No Longer the Party of Lincoln

By: Guest
February 29, 2012

Today’s guest post is from newcomer Fruitless Hope

Over the past couple of weeks, as some Republicans have attacked women’s healthcare, it has struck me that this is no longer the “Party of Lincoln.”  To be fair, I cannot assert that Abraham Lincoln would be a Democrat today.  Fairer still, my own Democratic Party has also over time meandered away from its 19th century focus.   The Democratic Party ceased long ago to be the “Party of Jackson.”   For that, I am rather grateful.   Even without his slaves, Andrew Jackson – as a proponent of states’ rights, of the spoils system, of hard specie currency, and of a decentralized banking system – would hardly fit into the modern Democratic Party.   To say that Jackson was conservative is an understatement.  I am grateful for modern, more progressive Presidents from both parties who have carefully negotiated the expanding role of government under our Constitution; always taking care to preserve government of, by, and for the people, according to the immortal words of President Abraham Lincoln.

I will not compare the confinement of a whole race of people in slavery with the denial to women of free access to birth control.   There may be a way in which both are similar, but there are MANY essential dissimilarities.   I will, however, compare the attitude of the 19th century (southern) Democrats toward abolition with the attitude of some of the outspoken Republicans in 2012 toward women’s health care and contraception.   It is a matter of history that the Democratic Party kept slavery alive in the Nineteenth Century and Jim Crow alive through much of the Twentieth.   There is so much  wrong with that, and I merely wish to point out that it propped-up the white male as the all-wise, paternalistic governor.   In the antebellum South, it was presumed that white men knew what was best for all of the families on the plantation, white and black.   White men also made the decisions for the community, the county, the state.   At this time, all candidates left in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination are white males, and some of these are leading or echoing the chants to whittle-away many of the healthcare provisions/protections for women in the Affordable Health Care Act.   This includes the provision that the insurance companies provide prescriptions for birth control at no cost to the (female) patient.   Not all of the voices in this chorus of chants are from white people, nor are they all male.   Many of them are white and male, however.    Whether it is Democratic paternalists or Republican ones it really does not smell very nice.   It “goes over” about as well as a slap in the face.   More on that later…

I encourage the Republicans to re-think their stance on women’s health issues.   There are more worthwhile issues to battle Democrats over.   It is not that women’s healthcare is not worthwhile.   It is that Republicans have – amazingly – chosen the losing side of the issue.    One cannot seek to take away from women in the pre-season, and expect a post-season victory.   One of those important dissimilarities between slavery in the nineteenth century and women’s healthcare in 2012 is that women vote in 2012.  (I have often thought that if African-Americans had been given the right to vote when our nation was founded, we might have ended slavery much sooner than we did and without such an un-Civil War.)    In 1919, the Republican Party controlled both houses of Congress, and passed the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote (upon ratification).   The Party of Lincoln found it essential to be on the right side of Abolition and on the right side of Women’s Suffrage.   Why do they seem prone to choose the wrong side on the issue of women’s health?  Let’s not forget that many of those women using contraceptives have male partners who also vote and who want the women in their life to enjoy access to contraceptives.   Additionally, insurance companies would much rather pay for a year’s worth of pills than a live birth.   I just don’t see how the Republicans can win on this issue they seem to be so willing to wedge into our dialogue today.   I don’t think Abraham Lincoln would see a winning hand in this either.

 As a Democrat, I am hoping that the women of America (and the men in their lives) are still feeling the sting in their faces when they cast their ballots in November.

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35 Responses to No Longer the Party of Lincoln

  1. FireTag on February 29, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Apart from the idea that it is Democrats who are making the strategic choice to focus on social issues instead of the economy as a wedge issue, not Republicans, I feel that it would be courteous to respond seriously to your post.

    I find it interesting that you connect the civil rights for African Americans to “women’s healthcare”, because the right to have mandated government health insurance requirements include not only contraception, but after-the-fact medications that many sincere people consider as abortion.

