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You have no rights

The Stupak amendment, the greatest rollback of rights for women in decades is now in that thing the House has been calling a “Health Care” bill. (Links from Reclusive Leftist, The Confluence, WiredLeft.)

But women are just, as always, the expendable canaries in the coal mine. Their rights are toast, which means so are everyone else’s.


Rights are for all. When only some people have them, they’re just privileges. And privileges can be taken away.

Think through the consequences of what equal rights for all really means, and you wind up with a system that doesn’t look much like what we have now. There’s lots more about it here, but this is the bit (paraphrased) that concerns us right now:

The right to control one’s own person is fundamental. Even the right not to be murdered is secondary, since killing is allowed in self-defence.

Abortion muddies the argument only because some people believe the fetus is a person with legal rights greater than those of the mother since it can require her life support. There is nothing to stop women from believing this and living accordingly because there is a right to control one’s own body. Depending on beliefs, an individual’s dilemma about abortion may be very complex.

But fair social policies are simple. Either everyone can live according to their beliefs, or nobody can. And personhood is necessarily a belief, a social or religious category. It’s not possible for it to be a matter of objective fact. Biology can only determine who belongs in the species Homo sapiens, but no cellular marker lights up when someone is due to get legal rights.

I’ll repeat: personhood is necessarily a matter of belief, whether that’s based on religion or social consensus.

Therefore those who oppose abortion because they believe the fetus is a person with special status have to hope they are never successful in legislating how others handle their pregnancies. If they are, it means that exceptions could be made to the right to control one’s own person.

Once that principle is admitted, then there is nothing to stop a majority with different beliefs from legislating forced abortions.

Over-population is, after all, the source of the environmental problems killing the planet.

There is nothing to stop an aging population from requisitioning a kidney from healthy people walking around with a spare.

There is nothing to stop doctors from performing medical experiments on you for the public good.

There is nothing to stop the majority from deciding all those old folks are too expensive to live.

Really. Nothing. Once you take away the right to control your own body.

Extreme? Sure. So why is it okay when applied to women?

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44 Responses

  1. Wominz had it coming to them – voting for Obama’s enemies and all that. It’s also a contradiction to the central promise that nobody will lose anything by this bill – if you like your coverage, just keep it. Turns out it was only men that this still applies.
    How NYC tabloids cover this


    I just informed a friend on the phone and she was amazed that she lost her rights via her private insurance and asked; “What happens next.” Her point being, what are the Womminz Organizations going to do about it?


    I thought I would throw in the ‘This is what a FeMANist Looks Like’! 😯 Ya, all still think he is the great FeMANist!?!

  3. Obama has made unnecessary compromises that will basically gut women’s reproductive rights entirely. He’s also allowed gay rights to be trampled on without taking any real action. He only cares enough to give a half-hearted speech to the ones who can afford to attend his expensive fundraisers and dinners.

    • Maybe we’ll all get a “shout out.” That should hold us over.

    • He made the “compromises” because he wanted to “gut women’s reproductive right.” This way he can blame the blue dogs and Repubs for it, but Obama wanted this to happen. I have no doubt about that.

  4. wise words from wise women:

    This is the story of America. Of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.

    How do we give this country back to them?

    By following the example of a brave New Yorker , a woman who risked her life to shepherd slaves along the Underground Railroad.

    And on that path to freedom, Harriett Tubman had one piece of advice.

    If you hear the dogs, keep going.

    If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.

    If they’re shouting after you, keep going.

    Don’t ever stop. Keep going.

    If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.

    • Sec. Hillary Clinton Defends Reproductive Rights and Family Planning

      • Gawd.. Thanks for that.

      • it is almost too funny that some people worry abt supreme court nominations – when you can take such an elegant short cut on the issue!!

      • great video — see that?

        HILLARY CLINTON. Feminist.

        That is what it was all about, post 1973. Family Planning,
        Frankly though, at this point?

        Who cares about the rest of the world. The girls in our own country need the attention now. The politicians just failed them. And they all know it too. They do, because they have all lived out the same era we have, haven’t they?

      • See, Hillary is not afraid to labor with profound disagreements with others. That is one of her great strengths.

        However, she was misled by the disingenuous B0 administration. He is not a defender of women’s rights or of women’s health. I wonder how she sees this bill and what influence she may bring to bear on the senate bill or on his signing of any bill.

    • Reading those words of hers . . . God, I just wanna cry.

  5. Hey guess what – it’s more than that. They just created a whole new class of criminals. Ordinary, hard working people who don’t buy health insurance can GO TO JAIL FOR 5 YEARS.

    They’ve taken away EVERYONE”S RIGHTS.

    For crying out loud.

    • Nancy Pelosi, World’s Worst Haggler

      This is mind-boggling. Blue Lyon quotes an email from HealthJustice, which was sent out in response to the withdrawal of the Kucinich amendment before yesterday’s vote:

      Speaker Pelosi felt that offering a single-payer amendment would open the floodgates to amendments proposed to limit abortion funds, restrict immigrant access to healthcare, and other regressive legislation.

      And in the end…? To get her bill passed, Nancy Pelosi agreed to an amendment that would prevent women from paying for abortions with private insurance procured through their employers. And the legislation will likely become even tougher on immigrants in conference.

