17 July 2008

Contraception = abortion?

There are times when I miss being an American and actually living in the US...but then there are moments, like right now, when I'm happy to be living in another country.

If you thought that George W. was just a 'lame duck', let me tell you...Mr. President is planning to suck every ounce of reproductive freedom from the wombs of American women. Here's why:

A report has been released suggesting that the Bush administration is planning to strengthen their opposition to abortion by redefining contraception as abortion. Under the new regulation, abortion would be defined as:

'...any of the various procedures - including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action - that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation'.

So basically 'pregnancy' is being defined as the presence of a fertilised egg and not an implanted fertilised egg (as most gynecologists and medical dictionaries would argue). Moreover, another niggling detail of this proposed bill is that it strengthens the legislation that already exists that says that federal employees cannot be fired from their jobs if they do not want to perform certain tasks that run counter to their religious/moral beliefs. Why does this matter? Well, because there are a number of federally funded health care services that will be able to refuse treating certain patients or refuse performing certain procedures if a doctor doesn't believe it is right. This means that women (especially poor and minority women) might have their access to contraception or abortion restricted if a doctor thinks its wrong. Health providers would also have the right to share their personal beliefs about abortion, for instance, with patients. Hospitals could potentially have the right to refuse emergency contraception to rape victims.

This is what happens when a President allows a veterinarian to be in charge of the Office of Women's Health (no, really!)

On a lighter note, say Goodnight to Bush: http://www.goodnightbush.com/



Anonymous said...

haha when I first found this I thought what a strange perspective you had for an Australian. Now I realize you're American it all makes sense. I'm an Aussie living the US these past 5 years and I have to say Americans have the weirdest views I've ever come across about birth, bodies, pregnancy, women, nudity, and most of all abortion and contraception.

I don't agree with the new Bill for a second (though I will say you did a pretty poor job of summarizing it). I think that Australian laws are infinitely preferable. But you seem to forget that at least in principle that Australia does NOT have abortion on demand. And I think that's a good thing.

We ought to have restrictions to medical justifications for terminating a living organism, whether it is viable or not. What those restrictions are is open for discussion but not in America. Here you are either in the "my body butt out if I have a bad hair day I can get an abortion" camp or the "take the oral contraceptive and your first born will be the antichrist and you will rot in hell" camp. I kid you not those are the options.

Try being someone who thinks abortions are only for risks to the mother (not necessarily her life but at least her health) and you'll find yourself in some unholy company without cause. Because all the "rational Americans" (to the extent that isn't an oxymoron) are pro-dowhatyouwantwheneveryouwant. That's what they call choice here. It seems to have no link at all to the other great article of faith, responsibility. That they only use to beat up on the poor for being poor, the fat for being fat, the oppressed for not being patriotic.

If the nation-state of the US (if it existed and wasn't a collection of mini-fifedoms) could actually run healthcare in roughly the way Australia can, then you wouldn't have to worry. Because your private wacko hospitals could have all the restrictions they wanted and the public hospitals would have only the restrictions the public actually had some consensus about... much like Australia really.

Will never happen.

Cherryskin said...

And I'll bet it's a MALE veterinarian, too. (Right? I'm about to go check.)

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