    Abortion in particular has some direct implications for African Americans. According to Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract, in 2007, the latest year for which data is included, the abortion rate for whites was 13.8 per 1000; the rate for blacks was 48.2 per 1000. Given the relative socio-economic status of whites and blacks in the US, it seems almost certain that the rates for which such services pose an economic burden are even more strongly skewed toward aborting black babies than white babies.

    So there is a fundamental moral issue here depending on whether one believes that it is better that a potential human being not be born than to impose a burden on the community and family. Is it better that African American children not be born or that there be more poverty in the African American community? Stated THAT way, it is a potentially slippery slope.

    The early 20th-century movement that became Planned Parenthood began out of concern for women and families suffering because they bore too many children (sometimes approaching 20 pregnancies). But it quickly morphed into a social improvement model that DID focus on cutting back the population of those “lower classes” that were a burden to society, and it was the burden on society — as evaluated by the elites — and not care for the individual woman, that became the driver. This moved to advocacy for forced sterilization, also applied disproportionately to blacks, and to others such as the “feeble-minded”, as the notion of eugenics for the improvement of humanity gained currency among some of the leading lights among American and European progressives. And then the extreme right added industrial efficiency to the mix — and picked a different group of undesirables who were a burden on society and so should be exterminated.

    From subtle flaws in good intentions can great hells grow, We should seriously seek to see what the real moral concerns of our opponents are BEFORE we conclude that they are being unreasonable. Afterward, maybe. :D

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  2. Jon on February 29, 2012 at 9:12 PM

    This post is wrong on so many levels, equating giving people “free” stuff to the blacks being freed. Amazing. Truly W&T has reached a new low. It would be nice if they posted something on actual freedom and liberty for once instead of how our slave masters need to give us more “free” stuff or control our lives in more ways or what is the best way to control people through violence.

    Let’s see what Frederick Douglass (the black that managed to gain his freedom and wrote about it) had to say about this, as I posted recently on another comment:

    In the early part of the year 1838, I became quite restless. I could see no reason why I should, at the end of each week, pour the reward of my toil into the purse of my master. When I carried to him my weekly wages, he would, after counting the money, look me in the face with a robber-like fierceness, and ask, “Is this all?” He was satisfied with nothing less than the last cent. He would, however, when I made him six dollars, sometimes give me six cents, to encourage me. It had the opposite effect. I regarded it as a sort of admission of my right to the whole. The fact that he gave me any part of my wages was proof, to my mind, that he believed me entitled to the whole of them. I always felt worse for having received any thing; for I feared that the giving me a few cents would ease his conscience, and make him feel himself to be a pretty honorable sort of robber. My discontent grew upon me.

    See http://www.archive.org/stream/douglasfred00dougrich#page/102/mode/2up

    Let us continue on this voyage:

    In the course of one year from the time I left Mr. Gardner’s, I was able to command the highest wages given to the most experienced calkers. I was now of some importance to my master. I was bringing him from six to seven dollars per week…After learning how to calk, I sought my own employment, made my own contracts, and collected the money which I earned. My pathway became much more smooth than before; my condition was now much more comfortable. When I could get no calking to do, I did nothing. During these leisure times, those old notions about freedom would steal over me again. When in Mr. Gardner’s employment, I was kept in such a perpetual whirl of excitement, I could think of nothing,
    scarcely, but my life; and in thinking of my life, I almost forgot my liberty. I have observed this in my experience of slavery, that whenever my condition was improved, instead of its increasing my contentment, it only increased my desire to be free, and set me to thinking of plans to gain my freedom. I have found that, to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make
    a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken his moral and mental vision, and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason. He must be able to detect no inconsistencies in slavery; he must be made to feel that slavery is right; and he can be brought to that only when he ceases to be a man.

    I was now getting, as I have said, one dollar and fifty cents per day. I contracted for it; I earned it; it was paid to me; it was rightfully my own; yet, upon each returning Saturday night, I was compelled
    to deliver every cent of that money to Master Hugh. And why ? Not because he earned it, not because he had any hand in earning it, not because I owed it to him, nor because he possessed the slightest shadow of a right to it ; but solely because he had the power to compel me to give it up. The right of the grim-visaged pirate upon the high seas is exactly the same.

