Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Ask Mister Reproductive Rights Person...

(with apologies to Dave Barry)
Well, kids, with the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, we're about to start a fight on another front.

After her resignation, Dubya sed:
"The nation deserves and I will select a Supreme Court justice that Americans can be proud of.

"The nation also deserves a dignified process of confirmation in the United States Senate, characterized by fair treatment, a fair hearing and a fair vote," he said. "I will choose the nominee in a timely manner so that the hearing and the vote can be completed before the new Supreme Court term begins."

Which, of course, means: I get to pick who I want and don't give me any shit or I'll sic Karl on your sorry asses."

Let's take a brief view of the folks he's recently picked for crucial posts:
For Attorney General--the position that sets the prosecutorial tone for the entire country, he picks, a man who wrote papers in defense of America's torturing of prisoners.

For Ambassador to the United Nations: a man who doesn't believe in the United Nations.

For Ambassador to CANADA, for crissakes: A man who barely knows where it is. True story: His entire history and relationship with the country he's about to be America's representitive to is a vacation with his wife back in the 1970's.

So, a man with this kind of track record is asking for a 'dignified process' and a 'fair hearing.'

Well. I suppose I shouldn't jump to conclusions, but for some reason I doubt that the person Dub names as his nominee is gonna be a centrist. Not when he's pushed the government so far right that O'Connor is now VIEWED as a centrist.

In light of that, I thought I would ask Mister Reproductive Rights Person to appear on this blog to help you with a few of the hypothetical arguments you may encounter at the water cooler with the office wingnut when the topic of abortion rights comes up.
Let's warm up with an easy one:

Statement: "I believe abortions are a sin."

Response: Fine. Don't get one.

See how easy that is? Let's move on to a little bit harder one now:

Statement: "It's deplorable that people are using abortions as birth control."

Response: Then perhaps we should do a better job of sexual education in this country, including the promotion of the use of condoms.

Statement: "Abortions kill babies."

Response: No, a large percentage abortions are carried out in the early part of the first trimester, at an embryonic stage far removed from anything that resembles a 'baby.' The percentages of abortions at this stage would increase at the same time as the total number of abortions performed would decrease if, as stated earlier, we did a better job of sexual education in this country, including the promotion of the use of condoms.

Statement: "But life begins at conception. It doesn't matter when the abortion happens, because the concieved life..."

Response: Excuse me, but are you planning on picketing fertilization clinics anytime soon?

Statement: "Err..umm..what?"

Response: Fertilization clinics. You know--where couples who have trouble conceiving go through an in vitro process to get pregnant.

Statement: "I know what a fertilization clinic is. Why should I picket one? They're creating life, not killing babies!"

Response: Well, they're doing a little of both, actually. What do you think happens at these places? Do you think the doctor introduces Harry the Sperm with Sally the Unfertized Egg, leaves the two together in a room with candlelight and Barry White playing on the stereo, and lets the mood of the evening carry on? No, the doc puts Harry, along with Barry, Larry, Perry, Gary, and six or seven hundred thousand of their spermatozoon relations together with Sally and several dozen of her closest ovoid kin for a get-together of micro-bacchanalian proportions. It's an orgy in pyrex. And this takes place repeatedly over the months that the couple is trying to concieve. Once conception occurs, the clinic is now saddled with a hundred or so 'lives' for each couple. What do you think they're doing with those fertilized eggs? They're not enrolling them in preschool, that's for sure.


I could go on for a while longer, and eventually, I probably will. If you have any wing-nut statements you wish Mister Reproductive Rights Person to rebut, please send them along. Or, if you have any responses that Mr. RRP might find interesting, send those along as well.

But be aware that the forces on the right are NOT going to want this fight on the Senate floor. Believe it or not, the Senate is already starting to map out a strategy that says that the nominees position on the issues that he or she will be deciding is not important!

"While some focused on whom Bush's choice will be, others mapped out strategy for the period after he decides. Senate Republicans made plans to begin hearings as quickly as possible after the nomination, focused not on the candidate's positions on hot-button issues but on legal credentials.

A Republican planning document provided to The Washington Post described the need to avoid disclosing the nominee's 'personal political views or legal thinking on any issue.'"

Yes. Because there's no need to know what a Supreme Court Justice's legal thinking on an issue is. That would just get in the way, wouldn't it?



Blogger indygirl said...

Goodbye Women's Lib! It was nice knowing you, Civil Rights.

6:59 AM, July 06, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Perhaps a Schaivo-esque vigil may still keep them alive!


7:09 AM, July 06, 2005  
Blogger Jessica said...

Where does Ms. Reproductive Rights Person stand on all of this?

7:10 AM, July 06, 2005  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

My what a timely post! I've been engaged in some intense abortion debate over here:

Excellent stuff!

7:23 AM, July 06, 2005  
Anonymous Boni said...

