If you haven't been paying attention to the Senate, you may have missed the news reporting that that august body once again passed a bill that would limit women's access to their doctor's recommended treatment.
Despite the fact that President Clinton had warned Senators that he would veto any bill that did not include inclusion of women's health in it, the Senate passed the same anti-woman's human rights bill.
This bill, relating to a seldom used late term abortion procedure, was vetoed by the President, and now the Majority Leader, Republican Trent Lot, is actively seeking the votes to override the President's veto. He is helped in this endeavor by a vigorous letter, fax and telegram campaign by the irreligious right and the unchristian coalition membership, augmented by the Promise Keepers' political cadre. Meanwhile, the leaders of these groups are demanding quid pro quo from Senators that received campaign financing from them.
Well who cares? It's just one procedure, so how does that concern me? It matters very little to most people that some women will suffer. We hear the media tell us over and over, "Hey, those women can always get a Caesarean. They don't have to resort to THAT particular abortion technique!"
So, many of us will just sit on our hands and sigh "que sera, sera," (whatever will be will be), instead of writing to shore up our Senators by reminding them of the importance of the GenderGapper's vote. Couple of things to consider or sing along with. One is very important as it has to do with the eroding of hard-won women's human rights.
If this bill is overridden, it means that you as a female would be prohibited from the same access to medical treatment that males have.
At present, there are no laws that prevent either a female or a male from deciding on any treatment or procedure that they and their doctor may decide is appropriate. Anti-choice political mavens are adamant that this would be only the first step and that their final goal is the outlawing of ALL kinds of birth control -- except ones that they refer to as "natural!" Anyone out there still believe that the word "NO" is an effective birth control method or even a word that is heard, understood and respected?
Another thing to consider are the many errors that have been and are aired by the media for the anti-choice groups. One thing we hear is how terrible this procedure is because the brains of the fetus are sucked out before the fetus may be delivered through the birth canal. So, we are told, it is better to deliver the intact fetus by Caesarean section (that's when a woman's abdomen and uterus is cut open.)
Sounds great but it ignores the fact that in such cases, the brains of the fetus are sucked out EVEN WHEN A CAESAREAN SECTION PROCEDURE IS EMPLOYED. Otherwise, the uterus would have to be cut through most of its length to deliver what, in most cases, is an accident of nature.
Well, we want choice, right? So it is our choice to either ignore this situation or do something about it. If we lose the right to chose, with our health professional, a treatment that is best for us, we can look back to today and consider how easily we could have written a letter, sent a fax or made a phone call.
Or, we could just let it go and depend on some women's groups to bring a suit (after a few women have died) which might get to the Supremes in a few years. At that time, the constitutionality of this flagrant discriminatory practice could be argued.
But who will be appointing members to the Supremes in a few years? A president pledged to support the edicts of the unchristian coalition? Already, both political parties are gearing up for elections in '98 and '00. You can be sure that from now on all the hate-radio denizens and their callers will be hard at work urging the abolition of a woman's choice.
A constitutionally protected human right can be wiped out in a flash if we allow a political/religious cult to dictate medical treatment ONLY FOR WOMEN, while allowing men and their doctors to make medical decisions WITHOUT GOVERNMENT RESTRICTIONS.
Copyright 1997 Renee T. Louise and Ruth M. Sprague, Ph.D. These articles may be republished for noncommercial use only, provided that they are copied intact, and that this copyright notice is attached. Address all queries to: TWANDA@ConnRiver.net.
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