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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Birth control--the perpetual vote getter

Echidne has some really interesting points about conservatives can never actually win the war on terror or the war against reproductive choice, because these are perpetual issues that scare people into the voting booths to vote for them.

It got me to thinking--in a way, it's brilliant. Any student of history could quickly conclude that the best way to get and keep power is to create fear and loathing for some sort of Other that you then promise people to protect them from. With the constant history of warfare between people, it's easy to see that the favorite target for turning into the hated Other is foreigners. But the other favorite target is women.

In earlier times, loathing for women was shown more openly--examples range from early church fathers using excretory terms for referring to women to more recent examples of women being denied the vote because it was assumed that we are too stupid for politics. Nowadays, one has to be more subtle about it, so the strategy is for anti-woman rhetoric to be couched in "pro-family" or "pro-baby" terms, which subtly pits women as enemies of family life, which is to say that it's well believed now that in order for women to win, families must lose.

Another way that the ancient strategy of pulling a society together in its hatred for women is to divide women into two groups--the good and the bad--and then get everyone to join in the game of figuring out which women count as good and which are the enemy. Again, the early church pulled this off by making Mary the one good woman compared to loathsome, sexual, living women. Over time, a few more sainted women were allowed in as long as their chastity was their main personality trait. (It's upsetting once you realize how many female saints gained status by dying rather than losing their virginity to rapists, as if a victim of rape could actually be held accountable for lost chastity.)

The abortion debate combines these two methods and creates a perfect villian for all to hate--an unchaste, wicked woman who kills babies for sexual pleasure. It's not just ideaology that causes the right to try to take away the most effective methods of contraception away from women and increase efforts to spread ignorance about effective contraception. For instance, if the morning after pill was widely distributed, we would have a similiar situation to what happened in France--the abortion rate plummeted. If there weren't huge numbers of abortions in this country, the villianous sluts getting abortions wouldn't be such a handy target to scare people into the voting booth with.

And that's why I sincerely worry that they actually intend to take things like the birth control pill away from women, because it would cause the abortion rate to skyrocket and keep people in a perpetual panic about loosening sexual morality that would drive them to the polls to vote Republican.

57 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This reminded me of you: http://www.theonion.com/nib/index.php?issue=4037&nib=2

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9/14/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is that many people who are opposed to legal abortion consider birth control pills, IUDs and certainly morning-after pills to *be* forms of abortion. They do not see the abortion rate as having plummeted in France after the increased availability of the morning after pill; quite the opposite. It's equivalent to aborting a late term fetus, in their opinion. Taking away such methods is its own justification - we don't even need to link it with the possibility of a skyrocketing rate of illegal abortions to invoke that sense of perpetual alarm.

For some, the morning after pill may be an even more reprehensible act of evil, in that a woman gets to murder her own offspring in the privacy of her own home, without paying any significant price in terms of shame, pain, or risk. In fact, the morning after pill would, to them, allow a woman to commit murder without any private self-recriminations because she can always say, "Well, who knows? I might not even have really been pregnant."

Yeah, I think that the morning after pill is invaluable for those very reasons, but there's no way anyone is going to sell this point of view to the other side.

I guess I'm no longer certain who exactly is on the other side. Does the vast majority really want to ban birth control *and* legal abortion? I used to think most folks could separate the two, just as I still think most people would prefer that automatic weapons stayed under the ban. Most people know the difference between the right to own a hunting rifle, and the right to stockpile machine guns.

My brain hurts. It's been doing that a lot lately. Please let me know if I totally missed your point.

larkspur

9/15/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

I can't help but think that those who think the birth control pill and the morning after pill are abortions are fudging in order to justify greater restrictions on women's rights. They carry on like women are sloughing off fertilized eggs every time they use it, when in actuality they are preventing ovulation in the first place. In the rare case that fertilization does occur and it doesn't implant, there's not really a guarantee that it would have implanted in the first place.
But both measures do not stop a pregnancy that is already under way. This is critical that people remember. They are NOT abortion. In order for there to be an abortion, there has to be a pregnancy. Both measures prevent pregnancy.
The "pro-life" leaders are deliberately spreading misinformation and causing people to believe that the birth control pill and the morning after pill are the same thing as RU-486. By doing this, they are actually leading people to believe that a woman who takes the pill is possibly having monthly abortions, a deliberate attempt to extend the negative image of women who have abortions to those who practice effective birth control.

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Driving under the influence: It is unlawful to drive while under the influence of marijuana (or alcohol or any other drug) by Vehicle Code 23152. "Under the influence" is not specifically defined in the statute, but is interpreted to imply some degree of impairment. Therefore the mere fact of having taken a toke of marijuana does not necessarily mean one is DUI. For evidence of impairment, officers may administer a field sobriety test. Arrestees may also be required to submit to their choice of a urine or blood test under Vehicle Code 23612. Since marijuana is detectable for much longer periods in urine than in blood (several days vs. several hours), a positive urine test constitutes much weaker proof of recent use and impairment than a positive blood test. If you haven't smoked marijuana recently and are not under the influence, you are better off to choose a blood test, since you will probably pass it. However, if you are a chronic smoker or have smoked recently, you are better off to choose a urine test; even though you can expect to test positive, the question will at least remain open as to whether you were actually "under the influence" at time of arrest.
Forfeiture: Unlike federal law, California law requires a conviction for forfeiture of property involved in a drug crime. Also unlike federal law, state law does not permit forfeiture of personal real estate for marijuana cultivation. Vehicles may be forfeited only if 10 pounds or more of marijuana is involved. Health and Safety Code 11470
Federal Law: Marijuana is also illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Federal charges are typically brought only in large cases where commercial distribution is suspected (e.g., cultivation of several hundred plants).

