Your Womb Is Irkutsk

« March 2011 »


We've all, at one point or another, played Risk. And when some motherfucker comes at you with three dice, when you have a lot of armies on the defensive, it's in your best interest to defend all you can. Otherwise, you get whittled down until you couldn't make a decent defense even if you wanted to.

I look back on the weeks and weeks of attacks against Planned Parenthood, and I wonder just how many soldiers the Democrats have, and if they're ever actually going to roll both fucking dice for a change.

Republicans attack Planned Parenthood for two reasons that are essentially the same reason. Planned Parenthood is a symbol. First, it's a symbol of liberalism. It's attached in many people's minds to Democrats, so any hit on Planned Parenthood is a hit on the opposition party. And second, it's a symbol of the freedom women have gained over the past half century by gaining some measure of control over their reproductive biology - a freedom that social conservatives and Jesus-freaks despise.

The attacks began a few weeks ago with a sub-par, low-quality James O'Keefe style hit job from one of James O'Keefe's sub-par, low-quality proteges. After some severe editing, Lila Rose made it look sort of kind of vaguely like a few Planned Parenthood employees failed to report the possibility of sexual exploitation of a minor. It didn't actually happen, but that didn't actually matter.

In the politics of the modern age, which thrives almost exclusively on pointing quickly at a piece of evidence that supports your worldview and then never look back at it again, even a shoddy, half-assed piece of work like Rose's "expose" can become a deliberate urban legend overnight. This urban legend was the casus belli for a concerted right-wing push to strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funding.

Batshit Bachmann and others have called for a government shutdown if Planned Parenthood isn't defunded in the final budget. Our Wisconsin buddy Scott Walker has defunded Planned Parenthood in his controversial union-busting budget bill. Glenn Beck has done hours on it. And it's not just about abortion. It's about birth control, too, because conservatives are terrified of female pleasure.

"Planned Parenthood is invested in promiscuity." - Congress's second-stupidest King, Peter King, taking important time away from his elaborate McCarthyite anti-Muslim hearings to make sure nobody has sex without paying life-changing costs.

"[I am proud of] trying to defund Planned Parenthood and make sure they didn’t have any money, not just for abortion, but any money for anything." - Scott Walker, who apparently feels that if women want their delicate lady-parts taken care of, they can damn well pay Christian-run fake "pregnancy crisis centers" to faith-heal their wombs.

In the face of this weeks-long conservative assault on women, I have heard tell of one, count them, two Democrats stepping up to defend it. One, Chuck Schumer, said the cuts were "dead on arrival" in the Senate, and the other, California congressman Jackie Speier, who had to terminate a pregnancy when she was in her 40s.

That's it. Maybe I've missed a couple, but I looked. And the attacks and reports of attacks outnumbered the defenses 100 to 1. This is unacceptable. Just voting down the cuts isn't enough. That's a short-term win. This latest attack has allowed the right to cement its mythical talking points against Planned Parenthood almost completely unchallenged. Which means the next time they try, there will be even less of a public outcry, if that's even possible.

If Democrats don't believe in the right to legal abortion, access to contraception, and a general view of women that doesn't involve them being meek spunk-receptacles and baby ovens, they need to fucking well stand up and say so. They need to be making the young women who've enjoyed decades of relative reproductive freedom know who was responsible for that and who wants to take it away from them, leaving them barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

If Democrats don't actually believe in anything, on the other hand, it sure as hell would explain the last decade of their behavior.