Tuesday, September 04, 2012

There is NO war on women, and the Republicans ALWAYS support the military, and the proof of that is that they are blocking access to abortions for pregnancies that result from rape in the military. Wait, that can't be right.

Courtesy of Comedy Central's Indecision (Don't let the source fool you, this is far from humorous.):  

The Pentagon reported 471 rapes of servicemembers in 2011, a number that grossly underestimates the actual number of sexual assaults. And although the military is trying to reduce instances of rape through education and prevention programs, it would be sane and reasonable for the Defense Department to offer women some options in case their assault results in pregnancy. 

Unfortunately, current policy follows the Rick Santorum's policy of turning rape lemons into baby lemonade. A pregnancy cannot be aborted at a military facility, even in cases of rape or incest, nor will military insurance cover abortion at an off-base facility. It's a more restrictive policy than that offered to State Department workers or the guards in the federal prison system. Or inmates in the federal prison system. 

Senator Jeanne Shaheen has led the effort to provide military families with the same access to abortion that other federal employees receive, but although it's found bipartisan support in the Senate, the measure is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled House… 

"We don't really understand why anybody would oppose [Shaheen's bill]," says Sharon Levin, the director of federal reproductive health policy at the National Women's Law Center. "The only reason it wouldn't go through is if the Republican leadership in the House tried to block it." 

That appears likely. A GOP staffer "familiar with defense issues" told Army Times last week that the Shaheen amendment "stands little chance of surviving" when the House and Senate meet to work out their differences on the defense bill. "Historically, social provisions that are not reflected in both bills heading into conference don't survive," the staffer said—conceding that the House version of the defense bill will not include anything like Shaheen's proposal.

Religious ideology trumps real world necessity once again.

I guess the Republicans are still embracing the Todd Akin idea, that a "legitimate" rape would certainly not require a woman to terminate any pregnancy.

Women have made such progress in the world today, it is simply a shame that in the eyes of many their contributions are overshadowed by the need to see them as baby manufacturing plants.


  1. "The Pentagon reported 471 rapes of servicemembers in 2011, a number that grossly underestimates the actual number of sexual assaults. "

    Boy will be boys?

    Gryphen, can you get a breakdown of these stats into the officially recognized TeaParty categories of "legitimate rape" (generally speaking, a bad thing) and "recreational fun time party rape" (wink wink, know what I mean, nudge, nudge)? It could be important in determining which victims deserved their assaults and which didnt.

    Also, some details on their appearance at the time of the assault is always helpful when uninformed third parties are trying to make judgments about people they don't know. Length of skirt, quantity and colors of makeup, hair color, cleavage exposure, that sort of thing. According to leading GOP advocates for women's rights, these are important facts to know, along with the sexual histories of the victims, since TeaParty-certified scientists have proven slutty girls can't be raped because something mysterious in the bodies just shuts the whole thing down.

    Look it up. It's in the bible. And it if it isn't it damn well should be!

  2. Anonymous5:12 AM

    Quick question - does the insurance plan for US Congresscritters cover abortion? Viagra?

    1. Very, very good question.

  3. Anonymous5:52 AM

    Raped prisoners have access to free abortions, while raped service woman can not get them in a military hospital and must pay for them off-base.

    Must be really hard to put your life on the line for your country when you are rated lower than prisoners.

    I will NEVER vote for any Republican candidate ever.

    1. fromthediagonal7:24 AM

      @anon 5:52...it is bad enough that female soldiers cannot get help at a base hospital immediately after a rape within the US, but it is even more infuriating when one considers that when rapes occur in a war zone (and they do, with distressing regularity!) there is no "off-base" option of the morning after treatment or, if need be, a medevac to a base where an abortion can be performed.

      The mindset of women as an object to be used for men's needs unfortunately is alive and well. For a female soldier to have to be concerned more with the danger of rape from a member of her troop than possibly one from the declared enemy if captured is horrendous.
      To then being told that there is no access to remedy is worse than that.

