Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Real Tragedy

So Congress is preparing for August recess. That's why the House G-O-TEA all-stars are busy demanding even more economically harmful austerity and death to comprehensive immigration reform. But in case this isn't crazy enough for you, get a load of this.

"If someone else would like to do it instead of me, I'm more than happy to consider it. But I'd like to be the lead sponsor," the Florida Republican said. "I feel very strongly about this issue. And I'd like to be the lead sponsor on it if we can find language that we can unify people behind." [...]

There's no shortage of relevant angles here. For example, [Senator Marco] Rubio [R-Florida], a long-time culture warrior and proponent of social conservatism, desperately wants to make the right like him again after his work on comprehensive immigration reform. Because the right places a high priority of abortion restrictions like these, it's likely the senator sees this as a way to get back into their good graces as he moves closer towards a national campaign.

There's also the larger effect on the Republican Party's "rebranding" initiative. In recent years, as the GOP has become more extreme on issues like these, the party has exacerbated the existing gender gap thanks to the "war on women." Instead of learning the right lessons, the U.S. House approved a 20-week ban championed by Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) last month, and even though it has no realistic chance of success, and now Rubio hopes to follow suit in the U.S. Senate.

Oh, yes. That's right. The War on Women is back in full force! And it's happening because Marco Rubio fears his falling 2016 poll numbers and diminishing standing among the 21st Century Know Nothings.

This is what Rep. Dina Titus (D-Paradise) was decrying last month. And now, Marco Rubio wants the Senate to partake in the House's insani-TEA. Apparently for Senator Rubio and other DC G-O-TEA politicians, women aren't harrassed enough over their health care decisions.

[... In] the 40 years since, [Dr. John J.] Sciarra has been surprised to see the state of reproductive rights moving backward instead of forward. “We did not anticipate the backlash that has turned abortion into an ideological battleground,” the retired doctor writes in a op-edpublished in the Chicago Tribune on Friday. “So I have again joined 99 of my fellow professors of obstetrics and gynecology in another statement on the issue, published earlier this year, in the very same American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.”

In the new statement, Sciarra and 99 of his colleagues point out that even though abortion has been legalized and medical practice has evolved to accommodate a new range of reproductive care, the politicization of the issue still threatens to derail women’s reproductive rights. When Sciarra first advocated for abortion rights back in the 1970s, he and his fellow OB-GYNs imagined that the “increasingly liberal course of events” in the U.S. would create a rising demand for abortion care. They thought the biggest problem facing the country would be a shortage of doctors available to perform abortions. It turns out they were wrong — the biggest problem is actually the web of state-level abortion restrictions that come between women and their doctors.

“We have had 40 years of medical progress but have witnessed political regression that the 100 professors did not anticipate,” their official statement noted. “Forty years later, the change is not liberal. Its effects will threaten, not improve, women’s health and already obstruct physicians’ evidence-based and patient-centered practices.”

Already, state abortion restrictions are causing problems for women across the country. And now, Senator Rubio wants to back those up with anti-scientic, anti-productive, anti-Constitution, and anti-sane anti-choice federal legislation. Because of course, his political career matters more than real women's lives.

This is the real tragedy here. Women's lives are truly at stake here. And these G-O-TEA politicians don't seem to care about the consequences of their actions. Believe it or not, there are more important things than the political future of Marco Rubio, Dean Heller, and Joe Heck.

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