UPDATE: Due to some comments I’m highlighting that this is a thought experiment on my part, I do not support, and under no circumstances will ever support torture.
Yup, I’m a convert to the idea that you can extract useful information from terrorists about other terrorists to protect valiant American citizens. First up, lets start on Scott Roeder, the terrorist who murdered Dr George Tiller.
Now the FBI is investigating his links with Operation Rescue and other extremist groups, including the milita.Its careful slow and reliable intelligence gathering, but if we were to shortcut that process and waterboard him. After all he is a terrorist who may possess valuable intelligence about other terrorists, and torture might save American Lives.
So after “enhanced interrogation”, he gives up his first accomplice, convicted terrorist Shelly Shannon, currently serving a jail sentence for trying to murder Dr Tiller.
Next after waterboarding her, and based on a confession given up by Roeder, there is enough evidence to question, and interrogate the Senior Policy Advisor of Operation Rescue, Cheryl Sullenger.
She’s brought in, and questioned, then interrogated, and while initially resistant she eventually cracks, revealing that Operation Rescue is involved in terrorist campaigns, including intimidation, arson, and murder.
Other members are brought in and interrogated, and to everyone’s surprise several of them admit that Republican Members of Congress are involved….
….Hang on just a minute….
No I haven’t gone to the dark side, and I consider torture of any kind to be a war crime and a crime against humanity that should be punished by every civilised country.
In this thought experiment, I took what I thought might be true, that Scott Roeder acted as a member of Operation Rescue as a fact, and then went and tortured people until they confessed that it was the truth. But at the end I’m about to arrest half of the Republican delegation to Congress based on information I extracted.
I have no proof, all I have is information I beat out of people who in an effort to stop me torturing them told me what I wanted to hear. I’m looking forward to the day when Operation Rescue is raided by the feds, and when that happens it should be lawful, based on reliable intelligence and justified. However I could be wrong… they may not have been a part of a terrorist conspiracy, so I’d rather real proof was found, rather than manufactured confessions.
There’s a new group out there, called Live Action, who’s sole purpose for being is to take down one of the finest american institutions, Planned Parenthood.
There is a meme heading round the right wing press that Planned Parenthood is only interested in abortions, and do not offer much else. One very important service they do offer is mammograms, and other women’s health services. Live action claimed to have called up 30 planned parenthood clinics and asked if they offer mammograms, all apparently said no.
I decided to check with Planned Parenthood, and searched for the ones near to Live Action’s office in San Jose.
View Planned Parenthood near Life Action in a larger map
In this map view,
- Blossom Hill (a) does offer Mammograms, and Abortions
- Mar Monte (b) does offer Mammograms and does not offer Abortions
- Eastside (c) does offer Mammograms and Abortions
- San Jose (d) does offer Mammograms and Abortions
So even in the same town as Live Action all within a local phone call all offer mammograms and not all offer abortions.
For a wider view, of the 20 planned parenthoods within 55 miles of Live Action’s offices, 4 do not do abortions. ALL do mammograms and other women’s health services. They also provide these vital services to the communities they are in.
- Birth Control Services
- Emergency Contraception
- HIV Testing
- HPV & Hepatitis Vaccines
- LGBT Services
- Men’s Health Services
- Patient Education
- Pregnancy Testing, Options & Services
- STD Testing & Treatment
7 of the clinics also operate as general health clinics.
This dishonest and fabricated attack on Planned Parenthood is nothing but a disgusting attack on Planned Parenthood, which I am proud to support, politically, ethically, and financially. This is an attack on poor and disadvantaged people and those brave and noble people who support them.
Live Action’s entire purpose is just to spread lies about Planned Parenthood.
There is a large minority of people in our society who feel forced to remain in the closet about the choices they made. Its a diverse group that varies across all ethnicities, all social strata, all religious groups (it happens deal with it) and all financial situations. 1/3rd of women in the USA at some time in their lives will make a difficult choice, and choose what is right over the social mores that may exist in her community, or the US as a whole.
She will choose to have an abortion, it may be an early RU486 pregnancy, or it may involve going to one of the very few doctors brave enough to perform late term abortions. There are as many reasons for doing this as there are women in the world, because each situation is different and unique.
