Not finished stomping on our civil liberties, the Bush administration wants to get a few more shin kicks in before rewarding us with #1 on all our wish lists: their absence.
Last week, the NYTimes reported the administration started circulating a proposal that would require hospitals, medical schools, clinics and researchers to sign a certificate saying they will not refuse to hire doctors and nurses who oppose abortion and birth control if these medical institutions wish to receive funding from the Department of Health. Apparently, it is already against the law for these institutions to discriminate against such doctors and nurses. The certificate, according the Department of Health, helps them police prejudice. Perhaps we should focus our efforts on policing stupidity.
Well, finally our sleepy little Congress is waking up and attempting to put their proverbial foot down. Sen. Hillary Clinton submitted her opinion of the proposal to The Huffpo yesterday, stating these new rules, which will be released next week, “put in place new barriers to accessing common forms of contraception like birth control pills, emergency contraception and IUDs by labeling them ‘abortion.'”
Over 100 members of the House of Representatives are sending a protest letter to President Bush stating:
The draft regulation could have a disastrous effect upon access to safe and effective birth control for millions of women across the country…
By distorting the scope of the laws, it would gut state and local protections of women’s right to safe and effective birth control. This is not a technical clarification regarding abortion services. This is a radical reversal of decades of public health work to provide contraception and family planning services that have enjoyed wide bipartisan support.
Certainly, I’m not holding my breath in hopes the administration will suddenly take this new proposal off the horizon (the Bush administration’s word for “table”). They have systematically popped holes in many civil liberties once taken for granted in the “home of the free.” North Korea, here we come!
I find it ironic that very few Republicans are raising their voice to oppose this potential change in Department of Health and Human Services procedures. The last I checked, Republican doctrine called for limited government. These new restrictions would practically nullify a number of state laws regarding women’s health issues.
Of course, Republicans under W. have become laughing stock representatives of hypocrisy with their spending and rubber-stamping. Such shameful behavior has led to the recent rise in popularity of Libertarians, such as Ron Paul (who is sticking to his guns and staying with the Republicans) and Bob Barr (who is not). The Republican Party is in a downward spiral of unequaled proportions largely due to their abdication of the party’s original ideals. This new Dept. of Health regulation proposal is yet another example of the federal government overstepping its bounds.
Yet, nary a peep of protest has sounded from the Republican side of the aisle. How disgustingly typical. It will be quite the party tallying all those Congressional seats lost by Republicans the night of November 5th. I hope I’ll be able to stay up after all the champagne I plan on imbibing and must remember not to pop the cork immediately after exiting the voting booth.
Is Bush trying one last time to reward the Religious Right who delivered such a living failure to We The People? The Religious Right who wants the freedom NOT to teach their kids about STDs and birth control? Who wants laws against sodomy to remain on the books in certain states? Who wants the government’s nose in everybody else’s business but their own? “Protect our liberties! Police everyone else who disagrees with us! No Gay Marriage!” You know the drill.
I used to be Christian and sure, I remember that Baby Jesus doesn’t like abortions. But I do not remember reading in The Bible Baby Jesus saying good Christians must prevent all others from such practices. When “Voting by the Bible” (a bumper sticker I read numerous times in Oklahoma), I would urge Christians to remember that The Bible instructs its practitioners to concentrate on themselves and their own sins. It does not urge Christians to run around, ruling everyone else’s lives and demanding the erection of a theocracy.
Remember, when you refuse to protect the rights of those who disagree with you, it will be your rights that are eliminated next.
In the meantime, do you think it’s too early to start planning my Bush’s Last Day Party?