The Abortion Debate: Individual Rights vs Theocracy

The abortion debate is excites such passion for a number of reasons.  One reason is that it is fundamentally a debate about the role of religion in the political sphere.  It is also a debate over whether or not a woman must give up control of her own body to the state.  Two letters to the editor from April 29th’s Boston Globe illustrate this.  (Notice the section is womb woman, and child, not womb, woman and fetus).

SINCE THE US Supreme Court has ruled to uphold a ban on what some call “partial-birth abortions,” I would like to offer up my own legislation: The Unintentional Pregnancy Prevention Act, in which all males 18 years of age and older must undergo a mandatory vasectomy. The rule would be reversible only by an order of “Intention to Procreate” signed by the woman to become impregnated.

My law exclusively targets men. All anti-abortion laws exclusively target women. My law would force men to undergo a medical procedure against their will. Women denied access to abortion could be forced to undergo the medical procedure of childbirth against their will, regardless of any risk to their own lives.

Katey P has made a brilliant suggestion.  It is every bit as genius as proposed laws to nullify marriages that do not produce children.  It also puts the abortion debate into stark relief.  Proponents are arguing we force women to give their body up to the state, “regardless of any risk to their own lives”.  The Onion’s point counterpoint on abortion has finally come to pass in the court’s ruling.

The tactical importance of Jessica Linden’s uterus to national security is twofold: First, with its rich, fertile walls, this uterus is a vital source of future Americans. Second, the uterus is situated in an extremely strategic location, leaving it vulnerable to a hostile foreign power. This uterus must be given top priority by the Pentagon. Establishing a strong U.S. military presence in Jessica Linden’s uterine region is by far the most sensible course of action.

If we must destroy the uterus in order to save it, so be it.

Tom Tomorrow has long maintained that reality is overtaking satire, but this time the supreme court of the US has taken cues from an old article in a satirical newspaper.

A Theocracy is a government that derives authority from a specific religious source.  The Rev George S has this to say:

ELLEN GOODMAN (“Trumping women’s rights,” Op-ed, April 20) accuses politicians (mostly male) of playing God. May I remind her that it was the first woman playing God in a garden and deciding for herself what was good and what was evil that got us into the moral mess that we find ourselves in today.

May I remind the Reverend that his argument holds no water in a secular nation?  Who cares if a holy book says the first woman sinned in some way?  I do not believe in that holy book, why should any other American?  There is no reason to base our laws on it, and referring to it does nothing to help his argument.  It just reinforces the idea that some mainstream religions have misogynist roots.

Digby and Amanda have some good points on the difficulty of discussing abortion.  From Digby:

Abortion, I think, has always been difficult to talk about because it had to do with sex — and therefore, in some people’s minds, sin.

This goes back to the problem with arguments based in a particular religion.  What validity do they have in a secular nation?  I believe we should be aggressive in identifying arguments which start with religious premises, and proceed to tear those apart.  Abortion debates can lead to a discussion of blame, as though having sex is a decision that merits serious consequences.  We should offer a challenge to this premise.


I Agree With With 95% of This Racist Bull Shit

Don Larsen, a District Chairman for the Republican party, has brought forth a truly paranoid racist piece of batshit crazy legislation (via Pam). From the Herald Extra via David:

In a speech at the convention, Larsen told those gathered that illegal immigrants “hate American people” and “are determined to destroy this country, and there is nothing they won’t do.”

Illegal aliens are in control of the media, and working in tandem with Democrats, are trying to “destroy Christian America” and replace it with “a godless new world order — and that is not extremism, that is fact,” Larsen said.

David notes that this kind of speech simply starts with the radical radio hosts.

As we saw in Montana last week, the spread of vile, hateful rhetoric specifically intended to dehumanize liberals, illegal immigrants and Muslims is hardly relegated to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. That’s just where it starts.

So we can expect more. How comforting. What really gets me is Senator Howard Stephenson’s take on this:

Senator Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, spoke against the resolution, saying Larsen, whom he called a “true patriot and a close friend,” was embarrassing the Republican Party.

“I agree with 95 percent of this resolution but it has some language that is divisive and not inspiring other people to its vision,” he said. “This only gives fodder to the liberal media to give negative attention to the Republican Party.”

95%? So he agrees that Democrats and Immigrants are destroying this country? Or is it that Satan is behind the whole thing? Or that this is a Christian Nation? Well, maybe not the Satan part (Jesus’ General via Pam).

The best reason for the resolution was given by a nameless supporter (emphasis mine):

Another, who declined to give her name to the Daily Herald, said illegal immigrants should not be allowed because “they are not going to become Republicans and stop flying the flag upside down. … If they want to be Americans, they should learn to speak English and fly their flag like we do.”

The not becoming Republicans part is very understandable (perhaps we can even extend that to legal immigrants and citizens some brave new day). What gets me is the “flying the flag upside down” quote. The immigration debate has come down to butter. What an interesting way of saying “because they are not like us”.