WTF Virginia

Ok, it’s time for me to break things down here. I don’t get riled up too easily when it comes to politics. I think most of it is BS and most politicians are liars who tell you want you want to hear to get elected. I have remained pretty ambivalent as the election draws closer, and issues arise.

That being said, I do respect my president as I think all people should because he is our leader and I think he has a tough job. I feel this way no matter if he is Republican or Democrat. I try to stay out of a lot of the political debate because I think most people could argue me under the table and I can also understand both sides of most situations. I do have some non-negotiables when it comes to elected officials and my beliefs.

Ok, enough back story. Let me get to it. I am originally a registered Republican who has since shifted to a more liberal/moderate mindset. I declare myself more of a moderate now a days because I have views that kind of dabble on both sides of the spectrum. I am not an extremist by any means, but if one thing grindes my gears it’s messing with women’s rights.

I have said it before, but I do not know how ANY man (no matter their position) can make a law or pass legislation that mandate what a woman can and can not do to HER body. It just blows my mind. Well, it appears as though Governor, Robert McDonnell is considering signing a bill that will require women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion.

McDonnell is strongly pro-life and feels as though this legislation will help deter abortions in Virginia. The ultrasound legislation would require women to undergo a test to determine the gestation age of the fetus, hear the heartbeat and be given an opportunity to see the images. A woman who refuses to look at the ultrasound would have to sign a statement, which along with a print of the image would become part of her medical file.

Ok, I’m sorry but WTF?! The main point here is that during the first trimester, an abdominal ultrasound would usually not work that early in a pregnancy, meaning  women would be subjected to a transvaginal ultrasound to have an abortion. I have to get transvaginal ultrasounds as a result of being BRCA1 positive. They are invasive. They are uncomfortable. It’s a wand in your vagina for goodness sake…

Oh and guess what….many of the bill’s supporters were unaware of how invasive the procedure could be! These supporters had no idea what women would have to endure if the bill was passed. Because MEN should not be making laws about WOMEN and their bodies. How would you feel, men if a bill was passed that required you to have an object inserted into your private parts as a result of a sexual encounter and unwanted pregnancy?

McDonnell has since changed his full support of the bill to now saying he would consider it. I don’t care what his stance is. The fact that this legislation even exists makes me furious. There are other abortion-related bills pending including bills ending state subsidies for low-income women to abort fetuses that have serious birth defects and giving rights to a fertilized egg at the moment of conception.  

Being pro-life is fine. Having your views and beliefs is fine. Regulating abortion is fine. But ultimately women have rights to their own bodies and these rights are theirs alone. The decision a woman makes about her body should between her and her doctor, not a politician with an agenda.

source

There are plenty of other issues in Virginia, such as taxes (which are going up in 2013 in our county), unemployment, and education. Instead of focusing on the issues at home, McDonnell is pushing his extreme right wing agenda in hopes of shutting down Obama. Well, Mr. McDonnell just because your name is floating around as a Vice President nominee does not mean you are facing Obama yet. You are still representing Virginia and you need to focus on our real problems, not your ridiculous social issues.

My friend Maeghen’s dad (Republican) made a good point on Facebook yesterday. He said, ” They seem to think that the Conservative Movement that gave them control of the House, Senate and Govenorship last year was focused solely on Conservative Social Agenda items. They are wrong and grossly over reaching on these agenda items…. They were elected to promote job growth in Virginia, keep Government power limited and to keep the State Budget balanced without raising taxes. This very conservative social agenda slate they are pursuing will hurt solid Constitutional Conservatives in the fall and may hand the state over to Obama in the November Elections.They are certainly losing the Womens vote.”

source

Don’t get me started on the craziness that is going around in the Senate regarding birth control and giving employers the right to deny health coverage to employees based on their personal beliefs.

I am outraged. News flash, all you law makers…people have sex. Marriages don’t always last. Sometimes pregnancies are unwanted. It happens. Bringing religion into the equation and forcing your beliefs on people will not make America abstinent. And pushing these bills will not win you the election. You are alienating a lot of people. Meanwhile, gas prices are threatening to rise to over $5.00 a gallon…priorities, I tell you.

The one thing that makes me just as mad as messing with women’s rights is this bill – Private adoption agencies could deny placing children with prospective parents who are gay. So pretty much, adoption agencies have the right to discriminate against a couple and deny them if they are gay and use their religious beliefs as an excuse for the denial.

Because I guess being gay impacts if the couple is financially able and willing to give love and care for a child. I mean, come on people! So you are telling me that a child living in a group home or an orphanage is better off there then with a loving couple who just also happens to be gay? I am just baffled by this. How does sexual orientation make anyone less capable of raising and caring for a child?

