Experience Project iOS Android Apps | Download EP for your Mobile Device

Call It What It Is

Abortion. Big, big , big issue these days.
It shouldn't be. A woman's right to choose has already been decided. I think we can agree on that. But little by little there have been changes, mostly at the state level, and mostly inspired by Republicans. This is a fact. They try to cut funding to programs that provide either counseling or actual abortions to people who do not have insurance.
I can break it down easily enough, it's not hard to do. Cut the funding say, to Planned Parenthood, and you directly affect young, poor, unmarried, minority women. Then as a Republican you can turn around and blame this same group for collecting welfare to help care for the children they were "forced" to give birth to. Clever how you perpetuate this sad social phenomenon by also looking to cut funding for the agencies that provide education about birth control and how to obtain it --if you can afford it, as that service has been cut as well.
Yes, it is a vicious cycle. Providing women with education and prevention and support and even options, so that they can decide what is best for them is what stops the vicious cycle.
But I know you've already stopped listening because you are probably too busy watching this guy on youtube.

Chris Christie. The Pro-Life hero and most recent blatant violator of that pesky Separation of Church and State rule. He threw out a bill that would have provided family planning services to thousand of uninsured people in NJ; services like birth control, cervical exams, services that small clinics provide for women in need.
He says it is "financially irresponsible" --another refrain we keep hearing these days, but what he doesn't mention is that if the state were to contribute to these providers it would receive matching funds from the Federal government, offsetting the cost in many cases. When he was challenged by his female colleagues he said that women could just go to emergency rooms for these services. When one colleague came back with the question "Who goes to the ER for birth control?" she was ignored. Apparently this blustery gas blower doesn't have an answer for that one.
Female lawmakers were heard to lament that "the Governor once again put conservative ideology before women's health."
And that's when I went nuts--when I read that.
Call it what it is. It's not "conservative ideology" it's RELIGION.

I hear Rick Santorum is running in 2012. Old Rick is huge into mixing up church and state. He doesn't think there is anything wrong with that, and in fact mocks his soon-to-be opponents for wanting to separate the issues--social vs political. He has even gone so far as to say that moral issues have a place in the discussion as well.
So I go back. Call it what it is. If your morality is based on your religious beliefs, and you want run for Governor or President and you think that bringing your beliefs into the discussion about how to legislate, how to and how not to disperse funding, is appropriate, then quit calling it conservative ideology and call it what it is...WRONG.
Quintesse Quintesse 51-55, F 51 Responses Feb 11, 2011

Your Response


It's not fair, which is why we have separation of church and state in the first place. I think government is for figuring out what is best for the common good regardless of faith, and that simply cannot be done if you are unduly influenced by your stringent set of beliefs, --which is why we draw a distinction. Believe what you want to believe, but leave it all outside the door before you enter the legislative chamber.
Thanks for expressing it so succinctly. I agree with you.

People who wish to govern based on their religious beliefs tend to believe very strongly (or at least create that impression) that their religious views are the correct ones; "God's will" if you will. The problem, in my view, is that enshrining one set of religious beliefs in law disregards other contrary beliefs. Moreover, even when there is no direct conflict, it is still elevating one theology above all others. If beliefs held by some Chrisitians are to be law, why are not beliefs held by all branches of all faiths also also put into law?

This story is old, but the subject is not.
Thanks Woman.

The abortion issue is not one that I engage with here on EP. Your assertion that religion and politics should not mix is absolutely spot on and totally relevant on this point of course. I will say however, that I do support a woman's right to choose.

A thought provoking post, as usual Q.

Thanks Bill. They are not allowed to come into office and cut funding to programs that they decide are no good because they offend their religious or moral beliefs. There is no place for that in politics. Period.

Thanks you guys, for reading this old story and for commenting. I tend not to voice my opinion on abortion, but rather the right to choose, --and I am obsessed you might say with separation of church and state, because I feel that morality and politics do not and should not mix.
Thanks again for your thoughts. I think it is an important subject and one that obviously has to be revisited especially considering recent events.

