Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Random Wednesday

Some thoughts, in no particular order...

Scalia won't recuse himself from cases involving the right of captured enemy combatants to trial. He said:
"War is war, and it has never been the case that when you captured a combatant you have to give them a jury trial in your civil courts," he says on a tape of the talk reviewed by Newsweek. "Give me a break."
Hum. I would point out that it's also never been the case that we've been capturing combatants (or at least taking custody of people turned in to receive a bounty who may not be actual combatants) in the course of an open-ended war declared on a concept, but I suppose that's splitting hairs. How do we maintain the moral high ground, again, when we keep men detained for years without access to counsel or even a declaration of their specific crimes, other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time? There are surely some bloodthirsty bastards languishing in Gitmo. I suspect there are plenty more innocent guys who are there only because of shit-ass bad luck.

More from South Dakota, courtesy of Rep. Roger Hunt, main sposor of The Bill (thanks to this dKos diary):
Hunt notes that the bill forbids doctors from prescribing any drug or doing any procedure on a pregnant woman “with the specific intent” of ending a pregnancy. It also protects the right of women to use “ a contraceptive measure, drug or chemical, if it is administered prior to the time when a pregnancy could be determined through conventional medical testing…”

In other words, a woman presenting herself to an emergency room immediately after a rape, Hunt says, would be able to use emergency contraception; the trick is that she has to do within the first few days after the assault, before any test can determine whether she was pregnant in the first place. The lawmakers concluded that it’s OK for a rape victim to have an abortion, so long as she doesn’t know for certain that she’s doing it.

Well, okay, Rog. You just lost your cred for having repulsive but consistent logic. Before, you and your ilk were on rock-solid ground when you said all abortions are murder, regardless of the circumstances of conception, and thus prohibited. But now, we have to consider the extreme anti-choice position that because pregnancy begins at conception (as opposed to the mainstream medical view that pregnancy begins at implantation), emergency contraception preventing implantation thus is equivalent to abortion. You're saying that kind of abortion is okay if the woman doesn't know she's pregnant. So if she's raped and "impregnated," that is, if sperm manages to crash into egg and the woman goes straight away to the ER and has an "abortion," that is, she's administered enough birth-control meds to flush the uterine lining, well, that's okay.

That's where you lose any moral legitimacy you're trying to claim. By your own biologically shoddy definition, you're allowing the abortion of a rape-induced pregnancy so long as the procedure occurs within a timeframe you've so very tightly and arbitrarily defined.

If abortion is okay under those circumstances, it has to be okay under all circumstances of rape.

Maybe Roger thinks he's carved out the unassailable loophole that his conscience was surely nagging him for. All he's done is expose the uncomfortable (for the religious right) reality that people really don't like the idea of a woman being forced to carry and deliver her rapist's child. Maybe he thinks the window-of-ignorance exemption gives him a free pass because of course every woman who's raped by a stranger or coerced by an abusive boyfriend or husband marches straight to the emergency room, announces she's been raped, and is promptly administered the pill. And of course every minor girl who's raped by her father or grandfather or uncle does the same thing. Straightaway. Within a day or two. They all make it to hospitals staffed by doctors who don't put personal religious beliefs ahead of their patients' welfare.

Then they go home to find what the tooth fairy left under their pillows, with a side trip to pick up the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Another little gem from Roger Dodger:

Hunt says, once more citing the findings of the task force, “she may be dealing with a lot of pressure, from family, boyfriend, husband. We have a situation in which the woman may be getting so much pressure she’s not thinking clearly.” The doctor, on the other hand, “should be operating in a calm and collected manner, have identified all the risks to the woman; he’s counseling the woman. We think its appropriate to place a greater burden upon the doctor.”
The doctor is to blame for an abortion because unwillingly pregnant woman do not think clearly. Because she's not thinking clearly, she should not be given the option to elect an abortion. Apparently pregnant women are only considered to be capable of clear, independent thought when they decide to keep the baby. Lovely.

In happier news, the women's NCAA tournament had several barn-burners in the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight games. We are particularly enamored of Ivory Latta. Mainly because we are short and scrappy ourselves. The men's side of the tournament has been too cool this year, with seedings thrown out the window. A large commuter school with an on-campus population of only 5,000 has tossed the big boys aside with aplomb, although we were sorry to see our Tarheels go down to them. Anyway, go George Mason.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi -

The gray type on gold background is unreadable unless I drag-highlight it.