Here's another reason to watch who Bush nominates to the Supreme Court. As someone who went throught more fertility procedures than I care to remember, I'd like to make a prediction based on all of this abortion and stem cell research debate:
The government is going to start limiting the amount of embryos fertility clinics can create. And I'll even wager that at some point they might even try to shut them down altogether.
Never happen you say? It's already happening in Italy.
Remember that vote just last month, where the Italian feminists tried to overturn restrictions placed on how many embryos could be created? The new pope and the Italian government asked everyone to stay home and not vote. And guess what, the restrictions were upheld.
I became pregnant through an egg donor which means, some nice woman donated her eggs to me,
my Husband's sperm got jiggy with them, they grew into 3 healthy embryos and they all were implanted in me. In my case, one took and I had my beautiful daughter.
The people who believe that the embryo is endowed with unalienable rights don't believe it is right for someone like me to subvert God's grand plan and have a child the way I did. They don't believe in using unwanted frozen embryos for stem-cell research. So one way to do an end run around all of this is to limit the amount of embryos that are created.
So if any of you women were like me: You're thinking that you can have a child later in life through the gift of science (I happen to believe that intelligence is one of the miraculous ways God manifests himself)- I would watch this situation very closely...

9:27 AM, July 06, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Jessica: Mr. and Ms. Reproductive Rights Person are legally separated, but I can tell you that they both are pretty much in agreement on this topic, to wit: If Ms. RRP was to get pregnant, she would bring that child to term. However, just because that is her choice, she does not feel that it should be EVERYONE'S choice. For the majority of her life Ms. RPP has been a gainfully employed, hard working, thoughtful and caring person who truly enjoys raising children in a loving environment. That being said, however, she realizes that not every situation mirrors hers.

Boni: While that is certainly possible, imagine the egg (unfertilized, of course) on Dubya's face that would stem from this situation, after so publicly appearing with those 'snowflake' babies a month or so ago.

And even if it did come to pass, I would love to borrow Jeff Gannon's day pass to the White House to ask the following question:

"Mr. President, how many of the thousands of currently fertilized eggs being kept frozen in this nation's fertility clinics will be implanted into your wife and twin daughters? How many rounds of pregnancy will each go through? I imagine your wife, though obviously of sturdy Texas stock, won't be able to go through more than 2 or 3 pregnancy cycles.

"Your daughters, though, will probably be good for a decade or so each. Will these kids help you clear brush on your ranch in Texas?

"Will Mary Cheney also be used as an incubator, even though she's a lesbian? If not, are you planning on forcing your daughters to become lesbians in order to duck out of this issue? If they do become lesbians, can I get some pictures of them in action?"

....sorry about that last question. Mr Reproductive Rights Person gets a little lonely sometimes.


11:04 AM, July 06, 2005  
Blogger Jessica said...

Great answer to my facetious (and in retrospect, nosy) question. As for storming the White House press corps, good luck with that.

12:42 PM, July 06, 2005  
Blogger Nölff said...

You write long posts.
Have you noticed that ever since the Justices resigned that the republican media (FOX) sounds exactly like the McCarthy-era witch trials? Then it was communists, now its liberals. Maybe it's just me.

1:12 PM, July 06, 2005  
Blogger "Radical" Russ said...

I enjoyed your dialogue with Mr. Reproductive Life Person. His responses remind me of a George Carlin routine on Abortion ("just lookin' for a little bit on consistency from these pro-life whackaloons!...")

I frequently have an dialogue with my Personal Repressed Inner Redneck. Last time we argued about homosexuals...

Yeharr, indeed!

5:39 PM, July 06, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Nolff: you have a furry face. I don't watch Fox. It's too expensive to keep replacing my TVs when I do.

As far as McCarthyesque leanings: they've been there for some time. McCarthy took a legitimate threat --Soviet-style Communism--and used it in an attempt to increase his power and further his political ambitions. In the end, any good (if indeed there was any good at all) that he did in stemming the "Red Tide" pales in comparison to the ruined lives of hundreds of people that he destroyed, and thousands of people who lived in fear, not only of the Kremlin, but of Washington.

Dubya and his minions are taking a legitimate threat--terrorism--
and are using it in an attempt to increase their power and further their political ambitions. In the end, any good (if indeed, there will be any good at all) that will come of this will pale in comparison with the loss of lives and freedom that these actions will engender.

Hope that's not too long for you. I don't write well enough to write shorter.


6:56 PM, July 06, 2005  
Blogger That Dude said...

"he picks, a man who wrote papers in defense of America's torturing of prisoners."

Me likey...

"a man who doesn't believe in the United Nations."

Me really likey...

"CANADA, for crissakes: A man who barely knows where it is."

Me dont carey...

Ok, on to the serious side of the post....