I think if you believe something is wrong then you shouldn't do it. If you have done it then apologize for it and make amends if possible. I don't believe it is my place to decide for others what is right or wrong about what they are doing, or have done. Focusing on my own short comings keeps me busy enough.

I agree with you 1000% percent. Even though, I do not.
I am completely and totally against abortion- for myself. When I say I'm pro-life- I mean I'm pro-life for me.
However, I agree in the womens right to choose. I have daughters. I have nieces. I have a sister and a mother. No woman should ever be forced to be a baby maker.
This is common sense to me.
Just as it is MY right to choose pro-life for my body. It is any other woman's right to choose differently.

I, like you, cannot believe this is a BIG issue for American people. It is the law. Women have the right to choose. And if someone is against abortion? Good! Don't ever have one!

Good story.

"It is any other woman's right to choose differently." Exactly.

Abortion is personal issue, and a woman's right to choose is a legal right, conferred upon her by the Supreme Court.
And there is another little thing called the Separation of Church and State in which it is illegal to legislate based on your religious beliefs (largely ignored by today's Congress.) But the reason we have such a distinction is because not everyone has the same belief system and as a society we recognize that. You don't get to force your beliefs on someone else and that is a hallmark of our Constitution.
That is what this story is about.

Thanks, a subject near and dear to my heart.<br />
<br />
Speaking of heartbeats...I don't think it will pass, but if it does, it will be immediately challenged and overturned, is my guess. Still, the fact that they have the nerve, and the votes to do this, is shocking. Their plan is to make NARAL and Planned Parenthood, and NOW and whomever else challenges these things in court, to spend their money, make them fight.<br />
But what they don't realize is that forcing an appeal makes these laws national debates and not just state issues. I guess they think no one is going to push back, that no one is paying attention. They would be wrong.

You won't hear them talk about it much on the campaign trail because when they are cornered they have to admit that it is their own personal beliefs that drive them. (Rommney recently walked away from a woman who asked him directly about legislation that would essentially ban birth control, and he wouldn't even answer her) <br />
I would argue that when you become a public servant or even aspire to become one that your personal beliefs have to take a back seat to the common good and also what the populace you wish to represent has already decided.<br />
You wouldn't think that it would be so easy to slice and dice and dismantle and cripple a Constitutional amendment on the state level so that the right it protects is barely recognizable, but that is EXACTLTY what they are quietly doing behind the scenes as soon as they get elected<br />
.<br />
I am a big believer in the separation of church and state--everyone should be, but we are a dwindling minority at this point whose belief system is being mocked and destroyed.<br />
Thank you for commenting on this. Now I'm riled again, but this is an important issue. Being riled is good, especially with elections just around the corner.

I like my definitions :)<br />
ob<x>jectivism forever !

If we could just get rid of the bullshit. <br />
Dead on.<br />
Problem is, everybody defines it differently.<br />
Makes it hard to pin down.

I think that politicians should talk about cutting back on the military, even with all the madness involved with even <i>bringing it up</i>. I think Obama said something about doing this in his speech today. It's going to be a long, grinding process against all the interests involved. American can't afford to continue to be the World Police. Imagine how many social programs there could be to help the most vulnerable if anything less than $600 billion went to the military budget every year. Russia seems to do well enough without that, as well as China, Japan, Germany, UK, France, etc. <br />
Cut cut cut cut.<br />
Healthcare costs are rising because of the privatization of healthcare. Why wouldn't costs rise when it's all for profit? Obama's reform is a step in the right direction, but of course it needs to be more 'socialized'. Rising costs to the benefit of business are the reasons for why Medicaid/Medicare costs are increasing and putting a strain on the economy. Healthcare really is one of the most important issues relevant to the economy. The others are the military budget the big banks.<br />
Yeah, no doubt that it is difficult to legislate in the US.. way too many interests involved in everything, too much bullshit.. ah well..

