As the media outlet for the right wing, Fox News provides a mouthpiece for their anti-choice zealotry - especially on Bill O'Reilly's show which was used as a platform to relentlessly attack an abortion doctor who was later assassinated. Since Dr. Tiller's death, O'Reilly has continued his anti-choice zealotry with attacks on Planned Parenthood which, despite Bill's prediction, still hasn't been defunded by Congress. Even when O'Reilly isn't hosting the show, its pro-life bias is underscored in the pro-life bias of frequent substitute and "pro-life media luminary" Laura Ingraham. Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that in addition to speaking to their patients about sex and birth control, pediatricians give their patients prescriptions to emergency contraception. Not surprisingly, Ms. Ingraham was outraged. As the saying goes, Bill O'Reilly's apple doesn't fall far from the tree!!!!
Last Friday, wearing her great, big, Catholic cross (Cuz she's a such a great Catholic), Laura Ingraham immediately framed the issue as " most controversial" and set the tone in scary terms: "Imagine sending your young daughter to the pediatrician for a check-up only to have her come home with a prescription for the morning after pill." She reported that the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that doctors give emergency contraception prescriptions to their patients. She introduced her guest, Dr. Laura Berman, a sex educator and a therapist.
After Laura asserted that "this is one of the more outrageous things I've seen this week," Berman provided the best evah Fox News guest come-backs: "More than banning Christmas." (Oh, snap!) Ingraham was taken aback and stuttered that she has "been away from politics a lot this week." Ingraham blithered about how she "has a young daughter" and thinks "of a doctor telling a mom to leave the room so HE" (In Laura's world, doctors are men)"can tell a young girl, maybe she's a Christian girl" (all the more reason?!) "that doesn't believe in this, her religion doesn't believe in this and telling a young girl, well, if you have sex you can use this morning after pill." After citing side effects from the pill, she asked "how can you defend this, doctor?"
Berman responded that doctors aren't saying this; but, rather, the Academy is saying that young girls are more likely to use this type of birth control if it has been prescribed in advance. She emphasized that parents should be the primary source for sex education and that parents should find out where their pediatrician stands on the issue so if they don't agree with the doctor, they can find another one. When she cited the high pregnancy rate for US teens, Ingraham interjected that this is because of "hypersexualization" of young girls. (What Laura didn't admit is that the highest rate of teen pregnancy is in abstinence only states.)
Ingraham went back to the medical issues and the side effects. As Laura did her patented victory sneer, Berman noted that there are side effects from any medication and that "information does not mean permission." Sister Mary Laura said that giving prescriptions to the girls is "subverting parental rights."
So in Laura's Christian world, parents should be able to keep their daughters uninformed about ways to prevent an unintended pregnancy. In Laura's world, there are no dysfunctional homes where a close relative or friend of the family is sexually abusing teen girls. In Laura's world, teens aren't having ses. Contrary to Laura's scare tactic, all pediatricians are not handing all their patients the prescription such as Dr. Elizabeth Miller of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, who said "she routinely provides teenagers with an advance prescription for emergency contraceptives, but she takes her cues from the patient and does not force a prescription on anyone." One suspects that Laura's daughter's sex education will consist of the admonition that pre-marital sex is a one-way ticket to hell. If that's as effective what the nuns taught us, way back when, all I can say is good luck with that!
No birth control for you!
For starters, let me teach you something about sex (even the PROmiscuous variety): Human females canNOT get themselves pregnant. Much like the tango, it takes two for a woman to get pregnant (and even then, the simple sexual act of vaginal intercourse—I trust you realize there are a LOT of different acts that qualify as “sex” but most do NOT lead to pregnancy—is not going to result in pregnancy every single time). And, obviously, you don’t understand the word “fornication.” There is a far simpler word—it even begins with the same letter—for it. And, believe it or not, THAT also requires TWO people to lead to pregnancy. But, again, it’s not a guaranteed way of getting pregnant.
