Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"Pain-Capable" Is Back and as Devious as Ever

Anti-abortion legislation is the bread-and-butter of the right wing.  Followers are rabid and loud.  My guess is it is a much smaller group than they seem, but they seem bigger because they just. won't. stop.  They show up at Planned Parenthood clinics, ACLU meetings, statehouses and Congress.

One might think that the right-wing, so concerned about governmental invasion of privacy in the Affordable Care Act, would be opposed to anti-abortion legislation that would control medical care and enforce it through invasion of privacy in those same medical records they have claimed to be protecting.  Or right-wingers that go ballistic (yeah, it's a pun but it's not that funny, is it?) over the suggestion of background checks much less registration of gun owners for fear they would invade the privacy of those who seek to wield deadly weapons would look askance at these bills.  Or how about those freedom-of-the-marketplace right-wingers who are now fighting to prevent private pharmaceutical and health insurance companies from offering birth control and abortion services?

These right-wingnuts are the same people who block attempts to feed the poor, including the pregnant and children, much less provide health care or adequate housing.  Life seems a little less precious to them when it comes to protecting it after birth.

Here in South Carolina, on Tuesday, an infant died.  Less than a month old, with a 17-year-old mother, who has been charged with murder and child felony abuse.  What social services might have prevented this tragedy?  And, what's worse, who among our lawmakers even cares?

So once again Congress and our own state legislators are force-feeding us the 20-week abortion ban, which, despite proven science, is misnamed the "pain-capable unborn child prevention act."  This is a win-win for these cruel and creepy lawmakers.  Whether the bill passes or not, they are allowed to act morally superior, get lots of publicity, and garner the support of the most vocal, persistent and vicious of us.

Neither new Senate leader Mitch McConnell nor our own Senator Tim Scott care about the suffering of the poor, the hungry children, the emotionally disturbed who are forced to bear children without a support system.  And here in South Carolina, during the holiday season, our own Wendy Nanney couldn't wait to introduce the 20-week abortion ban.  The national organizations are all over this, helping write the laws that allow others to invade the privacy and personal lives of women; they are there to corrode liberty in each state and nationally.

The thing is, we should also be all over this.  Not just because it seeks to impose government control over what should be women's private health care and reproductive decisions, although that is more than enough.  This bill speaks lies and deception from its very name.  First of all, "pain-capable" -- what the hell IS that?  Apparently, it means that a fetus is "capable" of feeling pain, if only...?  How about a fetus is capable of feeling pain if the mother does not get the proper nutrition?  Or a fetus is capable of feeling pain if a pregnant woman is not properly housed, or has to work in unsafe conditions, or has to breathe polluted air?

Actually, no, a fetus still is not capable of feeling pain under those conditions.  However, a pregnant woman is capable of feeling pain in those circumstances.  And if a pregnant woman brings her pregnancy to term, an actual baby is likely to feel pain with inadequate nutrition, health care, environment.  It seems that all those right wingnuts stop caring whether there is pain once a living being is actually capable of feeling it.

And actually, abortions at twenty weeks are very rare, and most often done in wanted pregnancies, when serious health problems arise.  To hear the wingnuts talk, you would think droves of women sit around pregnant for five months and then impulsively decide they'd rather not have that baby.  We need to yell bullshit to the false, deceptive presumptions that give these bills air each legislative season.

I for one get tired of fighting for the rights that women were guaranteed when we had a Supreme Court that considered individuals and not their own personal biases.  I hate to think about it, because there may well come a day when our daughters will be denied those rights, in fact, have been gradually losing them over the past decades.  But, you see, those on the other side love nothing better than that good old self-righteous fight.  If they lose, they lose nothing, and it feels good to bash others.  And if they win, they will be smug and smarmy about it for awhile, and then redraw that line so we have to fight them or lose another freedom.

So we need to be louder, and more persistent, and angrier than all those who are once again standing up to defend their right to take away a woman's freedom and privacy.

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