Thursday, January 10, 2013

House Republicans Waste More Time Trying to Ban Abortion and Birth Control

more from Rmuse


Human beings are characterized as having a large brain relative to body size, with a particularly well developed neocortex, prefrontal cortex, and temporal lobes that gives them the capability of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, problem solving and culture through social learning.

This mental capability, combined with an adaptation to bipedal locomotion, frees the hands for manipulating objects that allows humans to make far greater use of tools than any other living species on Earth. A person is an autonomous being that breathes air, displays human characteristics, and is self-aware with the ability to reconcile themself as an individual separate from the environment and other individuals. However, there is a Republican contingent in the House of Representatives that denies the universally accepted definition of a human being, and are attempting to grant full rights and privileges of personhood to a “human spermatozoa that penetrates the cell membrane of a human oocyte that creates a single-celled organism (zygote)” in their latest attempt to control women and ban birth control. It is also an express imposition of Christianity on the government and every “person” in America.

For the second time in two years, a deeply unpopular federal personhood bill that gives full 14th Amendment legal rights to a single-celled organism is being co-sponsored in the House of Representatives by failed vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WS). Ryan tempered his extremist anti-birth control position to align himself with Willard Romney during the presidential campaign, but he quickly reverted to his deeply-held views that the Christian PersonhoodUSA group has the right to force their “desire to glorify Jesus Christ in a way that creates a culture of life” through legislation despite the separation clause in the U.S. Constitution. The Sanctity of Human Life Act and similar Christian personhood bills have been rejected by voters in multiple states, including predominately Christian Mississippi last year, because as legal experts pointed out, the measures will criminalize all forms of birth control as well as abortion at all stages.

The idea that a one-celled organism should be granted 14th Amendment protection from the state depriving it of “civil and political rights, life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” is patently absurd, but there is no accounting for extremist religious adherents or their insistence that their version of Christianity is the impetus for the law of the land. The personhood bill specifically disregards the rights of the host (woman) and protects the zygote “irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency (mother’s health)” not to mention controlling women’s reproductive rights and their decision when to give birth.

The federal personhood bill was first introduced by Representative Paul Broun (R-GA) in 2011 and quietly re-introduced last week, and he is adamant that “a one-celled” organism is a person even before it implants in the uterus to create a pregnancy.  Broun is certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that a zygote is a person and “should be defended vigorously and at all costs,” even if the cost is the life of the mother, and is more evidence that Broun, Ryan, and 16 co-sponsors hold women, and their 14th Amendment rights, in less regard than a “one-celled organism.” The idea that Republicans are willing to vigorously defend a single-celled organism until it develops into a fetus and leaves the womb, wherein GOP policy is to abandon it as “too expensive” is a long-held position of Republicans in the past few years. In fact, Paul Ryan decries giving any assistance to so-called “takers” because it deprives “makers” of their rightful entitlements, but is not a fetus the ultimate expression of a taker draining resources from a maker (mother)?

Apparently, voter rejection of extremist views against women in the recent election is lost on Republicans because they are persisting in attacking women’s reproductive rights as the primary focus of their war on women. In several states, anti-choice advocates have tried, and failed, to put radical personhood legislation and constitutional amendments restricting women’s rights on ballots, and yet the extremist  Christian group behind the measures, PersonhoodUSA, insists the movement is growing and they show no signs of letting up despite, as the Oklahoma Supreme Court said, these measures are “clearly unconstitutional.” Besides blocking a woman’s legal right to have an abortion, these personhood absurdities block women’s 14th Amendment rights under authority of religion, and it is a facet of the atrocity that is hardly addressed.

Every one of the personhood measures is promoted vigorously by PersonhoodUSA that is purely an extremist Christian movement expanding to partner with the Vatican’s Pontifical Council that has recently begun a European personhood movement and petition. The Pontifical Council for the Laity’s announcement explains their goal in promoting personhood in Latin America and 21 European nations is to foster “an atmosphere of unity and collaboration among all Christian associations and movements” as a concerted effort to “mirror Catholic ideology and conform to the teachings on life in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Republicans are wont to claim Paul Ryan is a smart man, and yet co-sponsoring another round of the most religiously extreme anti-abortion legislation in the country belies even a semblance of intelligence. The idea of a federal personhood law is absurd on myriad levels, but the potential for damage to women’s reproductive rights cannot be overstated. The Sanctity of Life Act will never achieve fruition in the 113th Congress any more than it did in the last session, but it serves as a warning to women that extremist Christians and their Republican legislative arm will go to extreme measures to deprive them of their reproductive rights even if it means giving a microscopic single-celled organism personhood with the ultimate goal of banning contraception and imposing their religion on every person in America.