  4. Anonymous6:57 AM

    How can ANYONE with at least half a brain, stand by these "conservatives" in today's GOP?

    Seriously. This is a video from 2010, it's THEIR PEOPLE instructing their minions on how to game the system: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGB8Uuffi4M

    Kind of explains why those crappy Palin books and disingenuous "Undefeated" piece of propagandist porn get such good ratings on Amazon (and anyone panning the books or films are always attacked by the same few people).

    And those "conservatives" who are STILL whining about Sandra Fluke and making false claims about her campaigning for her "FREE" Birth Control. Here's her speech: Where the hell does it say anything about giving anyone FREE birth control?

    I am so sick of the LIES from these "conservatives". Obama is no angel, certainly no messiah -- but he doesn't need to be. He's a decent hardworking President who doesn't hide behind religion, who doesn't cater to the low-information voter, who genuinely cares about the forward direction of this country.

    I've only cited a couple of examples of the lies and tactics employed by the GOP -- there are countless others.

    And finally, I am going to play the "race card", because it deserves to be played. After decades of progress, the GOP has managed to make racism "cool" again to their followers. It's sickening.

  5. hedgewytch7:22 AM

    The elephant in the room - the right wing elephant - is that many believe that woman have no place in the military anyway - at least not outside of the office or serving in the mess or something like that. So if a woman soldier gets raped, its only because she put herself on the battlefield and she gets what she deserves (what does she think will happen to her if she gets captured by the enemy anyway?!). And its a great way to remove those women from the military and send 'em packing back home where they belong anyway. Right?

    You might think I just thought up that above paragraph out of my head, using deductive reasoning, or logic. Well no, actually all I had to do was listen to a few crazy old men around here when I mention woman serving in the military, carrying guns, performing missions, etc.

  6. Anonymous8:57 AM

    What about the stupid, empty-headed female legislators who are voting with the Viagra covered male legislators in the "War on Women."

    Don't ever think there isn't a war on women. I'm almost 80 years old, worked in the medical industry my entire career. Fended off, with aplomb males, married and single, all those years, mostly doctors.

    I think I have seen and heard it all and let me tell you these GOP'ers, male and female are lacking in education, common sense, forward thinking and planning for the future.

    Eric Cantor didn't know how a bill becomes a law, Ryan who is the "fiscal" czar in committee for the Repubs can't get the financial facts right but spews them forth anyway, Akin who sits on the Science committee thinks the woman's body selects the sperm to unite her eggs with when she chooses.

    Remember, when you see the female Repub legislators ---- they are voting WITH THESE BRAINLESS MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Get to the polls and vote and take every eligible voter with you. Obama 2012!

  7. Anonymous9:39 AM

    The filthy minded O'Reilly did it again. His very offensive remark about Sandra Fluke's speech at the DNC where they should rain down condoms from the ceiling on her is beyond beyond.

    These right wing nuts have gone way off the deep end and are not fit to report, vote, sit in government positions while publicly obsessing about the men and women's genitals. They are turning our nation into public porn.

    Where are the jobs solutions, the deficit spending plans, the revamping of systems we have that are outdated? All tucked into the gay and female genitals which are the major themes drowning out all other discourse.

    That must be where the answers are because that and lies are all the Rethugs espouse.

    I am so sick of the "Christians," Catholics (O'Reilly) and other bible thumping idiots who are being paid and not doing an honest job but can only see penises and vaginas EVERY SINGLE DAY.

    What kind of country is being left for my grandchildren? Certainly not one of opportunity. It seems one of filthy talk, women as disposables, and education dumbed down so as to be negligible. (Texas textbooks rewritten)

    Angry? Yes, I am at what this country has become and it all started back with Reagan. If you know your history you know we were had by him. You can thank Hoover for that as his sleight of hand with Reagan's past and "re-doing" papers allowed Reagan to capture his government roles.

