Some Oldies but Goodies | A Rant
Yesterday, a good friend of mine, “B”, basically “had it” after she read an article about the contraception debate, which featured a photo of the panel… all men, in which three are priests. So, “B” ranted on Facebook. I thought it was a great rant, so wanted to share it with everyone. Here we go!
(( rant on ))
All the Tea-publican noise about the exact moment of personhood, birth control and abortion has got me thinking. In addition to women not having the vote on birth control, here are a few other “oldies but goodies” the Tea-publicans might want to propose in their efforts to bring back the good ole days.
Let’s see, 100 years ago many people died before their 40th birthday – worn out from manual labor, and no antibiotics for pneumonia, tuberculosis, and childbirth infections. Did I mention that there were no vaccines for childhood diseases like measles, mumps, whooping cough and German measles? Forget about a flu vaccine – between 50 and 100 million people died world-wide from the “Spanish” Flu Pandemic of 1918-1920. 27% of the world’s population was infected – that’s 500 MILLION People! (Now do you get why the CDC is terrified of a re-occurrence?)
People died of yellow fever, spread by mosquitoes, even in Northern cities. Cholera had been controlled by the development of clean water and sewer systems in the major cities. Birth control was illegal, and abortions were back alley at best. Most women married right out of high school, if they had the opportunity to go that far. I suppose a very short life, and limited opportunities, by modern standards, is one form of population control.
80 years ago, many, many people lost their life savings in the 1929 crash and Great Depression that followed. People who were too old to reenter the workforce were starving. Perhaps the Tea-publicans would like to use that as a form of natural selection? They keep threatening to kill social security.
60 years ago, we had Jim Crow laws and segregated schools. Now, some families are home schooling. If for-profit charter schools become the norm, perhaps John Birch and Southern Conservatives will rejoice. Oh, there was also a polio epidemic, and no vaccine.
50 years ago, the Civil Rights Act came into being to enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States of America to provide relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes. You bet the Tea-publicans want to roll this back. There was the thalidomide disaster; children whose mothers took the drug during early pregnancy were born with severe birth defects. The Tea-publicans don’t seem to understand the need for the FDA; too much government interference and all that.
I could go on, but you probably get the drift. Just how regressive and backward, how 19th century do the Tea-publicans want the USA to become? We were the shining hope; what are we to become in the 21st century? The laughingstock of the world?
So just how much worse does it have to get before people turn off their 60-inch flat screen TVs, PCs, iPods, iPhones, and Androids AND VOTE?
(( rant off ))
Shortly thereafter, “B” added the following two comments:
At 50 years ago, 1972, I forgot to add that the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment became a national scandal. After 1947, penicillin was shown to be an effective treatment for syphilis, yet the men received no treatment.
The revelations by a whistle blower of study failures and lack of treatment for the disease led to major changes in U.S. law and regulation on the protection of participants in clinical studies.
Still think we don’t need the FDA and National Institutes of Health?
Excuse my language, but I am so fucking fed up with the lies, distortions, misdirections, birthers, truthers, conspiracy theorists, and males who want to control women’s uteri, that I have finally had it.
Pop! An essay.
You GO “B”! You tell ’em!!!!
Your friend nailed it in one.
The shorsightedness and arrogance of these people pisses me off even more than it scares me.
Yes, it is really getting under my skin, too
Great essay. To date I’ve been unable to see clearly enough through my red haze of anger to discuss these troglodytes in a rational way.
Me, too. “B” did a great job!
it’s their way of smokescreening the real issue of jobs and the economy for which they’ve no solutions, no programs, none that would benefit us anyway…so they pit us against each other in an argument based on religious values which belonged to the 16th century. they think we are this stupid, because they are this disconnected with reality. we should be glad that they are exposing themselves in this way…tho’ it does make us foam at the mouth with anger that these goons have followers who (gasp) walk among us. continue…
I’m beginning to wonder if they’re purposely sabotaging their own elections so that Obama will win, then they’ll fight, refuse to cooperate, and cause more damage just so in 2016 they can work on completely regaining control again.
The only good thing about the Tea Party and the rest of the far right Republican crowd getting so much exposure nationally, is that there’s a good chance that it will create a very powerful national backlash against them. I’m cautiously optimistic that this is what is already starting to happen.
So am I. I think a lot of Repub’s who are not extreme right wing are really beginning to doubt their party now.
The Republicans have enabled the Tea Party through the Koch Brothers and all of the “think tanks” and talking heads they and Rupert Murdoch support. Like the German aristocracy and corporations who thought that Hitler would take care of all the pesky communists and trade unions, and then they could take control of Hitler, the Republican Party is now caught in its own trap. The Republican “brand” is being torn apart.
We are living in extraordinary times, my friends. We are witnessing the death of a political party. Unfortunately, there’s a downside. Power abhors a vacuum. What comes after may be better, or may be much worse.