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  3. Domandred on February 29, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    It’s NOT about Women’s “healthcare”. That’s the meme the Dems want you to think it is about.

    It’s about the Government telling a religious institution what they WILL do that violates that religion’s doctrine. That is a direct and gross violation of the 1st Amendment. PERIOD.

    Tell me where in the Constitution free contraception is considered a right that the government must force religious institutions to provide. Yea tell me. It’s not there.

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  4. Amanda L on February 29, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Luckily, when contraception is easily accessible, abortion doesn’t HAVE to be the way for lower-income people to avoid having babies they can’t provide for… Go contraception!

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  5. Andrew S on February 29, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    re 2,

    Jon

    You know how much better your comment would’ve been if only you hadn’t started it off with that entire first paragraph you had? You know how much it would probably help people to engage the substance of your comment rather than get caught up of how much of jerk you sound like?

    Tone it down. You’ll catch more flies with honey than with GRAAAAR.

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  6. FireTag on February 29, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Jon:

    Since Andrew said it, I won’t have to do so.

    Amanda L:

    The distinction between contraception and abortion is certainly important in my belief system, because the potential individual life that is aborted pays the entire price, whereas prior to fertilization, there is a large random element in what individual life will not come into being. The former seems akin to throwing someone off the ship without drawing straws, and seems a lot less equitable.

    However, contraception does not address the fundamental moral question of those who follow Catholic teaching. That teaching is more along the line that it is never moral to obtain the pleasure and intimacy of sex at the possible expense of innocent life; the potential for the creation of life must always be honored.

    Like I said, not a theology I share, but I don’t share a theology of pacifism either. I still respect conscientious objector status, and don’t think the state has a compelling reason to justify drafting pacifists into the military, at least short of enemy tanks driving through the Washington suburbs. That’s a freedom of conscience issue, too.

    What COMPELLING CONSTITUTIONALLY MANDATED INTEREST justifies overriding freedom of conscience and drafting Catholic institutions into the army of birth control? The last time I looked, it was “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in THAT order. I agree with Domandred in comment 3 on this.

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  7. Jon on March 1, 2012 at 12:39 AM

    Yes, I should have toned it down. This entire post is quite offensive though. Just like my first paragraph. I still hold though that “equating giving people ‘free’ stuff to the [slaves] being freed,” is just wrong. This is what Douglass taught against and he was a slave.

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  8. Andrew S on March 1, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    re 7,

    Jon,

    If you recognize that you should have toned it down, then ultimately, our message is “go and sin no more.” So, cool.

    But really: if you disagree (even disagree quite strongly) with a post, or think it offensive, then you can state your disagreements and even make counterarguments *without* trying to offend people back.

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  9. hawkgrrrl on March 1, 2012 at 3:39 AM

    The GOP has changed dramatically many times since Lincoln. Today’s GOP never was the party of Lincoln. When social conservatives joined the ranks, the party really did change to being the caretaker of morality, a communitarian approach. The parties have gotten totally convoluted over time. That’s my opinion anyway.

    As to the link between freedom and free contraception, if you want to be free from unwanted pregnancy, you have 3 choices: have a penis, total abstinence for women (including not being date raped), or contraception. The religious argument is a red herring. Because of the cost-benefit, insurance providers would gladly provide free contraception to people so employers wouldn’t have to. Contraception is far cheaper than elective abortion (as well as far less morally repugnant) or live birth. This one’s kind of a no-brainer. Why it has become a debate, IMO, is because one candidate (Santorum) wants to create a theocracy. The GOP has not been anti-contraception historically. Romney, the frontrunner, said “It’s working. Leave it alone.”

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  10. Jeff Spector on March 1, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    Hawk,

    That is why the whole connection to religious liberty is so specious. No one is being forced to use contraception that doesn’t want it.

