Abortions and Angry Time with Google

Uh oh…she hardly ever blogs anymore and when she does it’s always while standing on a soapbox. She’s not a blogger; she’s an angry elf.

Oh…I’m angry.

If you’re not abreast (pun intended, as we are talking about women’s issues) of the debate going on in Texas, let me first ask “WHAT the WHAHHH???”

And then let me summarize…

texasBasically, during a special legislative session called by Texas Governor Rick Perry (I’m a huge fan </sarcasmfont>), redistricting and abortion were added to the agenda (other topics, too, but I won’t bore you with all of them). During this special session, while multiple bills were filed, it is Senate Bill 5 (SB5), by state Senator Glenn Hegar (R-Katy, TX), that is making the headlines. SB5, in a nutshell, would make abortion illegal after 20 weeks, while also establishing new requirements and regulations for those facilities that perform abortions. More specifically, it would force the closure of 37 of 42 clinics, which currently offer abortion services in Texas. That leaves five (FIVE) clinics in the entire state of Texas.

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A friend of mine had her 11-year-old daughter call me one day because they were driving through the East Coast, and she was complaining about all the time they were spending in the car.

“How long have you been in the car?” I asked.

“7 hours,” she replied.

“How many states have you driven through?”

She listed three.

“For reference, if I got in my car right now and headed north for seven hours, I might not even make it across the Texas state line.”

She responded, “Well, that’s unfortunate.”

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Basically, it’s a big state. So, FIVE clinics that would provide this service would be like only one food truck vendor at San Antonio’s NIOSA.

You can read more about SB5 and the surrounding controversy here. Or here. Or here.

Look, I could now write a research paper on all the statistics I found on abortion, (like these) but I don’t want to lose focus on why I’m angry.

*Disclaimer: I got some of these stats from the Guttmacher Institute, which we all know to be an evil arm of that horrific Planned Parenthood organization.

But I do want to address some statistics that this bill addresses:

  1. Fewer than 0.5% of women obtaining abortions experience a complication, and the risk of death associated with abortion is about one-tenth that associated with childbirth. (For more information, click here.)
  2. 98.5% of abortions occur in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. (For more information, click here. Or here.)

These are actual facts. I know facts can be difficult to understand. Hell, we have elected officials who claim that rape kits – you know, the things that collect DNA for authorities – can actually “clean you out,” meaning there is no need to worry about getting an abortion ‘cause you can’t get pregnant. No…seriously…that happened.

We are creating legislation to make it nearly impossible to get an abortion due to the less than 2% of abortions that happen in the time frame that is most troubling to Republicans and the less than 1% of complications arising from the procedure.

This is when I start having heart palpitations.

Remember the gun debate? You know, every time a mass shooting takes place, one side of the aisle screams, “WHEN ARE WE GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT GUN CONTROL?” While the other side screams, “YOU CAN PRY MY GUN OUT OF MY COLD, DEAD HAND.”

Then, the conversation becomes one that discusses the statistics.

“Tobacco use kills more people per year than firearm homicides.” Or “according to the FBI, the #1 weapon used in violent crimes is a baseball bat.”

So, Republicans refuse to entertain a debate on exercising more control on the nearly 27,000 gun homicides that happened between 2009 and 2011, but want to restrict legislation due to the estimated 18,000 of 20 or more week abortions that happened between 2009-2011.

Now, I’m not silly enough to think that I’m comparing apples to apples on this. (And, quite frankly, I suck at math, so all those numbers could be wrong.) What I’m trying to show is that the 20-week abortion clause is a shiny object designed to make you think that Republicans are concerned about fetuses. Moreover, the more stringent restrictions on clinics clause is a shiny object designed to make you think that Republicans are concerned about the well-being of women during the procedure. But they are simply shiny objects.

Because this bill is solely designed to make abortions next to impossible to get in the state of Texas.

Do not be fooled by propaganda.

Do not be conned into thinking that this is about human life.

This is a religious and partisan argument that ultimately makes women’s lives harder.

So, hell yeah, I’m angry.

You want to restrict abortions? Say so. Stand in front of the people you represent and say, “I think abortion is wrong, and I don’t want anyone to get one.”

Allow your constituents to make their decisions based on clear information.

