The lovely and talented Taggles recently sent me a very interesting press release from the ACLU. It seems that a Florida court deprived Samantha Burton, a pregnant woman, of her right to determine her own medical care, and the ACLU is a tad exercised about that fact.
Here is what happened. Ms. Burton went to a Tallahassee hospital to get treatment for a difficult pregnancy. Once she got there, someone (possibly her attending physician) informed the State of Florida that an uppity wimminz in her 25th week of pregnancy might (gasp!) be considering an abortion. The State, horrified at this exercise of free will by a private citizen with scary ladyparts, went to the Circuit Court of Leon County to implore that this travesty of justice be stopped. (snark)
The Court decided that to “protect the interests of her unborn child,” Ms. Burton did not have the right to refuse any medical care that might extend the life of her child. Ms. Burton was ordered to stay in the hospital for the duration of her pregnancy – up to 15 weeks – in order to keep her from doing anything that might harm the child.
According to the ACLU’s amicus (“friend of the Court”) brief, when Ms. Burton sensibly requested to change hospitals:
The court further ordered that “Ms. Burton’s request to change hospitals is denied as such a change is not in the child’s best interest at this time.” (Id. at 3.) The court approved the State’s wholesale control over Ms. Burton’s liberty and medical care during pregnancy on the erroneous legal premise that the “ultimate welfare” of the fetus is the “controlling factor” and was sufficient to override her constitutional rights to liberty, privacy, and autonomy. (Id. at 1.) After at least three days of this state-compelled confinement and management of Ms.Burton’s pregnancy, doctors performed an emergency cesarean section on Ms. Burton and discovered that her fetus had already died in utero. Thereafter, she was released from the hospital. (Appellant’s Ex. E, at 1; Ex. F, at 1.)
The brief continued:
As addressed fully below, first, the court erred as a matter of law by failing to give any real consideration to the liberty and privacy rights of Ms. Burton and instead applying what amounted to a “best interest of the fetus” standard. (emphasis mine) Such an approach turns on its head well-established standards protecting the right of every adult to make private decisions about their own medical care. Second, the court erred in equating the asserted interest in protecting fetal life to the State’s “parens patriae authority to ensure that children receive medical treatment which is necessary for the preservation of their life and health,” (see Appellant’s Ex. D, at 1), and in holding that the interest in fetal life justified confining Ms. Burton to a hospital bed and overriding her right to refuse medical treatment. Finally, applying the correct constitutional analysis, and looking to appropriate medical standards of care, it is evident that the State did not demonstrate the type of compelling interest necessary to justify the extraordinary use of involuntary confinement and forced medical treatment in this case.
I have said before that the fundiegelicals are not pro-life. They are pro-UNBORN life. They consciously and maliciously elevate the potential life of the fetus (which, ironically and sadly in this case, was already dead) over the life of the mother. Why? Because the mother is nothing, an empty vessel. She has no rights and no function except to serve at Man’s Pleasure. The Bible tells us so, somewhere. Where? Don’t bother me with such minutiae. I’m sure Jesus said it right after He said “Homosexuality is a sin” and “Abortion is murder.” A-MEN!
What is really going on here, I believe, is an escalation of the fundiegelical agenda, which is, simply, to keep women from controlling their bodies by choosing whether or not to have children. It is extremely telling that the ACLU has gotten involved in this matter. They know, just as we do, that the right to reproductive freedom is a civil right, dying a little more every day. They know that the fundiegelicals have been emboldened by the murder of Dr. Tiller and may ultimately decide that violence is the best way to stop the “murder of millions of unborn children.” I applaud the ACLU, as always, for staying true to its principles, and fighting against this latest encroachment on women’s rights as American citizens.
Yes, the fundiegelicals are fanatical extremists, truly the sworn enemy of all women and LGBT; but I can’t help asking one question: Cui Bono?
If abortion and contraception were banned forever, as the fundies desire, would it be good, or bad for them? I believe it would be bad. Plenty of them have had abortions and use contraception; in fact, Sarah Palin herself said she considered aborting Trig because he had Downs Syndrome. What a luxury, to consider something like that and decide against it – a luxury she and her like-minded extremists would deny other women. Do any of the fundiegelicals really want that luxury to be taken from them? Of course not. Oh, sure, I suppose the long-awaited Rapture could happen if they succeed in turning Murka into a Christian theocracy; but more likely, overpopulation would complete America’s slide into third-world country status. So what’s really going on here?
The corporatocracy is using the fundiegelicals to ensure the status quo.
Think about it. If the brains of the religious right were not constantly focused on non-political matters like abortion and same-sex marriage, those same brains might be focused on politics and what’s really going on in America. As activist types, they might be working to change the status quo to favor Main Street, not Wall Street. They might even join us murdering abortionists (snark) to march for the ERA or demand that their representatives do something about the environment, health care and ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And that, my dears, will never do! Heavens no!
So, while it is very important to recognize the extremely unhealthy influence the fundiegelicals are having on our country, we should also remember that keeping women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen ultimately benefits only the oligarchy/corporatocracy. It is they who are pulling the strings, and I believe that every public figure who is spouting the nonsense that makes the fundies quiver with delight is, knowingly or unknowingly, a tool of the ruling classes.
Isn’t it grand that when we’re screaming “Screw the Fundies!” (h/t La-t-da), we’re also striking back at the corporatocracy? And isn’t it lovely that when we get the ERA ratified, we will be paralyzing the fundiegelical agenda, as well as bringing the corporatocracy to its knees by empowering women to take their true places as equal members of society?
Ken y’hi ratzon. So may it be. And in the end, may it be We The People who benefit.