Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Shill is So Cute

The Shill just sent me this email: ***** B, RE: President Bush's Supreme Court nominee... Planned Parenthood believes that this appointment will have a monumental impact on the future health and safety of women in this country. I'm inclined to agree with them. Anyhow, the link lets you send notes to your congresspeople. ***** Here's the funny. My Senators are Lamar "I make no waves" Alexander (Republican) and Bill "The Kitten Killer" aka "I am a doctor, but my diagnoses can be influenced by my desire to be President" Frist (Republican). What can I write and say to them? "Please don't smirk so smuggly when you threaten my ability to get necessary medical treatment by appointing someone who thinks abortion in a political issue, not a medical one, jackass."?

Still, if you live in a state where it will make a difference, get typing.


Blogger melusina said...

You aren't kidding. That is my curse. I no longer live in Tennessee, but as long as I am an ex-pat and don't move back to the U.S., I vote Tennessee and Nashville. The last time I went to send a letter to my senators I came to the realization myself, looked at Frist and Lamar and said "are you shitting me?"

7/20/2005 09:41:00 AM  
Anonymous The Yellow Brand Hammer Co. said...


7/20/2005 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger The Corporate Shill said...

I am cute.

And y'all better listen to your Aunt B.

7/20/2005 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, but really, no one is going to overturn RvW. This is fear mongering to the nth degree. That is not how the Supreme Court works. Now, they may chip away at it, which is likely, but there will not be any wholesale illegalization of abortion in this country.

Furthermore, even if RvW were to be overturned, that would not make abortion in this country illegal. Instead it would go back to the states to determine in what instances to allow abortions. I dont think that even in the red states anyone seriously believes all abortions would be illegalized. I know there is a lot of bluster from the evangelicals, but they do not have that much political power. As much as they hate to admit it, the republicans are just as dependent upon centrist voters as the dems are. Most Americans, those in the middle, dont like abortion, but dont think it should be illegal, either. They are for parental notification and maybe, maybe a waiting period, they dont like partial birth abortion, but really, no one seriously does. The middle does not believe in a total abortion ban, and I bet dollars to donuts, neither does John Roberts.

Theres my 2cents anyway


7/20/2005 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger The Corporate Shill said...

LE -- we disagree about this one often. And although I think your underlying idea is probably correct (that most people are conflicted and don't really like it but would never make it illegal) -- you underestimate your sweet little W. Parental notification is bullshit. As is a waiting period. There's not a single woman I know who's had an abortion for whom a waiting period would have made a difference. If anything, those are trumped up ways to push women past the 12 week mark and into a far more difficult position -- where they can't get the services they need.

Also -- how is chipping away at my rights any more acceptable than taking them away in one fell swoop?

Our country is heading, in scary ways, to an ugly place. This is just one of a thousand indicators.

7/20/2005 01:16:00 PM  
Blogger the Professor said...

That's right, Shill. Keep tellin' us!

7/20/2005 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

Is this going to be the first family fight to play out on TCP? I hope so.

Andrew Sullivan is promoting the idea today that Roberts is the most liberal guy Bush could sneak by the Religious Whack-os, thus fulfilling his obligation to them.

I tend to believe that anyone who looks for secret strategies from Bush is really missing the forest for the trees.

That being said, I'm not fear mongering, I am afraid. It's a subtle but important distinction. I'm afraid because 1. I think the Democrats will continue to sell women out on this matter and 2. It's the opening shot in a larger war on sexual liberty. Who can say what I do with my own body? Of course I'm worried about both of those things.

7/20/2005 04:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was actually going to leave my comment alone and not pipe up again, but you asked for a family squabble and I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut

The Supremes never should have ruled as they did in RvW. The decision really overstepped the bounds of what the Court, any Court, should do. Their certainly is no constitutional basis for saying, in essence, that the state can pass no laws affecting abortion in the first trimester, may pass some laws during the second trimester and may bar abortion entirely during the the third. Further, it is important to note what they actually said in RvW, it is not that a woman has a "fundamental right" to an abortion but that she has a "qualified right". There is a distinct and meaningful difference between these two. The Court's decision is intellectually dishonest. When a fundamental right is infringed the state must present a "compelling interest" and the statute in question must be narrowly construed. When a qualified right is infringed, the State must present only a rational relationship to a legitimate state interest. Abortion, according to the Supremes is a qualfied right. The State has a legitimate interest in protecting prenatal life, but all statutes which effect abortion during the 1st trimester are invalid. The Court creates a new rule solely applicable for abortion.

