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Texas Senate Approves Strict Abortion Measure – NYTimes.com

Are we really going to let the political barrens impoverish our political discourse yet again with another season of the “abortion debate”?

When a young women agonizes about being pregnant or we, as a society, have to deal with the horror of a baby not being born because the women carrying it chooses not to do so, must we take sides and make a spectacle out of that perinatal situation?  

Those weeks prior to a baby’s birth and the first few weeks of their lives are magical.  But we are not talking here about having a baby or planning to have one.  We are talking about, for whatever reason, an unwanted pregnancy.  To be sure, the abortion debate is more about a women’s choice whether to reach the perinatal period in the first place.  Being pregnant in the early stages is greatly defined by why you are pregnant.  It just is.

But abortion, like so many semantically charged issues, has become a political boogyman in our society that is pulled out in the battle of women’s liberation vs. the self proclaimed “moral majority”.  Imagine that–intelligent people on both sides let the boogyman out.  Today’s media circus allows the few to speak for the many.  In this way, an artificial discourse develops and is seen as real and scientific regarding public opinion.  Public media becomes public opinion.  

Abortion is a sad and horrible fact.  The use of the issue as political fodder is wrong.  The less sexy issue is the feminization of poverty, for example–how so many women are uneducated, disempowered and abused.  Abortion further demonizes these women and their circumstances.  Perhaps people of means who have internal demons are more comfortable with boogymen and as such summon them or at least willingly join the party.  That women get pregnant in circumstances that are not optimal for the commitment to the growth and birth of the fetus is a fact of life that is not likely to go away.  What we do about it as families, neighborhoods and communities to support women’s sexual health is the real issue.  Politicians rallying masses of voters will not help solve the central question. Women’s sexual health is often compromised and the outcome of child birth is too often a big problem.

Smart powerful women, or conservative ladies who have their husband’s power behind them, have the time and wherewithal to go on these intellectual and perhaps spiritual pony rides.  On the other hand you have the women who do not have the means.  Most of these anguishing women  and the fetuses which define their predicament are canon fodder in the “good fight”.  There are four kinds of people in this struggle.  There are the good people fighting the evil people.  There are the people who are considered the evil people by the good.  There are the people who are considered crazy by most bystanders who have to endure the charade.  It’s really difficult to tell who is who–it depends where one is standing.

Abortion has never been a problem for those who have the means to deal with it.  That is, to avoid it and have the baby put up for adoption as many did in before the 1970s when the choice became endorsed and supported–liberating young women seemingly everywhere.    Today, it is still being dealt with by those of means.  That is, conservative politicians looking to drum up support from the believing masses and women’s rights groups who have the wherewithal to define the fight, educate the soldiers, and speak in one voice for such a cacophony of human suffering and hope.   This sanguine struggle pales in comparison to any other civil rights issue because it is so private and at its center is not baby killing but a single women’s choice about her body, her psyche and perhaps her soul.  How many issues involve sex, blood, shame, hell and even death?  But poverty has seized to be the issue of the day and sexuality and babies make for better television.  Long gone are the poor welfare mothers who were the demons of yesterday for some and the soldiers in the minds of liberal causes.  Bill Clinton had his way with so many women, not to mention the million he kicked off of welfare with his Welfare Act.  At last, irony forces all of us to open our eyes and think.  Who is really the friend of these women in their darkest hour?

The truth may be that abortion has become an ideological scapegoat, a powerful political tool and a cattle call. Instead of really coming together and fixing the problems that divide us as a nation and impoverish us as communities, abortion as a maternal and child health perspective divides us, brings out the worst in many, and does not solve the ageless problem of child birth as a challenge that overcomes some.  But abortion is good politics because it gets folks riled up, to dig in their pockets and to pound the pavement for a cause.  Right or wrong–right or left…  It all depends where you stand…  It rarely depends on where the most disempowered young and scared women stand.  The choice is personal, spiritual and perhaps mostly economic.  It’s not about women’s liberation… It’s more about having the means–and in politics having the means means getting votes… Abortion moves people.

Here we go again.  The bread and butter issues were not good enough to rabble up the masses.  It is insane.  It is hardly believable and definitely more difficult to fully comprehend.  We are all getting riled up again about the “A” word.  Never mind that it mostly happens as a consequence of a very private act, without much public notice and with our most private parts.   No… that does not matter to the ideological gladiators right and left who have a ticket to ride because they perceive that their bodies are being controlled or that they must intervene in the most personal and spiritual moment of a women’s life–to help or to judge–to help her make a choice or to make communion with a political church that is pushing popular and political orthodoxy.

“The Texas Senate gave final passage on Friday to one of the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country, legislation championed by Gov. Rick Perry, who rallied the Republican-controlled Legislature late last month after a Democratic filibuster blocked the bill and intensified already passionate resistance by …”

via Texas Senate Approves Strict Abortion Measure – NYTimes.com.

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Filed under: Abortion, Blogosphere, ethics, faith-based, Feminization of Poverty, Gender, Gender Policy, ideology, Maternal and Child Health, News, Parenting

Women’s Health | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Visit the Kaiser Foundation website by clicking below to get the facts on women’s health.

