This weeks Tim Corrimal Show looked at a host of domestic issues that have happened in the last week or that were moved to the back burner over the past two weeks as Tim and his guests discussed the unfolding revolution in Egypt.
On the docket this week were the effects of the GOP’s domestic policies regarding jobs (or the lack thereof), abortion and Planned Parenthood, and the attempts at union busting in Wisconsin. Head over to Tim’s site for a list (and links) of his guests and their Twitter friends of the week. If you’re not already listening to Tim’s show on a regular basis you are seriously missing out. I have had the privilege of being a guest on Tim’s show twice and look forward to joining him again some time in the future. He is uncanny at gathering together a great group of people and fostering intelligent, genuine, respectful, and sharp discussion. I can’t recommend it enough.
This past year, leading up to mid-term elections, the GOP ran on a solid platform of jobs, jobs, and oh yeah, more jobs. They railed against Obama, the Dems, and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi as job-killing, government-expanding, nanny-state perpetuating liberal, commie overlords. And it worked! The GOP took the house and many state elections. But since coming to office, the party of jobs has become the party of anti-abortion, Planned Parenthood defunding, defunding social services, and now union busting. Gone are the overwhelming concerns for the jobless in this country. Gone are the concerns for serious discussion for both short term and long term deficit reduction. Now the interest, the sole interest, of the GOP is the indiscriminate defunding of social programs, education and heath organizations, and often-labeled “liberal” media entities. Budgets have been slashed for the EPA, FDA, NEA, PBS, etc. Now the GOP has turned their scopes to abortion and Planned Parenthood.
Tim and his guests, as mentioned above, discussed a variety of US domestic issues, including the ongoing attempts in Wisconsin to bust unions, but I would like to specifically address the topic of abortion in this country and the current round of assaults on abortion rights extremely well (Montana, South Dakota, etc).
One thing I wish Tim and his guests had touched upon was the hypocrisy in the US by both social advocates and elected officials when it comes to male reproductive issues and women’s reproductive issues. Viagra is paid for by Medicare. If a group of female congresswomen got together to sponsor a bill that would effect Viagra availability or insurance coverage, there would be no end to the male outrage over government or women inserting themselves into a private decision process. No man wants government or a women telling him what to do with his penis, yet men feel comfortable everyday dictating what women do with their bodies.
Planned Parenthood had acquired the stain of being the “neighborhood abortion clinic.” It’s unfortunate and it’s a reputation pushed hard by the right. Planned Parenthood provides testing, screening, exams, and counseling for women AND men regarding sexual health, reproduction, family planing, body image, sexuality, physicals, vaccines, and healthy partnerships. Planned Parenthood provides flu shots, physical exams, testing for high cholesterol, diabetes and anemia. Planned Parenthood provides tetanus vaccines and offers programs for body image issues, sexuality, and quitting smoking. Planned Parenthood also provides fertility and family planning services for men AND women, such as counseling about pregnancy (how do get pregnant when you’re ready, or how avoid pregnancy until you’re ready), tests for fertility (for men AND women), referrals for fertility specialists, etc. Planned Parenthood provides a full spectrum of STD screenings and treatments in addition to UTIs.
To single Planned Parenthood out as only an abortion clinic ignores the host of much needed care that the organization provides men, women, and children in this country. How angry would the men of this country be if women dictated who they [men] could get condoms or Viagra from? If women of this country made it as difficult for them to receive sexual healthcare as they make it for us?
Teen pregnancy rates declined during the Clinton Administration when a successful sex education program was implemented in schools, one that armed young adults with proper information about sex, STDs, and pregnancy. Under the Bush Administration that program and the positive steps it took towards decreasing teen pregnancy was undone by an abstinence-only policy. As a result, teen pregnancy rose. A cornerstone of Planned Parenthood is education. They educate men and women about being sexually safe, not only to avoid STDs but to avoid pregnancy as well.
I assure you, no woman thinks about the man in her life the moment she finds out she’s pregnant. That moment in her bathroom with a home pregnancy test or in her doctor’s office is a moment of solitude. It is in that moment that a woman has to ask herself if she is physically, emotionally, psychologically and financially capable of carrying a child to term and caring for it into adulthood. The father of that child need only worry about his financial responsibility. Legally, that is the extent of the father’s responsibility. And the GOP is in the process of removing valuable avenues of advice and medical care for women as they prepare for a pregnancy, as they make the heavy-hearted decision to keep or terminate a pregnancy, and as they care the pregnancy to term. For a party so adamantly against the involvement of “big government” in their medical care it astounds me that they push this message so hard. By defunding organizations like Planned Parenthood the GOP dictates when, who, and how women receive sexual and reproductive healthcare services. By chipping away at abortion rights and dictating what occurs and is discussed between a patient and a doctor, the GOP is pushing the worst level of “nanny state” government and is showing the worst of their hypocritical colors.
No woman takes their reproductive care lightly. To imply that an abortion is performed flippantly or without thought or care is so unendingly insensitive as to be obscene.
Men would do well to remember that condoms are available over the counter and without a prescription. For a woman to obtain a birth control prescription in this country she must see a doctor, have a full gynecological exam (including breast exam, pelvic exam, pap smear, and blood and urine test), and then she can acquire her prescription at a pharmacy. If she relies on Medicaid for healthcare then the process is a bit more complicated. She has to find a doctor or clinic that accepts Medicaid. Then she has to find a pharmacy that accepts Medicaid. Then she has to pay for it. Planned Parenthood is such a clinic. By defunding Planned Parenthood, the GOP is extinguishing an organization that provides 20% of America’s women with health services. Women have always carried the disproportionate burden of sex and pregnancy. The GOP is intent on this continued subjugation.