Well I guess when you are the most powerful military on the planet you have to keep up appearances. <br />
I agree that they should cut there, but they won't, that's why it's not worth talking about.<br />
And I happen to be the only person I know who thinks the answer to the deficit is taxation and reigning in health care costs somehow. (Health care reform was just the beginning, and look how hard that was, still...) <br />
You do those two things and I think everything else settles down. That's just my opinion. <br />
<br />
And, yeah, we are always in campaign mode. It makes legislating and reforming and asking tough questions almost impossible to do when you are always looking over your shoulder trying to gauge how your constituents are judging you. It's why it is virtually impossible to get anything done today I think.

I'll ignore as well.. nothing worthy coming from such a 'source'. <br />
I think that defence is a worthy discussion! Why don't either parties consider a cut to that? It's such an absurdly gigantic part of the budget, and medicare or social security will never be touched, so why not? The only reason they do not discuss it is because of politics and money. Whoever cuts military doesn't 'care about national security' or doesn't believe in 'American exceptionalism' *pukes*.<br />
That's the political reason. The money reason also has to do with politics *cough*; well, the lobbyists and backscratching involved with the contracts etc.. but yeah, it's also a big business, this business of death - 'cutting back on the military will make Americans lose jobs!' etc etc ad nauseum..<br />
<br />
BUT - the military budget is far more expendable when considering the entire budget. Also probably a good thing for foreign policy and American soldiers' lives. <br />
<br />
Side note - when is America not in campaign mode? :) Take a note from your buds up north; we have many parties who can create coalition governments to make great compromises, and we just had an election announced the other day, and we only have a few months before we vote :) May 2 is the election.<br />
<br />
I will tell you where the money will come from. Raise the taxes on the rich, or just return them to pre-Bush tax cut levels, and cut that insane military budget, and you've got a balanced budget!<br />
Sounds simple, I know, but if you inject reason and toss out the bullshit, it's a slam-dunk. A bit frustrating to observe all of this.

Mobile, I might be able to respond to you if I had a clue what you were talking about, but the attitude is a turn off, so I will ignore you.<br />
I don't think that bringing defense into this is the way to go, as far as discussing where money goes because neither side wants to talk about defense cuts--ever. <br />
And since this is politics and we are in campaign mode once again I don't think those kinds of camparisons make sense. I understand about cutting spending, I just don't get how you can talk about that without also talking about raising taxes. I mean, a deficit is just that, and cutting spending does not generate revenue. That is where I always get hung up, debate -wise. I want someone to tell me where all the money is going to come from to turn this around, but no one ever can.

Haha.. 'Religious Reich'.. I love that.. just wanted to mention that quickly.<br />
I'm a little bit suprised that this was not mentioned yet, so I <i>love</i> throwing it in there now :)<br />
Funds provided to Planned Parenthood by the government do not actually fund abortions. Abortion services are provided by the organization, but paying for it has to come from the patient or outside sources. The government has not funded abortions for decades to make sure that the zealots don't get their chastity belts in a knot. Also, the funds that go towards Planned Parenthood are roughly $100 million a year. If we hadn't started bombing Libya, there would be enough money to pay for PP for another 10 years. OR cite countless other examples.<br />
PP does great work caring for women's health. If they want <b>real</b> budget cuts, and not just political bullshit cuts, start with the stupid ******* $600 billion military budget for <i>Christ's</i> sakes :P

