Womens Health

Hypocrisy, Politics, and the States

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Planned Parenthood's Kathi Nicola gives us the rundown on the situation in South Dakota. Florida legislators attack medical rights from a new, hypocritical perspective, and social conservatives continue not to do as they say.


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Women on Waves

John Ensign scandal


Coburn throws Gingrich under the bus

"Small government" conservatives

Now those are privacy invasions!

Seriously, this is what a privacy invasion looks like

Beck's misogyny is only slightly less irritating than his attempts at humor


On this episode of Reality Cast, it’s all about the hypocrites, both hypocrites in Florida whose commitment to life and privacy stops when they get to control doctors, and hypocrites in national politics who do what they want while trying to control you. Also, Kathi Nicola of Planned Parenthood will update us on the situation in South Dakota.


I was pleased to see the TED Talk series finally get around to addressing abortion, by having Diana Whitten on to talk about her documentary on Women on Waves, and its focus on drugs that induce abortion but are often legal in countries where abortion is illegal.


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Every time the ship ports, only a few women are helped, but what they can do is use the spectacle of the thing to get coverage. And the coverage ends up including contact information, so women seeking abortion in countries where it’s illegal can get information on how to get safe abortions without running into legal troubles.


When we reproductive rights champions warn people that conservatives aren’t going to stop at abortion when it comes to grabbing power to interfere with your medical care, we really aren’t kidding.  There’s the most obvious kinds of interference, including the new war on contraception and the attempts to deprive people of their right to make end of life decisions.  But now the conservative tendency to project their fears of emasculation on to the doctor’s office has really gone to a whole new level. 


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They had on a representative from the NRA who said that having a doctor asking you basic safety questions is some violation of your right to privacy and other rights.  This is nonsense.  You don’t have to answer a doctor if you don’t want to, you know, and even if you do and he judges you, that’s just judgment.  It’s not the force of law.  You can leave your loaded gun out for your kids to play with if it’s so freaking important to you.  This is in direct contrast with abortion restrictions, which substitute a doctor’s judgment with that of a bunch of legislators who often couldn’t correctly identify a uterus from an illustration.  In that case, your privacy and rights are being invaded.  But how does the Florida legislature that passed this gun law feel about that?


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Requiring doctors to perform medically unnecessary procedures that are usually used for diagnostics where they actually have to stick things up your vagina?  That’s what a real invasion of privacy looks like.  The new restrictions on minors seeking abortion is another example of what actual control looks like.  You’re not allowed to gently ask a teenager if they need help with preventing suicide if you’re afraid they may be a risk down the road, but now you’re not allowed to help a teenager who is actively seeking help to end a pregnancy.  The common thread is a big eff you to the wellbeing of teenagers.


The CEO of Planned Parenthood in West and Central Florida addressed the ridiculous nosiness and control issues of the Florida legislature.


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Of course, anti-choicers claim that they have to enact all these privacy violations because they wuuuuuv baybees.  And this is all about “life” and the children and blah blah.  Well, if they love children so damn much, they shouldn’t be imposing gag rules that keep pediatricians from asking basic questions that will save children’s lives.


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Well, I guess the children that shoot themselves by playing with guns that aren’t locked up don’t count anymore.  Once you  have a brain stem that actually works and can breath on your own, you aren’t “life” as far as conservative legislators are concerned.  The only life worth protecting is unformed embryonic life that has no consciousness and can feel no pain.  Unlike a child suffering a gunshot wound.


insert interview


The right wing moral scold who wants to install a cop in the panty drawers of everyone else but doesn’t feel like he has to follow his own rules has become a well-worn American type.  Other moral scolds also give huge amounts of leeway to members of their own tribes, but want the rest of us to pay for having sex outside of their rules with our health and our freedom.  The double standard has been annoying to people who advocate for social justice for roughly forever, but unfortunately it seems to be holding firm in the latest case of a massive conservative hypocrisy. 


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Ensign managed to hang in for literally more than a year despite the fact that he not only had an affair against all the rules he would have you live by, but also despite the fact that he violated congressional ethics in such a way that they pretty much would have had to kick him out.  He’s only resigned because the ax was coming his way.  Before this, he even enjoyed the support of his fellow judgmental conservatives.


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Tom Coburn would have you thrown in jail for breaking the rules his god made up for you to live by, but if one of his buddies and fellow senators does it, well, then he’s all about helping a brother out.   Fox News is all about defending the right of rich white conservative politicians to live by an entirely separate set of rules than the ones they have for everyone else.  Cal Thomas straight up claimed that the media is only fussing over conservative hypocrisy because they support Obama.


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Oh, nonsense.  First of all, this gets covered with all candidates.  There’s just a massive gulf between the personal lives of potential Democratic nominees and potential Republicans.  But more than that, the second you start moralizing about abortion and gay rights and other such things, you forsake your right to have your truly harmful sexual behavior and your hypocrisies ignored.  Being gay or having an abortion isn’t wrong, but adultery is.  I think it’s a forgivable transgression if the person who committed it isn’t trying to control everyone’s lives, but that’s not the case with any of these social conservatives that are being exposed as hypocrites. 


It is interesting that Gingrich is finally have to pay for cheating on two wives in a row.  Even Tom Coburn, who is a friend to adulterers as long as they are rich and powerful and say the right woman-hating things, has turned on Gingrich.


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I guess Coburn’s willingness to back up your cheatin’ ass is entirely dependent on how useful you are to him and his agenda.  Since Gingrich is increasingly perceived as a clown, then throwing him under the bus costs Coburn nothing. 


And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts, goodbye Beck edition.  Glenn Beck is on his way out the door of Fox News, which means he’s probably going to be featured less often as the wingnut of the week. I doubt he’ll go away entirely, but either way, I think it’s a good opportunity to point out this howler he ejected from his putrid mouth the other day.  He mentioned that Osama Bin Laden had multiple wives and then this:


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Oh, how will we survive without his non-stop misogyny and racism.  I guess we’ll have to be satisfied with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.