You see, there are a lot of technical, biological reasons why women don’t get pregnant with every single act of vaginal intercourse (nothing as simple-minded as Akin’s absurd ideas—nothing about the female “workings” is simple). The primary reason involves the menstrual cycle. A woman is only fertile (that means, able to get pregnant) for a few days a month and the man’s sperm only has a maximum life span of a few days to match that fertile period (this isn’t about that period—that comes a bit after the fertile period) in order to get a woman pregnant; sperm are not the heartiest of critters in the first place and need a lot of TLC to last very long—depending on where the sperm is will determine its lifespan (in a condom, just a few minutes; in the vagina, just a couple of hours; in the uterus, it can be a couple of days). But the woman’s body can react to sperm the same way the human body as a whole reacts to a cold virus (not just evil rapist sperm but even sperm from someone she wants to have sex with), attacking with antibodies. (Oral sex is a different matter but sperm won’t survive that very long either—digestive enzymes and gastric juices treat sperm just like they do oysters. Anal sex is also different but typically the sperm gets, um, flushed like any other waste product.)
Now, as to abortion, let me just ask you this: If you went to the doctor with unexplained stomach cramps and he (or she—there are lady doctors who treat men) determined that you’ve got a tapeworm, would you respect THAT lifeform and let it live or would you basically scream, “Get it the hell out of me NOW!!!?” Well, an unwanted pregnancy is not that far removed from having an unwanted parasitic worm (except removing the worm is considered acceptable—even desirable—even in the “pro-life” community). Bear in mind that even according to the Bible, a woman’s pregnancy was only recognized as connected to life after what we would now call the baby kicking. (Also, the laws in Leviticus and Exodus don’t seem to be all that concerned with a pregnant woman’s losing the baby, even by deliberate methods. If a man’s pregnant wife is injured and loses the baby as a result, he can only be compensated for HER injury—unless, the baby is born as a result of the injury; so, pretty much, the baby’s death is only considered AFTER it’s been born.) The overwhelming majority of professional abortions take place long before the “baby kicks.” (God didn’t make any allowances in HIS laws about “except after thou hast created medical technology which wilt allow thee to see the unborn child while in the woman’s womb.” And not even God is quoted anywhere in the Bible as saying that “life beginneth when the man’s seed enters the woman’s body.” There is that little “I knew thee before thou wert born” but that’s NOT quite the same as “Thou wert a human being when thy father’s sperm met thy mother’s ovum.”) I would point out that any other “creator” can destroy his/her creation before it’s “born” (authors destroy manuscripts, painters destroy canvases, sculptors destroy statues, musicians destroy recordings) and even God destroyed most of His creation, so why shouldn’t the woman be able to “destroy” her “creation?” For what it’s worth, nature (or, if you’re religious, God) has destroyed many more “children” in utero than have been “killed” by 3rd-party abortion. Not all fertilized eggs are able to attach to the uterine wall in time so, bye-bye. A woman eats a bad piece of cheese so, bye-bye. A woman comes down with the flu and, well, bye-bye. A woman goes on a drinking binge before she’s even aware of a pregnancy and, well, bye-bye. A woman gets rear-ended in a car accident and, well bye-bye. But you only have a problem when a woman who doesn’t want to go through 9 months of physical changes decides to visit someone to rid her of the unwanted thing?
As for cannibalism, right-wingers would support it if they thought only the “wrong” kind of people would be eaten.
But, you completely missed the fact that this story is about how a teenaged girl should be able to get contraceptives and contraceptive information BEFORE she gets pregnant. And Laura Ingrate doesn’t seem to get the connection between “teenagers getting contraceptive information or contraceptives” and “teenage pregnancy.” If you want to blindly believe that teens aren’t going to have sex until they’re married, that’s fine. But just don’t be surprised when those teens turn out to be normal human beings, subject to the same wants and desires that “adult” humans are.
Ingraham’s actual agenda is clear in both cases: she doesn’t want the kids to have access to birth control. To her mind, the kids should just say no to sex, since Ingraham doesn’t approve of it. That’s great, but the statistics show that this approach just leads to lots of unplanned pregnancies.
In both discussions with Dr. Berman, Ingraham tried to act like an expert herself on the subject, only to be corrected by Dr. Berman, who would fill in the rest of the facts that Ingraham was conveniently ignoring. In this case, Dr. Berman gently reminded Ingraham that they were discussing prescription medication, not over-the-counter materials. Ingraham’s attempt to scare everyone with possible side effects was answered by the obvious note that all prescription medications can have side effects.
I agree that the opening comment from Dr. Berman about the silliness about Christmas was priceless.