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21 Responses to House Republicans Waste More Time Trying to Ban Abortion and Birth Control

  1. Churchlady Reply
    Jan. 10th, 2013 at 10:15 am
    Culture of life? Fourteenth Amendment rights to eggs and sperm? Wow. Those are things the Dominionists don’t want to grant to fully formed human beings already born.
    The reason the GOP persists in placating these extreme views is that this IS their base. They have failed woefully to attract thoughtful people from within the conservative to middling ranks, so yes – this is where they stand. They have followers who wish to dissolve “natural birthright” for anyone born of immigrants (think what that would mean for ALL of us – hope it’s not retroactive!) Never mind that would require a Constitutional Amendment. They won’t step in to discuss weapons, ammo, nothing that might end the culture of violence. Nope – that would be perceived as tinkering with the Second Amendment (their base’s fave.)
    So culture of life and personhood are all quite relative. They don’t seem to apply to the rest of us. You know. The majority.
    Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
  2. Beaglemom Reply
    Jan. 10th, 2013 at 10:21 am
    1. If a zygote is a person and a woman miscarries, has she committed a crime? Do these Republicans in the House know so little about the female human body that they don’t know that many pregnancies end before anyone knew they had started or that they end all by themselves, leaving real grown-up women saddened? Where are the AMA and the other national organizations, of obstetricians and gynecologists, when we women really need them? Their silence is deafening as they allow these fools in the House in Washington and in state legislatures across the country debate and vote on and sometimes pass measures that are illogical at best and cruel, inhumane and unconstitutional at worst.
      Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
      • Jan. 10th, 2013 at 10:31 am
        In Utah yes, and a couple other states. Several women have been arrested for miscarriage
        Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
        • jlt Reply
          Jan. 10th, 2013 at 10:59 am
          It is mind boggling the amount of waste the Gop baggers have put time into to avoiding doing the job they were elected to do..Support the economy and Jobs…not once!
          Disgusting them out :
          1,866,311,3405…and at their local State offices!
          Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
        • djchefron Reply
          Jan. 10th, 2013 at 1:34 pm
          Its mind boggling that the rethugs place more restrictions on vagina’s than on guns.SMDH
          Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
        • sherrie heckendorn Reply
          Jan. 10th, 2013 at 3:05 pm
          I believe its Georgia and one other state that women are actually in prison, because they suffered a miscarriage. Since the GOP(Gods of poverty) are insistant that no food stamps or medical or any other program that might help the poor be eliminated, its unreal that they will then ‘protect’ the ‘zygote’ What happened to our country and is it any wonder that the whole world is laughing at us and ‘our american taliban’
          Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
      • RMuse Reply
        Jan. 10th, 2013 at 3:41 pm
        The bill’s author, Rep. Broun, is a physician. Religion trumps science.
        Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
        • robyn ryan Reply
          Jan. 10th, 2013 at 7:46 pm
          The tell tale is the words they use to describe fertilization. “…human spermatozoa that penetrates the cell membrane of a human oocyte that creates a single-celled organism (zygote)”
          All about the sperm ‘penetrating’ the egg.
          It’s the latest iteration of homunculus – the notion that god made every sperm with a teeny, tiny little whole human in the head of the sperm. The egg is just there to protect it, and the woman is just a ‘vessel’ for the predestined human.
          Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
          • robyn ryan Reply
            Jan. 10th, 2013 at 8:08 pm
            Forgot the “creates a single-celled organism (zygote).”
            So you could be raped, and police can take you into custody until you have a pregnancy test. If you’re pregnant, they could keep you in custody until you give birth. Slave labor!
            Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    2. Lynn Reply
      Jan. 10th, 2013 at 11:03 am
      According to the bible, life does not begin until God breathes life into the child, exhibited by the child taking its first breath.
      How can these religious half-brains and now the Pope no less – justify their flagrant ignorance of their own creed?
      I thought going against the bible was committing blasphemy. Not to afraid of going to Hell after all are they :)
      Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
    3. akbright Reply
      Jan. 10th, 2013 at 11:28 am
      They can’t seem to spend time on passing the Violence Against Women Act, yet, they’ll waist time on this Forced Pregnancy bill! How reassuring to know these men know what’s best for women.
      Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
    4. Reynardine Reply
      Jan. 10th, 2013 at 11:31 am
      The granting of “personhood” to an actual or potential zygote is intented to revoke it from the woman. Let us consider the world they contemplate.
      Coupled with the virtual decriminalization of rape, it means a woman can have a pregnancy inflicted on her at any time at all, which she cannot prevent, cannot terminate, will receive no medical help with unless she can pay, or have someone pay, for that out of pocket, will be left without resources to support it when it is born, and will clearly under this scheme of things be subjected to a social stigma if it is seen to be illegitimate. Under that circumstance, it becomes a hazard to venture outside one’s door to work, study, travel, or just live. Furthermore, if a zygote is a “person”, her life can be controlled lest she injure a present or future “person”: her diet, her alcohol intake, her medication, her exercise, her occupation, pasttimes, sports, recreation, and of course her sex life can be rigidly controlled so long as she has the present or future capacity to be harboring such a “person”. The education of little girls is likely to be sharply curtailed lest they endanger the “persons” residing in their unfledged ovaries.
