Cult of the Fetus

By Rori Black

Using only the third veto in his 6 years of presidency, Bush shot down legislation to expand federally funded stem cell research. The bill would have allowed research using donated embryos already slated for destruction. He went on to issue an executive order encouraging the use of stem cell research without the destruction of human embryos.

In his message to Congress, Bush disingenuously blasted the bill as crossing an ethical line.

The Congress has sent me legislation that would compel American taxpayers, for the first time in our history, to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos.

Senator Clinton responded by accusing Bush of “[putting] ideology before science [and] politics before the needs of our families.”

In vetoing the stem cell bills, Bush has made it more difficult for researchers to explore stem cells as a way to treat serious medical conditions such as Parkinson’s and spinal cord injuries. He has chosen to “protect” embryos that have already been slated for destruction over research which could potentially improve and save the lives of the already born.

Last week, Senator Brownback stated that abortion should be illegal, even in the case of rape and incest. “Rape is terrible. Rape is awful. Is it made any better by killing an innocent child? Does it solve the problem for the woman that’s been raped? … “We need to protect innocent life. Period.” Brownback’s campaign coordinator, Leon Wolf, further solidified his stance by saying, “[t]he choice to be a mother is a choice of altruism – a choice of self-sacrifice. It is a choice to forego the fullest measure of a hedonistic life in favor of a life lived, at least on a temporary basis, for the betterment of the world as a whole.”

Brownback has unequivocally stated that the zygote created from violence and hate is more important than the health and welfare of the rape survivor. To add insult to injury, Wolf suggests, no, STATES that rape victims who chose to abort are doing so to selfishly maintain a party lifestyle, and that pregnancy is a temporary inconvenience.

Wolf’s statements, and the full support of a certain type of conservative can be found at redstate.com, to which I will not link, as the whole thread is offensive, misogynistic, and hateful.

As of this writing, 3531 American troops have died fighting in Iraq, with an additional 25,950 (est) wounded. The president, his administration, and hawks continue to insist that the war was just, that Americans must continue to sacrifice their soldiers, and that there can be no time lines and benchmarks with which to bring them home. Service members are serving 4, sometimes 5 tours, are being re-upped and stop-lossed to continue this war. Bush has not attended a single military funeral. Men and women come home to the disastrous VA and DOD health care system where they are under-treated, or turned away. Unknown thousands are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with little or no mental health support. Who is concerned about their quality of life?

Finally, in the parade of the misnomered “Right to Life” party, I give you the contingent of those who are anti-abortion but pro death-penalty, such as John McCain.

The “Right to Life” movement is more apt to be called the Cult of the Fetus. They are not concerned about those who are already born, their lives, or their quality of life. Their concern stops the moment the baby takes its first breath.

16 replies »

  1. Some years ago, there was a very much to-the-point editorial cartoon in the San Jose Mercury News. It portrayed a large group of determined-looking right-to-life protesters picketing an abortion clinic and brandishing signs. In the foreground, one protester was being approached by a ragged, hungry-looking child of about 9-10 years apparent age, with his hand out begging for some loose change.

    The protester was snarling back, “Beat it, kid, you’ve already BEEN saved.”

    The cartoonist had a point.

    (Some years later, the Oakland band D’C

  2. I’ve been arguing for years that if you’re truly anti-abortion, the position espoused by Brownback is the only one that makes sense. If abortion IS murder, then there is NO rationale that says okay, you can murder a kid if it’s good for the mother’s psychological wellbeing.

    Now, if you’re saying to yourself “hey, there sure were multiple occurrences of ‘if’ in that formulation, weren’t there?” then give yourself a gold star.

    And no, my quest for logical consistency hasn’t led me to the point of a policy recommendation that fully satisfies me….