  8. Anita Winecooler6:43 PM

    Ryan says "The method of conception doesn't matter" in reference to rape, and that, alone, embodies the entire Republican mindset when it comes to Women. We simply don't matter.

    They constantly pound the drum for wars, funding the military machine with suppliers they have a vested interest in, at the expense of innocent civilians, including countless women and children.
    They demean the sacrifice of female servicemembers and the sacrifice their families endure by not addressing this issue.
    They sanitize the aftermath to the point we don't publicly mourn our lost soldiers.
    BUT they're vehemently "pro life", to the point that a victim of rape should carry and raise the product of rape, I suppose they consider it "penance" or "God's will", but if they truly believe, what God would will that a woman pay for the "sin" of her rapist for a lifetime?

  9. Anonymous12:47 AM

    This is my story,and I am VERY lucky I did not get pregnant from it:

    18 years old.
    The Army.
    Germany, sent out to the field for the first time.
    The only woman and 1500 men.
    I was the Medic, they were Engineers.
    Alone, in the dark being watched, only I didn't know
    Vilseck, Germany after two weeks without a shower, we were allowed to go to Tent city for 2 days.
    Much Celebrating. Much Drinking. After showers the partying started.
    I was invited.
    A cute boy
    free drinks
    more drinks
    Something wrong....
    Room spinning
    can't walk
    being carried
    pass out
    wake up
    can't move
    tied up
    can't talk
    gag in mouth
    someone on me
    wet between the legs
    another body on me
    another body
    all night
    over and over again
    how many?
    Don't know
    too many
    over and over again
    more laughter
    in and out of conscience
    how many?
    could be twenty
    could be a hundred
    all ranks
    all sizes
    all ages
    all penises
    all thrusting
    all sweating
    lots of pain
    smell of greasy tent
    smell of booze
    smell of tobacco
    smell of man sweat
    smell of semen
    smell of sex
    all thrusting
    all groping
    all squeezing
    all pawing
    only one, who when he saw my tears, stopped in his tracks
    But he walked out, and another came in to take his place
    over and over again
    no help
    none in sight
    all night long
    in and out of reality
    in and out of dreams
    more body's
    more men
    more thrusting
    how many hours?
    finally the sweet release of awareness
    in the showers
    bruises and blood everywhere
    oh my God the pain
    all consuming pain
    my clothing in a pile
    water is cold
    scrub some more
    put on uniform
    met at door, by commanding Officer
    stern words about MY behavior
    told if I talked, it would be MY fault
    Threatened with prison for "enticing"
    handed orders to be transfered
    Told to pack my bags
    Transportation waiting
    Warned again
    If you talk, you die
    or worse
    watching blindly as the trees roll by
    curling up inside of me
    hiding the pain
    hoping the pain will fade
    as the bruises do
    can't walk, can't sit, can't take a shit
    blaming myself
    Others have
    so why not me?
    it weighs on a mind
    remembering what was said
    silence it is my friend
    lock the pain away
    never talk they said
    never talk I did
    The pain it became my friend
    To this day, it never ends.

  10. Anonymous12:49 AM

    I'd like to sit down in a room with all 173 co-sponsors and describe to them in minute detail everything that happened the night I raped over and over again by fellow soldiers. You know, it's been thirty years, and I still get sick to my stomach, my hands still sweat and shake, thinking about it. And I'm one of the lucky ones. I wasn't physically scarred for life. I didn't end up pregnant.

    If I had, and if an abortion had been denied to me because I didn't fight hard enough, scream loud enough, risk my life adequately enough to satisfy the Cons in Congress, I can promise you something: I would've ended up killing myself if I couldn't abort that baby. They can't understand, will obviously never understand, why many women wouldn't be able to face carrying their attacker's spawn to term. Let me just put it this way: there are worse things than getting raped. One of them is being denied any chance to regain some control over your own body afterward. One of them is being forced to put your body through the further trauma of pregnancy and childbirth against your will. And at that time, in the aftermath of the worst morning of my life, I wouldn't have had the mental strength to deal with it. It was hard enough putting the shattered pieces back together without a swelling belly and constant reminders of the horror I'd gone through.