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  11. Douglas on March 1, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Posters of varying politics have all made good points.

    The OP’s equating governmental provision of subsidized birth control with the slavery issue is convoluted and ridiculous.
    The only thing about BC and the federal government with Santorum (but also the other GOP candidates) is that religiously-sponsored health care organizations that should not be forced to dispense what amounts to an elective medication or procedure against their beliefs. If Santorum wants to establish a “Popish” theocracy in the US, then I and likely most Americans would vehemently oppose him.
    Of course, the greater question is: Why is the Federal government involved at all? It seems only fair that these Federal programs sponsoring BC should be excised forthwith and the tax monies left in the hands of the people. Then all the liberals and feminazis and others of similar ilk would be better able to support the cause they so fervently champion. No, rather, it seems that liberals get worked up about a cause when someone else is paying.

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  12. alice on March 1, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Romney, the frontrunner, said ‘It’s working. Leave it alone.‘ ”

    Not sure I can share your clarity on this. We have Romney agreeing to require Catholic hospitals to require emergency services to avoid pregnancies in the case of rape in MA but publicly denying that he did. And more recently he’s said he opposed and then agreed with the Blunt-Rubio amendment that has the effect of not requiring similar responses for any providers on the grounds of religious beliefs.

    I have no idea how to interpret Romney’s position and no real reassurance that birth control will remain the personal decision of families as it should be. Perhaps when he’s running in the general election he’ll make further statements but I wouldn’t know how to trust what his actual policy will be.

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  13. Jon on March 1, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    Jeff & hawkgrrrl,

    From a religious standpoint it is connected because the OP advocates that the government steal from religious people and give it to those people who are participating in activities contrary those which some religious people would normally refuse to support (it’s hard to refuse when someone has an iron fist in a velvet glove approaching you).

    Also, from history we have seen the horrendous things government will do, as illustrated by FireTag, it is quite amazing to me that eugenics programs have been going on, sponsored by the government, up to the 80s, assuming it isn’t still going on today.

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  14. Jon on March 1, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Andrew, #8,

    Yes, I wasn’t trying to excuse myself in my reply. I suppose I was just pointing out that you are giving me a hard time about it but you aren’t giving the OPer a hard time about it either. The OPer should be rebuked also for posting this article.

    I have been rebuked for associating taxes with slavery, then I find out that a famous slave actually agreed with me on the subject. We truly are slaves, and the OPer wishes to continue this ideal. That’s my fundamental disagreement with the OP.

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  15. Andrew S on March 1, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    re 14,

    Jon,

    The OP is a guest to this site. You come in to a guest’s space and insult not only him but the entire site. Why even come here if that’s all you’re going to do? If we need to discuss further why that’s not OK, then let me know and one of the permabloggers will email you so that we don’t have to continue to derail the discussion.

    P.S., pay closer attention to what it was I was “rebuking” in my first comment to you here.

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  16. Jon on March 1, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Yes, I do question, why W&Ts as a community would allow something like this to be posted as a guest, maybe as a perma I could see it but as a guest it is even worse. It is amazing to me that I get called a racist for saying that we are slaves but the poster gets off Scott free.

    That’s all I have to say on that. I’m done. Yes, I should be more careful in how I approach my comments, I agree, but I also think the post writers should be more careful also. And yes, the posts written on W&T are a reflection of the community, even though I know some of the posters disagree with what is written.

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  17. FireTag on March 1, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Jeff and Hawkgrrrl:

    As to the religious angle being a red herring, respectfully, no. The religious issue goes to the question of when persons who can not protect themselves acquire rights LIKE THE REST OF US and whose protection can thus override the wishes of people who do not consider them persons, but property. (Another interesting connection to the fate of African Americans who were treated as property, not persons, isn’t it?)

