Saturday, February 05, 2011

Notice how misogynist the GOP has gotten lately? Want to do something fun about it?

Abortion rights is not necessarily an atheist issue. But it is a human rights issue. And it's something the Christian Right has chosen to go to war over with its biggest, nastiest guns. They're not exactly about playing fair either.

Recently, civilized hominids everywhere were left slack-jawed in disbelief when Republicans tried to redefine rape in order to make it damn near impossible for any actual rape survivor to terminate her pregnancy. They coined the baffling term "forcible rape," implying they think there's such a thing as "consensual rape." Or something. Anyway, it's obvious no Good Christian Woman would be out drinkin' in bars and shit. So if some slutty sinful whore gets her drink roofied, it's obviously her fault for not being pure enough, ain't it?

Now it's gotten crazier. As it seems to be GOP policy to constantly try to out-douche one another, Pennsylvania's Republican Senator Joe Pitts has introduced H.R. 358. This bill would allow hospitals staffed by the kinds of people with a bug up their ass about abortion and a thin grasp of the Hippocratic Oath not only to decline to provide a life-saving abortion to a woman who direly needs one, but even to refuse to facilitate transporting her to a hospital that will. Save her life, that is. So we are presented with the spectacle of a woman dying in agony in a hospital parking lot while the nurses and orderlies on duty calmly watch Oprah and tweet about their weekends. Paradoxically, Pitts calls this the "Protect Life Act." What a lovely thing Christian family values are.

And remember, these are the same people bleating about less government, less government!

It's especially boggling when women, in what can only be thought of as Stockholm Syndrome taken to exponential new heights, fall into the right-wing misogyny camp and oppose the very medical procedures designed to help them in the unfortunate and hopefully unlikely event they will need them. Get it straight: no one is a fan of abortion. But to deny that sometimes the procedure is necessary, and moreover, to declare that the life of a woman is automatically worth less than that of a blastula, and that once a woman is gestating, she is automatically deprived of her personhood and her only function is now that of incubator, is nothing less than monstrous. That this is in fact how the Christian Right thinks is enough to make you think nuclear holocaust might be all humanity deserves after all.

But here's a little something you can do. It's even fun!

Recently, Lila Rose, a rising star in the (sexist wisecrack coming) right-wing bimbo brigade behind Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, made a ludicrous attempt to swiftboat Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides a plethora of invaluable health assistance to women everywhere, but which the right chooses to characterize exclusively as Dachau for Babies. Rose's stunt was butt-stupid, even for a Republican. Like her BFF, convicted criminal James "Doctored ACORN Videos" O'Keefe, Rose tried to punk PP with some video doctoring of her own. Her ingenious plan must be read to be believed.

Over a five day period, visitors to Planned Parenthood health centers in six states said they were seeking information from Planned Parenthood about health services Planned Parenthood could provide to underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring.... Men, sometimes accompanied by a woman, have visited at least 11 Planned Parenthood health centers in six states within a one-week time frame. During their visits, they claimed to be involved in sex trafficking of teens, some of whom are in the United States illegally. These men appeared at health centers without appointments and said that they were seeking health services for themselves, but they quickly turned the conversation to the sex ring they said they were managing.

Wait, what?

Yes, you read that right. The plan was to get PP to appear as if they were helping conceal the existence of a child-sex trafficking ring. Rose's little brainchild was itself aborted, however, when PP did what she hoped they wouldn't do: report this bullshit to the FBI.

Now of course, poor Lila — abetted by her pals in right-wing media, of course — will continue to try to sell this false story, and probably paint herself as some kind of martyr for truth. Wingnuts do that kind of thing. But here's a fun thing we can all do, as a kind of sweet revenge. It's a way of letting petty little people like her, and all her anti-choice pals, know that the more they lie, the more they try to tear down women's right to safe and legal health options through disinformation, the more we will remain committed to the cause of women's health. And a little thing called truth.