  3. Heh. I’ve said for awhile that on the abortion issue there are two kinds of people who scare me: the absolutists on the anti-abortion side and the absolutists on the pro-choice side. I’m going to keep voting pro-choice until the anti- forces unhitch their wagons from bad interpretations of 5000 year-old superstition, though. Whatever restrictions we do decide to impose need to be based on a contemporary set of ethics that account for a lot more than regressive religion. And it’s never going to be a satisfactory approach until it addresses the CAUSES of unwanted pregnancy, which also circle back around to that reactionary religious thing more often than we acknowledge.

    And it could never be a coherent policy if progressive women didn’t play a central role in drafting it.

  4. The position held by anti-abortionists like Brownback is beneath contempt. I’ll worry about the delicacies of the pro-choice position once they’ve been soundly and thoroughly defeated for the foreseeable eon.

    What’s more bothersome is Bush’s grandstanding for the fundies with this move. As you pointed out, Rori, these embryos are slated for destruction. But God – or whoever the hell that voice(s) he hears in his head is – has told George that even these embryos are sacred. So rather than allow these stem cells to be used for research that might improve/save life, they are instead trashed – as are the chances of the living, breathing humans he condemns with this piece of “divinely inspired” political bravado….

  5. Rori was especially insightful to boldface the comments about a hedonistic life–because that is the REAL agenda of the antiabortionist brigade. They want to deny women the ability to enjoy sexual pleasure for its own sake. Everything from reducing access to contraception to shaming women who are sexually adventurous–it’s all designed to return women to the state of being “brood mares”–created to joylessly pump out spawn to propagate the species and enable their husbands to both assert their virility and ensure their lineage will continue.

    I happen to like sex a great deal and I like it better when my partner does too. 😉 The concept of deliberately denying women the power of controlling their own destinies and embracing the full pleasures of life is so abhorrent to me as to almost be absurd.

    Put more simply, Sam Brownback and his ilk are a bunch of sick, repressed, needle-dick fuckbeans.

  6. Someday Dumbya may be struck with a disease that was once incurable, but has become curable via stem-cell technologies. I trust he’ll have the integrity and Faith(TM) to suffer nobly and die painfully instead of availing himself of Satan’s therapy.

  7. Sam,

    Similar to the parents of the sextuplets triplets?


    Did you read the redstate thread? A woman had the audacity to jump in and say that she had to carry a child of rape to term. The redstaters told her “stop whining, life is hard”, accused her of lying, and accused her of being a troll because her account was brand new. I guess redstate subscribers, like Adam, appear fully formed and have never been newbies.

  8. “I happen to like sex a great deal and I like it better when my partner does too. The concept of deliberately denying women the power of controlling their own destinies and embracing the full pleasures of life is so abhorrent to me as to almost be absurd.”

    Many people do like sex – it is why we keep reproducing ourselves. 🙂

    I believe, however, through reading and conversations with many women during the course of my life that there is a tendency for the following to happen:

    That a termination often leads to the relationship with the man being affected. With the foetus gone the feelings for the man often disappear too. When the life that is created is destroyed it affects profoundly the female view of the male…

    Casual sex is not something I think worth chasing, although increasingly it is the option for large swathes of people.

    I prefer to hold out for something more ‘real’…recreational sex I leave to… *insert your own words/views*.

  9. Screw “hedonism.” This is as much about power over women as rape is in the first place. And so Brownback and his ilk turn want to turn rape victims into victims a second time by forcing them to carry a potentially unwanted fetus to term. This is different only in degree from Pakistan’s “stone the rape victim to death” laws.

  10. There is no law that requires someone to risk life or limb on behalf of someone else. I believe even firemen are not required to go after victims in a burning building if they judge the risk to themselves to be too great.

    But Brownback would require rape victims, some of them arguably much less courageous than firemen, to take this risk.

    I once read that male pregancy was theoretically possible. The embryo would have to be implanted in the male body and adhere itself to the outside of some organ. Lots of hormones would have to be given to create the proper gestational environment and birth would be via surgery. I say, let Brownback and his ilk (especially the females) carry these embryos to term. Don’t make the rape victims take risks you wouldn’t take yourself.

