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On this episode of Reality Cast, Kathy Spillar will be on to talk about anti-choice terrorism in Kansas. Also, Republicans have to renounce pro-choice pasts to run for President, and the war on Planned Parenthood continues.
Feminist Frequency has been doing a series called Tropes vs. Women. The first one is one near and dear to my heart.
- tropes *
Remember, Manic Pixie Dream Girls rarely make it to the end of the movie. They either die or move on or fade away. They exist solely to puff a guy up and then go on their merry way.
It’s halfway through 2011, and so there’s finally a field forming of potential Republican candidates for President. Which means that it’s time for another round of paying tribute to the anti-choicers. Last presidential election season, there was still a feeling in some Republican circles that you could make a solid run for President while being pro-choice, though we haven’t really seen any evidence of that since Ronald Reagan at least. In fact, the first President Bush had been pro-choice in the 70s, and he changed his tune in order to run for President in 1988. But still, the hope had stayed alive up through 2008 that you could, if you bolstered your conservative credentials in other ways, be a pro-choice Republican. But Rudy Giuliani’s poor showing at the polls despite brandishing himself as a 9/11 hero seems to have put a chill over other pro-choice Republicans. And now we’re seeing a lot of pro-choice Republicans convert to anti-choice in anticipation of a presidential run.
The most comical conversion from pro-choice to anti-choice has definitely been Donald Trump’s. Trump is almost surely pulling a Mike Huckabee, in that he’s only pretending to run for President to get his name in the news and get more publicity for his actual projects that actually make money. But Trump nonetheless produced a conversion story for the Christian Broadcasting Network.
- abortion 1 *
The best part of this is Trump never even considers the possibility that someone as insignificant as a woman might have a role to play in an abortion decision. In this story, the wife is simply a walking uterus, and the only person who has feelings and thoughts to consider is the husband. Needless to say, because some people end up happy they had kids isn’t a reason to force it on everyone. I doubt Donald Trump would enjoy being forced to make every lifestyle choice I have that I’m happy with.
What makes this so amusing is that Trump clearly doesn’t care one bit about the issue, and he can’t even give it enough thought to understand the arguments or history, or even the most asinine right wing arguments.
- abortion 2 *
Even the dumbest anti-choicer knows that you’re supposed to deny there’s a right to privacy. The whole point of being anti-choice is getting up in people’s private business. That’s why they like to show up at clinics with cameras. You can’t cross anti-choicers on their right to be nosy and judgmental. That’s far more precious than any fetus. Here, as a point of comparison, is Trump in 1999.
- abortion 3 *
Or maybe he hasn’t changed at all, and he just thinks he gets to call himself “pro-life” and pick up those votes without actually advocating for a ban on abortion.
Donald Trump isn’t the only candidate trying to erase a pro-choice past, however. There’s another candidate, who is actually a serious candidate who has formally announced his run. Mitt Romney not only used to be pro-choice, but he was a passionate defender of women’s rights back when running for governor in 2002.
- abortion 4 *
And now he’s claiming that he’s anti-abortion and always was. Just as with Donald Trump, though, a history of being personally disgusted with abortion but opposed to a ban isn’t going to cut it with anti-choicers. They want the ban. Anything short of that isn’t going to pass muster.
The federal budget battle where Planned Parenthood was being held hostage in budget negotiations may be over, but that doesn’t mean that the war on contraception access is over. In fact, anti-choicers are feeling emboldened by the fact that it got as far as it did, and are looking for new avenues to cut women’s access off to contraception, starting of course with attacks on access for low income women who go to Planned Parenthood.
- planned 1 *
Indeed, there are not only multiple opportunities on the horizon for conservatives to make hay over this on a federal level, including the debate over the debt ceiling and the next debate over the budget in the fall, but there’s also the problem of state level funding cuts. Indiana’s congress has voted to cut Planned Parenthood’s funding, and sadly, the media coverage I’ve seen has been extremely poor and cowardly.
- planned 2 *
One side is telling the truth and one is lying, of course. That Planned Parenthood provides abortion doesn’t mean the state money is going to it. What gets lost in all this discussion is that Planned Parenthood charges for abortion. They charge the patients, that is. Other money that goes to Planned Parenthood is reimbursements for care they offer, and those aren’t abortion. This is, as it has been in the past, strictly an assault on STD testing and treatment, cancer screening, and above all else, contraception. This is about a nationwide frenzy of anger towards women for avoiding pregnancy in the first place, even though 99% of women who have sex with men use contraception. Any media report that uses the word “abortion” is already suspect, unless of course they are fact-checking anti-choice claims.
What’s interesting about all this is that while some conservatives still cower behind the word “abortion” when they attack contraception, others are eagerly attacking any and all forms of sexual health care for women as a threat to society. Florida congressman Allen West didn’t hold back in explaining his opposition to affordable contraception and STD screening.
- planned 3 *
In real life, very few men feel “neutered” by contraception. In real life, men are usually grateful for contraception, because it usually means more, not less sex for them. In fact, it takes a remarkably insecure man to feel “neutered” because he doesn’t always have a pregnant woman on display to others to make sure they know his junk works. Most men will pick more frequent sex and a better financial situation for their homes than just having one baby after another to demonstrate that they control and dominate women.
And then there’s the focus on just saying ridiculous, hysterical things about Planned Parenthood.
- planned 4 *
Using exactly the same levels of proof that O’Reilly has, I can safely say that Bill O’Reilly is aiding and abetting child sex rings. Which is to say, no proof at all. O’Reilly certainly has done less to break up child sex rings than Planned Parenthood. See, after some people came in claiming to be pimping underage girls to a Planned Parenthood, they called the cops. So far, O’Reilly has never called the cops on an alleged child sex ring. So, out of the two, he’s more guilty, since you know, he didn’t call the cops.
And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts, yes Pat Robertson is still around edition. He’s around and has a unique thought on why it is that liberals are pro-choice.
- Robertson *
One of the things about right wing rhetoric I’ll never understand is this assumption that conceiving is some great and unusual miracle, and that sperm is in short supply and women are desperate for it. From what I can tell, men are giving the stuff away at the same clip they always were.