I agree that single-payer is preferable, but coverage for birth control would become politicized anyway. Republican politicians would keep trying to strip out coverage either through amendments to budget bills or through executive orders once one of them won the presidency. The problem isn’t single-payer vs. exchange-based health care. It’s the existence of a significant constituency of misogynists and a Supreme Court willing to do their bidding.
Let me get this straight.
The closures are not an undue burden, write the judges because “it takes less than three hours on Texas highways” to get to Corpus Christi. (The Corpus Christi clinic is expected to close in September.) “Although some clinics may be required to shut their doors, there is no showing whatsoever that any woman will lack reasonable access to a clinic within Texas,” they add, but only heed evidence from the trial in October, when the law had barely taken effect.
Taking several days off from work and driving 560 miles to the nearest abortion clinic (pdf) is not an undue burden. Filling out paperwork is.
See you godfuckers in November.
In what just may be the most stunning example of hypocrisy in my lifetime, Mother Jones has uncovered numerous investments on the part of Hobby Lobby’s retirement fund in a wide variety of companies producing abortion and contraception related products. Hobby Lobby is currently seeking relief from certain contraception benefit requirements […]
Double standard double standard, violating basic common sense.
Their lawsuit wasn’t really about contraception or abortion. It was about using “religious liberty” to attack workers and poor people, to further expand corporate power, and to try to unravel a black liberal president’s signature accomplishment. Hurting women is a side benefit (in their eyes).
Equating contraception with abortion is a feint that the religious right is using to confuse people. What they’re really after is ALL contraception, as the Supreme Court’s clarification on the Hobby Lobby ruling today makes clear:
The Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed that its decision a day earlier extending religious rights to closely held corporations applies broadly to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the new health care law, not just the handful of methods the justices considered in their ruling.
Today, evangelicals make up the backbone of the pro-life movement, but it hasn’t always been so. Both before and for several years after Roe, evangelicals were overwhelmingly indifferent to the subject, which they considered a “Catholic issue.” In 1968, for instance, a symposium sponsored by the Christian Medical Society and Christianity Today, the flagship magazine of evangelicalism, refused to characterize abortion as sinful, citing “individual health, family welfare, and social responsibility” as justifications for ending a pregnancy. In 1971, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, passed a resolution encouraging “Southern Baptists to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.” The convention, hardly a redoubt of liberal values, reaffirmed that position in 1974, one year after Roe, and again in 1976.
When the Roe decision was handed down, W. A. Criswell, the Southern Baptist Convention’s former president and pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas—also one of the most famous fundamentalists of the 20th century—was pleased: “I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had a life separate from its mother that it became an individual person,” he said, “and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed.”
Although a few evangelical voices, including Christianity Today magazine, mildly criticized the ruling, the overwhelming response was silence, even approval. Baptists, in particular, applauded the decision as an appropriate articulation of the division between church and state, between personal morality and state regulation of individual behavior. “Religious liberty, human equality and justice are advanced by the Supreme Court abortion decision,” wrote W. Barry Garrett of Baptist Press.
“The Real Origins of the Religious Right”, Randall Ballmer
Ballmer makes the case that evangelical elites seized uponabortion as an issue that would mobilize Christian voters but would be more politically palatable than another cause close to their hearts: defending the tax-exempt status of racially segregated schools.
Racism and tax breaks and hurting women when they get a chance. THIS is what contemporary conservatism is all about.
I was wondering how your daily report is coming along? I know you have to send one to the other tiny white men in all the other ladies’ underpants so you can all figure out how best we can manage our squishy parts. And for that, I’m truly grateful. One less thing to worry about, am I right? Now I can concentrate on more important things like polishing this glass ceiling and dreaming about how much I love giving a good BJ.
Though the ending kind of ruins it. No one should do anything for penises.
While today’s pair of horrible decisions might seem like distinct issues, in fact they are both part of a larger war on women and workers.
The absurdity of the Hobby Lobby decision…is obviously part of the Republican war on women, but it is also very much a war on the poor. An IUD costs about a month’s worth of wages at the minimum wage. If an executive can’t get birth control because her employer gets too hot and bothered thinking of her having sexy time, she can afford it on her own. A Hobby Lobby floor worker? Probably not. For women workers at closely held corporations, this decision will be devastating.