Whether to allow abortion is a decision that should have been made by the legislatures of the several states. It should not have been forced by judicial fiat, especially where there is no clear constitutional basis for it.

That being said. The cat is out of the bag, abortion is legal in this country and will stay that way. Even in Tennessee.

LE (who may be sleeping on the floor for awhile)

PS I did not accuse you of fear mongering, but CS who is a mongerer of the worst kind (just to make sure I end up on the floor)

7/20/2005 05:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Any 14 year old or 17 year old for that matter who goes to the doctor for any medical procedure has to have parental consent, unless it is emergent, and even then every effort is made to contact the parents ASAP. How is abortion, which is an elective medical procedure, any different?

They are not even asking for consent, which is required for everything else, just for notification.

If I agree that you're cute will you still be mad -LE

7/20/2005 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger The Corporate Shill said...

What I love is the way you approach the issue via the seamless web of the law (I'm deliberately using LE's terms here) and end up in a place where it's legal. I need to know though, LE, is the country capable of being intellectually honest and making the right decision?

Maybe it's fear-mongering to say I don't think we can, but I can't shake that feeling.

However, I am tickled by the idea of the LE leading the movement to say "Hey Supreme Court, and nice try W -- but fuck you!" and then we can all work for state's rights. (Sigh) but the politicians and movement spokespeople would probably screw that up too.

You know what really irritates me about all this? We focus in on this one element of reproductive rights/issues and in doing so fail to do the things that would lower our abysmal abortion rate (and for an industrialized nation -- it is abysmal). It irritates me that W pushes abstinence-only education. It irritates me that we think teenagers won't have sex when they've been doing it for CENTURIES. That we're so hypocritically puritanical that we can't say condom without blushing or let people pass out condoms but we can all gather round the TV and watch tons of irresponsible sexual behavior play out or, worse, engage in it in our own lives. We're such closet cases.

Sorry -- I'm a little passionate about these issues. Because, just like the war in Iraq and the economy and a million others -- they affect my everyday life. LE, I love you, but it's never going to be as physically relevant for you as it is for me until you're lying in those stirrups, with the duck lips shoved inside you while they swab your cervix. Or when you ask your doctor for a b.c. scrip and he says "are you in a committed relationship?" or you get the look of shame. I don't deny that this stuff is real to you, and undoubtedly intellectually stimulating, but it's very, very different. (Aunt B -- another way men and women live different lives?)

In case anybody was wondering, he's not going to end up on the floor. I'm just going to set my alarm for an hour earlier to get in some extra snooze alarms. ;-)

7/20/2005 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

LE, I was almost not going to dignify your question with a response, but, clearly, there are folks reading who might not get it. So, I will give you the answer you already know.

BECAUSE there are few other medical procedures that could have been made necessary by the actions of a family member or could result in said family member doing physical harm to the person who needed the procedure.

I'm not opposed to minors having to speak with social workers before having an abortion, but it seems to me like you're trying to have it two ways in order to get around a messy, but simple truth.

You're both trying to say that a minor female is too young to make her own medical decisions, but is old enough for the state to compell her to become a mother (through making the hoops she has to jump through in order to get an abortion unmanagable).

The messy, but simple truth is that if a woman is old enough to get pregnant, for better or for worse, she's old enough to decide if she wants to carry that pregnancy to term.

There are other legal situations where someone who's not legally an adult is treated by the justice system as an adult based on circumstances, without giving up other protections.

For instance, if a fourteen year old boy beat a man to death, he could be charged as an adult. That doesn't mean that he could legally enter into a consentual relationship with a 35-year-old. Even though he's an adult for the purposes of charging him with a crime, he's still a minor when he needs protection from statutory rapists or child molestors.

So a girl can be a woman for the purposes of deciding whether she wants to be a mother, I'd think.

Shill, I agree. It's a little funny to me. There's this one thing we do that they don't. Just this one thing we can't share, and rather than trust us to manage it, they make it their moral and legal business to oversee it.

7/20/2005 06:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But the thing is, is that a 14 year old cannot be just charged as an adult. That decision is made by a court after a hearing. A 14 year old could enter into a legal sexual relationship with a 35 year old, if the minor were emancipated, again after a court holds a hearing. The boy does not get to make these decisions, a court does.

