Answer: Pretty damn anti-choice! Mitt Romney introduced his fresh-faced young VP hopeful last Saturday morning, while some of us still lay asleep in our beds, thinking the world wasn’t so bad after all.
Well, that’s what I was doing, but then I woke up. I checked the news on my phone, got slapped in the face with this bit of cheeriness, went back to sleep, and promptly had nightmares about Romney and Ryan. In fact, they’ve been featured in at least one other unpleasant dream since then! Perhaps it’s time to stop reading the news before bed? The dreams I’m having are, I know, are based off of my very real fear that these two will take office in January, and they’ll start right at chipping away my reproductive rights.
Paul Ryan has gotten a lot of publicity for his budget plan, which would effectively kill Medicare. Like, a lot of publicity.It’s pretty much all anyone will talk about on news sites (liberal or not), television shows, and radio. This is a major issue, and it deserves major amounts of attention. I’m certainly not complaining about too much coverage here, but I’m wondering why we can’t get some for choice and reproductive issues. Comparatively, I’ve seen about a handful of articles talking specifically about Ryan’s anti-choice ways or giving the issue the attention it needs. While the Medicare/budget/social security issues will pull older progressives and a good number of fence-sitters out of the woodwork and into the voting booths, it won’t get everyone. My generation, for example, is still in that selfish (but not so selfish that they’re still in the libertarian teenager phase, thank goodness) phase of life where they think they’ll never get old. You know what they do think? That they might get pregnant, or that someone they care about might get pregnant. Really, nothing rains on the college partying and drinking parade like a screaming infant! And from looking at his policies and voting record, Paul Ryan thinks every woman needs a baby, no matter what!
First up, the personhood thing! Personhood amendments ( in this case the Sanctity of Life act, which Ryan sponsored) are those annoying little amendments that talk about how life supposedly begins at fertilization, and after that, the little fertilized egg is a full-blown person, with all the constitutional and legal rights of any human out of the womb. Personhood amendments effectively ban all abortions and allow for no exceptions for rape or incest. None at all. I’ll just let that sink in… Personhood amendments also end much-needed stem-cell research and ban many kinds of fertility treatments, because they’re so pro-life and all that. The Sanctity of Life Act and its clones also ban many types of birth control. You read that right. No birth control, no abortions. Because some forms of birth control prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg, usually as a second line of defense to not releasing any eggs at all or preventing sperm from reaching the egg, these would be banned.
Ryan has also supported laws requiring transvaginal ultrasounds, which are invasive and usually unnecessary, in order for a woman to obtain an abortion. I guess if he can’t outlaw it entirely, he’s just going to help make it as difficult as possible. Jerk. And of course he hates the Affordable Care Act, in part because of the birth control mandate, and he supports employers who oppose that mandate. Oh, and he supports the rights of doctors and hospitals to refuse necessary care to a woman if that care involves abortion or procedures that may end in abortion. Are you shocked yet?
As for the women who defend our contry, well, he wants to get them too. He has voted more than once to deny women serving in the military the right to use their own money to obtain abortions at military hospitals. If a woman is serving in the United States, this is still horrible, but easier to get around, because she can just go to a different hospital. If that woman is serving in Afghanistan, she does not have that as a safe option. I personally have this little conspiracy theory that all of this is to get women out of the military, because ladies belong at home having babies and cleaning the kitchen.
This is not a small issue, and it doesn’t deserve to come as an “Oh yeah, and…” to the budget issue. The fact that mainstream media is hyper-focused on that and gives little attention to women’s issues says a lot about the state of our country. We just aren’t that important, apparently. There’s a rumor that the Obama campaign is going to pick up the pace with this angle, because they’re thinking the same thing I am (hire me, please?). They know that some women, particularly younger women, couldn’t give a damn about Medicare, but that we’ll defend our birth control to our last breath. And from that angle, they can swoop in on partners, friends, and parents by playing the “do you want this to happen to your ______ ?” card. In fact, it’s exactly the card I’m going to play on my anti-choice mother this weekend, since I know it’s going to come up.
I know I’ve missed or skipped some things here, simply because there are too many to pack into a readable article and I’m running out of spoons on this. So tell me, what Paul Ryan anti-choice antic really gets your hypothetical goat? Feel free to throw out some more of his anti-woman whoppers, and I’ll go get the wine and tissues!