We Have Choice

We’ve watched the Republicans flail in all directions, trying to find a message, a mission, an issue to drive them to victory in November.  It’s been tough going for the GOP with less than stellar candidates and the endless circus ride the public has witnessed.  Now down to four ‘iffy’ wannabes, attention has focused on flaws, egos, missteps and gaffes.  Uncle Newt appeals to the confederate South.  Ron Paul is loved by the Ayn Rand aficionados. Reptilian Rick Santorum cheers and warms the cockles of the Religious Right.   And Mitt Romney.  Poor Mitt is loved by virtually no one.

So, I can only imagine the excitement with the new-but-old controversy boiling over birth control and reproductive freedom.  The right to choose.  It sticks in the craw of the Republican Party, even as the loudest voices scream about liberty and individual rights.  This isn’t a question of abortion at this juncture.  We’re talking about the basics: contraception, the freedom to choose how many children we have and when we have them.  And privacy.  A woman’s right to decide these things herself in the privacy of her own space, heart and mind, with or without a husband, with or without government or religious leaders telling her, demanding she turn one way or the other.

To listen to the likes of Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and the faux religious warriors, one might think that all religion, but particularly Christianity, has been put on the rack, whipped into humiliating submission or fed to the lions for the vile amusement of secular humanists.

Enough with the lying!  Enough with the bully pulpit exhortations with the emphasis on ‘bully.’

Demanding equal access to healthcare, expecting reproductive freedom and sexual/gender equality is not a Satanic plot.  It’s what reasonable people do and think.  We are not living in the Middle Ages [though I suspect many fundamentalists think of the era as ‘the good ole days].  If anyone doubts the politicization of women’s healthcare issues, please review the past week’s headlines, the unseemly expose of the Komen Foundation, more concerned about dissing Planned Parenthood than serving lower-income women with breast screenings.  Or the manufactured outrage of the Catholic Church hierarchy and their mouthpieces, who [sputter, sputter] decry the Administration’s insistence on equitable healthcare service as a vicious attack on religious freedom.

Really?  Twenty-eight states require organizations offering prescription insurance to cover contraception.   Ninety-eight percent of Catholic women use birth control and many Catholic institutions offer the benefit to their employees.

Let’s review some recent statistics:

Two-thirds of Catholics, 65 percent, believe that clinics and hospitals that take taxpayer money should not be allowed to refuse procedures or medications based on religious beliefs. A similar number, 63 percent, also believe that health insurance, whether private or government-run, should cover contraception.

A strong majority (78 percent) of Catholic women prefer that their hospital offers emergency contraception for rape victims, while more than half (55 percent) want their hospital to provide it in broader circumstances.

Yet despite these numbers, the Church, the Religious Right and the heat-seeking Republican establishment are foaming at the mouth, waving mummified fists in righteous indignation.

Make no mistake.  This is an old war.  I wrote about the struggles and absolute determination of Margaret Sanger a few days ago.  She fought these battles.  The arguments were identical; the accusations the same.  She fought the religious establishment, she fought the righteous, small-minded moralists 100 years ago.  If anything this should be a wakeup call: the defense of reproductive rights, which are basic human rights, need to be taken seriously, day-in, day-out.  Freedoms gained can quickly become freedoms lost. Gender equality, which is a matter of civil rights, should be supported with voices and votes pitched against the ugliness of bigotry and discrimination.

This is a power play wrapped in thin prayer and religious dogma.  It’s a desperate attempt by traditional religion to regain ground lost to modernity, a world where the old stories and myths have lost their power, their ability to control by fear, a world in which human dignity applies to all our members, a world where the mysteries of the Universe and our place in it is far grander than our words and imaginations can conjure.

We have choice.  We always have.  It’s time to put away childish things and become accountable, rational adults if we’re ever to deal with the problems facing us.  We can fearfully grasp the old ways, allow ourselves to be drawn into self-limiting dictums.  We can argue how many angels dance on the head of a pin with religious fanatics and the politicians who love them.

Or we can say, ‘No!’  We have that choice.

36 Comments on “We Have Choice”

  1. dakinikat says:


    be prepared to be shocked and to want to send Santorum to the Taliban so they can all have a kumbayah moment in their shared iron age frame of mind

  2. ralphb says:

    Congress’ Job Approval at New Low of 10%

    Even at the new record low, they’re still over rated. Polls like this one gives me hope that the general populous isn’t falling for their BS.

  3. ralphb says:

    Why White House sees political opportunity in the contraception battle

    There may not be some grand compromise after all.