In fact, The Child Welfare League of America sent a letter to senators earlier in the session urging them to reject the bill, saying it would make it more difficult to place the approximately 1,300 Virginia children waiting for a home.

The American Civil Liberties Union also opposed the bill and say, “This is truly troubling legislation that in essence codifies state-supported discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, which is not only unconstitutional but also unconscionable as it will deny many parentless children the family placements they so desperately need.”

I know this whole post has turned into a rant. But if people don’t stand up for their beliefs then nothing will change. I have no problems with the fact that McDonnell is Republican or pro-life or anti gay or whatever else. I do have a problem with the fact that there are many many issues that need attention in Virginia and instead the focus is being directed to women and gay rights. Isn’t one of the main ideas of Republicans is that there is less government involvement? Sounds to me as if there is more government involvement with all of these bills.

You don’t have to agree with me. But the point is to stand for something. These politicians are elected to represent and protect us, not take away our rights.

Contact Governor McDonnell
Contact your Senator
Planned Parenthood
American Civil Liberties Union

Thanks for reading!

Edited to add –

A nice Twitter friend informed me that Delegate Kathy Byron was the one who sponsored the bill. So I will tame my man hate for now and just shake my head at the fact that politicians in general (regardless of gender) should not have the right to mandate what goes on with your body. Here’s  a link to John Stewart discussing the bill. And for those who want Del. Byron’s view point, here you go. I think she makes good points, but still stand by the fact that the use of an ultrasound before an abortion should be a decision made between patient and doctor and should require no involvement from the government.

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21 responses to “WTF Virginia

  1. Hmmm,
    Some very resonable points. My human says we must be careful to maintain our liberties. He spent time in the USSR where the state could dictate that you had to get an abortion in your preganancy was “suspect.” It determined who was “fit” to rear children using whatever struck their fancy. Electing officials that represent us is our defense. But FEAR putting these decisions in the hands of bureaucrats that you have no way of removing.

  2. hear, hear. this democrat agrees with you wholeheartedly. you know i’ve always thought of myself as a moderate democrat. but, these social issues push me right over the wall into liberal. it’s annoying this notion that the right has to legislate people’s private lives. and i agree, i always thought the republican platform was about LESS government. sounds like perhaps that is changing. great piece though. i had no idea that ultrasound was so invasive until you pointed it out either.

  3. I’ve been screaming “Amen” in my head while reading this. The things our VA government are focusing on instead of more real issues amazes me. I’m not normally a political person, but when they start messing around with things that don’t need to be fixed is when I question what is really going on in their heads.

  4. You’ve made some great insights here. I’m from a similar political standing as you, Republican turned moderate who tries to keep my distance. What sickens me about all of this is that it’s all still about a few people’s political agendas. I try to travel for humanitarian aid work all around the world and we have MUCH bigger problems than women getting ultrasounds, i.e. genocide, refugee camp situations, human trafficking. But somehow ultrasound mandates become the fixation for these guys. REALLY?!

  5. Amen. That’s all I have to add.

  6. No one could argue you under the table today. Very good post.

  7. Amen Sister. A-frigging-men!!!

  8. The reason the government focuses on “soft” issues is because they get to much attention. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” If people wanted the real issues solved we would have to actually sit down and probably be bored to tears by fiscal policy and spreadsheets. However, the news, lobbyists, journalists and every PR agency in the country won’t let that happen.

    Also, the last time I check an abortion was pretty invasive as well and they’re volunteering for that procedure. That’s like saying they’re passing legislation that people who are planning to commit suicide have to look through old photo albums of happy memories before they do. “That’s not fair because think of all the paint they’ll go through organizing photos and remember they were happy!”

    I really enjoyed reading your blog up until now. And I’ve shared it with friends more than once but your logic is so flawed I can’t imagine I’ll be back.

    • While I imagine an abortion itself is rather invasive, my main point was that I do not think that the government should have a say in what we can do with our bodies (in that situation or in regards to birth control) and equally who has the right to adopt a child when it’s based on sexual orientation. My intent was to express the ridiculousness of these bills and their effect on our rights.

      Women’s issues are a hot topic with me and as someone who has to get transvaginal ultrasounds on the regular as a cancer screening method, I do not think it is the government’s right to mandate that a woman experience this before having an abortion. I think the bill itself is intended to shame women out of having abortions, which is just wrong. The fact that a woman must sign a waiver if she refuses to look at the ultrasound and that waiver and ultrasound picture will then become a part of her medical record is ridiculous. She is undergoing enough shame without the government creating all these extra rules to add to it.

      But again, my overall point was that this legislation should not even exist in the first place. The “more serious” issues may be less interesting. But as a resident of VA, I would be a lot happier if I didn’t have to face increased property tax, or if the counties could afford to pay teachers instead of firing them due to budget cuts (and as a result having overcrowded classes). These are the things that will make VA better, not creating silly laws in an attempt to push a specific social platform.