2/16/2011

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Large number of similar exposure units. Since insurance operates through pooling resources, the majority of insurance policies are provided for individual members of large classes, allowing insurers to benefit from the law of large numbers in which predicted losses are similar to the actual losses. Exceptions include Lloyd's of London, which is famous for insuring the life or health of actors, sports figures and other famous individuals. However, all exposures will have particular differences, which may lead to different premium rates.
Definite loss. The loss takes place at a known time, in a known place, and from a known cause. The classic example is death of an insured person on a life insurance policy. Fire, automobile accidents, and worker injuries may all easily meet this criterion. Other types of losses may only be definite in theory. Occupational disease, for instance, may involve prolonged exposure to injurious conditions where no specific time, place or cause is identifiable. Ideally, the time, place and cause of a loss should be clear enough that a reasonable person, with sufficient information, could objectively verify all three elements.
Accidental loss. The event that constitutes the trigger of a claim should be fortuitous, or at least outside the control of the beneficiary of the insurance. The loss should be pure, in the sense that it results from an event for which there is only the opportunity for cost. Events that contain speculative elements, such as ordinary business risks or even purchasing a lottery ticket, are generally not considered insurable.
Large loss. The size of the loss must be meaningful from the perspective of the insured. Insurance premiums need to cover both the expected cost of losses, plus the cost of issuing and administering the policy, adjusting losses, and supplying the capital needed to reasonably assure that the insurer will be able to pay claims. For small losses these latter costs may be several times the size of the expected cost of losses. There is hardly any point in paying such costs unless the protection offered has real value to a buyer.
Affordable premium. If the likelihood of an insured event is so high, or the cost of the event so large, that the resulting premium is large relative to the amount of protection offered, it is not likely that the insurance will be purchased, even if on offer. Further, as the accounting profession formally recognizes in financial accounting standards, the premium cannot be so large that there is not a reasonable chance of a significant loss to the insurer. If there is no such chance of loss, the transaction may have the form of insurance, but not the substance. (See the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board standard number 113)
Calculable loss. There are two elements that must be at least estimable, if not formally calculable: the probability of loss, and the attendant cost

2/16/2011

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...


In the United States, although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does acknowledge that "there has been considerable interest in its use for the treatment of a number of conditions, including glaucoma, AIDS wasting, neuropathic pain, treatment of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis, and chemotherapy-induced nausea," the agency has not approved "medical marijuana". There are currently 2 oral forms of cannabis (cannabinoids) available by prescription in the United States for nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy: dronabinol (Marinol) and nabilone (Cesamet). Dronabinol is also approved for the treatment of anorexia associated with AIDS. The FDA does facilitate scientific investigations into the medical uses of cannabinoids.
In a collection of writings on medical marijuana by 45 researchers, a literature review on the medicinal uses of Cannabis and cannabinoids concluded that established uses include easing of nausea and vomiting, anorexia, and weight loss; "well-confirmed effect" was found in the treatment of spasticity, painful conditions (i.e. neurogenic pain), movement disorders, asthma, and glaucoma. Reported but "less-confirmed" effects included treatment of allergies, inflammation, infection, epilepsy, depression, bipolar disorders, anxiety disorder, dependency and withdrawal. Basic level research was being carried out at the time on autoimmune disease, cancer, neuroprotection, fever, disorders of blood pressure.
Glaucoma, a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball causing gradual loss of sight, can be treated with medical marijuana to decrease this intraocular pressure. There has been debate for 25 years on the subject. Some studies have shown a reduction of IOP in glaucoma patients who smoke cannabis, but the effects are generally short-lived. There exists some concern over its use since it can also decrease blood flow to the optic nerve. Marijuana lowers IOP by acting on a cannabinoid receptor on the ciliary body called the CB receptor. Although Cannabis may not be the best therapeutic choice for glaucoma patients, it may lead researchers to more effective treatments. A promising study shows that agents targeted to ocular CB receptors can reduce IOP in glaucoma patients who have failed other therapies.
Medical cannabis is also used for analgesia, or pain relief. It is also reported to be beneficial for treating certain neurological illnesses such as epilepsy, and bipolar disorder. Case reports have found that Cannabis can relieve tics in people with obsessive compulsive disorder and Tourette syndrome. Patients treated with tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive chemical found in Cannabis, reported a significant decrease in both motor and vocal tics, some of 50% or more. Some decrease in obsessive-compulsive behavior was also found. A recent study has also concluded that cannabinoids found in Cannabis might have the ability to prevent Alzheimer's disease. THC has been shown to reduce arterial blockages
Another potential use for medical cannabis is movement disorders. Cannabis is frequently reported to reduce the muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis; this has been acknowledged by the Institute of Medicine, but it noted that these abundant anecdotal reports are not well-supported by clinical data. Evidence from animal studies suggests that there is a possible role for cannabinoids in the treatment of certain types of epileptic seizures.A synthetic version of the major active compound in Cannabis, THC, is available in capsule form as the prescription drug dronabinol (Marinol) in many countries. The prescription drug Sativex, an extract of cannabis administered as a sublingual spray, has been approved in Canada for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

2/21/2011

 
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6/02/2013

 

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