Skip to main content

from Talk to Action

As Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards got right with Jesus and the only "single-issue voters" that rate the Democratic Party's approval, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried talking the talk to enlist "pro-life" support for funding stem cell research.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has drawn guffaws from the pro-life community for comments saying that embryonic stem cell research, which involves the destruction of days-old human embryos, is a "gift from God." Her remarks came after the House approved a bill to force Americans to fund it.

"Science is a gift of God to all of us, and science has taken us to a place that is biblical in its power to cure... And that is embryonic stem cell research," Pelosi said.

As Pelosi speaks of God’s gift of science, a Democratic Congress votes to spend $27 million more on abstinence-only programs and crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) than Bush had even asked for — thereby ensuring an increase in the rate of sexually transmitted infections and abortions among young people — while dumping millions of our tax dollars into the coffers of the same Religious Right abstinence-only industry working to criminalize safe abortion care, abolish stem cell research, and defeat the Prevention First program that Democrats claim to consider a high legislative priority.

While these politicians might fudge their positions on "a woman's right to choose," this action undeniably stamps them as just what the Religious Right accuses them of being: pro-abortion — because despite all their meaningless cant about "reducing the number of abortions," increasing the number of abortions is the only thing that abstinence-only programs guarantee to accomplish.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPelosi's Sunday School homily on stem cell research provoked immediate ridicule from the powerhouses of the Religious Right. Tony Perkins (right) of the Family Research Council summed up their reaction: "Pelosi must not have learned from Rudy Giuliani's experience during the GOP debate when the building was struck by lightening as he sought to justify abortion. Of course, it's complete nonsense to suggest that God wants us to destroy human embryos, since they are His own creation. This is just the latest example of the Left's aggressive efforts to lure the unsuspecting into supporting immoral and unethical policies which are whitewashed with spiritual words and phrases."

That tells us exactly how much "common ground" Democratic pandering to the sensibilities of political religionists is going to buy on stem cell research. And there's no reason to imagine that the outlook is any better for conservative Christian cooperation on any other issue.

Ralph Reed might be corrupt to the marrow of his bones, but maybe that's why he understands today's political reality as well as he does.

"You can't take the same tired, discredited liberal agenda of higher taxes, government-run health care, abortion on demand, cut and run in Iraq, retreat rather than a forward strategy in the war on terrorism, and by putting a religious veneer on it and quoting some Scripture, cause religious conservative voters to respond."

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketJanice Crouse (right), a Senior Fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute, the think tank for Concerned Women for America, makes clear that there will be no cooperation, and no common ground on Prevention First.

America's conflicted attitude toward sex is at the heart of an intriguing political struggle unfolding this year in Congress and many states, as liberals and conservatives spar over bills aimed at reducing the huge number of unintended pregnancies.

To the liberal coalition backing the measures, the so-called Prevention First initiative is a commonsense package that would reduce the need for abortions by providing better information about contraceptives and expanding access to them.

To conservatives, the initiative is an alarming effort to eliminate abstinence-only sex education, strengthen abortion-rights groups and encourage sex outside of marriage.

"There's a utopian view that women ought to be able to have sex any time they want to without consequences — that's the bottom line of all these bills," said Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America ...

The positions of Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family and the rest of the Religious Right's "pro-life" lobby are also the bottom line on any legislation dealing even tangentially with S-E-X. That's a matter of public record, and no news to anyone.

So it isn't as if the Democrats who agreed to a sweetheart deal for souped-up abstinence funding didn't know what they were doing — not after a report commissioned by Congress itself spelled out the abject failure of that ideological nightmare in terms even they could understand.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketJames Wagoner of Advocates for Youth is as mad as hell that a Democratic Congress is endangering our kids' lives while shoveling millions to a pack of Bush cronies in the name of bipartisanship.

With the Democrats in control, the appropriations cycle begins and the first big policy step the Democrats take on domestic reproductive health is to push through a 30 percent increase in abstinence-only-until-marriage programs that prohibit information about condoms and birth control. Oh, and by the way, that increase (to $140 million) is larger than any put forward in the last three years of the Republican-led Congress.

"Huh?" you might ask.

Now, let me make the scenario even better -- or worse. What if you were told that just six weeks before the Appropriations Committee met, a major 10-year evaluation that Congress itself had mandated was released showing that abstinence-only programs had no impact on teen behavior? On top of that, what if you were told that the Society of Adolescent Medicine had released a report in 2006 stating that abstinence-only-programs "threaten fundamental human rights to health, information and life?"
:::
And the pièce de résistance? Less than a week before the appropriations numbers are released, a major investigative story in The Nation connects the dots and documents an enormous network of ultra-conservative organizations feeding at the abstinence-only trough -- organizations with significant track records opposing Democratic party policies and candidates. And here we have the ultimate irony of Appropriations Chair David Obey becoming one of the largest funders of the famous vast right-wing conspiracy!

What's their excuse for the inexcusable? According to Congressional Quarterly, it's go-along-to-get-along business as usual — and according to James Wagoner, "new boss, same as the old boss."

Lawmakers say the olive branch extended to Republicans increases the likelihood that the bill will pass the House with a veto-proof majority. It also sends a strong signal that Appropriations Chairman David R. Obey, D-Wis., will avoid controversial social policy changes this year in the interest of moving bills.

In case you're wondering, "controversial social policy changes" means telling young people the truth about sexually transmitted infections, contraception and pregnancy. And to Christian conservatives like Tom McClusky, the Family Research Council's vice president for government affairs, "common ground" means "it's more likely they're looking for more funding for Planned Parenthood."

While all of us wonder whether our Democratic Congress is actively collaborating with the Religious Right or merely clueless, some of us will continue picking up the pieces of the massive social and public health disaster that is "abstinence-only education."

We will be providing safe and supportive care to teenagers for whom abstinence worked until it didn't — 13, 14, 15 and 16 year-old kids who don't know how to put on a condom or even what a cervix is, and whose very first pelvic exam is the prelude to an abortion. We will see most of them on Saturdays, because so many use up their allotment of excused absences due to the severe nausea and vomiting of early pregnancy that they can't afford yet another absence from their abstinence-only classes.

We will be providing free contraception education and birth control supplies to young people who have never heard anything about condoms except that they have holes in them big enough for sperm to swim through, and who don't know anything about birth control pills except "I heard they make you fat." And when our young patients don't know where they will go when the supply of birth control supplies we give them runs out, we make sure they don't walk out our door without a referral for a confidential and affordable provider of contraceptive services in their hands.

We will be arranging treatment for teenagers with HPV who already have dysplasia, or a vaginal vault virtually paved with condyloma that they've been afraid and ashamed to tell anyone about. Because then someone would know that they are having sex, after they've signed an abstinence pledge in front of the whole class.  

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

If you think condyloma looks ugly on a screen, you should see it on a 15 year-old girl.

In the face of merciless federal policies, we will keep right on doing all these things as the providers of abortion care who are doing more to lessen the spread of sexually transmitted infections and lower the rate of teen pregnancy than the entire United States Congress — and are doing more to help put ourselves out of business than the entire Religious Right combined.

