Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, October 18, 2004

Yet another story you've never heard.

I know that President Bush thinks that America shouldn't bend to the will of the rest of the world. I know that just because every other nation says something is good, doesn't mean we have to agree. Fine. But couldn't we agree with them on something? Anything?

I can't believe this story. To turn down a great document because of two vague words is beyond me. Our women viewers need to read this.


Anonymous said...

This is absolutely ridiculous. You have to wonder who they are pandering to if those two words are an issue. Is there some conservative constituency out there that believes women should submit to the will of whatever man happens to be around?

Come to think of it, this is probably the pet project of the folks that think abstinence will save women in Africa from AIDS.

I realize that I am probably way out in left field as far as reproductive rights are concerned, but this is really, really negative from a public health perspective and a human rights perspective. It wasn't so long ago that conservatives were jailing suffragettes and making speeches about how education hurts womens' reproductive organs.

-Seventh Sister

Prof. Werner von Brawn said...

It's all about abortion, folks, and the US generally doesn't support international treaties, organizations, etc., that promote or consider abortion as a viable policy. This has long been an issue in US politics--conservatives hold up things with abortion issues and liberals return the favor by holding up things with gun control issues.

Raised By Republicans said...

Yes, abortion is part of it but so is birth control (the "Christian Right" are against both).

The problem with this is that it is a case of a faction of one of the two major US parties imposing their rather unusual sexual taboos on the rest of the world.

Consider the African case. HIV is spreading in Africa as soldiers leave home to fight in the many wars and border disputes that crop up in that region. The soldiers do not share the Christian Conservative's demand for monogamy and often aquire "wives" where ever they find themselves deployed. These "wives" are temporary and stay behind after the soldiers leave. Abstinance as a solution to this problem is bad policy to the point of being grossly out of touch with reality.

I think Von Brawn is ducking the issue by dismissively comparing it to Democrats' support for gun control (what international gun control treaties have the Democrats blocked????).

Prof. Werner von Brawn said...

Sorry, ducking what issue? I said that this is about abortion, as there was clearly some question in Bell's original post as to why the Bush Administration would not sign something over two words. I said that the Bush administration clearly sees that as a signal that abortions would be offered, etc. While the issue of abstinence teaching was already offered, I offered the other piece, abortion.

I then drew a comparison to domestic politics, with an underlying and unstated connection to be made with international politics, which I figured people would see. First, in US domestic politics, Republicans put something about abortion into bills they don't like to help kill them. Democrats, by contrast, do the same thing with gun control. It's standard operating procedure. Second, it should be clear that Republicans behave the same way with international treaties. They object to discussions of abortion or "family planning" when it most likely includes birth control. I did not mean to imply Democrats stop international treaties with gun control issues, but if I looked hard, I'm sure I wouldn't have too much difficulty finding something similar. I was simply trying to explain to those with the questions what is going on in the international arena. What's the problem and the issue I'm ducking?

Gaoshan said...

OK, I'm gonna comment on the part of the story I know the most about.

At the end of the article it talks about Bush blocking funds because he thinks the U.N. is helping China manage programs that involved forced abortions. This is one of those issues that has been spun out well beyond the truth of the situation.

I would bet my stark, white booty that China does NOT have any programs that utilize forced abortion. Has such a thing EVER occurred in China? Yes... somewhere, at sometime. To put a little perspective on it, a similar story in China might claim that in the U.S. fundamentalist christians will let their own children die of illness, rather than seek proper medical treatment. Has something like that ever happened? Yes. Is it common? Not in the least. Same applies to this forced abortion claim.

It is no coincidence that the most detailed stories you find around the internet are either on conservative sites, right to life sites, anti-communist sites or taiwanese sites. Most, if not all, cases of eyewitness and victim accounts seem to come from people seeking asylum. Once again, I am NOT saying something like this has never happened. I AM saying that I think it is blown way out of proportion to the reality of the situation.

