Outraged? Remember In November

Notice: In order to cover today’s topic as I deem fit some of the language used and the subject matter of some portions may be a bit “too adult” to stay within what some would consider PG.

The news first got significant national attention last week Tuesday although the precipitating event actually occurred the preceding Friday. The event I speak of is the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that a frozen embryo is a child. That’s not a misprint, you read it correctly. I’m not saying it makes sense; in fact, my opinion is 180 degrees the opposite.

The ruling was part of a frozen embryos alleged mishandling case and totally unnecessary to give the plaintiffs the ruling they sought. It was activist judges seizing an opportunity to legislate from the bench. There is a lot of that going around on the American right wing lately!

This is part of the right wing’s desire to pursue so-called personhood status for the unborn. Yes, again you read that correctly. Please don’t hold me responsible; I’m not the one abusing the English language and ignoring science.

Let’s extend that “thinking” a bit. By that “logic” a menstruating woman’s body is committing manslaughter (if not murder). Wait, it gets worse. Male masturbation is an act of clear-cut murder. Since almost all males have masturbated more than once, does that mean they are serial murderers? What about condoms? Who is the guilty party in that case? How about coitus interuptus? Does that mean the purity police need to install cameras in your bedroom and backseat? The living room sofa?

In order to appeal to the extreme Christian Nationalists in their base the Republicans – and have no doubt this is the result of Republicans being in positions of power – pursue their both unpopular and un-Constitutional agenda. Sadly, with some success to date. Unless we stop them, it will only get worse.

Let me defend the statement made in the preceding paragraph. This ruling attacked IVF (more about that below) which enjoys the support of over 80% of Americans. The justification for the ruling is on the basis of God’s word and Christian principles. Nowhere in the original Constitution nor in its 27 amendments is the word “God” used. Furthermore, the only mention of religion is in the first Amendment which guarantees the separation of church and state with the words, “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion”. The Founders, not all of whom were devote Christians, feared the undue influence of religion. The phrase, “under God,” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 and the phrase “In God we trust” became our motto in 1956, both as part of the Red Scare. For those who want a state religion I suggest they move to Iran.

IVF is a very expensive set of medical procedures whose only goal is to make conception leading to a birth possible. The Republicans like to portray themselves as the pro-life party. What is more pro-life than IVF? In my mind you can’t simultaneously be pro-life and anti-IVF. I can’t support my next assertion with any studies but since IVF is expensive, I’m willing to bet that its users skew Republican. By the way, (and this I can verify), support for IVF among registered Republicans comes in at over 70%.

IVF, while not exceedingly rare, is not very widespread. (Again, it is costly.) It accounts for 2.3% of births in America. That is still millions of births and millions more happy parents.

In the wake of the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling at least three Alabama IVF providers, including the University of Alabama at Birmingham have suspended IVF treatments. My degree is in management not medicine but IVF is not something you can just turn on and off like a light switch.

The opinion was written by Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker who recently appeared on a show hosted by Q-Anon conspiracy theorist Johnny Enlow. The inmates are running the Republican asylum.

This is part of a larger right wing (in America read: Republican) plot to take away rights. In Dobbs they came after choice. There are laws and/ or court cases pending that come after contraception even within a marriage with both partiers agreeing.

I want to explore three Republican reactions. First, we have Alabama’s junior Senator Tommy Tuberville who is generally, and with good cause, regarded as the least intelligent member of the upper chamber. He was asked of his opinion on the ruling and let’s just say did nothing to move out of the basement in the Senate intelligence rankings. Even by the low standards of Alabama Republicans it was embarrassing.

Nikki Haley, as is often par for the course when “taking” a position on an issue, tried to get on every side of it and then did a series of walk backs.

Donald Trump finally reacted on his fake Twitter site this past Friday (a week after the decision) and after he saw which way the wind was blowing by supporting IVF. Another display of Trump’s quick thinking and leadership ability? Remember he is the guy claiming credit for the Dobbs decision. (The Democratic commercials will all but make themselves this fall.)

These decisions and laws not only take away rights they undermine families, disempower women and will soon hurt the economy. In too many cases both the husband and wife must work in order to maintain a middle class standard of living. If couples cannot plan births their ability to both work when they feel they want or need to is severely undermined. Women have vastly reduced control over their lives if they have no control over their bodies. Few want to talk about it but America will soon face a labor shortage (some contend that it is almost here). We cannot remove the people capable of conception from our labor force and maintain our standard of living and productivity. It is really that simple.

These are primarily medical and personal decision matters. Generally, they also disproportionately effect women. Especially when the effect is negative or constraining. Color me simple, but I think they should be made primarily by the individual woman in consultation with an unconstrained medical professional(s) of their choosing; certainly not by unqualified judges or legislators. I don’t think that having a vagina and a brain are mutually exclusive.

I know I went a bit long today but this one has me “motivated”. I just hope all my fellow “motivated” people will remember in November and cast an informed vote!

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