      Anyway, I hope you do not leave for good. There is a lot more to me and my blog than my political beliefs. Thanks!

      • “Undergoing enough shame already,” really? If it’s her right to choose and she’s a card-carrying feminist who believes women can control their own bodies, why is she ashamed?

        And again, they’re only pushing a social platform because not enough people want to listen long enough to fix the other issues. The teacher issue stems from budgetary flaws… to fix it you need to fix the budget. I’m actually a resident of Virginia as well (despite being overseas I still vote there). Unless you vote on every referendum that comes up, or county seat that is campaigned for, you have no right to pick and choose what they do and don’t focus on. Instead of ranting about it on your blog once, figure out when to go vote on it, look up your congressman’s name and send them the link to your post. Do something other than just post it up and feel better because you got it out of your system.

        I have no problem with you expressing your opinion; in fact, I think if more people like you spoke up and said, “hey pay attention to this real stuff” the world would be a better place. But, I do have problems with flawed logic and hollow ranting. Go out and actually make your point somewhere it matters. In the meant time, I might not follow as diligently any more but you haven’t lost me forever.

      • Not all women are card carrying feminists, and are quite ashamed and scared by the process of getting an abortion, regardless of if it their right or not. It is not as simple as you are making it out be. So there is your “flawed logic.”

        Rest assured that I have sent emails to Gov. McDonnell, Senators Warner and Webb, and Congressman Connolly so my “ranting” isn’t as hollow as you seem to think it is. The very act of linking my blog to Planned Parenthood as well as urging people to contact their senators and Gov. McDonnell are also ways that I did more than “rant.” The act of expressing my opinions via social media is a way to get the word out and make people aware of the issues. I have gotten quite a lot of feedback on the blog, email, Facebook, and Twitter, so I think that I am doing more than just sitting here and “ranting” on my blog.

  9. I fear Emily Grace may have been distracted by the ‘squeaky wheel’ in your post – that being the invasive process of the ultra-sound, a wheel that you identify closely with Taylor, and one that possibly helped fire you up even more – however she seems to have missed your well argued, pertinent point relating to the overall control of women / human rights. People don’t always like to be challenged so deeply, but it is good for them. You go girl!

  10. Emily Grace has totally missed the point of this blog post! In my opinion this is the perfect forum to post your thoughts about any issue that you want to discuss and give your opinion on….IT’S YOUR BLOG! Why go to your congressman and complain about this, when all you will get is ignored!? Social media is a way to share this information with whoever wants to read your blog and be informed on a topic or issue that they haven’t heard. Keep doing what you do and thank you for standing up for your rights and putting this information out there! Keep up the fantastic blog!

    • I never said she shouldn’t post it on her blog. In fact I believe my exact words were “I’m glad you are sharing your opinion”. But it is the belief that we are all ‘ignored’ that keeps us at the status quo. If everyone with a bone to pick wrote about their favorite issue on their blog AND to their congressman, the world would be a completely different (and better) place.

      Also, the point of the post was that women are being told what they can/can’t do with their bodies and the author’s subsequent dislike of any legislation trying to mandate those things. The best way to actually do something about it is to speak up. Be the squeaky wheel… just with a bit better logic.

  11. I cannot figure out if Emily is a hardcore pro-lifer or a rightwinger. Maybe both but if I had to guess I would say pro-lifer. I am as well with certain exceptions. Besides that, abortion is the law of the land. The problem that conservatives (which I am as well) have today is they are meddling too much into individual freedoms and creating more government requirements. Freedom and smaller government, less spending, and reducing the debt are all Republican talking points. The problem with the recent Virginia legislation concering women’s health is it is intended to interfere with a woman’s ability to terminate her pregnancy. These issues need to be put aside if the nation’s problems are to be truly addressed. There are lots of smart people who believe that the national debt is our largest threat to national security. As long as the Repubs keep focusing on the “soft issues” as Emily states, the “real issues” which she says are too difficult, will go untouched. Those are the ones that really need attention.

    Also, I can’t remember the last time I heard or read the word logic so many times in one day. Emily, did you take a college course here recently? Your accusation of using “false logic” is way off the mark. Attacking someone on their views and opinions is one thing, but your “false” use of “false logic” is laughable. Speaking of hollow ranting, geez. Emily, work on your political debate skills a bit before unloading on someone who has actually presented not only an opinion, but a sound argument.