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    Where are the “new” Betty Friedan and Bella Abzug’s when we need them NOW?

    Can you imagine their voices lifted against this trash today?

    • northwestrain says:

      The Mrs 0bowma basically didn’t have a clue about how it used to be before the feminists started working toward waking up the earlier generation of women.

      Mrs 0bowma should be in the lead — frankly I don’t know where she is except for aiming her hatred at Hillary Clinton.

      Betty Ford was one of the heroes of the — if Mrs 0 hated Hillary Clinton so much that her whole aim is to be the anti Clinton — then why didn’t she follow the role model of Betty Ford?

      Mrs. 0 could have been a Betty Friedan or Bella Abzug — what a damn waste Mrs. 0 education has been.

    • “Where are the “new” Betty Friedan and Bella Abzug’s when we need them NOW?”

      Sadly…probably busy playing “Words with Friends”

      (guilty myself…I just played my first actual game yesterday, and that thing is addictive!)

      😉 … or is that :/

  5. ralphb says:

    Margaret and Helen

    Margaret, tell Howard he is full of shit. Democrats aren’t trying to take his money. Show me a Republican who makes less than a million a year and I’ll show you a moron who watches Fox News. Newt wants to spout off about a food stamp President and welfare queens which is just another way of saying, “Hey. Who let the black guy into the White House?” And Romney wants us to believe that the poor in America are doing just fine and dandy. Good Lord where did the Republican party dig up these idiots?

    This is one great blog. I love it when 80+ women use terms like asshat! 🙂

    • Thanks ralph. Going to add it to my blog roll.

      • ralphb says:

        Helen reminds me of my mother and grandmother. I read what she writes and can just see them saying it.

    • peggysue22 says:

      Hahaha! I must have been channeling these two, ralph. Thanks for the link. Although I think the outrage a lot of women are feeling right now is very similar. Maybe we’re all tapping into some female consciousness.

      I enjoyed the rant. And she’s right about those damn razors!

      • ralphb says:

        Three wise men with extra cheese please


        Margaret, isn’t this an amazing country we live in? Anyone can grow up and run for President no matter how many animals they slept with. Who saw Rick Santorum making that big of a comeback? I guess the same people who championed Michele Bachman, then Rick Perry, then Herman Cain, then Newton Leroy Gingrich… Gosh it’s hard to swallow that Romney pill. Taking Santorum to avoid Romney. Iowa, are you crazy?

    • Reading Margaret’s post made me think that wouldn’t it be nice if we had a personhood amendment that would grant personhood to living, breathing women? These right wing crackpots want to declare a fertilized egg (even though the moment fertilization occurs can’t be determined) a person but won’t bestoy these same rights on the woman incubating this so-called person. Stand up for the Personhood of Women! Otherwise fellas, go f**k a test tube.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      ralphb: I’m sure that you and I were “separated at birth” since we seem to share the same taste for these writers.

      I too am a follower of Margaret and Helen and along with Charles Pierce this validates it!

      • ralphb says:

        Absolutely sister! When I read your comments at JWS, I love ’em and can’t wait to see the responses. Keep giving them trouble, they deserve it.

  6. Apparently abortion rights are not just under attack in the US, but in “godless” Russia as well. http://www.npr.org/2012/02/08/146581790/in-russia-punk-rock-riot-girls-rage-against-putin
    This protest was primarily anti-Putin.

  7. ralphb says:

    Louie Gohmert: Best caribou wingman ever

    Rep. Louie Gohmert, patron saint of amorous wildlife? The Texas Republican, who’s not exactly known as a champion of animal rights, said his primary concern in the development of a massive Alaskan oil pipeline is the love life of the caribous surrounding the project.

    Dude makes Rick Perry look almost smart and that ain’t an easy job.

  8. ralphb says:

    JC Penneys is due thanks for standing up for their decision and for Ellen.

    • dakinikat says:

      Washington state’s Legislature approved a bill to legalize same-sex marriage.

      The State House of Representatives voted 55-43 to back the bill, which already passed in the state Senate. Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, has pledged to sign the bill.

      • ralphb says:

        That’s very good news. Anything done which can lessen bigotry in this country, I’m 100% in favor it.

  9. joanelle says:

    Well, so we have a new tactic to attack the girls – if we can’t block abortions, lets make sure they can’t get support to avoid pregnancy. Boy, these right wingers are really focused or is that f__kused?

    I am jsut so sick of their line of thought and the war they are waging against women 😡