And the sad and sorry truth is that if our national policymakers cared half as much about our young people as they ought to do, we would never have to see most of those kids come through our doors in the first place.

James Wagoner ends his thoughtful essay with this: "There's more at stake here than $140 million dollars. This is one of those moments that will define the heart and soul of this Democratic Congress."

Amen.

The place to entertain the ghost of Jerry Falwell is a seance room, not the halls of Congress. It's time for our leaders to stop mouthing platitudes about their own personal moral values, and past time for them to start fighting for the health, the futures and the lives of our children.

Images — Nancy Pelosi: Fox News

Tony Perkins: Family Research Council

Janice Crouse: Concerned Women for America

James Wagoner: Rh Reality Check

Condyloma: Bigeye.com

Originally posted to moiv on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:28 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  So many damn weasels. (17+ / 0-)

    So much to do.  Thank you so very much, moiv.

    Bless you.

    1-20-09 The Darkness Ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora.

    by noweasels on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:30:25 PM PDT

    •  So many damn weasels indeed (17+ / 0-)

      and too damned many of them blue.

      The TEA Fund: Practicing random acts of kindness

      by moiv on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:40:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do they listen to their constituents? (14+ / 0-)

        Do they listen to the country they are charged with serving?  Jeepers.  Science and appropriate medical care for women NOW.

        How on earth could this be controversial?

        1-20-09 The Darkness Ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora.

        by noweasels on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:43:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Damn good questions (12+ / 0-)

          Do they listen to their constituents?

          No.

          Do they listen to the country they are charged with serving?  

          No.

          How on earth could this be controversial?

          The Religious Right says so, so it must be true.

          The TEA Fund: Practicing random acts of kindness

          by moiv on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:45:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I find myself pondering more and more (10+ / 0-)

          just exactly what it is we will have to do to get senators and representatives to listen to what we, their bosses are saying.  And I find myself pondering more and more just exactly what it is we will have to do to get the truth to be heard by those who now listen only to the lies and half truths of the MSM and the rightwing, fundamentalist thugs.  

          I'm from the generation that took it to the streets because that was the only way we could figure out to get the truth heard.  The generations that have followed us seem to think that it's wrong to go that route now, that if we just keep speaking with reason and logic in measured tones that at some point the world will turn as one and thank us for pointing out the obvious truth that they've been missing for the two  and half decades.  I'm afraid I don't see it happening that way.

          I think we have to raise our voices filled with the truth, shout down the rethuglicans and the pundits and the fundamentalists and all of their minions.  I think we have to raise our voices together as one, picking up voices along the way.  And if at some point we have to take to the street with our voices raised and placards with pictures of diseased teenagers, with pictures of dead Iraqis, with pictures of our dying planet and walk down every major highway and biway in this country, then that's what we'd better start doing.

          I also think that as this next election cycle rolls around on us we will have to work not just to elect democrats, but to defeat republicans and pseudo-republicans (hear that JOE?  Your days are numbered).  We need to put the fear of God into those that remain that they are next, that we will wipe their sorry excuse for a political party off the map if they can't stop parroting talking points and do what they have been elected by us, their bosses, to do.  Because I'm beginning to fear that if we don't do these things, all will be lost.

          TIP & NION
          Liberty and Justice for All

          by Got a Grip on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:11:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Science IS a gift . . . (19+ / 0-)

    and stem cell research could provide a cure for my sweet niece, who has suffered from the horrors of juvenile diabetes for 15 of her 16 years on earth.

    Thank you for this diary.

    1-20-09 The Darkness Ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora.

    by noweasels on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:32:35 PM PDT

    •  Here she is, science opposers. (22+ / 0-)

      She's been stuck with needles 15,000 times already.  How many more is enough for you?

      Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

      1-20-09 The Darkness Ends "Where cruelty exists, law does not." ~ Alberto Mora.

      by noweasels on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:45:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There will never be enough (17+ / 0-)

        for people like these, because compared to saving your niece, well, saving this ...

        Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

        ... is just far more important.

        The TEA Fund: Practicing random acts of kindness

        by moiv on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:08:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Distorting the views of the other side (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueisland

          You would also be repulsed if people suggested that babies could be harvested to help cure sick people. To the other side, embryos are nascent babies.

          They aren't being stupid: they aren't "opposing" science: they are simply saying that using embryos this way is morally repugnant to them.

          You may disagree with them (I do.) But you can't say they are "opposing" science. They aren't.

          •  Yes and to the other side (5+ / 0-)

            the earth is 10000 years old. Yes, that is opposing science.

            And that isn't an embryo yet....sorry.

              •  This is pre-blastula (7+ / 0-)

                in other words, the photo (above) depicts a very early  stage between the zygote and the embryo. Very early because mitosis has occurred a few times so far only, as evidenced by the very few nuclei.

                "In animals, the development of the zygote into an embryo proceeds through specific recognizable stages of blastula, gastrula, and organogenesis. The blastula stage typically features a fluid-filled cavity, the blastocoel, surrounded by a sphere or sheet of cells, also called blastomeres."

              •  Then what is an embryo? (8+ / 0-)

                I have often been asked (often by a smug anti-abortion protestor wearing a derisive smirk or sneer) a question that is simplistic, ignorant, and misleading: "Just what is the magic of passage through several inches of birth canal that makes the difference between abortion and murder?"  My answer to that question is just to state the honest, simple, obvious truth, as far as I can know it: "Nothing."  No magic.  Implied in this answer is that I am no supporter of unrestricted elective third trimester abortion, or unrestricted abortion after the age of independent viability of the fetus - that is, the age at which a fetus can be expected to survive outside the woman’s body.  
                   
                Let's go to the other end, to the beginning, of this 38 weeks-long period of fetal development deep inside the corporeal domain and deeply personal jurisdiction of a woman's body, and consider the same question from the other direction.  The question becomes: What is the magic that makes its destruction "murder" in the estimation of some when the DNA of a sperm and the DNA of an ovum share a common cell membrane when just a moment ago, before the event of conception, or fertilization, the same two clusters of DNA were just as alive, and each, one a living sperm and one a living ovum, had its own cell membrane - and their destruction would have borne no moral significance whatsoever, or relatively very little?  I think the honest, obvious answer is the exactly same: "Nothing."  No supernatural magic.

                • Is a newborn baby a person?  Yes.  Of course.  It has developed into what we have through many centuries of philosophical and legal tradition defined a person to be.

                • Is a fertilized egg, or zygote, two DNA clusters occupying the same space inside a single cell shortly after conception, a person?  No.  Of course not.  It can and might develop into a person, although most do not under natural circumstances.  Probably less than 40% of all zygotes do actually develop that far and yet we still have (although many are in denial of it) an ongoing and exponentially escalating worldwide crisis of human overpopulation, progressively more catastrophic in its effects, that has long posed a severe threat to all forms of life on this only planet we have.