  12. I whole heartedly agree, Taylor. I feel your blog was extremely well written with very good logic. Emily Grace, your declaration that Taylor’s argument was somehow flawed with logic lacks logic itself… She made perfect sense and put forth excellent points… While some of your suggestions were good about making your voice heard through contacting your congressman and speaking up…your other under-cutting comments were just annoying to read. You obviously disagree with abortion. We got it. Taylor was bringing forth a very concerning subject… which impacts the human rights of WOMEN… Also, your comment about women who experience shame is “deserved b/c they are card carrying feminists (WTH) and why should they be ashamed” is not only oppressive, but extremely ignorant.

  13. @ Kelly ~ Emily Grace’s comment didn’t say it was “deserved” shame, nor did she imply it was. She was being sarcastic, implying that pro-choice people, especially feminists, stereotypically wouldn’t consider abortion a thing deserving of shame, so why would a much less invasive procedure (i.e., the transvaginal ultrasound) be considered shameful enough to warrant outrage?

    For those who are wondering – yes, I’m pro-life. Yes, I’m conservative. No, I haven’t researched this bill at all, and no I don’t live in Virginia. Just commenting on the fact that it was sarcasm.

    Obviously, you have every right to your opinion, Taylor, and to write about it. I did find it kind of ironic to hear someone identifying themselves as liberal/moderate complain about government encroachment! Haha!

    • Here’s my problem with Emily’s comment, she assumes that women getting abortions are automatically “card carrying feminists” who are just gung ho about getting abortions and all rah rah rah about it and why should they feel shame, etc. There are many reasons women choose to get abortions – they are young and in a bad/unwanted situation; they were raped; they are having complications with the pregnancy; they are too old to have a child; they are unable to bring a child into the world; etc. None of the reasons I listed have anything to do with government and therefore should not require government involvement. These are very personal reasons and very personal decisions. One’s that should be kept between a woman and her doctor. So to imply that all women who are pro-choice are “feminists” and therefore why should they feel shame (?), is just crazy. Lots of emotions come in to play when a woman is experiencing an unwanted or complicated pregnancy. And whether the government-mandated procedure is more or less invasive, the fact that there is a government mandate is the reason why I am outraged.

      Sarcastic or not, Emily could have presented her opinion in a way that was smart and informative. I welcome it. But being sarcastic or whatever else is just unnecessary.

      And Deeza, I never identified myself as a straight up liberal. I said I moved towards the liberal/moderate mindset later on and have since identified myself as more of a moderate in that I dabble on both sides of the spectrum. In saying that, it is my right to be both pro-choice and anti-government involvement especially when it comes to women’s health. My main idea is this: focus on the issues that are hurting our nation – debt, unemployment, taxes, etc. As far as I know, there is not an abortion epidemic in VA, birth control is used for more than stopping pregnancies, and a politician’s ridiculous social issues will not make families stay together. Let’s focus on the big issues and leave women and their (our) bodies alone.

      • Goodness, gracious, Taylor! This is why I usually don’t leave comments on blogs. Tone is so difficult to convey, especially to someone you’ve never met. (Hint: I’m smiling right now!)

        I’m not arguing with you; I know very well that there are many, many reasons that can lead to a decision to abort a child. I’ve watched at least one friend go through a medically necessary one, and yes – she struggled with shame, amongst many other emotions. I’m also well aware of the fact that everyone who is pro-choice is not necessarily a feminist, and that everyone who is a feminist doesn’t fit the stereotype. The same goes for pro-life and conservatives, too – stereotypes don’t apply wholesale.

        Kelly was supposedly quoting Emily Grace’s comment, and she did so both incorrectly (the word “deserved” wasn’t there) and out of tonal context, at least as far as I could tell. That’s it, and that’s all. I imagine she got sarcastic since she felt attacked for disagreeing with you. *shrug*

        Kudos to you for having considered the issue before forming your opinion, and for expressing it both here and in the other avenues mentioned in the comments. Kudos to her for being willing to say she disagreed with you, and why. Personally, I agree with parts of what you said, and disagree with other parts of what you said. Which parts? Well, I think I’ll keep that to myself, at least in this forum.

        My irony comment was just in reference to the fact that it made me laugh. That’s all. I used the term “liberal/moderate” because you did in your original post – I even went back to double check. Next time I guess I could quote the whole phrase, not just the adjectives. I could have written “someone identifying themselves as having moved toward a more liberal/moderate mindset,” it just seemed unnecessarily verbose. No attack, no censure, no judgement. Just irony! Both sides of the fence think they’re so different from each other…and they’re not. Hence the irony, hence the laughter.

        But, no fear, I’ll refrain from commenting again…or if I absolutely can’t contain myself, I’ll keep it much more to the point. Here, I’ll revise this one for you: “@ Kelly – Emily Grace didn’t use the word ‘deserved.’ I think she was being sarcastic. Also, I personally saw an ironic element in this post.”

        🙂

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