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Aaaargh! Women are not cattle.

OK, this makes me angry and a little incoherent. So please bear with me if I get off point.

Bush and DHHS Secretary Leavitt have put forth a proposal that reframes medical terminology to try to take away reproductive control from women. The proposal states that abortion should be redefined because lots of Americans think that pregnancy begins when the egg and sperm meet. Specifically, this is what it says:

Abortion: An abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. There are two commonly held views on the question of when a pregnancy begins. Some consider a pregnancy to begin at conception (that is, the fertilization of the egg by the sperm), while others consider it to begin with implantation (when the embryo implants in the lining of the uterus). A 2001 Zogby International American Values poll revealed that 49% of Americans believe that human life begins at conception. Presumably many who hold this belief think that any action that destroys human life after conception is the termination of a pregnancy, and so would be included in their definition of the term "abortion." Those who believe pregnancy begins at implantation believe the term "abortion" only includes the destruction of a human being after it has implanted in the lining of the uterus.


This is simply not true. It's right up there with the "pill kills" marketing campaign. Seriously people, learn a bit about medicine. Or at least talk to a doctor for 5 minutes.

But this isn't the worst of it. This proposal also forces all facilities that receive federal funding to accept/condone the fundie view that women don't know what's best for themselves and should therefore be denied access to abortion. It's not just for Catholic hospitals anymore! Nope, now all hospitals will be forced to allow their practitioners to deny medical prescriptions based upon their morality. And due to the ever-expanding definition of pregnancy, this now applies to your birth control as well.

If this proposal is accepted, women all across the country may no longer be able to use any other form of birth control than condoms. And how long do you think it will be before those are banned as well?

If this upsets you, please contact your Senators and/or Secretary Leavitt. NARAL has a handy form letter for the Senators, and you can email the Secretary directly at mike.leavitt@hhs.gov.

This isn't just a womens issue folks, this affects everyone who doesn't want to be a parent before they're ready. Please spread it far and wide.

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Laurel's mom worked on family planning in 3rd World countries prior to 2004 and saw this all the time, so on one hand it doesn't surprise me that they're moving with that garbage here.

On the other hand? Wow. Seriously - fuck this shit.

I can't imagine working in that kind of position. It must be incredibly frustrating. The fact that we're starting to look like that makes me sick.

Agreed.

She ended up quitting when they cut the funding to the "free condoms to prevent AIDS" program in order to promote abstinence. The program, mind, was WORKING and had cut AIDS and rape rates significantly.

OMG, that makes my brain explode.

Eh. This is just pandering to the single-issue religious right voters. It is a proposal meant to look good ("see, we're proposing a bill to make things The Way They Should Be") rather than actually change policy (since it will be shot down). I take it about as seriously as an announcement of a proposal to give a free pony to every seven year old.

I wish I could believe that. But what with denying the right to abortions to women in the army and in jail, pushing abstinence only, pharmacists having the right to refuse to dispense birth control, let alone plan b, and EMTs being able to refuse to take a woman to a hospital that might perform an abortion to save her life, I just can't take that for granted. Especially with the crazy thing on the ballot in CO where they're trying to redefine life in just this way, I just don't think we can afford to be complacent on this one. If they don't implement it now (or get smacked down hard-core) they'll just try it again later. Especially if McCain gets elected.

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