Monday, May 18, 2009

Women Bearing Responsibility and The Like

Thankfully I got the chance to listen to the Baccalaureate Address that President Obama gave yesterday at Notre Dame before any of the media presentations of it appeared. If I had waited, I might have thought that the protests were predominant. As I did hear it first, I am glad to note that his address was positive and the audience was receptive.

The phrase that has been discussed throughout comments at eschaton was not something that hearing the address I thought was all that monumental, but then I have had the choice of exercising my conscience or leaving my profession. The 'conscious' clause - a mistranscription of 'conscience' - holds that a pharmacist of other medical profession can choose to refuse to practice that profession if he has a distaste for a procedure that is usually understood to be abortion.

The same pharmacist fills prescriptions all day long that give medicines to children with colds that are to quiet the child so the parent will be assuaged, and do the child no good at all. My neighbors, both doctors, when my children were small called this 'pink stuff for parents' and told me not to use it. They knew what they were talking about, and I followed that advice. They also thought that vasectomy was a great way to practice birth control since it has no side effects.

Birth control is another practice that the catholic church eschews although the side effects of multiple pregnancies is often disability, particularly of the economic kind. For some reason, I hear no discussion of physicians refusing to perform vasectomies, or in vitro fertilization, for reasons of conscience.

The opportunity to discuss this with Professor Wombat, with a background in medicine, was appreciated, and I am excerpting here from his remarks;

I was ambivalent about his speech. He's in favor of abortion rights, and the notions of ethics and science and the equality of women, fine.

But the decision to have an abortion often isn't 'heart-wrenching'. Repeated efforts at demonstrating psychological sequelae to abortion have failed to do so. Obama called for a 'sensible conscience clause', an object of dubious possibility. Obama's call to prevent unwanted pregnancies is fine, but ignores the fact that many who oppose abortion are also opposed to free access to contraception. Hell, some even opposed the HPV vaccine, lest the young sluts feel safer in their promiscuous ways. There's a danger to legitimizing these people, even while pursuing a legislative agenda, and (hopefully) appointing unequivocally pro-choice Justices. Their agenda is controlling women's lives and bodies, and needs to be opposed on that level.

Is what he's doing going to be effective in advancing a decent women's rights agenda? Will he rope-a-dope them a bit, and merely go on? Perhaps. Don't know. But every time I hear someone call himself 'pro-life', I think of calling him 'pro-coat-hanger'. Why I'm ambivalent is that I'm not sure I'd be more effective than he.
ProfWombat | 05.18.09 - 10:03 am | #

That the president is reaching out to his opponents who in this issue include women's clinic bombers is a sobering truth. While avoiding confrontation that would kill any prospect for accepting our views as far as the moderates on women's rights to family planning are concerned, President Obama is building toward accommodation.

The media seem to have completely accepted demonstrations outside the baccalaureate celebration as representatives of the opponents in women's right to determine their own families' size and economic viability. As long as that is accepted by participants in the debate, the issues just don't matter. The congressional debate will no doubt continue to be a rant on selected biblical scripture from the right, misrepresenting the rights of women as murderous, while the proponents state facts.

President Obama has a minefield to negotiate, and he has shown deep understanding of it. We can only succeed in any area when facts are respected. This is an issue that features debate that has failed to get to that level yet.

If pharmacists get the right to refuse medical assistance their professions require, can journalists get exceptions to their profession's requirement that they present facts insofar as they can obtain them?

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Anonymous elbrucce said...

Right... Just as Obama has accommodated us on FISA, Afganistan, Don't Ask Don't Tell, prosecuting torturers (or even bothering to investigate), State Secrets, Don Segilman, getting out of Iraq, shutting Guantanamo, military tribunals, et. al. Not to mention continuing to shovel billions to the banks while stiffing the unions. He might be better than McCain, but that's becoming ever more faint praise.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous elbrucce said...

One more thing... BO doesn't support Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame in their lawsuit against Cheney et al for blowing her cover. I didn't expect nearly what the Obots did from BO, and he is still a major disappointment.

4:46 PM  

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