Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I get my news from Boston Legal

You know when you are watching TV, and there's a story line that you think might possibly be rooted in the truth, and as you are watching your inner skeptic says, "Come on, even American can't be that crazy!"

Well, in fact, watching Boston Legal last night did that for me. And yes, we are that crazy.

Case in point. The Global Gag Rule. As usual, I am late to the party on this one, but I am enraged, yet again, at the absolute arrogance with which we often choose to deal with the rest of the world.

For those of you not familiar with the gag rule, "The Global Gag Rule was reinstated by President George W. Bush on his first day in office in January 2001. Officially termed the Mexico City Policy, these restrictions mandate that no U.S. family planning assistance can be provided to foreign NGOs that use funding from any other source to: perform abortions in cases other than a threat to the womanÂ’s life, rape or incest; provide counseling and referral for abortion; or lobby to make abortion legal or more available in their country." Because, you know, the third world doesn't have enough problems without Boy (wonder) George getting his hands in there and mucking around.

Naturally, this policy will be easily misinterpreted and the "deciders" who are checking on these local clinics aren't going to be the sharpest tools in the shed. And I'm sure that if they see ANY abortions getting performed, regardless of reason, they're going to yank the funding. Which means these women aren't going to get even basic medical care because they are already stigmatized.

What's so great about this rule is that research is showing that it is not reducing the number of abortions but rather eroding family planning and reproductive health services in developing countries (FYI--all these quotations are coming from Global Gag Rule). Fabulous.

As usual, when it comes to affecting portions of the world, Africa is the hardest hit by this policy. Because, when they should "just" be focusing on starvation and the HIV/AIDS epidemic, it's really great to have to decide not to perform an abortion on a rape or incest victim because if you do, the United States won't give you money for food and drugs. Boy, we're really showing the boys and girls abroad the true meaning of Democracy. I can't imagine why everyone thinks we're arrogant and difficult to deal with.

Did I mention that we impeached Clinton over a blow job but we're keeping the village idiot in office while he does absolutely nothing for anyone who doesn't act and think like him? That W is really starting to look like a swastika to me.

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