Well said! Thanks! The Republican Party seems to be crumbling before our very eyes. Creating a board of all men, three of which were priests, really put the nail in the coffin because so many women, Repub, Dem, or Liberal, or very upset over this. And Santorum’s middle ages philosophy of women is not helping either.
That’s interesting. I wonder how this compares to the crumbling of older political parties, like the Whigs…
Hmmmm… Not sure. Interesting thought, though.
Nailed it… perfectly! And as barkinginthedark pointed out, all this crap the GOP is pulling right now is nothing but a smokescreen… a distraction with smoke and mirrors from the real issues because they have no real answers to put forth.
Thank you for your encouraging words. I have developed the outline for a book – it will never come out in time for the election, unfortunately. But this debate will rage on, so my goal is 2015. Here’s a list of some initial sources, if you care to read them.
Suggested Reading: Vaccination, Pandemic Flu, Tuskegee Study, and Birth Control in the USA
a. Belmont Commission – http://ohsr.od.nih.gov/guidelines/belmont.html
b. Belmont Report – http://www.belmont.edu/irb/resources.html
c. Institutional Review Boards – http://irb.umf.maine.edu/Belmont%20Report.htm
d. Principles of Beneficence, Justice and Respect for Personhood, and Nonmaleficence
e. See also, Nuremburg Code, Declaration of Helsinki
4. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/pill/timeline/index.html part I 1800s to 1950
a. 1873 – March 2: Congress passes the Comstock Law, an anti-obscenity act that specifically lists contraceptives as obscene material and outlaws the dissemination of them via the postal service or interstate commerce. At the time, the United States is the only western nation to enact laws criminalizing birth control. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/pill/peopleevents/e_comstock.html
b. 1916 – Oct.16: Sanger, with her sister and a friend, opens the first birth control clinic in America, in Brooklyn, New York. For the first time in American history, women can receive organized instruction in birth control. Oct. 26: After only 10 days, Sanger’s clinic is raided by the vice squad and shut down. The women are arrested and all the condoms and diaphragms at the clinic are confiscated.
c. 1920 – Margaret Sanger establishes the American Birth Control League, the antecedent of the Planned Parent Federation of America
d. 1923 – Margaret Sanger successfully opens the first legal birth control clinic in the U.S. with the stated intent of only using contraceptives for medical purposes, such as the prevention of life-threatening pregnancies and in accordance with the Crane decision.
5. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/pill/timeline/timeline2.html part II 1950 to present
a. 1951 – The Catholic Church remains resolutely opposed to artificial birth control, but Pope Pius XII announces that the Church will sanction the use of the rhythm method as a natural form of birth control. Previously, the only option approved by Rome was abstinence. [note – withdrawal is not an approved method]
b. President Dwight Eisenhower states in a press conference that birth control “is not a proper political or government activity or function or responsibility” and adds emphatically that it is “not our business.”
c. 1961 – The American public learns that Thalidomide, a sedative given to pregnant women in Europe to control morning sickness, causes horrible birth defects. In the U.S., the drug has never received FDA approval, but the age of faith in “wonder drugs” appears to be over, and the American public begins to question the safety of drugs. In the wake of the Thalidomide tragedy, the FDA will enact stricter regulations for human drug tests.
d. 1964 – June 23: Pope Paul VI creates the Papal Commission on Population, the Family and Natality, informally known as the “Birth Control Commission.” This is the year of Vatican II and monumental reforms in the Catholic Church. Many within the church support the use of the Pill. Both clerics and the laity are extremely hopeful that the Pope will approve the use of the Pill for Catholics. PresidentLyndon B. Johnson pushes through legislation for federal support of birth control for the poor.
e. 1967 – The Pittsburgh branch of the NAACP charges that Planned Parenthood clinics, which provide the Pill and other forms of birth control in low income and minority neighborhoods, are devoted to keeping the black birth rate as low as possible. In a public statement the organization declares that birth control is being used as an instrument of racial genocide. A strong accusation, it touches a cord in minority communities and the term “black genocide” catches on.
f. 1972 – The U.S. Supreme Court, ruling in Eisenstadt v. Baird, that a state cannot stand in the way of distribution of birth control to a single person, strikes down Massachusetts law prohibiting the sale of contraceptives to unmarried women.
g. 1968 – July 25: Pope Paul VI reveals his decision on the Pill in an encyclical titled Humanae Vitae (Of Human Life). To the dismay of Catholics around the world — and ignoring the recommendations of the Papal commission on birth control — the Pope states unequivocally that the Church remains opposed to all forms of birth control except the rhythm method.
h. 1980s – The Pill’s impact on women in the work force is significant. With highly effective birth control now at their disposal, 60% of women of reproductive age are employed in America.
Holy cow, Barb! Way to go! We need to get your blog set up and rolling.
Wow! Thanks for all that info, and now off to do more research starting with your sources!
I know! Isn’t it great? I had to go clean my old house today that I just moved out of so haven’t had a chance to start researching. But I most definitely will!