    But to make even more clear that the slippery slope argument deserves serious consideration, the following link appeared in Real Clear Politics this morning. It illustrates how close progressive ethical thinking remains even today in extending the “non-personhood” of fetuses BEYOND birth. Note that the article being reviewed appears in a prestigious medical ethics journal and the Professors authoring it are associated with Oxford.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9113394/Killing-babies-no-different-from-abortion-experts-say.html

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  18. alice on March 1, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Has anyone objected to the “stealing” of taxes from people who have a religious conviction that opposes war or the execution of prisoners or using any medical services at all?

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  19. KT on March 1, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    I just want to mention medical conscience clauses and conscientious objection, which are a large part of all of this Republican v. Democrat and women’s health issues thing.
    I personally feel that it really comes down to this: are you comfortable with allowing women’s medical care to be at the whim of the feelings of a person other than yourself? Let’s go with the slippery slope argument…what if a physician is racist and doesn’t want to treat a minority? What if a physician is anti-Semitic? What if a physician is sexist? Theoretically, whether or not someone gets proper medical treatment could come down to a lot of factors, all at the physicians or pharmacists judgment. Are you comfortable with that?

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  20. Will on March 1, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    First off, the two greatest civil rights leaders of all time were both Republicans – Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King. It was the democrats, particularly in the south, that fought these great Republicans.

    I agree Republicans, and Democrats too, should move away from social issues given our current economic mess. It’s like worrying about whether you left the iron on when the house is burning down.

    The social programs (social security, medicade, medicare, walfare, etc..) implemented by Democrat Presidents and associated democratically controlled congresses have destroyed our economy and our nation as a whole. This, along with the sure stupidity of the left’s Keynesian economic model, have translated in massive debt. What a stupid concept. Hey, were in debt up to our eyeballs, let’s borrow money from a foreign country to ‘stimulate’ our economy. As I have said before, it is tantamount to pumping water from one end of a pool to the other in an effort to raise the water level. Evaporation and spillage will slowly drain the pool. The answer is to find a water source to raise the pool, not redistribute the water. Likewise, we need to cut spending and find new sources of revenue.

    The bottom line is the entitlement programs implemented by the left in this country have resulted in our downfall. We are bankrupt. We put more money on our credit card each year (about 1.7 trillion), than any other country in the world spends a year with the sole exception of Japan. Our general obligation debt is 15 Trillion and our unfunded entitlement benefits are estimated at 63 Trillion. What more troubling is that entitlements account for 60 percent of the revenue that we receive each year. When you add debt service we are close to 100 percent of our revenue, which means we have zero dollars to spend on anything else. As a nation, we need to be honest about our current status when it comes to this debt problem and need to make dramatic cuts in social programs — at least 40 percent. If we do not, the entire world economy will collapse. If it is going to ripple with small countries like Greece or Spain, it will collapse when the mainstay of the World’s economy (The US with 25% of the worlds GDP) collapses. If it does, we have the Democrats and their social programs to thank.

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  21. Jon on March 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    Alice,

    Yes.

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  22. Jon on March 1, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    KT,

    There is a problem with forcing people to give service to others when they don’t want to give that service since that makes them nothing more than a slave to give that service. I have strong objections to slavery in any form.

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  23. Jon on March 1, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Will,

    Lincoln was not a civil rights leader, he was more like Stalin really, oppressing people that didn’t want to belong to his country. Slavery was only a side issue to raise morale for the war and Lincoln actually wanted to send the blacks back to Africa.

    As for your other arguments, you are putting on the blame on the democrats when Reagan increased social programs and G.W. Bush increased government medical expenditures more than any president previous to him, of course, Obama decided to outdo him.

    Really the problem of social programs comes down to the individual accepting the social programs like health care, etc. One big social program that people seem to like but has shown not to achieve its stated goals is the education program, which is also bankrupting us.