Two example situations and then I will shut up:

I was once accosted by a Chinese guy, in Nanjing, who wanted to know why Americans were such idiots. I basically responded with "WTF are you talking about?!" He whips out a newspaper and shows me an article about how the U.S. is planning to fill the Grand Canyon to the rim with garbage and turn it into a giant national dump. I assured him this was not the case but he refused to believe me! Kinda reminds me of Bush.

My soon to be mother-in-law called us (my wife... girlfriend at the time and I) up from China. She was worried because she had been reading about Geoffrey Dahmer and thought we should be extra careful because people ate other people in America. We would laugh that off but she, and her friends, felt that there was a real threat there.

Raised By Republicans said...

Gee it sounds to me like the Chinese are willing to believe far more outlandish stuff about Americans than the other way around.

Raised By Republicans said...

Von Brawn,

I got the distinct impression from your posting that your attitude was "oh this isn't a big deal. This is just like the Democrats and gun control, no big deal."

But that ignores the policy aspects. You don't consider the implications of the action.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Von Brawn, I'm at a loss as to why you hunt for equivalence between the parties on this issue. Republicans, to please a narrow religious constituency, refuse to take part in extremely important programs at home and throughout the world, taking stands that are all but unique in the world. Democrats do not behave this way. Slipping in 'poison pills' in domestic legislation, a tactic of both parties, is not in the same league. The loony left equivalent would be refusing to give 0or receive desperately food aid unless GM foods were excluded, the sort of idiocy that Zimbabwe took part in last year -- but the Democratic party is too centrist for that mumbo jumbo. Even many Republicans are upset by the party kowtowing to the religious right on this issue - just as Likud in Israel gives crazy things to the wacko-religious right over there.

US West said...

I am late to this because I have had power outages and networks burnouts. But I think we need another woman’s voice added to this mix.

The UN resolution is not just about public health, it is about the right to make informed, personal decisions. Let me flesh out the Bush policy a bit.
In 2002, the US congress appropriated $34 million for the UN Population Fund. Bush decided not to grant it. The Executive Director of UNFPA, Ms. Thoraya Obaid was quoted as saying: "The denial of these funds will, unfortunately, significantly affect millions of women and children worldwide for whom the life-saving services provided by the UNFPA will have to be discontinued. Women and children will die because of this decision." For those of you who don’t know, like Von Petit Weener man, UNFPA operates projects that provide contraception and gynecological services, teen-pregnancy prevention and HIV/AIDS prevention ( which touches men’s health as well) in 142 countries. That money would have allowed the agency to prevent 2 million unwanted pregnancies and more than 77,000 infant and child deaths. The United States is the only country ever to deny funding to UNFPA for non-budgetary reasons. And you tell me conservatives are pro-family! God doesn’t pay child support, people.
In 1988 Regan introduced the Mexico City Policy. Under this policy, the US denied to non-US agencies linked in any way to abortion-related services. Agencies were not even allowed to provide counseling on abortion as a choice. As a result, International Planned Parenthood lost a quarter of its income.
Let me translate this for you, Von Jerko, it means that no non-profit in the world will receive USAID funding if it so much as breaths the word abortion. So, for example, a Peruvian women’s health provider which is 50% funded by USAID grants is afraid to even mention birth control because it fears being accused of promoting abortion. Result: it can’t effectively deliver health services. Clinton put a stop to the Mexico City Policy in 1993 and Bush reinstated it in 2001.
Now, this type of crap gets my feminist ire up because it isn’t just about women! Some of the same clinics that serve women also serve men. And when those doors close, men loose, too. And to make it a little more uncomfortable for you: Your sexual liaison is infected with a nasty little STD and she doesn’t know it because she doesn’t have access to health care. Why? Her non-profit clinic had to shut its doors due to the loss of USAID funding. Now buddy, you got Hepatitis A and are stuck on interferon treatments for the next 5 years.

What you have is a group of people, so blinded by their own fanaticism that they can’t see the bigger picture. And it is just abortion that trips them up. It is everything- a complete failure or inability or refusal to see the far reaching ramifications of their actions and too busy placating their far right cronies to care.

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