First up against the wall when the revolution comes you little ****

Not only that, it provides so many valuable services that have nothing to do with abortion. While cervical cancer screening may not be high on John Boehner's list of priorities, it's actually kind of important, and when you consider that the cost of treating conditions that Planned Parenthood screens for is probably ten times the cost (I made that number up) of what the preventative measures cost, it is relevant.<br />
Personally, since Planned Parenthood is an organization that caters to women and women's health needs, as a woman, I am offended. All women should be, regardless of how you feel about abortion. Womens needs are different from those of men, but somehow that seems to be being overlooked. Somehow it all became about abortion. It is an extreme attack on an organization that does a lot of good. <br />
PS--They actually offer adoption counseling and in some states they have contracts with adoption agencies to whom they refer clients. So there.<br />
And I like what you said Trouble, about the playing field. Would that everyone could be a poor, black, single mom for a week. There's that nasty word empathy again. <br />
The Republicans would have to look it up, unless they have torn that page out of their lexicon. My guess is it is missing. The book is being held together with post-its that say "Tax breaks for the wealthy."

Well, it's a tad incoherent, but I'll take it, Mobile one. <br />
You make one good point as far as I'm concerned--that Holocaust comparisons are offensive. I agree. <br />
You kind of lost me a little with the rest of it but I am getting that you do not want to pay for abortions for poor women. They pretty much have to suck it up no matter how they found themselves in the situation they're in. I hope you never know someone who finds themselves in that predicament, as you might find it difficult to summon the compassion necessary to deal with them. <br />
That being said, this is a complicated issue, and I have no idea what collectivist healthcare is so I am going to abstain from any further comment about that. <br />
Actions do have consequences--another good point. And if the government shuts down tonight we will all be forced to get a handle on that.

I agree with you guys. I think a shutdown is inevitable at this point though. I can hear the competing campaign slogans already...<br />
<br />
And as far as the abuse of women across this country--it makes me miss NOW, The National Organization for Women. Perhaps they are defunct. I was a dues- paying member at one time. I'm not sure what happened. But something must be done when legal reproductive rights are being curtailed and services for women are being cut whenever possible. It is beyond frightening. I would say it is illegal in some cases, unconstitutional in others and unethical all the time.

I don't want a government shut down, but I want the democrats to hold the line on not letting there be a rider de-funding Planned Parenthood--or EPA regulation or NPR, for that matter.<br />
<br />
The above is a link to a story on Alternet - "the 10 States With the Most Shocking Anti-Woman Legislation". It's pretty frightening.

I know. They can say it is "financially irresponsible" but it's not about the budget at all. It's about their alleged morality--their religion.<br />
They despise Planned Parenthood and all it represents. If it was about health care for women it would not be an issue. It is Planned Parenthood's association with abortion rights that upsets them. <br />
However, I would argue at this point that it is mysogeny as well. White men en masse voting to de-fund womens health care. I'm sick.

<br />
And there it is...

Elections are always looming in the States, and we appreciate the discussion as much as you do (even more so for instigating it) :)<br />
I do not think that ALL Christians are crazy/hypocrites, even though that's what I wrote.. I do think that the majority of them are very judgmental of others and care about their own wealth than the well-being of others. I think that I am right in saying that generally, Christians do not follow Christ, but their own interests instead. <br />
It can be easier to follow dictated morality, but it sure is more valuable if it is realized from within.<br />
<br />
Ooh, watch out, I can <b> BOLD </b> now :)

I still say a good and sound government embraces the separation of church and state, so I disagree, obviously (strenuously) with Dreamwizard, but I do thank you for such a thoughtful comment. <br />
I have first hand experience with the foster care system in this country and it is shockingly inadequate, as are services for poor single moms and the disabled, and the elderly--our most vulnerable citizens. Those who wish to cut programs for them are heartless, mainly because they are so far removed from that reality that they cannot even see the hypocracy of what they are doing. That is an excellent point. I thank you again.<br />
<br />
Trouble Shooter gets riled though when you bring up god and politics if you haven't picked up on that (I DO think it's the bold print Fal!) But he is right I think. A belief in god is not inherent in our form of government no matter how much Christians try to say it is. I do not believe that is what was intended because even then I think the founders understood the many millions of ways that could go horribly wrong and cause strife among the populace and make governing and lawmaking and enforcing impossible.<br />
But I do not think all Christians are crazy hypocrites either, just the ones in office now (and those who are running) who are vehemently arguing for changes to our laws ba<x>sed on their moral beliefs. I do think that for most people morals are derived from their belief system, and furthermore I believe that that is where they get their sense of right and wrong also. I think this mainly because I don't think most people spend a lot of time soul-searching--it is way easier to just swallow what you have been taught.<br />
Thanks you guys for talking about this with me. It is such an important discussion to have, especially with elections looming.

