Sunday, November 08, 2009

Abortion Coverage and Health Care Reform: an e-mail exchange

The following is the last (for now) stage of an e-mail exchange with my reply leading off. I deleted names not because any of the views expressed are in any way embarrassing but because I didn't get permission. Hopefully none of them will get too mad at me. But I thought my reply addressed a larger issue and I wanted to save it.

Me to (Man 1) I think you are missing the larger point. The argument for including abortion as a covered service is not at basis an economic one but instead stems from two deeper philosophic disputes: the separation of Church and State and the nature of a patriarchal society. I mean where do you stop? There are religious arguments against circumcism. And Christian Scientists have a valid argument that they shouldn't have to pay for the medical health care of others, particularly as their own practices are excluded. That is to the degree that objections to abortion are authentically based on religion enforcing those beliefs is a violation of the establishment clause.

But I don't believe these objections are actually religiously based, or rather that those religious objections are ultimately not based on any devotion to the principle of sanctity of life. For example immediately after Moses delivered the Ten Commandments to the Chosen including "Thou shalt not kill" his Lieutenant and Successor Joshua led his people into the Promised Land and exterminated nearly all its inhabitants excepting the one city whose people they saved to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, i.e. slaves. (I strongly suspect that the original Hebrew carried the meaning 'murder' and not 'kill'-in ancient law as today two very different concepts) So if the fundamental objection is not religious as such, or if the religious objection itself derives from some source other than the sanctity of life then from where does it derive?

Well the answer is pretty clear, from the same motive that would have women wear burqas or have widows perform purdah (religious suicide after a husband's death) or condemning women to death for BEING raped or having eunuchs as harem guards or in milder form strictly imposing the principle of chaperonage. That is whether you look at this from the biological or anthropological or sociological or historical perspective it is blindingly obvious that men are fundamentally driven by a desire to control the sexuality of "their" women whether that be consort or dependent. Thus the danger of birth control and abortion is that one of "your" women may be having sex with someone else without your knowledge and perhaps worse enjoying it more, and that you will never know. That this cross-cultural imperative has ended up embedded into those cultures religious practices is perfectly natural but let us not fool ourselves into thinking that its origins are spiritually based in some concept of the sanctity of life. Scratch the surface of anyone of 'God's children' and you can see the jealous baboon hidden inside. These guys are just defending the pack against outsiders who want access to the females. Pandering to this desire is just government enforcement of the basest kind of patriarchy.

Sure we could and probably should set up an alternative form of financing for abortion but ultimately being only a little bit of a slave is like only being a little bit pregnant, the question is whether women should be autonomous or not. Me I am a sucker for freedom and equality.

On Nov 8, 2009, at 9:03 AM, Man 1 wrote:

i am hoping i understand this: without being robbed by the insurance companies, most women would have enough money to pay for their own abortion if they needed one. at least that's close to the point i am trying to make. i fail to understand how that would "hold another person and their right to freedom of choice captive to religious, moral, and political motivations." rather the opposite. it seems to me that (Man X) is the one trying to hold others captive to HIS religious, moral, and political motivations. It seems to be impossible to convince people who think they don't have religious views that that IS a religious view.

if you (he) are seriously saying that not only does a woman have a right to an abortion (i agree) but she has a right to a government paid abortion, i hope you can see why you drive "conservatives" crazy.

On Nov 8, 2009, at 4:40 AM, Woman 1 wrote:

I assume that within less than ten years, an abortion case will go to
the Supreme Court, challenging that portion of the law. As the
non-profit or reduced profit players in health care see their fat
profits dry up, the case might even be brought by, or supported by

Either way, general prosperity will expand when the punitive burden of
health coverage is lifted. There may not be money available for a
particular woman, but the numbers of women having the means will rise.

(Woman 1)~off to read the news this morning~

On Sat, Nov 7, 2009 at 9:42 PM, (Man 2) > wrote:
(Man 1):

Save how for an abortion? With a declining income that has been undermined
for the last 30 years with increased expenses, lower paying jobs, denial of
equality, and a lack of opportunity. I find it reprehensible a political
party would hold another person and their right to freedom of choice captive
to religious, moral, and political motivations.

We will fund healthcare for cancer caused by smoking, we will fund
healthcare for those who over eat and suffer from diabetes, we will fund
healthcare for those who choose to use their heads as a battering ram on the
highways of America from riding motorcycles, we will fund healthcare for
those who abuse themselves from over dosing on drugs and alcohol; but god
forbid, a teen or the lady driving Reagan's Pink Cadillac gets pregnant and
it is then we choose to become self-righteous

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ritual suicide of widow is sati or sattee. Purdah is the practice of preventing women being seen by men, either by isolation, or clothing, or both.