Archive for July 8th, 2013

Derivative much?

I know people love Aaron Sorkin. And as you may know, I am not one of them.*  I just think his writing is annoying and most of his characters are self-righteous and smug. I feel like most of his work is pretty much the same as his other work (exception: see footnote), which wouldn’t be a problem for me if I liked it in the first place. I had no idea, though, the extent of his self-plagiarism. Holy cow! (Thanks to AO for sending me the link and this one too). Mostly I think it’s funny, though some seem like a stretch (“Really?”), but finding out he stole from that beautiful Tom Hanks Oscar speech? I’m pissed. That’s so not cool.

*I do, though, LOVE A Few Good Men and could watch it all the time. Seriously. It never gets old.


What is wrong with people?

I know, where to begin, right? In taking Bear to school this morning, I was listening to the local public radio station, which was hosting a discussion of Walker’s new abortion law. Among other things, the new law requires a woman who seeks an abortion to be shown an ultrasound of the fetus. I didn’t catch the guest’s name, but she was affiliated with Planned Parenthood in some way. The host asked her, “Don’t most providers do an ultrasound in order to determine the location of the fetus in order to provide the best care? If so, why is this part of the law a big deal?” The guest confirmed that PP does perform ultrasounds before the abortion, but the issue is about the government compelling certain medical treatment, which isn’t its place. Anyway, I was just bouncing thoughts about that around in my mind, and thinking about how the bigger issue – as I understand it – is the new law’s mandate that providers have hospital admissions privileges. That requirement might force the closure of some of the state’s few abortion clinics. I get it: that is the point. So, Scott Walker and the Republican legislature of Wisconsin want to restrict access to safe abortions. I don’t like that. I think it’s a huge mistake. I am even more convinced of the necessity of having access to safe medical treatment for women who wish to terminate their pregnancies now that I have my own baby bear. I believe no one should be forced to give birth when they would choose not to do so. In addition, of course, abortions will continue to happen. This law, indeed no law, will stop abortions. Placing restrictions on access to safe abortions does only that: makes abortions more dangerous.

In any event, I get that people feel differently than I do on this issue and it seems as if it’s one this country is never going to agree upon. I think that’s too bad, but I suppose it’s not surprising. What I do find surprising, though, is Salon’s story on the Top 10 Most Dangerous Places to Be a Woman (in America). It’s all based on abortion services, so I’m not sure the title is completely accurate, but the headline got my attention and I’m glad (for lack of a better word) I read it. There are CRAZY laws out there! Forget not being able to drink beer and eat a pretzel in North Dakota! Kansas has upped the ante times a billion. According to Salon,

In April, Kansas lawmakers approved their own antiabortion omnibus bill. The measure contains more than a dozen provisions to deny services to women seeking abortions, two of which are currently being held up in court.

The first is a troubling provision to  redefine what constitutes a medical emergency so that pregnant women experiencing life-threatening complications — including hemorrhaging, infection and ruptured ectopic pregnancies – would be forced to wait at least 24 hours before obtaining an emergency abortion. After signing the legislation that would imperil the lives of pregnant women in medical emergencies, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback remarked: ”All human life is sacred. It’s beautiful. With this, we continue to build this culture of life in our state.”

A second provision of the law mandates that doctors inform women seeking abortions that fetuses can experience pain after 20 weeks, a scientifically disputed claim, and that “the abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.” Under the same law, doctors are also required to tell women that abortion puts them at greater risk for breast cancer, despite the fact that this is a medically unsubstantiated claim that has been refuted by medical experts, including the National Cancer Institute.

Assuming Salon’s report is true … What the what? Yes, let’s make a woman hemorrhaging in a life-threatening condition wait 24 hours before we save her life. That seems prudent. And yes, let’s also make sure the little lady is informed about things that may not even be true. And, in one case, is probably most likely not even remotely true. Why let the truth get in the way when there is a woman seeking to terminate her pregnancy? Let’s just tell docs to lie to her in an effort to get her to change her mind. I’m just appalled. I get it: people hate the idea of legal abortion. Fine. I hate the idea of capital punishment. It doesn’t make it right to pass laws that are based in lies and deceit. And it is abhorrent to put a woman’s life at risk for twenty-four hours because…Well, just because. Shame on those involved in the passage of this law.

July 2013

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