  • Click on this link. It will take you to Planned Parenthood's "Honorary Giving" donations page.
  • Throw a few bucks their way "in honor of" Lila Rose!
  • Finally, send Lila a friendly, cordial, profane-insult-free email at, informing her that you have done this, and that her campaign of disgraceful lies has resulted in your increased support for Planned Parenthood. In her name. Don't be snarky. Don't cuss her out. Don't give her any ammo to whine about the evil libral socialist godless heathen scary people who are stalking her. Be so civil it hurts. You could also add that you hope she never finds herself in need of PP's services, and to keep an eye on her drinks when she goes out.

That should do it. A little bit of the old martial artist, turning your opponent's attack back upon them, you see. Most satisfying. But then, people like Rose have committed to a life of lies. Committing to truth, as she'll soon learn, wins in the end.


  1. Pro-lifers and the arguments they use are ridiculous... A women has a right to control her own body..this reminds me of my ethics class and reading about the unconscious violinist analogy mentioned by Judith Jarvis Thomson. If a women gets pregnant by rape...that fetus has no right using her body...Just like if a women woke up one morning and found that she was attached to a unconscious violinist by some machine, the society of music lovers had found that she was the only women in the world with the right blood type to help the man...but she would have to sacrifice 9 months of her life and lay on this bed hooked up to this machine. She never gave her consent to do this, and although it would be nice of her to carry out this she really obligated to do it?? One would think not...what if there is a 50/50 chance she ends up dying as a result of this process? Although I agree that an abortion after a certain point in the development of the fetus may in fact be wrong, as long as it is terminated at an early enough stage...I don't see anything remotely immoral or wrong about it given certain circumstances. A full grown women should always have the choice to do with her body what she long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of another fully grown human being.

  2. I've got to problems withe this post,
    first "And remember, these are the same people bleating about less government, less government!"
    If I'm not mistaken it is government involvement/law that forces Hospitals to provide emergency char to people, so reversing this and leaving it up to the hospitals decide to withhold life saving treatment based on religious convictions is vary much in keeping with the whole "Less Government" line of "thinking"

    and second "and to keep an eye on her drinks when she goes out."
    The way it is farced makes it com of as more of a veiled threat and less of an attempt to educate her about some of the reason some on would want/need an abortion.

    one question, In the Acorn case and now this one why no slander/libel lawsuit?

  3. What, wait, aren't there any laws against faking crimes and wasting FBI time and money that could be spent to catch real pedophiles?

  4. OK, I watched the video.
    Nope, I don't agree with what that woman said, but it occured to me that she might have thought it best to get the trust of the pimp in order to get "access" to the girls.
    I'm also wondering about what anybody would have done if they were suddenly confronted with somebody who openly admits to forcing people into sex. It's kind of not a situation you can plan beforehand.
    And now for the pure lying:
    -They visited 11 clinics and this is the best they could get? So, what about the staff at the other 10 clinics? Did they deal with t a bit more clever?
    -They go on saying "PP did" "PP does" "PP whatever" when all they got is one woman who, as they kindly admit, has already been fired and where a statement has been issued that her behaviour does not comply with PP rules and politics.
    So, one employee fucked up. They have no indication or let alone proof that this is in any way condoned or supported by PP. To the contrary, they seem to have 10 video-footages they don't want to show you because they don't support their point AND PP informed the FBI as procedures request.
    Liar, liar, skirt on fire

  5. Lying as you all know is fine if you do it for Jebus. We also know from the bible that it is OK to steal for Jebus if he has need of an ass to ride into town on.

    It is scary just how much hateful behavior can be justified in the name of family values. Where is all the love and compassion. Religion is more about controlling other people and finding excuses to be the bully. Actually it is not actually getting to be the bully, it is
    about being the toady empowered by the imaginary bully.

  6. "Get it straight: no one is a fan of abortion."

    Get it straight: Abortion is a common and legitimate medical procedure, but as long as 'pro-choice' people continue to write about it as something that is to be shamed and kept hidden, as some kind of rare thing that is always talked about in hushed tones, it will continue to be stigmatized, which is EXACTLY what anti-choicers want.

    I'm sure those out there who have had abortions to save their physical, emotional or financial lives are pretty big fans.