                   
                As for the belief that there is no difference, or no difference in value, between even a very early embryo or fetus and a newborn baby or child, please consider this analogy.  What do you have if you have a bowl containing a mixture of flour, sugar, shortening, baking powder, and eggs?  Cake batter.  Not a cake.  It has all the ingredients, but it is only a potential cake - a cake-to-be in the making, not a cake.  It must be placed in the proper atmosphere in the proper vessel and subjected to the proper conditions for the proper span of time before it can be considered a cake.  Actually, I think an even better analogy pertaining to the early stages of embryonic development is that of a blueprint (DNA) for construction of a building before the building materials have even been ordered.  A bit simplistic perhaps, but a fetus is a baby-to-be in the making, not a baby.  It is human life, as is any cell or group of cells in a human body, but not a human being, not a person - not until it becomes "ensouled" at the time it takes its first breath some believe, while others believe "ensoulment" takes place earlier, even as early as conception, and still others determine the emergence of personhood upon other criteria that are more objective than varied and conflicting religious beliefs about "ensoulment."  (Question: Multiple pregnancies result from division of the very early embryo after conception.  If "ensoulment" occurs at conception, does a twin therefore have half a "soul?"  A triplet one-third?)  Similarly, we differentiate between an acorn and an oak tree, a tadpole and a frog, a caterpillar and a butterfly, and so forth.  Scrambled eggs are a popular breakfast entree, not scrambled chicken.
                   
                I’ve been asked, "By the way, my wife was adopted, so I look at her first and think what would be if she weren't around."  To this sort of question I reply, "Well, yes, but that's one of those big "IF's."  Sure, she wouldn't be here IF she'd been aborted.  Like IF her biological mother and father had not "done it" that time, or IF her biological mother had not ovulated that cycle, or IF the condom hadn't burst that time, or IF the embryo that became her had gone the way of the majority of early embryos and spontaneously aborted ("miscarried"), or IF her mother had had a "headache" that night.  And what IF she "weren't around?"  Well, just as in cases like the aforementioned, she would not then exist, and you'd be married to someone who does exist.  Why, you might as well dwell on all the millions of unfertilized eggs and spontaneously aborted embryos, any female one of which might have been your wife IF they had only been fertilized, gestated, born, and then grown up to meet and marry you."
                   
                Uncountable billions of early human embryos are thrown into the garbage or flushed down the sewers on used tampons and pads by women who didn’t even know they were pregnant prior to their very early miscarriages, but this is not regarded as a great tragedy even by the most ardent "pro-lifers."  Their deaths are not solemnized in funeral rituals.  Used tampons and pads are not buried in cemeteries in graves marked by marble monuments.  We are issued certificates of birth, not certificates of conception, a pregnant woman requires only one passport when traveling abroad, and she is counted as one in the census, not two or more.  Not only citizenship, but countless other principles of law and legal status depend upon this distinction.  
                   
                Many ardent Christian believers describe themselves as "born again" Christians, not "conceived again" Christians.
                   
                There is a difference between prenatal and postnatal life, and previable and viable life, that we acknowledge in various ways every day.  Therefore, I do not consider the concept of attained personhood, which underlies the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that in effect legalized abortion nationwide, frivolous or unsubstantial.  I agree with the court that it is of central importance in this controversy.  A zygote can become a baby, but is not one now.  A baby was once a zygote, but is not one now.  Between these two extremes, personhood is attained as the result of slowly progressive development and differentiation of what did indeed begin as what, at the beginning, could reasonably be called "just a blob of tissue" – a single cell and then a growing cluster of undifferentiated embryonic cells beginning a long journey in a woman’s insides toward becoming a person.

                   
                Should we be obligated to fully include a baby in the social contract that defines the legally protected rights of all persons and grant to it a right to life?  Yes.  Of course.

                   
                Should we be obligated by law to include in this secular social contract and grant a right to life, independent of a pregnant woman’s consent and regardless of its consequences to her life and health, to a zygote, a single cell composed of two DNA clusters sharing the same cell membrane, unconscious and insensate, visible only with the aid of a microscope, that is totally dependent for that life upon the 24/7 donation of one specific womans body?  No.  Of course not.

                Abortion Rights 101 provides a primer in understanding the issues of reproductive freedom.

                No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

                by Beket on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 11:42:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  We don't have a right (7+ / 0-)

            to be spared from "moral offense".  The vast majority of people in this country would like to see stem cell research move forward at a quicker pace through government funding.  

            •  That is not the point (0+ / 0-)

              I am merely pointing out that calling people opposed to embryonic stem cell research "science opposers" is a dishonest characterization.

              •  Except that every scientific fact we know.... (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                moiv, kdrivel, Beket, choice joyce, Readrock

                ....says they're wrong.  Now, that can be forgiven.  It happens.

                But blindly carrying on their wrongheaded agenda in the face of scientific fact and condemning real, living, breathing people to needless suffering to push their anti-sex, anti-woman, and anti-human agenda?

                No sir.  That can't be.

                They reject science because it challenges their delusions.

                •  Another mischaracterization (0+ / 0-)

                  But blindly carrying on their wrongheaded agenda in the face of scientific fact and condemning real, living, breathing people to needless suffering to push their anti-sex, anti-woman, and anti-human agenda?

                  Those are all MORAL issues about which science is necessarily silent. It isn't the domain of science.

                  In matters of morals they is no "correct" answer.

                  •  Incorrect. (0+ / 0-)

                    Science can quite easily explain the development of morality and provides a far superior moral code than knowledge 'handed down from on high.'

                    Rational, scientific morality is far more difficult to manipulate for immoral ends.  When you have no rational basis for your morality other than 'cuz God said so' you can be led like sheep.  Exactly as these people are being led.

                    •  Based on your "scientific morality" (0+ / 0-)

                      Can you "prove" that abortion is morally justified?

                      •  Yes actually.... (0+ / 0-)

                        Can you prove it isn't?  Note that claims that an unproven being doesn't like abortion are not only irrational, but nonbiblical as well, and will be summarily ignored.

                        Abortion is the termination of biological processes of an inanimate and undifferentiated lump of cells in most cases.  As such, if you're going to argue against abortion, you'd better start arguing against lumpectomies as well.... since they're just as 'human.'  (They're growing masses of human cells.)  Late term abortion is somewhat more problematic, but as it's pretty much always done for medical reasons, (it's just too dangerous to do for any other reason) the argument to allow it anyway becomes much more compelling.  (I do place a higher priority on the life of a living, breathing woman than I do that of a fetus who won't fully develop anyway.)

                        Your turn.

          •  The key phrase is (6+ / 0-)

            ...to them.

            Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

            by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 08:34:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Opposing science? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            moiv, choice joyce

            No, not "opposing science".  Just supporting extreme ignorance!  william f harrison, m.d.

            A private gyn office offering full gyn services including abortion care to 18 weeks.

            by william f harrison on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 09:16:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Many of these same people (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sharoney

            don't believe in evolution, oppose birth control that works,  oppose the HPV vaccine (and not becasue it's new), don't accept the fact that global warming is kill9ing our planet--and don't even know what the word "theory" means to a scientist. They DO oppose science.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 07:47:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  My future son-in-law (20+ / 0-)

      is in the hospital tonight.  Not a rare thing.  He's had diabetes since he was four.  Last year, my daughter gave him a kidney.  He developed lymphoma from the anti-rejection drugs.  Soon, he'll have to start dialysis.  He undergoes eye surgery at least once a year.  He has chronic pancreatitis.  This has been the poor young man's whole life since a time before he could even remember.  I'm just not in any frame of mind to compromise, sorry.