      Rate this comment: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
      • Sugapea Reply
        Jan. 10th, 2013 at 1:23 pm
        Yes, And once that Baby is born…they’re on their own!
        No Cradle-To-Grave help from the GOP!
        Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    5. Mary Reply
      Jan. 10th, 2013 at 11:54 am
      The gross perverts really seem to not be able to stop. Like any addiction, The fix they receive is the delusional thought that by their actions women will either run back to the kitchen and wait on their abusive husbands. They also seem to believe that by banning abortions many women will die. They seem to really get off on that.
      Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
    6. fedded-up Reply
      Jan. 10th, 2013 at 1:45 pm
      I have seriously been racking my brain, trying to figure out WHY they would do this now. It makes no sense.
      From a political standpoint: The biggie is just past. There is no imminent election pending. No political base that needs ‘firing up’ at the moment. No campaign funding that needs raised, at least not for the immediate future, though I realize this subject is never far from the forefront. I can maybe imagine that it was done as a payback for something done during the campaign, but that seems unlikely. The past election clearly demonstrated, or at least it should have, that the vast majority of us will not approve this, do not want this. They are quite likely to alienate more people with it, so….why?
      From a practical standpoint: This POS legislation has zero chance of passage – they have to know this. They’re not gonna gain anything by wasting space and time on it – here again, they’re gonna alienate more than anything else. Not to mention the fact, it’s just plain stupid legislation, with clear directives from several pretty big court decisions that say it is unconstitutional.
      From an emotional/ideological standpoint: Ok, I can see it, but this in no way negates all of the above. They didn’t get to where they are by following this drumbeat.
      So…WHY? Anybody care to answer this? I really truly am stumped.
      Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
      • 1voice1vote Reply
        Jan. 10th, 2013 at 2:18 pm
        Appearances are everything: they appear to be working; they appear united; they appear to support their base’s alleged top priority; and the bonus is that they obstruct progress/forward momentum all the while. Republican low-ball schemes… sigh.
        Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
        • Beaglemom Reply
          Jan. 10th, 2013 at 8:04 pm
          I think you’re right. This is the 21st century Republican Representative’s form of the filibuster. Just waste time fantasizing about women and get paid for it. It worked for them during the last session; they obviously think it will work for them again this session. Let’s all show them in 2014 that it did not work a second time. There are too many important issues that need to be addressed to have these mindless idiots waste taxpayer time and money like this.
          Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
      • sherrie heckendorn Reply
        Jan. 10th, 2013 at 3:08 pm
        I share your questions and in fact ask that daily. What in the world is wrong with these ‘pretenders of democracy’ that they think, what, that we the people will just stop watching what they do, and let them proceed without any interference from we the people?
        Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
    7. Whistler 3. Reply
      Jan. 10th, 2013 at 2:26 pm
      The fetal personhood bill is designed to counter Roe vs. Wade. In the 113th Congress are 23 representatives (Tea Partiers) endorsed by RNC Life PAC, and 8 endorsed by Eagle Forum PAC. 50 of the self-proclaimed 80 pro-life representatives in the 112th had been endorsed by RNC for Life.C onservative activist Phyllis Schlafly founded Eagle Forum PAC and RNC Life PAC. Recipients of these PACs’ endorsements agreed to vote against abortion – with no exceptions for rape, incest, deformity of the fetus, or genetic abnormalities of the fetus.
      Schlafly is vehemently anti-feminist. Following are items from Eagle Forum’s 2012 questionnaire – Schlafly’s cut-taxes-and-defund-programs Christian Right agenda:
      Will you vote to defund the Violence Against Women Act, widely known as “feminist pork”?
      Will you oppose the United Nations Convention (Treaty) on the Rights of the Child?
      Will you oppose the UN Convention (Treaty) on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (an “Equal Rights Amendment” enforced by the UN)?
      Will you vote to cut off federal funds for Planned Parenthood and any other organization that performs abortions, both in the U.S. and abroad (even if they use money from other sources)?
      Will you vote to prohibit the federal courts from hearing challenges to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) or similar state laws respecting the definition of marriage?
      Will you oppose federal hate crimes laws?
      Mitt Romney picked Ryan to please the Christian Rightt.
      Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
      • Sugapea Reply
        Jan. 10th, 2013 at 4:32 pm
        The Religious Right…that is who they cultivate.
        The GOP is losing empathetic, enlightened and educated people.
        Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
    8. Brian Loudermilch Reply
      Jan. 10th, 2013 at 9:12 pm
      Don’t Blame the Representatives.
      They are Doing EXACTLY what the Village IDIOTS
      back home WANT them to Do.
      Talk about an EASY, Well Paying Job.
      Spout Stupid, Ridiculous Nonsense and Get Paid a
      PILE of Money making a Bunch of INSANE people Happy.
      Elmer Gantry is Alive and Well.
      Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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