    Trust women to make choices for our bodies.

  7. A lengthy post in which I suggest getting all up in the face of an especially pernicious anti-choice liar, and you think I'm using "hushed tones"? That's some interesting reading comprehension you've got going there.

    Acknowledging that a medical procedure is legitimate doesn't mean that people who are pro-choice are walking around going, "Gosh, terminating pregnancies is totes awesome!" That is the stigma anti-choicers want, to paint women who get abortions as amoral libertines who do so with no more thought than they'd give to getting a face lift.

    The fact is that like any difficult medical decision, it is one that must be left up to the individual, and the government has no more business disallowing it than they do any other medical procedure. That the people who insist otherwise are the ones whining that there's too much government intrusion in our private lives is a bit of irony they somehow never see.

  8. Giliell: Be aware that Rose's initial video was heavily doctored. So even that one employee is being misrepresnted there.

  9. Martin,

    First, let me be clear that I support many of the things in your post, though I wish that you had also mentioned that HR3 makes the Hyde amendment law as opposed to executive order, and that it aims to make it difficult for even private insurers to cover abortion care, thus putting the earliest and lowest risk abortions out of the grasp of more people.

    Your post may be 'in your face' regarding confronting Miss Rose and her ridiculous fraud, but you also fall right into a common anti-choice canard--that every person who gets an abortion feels the same way about it. Your use of the phrase 'get it straight' in your initial post and your 'The fact is' in your response tries to say that there is a single experience of abortion, when I'm sure a moment's thought will tell you that's not true.

    In your response to my post, you indicate that the alternative to firmly holding abortion at arm's length as a distasteful but sometimes necessary act is to have an attitude of "Gosh, terminating pregnancies is totes awesome!" I can assure you that the experience of people seeking abortions runs the gamut between these two extremes--and in the case of wanted pregnancies that endanger the life/health of the mother or late term pregnancies in which the fetus has no prospect for legitimate quality of life--it can be a devastating but necessary choice.

    Regarding what anti-choicers think... newsflash: They ALREADY think people who get abortions are "amoral libertines who do so with no more thought than they'd give to getting a face lift." The point of the thing is what they think doesn't MATTER and more importantly, doesn't deserve to be codified into law. I am sure we can agree on that.

    It's not a difficult decision for every person who has an abortion. I know we have a lot of common ground here. I am just trying to point out that by writing as though there is one universal experience of abortion--that it's a rare and difficult decision--you perpetuate the culture of silence and shame around abortion and make it more difficult for people to tell their actual stories and share their wide array of experiences and feelings.

    I do not think that you were IN ANY WAY doing this on purpose. Your post makes it clear that you do not agree with the dominant cultural narrative that is slut shaming, and I commend you for that.

    Personally, I see abortion as a morally neutral procedure and continue to hope for more trust in women to make our own decisions for our own bodies.

  10. Well, it's true that one shouldn't assume all people's experiences are alike. I was just trying to make the point that the right sells this idea that women who get abortions are, in every instance, selfish and stupid and go into it without a thought in their heads. That kind of skewed thinking is what's led to these laws requiring women to see ultrasounds of their fetuses first before getting an abortion, because apparently it just hasn't occurred to their little pink brains that there's a darling baby in there.

    I can't imagine a woman putting more careful consideration and thought into just about anything than the decision to have an abortion. And the women I know who have had one tell me much the same thing. Didn't much like having to have one, but being able to have one? Liked that a lot, thanks. You're right that it should be a morally neutral decision. I'm not a fan of root canals, but when I needed one, I'm glad I could get it.

  11. There are many pro-life Atheists and Progressives out there, including more women than men. Ah, you are a man, have not seen a single post about this from women Atheist bloggers so please stop acting like you represent all Atheists, some of us are far more evolved on this issue than you.

    The human rights issues involved in abortion that we both can agree on that would make abortion less likely is addressing health care, poverty and stigmatization of contraception by Whacko religious groups. Oh, and a male pill.

    For you commentators to make statements like there is no this or that reason to support the pro-life position on abortion out of hand reminds me of the Christian boards where they say there is a God because he talks to them when they pray to him.

