes to deny emergency contraception to a rape victim? Or a pharmacist who prefers not to refill a birth control prescription?

The Bush administration argues that the rule is designed to protect a provider’s conscience. But where are the protections for patients?

The 30-day comment period on the proposed rule runs until Sept. 25. Everyone who believes that women should have full access to medical care should make their voices heard. Basic, quality care for millions of women is at stake. (emphasis added)

Folks, this is the real deal. This is how the Republicans plan to make abortion illegal – not by overturning Roe v. Wade, but by chip-chip-chipping away at the words and the framing that contains the debate over reproductive freedom for women. I say, they can only do this if we let them. We made the mistake long ago of allowing the most extreme, restrictive factions of the anti-abortion population to entitle themselves “pro-life.” As Hillary implies, is it really pro-life to deny important medical information to women who need it? What about the life of the mother?

In retrospect, I don’t believe the words “pro-choice” were a good enough response to the “pro-life” frame. From what I’m reading in comments over the Internets, I feel those words may have alienated some liberal women who do not support abortion for themselves, but don’t want to see it made illegal. I say we should call ourselves “pro-freedom.” If you deny me access to health care, contraception and abortion, I am not free to control my own body, am I? On the other hand, freedom means freedom to carry the pregnancy to term. It could be a more inviting way of explaining our position.

Hillary’s Op-Ed is a cry for help. I suggest we answer it, since so far, the Party that is supposed to be protecting women from this type of assault on their reproductive freedoms has done nothing whatsoever to prevent this horror from occurring.

Contact your Senators and Congresscritters. Email them or call them. We, the people, might be able to shame our representatives into doing what’s right, if we respond in enough numbers. And Obamans, do feel free to join us, since you are suddenly so concerned about reproductive freedom that you are trying to use it to force us to vote for your Beloved Precious.

You know what to do, fellow activists. Go to it!

UPDATE BY SHEL AT THE CONFLUENCE:

You can comment on the proposed regulation directly to HHS by emailing consciencecomment@hhs.gov
It’s in the official posted copy at
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2008pres/08/20080821reg.pdf
Please everybody do this!

Cross-posted at The Confluence

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5 responses to “Friday Activism: Will Shame Do What Party Affiliation Won’t?

  1. I agree with 99% of this post. I don’t agree with the end, where you appeal to people by mocking them, which is a terrible way to get people to join you in this very important effort.

    Please don’t fool yourselves into thinking that somehow voting for McCain/Palin is a vote that is pro-woman. It is the antithesis of what this important post represents, which is solidarity for improving reproductive rights, and rights for women in general.

    What are the millions of conditionals that would need to take place for, in four years from now, Hillary becoming the candidate?

    Thanks for allowing me to post. I’ve been concerned with reproductive rights long before Bush was even president. It is just one of the many reasons I do not support the Palin pick, and why I am voting for Barack Obama.

  2. Bell –

    I don’t agree with the end, where you appeal to people by mocking them, which is a terrible way to get people to join you in this very important effort.

    I agree!

    So you, also, think it was ineffective when Obama told Hillary’s supporters he could win without them? When he told us we were bitter, uneducated, bible-clinging, gun-shooting, aging white racists? When he gave Hillary the finger and brushed her off his shoulder?

    Sorry. Reproductive rights mean a lot more than abortion. And Sarah Palin SUPPORTS CONTRACEPTION. So, she would be against this rule as well.

    As a woman, you should be ASHAMED of yourself for supporting Obama.

    I hope you ARE concerned with reproductive rights and that you will take some action on this. On that, we can agree. But please, spare me the lying.

  3. insightanalytical

    Keep your eyes on this….and, why would I trust Obama on anything to do with women? He’s got the attitude and that “world view” as well as ties to Odinga in Kenya who pushes Sharia Law….and that slip of the tongue about being a Muslim oops Christian and his background in general….and his money coming in from the Middle East….I trust him less than I trust Sarah Palin and McCain…

    While Hillary and Sarah Get Trashed in the U.S., Muslim Women in Britain Get Sharia Law

    http://insightanalytical.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/while-clinton-and-hillary-get-trashed-in-the-us-muslim-women-in-britain-get-sharia-law/

  4. insightanalytical

    Oh, ans for the choice of words pro-choice….I wrote a letter years ago to NARAL on the subject…it makes the whole issue seem like going to the perfume counter and deciding which scent to buy…or going to the shoe store, or grocery story….

    They never answered me…nor did they ever change the framing.

    “Pro-freedom” is right on target…I think I was throwing out words like “autonomy” etc. way back when….along the same lines, though…

  5. insightanalytical

    Sorry for all the typos…I have a finger that I banged and it’s killing me and I’m not typing well if I try to move too fast!!

    AS for the choice of words: pro-choice….
    Grocery STORE…