  •  why did they continue to (13+ / 0-)

    fund this abstinence only nonsense?  Did anyone give a reason for it?

  •  The dems need to step up (7+ / 0-)

    and stop this roaring "train" of ignorance in the name of Jesus!  

    Thanks for pointing out the continued delusion in Congress...while women, actually EVERYONE suffers!

    You are a wonderful writer Moiv! Thank you.

  •  and then there is the draconian fundie view (15+ / 0-)

    that any time a woman has sex she ought to be punished for it but good - that's the bottom line of all of their bills.

    "There's a utopian view that women ought to be able to have sex any time they want to without consequences — that's the bottom line of all these bills," said Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America ...

  •  This is unusually honest of a right-winger: (20+ / 0-)

    "There's a utopian view that women ought to be able to have sex any time they want to without consequences — that's the bottom line of all these bills," said Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America ...

    "Women ought to be able to have sex anytime they want to without consequences . . ."  

    Well, no one thinks that, but fewer consequences, as close to zero consequences as possible, yes.

    And that's just terrifying to you, isn't it, Ms. Crouse?  

    The idea that women, who through biological happenstance get the last word on birth, that they should be able to speak that last word, and thereby demonstrate the truth, that women really are human, and powerful, at the same time . . . that's just unacceptable.  That they should have, of all things, sex, when they wish to, thus tossing your tiny tiny worldview into jeopardy, as they act out their right to themselves and their too too too powerful choices . . . That just keeps you awake at night.  That must be stopped.

    "Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

    by LithiumCola on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:54:38 PM PDT

    •  We can argue until we are blue in the face (9+ / 0-)

      with these folks...the thing is, they don't even believe that having any rights at all is a good idea.    These are people who believe in a strict hierarchy in which a few get to make the decisions for all the rest of us.

    •  Fuck your concern, Ms. Crouse (14+ / 0-)

      God damn your faith, while we're at it.  Your faith, your beliefs, are homicidally ignorant and fundamentally anti-American.  I do not respect your faith or your religious views:  they deserve no respect.

      We live in a country where religious freedom means I am free from your religious views.  So are all the women facing the difficult choice of whether to undergo an abortion, or who choose to use effective birth control, or who wish to protect themselves from the threat of cancer with a vaccine.  So are Americans who wish to escape the bigotry you espouse and live with the same-sex partner they love without discrimination.

      Your faith does not confine me, Ms. Crouse.  It only confines you.

      Just when you think they can't get any worse, you're not surprised to learn you were wrong.

      by Dallasdoc on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:43:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I do think that. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moiv, Beket, LithiumCola

      Men and women both.

      One of the greater evils of christianity is convincing people that sex should have consequences.

      •  There is no such thing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TeresaInPa, Corwin Weber, Got a Grip

        as sex with guarenteed, absolutely zero consequences.  For example: after having sex with someone, you have then had sex with that person.  This is not guarenteed to be a perfect thing.

        Mature people learn to live with this danger.

        "Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

        by LithiumCola on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 08:41:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharoney, moiv, Corwin Weber

        One of the greater evils of christianity is convincing people that sex should have consequences.

        Unless the consequence referred to is an orgasm.

        No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

        by Beket on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 12:05:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  sex does have consequences (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moiv

        pretending it doesn't doesn't help either.  It is pretending that women deserve to be forced to have babies and get diseases because they had sex that is the sickness of SOME Christians.
        But sex has consequences.  Even my 24 year old son knows that.  I was very proud of him yesterday when he told me that just because he broke up with his long term girl friend he is not going to go out an sleep around because what if he then met someone he really liked and she knew he had just been sleeping around with some other girl he didn't really care about the week before?  Sex implies a certain amount of caring and sex without some amount of commitment is awfully hard to pull off without someone getting hurt.  Often you end up finding yourself in a "relationship" with someone you don't even known well or have much in common with.
        Then there is disease.  Condoms don't stop all STDS. People are getting STDs  and the accompanying cancers earlier and earlier these days. I know that because I worked in a women's health clinic for a while and we did lots of pap smears and kept up on that sort of thing.
        And personally, sex without love always left me rather sad...not the least because it was always a total waste of time and energy. I'm just happy I never caught anything.

        •  Well, sure (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          moiv, Corwin Weber

          You have listed some of the troubling consequences of sex that DO exist, but that misses the point - the point being that there is no reason that such bad consequences SHOULD exist or MUST exist with sex between consenting adults, and I'm all for doing all we can to minimize or eliminate them through prevention, treatment, and eradication of disease and unwanted pregnancy - and consciousness-raising directed against all the shame, guilt, fear, jealousy, and other psychological barriers we have erected against sexual fulfillment.

          No matter how fervently you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be wrong - very wrong.

          by Beket on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 10:15:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

            Why do you think this bunch fights medical research tooth and nail?

            They hate contraception.  They hate disease prevention.  Anti-Choice activists don't give a damn about fetuses or abortion in themselves.  They hate that people take control of their own sexuality and enjoy it while avoiding what they see as required consequences for violating their own social mores.

            'Pro-Life'  (Anti-Choice) has never been about 'protect the baby.'  It's about 'punish the slut' and it always has been.  And they have the blood of thousands of men and women on their hands.

        •  Beket is right. (0+ / 0-)

          As I said above, I'm not contesting the fact that sex has consequences.  I'm condemning the idea that sex should have consequences.  That unwanted pregnancy, disease, and relationship issues must be a result of liberated sexuality.

          The idea is so deeply ingrained that most people don't even question it.

  •  I still don't understand this. (11+ / 0-)

    I've read or heard every possible excuse and/or explanation and it still makes no sense.

    Personally, I have no problem with an "abstinence is best" policy for teenagers...so long as we give them real information along side this.  By agreeing to this Devil's deal, we are as good as saying that those who believe in sex education are, indeed, all about forcing 12 year olds to have sex, get pregnant and get late term abortions.  

    •  Now that you've brought it up (11+ / 0-)

      By agreeing to this Devil's deal, we are as good as saying that those who believe in sex education are, indeed, all about forcing 12 year olds to have sex, get pregnant and get late term abortions.

      It's this very Devil's deal that leads to 12 year-olds having later abortions -- or, in a state like mine where even second-trimester abortion care is severely restricted, bearing children in the service of the state.  

      The TEA Fund: Practicing random acts of kindness

      by moiv on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:58:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We all know its garbage... (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moiv, Beket, Elise, noweasels, kath25, Got a Grip

        and why those who are supposed to be representing us can't call them on this I will never understand.  

        •  Because, God forbid, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          moiv, venice ca

          there's no need to be unreasonable! If the Dems respond forcefully to the Right's attacks, we'll be seen as hardline and unwilling to compromise. And if we do push back and lose because the voters are turned off by such divisive rhetoric, we'll have no one to blame but ourselves! It's just too risky.