“Select a subcategory on the left to see how the indicators compare across the states. Results will be shown as a table, map, or trend graph as available.”

via Women’s Health | The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Filed under: Abortion, access to education, Aging, Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, consumers, Feminization of Poverty, Gender, Gender Policy, Health and Exercise, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Public Health, Public Policy, Women's rights, , , , ,

Mourdock’s Comments Pose Dilemma for Romney – NYTimes.com

NYTs reports on Romney’s friends in the new more right wing Republican party and their outlandish remarks regarding rape and a women’s dignity and rights…

“The charged anti-abortion comments made this week by Richard Mourdock, a Republican Senate candidate in Indiana, pose …”

via Mourdock’s Comments Pose Dilemma for Romney – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Abortion, Blogosphere, Election 2012, News, Vote, Women's rights, , , , , ,

Campaigns Raise Focus on Women for Final Weeks – NYTimes.com

Shortly after the combative presidential debate on Tuesday, Mitt Romney’s campaign began running a striking new commercial that uses a former Obama supporter to contest the notion that Mr. Romney’s positions on abortion and contraception are …

More via Campaigns Raise Focus on Women for Final Weeks – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Abortion, Blogosphere, Election 2012, Gender, Gender Policy,

The Catholic “Swing” Vote – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Catholics are often identified as a major “swing” voting group in American politics.1 In recent presidential elections Catholics have made up roughly a quarter of the electorate, and, indeed, they have been closely divided between the two parties.

catholicvote-1

 

But a new analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life shows that most subgroups of American Catholics have reliably voted either Republican or Democratic. White Catholics who identify themselves as politically conservative have consistently voted for Republican candidates in recent elections. And white Catholics who identify themselves as political liberals have consistently voted for Democrats, as have Hispanic Catholics and other Catholic minorities.

The only group of Catholics that has been divided in recent elections is white Catholics who identify as moderates; they were closely divided in both 2000 and 2004 before swinging strongly in the Democratic direction in 2008. So far in 2012, there has been little drop-off in support for the Democrats among this group. In Pew Research Center polling conducted so far this year, about half of white Catholic moderates identify themselves as Democrats or say they lean toward the Democratic Party (51%), while 39% prefer the GOP.

via The Catholic “Swing” Vote – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Filed under: Abortion, Blogosphere, Culture Think, Election 2012, faith-based, News, Public Policy, Religious freedom, , , ,

Abortion laws: And then there was one | The Economist

MISSISSIPPI’S sole remaining abortion clinic is a small single-storey sandstone building on a street corner in the state’s capital. The Jackson Women’s Health Organisation (above) appears unremarkable, until you notice the reflective glass in all the doors and windows, the multiple security cameras and the thick black plastic draped over the wrought-iron fence to shield clients from …

MORE via Abortion laws: And then there was one | The Economist.

Filed under: Abortion, Blogosphere, consumers, Culture Think, Election 2012, News,

Candidate Preferences by Religious Group – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Polling conducted in May and early June by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that Mitt Romney continues to hold a commanding lead over Barack Obama among white evangelical voters. But Obama leads Romney by large margins among black Protestants and religiously unaffiliated voters.

The poll was conducted May 9-June 3 among 3,003 adults (including 2,338 registered voters). It was largely completed before the release of a weaker-than-expected federal jobs report on June 1 and recent declines in financial markets. The complete report, which includes general election preference by religion (PDF), is available on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press’ website.

via Candidate Preferences by Religious Group – Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Filed under: Abortion, Election 2012, ethnicity in politics, faith-based, Vote,

Republicans Concerned Over State Focus on Social Issues – NYTimes.com

Fiscal issues and union rights were front and center in many Republican-controlled legislatures last year. But this year, with the nation heading into the heart of a presidential race and voters consumed by the country’s economic woes, much of the debate in statehouses has centered on …

MORE via Republicans Concerned Over State Focus on Social Issues – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Abortion, Blogosphere, Education Policy, Election 2012, ethnicity in politics, Health Policy, Job Sector, News, propaganda and spin, Public Policy, Pundits, Vote, WeSeeReason, , ,

Catholic Fund Heightens Scrutiny of Recipients’ Ties – NYTimes.com

For three years now, Compañeros, a small nonprofit organization in rural southwestern Colorado, has received thousands of dollars from the Roman Catholic Church to help poor Hispanic immigrants with basic …

MORE via Catholic Fund Heightens Scrutiny of Recipients’ Ties – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Abortion, access to education, Blogosphere, consumers, faith-based, Gender Policy, Health Literacy, Health Policy, News, Women's rights, , , , , ,

Obama Backs Student in Furor With Limbaugh on Birth Control – NYTimes.com

The election-year fight over the administration’s birth control policy escalated Friday, with two unlikely figures — a Georgetown University law student and the conservative radio host …

MORE via Obama Backs Student in Furor With Limbaugh on Birth Control – NYTimes.com.

Filed under: Abortion, access to education, Blogosphere, consumers, Culture Think, Discrimination, Education Policy, Election 2012, Family Policy, Gender Policy, Health Literacy, Health Policy, ideology, Intolerance, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, propaganda and spin, Public Policy, Pundits, Right to Choose, symbolic uses of politics, WeSeeReason, Women's rights, , , , ,

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