I think you are splitting hairs taking issue with whther abortion kills a "baby" or not. IMO, it's life...and yes I am against in vitiro fertilization....that whole process seems inherently egotisical form of the human condition....there are so many kids out there who need a home, yet we MUST have a child of our own genes and blood etc...I know Im off on a tangent and maybe id feel differently if I couldnt have kids, but thats my dealio.

No, remember, follow the chili.

9:57 AM, July 07, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Always great to hear from the proto-humans.

Out of curiosity--where do you stand on sexual education? What's your opinion about the distribution of condoms? How do you feel about HMO's that don't allow copays for birth control pills but do for erectile dysfunction medication? What do you think about pharmacists who feel justified in their decisions to not fill out birth control prescriptions because they feel it is against their religious beliefs?

How many children have you adopted? Are you so financially strapped that you can only afford the basic necessities and live paycheck to paycheck, or do you have a comfort level that allows you to take trips to Vegas and blow several hundred dollars at your whim, and then get a tattoo? Are you abe to take vacations and go someplace interesting? Could you afford to adopt one or two of these "kids out there who need a home" and actually give them a better life but choose not to because it might affect your personal comfort zone?

I would love to hear your answers to these questions. If you've adopted children in need, I applaud you for the courage of your convictions. But if you could financially afford to adopt a child and choose not to, then--and I mean this in all sincerity:

Shut your mothefucking pie hole you hyppocritical shit-for-brains.


10:20 AM, July 07, 2005  
Blogger That Dude said...

Dude wtf brought that on?

2:13 PM, July 07, 2005  
Blogger That Dude said...

I guess I'll ignore the personal attacks and answer your questions....

1.where do you stand on sexual education?

I'm for it.

2.What's your opinion about the distribution of condoms?

I've gone back n forth on this one, I think it depends on the age level we are talking about. Below 16 seems a bit too much for me.

3.How do you feel about HMO's that don't allow copays for birth control pills but do for erectile dysfunction medication?

I think that's wrong.

4.What do you think about pharmacists who feel justified in their decisions to not fill out birth control prescriptions because they feel it is against their religious beliefs?

I would say it's their right to sell or not sell a product based on whatever reason.

5.How many children have you adopted?

zero, but if I couldn't have kids I would adopt, no doubt about it.

6.Could you afford to adopt one or two of these "kids out there who need a home" and actually give them a better life but choose not to because it might affect your personal comfort zone?

Yes, I probably could, amd shame on me for not doing it, but I think the question is a bit off mark in relation to invitiro(sic?) I'm talking about the belief that there is life in those unfertilized eggs

Not sure why u went off on me, I assume I must've pushed some button that effected you personally, if I offended u, my bad, but IMO it was completely unnecessary.

2:29 PM, July 07, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Caught me at the wrong time, I guess. I've been having a similar argument with another who's very well off, extremely 'pro-life' but anti sex ed, anti-condom, and yet feels she has no obligation, financially or otherwise to the lives she feels God has put on this planet.

That's an extremely short version of it. But as you can guess, I have little tolerance for this sort of posturing.

Shame on me for lumping you into the same group.

Although I still consider you an asshat for the Gonzalez and Bolton remarks.


2:47 PM, July 07, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Oh, and Dude--ever kill an ant, swat a fly, or shoot a deer? That's 'life' too.


3:18 PM, July 07, 2005  
Blogger That Dude said...

Not a hunter, not really into it, although I think it has its place.

I did just kill a massive friggin bee on my deck, never seen anything like it. They sure do grow the bugs big down here.....

Lest u think I am just some neandrathal who posts crazy shit (although I am that too) at the dinner table (once kids were gone) That Chick and I had a long discussion. We may end up looking at adopting, depending on some financial shit I have going on.

I dont think there is a chance I will convince her to adopt a 16 yr old female from Costa Rica, but it's a start :)

4:56 PM, July 07, 2005  
Blogger Jessica said...

And now for something completely different--
mind if I post a link to you, BP?

8:59 PM, July 08, 2005  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

It's not my blog--it's my very good friend Phil's, but I'm sure he won't mind.


9:39 PM, July 08, 2005  
Blogger Philip Morton said...

Hey, it wouldn't be the blog it is without my very good friend BP.

1:14 AM, July 10, 2005  
Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

I heard a statistic the other night and haven't been able to find a source.

Germans adopt more blacks kids from America than Americans do.

I know a while back a group of black social workers said putting black kids in white families was racial genocide or something equally ignorant. I don't know if that has anything to do with it.

I have found a few articles that claim foreign adoptions of black kid from America is up and American adoption of foreign kids is up but I haven't found any stats.

Personally, there was a time albeit brief when I would have considered adopting. Not now, No way. I have 3 kids and, "I"VE HAD IT UP TO HERE!" Just kidding, but we do have our hands full.

1:47 PM, July 14, 2005  

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