      If I offered Nancy Pelosi ten bucks for her car, she’d give it to me for eight. If I were a Republican.

  6. Here’s a lesson from the past on standing up for principles. Wyoming was the first state to allow women the right to vote in 1869. As they were being considered for admission into the union in 1890, they were being pressured to overturn women’s right to vote in exchange for admission. Wyoming’s response?

    When the U.S. Congress, strongly opposed to women’s suffrage, threatened to withhold statehood from Wyoming, Cheyenne officials sent back a a staunchly worded telegram stating that Wyoming would remain out of the Union 100 years rather than join without women’s suffrage

    Where has that type of courage on behalf of women gone?

    • When the U.S. Congress, strongly opposed to women’s suffrage, threatened to withhold statehood from Wyoming, Cheyenne officials sent back a a staunchly worded telegram stating that Wyoming would remain out of the Union 100 years rather than join without women’s suffrage

      Gosh, SOD, thanks, that made me 😥 ! Where has courage gone, and why are we moving backwards? Why are Women’s Rights so threatening to others? Why can’t they love women who simply want their RIGHTS!

  7. We need to channel our anger. There needs to be some organizing done to create a voting block that doesn’t get pushed or is able to push back -HARD. Then we need to work towards creating a party that considers womens rights important enough not to barter them away.

    • They keep this bullshit going by counting on the fact that men hold most of the power positions and women just accept what they are dealt. Sorry, but history proves their premise.

  8. We have rights. What is going on is a violation of human rights.

  9. Hillary Clinton doesn’t need to get into this battle– she has already made her position clear — she is on RECORD for standing up for what is right.

    Women’s rights are human rights — INDEED!

  10. Why am I seeing Media Matters lying spin on my left on this blog?

  11. Yahoo is reporting that “House Heath care bill has nowhere to go in the Senate”.

    The glow from a health care triumph faded quickly for President Barack Obama on Sunday as Democrats realized the bill they fought so hard to pass in the House has nowhere to go in the Senate.

    The problem is that the Senate won’t run with it. The government health insurance plan included in the House bill is unacceptable to a few Democratic moderates who hold the balance of power in the Senate.

    “The House bill is dead on arrival in the Senate,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said dismissively.

    (now notice how the MF press is spinning the crap)

    Nonetheless, the House vote provided an important lesson in how to succeed with less-than-perfect party unity, and one that Senate Democrats may be able to adapt. House Democrats overcame their own divisions and broke an impasse that threatened the bill after liberals grudgingly accepted tougher restrictions on abortion funding, as abortion opponents demanded.


  12. Great piece.

    Hillary 2012. She has to.

    • Although it was impossible to imagine that we could ever have needed her more than we did in 2008, our nation does need her more now, and it will be worse by 2012, imho.

  13. Jeebus, this is all too fricken depressing. And while human rights are being slashed left and right from the Dem supermajority, Obots are all out there celebrating. Reminds me of that line in the star wars movie: “So this is how liberty dies, to thunderous applause.” I’m beyond disgusted.

    Next time someone says I should support Democrats, I’m going to say “why”. Seriously, why on earth should I ever support the Democratic party.

    • Got a call recently soliciting money for the DNC or one of the DSCC etc. The sales pitch was help us continue to make positive changes for America.

      I asked the person to name one, just one, positive change. The person couldn’t do it. How pathetic is that?

      No $ for those asshats ever!

    • There is nothing. They burnt the bridge.

      • I dawned on me that the two major pieces of anti-choice legislation passed, the Hyde Amendment and the POS last night, were both passed by Congresses with huge Dem majorities. The Hyde Amendment was originally passed in the 1976 and signed by Carter.

  14. They burnt the bridge.

    That sums it all up, SOD. That’s it. That’s just what they have done in one sentence. One sentence.

  15. Didn’t BO say in his joint congressional address that abortion rights were NOT in the bill? So why amend the bill? He lied, that’s why.

    I walked away a long time ago.

  16. Our grandparents would have recognized all of these players instantly. This is the sort of pure pursuit of Power we assumed ended at Hiroshima and Berlin, or was reserved for some ‘unenlightened’ banana-republic. “Stalin is dead, and we now know what to look for.”


    All these blatant kamikaze runs at the Constitution over the past months, (pick a category!), have really awoken wide swaths of the public, from every political bent. Let’s hope the learning curve isn’t mortal.

  17. Quixote,

    Thank you for this eloquent, heartbreaking post. You really got to the bottom line. Either we all have rights or all of our rights are negotiable and therefore meaningless.

  18. […] needed)Health Care Reform Bill Open Thread, Part IIChris Brown pleads guilty to assaulting RihannaYou have no rightsOh noes!PUMA=Bull […]

  19. My son just sent me a link to the flooding of a main metro station in Helsinki, and this was on the sidebar:

    Nearly half of Finnish employees have female bosses

    In general, female superiors are praised by their subordinates for support and encouragement. Female bosses are readier to give their subordinates praise for good work and keener to give them feedback than are male bosses to their subordinates.
    Furthermore, female superiors were said to encourage their subordinates to study and to offer them opportunities for development at work, while also caring about the employees’ feelings more than their male counterparts do.

    On the other hand, the gender of the superior does not seem to make any difference where for example settling conflicts between employees and superiors are concerned.

    Finland was also the first European country to give women the vote. (1906)


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