The Harris case is specifically about home care workers in Illinois. Who are home care workers? Women. Poor women. Lots of African-Americans, lots of Latinos, lots of undocumented workers. Home care workers are a major emphasis for SEIU right now…But moreover, it shows how little Alito and the boys care about rights for women wherever they are. It’s hardly coincidental that this case comes down the same day as the contraception mandate. The Court evidently believes that the home is not a workplace, but of course it is a workplace, especially if someone is getting paid to do work. That it is women working in the home, as it has always been, just makes it easier for conservatives to devalue that work.
— The SCOTUS War on Women and Workers, Erik Loomis
I had a patient in the clinic who really did not want an abortion but who had no resources to cover the costs of prenatal care or childbirth. She was single and without insurance coverage but made just enough money to be ineligible for state assistance. She already had outstanding bills at the hospital and with the local ob-gyn practice. No doctor would see her without payment up front.
We were willing to do the abortion for a reduced rate or for free if necessary. But she really didn’t want an abortion. Once I understood her situation, I went to the phone and called the local ‘crisis pregnancy center.’
"Hello, this is Dr. Wicklund."
Dead silence. I might as well have said I was Satan.
"Hello?" I said again. "This is Dr. Wicklund."
"Hello," very tentatively, followed by another long silence.
"I need help with a patient," I said. She came to me for an abortion, but really doesn’t want one. What she really needs is someone to do her prenatal care and birth for free."
"What do you expect us to do?"
I let that hang for a minute.
This Common Secret, Susan Wicklund
Crisis Pregnancy Centers often disguise themselves as medical facilities, with advertisements offering “help” with an unplanned pregnancy. Their main goal is to keep the pregnant person from having an abortion at all costs. Usually, all they’ll give you is a free pregnancy test, some baby clothes, and maybe a box of diapers.
The patient referred to in the quote was given free prenatal care and did not have to pay the financial cost of childbirth by a local anti-choice doctor. She would often stop by Dr. Wicklund’s office to let her know how she was doing:
"He (the doctor) always moans and groans about being tricked into [doing this]," she says. "Then he goes off on these tirades against abortion."
"This Common Secret" is such a phenomenal book. And yeah, crisis pregnancy centers are generally evil, so there’s that.
And there you have it.
That deep-held distaste for women’s health providers led Texas lawmakers last year to slash $73 million from all of its family planning services and shift the money to other areas of the budget. This blunt instrument hit all of the state’s women’s health providers, but was meant to target Planned Parenthood and deny it taxpayer dollars—even though the clinics that received state subsidies for care never performed abortions.
This may be in line with their staunch opposition to what they see as a baby-killer, but that ideology comes with quite the price tag. News has surfaced that for the two-year period between 2014 and 2015, poor women are expected to deliver nearly 24,000 babies that they wouldn’t otherwise have had if they had access to state-subsidized birth control. Those extra births will cost taxpayers as much as $273 million, with between $103 million to $108 million of that hitting the state’s general revenue budget alone. Much of the cost comes from caring for those infants through Medicaid.
Also, many conservatives seem to think progressives are pro-abortion instead of pro-choice. They just don’t seem to understand that ‘opposing’ doesn’t mean ‘opposite’.
I didn’t realize that triggering court challenges is the point of extreme anti-choice legislation:
Ohio Republicans this week gave up on their so-called “heartbeat” bill, which would have banned abortions so early that many women might not realize they were pregnant by the time they needed to make a decision. You might think Ohio Republicans pulled their bill because voters sent a strong enough signal this month that restrictive social policies do not make for a winning agenda.
But that’s not why. The point of a bill like Ohio’s is to get sued over. Backers want supporters of abortion rights to challenge the law in court, and the higher the court, the better. With President Obama now in charge of picking Supreme Court nominees for the next four years, Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus (R) decided he didn’t like his chances. From the AP:
Ohio anti-abortion activists were fiercely divided over the bill, with some fearing a court challenge could undo other abortion restrictions already in place.