Don’t purport to care about women’s well-being.

If you did, you’d start talking to young women AND young men about contraception rather than just abstinence only.

If you did, you’d start talking about preventative healthcare and family planning.

If you did, you’d refrain from adding additional restrictions to social programs.

Let’s call this what this really is – an opportunity for Texas to summarily end abortions in its state.

So, you do not fool me. You just make me angry.

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Meetings. Shoes. Newtown.

I hate meetings. It’s not news. Everyone I know knows that.

A meeting is typically an opportunity to waste my time. We’ll talk about nothing. We’ll leave with nothing. There will be no action steps.

But we’ll identify problems and “dialogue” about them.

And that is where my brain went directly following the horrific shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

newtown-newtitle

Here we go, again. We, as a country, are gonna have another meeting. Quite frankly, we’ve been in the same meeting since Columbine.

We’ll “dialogue” about gun control and mental health and about the glorification of the shooter. We’ll ask things like, “How can this happen?” “Where have we gone wrong?” “What can we do to stop this?”

The right will yell at the left for trying to “take away their guns.” The left will yell at the right for “being crazed gun lovers.”

The 2nd Amendment will be bandied about as though we’re all Constitutional Law professors. We’ll regurgitate the same arguments.

So, I say this with the most love I can muster: fuck your dialogue and fuck your political meeting.

There comes a moment when we have to move from problem identification to problem solution.

In 1999, after Columbine, we identified problems – video games, violence in movies, bullying, and accessibility to guns.

In 2007, after Virginia Tech, we identified problems – a history of unanswered disciplinary issues, mental illness, and accessibility to guns.

In 2009, after Fort Hood, we identified problems – mental illness, “terrorist sympathies,” and accessibility to guns.

Early this year, after Aurora, CO, we identified problems – violence in movies, mental illness, and accessibility to guns.

And now, after Newtown, CT, we are identifying problems – autism and accessibility to guns.

This is a short list. Here’s a timeline of mass shootings in the United States since Columbine.

Each time, we identified the problems. And each time, accessibility to guns is acknowledged.

***Disclaimer: I realize this is a simplistic argument. I know I’m leaving out legitimate arguments about mental health. I don’t care. I’m done “talking” – I want legitimate solutions.***

Now, let’s shift attention to Richard Reid. Remember that guy? He showed up on a plane in 2001 with a bomb in his shoe. Know what happened? You do if you’ve been to an airport since then. We take off our shoes, and they’re scanned. It’s a pain in the ass; I grumble every single time. But here’s where it’s ok for me…we identified a problem – shoes can now be made into bombs – and then we solved it – OK, everybody, take off your shoes.

Let’s call this shoe control.

Where was the outrage of the footwear lobbyists? You can’t control my shoes! You’ll have to pry my chucks out of my cold, dead hands!

Oh…there was no outrage: A) Because shoe lobbyists don’t have NRA money; and B) Because if a shoe can be made into a bomb, why not just make everybody take off their shoes?!?

So, I ask you, “Why? Why the hell are we still having this same ‘meeting’?”

Accessibility to guns is a problem – it’s been identified each and every time a mass shooting takes place. When Liviu Librescu was shot, we lamented the gun use. When Jessica Ghawi was shot, we bemoaned the gun use. When Olivia Engel was shot, we protested the gun use.

And yet, we can’t get everyone to just take off their shoes.

If accessibility to guns is the problem, then let’s make them less accessible. I’m not going to come pry it out of your cold, dead hands – that’s silly. You’re not gonna shoot me if you’re dead and it’s just in your hand. I want them while you’re still alive. I want them when you could snap. You know, after legally buying one, and spending time at the shooting range, then realizing you’ve got nothing left to live for, so why not take a few people out with you – that’s when I want your gun.

The meeting is wrapping up, and I’ll end it the way I end every meeting I run…with the following question: “What is the action step?”

Seems to me it’s to get everyone to take off their shoes, but I’m not a lawmaker. Hell, I’m not even a gun owner.

So, gun peeps – and you know who you are – stop telling me you have a 2nd Amendment right. No. Seriously. I get it. Help us fix this problem, you law abiding gun collector/enthusiast/hunter.

Stop the “meeting.” The “dialogue” is over. Take off your shoes.