          Sorry. Just had to paraphrase some of the more bizarro sentiments that were brought up in moiv's and Irishwitch's previous diaries on this subject.

          You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. --Albert Einstein

          by Sharoney on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 12:54:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  There is little reality in Congress these days (7+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annrose, moiv, Beket, Elise, tjb22, Got a Grip, AlliHi

      so don't expect any kind of reasonable answer.  This particular brand of "abstinence ONLY" education started with Bush Senior and with Bush Junior it has turned into an incredibly large business...  And it continues to be the "trade" for political support of the fundies, along with a bunch of other stuff including ridiculous amounts of funding for crises pregnancy centers.

      Have Americans ever really believed informed and consensual sex is OK, even good for people?  We still have our very limited Puritan heritage alive and well in the hallowed halls of Congress.

    •  Arguably -- (7+ / 0-)

      arguably, a lot of factual information will make teenagers decide for themselves not to have sex too early.

      I watched a few birthing videos, saw some pictures of advanced syphilus, and learned about how every kind of contraceptive worked. In fact, my high school had one of the best sex ed programs I've ever heard of -- the teacher had a tackle box full of contraceptives and we learned about them ALL.

      And in my four years of high school, only 2 girls ever had a baby.

      •  Back in the 1970's, (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TeresaInPa, moiv, Beket, kath25, Got a Grip

        before the religious right really got going, Planned Parenthood came into my school and gave presentations several times a year and left all of us cards with addresses and phone numbers of the local clinics.  

        My complaint is that too many people on our side just sit back and let them paint us in ways that are totally untrue.  

        •  Exactly. (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TeresaInPa, moiv, Beket, tjb22, Got a Grip, Readrock

          I think we could just DEMOLISH the Right if we reframed as a "health" issue. Because right now, they're against basic public health measures.

          Most parents are reasonable about the fact that their kids are going to have sex someday. Who wouldn't want to make sure their kid understood basic biology?

          •  Never understood this. (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            moiv, Beket, kath25, blueisland, Got a Grip

            Almost all kids will have sex at some point in their lives....why is this the only instance in which we can't prepare kids for later life?  Geez...we'd need to get rid of a whole lot of high school coursework if we only taught what they needed to know in the next month or so.

            I think you are right, however, in that these same people are often against public health care, period.  It is not a co-incidence that these are the same folks who oppose any kind of expanding of healthcare coverage.  

          •  GREAT FRAME. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sharoney

            We are in favor of protecting the sexual health of Americans. The  right wing favors unwanted pregnancies and STDs as punishment for the sin of having sex.

            The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

            by irishwitch on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 07:36:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  shouldn't that read 'men and women?' (11+ / 0-)

    "There's a utopian view that women ought to be able to have sex any time they want to without consequences — that's the bottom line of all these bills," said Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America ...

  •  Nancy's 100 days (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moiv, Beket, Got a Grip

    doesn't seem to be turning out as advertised

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. - Sam J. Ervin, Jr.

    by tiponeill on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 06:58:49 PM PDT

  •  You know (11+ / 0-)

    I get that Democrats are going to have to work with Republicans to make shitty compromises on things-especially with a close senate.

    And I get that some Dems are going to have to appeal to wider and more conservative constituencies than others in order to get elected.

    But everytime they do stuff like this, they are moving the dialouge in the wrong damn direction.  

    Any force that tries to make you feel shame for being who you are...is a form of tyranny... And it must be rejected, resisted, and defeated. ~Al Gore

    by Sinister Rae on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 07:02:17 PM PDT

    •  I can understand the Iraq funding (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharoney, moiv, julifolo, Sinister Rae

      bill a hell of a lot more than I can understand this.  I do not agree with the Iraq funding bill.  I think democrats should have played hard ball and sent the bastard an even tougher bill.  I think that would have impressed Americans to tell you the truth.  But they aren't me and I can accept that.....maybe bush really is crazy enough to play chicken with the lives of our troops and leave them there unfunded.

      But this abstinence only shit is just a way of putting money in to the hands of the religious right the people who are making life hell for women and gay people all over this country.  The republican party has managed to privatize vast amounts of education and  public policy and I am sick to death of it.  This should NEVER have happened. It is not like the American people are paying attention or care about this issue.  Who the hell cares about this except the lunatic right wing religious nuts?

      Jeez, I go to church all the time and most of the people in my church are republicans and there might be a handful who think abstinence only education is a good idea, but I can't for the life of me think who they would be.  Most of them are social moderates if not liberal.  I don't get who needs to be placated here.  I just do not get it.  I am wondering if it is our own socially conservative democrats who have to be placated..you know the ones we were told we have to elect to get the majority (cough...bullshit...cough).
      So if the american people don't care about this except a small lunatic fringe why not tell the minority party to stuff it?  It's not like they are going to compromise with us on anything.  Just look at that Nazi kook Janice Crouse, she's not going to compromise on anything.  She thinks she has the right to control other women's bodies.  She's brain washed by whatever church she attends.  They are on a mission from God.  Too bad they never hear God telling them to feed and cloth the poor or to love their neighbor.  

    •  Our "Dems Foir Life" guys (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharoney

      bailed out of a bill to fund comprehensive sex ed programs and provided funds for birth control.  Apparently they are also agaisnt birth control, jsut liek the Religiosu RIght Nuts.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 07:35:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this continued attention on choice (12+ / 0-)

    moiv- your work is always appreciated here.

    I feel like writing this woman a letter:

    "There's a utopian view that women ought to be able to have sex any time they want to without consequences — that's the bottom line of all these bills," said Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America ...

    and just saying "Yes Janice...that's exactly what I'm doing thanks to birth control, and you can fuck yourself for trying to tell me I can't."

  •  Take the pictures off (2+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    ConservativeDemocrat, Richard Lyon
    Hidden by:
    Beket, megaera

    While I am not Kos and maybe my opinion of "community standards" may be off I don't think the pictures of a woman's vagina are appropriate for a blog like this. You can make your point about HPV without showing those graphic images. I don't think people here want to see genitalia of either sex that is covered in disease.

    •  well, unfortunately- those pictures show (17+ / 0-)

      the result of abstinence only education.

      THAT is what happens when people aren't informed about how to protect themselves when they engage in sex.

      The pictures are necessary.

      •  Actually.... (0+ / 0-)

        They show the results of not wearing condoms.

        And despite the best efforts of many to lie-- factually the premise you're supporting has shown to be inaccurate.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

        One thing they also learned, Trenholm said, was that kids receiving abstinence instruction did not use condoms less often than other kids, a possibility that critics occasionally raise. They also showed slightly better knowledge about the prevention of sexually transmitted disease.

        Kids in both groups were knowledgeable about the risks of having sex without using a condom or other form of protection. Knowing that did not mean they put on a condom every time, however. Condom use was not high in either group; of those who had sex, almost half said they used condoms only "sometimes" or "never."

        Unless that quote is a blatant fabrication it would kind of kill the whole point of lowering yourself to the level of the anti-abortion activist showing shock photos, no? But if that quote is accurate, maybe people should be talking about how to come up with sex ed that actually works instead of posting vaginas and anuses to support fallacies.