    But they don't care about a woman's welfare. Obviously not. They have some fantasy about rape, which makes them just as despicable as the men who rape. They think there's some kind of honor to be fought for, that a woman should do everything in her power to guard her virtue rather than survive, and if she doesn't, then she's a slut who deserves everything she gets.

    I wish I could take them back in time. I wish I could turn what's in my mind into a film, so I could walk them through the event. I'd like to see their faces when they're faced with the reality of sexual violence. I'd like them to have to walk in my mind. And I'd like to pause every so often, and ask, "Did I fight enough here? How about here? Was that rape forcible enough, or was it too gentle to qualify as the kind of rape where a woman is granted an abortion?"

    I'd like them to have to experience every emotion with me, both during the attack and in the months and years afterward. I'd like them to know just what it is to have control and integrity ripped away from you. I'd like them to walk that fine line, knowing that if you fight too hard, you're going to get yourself killed. I'd like them to be there in my mind, the moment I realized I didn't have the physical strength to fight my attacker off, and that no one could hear me scream. I'd like them to share that instant where panic and gut instinct turned into a cold calculation, where I decided it would be a better idea to live.

  11. Anonymous12:49 AM

    Do they think I made the wrong choice, choosing survival over a fight to the death? Do they think that making the choice to survive means signing away your right to your remaining bodily integrity? And would they still believe that were they forced to live it with me?

    They believe abortion is murder, and yet each and every one of them, should you ask, would likely tell you that killing someone in self-defense is justifiable. Let me try to explain something to them: getting rid of a clump of cells isn't murder, but let's play on their field a moment. That clump of cells that could become a human being someday is an intruder. It broke in, it wasn't invited, and it's stealing from me. It could kill me. It's certainly going to hurt me, both mentally and physically. So if you believe some homicides are justified, why do you think it's not justifiable to kill that intruder?

    They need to walk in my mind. They need to watch the months it took, feel the force of will it took, to regain function again, to not hide in the house anymore, to learn how to cope with a terrible new reality. I dropped out of school, because I wasn't capable of normal function for quite some time. It took years before I could trust people again. I still have bad moments. But I'm nearly a whole human again. I don't think I would've gotten there if I knew I'd been forced to bear my rapist's baby. And I don't have words strong enough to describe the visceral reaction I have to the idea. That would have given me a lifelong connection to my rapist. That would have been a level of trauma beyond my imagination. I know my mind well enough to know that bearing a rape baby at the age of 18 would have broken it.

    Is that the price I'm supposed to pay for being attacked? According to the Cons in Congress, it is. It's my fault, you see. I should've fought hard enough to keep from being impregnated or died in the attempt. Nothing else will do. They care more for a clump of cells than they do for a living, breathing, thinking and suffering woman.

    But I don't think they've thought this through, and that's why I'd like them to experience what I did. Because then, you see, they could imagine what it would be like if that had been their wife, or their daughter, or some other woman they may actually care about. They may have to look at her a bit differently, and wonder if it's worth destroying her in order to force her to grow a clump of cells fertilized by a rapist. They might have to ask themselves if they'd really want her rape to be so forcible that it could kill her before they'd allow her the choice of aborting that clump of cells before she gets traumatized all over again.

    Because, you see, what the Cons in Congress are saying to women is that if we don't fight, if we don't drive our rapist to really hurt us, then we'd better be prepared to have a rape baby. If we're strong enough and wise enough and lucky enough to survive, we're to be punished. We're to have control and bodily integrity ripped away from us once more. And if we want to avoid that second traumatization, we'd best escalate the situation. There's only one way to respond to rape in their world: fight. Even though fighting could get us seriously hurt or killed.


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