  12. There is nothing in my post that a basic level of adult literacy would interpret as me claiming to represent all atheists. And you don't know what I've read by whom, and what I haven't.

    I think you're a little too attached to your misandry to recognize who your allies are and are not in this matter. Lila Rose, whom the original post is about, is a woman. I've suggested an effective way to both assist Planned Parenthood and deliver a stern message to her about her activities. Since you're so much more "evolved" than I am on this matter, come up with a better one.

  13. SoRefined: Wanted to add another point after thinking about it.

    Regarding what anti-choicers think... newsflash: They ALREADY think people who get abortions are "amoral libertines who do so with no more thought than they'd give to getting a face lift." The point of the thing is what they think doesn't MATTER and more importantly, doesn't deserve to be codified into law. I am sure we can agree on that.

    What anti-choicers think shouldn't matter, no. But, as wrong as it all is, what they think does matter as long as they are wielding vast political muscle and have tons of money and media assistance in flexing it. The whole agenda behind these doctored videos was to fabricate evidence that would get Planned Parenthood totally defunded. And had Lila Rose not been such a raging incompetent, it might well have worked. Remember, all of James O'Keefe's videos about ACORN were a pack of lies from front to back, and yet those lies still managed to get ACORN shut down.

    Lies hurt, and therefore do matter, very much.

  14. @Rarian: I've gone over the comments,and for the life of me, I can't see where ANYONE presumes their opinion = the opinion of the atheist collective.

    Also, isn't it a little dumb to presume that because Martin has a penis, he is not evolved enough to have an opinion?

    If you need an atheist female to speak her mind about the subject of abortion, here's one:

    This week, I've had to deal with both a pregnancy scare and a yet another condensing pat on the head when I requested a referral to get my tubes tied (apparently, 30, childless and unmarried ladies just don't know anything about their own bodies). Even my argument of "rather a tubal now than an abortion later" didn't work.

    If anything, this experience reestablishes the fact that no one, not well-meaning doctors, or pro-life busybodies (of any religious stripe or none) should have a say as to what goes in, stays in, or is removed from my or any other woman's uterus.

    I agree with Martin that abortions are morally neutral. There are people who are dead set against them, but realize that they do not have the right to dictate that choice to anyone else, so they still consider themselves pro-choice, and I wouldn't argue it.

    As for me, if I ever lose the birth control rate of failure lottery, I'd get one without a second thought. Frankly, no law would stop me.

    But hey, I am honestly curious. What is a non-religious pro-life argument? And to clarify, I define 'pro-life' as "against abortion so much that laws must be passed to stop others from having them". I could be mistaken in my definition, though.

  15. Martin, this is an awesome idea :D

  16. @SoRefined: "
    Get it straight: Abortion is a common and legitimate medical procedure, but as long as 'pro-choice' people continue to write about it as something that is to be shamed and kept hidden, as some kind of rare thing that is always talked about in hushed tones, it will continue to be stigmatized, which is EXACTLY what anti-choicers want."

    Wow. You beat me to it. I read this blog all the time, but that line was going to be the first time I ever felt motivated to comment. Really glad to see someone else speaking out.

    I'm not a "fan" of abortion any more than I'm a "fan" of extracting wisdom teeth or appendices. But if I broke my arm and had to get the bone set, I wouldn't be apologizing for the procedure either.

  17. It's surprising how that line is being misread. I meant, of course, that no one is a fan of abortion in the same way that no one is a fan of getting a root canal or their gall bladder removed. The thing is that the anti-choice crowd literally characterizes the pro-choice side as "anti-life," as a bunch of cackling villains who love nothing more than the idea of dead babies piled at their feet. It's the most perverse straw man attack they could make, but they make it because their whole side only has emotional outrage to fuel it. The few times they've tried to claim any "scientific facts" behind their agenda, they've been debunked as the bogus nonsense they are. (Women who have abortions supposedly being more prone to breast cancer, suicide, etc.)