The difference with abortion, which is evident in the Supremes struggle both in and after RvW, is that the decision by the woman effects more than just her. There is a real question (scientifically and spiritually) when the zygote ceases to be a collection of rapidly dividing cells and becomes a distinct being. This is something that, obviously, people have very strong and very differing opinions on, and also something, that I dont think has a right answer, so neither pro choice or pro life is really on the side of the angels with this one.

To answer the implicit charge that im a dude so i cant get preggers so i cant have a say is bunk. Until you can impregnate yourself, men have a role in this thing. Until you can demonstrate that collection of cells expanding in your womb is not imbued with personhood, that the divine spark that animates it is not as much from and of me as it is of you, my voice is just as valid as yours.

Just couldnt keep my mouth shut - LE

7/21/2005 08:41:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...


You always do such an impressive job of sidestepping my main concerns in order to undermine my secondary ones, that I always have to double-check and make sure I'm still right.


If a 14 year old girl is raped by her father, making her tell her father she is pregnant and seeking an abortion is disgusting. If a 14 year old girl is pregnant and thinks that telling her parents will result in physical harm to her, making her tell them is cruel.

As to your next point, are you really saying that you think the Supreme Court should consider scientific and spiritual beliefs about the beginnings of life? I sure as hell don't want them using "spiritual beliefs" as a guiding factor.

There are a lot of superstitions about when life begins, ranging from the belief that it begins at conception to folks who believe that the soul is not firmly set in the body until 40 days after birth. What kind of guidance is that?

If you believe life begins at conception, are you taking the Shill's used tampons out back and having tiny funerals for them on the off chance that you've fertilized an egg of hers and her body didn't latch hold of it and your miniature sons and daughters are sitting in your garbage can?

No, because you are not a whack-job and as much as you'd like to argue from an intellectual position that considers the possibility that life begins at conception, you can clearly differentiate between a real baby and a fertilized egg.

If the Shill were three or four months pregnant and she was in a car accident that was her fault and, as a result, miscarried, would you be okay with her being charged with manslaughter or, as I suspect, would you realize that this is a terrible tragedy, but it is a terrible tragedy that is unequal to her getting drunk and slamming her car into a tree and killing your one year old son?

As for your third charge--"Until you can impregnate yourself, men have a role in this thing."--I think you're misunderstanding my position. I don't believe a baby is a piece of real estate, where everyone who put some money in the kitty has some ownership of the land. Just because you did something that resulted in something happening doesn't mean the thing that happened is "yours." It also doesn't mean that the thing that happened is "mine."

In fact, the fact that you're arguing for some kind of recognition of personhood for embryoes and fetuses ought to make this even more clear to you. Whatever is in that womb is its own thing. It's not yours and it's not mine.

So, if I choose to be inhospitable to it, that's between me and it.

7/21/2005 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the girl were impregnated by her father that is illegal (even in Tennessee) and her physician has an absolute obligation to report this to the appropriate authorities, I dont think you need to notify the guy while hes in the clink. If the girl is fearful that receiving an abortion will cause her indirect harm through violence at home, her doctor has an absolute obligation to assist her in finding someplace safe. That is why they always ask. It is the States responsibilty to protect those that cannot protect themselves, both the mother and embryo. Just because it often does not do its job well does not mean that the responsibility and therefore authority to act do not lie.

The Supremes consider spirituality all the time in making their decisions. RvW cites to religious authority. Religious beliefs shape who we, as a people are, they color most every aspect of our society, for good or ill.

Heres the problem - "Whatever is in that womb is its own thing." You seem to concede that this thing has some kind of existence of its own, outside of its dependence upon you. If that be the case, the State has an interest in protecting that existence. And that means having the authority to regulate abortion.

I'll try to let you have the last word, being as this is your place and all


7/21/2005 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Aunt B said...

It tickles me, frustrates me, and breaks my heart that you always try to move the discussion away from the heart-breaking, tough things and onto more theoretical and safe grounds.

This, my dear friend, is why I think it's hard for women to talk to men about abortion. What I think you're missing is that in every scenario you've proposed, you assume the best, that things work. That, over all, justice prevails, consensus can be reached, fathers don't abuse their daughters, doctors can be trusted, etc.

But not only don't we experience a world where things work smoothly most of the time (in fact, we experience a world where our gender gets in the way frequently of things working smoothly), when we're faced with whether or not we want to carry a pregnancy to term, to do that dangerous and brave thing, we have to face the particulars of our situation, which might include fathers who rape daughters, doctors who don't do what they should, judges who feel their own religious beliefs are more important than ours, etc.

Who can judge the particularities of our own situation better than we can?

7/21/2005 10:14:00 AM  

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