        •  Not everyone agrees with this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sharoney, Elise

          There is no good scientific evidence that teaching abstinence to teenagers will by itself prevent unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, say the authors of a recent study. Yet they found that comprehensive sex education is declining and that more youngsters are being taught nothing more than abstinence.

          The recent study, by a team of scholars at the Guttmacher Institute in New York headed by Laura Duberstein Lindberg, looked at instruction between 1995 and 2002 nationwide and found that "teenagers were significantly more likely to have received instruction about how to say no to sex than ... birth control methods" and that abstinence was being pushed in sex ed classes "in the absence of any substantial scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of the approach."

          Published in the December issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, a leading journal, the article attributed the trend to the federal funding, which since 1996 "has shifted toward programs that teach only abstinence and restrict other information."

          http://www.sfgate.com/...

          Not only DON'T they work--but they mislead teens (even Frist admitted that there were many factual errors)

          Many American youngsters participating in federally funded abstinence-only programs have been taught over the past three years that abortion can lead to sterility and suicide, that half the gay male teenagers in the United States have tested positive for the AIDS virus, and that touching a person's genitals "can result in pregnancy," a congressional staff analysis has found.

          hose and other assertions are examples of the "false, misleading, or distorted information" in the programs' teaching materials, said the analysis, released yesterday, which reviewed the curricula of more than a dozen projects aimed at preventing teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease.

          The report concluded that two of the curricula were accurate but the 11 others, used by 69 organizations in 25 states, contain unproved claims, subjective conclusions or outright falsehoods regarding reproductive health, gender traits and when life begins. In some cases, Waxman said in an interview, the factual issues were limited to occasional misinterpretations of publicly available data; in others, the materials pervasively presented subjective opinions as scientific fact.

          Among the misconceptions cited by Waxman's investigators:

          • A 43-day-old fetus is a "thinking person."

          • HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be spread via sweat and tears.

          • Condoms fail to prevent HIV transmission as often as 31 percent of the time in heterosexual intercourse.

          One curriculum, called "Me, My World, My Future," teaches that women who have an abortion "are more prone to suicide" and that as many as 10 percent of them become sterile. This contradicts the 2001 edition of a standard obstetrics textbook that says fertility is not affected by elective abortion, the Waxman report said.

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 07:31:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think your notion of "community standards" is (18+ / 0-)

      waaaay off.

      She cannot make her point about HPV anything nearly as effectively without those images.  I am glad she posted them, because I had no idea how devastating this is.

      Of course no one "wants to see" pictures of disease anymore than they "want" to see pictures of dead and maimed children in Iraq.  But we need to face the facts about the consequences of our country's steady march backwards so that we understand how important this issue of fact-based education and access to contraception is.  It is NOT something that should be the subject of political compromise.

      If you can't deal with the pictures, turn away.

      •  Huh. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moiv, megaera

        we need to face the facts about the consequences of our country's steady march backwards so that we understand how important this issue of fact-based education and access to contraception is.  It is NOT something that should be the subject of political compromise.

        But, but, that attitude is so confrontational and in-your-face! How can we make friends and influence people like jiacinto about contraception if we're offending them with our choice of images?

        As you've said elsewhere, "We don't have to be polarizing in our rhetoric and our symbols in order to stand firm on policy choices."

        But hey, I guess that only applies when the discussion is about defending access to abortion rather than contraception, correct?

        You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. --Albert Einstein

        by Sharoney on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 12:38:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't you have anything better to do (0+ / 0-)

          than to attack people who agree with you?

          Nothing I wrote here contradicts anything I wrote earlier.

          My beef was and is with people who argue that "rare" in "safe, legal and rare" somehow represents a capitulation to the most extreme elements of the Christian right.  Instead, it is a reasonable acknowledgment of the fact that the vast majority of Americans feel there is a moral/ethical dimension to the abortion issue.  I don't share their view, but I am not so myopic as to believe that I am going to be able to force everyone else in America to see everything my way.  And I am not so stubborn as to insist that I will force people to see everything exactly the way I see it even if I have to put reproductive rights and civil liberties in jeopardy to do it.  (Ever read "The Zax"?)  "In your face" is insisting that there is only one correct way to frame the abortion issue and that it is invalid to acknowledge a moral dimension.  "My way or the highway" is insisting that you will stand on the street corner and yell "get your hands off my uterus!" until the cows come home even though you are winning over no one.  And both of these positions piss me off because I believe they assist the religious right in using reproductive freedom as a wedge issue to drive away a faction of more moderate Americans who might otherwise vote for pro-choice representatives.

          More saliently, I wrote that I don't believe that the images offend "community standards" here on DKos. You know, the reality-based community?  They appear in a political diary about abortion and contraception access on a website dedicated to the election of Democratic candidates.  Democrats, as in the party which has historically been in favor of choice, supportive of access to contraception and real family planning and willing to look at the real facts.  So how would posting these images here offend community standards?  

          It is depressing to be attacked as some kind of anti-choice shill here, but I guess wherever you go you will run into people who've been banging the same drum so loudly for so many years that they've essentially lost the ability to hear.

          •  well here's one person (2+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Sharoney, irishwitch
            Hidden by:
            Mother of Zeus

            who thinks you are in effect an "anti-choice shill" because you are incredibly fucking dedicated to picking on pro-choice women, criticizing them as "strident", telling them to be "softer", condemning their "in your face" style, and other such repellent bullshit. and providing no evidence for any of your condemnations except your own "feelings".

            seriously, you're a pain in the ass. furthermore your pain in the assness has a sexist and antifeminist tone. that pisses me off.

            •  I shouldn't waste my time, but here goes . . . (0+ / 0-)

              Ever since a couple of days ago when I posted that "safe, legal and rare" seems like a politically astute position provided we don't compromise on policy or get pressured into electing anti-choice Dems like Casey (read the posts), you have shown up to attack me and distort this position.  To what end I know not.  My guess is that you just like to flame.

              I AM a pro-choice woman; I'm not "picking on" pro-choice women.  I've stated my position clearly and reasonably any number of times and I've never "condemned" anyone.  Condemning seems to be what you do best, and I see that you've been called on this quite a few times by others on this site notwithstanding the fact that you have, as do I, a relatively recent UID.

              This time you've clearly crossed the line.

              I will not be responding to you anymore, so flame away, selectively quote me, distort my position and enjoy getting the last word if you wish.  I can't stop you and we both have better things to do I am sure.

              •  Ratings abuse. (0+ / 0-)

                I guess you're so new that you don't know the rules around here, but at DKos you don't trollrate people simply because you disagree with them, or (as in this case) you are unable to respond substantively.

                I suggest you go here and read up on how things are done here. And then please try not to lecture others when you are speaking from ignorance.

                Have a lovely, polite day.

                You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. --Albert Einstein

                by Sharoney on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 01:01:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nonsense (0+ / 0-)

                  From your link, trolling includes

                  Personal attacks on other site users, including following them from thread to thread.

                  megaera's post is nothing but a personal attack which adds nothing substantive to any debate on any issue here.  I can't respond substantively, as there is nothing of substance to respond to.