  18. @Rojaila N.: Playing devil's advocate (I am aggressively pro-choice/pro-abortion, BTW), the best non-religious pro-life argument I can come up with is only valid if the fetus is considered a human being worthy of rights. In other words, if all humans have a "right to life," and fetuses are humans, then fetuses have a right to life. Yes, a woman does have a right to her own body, but by having sex she choose to take the risk of getting pregnant. Now that she has a living human growing inside her, it is a violation of the baby's rights to have an abortion.

    I would hope any rational mind can see where this argument falls apart, but there it is.

    That said, my sympathies go out to you regarding the condescension you dealt with this week. My wife has tried several times to get a hysterectomy, and every doctor she's spoken to has refused because "she might want kids later." Never mind that it's unlikely she can even have children or that her reproductive system causes her no end of misery. The menfolk know what's best for the little women, durn tootin'.

  19. I made a donation to PP and sent Lila Rose the email below :)
    Thank you for showing the world how responsible Planed Parenthood is and how dedicated they are making sure women's right are upheld. Thank you for showing the world what great companies can do when they think of people first and put dogma last.

    Keep up the good work in showing how companies like Planned Parenthood are honest, concerned for women's wellbeing, and even called the FBI when men came into an office admitting to sexually harming innocent women.

    Next please can you focus your money and efforts to actually bring light to issues like sex trafficking and trying to stop it. I think it will help your image in the long run to do something that all women can stand behind you and support.


    In your honor I have made a donation to PP for their continuing great work :)

  20. @Joshua: "I'm not a "fan" of abortion any more than I'm a "fan" of extracting wisdom teeth or appendices.

    So far so good. Exactly what i got out of Martin's text.

    "But if I broke my arm and had to get the bone set, I wouldn't be apologizing for the procedure either. "

    Whoa, wait. How did we get here? "We are not fans of abortions" does not equal "abortions are shameful and need to be hidden". You had the first part right, what followed was just you adding stuff that wasnt there. Im curious to why you thought there was?

    @Martin: Great post, i'll see if i can make a donation as well, if i can set up bank accounts and crap so that they'll let me... "So civil that it hurts", lawl.

  21. @Martin
    I'm aware of that.
    Maybe I should have meade myself clearer: I found this woman utterly disagreeable. As I said, I entertain the ide that she might have thought she was doing her best to help those women by getting their trust and that it's not a situation you can make plans for in advance (at least not if you're honest). But the way she talked about her colleagues, for example, there's no excuse for that.
    I'm sure pro-lifers will take this totally out of context: "pro-choicers more concerned about work-climate than human trafficking" ;)

    I think others said it well already: nobody is happy about an invasive medical procedure that carries risks. That is about common human compassion for anybody who has such a procedure performed on them.
    We would be happier if the stupid condom hadn't broken ;)

    @Rarian Rakista
    Do you want me to write you one? I'm a female heterosexual atheistic parent.
    Oh, I'm also pro-choice. I have no idea what I would chose if I found myself pregnant again, but that's so totally irrelevant.

  22. One thing has always made me wonder about the pro-lifers. For a bunch of people objecting abortions they are not all that eager to adopt.

    If you object the abortion, just finance the pregnancy and adopt the child, problem solved, yes?

  23. @Jari
    Since the majority of them is also heavily religious, the argument goes as follows:
    You dirty slut dared to have sex and therefore you have the pay the price. You're going to be punished with pregnancy and motherhood, just as the bible says.
    And since they're all too happy with having the kids pay for the sins of the parents, they don't care whether that kid is unwanted/unloved/poor.
    But actually, I don't think it would make much difference. I live in Germany where adoption lists are a mile long (of course, they'd be empfty after a year if there were an adoption instead of an abortion every time). If I were in that situation I knew that the child would be adopted by a very loving upper middle-class family.
    Still I don't think I would make it through a full pregnancy again for the sake of other people.

  24. Well, I would not force anyone go through a pregnancy either but the gist of the thought is mainly that they are not even offering to finance the pregnancy and adopt the child as a way to save the child.