I was all on board with DreamWizard until the last two paragraphs. <br />
I love what you are saying. It's true; the same people who are supposedly the 'God party' are the ones who are acting against the best interests of the people. There is outrageous hypocrisy going on here. I would love Christians if they were all as reasonable as you are. <br />
Imagine if all Christians lived the life of Christ? A vow of poverty, a promise to give to others. The notion that rich people will definitely go to hell. Imagine that?<br />
No, Christians are not like that. They betray the basis of their beliefs to further their own interests. They are disgusting hypocrites.<br />
<br />
But still, the US is not a nation ba<x>sed on religion. The founders made sure of that. Morals are obviously not derived from belief; they come from a sense of what is right.

Your story brings home the truth to the Republican lunacy on this subject. They often tout their religious beliefs but it's hypocrisy. What God minded person would think cutting Medicare would be a beneficial idea for the people... really? How about investing Medicare into the stock market? That's what they see. <br />
We all know how rich we can get investing our money there. Why not invest our Medicare funds with the next Bernie Madeoff? Cut out Medicare and instead have the people invest their own money. Those addicted to drugs spend every last cent of their paycheck on booze and pot and you think those dollars won't go over the bar? Seniors dying in our streets, that's what I see. <br />
This is why Medicare was started. A forced savings for health care for your adult years. <br />
<br />
Many Conservatives want to end abortion and put effort into cutting funding for young unwed mother's having babies - they want teen mothers to have the babies they feel are "destined" to live on earth, they just want them to starve once here. Sounds like a godly thing to do.<br />
They don't want to pay for birth control because that would give the impression for teens to have sex. Because the system of not talking about sex and not providing birth control has worked so well. <br />
<br />
While the "born again" Christian, President Bush was in office millions of children went without health care. Why is it Conservatives care so much about the health of a zygote but once born they will let children go hungry, or go without health care? Where is their Christian morals then?<br />
If life is so important to them, instead of spending their money on anti-abortion media, why don't they first spend their time and money on those children already born? <br />
<br />
Too many children are born in the "glory of motherhood" and "right to life hype". How wonderful it is to have children. It is a wonderful experience when you are economically sound and emotionally mature for the task. Most teen parent's are not ready to raise children. For those living in poverty, without support.... it is pure hell. This is why the infanticide in this country is so high. <br />
<br />
President Obama, expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million MORE children and yet the most self righteous, devout Christians among the Conservative party have alluded to him the Anti Christ. <br />
<br />
I believe in the rights of woman and for choice. I do so because in my opinion, that is the right choice for where we are in our society today. We are a society which has "lost" children in our government state run child welfare services. Children have died while under the care of the protection agency set up to protect them. <br />
<br />
I have never liked the idea of dividing Church and State, perhaps because our government was ba<x>sed on the moral compass of a GOD. "In GOD we Trust". Our government is already corrupt, but just the idea of removing "GOD" from it's premise disturbs me. If anything we need to start turning to GOD. Every decision made should be made with "GOD" in mind - that includes decisions made in government - esp. in government. <br />
<br />
The problem, as I see it, is not the dividing of Church and State but it is our division on the perception of what "GOD" is and how to best serve him that needs to be united in it's most basic form. When our society can come to a simple basic idea of GOD and morality, we can then establish a basic form of laws for our people. Laws to form a more perfect union for us, the "U.S." as one people.