                  Arguably, you are a co-troll for hijacking the above thread for the sole purpose of disingenuously throwing some purportedly inconsistent comments in my face, none of which had anything whatsoever to do with the discussion at hand.

                  I know the rules quite well.  The comment was pure trolling.  Both of you have been trolling for a couple of days now.  I'd advise that you stop it.

                  I am guilty of feeding you for a few days; that was my real newcomer's mistake.

                  Now please leave me alone.

                  •  Shrug. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    irishwitch

                    megaera's post is nothing but a personal attack which adds nothing substantive to any debate on any issue here.  I can't respond substantively, as there is nothing of substance to respond to.

                    megaera accurately and succinctly described both your attitude and your entire argument in a few colorful sentences. The fact that you don't like how it looks when summed up so well is your problem, not hers. If you dislike like having to defend your statements, methinks you've come to the wrong blog. I suggest Friendster; they may be a little more your style.

                    Arguably, you are a co-troll for hijacking the above thread for the sole purpose of disingenuously throwing some purportedly inconsistent comments in my face, none of which had anything whatsoever to do with the discussion at hand.

                    Oh, dear me. You called me a troll. Personal attack! I'm crushed. Pardon me while I weep bitterly.

                    BTW, not to point out the obvious, but the title of this diary is "Real Pro-Abortion Democrats." Specifically, about "Democratic pandering to the sensibilities of political religionists," a description which, I submit, fits your proposed strategy just fine--and which makes perfectly relevant my comments about your continuing denigration of "strident," "in-your-face" women who fought for and won your right to choose.

                    But hey. Whatever. I hope your cherished illusions about "reasoning" with these people are a comfort to you once Hillary and the other appeasers agree to sell our rights down the river in the name of "common cause" and "mutual respect."

                    You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. --Albert Einstein

                    by Sharoney on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 02:33:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  why should we leave you alone? (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sharoney, irishwitch

                    if you present bogus bullshit and pretend it's an intelligent argument, you're gonna get confronted on it. sorry.

              •  no, you're the one condemning (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sharoney

                and I for one am sick of it. to be honest, I don't buy your story that you're a "pro-choice woman". you're too stuck on criticizing pro-choice women. you're like a broken record.

                I suspect that you're only in these discussions to bait and enflame.

          •  There are so many strawmen (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            irishwitch

            in this comment you must have used the entire haystack.

            Nothing I wrote here contradicts anything I wrote earlier.

            Okay--since you evidently didn't take the time to follow the link in my previous comment, I'll spell it out for you. It compared your reaction to the STD images above to your reaction to an equally powerful and effective image (which, it should be noted, referred to the fight for legal abortion): a coathanger. You responded by tut-tutting the commenter and calling it "polarizing."

            I agree with you that posting gross pictures of disease are appropriate in this diary. But to you, even referring to a symbol of the way women have died after having to resort to self-induced abortion is just too "hardcore" for your delicate sensibilities. Am I the only one who sees the inconsistency here?

            My beef was and is with people who argue that "rare" in "safe, legal and rare" somehow represents a capitulation to the most extreme elements of the Christian right.  Instead, it is a reasonable acknowledgment of the fact that the vast majority of Americans feel there is a moral/ethical dimension to the abortion issue.

            I never claimed otherwise, but nice try. Next:

            I am not so myopic as to believe that I am going to be able to force everyone else in America to see everything my way.

            Another strawman. My point, and moiv's, and irishwitch's, is that the idea of responding to the Right's relentless rhetorical and legal attacks on that Constitutional right by holding back for the sake of sparing the feelings of some unquantifiable mushy middle is just what the other side wants us to do. It will be bringing a knife to a gun fight, and we will lose. Is that what you want? I wonder.

            And I am not so stubborn as to insist that I will force people to see everything exactly the way I see it even if I have to put reproductive rights and civil liberties in jeopardy to do it.

            Again, you have it exactly backwards and upside down. See my previous response.

            "In your face" is insisting that there is only one correct way to frame the abortion issue and that it is invalid to acknowledge a moral dimension.

            Another strawman. I said that such acknowledgments were ineffective in what you yourself have acknowledged is a propaganda war, not invalid. Next!

            "My way or the highway" is insisting that you will stand on the street corner and yell "get your hands off my uterus!"

            You know something? You're really, really good at repeating the religious right's worst stereotypes. Are you sure you're not working for the other side?

            And both of these positions piss me off because I believe they assist the religious right in using reproductive freedom as a wedge issue to drive away a faction of more moderate Americans who might otherwise vote for pro-choice representatives.

            Oh, bullshit, MoZ. The right started this fight, not us, and they did it not for moral but for politically expedient purposes. (If you knew anything about the struggle for the right to choose, you would know that. But I'm not surprised, given your confessed ignorance in this very diary about the ravages of STDs, and your admissions elsewhere that your own "feelings" on this subject are not backed up by anything remotely resembling facts.)

            how would posting these images here offend community standards?

            You didn't deign to respond to any of my previous responses to your other comments, and I guess snark is too "soft" for you, so I'll be "strident" instead: I think you are a hypocrite who thinks abortion is an icky subject that we should avoid talking about, who projects that discomfort on others, and who then makes shit up to back up your assumptions.

            There. Happy now? Is that "in-your-face" enough for you? Now go ahead and abuse the ratings system the way you did with megaera, because you clearly can't justify your own statements.

            And, oh, not that it means a damn thing, but I have a two-digit UID. Cheers!

            You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. --Albert Einstein

            by Sharoney on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 12:55:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  You could see the same (5+ / 0-)

      in most women's magazines.  You would see the same by visiting any healthcare site on the web.

    •  look at this one (9+ / 0-)

      http://images.google.com/...

      this is what happens with abstinence only sex education.  Beware, it happens to men too.

    •  That's the point, jiacinto (15+ / 0-)

      While I regret that an accurate clinical depiction of only one of the many types of sexually transmitted infection that will continue to proliferate because of increased "abstinence-only" funding offends you, it is a shame you don't express offense at the fact that our tax dollars--yours, mine and everyone else's--are enabling its spread.  

      Nobody wants to see condyloma. Nobody wants to have it, either. Especially tenth graders who will continued to be lied to about how to avoid it.

      And I cannot help being astonished that you seem to equate that image with pornography.

      Amazing . . .

      The TEA Fund: Practicing random acts of kindness

      by moiv on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 08:24:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Appropriate? (10+ / 0-)

      It's not only appropriate but tragically necessary in my opinion.  

      Arrogant lips are unsuited to a fool-- how much worse lying lips to a ruler - Proverbs 17:7

      by Barbara Morrill on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 08:37:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  EXACTLY. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharoney

        It's not exactly like these are Hustler split beaver porn pix.  If anything, they're enough to turn you OFF sex. This is precisely what kids NEED to see in  comprehensive sex ed classes.

        The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

        by irishwitch on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 07:18:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But, irishwitch, (0+ / 0-)

          dontcha know that informing kids in any way about matters having to do with sex (including gross pix of STDs) will encourage them to have sex?