    It just seems to me as the clearest sign that they do not actually care about the would be child. Which, is hardly surprising from heavily religious people who profess to follow a man saying love thy neighbour. Also, they do not actually seem to even want to work with the system but want to be a branch of the American Taliban.

    As an anecdotal (not evidence but observation) I was told by a former employer in a PP of a woman who was leading protests against them and then appearing in their facility with her pregnant daughter for an abortion. She continued to protest even after the abortion so to her abortion was not true reason for her protests, it seemed to be her hobby.

    I probably will never be able to fully understand the mind of a self-proclaimed religious persons.

  25. @Phil:
    That's about the only argument I could actually think of as well. And I agree that it falls apart once you put some brain power to it.

    "Still I don't think I would make it through a full pregnancy again for the sake of other people."

    That's the one point pro-lifers can't seem to understand. Sure, adoption is a very valid choice, but not every woman wants go through a pregnancy to get to that point.

    It really sounds like they're writing off the VERY life and body changing process of pregnancy with that argument. "Oh, you don't want to raise a baby, huh? Then you can go though 9 months, then 20+ hours of labor and give it away. What's the big deal? If you didn't want to get pregnant, then why bother having sex at all?"

    It just galls them, the thought of "getting away" with not having to deal with the consequences of sex.

  26. @Jari
    Google "the only moral abortion is my abortion" There's a whole site with stories from professionals who performed abortions on the pro-lifers or their daughters. This isn't an unlikely event. We also know that religious girls don't only have more unplanned pregnancies but also that they have more abortions than non or mildly religious girls.

    Well, cintrol over the female body and its reproductional capacies has been their most efficient tool for thousands of years, they're not going to let go of it without a big fight.

  27. I'm not American, so my knowledge of your political system is slim, but please tell me that this thing will die in the Senate or something.

    I mean, there's no way this will garner enough support to actually pass, right?

    Please, please say no.

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Guess what? Here's a believer who's fallen hook line and sinker for Lila's trick.

    He even has a link to her site.

    (I mis-spelled her name originally)

  30. I think the point to recognize here is that, regardless of your stance on abortion, it is wrong to use trickery and lies to sway people one way or the other. The people who write our laws should be people we look up to and trust. They have the power to make the United States a country to be proud of and when right wing Christian politicians use their power to push their religious agenda in what is supposed to be a secular society, we should all be crying foul.

    Going around pretending to be part of a sex-slave ring in an attempt to make Planned Parenthood look duplicitous is not only extremely wrong (and should be punishable by law) but it is also an insult to the thousands upon thousands of young women all around the world who have been forced into the sex trade. It may not have been their intention , but they give off the impression that they don't really care about the suffering of so many innocent people, despite the fact that they are claiming to have the moral high ground.

    I think it is really scary just how far the religious right is willing to go to push their views onto everyone else. This whole "redefining rape" thing is just disturbing. Personally, on the list of how bad a crime is I put rape right under murder, and the proposals the right have made would create a such a plethora of problems that would make the traumatic experience for rape survivors even worse.

    Martin, thanks for bringing this up. It's an important topic and I hope that more and more people will stand up to protect the rights of women.

  31. This talking about the Repugs wanting to "redefine rape" has reminded me of Vox ("rape apologist") Day.

  32. @Reynold
    Well, both ways lead us back to the good old "if it happened in a city she didn't scream loud enough therefore it can't have been rape, let's stone the bitch"
    And may I guess that Vox Day is a bachelor?

  33. He's a married man, actually. "Spacebunny", his wife, helps control the blog comments over there.

  34. @libramoo may I use your email as a basis for mine? I think it's perfect (honestly I would ask to just copy it outright, it's so perfect, but I don't want this dumb bitch to think we're just filling out a form letter. :-P)

    Site note, I had not even CONSIDERED the possibility that doctors would deny women hysterectomies because they think they may want kids in the future. I am well and truly PISSED right now. Almost makes me want to go get one... (I may eventually do so as I don't see myself as someone who ever wants children...but I REALLY hate going to the doctor... :-P)

  35. @Reynold
    Well, she knew the terms and conditions. Women can be misogynic, too


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