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  24. Fruitless Hope on March 1, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    I want to thank each of you for making me feel welcome/unwelcome, depending upon the respondent. I am a liberal, and I can tell from a number of the comments, that the conservatives are represented here. I wish to reinforce a few points stated in the article, but – apparently – forgotten by some who have responded. First, I made no comparison between birth control and slavery. Instead, I made a comparison between attitudes toward Abolition, and attitudes toward certain provisions in PPACA (sometimes referred to as “Obamacare.”). Dems are framing this as a war on access to birth control as a part of a basic health care standard for all Americans (underwritten, mostly, by private insurers). Republicans are framing it as both government overreach on commerce, and a fundamental attack on religious freedom. I agree with a number of the conservatives who have decried my article that it is to be lamented that this issue is occupying our time and attention, rather than serious discourse regarding our economic outlook. It is too bad, because PPACA was already passed as a matter of law. It goes without saying that voters will decide in November which story they believe more.

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  25. FireTag on March 1, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Alice:

    I sort of knew that response was coming, so it is why I was careful to frame my argument in terms of “compelling constitutionally mandated interest”.

    There is, in fact a very long history of judicial decisions that attempt to reconcile individual cases in which freedom of conscience comes up against another guaranteed right (like the provision of a common defense). Specifically, there have been cases in which people have asserted the right to withhold tax payments on the basis of opposition to military uses of taxes. Without pretending to be an expert on the particulars of those cases, the fact remains that the contentions were all rejected.

    The balance that society has struck in regard to war is that CO status and an all-volunteer army permits people to avoid participation in combat. Citizens must, however, pay for the common defense, because the common defense is a constitutionally mandated DUTY of the Federal government.

    The provision of all desired health care is nowhere a mandated duty of the Federal government. The supreme court is about to decide whether requiring people to buy health insurance is even constitutionally permissible without DESTROYING the Constitutional framework of “delegated powers”. Thus, the situation in health care is likely to strike a very different balance in regard to freedom of conscience. You do recall that the final vote for the Healthcare Act was obtained only after Obama issued an executive order that permitted Catholic Democratic Congressmen (particularly Bart Stupak’s block) to argue that NO Catholic institution would be forced to participate in any way in the support of contraception or abortion against their moral principles.

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  26. KT on March 1, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Jon, how can you call it “slavery” when they are salaried and benefitted? That’s hilarious that you even said that!

    Secondly, medical science and the human brain (and some might argue, therefore God)have provided for certain kinds of health services. Most people know what those are. If you don’t want to be giving those services, then pick a different job! If you want to do it anyway, then you should be required to explicitly advertise that you “opt out” of giving certain services. It should be assumed that you do, unless overtly stated otherwise. And for obvious reasons, those people probably shouldn’t go into emergency services.

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  27. Jeff Spector on March 1, 2012 at 3:36 PM

    Firetag,

    “persons who can not protect themselves acquire rights LIKE THE REST OF US and whose protection can thus override the wishes of people who do not consider them persons, but property.”

    you are going to lose me right here for the following reasons:

    We are talking about contraception, there is no person involved other than the one using the contraception.

    Second, I reject the notion that a fetus is a person. Society, the legal system, the government or even religion itself has never used the “fetus is a person” definition until the abortion issue came up. We do not recognize a miscarriage as a death, it is not recorded on the public record nor is a funeral held or a body buried. the bible clearly records that the “breath of life” makes one a living soul.

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  28. FireTag on March 1, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    Jeff:

    You are making a circular argument in which you declare the conclusion that there is no person on the basis of YOUR theology. It doesn’t apply to Catholic theology in which the “breath of life” is viewed differently. (There is a whole Catholic theology subject phrased in terms of “natural law” having to do with conception which is too complex for me to address, even if I were an expert.)

    However, I don’t think many women who have knowingly suffered a miscarriage (most egg-sperm combinations are genetically lethal and miscarry quickly) think there was no “breath of life” within them before birth. The grieving over a miscarriage is very real, even if society prefers not to notice.