Legally I’m pro-women’s health fullstop, if the woman needs an abortion I think she should be able to get it. So you aren’t gonna convince me that the procedure is wrong, it may be distastefully medically to you, but I doubt you’d get excited about removing a cancerous piece of the lower intestine either. This isn’t about my beliefs because they are largely irrelevant to the point I’m trying to make.
If a woman makes what is a difficult choice, then not only should she not be vilified and metaphorically spat upon, instead I actually thing she should take pride that she put her health and wellbeing ahead of an agenda that wishes to criminalize her behavior.
It may be that she felt that at the place in life she was at that she could not give the child a good home due to financial or family situation. It might be that a relationship has fragmented, and the woman does not want to place undue burdens on either of them. It could be that the pregnancy will threaten the woman’s health. Most difficult of all it might be that the child would have life changing special needs, and while there are people who will sacrifice everything for their child, its a very difficult sacrifice to make, and nobody should be forced to do it, because resentful parents are not what the child needs.
This is what it comes down to, unless you feel ready to have a child come into your life, where you feel like you can support them and give them a loving home, then nobody should be able to force you to have one, or make you feel shame for making that right choice.
Most women will do anything to hide the fact they had to have an abortion, because of the social stigma the so called pro-life community has snuck into our society. I’m not talking about quiet acceptance, I’m talking about women being able to have pride in the fact that they did the right thing. If necessary I want there to be a women’s health pride, a march of women who are prepared to say “I did the right thing” and banish this effort to make them feel guilty for making the right choice.
The inspiration for this piece came to me while watching one of Angie the Antitheist’s videos.
This isn’t a usual LGBTQA rights issue, but I am 100% in favor of respect for a woman’s right to choose and I know thats the case for the rest of the real LGBTQA rights movement because its about the basic human rights of women to control their bodies.
In 1976, a rider was added in to every appropriations bill, known as the Hyde Amendment. The effective language is “No Federal Funds for Abortion”, which doesn’t just extend to Medicaid, but the associated laws and riders prevent Federal employees from getting abortion coverage on their health insurance, for the military, the peace corps and all but a few federal employees. I was opposed to the Hyde amendment when I found out about it during the healthcare debate, but that wasn’t good enough for the republicans to keep that in. Stupak tried to force insertion of an expansive poison pill measure that would prevent any of the healthcare packages in the exchange from covering abortions. Thankfully the President managed to roll over for the supposedly democratic Stupak and signed an executive order preventing the healthcare bill from covering abortions.
Planned Parenthood is one of the most important and noble organizations in the US, who provide the full gamut of women’s health services, safe sex education and lobby for reproductive health issues. I’m so proud that doing the Vagina monologues last year gave support to the local Planned Parenthood in Albany. Planned Parenthood is constantly under attack from the right wing, but now the social conservative puppet party known as the republican party has decided to push an anti-choice agenda. The latest one pushed by Mike Pence would say that if you offer abortion services you cannot receive federal funds.
I’ve had enough of this bullshit, its perfectly simple. Late term abortions are only used for vital medically necessary reasons so those should be left alone. If you don’t like surgical abortions, support abortifact drugs. If you don’t like abortifact drugs, don’t restrict access to the morning after pill. If you don’t like the morning after pill, then do effective real sex education. Abstinence education is delusional at best, criminally negligent at worst. I really don’t care about the opinions of the anti-choice crowd because there are ways of lowering the number of abortions by supporting sex education, access to the morning after pill, and safe doctor prescribed access to abortifact drugs, all of which they oppose.
If the republicans want to bring up the issue of women’s health funding, it is time for the Democrats to respond by focussing on removing the hyde amendment from the appropriations bill. Federal, military, public option, and medicaid health insurance should provide full coverage for women’s health the same that it provides full coverage for men’s health.
I know I”m being opportunist but if the anti-choice crowd had not focussed on repealing women’s health coverage in the new congress, then it would have been more difficult to bring into the fore. They opened the door, and I’m walking proudly through in the opposite direction.