  11. I wnder what advice Brownback and his ilk would give to a 4th grade child of rape standing up in front of class and telling them about his family would be. Seems to me, the choices would be a) my daddy’s in jail (assuming they caught the guy, or b) I don’t know who my daddy is. Either answer is a no-win. Perhaps rownback would recommend that the rape victim marry the rapist, thus preserving the sanctity of matrriage. Sick, sick, sick.

  12. Hey those could embryos are potential Iraq war taxpayers! (Sarcassim)

    Bachmann campaign manager Parrish proposed a “womb tax” to curb abortion; wrote that “life for the left begins at taxation”

    You can tell a lot about a person by the people they associate themselves with.

    In the case of Michele Bachmann, we can tell a lot about her by the person she hired to run her campaign, Andy Parrish. Through the immense help of a source at UW-River Falls, Parrish’s alma mater, I have obtained a stack of materials pertaining to Parrish’s days on campus, which were filled with controversy, to say the least.

    I will be writing about Parrish more in the upcoming weeks. Suffice it to say that there’s enough here to keep me entertained for a looooong time.

    Parrish wrote columns for the UWRF student newspaper, The Student Voice, for at least the 2003-2004 school year. Unfortunately, the newspaper’s online archive only dates to October, 2004, but I have photocopies of some of his columns from the newspaper archives at River Falls. Once I get access to a scanner, I will post images of the columns so that you can all enjoy them as much as I have. The following are excerpts from a column Parrish wrote on November 21st, 2003, entitled “Left might think right with womb tax.”

    I have come to the conclusion that, for [liberals] life does not begin at conception, life for the left begins at taxation… Since liberals believe that life does not begin until they can tax you, I thought it my duty to educate [them.]

    Parrish then proceeds to give readers advice on how to “be your own abortionist” (direct quote) and gives an extremely graphic description of a home abortion. (Isn’t this an argument for legal and safe abortions?) He then continues,

    Some people argue that this new partial birth abortion ban takes away their right to play God and choose who lives and dies based on convenience. I have this to say to the anti-life crowd. I am not taking away anyone’s choice over their own reproductive life. They already chose when they engaged in sexual intercourse. Here is my solution to this life debacle.

    If we tax the baby–we’ll say property tax–for occupying the mother’s womb, the left will fight to keep the baby alive instead of fighting to abort it. Then they can receive more money for-we’ll say education beacuse there isn’t enough spent there already–then maybe, just maybe, the left would acknowledge the fact that this fetus is more than just a fetus: It is a human life.

    If you still want to try partial birth abortions on your own, happy abortioning. Support our troops, support our president and have a great conservative day.

    His trademark is ending every column with the “have a great conservative day” line.

    I also have a page of letters to the editor criticizing Parrish’s insensitive, inaccurate, and inflammatory column. I will quote one of the letters:

    This article is more of a shallow attack and a cheap attempt to demonize liberals at the expense of a valid issue. Your points about taxing the baby to get liberal support are about as dumb as saying [R]epublicans would support it if they got a tax break… When given a chance to provide a piece on why we need to deal with these issues, Andy chose instead rhetoric and baseless attacks. Talking about what type of limits for the life and health of the mother would have been a far better issue.

    Hmm… rhetoric and baseless attacks rather than an attempt to deal with the issues? That description also fits Andy’s boss, Michele Bachmann, to a T.

    So, where does Michele Bachmann stand on the “womb tax” that her campaign manager proposed less than three years ago?

    Keep checking back for more Andy Parrish Antics.

    Posted by Pat Smith on September 21, 2006 07:45 PM | Permalink

  13. The wingnut position is definitely not pro-life so much as it’s anti-sex, or at least anti-sex for the kind of girl you want to take home to Mom (sluts and Jeff Gannon are fine to screw as long as they can be discriminated against later). Look at the righties’ resistance to the HPV vaccine — what rational argument could one have against protecting women from cancer?