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  29. Douglas on March 1, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Whoa, whoa – not that I agree entirely with Jeff’s views as to whether or nor a fetus is legally a person, but I didn’t get from him how a mother should or could not grieve over a miscarriage. Not all, or necessarily even a majority of “pro-choices” have nihilistic attitudes.
    Given that viability has been a consideration (to wit, Scott Peterson being convicted in 2004 of the murder of his unborn son, who was eight months along), I’d say that under some circumstances a fetus is treated under the law as a person.
    How does this relate to the BC issue? Remotely. Some object to a “morning-after” pill, believing it tantamount to an abortion. Others believe the employment of contraception for even a married couple to be sin (I don’t). The point is that the religiously-sponsored medical organizations of faiths that hold those values should not be forced by Government to proceed in a manner inconsistent with their principles. Else, take down the Stars and Stripes, bring on the swastika and/or the hammer&sickle, because this wouldn’t be America anymore.

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  30. hawkgrrrl on March 1, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    I have to go back to what I said. The question of Catholic organizations being forced to provide free BC to employees is moot. There isn’t an insurance company on the planet who wouldn’t gladly provide it for people as a cheaper alternative to abortion and live births. If Catholic employers object to having to work with insurance companies who provide it to their employees for free, that’s unreasonable, IMO. If their doctrine isn’t compelling to their employees, it shouldn’t be legally binding to them either.

    I also don’t believe it’s morally right for the church to skirt anti-discrimination laws based on being a church.

    Douglas – thanks for your reasonable tone. I really appreciate it.

    To all – Fruitless Hope’s ideas warrant discussion. Political posts get heated sometimes (I believe people have stronger political opinions than religious ones – except maybe Santorum). There is no “typical” political view at W&T. We are all from different backgrounds and voting histories. We can still have well-intentioned discourse about differing opinions without resorting to tactics observed in the GOP primary. After all, none of us have a candidacy at stake!

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  31. Jon on March 1, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    Fruitless Hope, #24,

    One of those important dissimilarities between slavery in the nineteenth century and women’s healthcare in 2012 is that women vote in 2012.

    This is the sentence that I have a problem with. You first say you will not compare the two and then you compare the two right in that sentence. You just compared, in that sentence, the freedom of blacks to the women being able to vote themselves free stuff. I may be banned from this sight for noticing that but that is what you said. You may not have meant it, if you didn’t retract that sentence, if you did let it stand but I’m going to call you on it.

    As I quoted Douglass, taxes are one of the things that put us in bondage, which is also illustrated in the Book of Mormon with King Limhi’s people and other parts of the Book of Mormon.

    That is why I have problems with BC, not that women take it, but that government is getting involved in the first place and that people advocate that special interests take from one to give to another. This is what you would call tyranny by the majority.

    I’m trying to be reasonable in this comment. Please look at it and see the core issues, at the end of the day the petty politicians do it is the individuals that lobby, give up their liberty, and take away others freedoms that matters.

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  32. Jon on March 1, 2012 at 9:49 PM

    KT, #26,

    So you are saying that you can’t pick the profession of your choice because politicians say you have to do things you find repugnant in order to be in that profession? I would call that a form slavery.

    The Douglass quote shows how, just because you aren’t work directly on the master’s plantation doesn’t mean that you aren’t a slave. It is interesting to note that many slaves during Douglass’ time that they were supposed to do what they did for their masters and they would chide each other if one got out of his place and thought that maybe his situation wasn’t right. Truly, the slavery is more horizontal than vertical.

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  33. Don on March 2, 2012 at 6:35 AM

    To claim that Democrats are the ones who are making social issues the focus of the campaign is absurd. The whole basis of the Republican Party these days is social issues: abortion, no separation of church and state etc. But Democrats have used social issues well in the past. Without those social issues we wouldn’t have civil rights, equal employment opportunity, fair housing. Besides, any party that believes you can solve our economic plight without increasing revenues is just plain nuts.

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  34. KT on March 2, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    Jon,

    I haven’t even mentioned politicians. My point is, it’s common knowledge what the medical options and possibilities are in terms of women’s health (and assisted suicide). Just because a Dr or pharmacist disagrees with some of those options doesn’t make them not exist and also doesn’t make them not an option.

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  35. Jon on March 2, 2012 at 7:50 AM

    KT,

    It just makes them not an option if you are going to said doctor.

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