          This crowd would rather lie to deny women their rights than tell the truth to keep kids safe and healthy.

          You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. --Albert Einstein

          by Sharoney on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 10:40:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Do you think the other side, (11+ / 0-)

      the fundies, don't break out the gruesome abortion pics at every possible turn?  Have you not heard those who believe that abortion should be legal and safe, whether they would have one themselves or not, called baby killers and much worse?  These people show all manner of gruesome pics, say horrible things about us that are blatant lies, but your delicate sensibilities are going to be upset by three small pics of what abstinence only education has brought us?  

      We need to see the truth, all of us.  We need to see the pics from Abu Grhaib, of dead soldiers who died in a war that is based on a lie, of soldiers wounded so severely that they will never recover. We need to see what not having universal health care does to hardworking Americans who can't afford to buy insurance.  We need to see what happens to the genitals of our teenagers if they aren't taught how to have sex as safely as possible.  More importantly, we should be making sure that everyone else in this country sees it, and not just the propaganda of the extreme right.

      TIP & NION
      Liberty and Justice for All

      by Got a Grip on Tue Jun 12, 2007 at 10:07:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Attack on Tiller, "mental health" reasons (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        moiv, Got a Grip

        link

        During the interview, McHugh challenged Tiller's diagnoses of mental health problems and stated that he saw nothing in the records that would justify a late-term abortion under Kansas law, which prohibits abortions after 21 weeks unless the mother's live is in danger or there is a "substantial and irreversible" risk to a "major bodily function."

        It's a really ugly video. The anti-Tiller talking points are that abortions are being done for "social" reasons, not "medical" reasons. And the psychiatrist expert consulted by Phill Kline said, judging from what was written in the [anonymous] medical files Kline gave him to review none of the abortions were justified for psychiatric reasons.

        Then a bunch of talking points that made my jaw drop: wanting to go to a rock concert, wouldn't be able to attend prom, there's vast mental health resources in this country -- if there's a mental health problem refer them there, ... and considering the halting way he spoke most of the time, I don't know how long ago he got his training and how much of an "expertise" he has left.

        If your local service workers don't get a living wage (including healthcare) then your local social contract is broken

        by julifolo on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 08:49:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You need a dose of reality. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharoney

      THIS is what STDs look like.  It isn't pretty. Sorry it offends your delicate sensibilities--but if the  other side can post pictures of aborted fetuses--we need to show what happens to kids who get abstinence only education.  DEAL WITH IT.

      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

      by irishwitch on Thu Jun 14, 2007 at 07:15:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Some priorities (11+ / 0-)

    The division of DHHS that funds the abstinence education boondoggle has been in charge of programs for teenagers who are runaways, homeless, or on the street.  Kids in risky or desperate situations.

    Check out the funding levels for 2006:

    Known as the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, its three programs fund services like emergency shelters, street outreach, and transitional living programs where youth can stay for 18 months and finish school/start a job.  These programs have been funded since 1975, with very limited increases. Largest grants are $200K/year.

    Total funds in all three programs for 2006: 92 million for 669 grantees.

    And now, the brand new kid on the block:
    Community-Based Abstinence Education  In 2006, it gave 113 million to 158 grantees to preach the abstinence-only message. The amount of each of these contracts is at least 3 times greater than any of the other programs.  Up to $600K/year, 5 year grants.

    So that $27 million increase the Dems just handed over would have had a major impact on organizations that have been scraping by for decades, working with our most vulnerable young people.

    link

  •  Thank you, moiv. (9+ / 0-)

    Those pictures are truly horrifying. Thank you for putting in very visceral terms what Abstinence-Only education creates.

    Good up the good work. Thanks for your continued vigilance.

  •  Politicians playing politics with women's lives (15+ / 0-)

    Great but depressing diary moiv. The bottom line, it seems, is this: Politicians can get away with this crap because they know that women's lives, health, and rights are expendable. That attitude is no longer confined to Republicans - if it ever was.

  •  Where do we go from here? (10+ / 0-)

    We 'won the house' in the last election and thought they were going to be on our side... we were wrong, oh so very, very wrong.

  •  Appeasing mad dogs! (7+ / 0-)

    The congressional democrats who think you can appease mad dogs on the right are as wrong as the appeasers who courted the Nazis before WWII.  Right on, Moiv.  Tell it like it is, no holds bared!  william f harrison, m.d.

    A private gyn office offering full gyn services including abortion care to 18 weeks.

    by william f harrison on Wed Jun 13, 2007 at 09:10:39 AM PDT

    •  Hi doc (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sharoney, moiv, Beket, julifolo, choice joyce

      I worked in a Women's clinic in Florida a about 10 years ago.  Several days a week two doctors traded off coming in as private contractors and did about 15 abortions.  They got paid almost nothing and they passed through a pack of protesters every time they entered and left the place.  
      Thank you for what you do.  Caring more about a woman than a fetus just makes sense to me.
      I remember many of those women.  Every one of them had a good reason for having an abortion.  None of them was casual about it.  Teaching birth control and offering birth control services and 6 week check ups for free was part of our service. It was hardly a money making industry. And now I am about to cry thinking about some of those women.
      One had HIV.  She was Haitian and Catholic and she did not believe in abortion.  She was so ashamed.  Her husband had cheated on her and she already had five children.  She was a beautiful immaculate woman, not a hair out of place or a loose thread even though she was very very poor.
      She said to me " I do not believe in abortion.  I never thought I would ever do this.  But I am going to die, my husband is going to die and I have five children to find homes for. Who will want my little Haitian AIDS baby?"
      We had to put her on the end of the schedule and just explaining why to her added to her shame of course and  yet she had so much dignity and strength.  It is hard not to curse the people who claim women use abortion for birth control.  

  •  Facing the future... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharoney, moiv, Beket

    How do we explain to our children and grandchildren that we knew how to save their health and very lives but paid through the nose to make sure they didn't find out?
    Why would we do this?  Just how much does the RR want women,men and children sick and dying?
    Of course its a health problem and reasonable, responsible people should have already decided "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore"- then ACT on it!  Visit your elected officials (especially congressional and legislative) in person and voice your concern and refusal to accept this way of 'cleansing' which is couched in religiosity.  But of course, their children and grandchildren are getting quality sex education and health awareness AND have the resources to get safe abortion care- unlike the majority of the rest of the population (who they represent)?  
    We all remember Dr. Joycelyn Elders (former U. S. Surgeon General in the Clinton administration) who paid the price of losing her job for daring to speak out about Comprehensive Health Education including sex; Comprehensive Health Clinics in public schools and who said the RR needs to get over their love affair with the fetus.  
    In my extensive experience, I've never met a woman who 'wanted' to have an abortion, who made her decision casually or lightly, who got up one morning and decided she'd like to have an abortion so she just didn't bother to use birth control- as we are so coldly characterized by the RR and their ilk.
    So, yes moiv is right on target about the consequences of abstinence only programs.  The money is being laundered to bushco cronies, and our children and grandchildren (our futures) are being cheated, stolen from and having their lives and health put at risk and sometimes even DYING for those with 'connections' to line their pockets.
    Now- say along with me: "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore"!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site