"The risk became, do you send a bill to the U.S. Supreme Court that has the potential to undermine all of the good work that the right-to-life community has done over the previous decades?" Niehaus said. "Could it have undone Roe v. Wade? I don’t know the answer to that question. That appeared to me to be an extreme risk to take, and I was not willing to take that risk."
The Obama reelection has set back the national anti-choice agenda for another 4 years at minimum and perhaps much longer if he ends up appointing another Supreme Court justice or two.
- Reproductive Rights Network of Santa Cruz County
- ACCESS Women’s Health Justice
- Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP)
- Make a Difference Fund
District Of Columbia
Distrito Federal (Mexico City)
- Roe Fund
- North Florida Justice Fund
- Emergency Medical Assistance Inc.
- Women’s Emergency Network
- Broward Women’s Emergency Fund
- Central Florida Women’s Emergency Fund
- Illinois Reproductive Justice Fund
- Planned Parenthood of Illinois Reproductive Justice Fund
- Chicago Abortion Fund
- Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund
- Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts
- Jane Fund of Central Massachusetts
- Abortion Assistance Fund of Planned Parenthood New Mexico
- New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
- Abortion Fund of Planned Parenthood of NYC
- Joan Bechhofer Fund
- New York Abortion Access Fund
- Access Fund of Aphrodite Medical
- Haven Coalition
- Third Wave Foundation Emergency Abortion Fund
- Women’s Medical Fund
- Vivian Campbell Fund
- Margaret C. Rubin Freedom Fund
- Planned Parenthood of Northeast and Mid-Penn Fund for Choice
- Western Pennsylvania Fund for Choice
- North Idaho Fund
- Women in Need Fund—Renton
- Women in Need Fund—Tacoma
- Abortion Access Network
- Community Abortion Information and Resources Project (CAIR Project)
My state is not on this list :( My state is horrible. For everyone whose state is NOT horrible, I hope this helps you.
Bringing this back.
Most people aren’t even aware that Abortion Funds even exist.
It wasn’t long before pro-life racists got ahold of the story.
This part was great, though:
“Claims about Indians and sex-selective abortions are a cheap way to attack Savita’s Indian heritage, MY heritage, as one which is violently disproportionate in favour of men. However, if you consider that India (1966 & 1980), Sri Lanka (1960* the first female head of a modern post-colonial state), Pakistan (1988 and 1993), and Bangladesh - the “Battling Begums” (1991, 2001, 1996, 2009) all have had female heads of state far earlier than any western country did (including the UK with Thatcher in 1979 and Mary Robinson in Ireland in 1990), you have to wonder – for countries which are portrayed as being so patriarchal and male dominated – we didn’t too badly did we bredrens?.”
Good blog post. I am glad to see some pushback from Indians and anti-racists about the ways some feminists, anti-choice assholes, and bigots have been misappropriating Savita Halappanavar’s life and death.
A reminder of how racism and xenophobia intersected with misogyny in the tragic and needless death of Savita Halappanavar:
According to Savita’s widower Parveen, his wife’s requests for a termination were met with the response, “This is a Catholic country”. When I read that I went cold. I’ve heard things like that before.
If someone starts telling you what country you’re in, or telling you screamingly obvious facts about that country, it’s time to look at them sideways. If your appearance, name or accent mark you out as foreign, you want to be wary of people who say that.
I’ve heard that turn of phrase used in schools to shut down kids from immigrant backgrounds. I’ve heard workers use it to intimidate and undermine colleagues.
People simply do not bring up the country they are in in a context like that unless they are being racist.
The only reason I can see that an educated adult woman of Indian origin would be suddenly, randomly, informed of the dominant religious belief of the country in which she was begging for medical treatment is that her ethnicity and religion were an issue for the medical staff treating her. That her pleas for a termination were taken less seriously because they were perceived as the pleas of an unchurched foreigner who should have more respect for Irish Catholic beliefs…
I’m not saying that racism killed Savita Halappanavar.
I don’t think it was medical incompetence, or institutional misogyny, or even Catholic dogma.
It wasn’t one of these things. It was, I believe, all of them: a fatal intersectionality, if you like, of oppression.