“All I can do is empty an ocean with a teaspoon.”

Quote courtesy of one of my favorite reading spots: Shakesville.

The meaning of this quote is thus: we can only do so much, but it’s powerful when more than one person does it. So, also with a hat-tip to Shakesville…people, grab your teaspoons.

You may have heard that the House voted to completely defund Planned Parenthood. And now it’s kicked into the Senate, because the measure actually passed in the House. This is all, of course, under the guise of “sacrifices” and “compromises” to “make ends meet”. If you look at the actual budget numbers, it’s hogwash. Planned Parenthood does not receive as much in funds as it used to at this time five years ago, and every time the budget gets revised, the amount of money it gets keeps shrinking. This is why it relies on donation revenue. The actual number it gets is a drop in the grand bucket, especially when billions go to corn subsidies – for HFCS production – and war overseas.

This measure is nothing more than a calculated move and a very telling one on a series of propositions and bills all aimed to attack women. Rape redefinition bill? Abortion restrictions? The “right” of a pharmacist to refuse medication based on his/her “beliefs”? The “right” of a doctor to refuse treatment of a patient based on the same?  (The pharmacists’ rights bill passed in certain states. The doctors’ rights bill is under severe fire in the states where it was proposed.) Then there’s South Dakota, which first tried to ban abortion altogether, and then attempted to enact a bill that redefines justifiable homidice in order to “prevent harm to the unborn” – yes, you’re reading right.

So kindly don’t tell me that I’m ‘reaching’ or ‘overreacting’ when I say that the attempt to defund Planned Parenthood is anything but calculated attempt to legalize the GOP’s own misogyny.

Why do I say that? Only 3% of Planned Parenthood centers offer abortion services on site. That’s right, only 3%. What do the other 97% offer? Let’s see here:

– Pap smears

– Cancer screening

– Mammograms

– Birth control

– Counseling

– Actual sex ed

– All of that at little or no cost.

Yes, no cost. Because the women that go to a Planned Parenthood are poor. They cannot afford health insurance. They cannot afford a private doctor. They want a very bare minimum of a standard of reproductive health, which is just to ensure that they develop cancer without their own knowledge. And, while en route to getting those services, they’re harassed, stalked, sometimes attacked, sometimes called babykillers, all by those so-called “Christians” who want to “preserve life.” This is why PP uses volunteer escorts that help arriving patients walk past protesters and into the PP center, to save their lives by an annual pelvic exam that they cannot otherwise manage to get.

Think about this for a moment. A free services health clinic patient needs to be escorted from her vehicle in order to receive basic reproductive health care.

Does this sound reprehensible to you? It well should. This is what is happening in this country. If you’re in a big city, you may not realize or see it, but in the Midwest, in small-town America, this happens all. the. damn. time.

And now, the House voted to pass this horror-show of an amendment, that strips Planned Parenthood of all funding.

I’m astounded, though, in a good way, that Rep. Jackie Speier took the stand to publicly discuss her own abortion when the New Jersey rep, Chris Smith, decided to scare-monger his fellow representatives by describing the procedure. And know what else? I’m confident, confident that the Republican female reps also had them, but of course, you’d never hear about it. I doubt their husbands know either. And Rep. Speier said an excellent bit, right there, “For you to stand on this floor and suggest, as you have, that somehow this is a procedure that is either welcomed or done cavalierly or done without any thought is preposterous.”

Yes, it is. As I said in my prior post, no woman ever, ever wakes up one fine day and thinks, “Gee, I’ll terminate my pregnancy now.” It’s never a decision made lightly.Whether it’s thought of well in advance or the minute the stick turns blue, it is a decision that requires a very good degree of forethought. And most women who go to the doctor to say “I want to terminate” have already spent enough sleepless nights thinking about this.

But to the GOP, this doesn’t matter . Never mind that abortion is already severely restricted across the board, never mind that broke women everywhere already make the choice of whether to refill their birth control pill or put dinner on the table, never mind that broke women often rely on Planned Parenthood for the bare minimum of knowing that they hadn’t developed cervical cancer that year. None of it matters. What matters is the GOP’s own “moral superiority” – a joke, considering how many of their party members are forced into resignation when another scandal involving drugs, affairs, love children, and hookers develops. What matters is their white-Christian-Southern superiority, with no regard to speak of as to whom they trample to assert it. What matter is one procedure – only one – which, let’s face it, is not done commonly. And moreover, again, is not performed at most PP centers. Screw the 97% of women who rely on PP for basic care. Never mind them, what’s more important is to punish the 3% for that one thing.

Another interesting fact: abortions performed at Planned Parenthood are paid for by the patients.

But, again, doesn’t really matter, does it?

Go ahead, tell me I’m misinterpreting it. Go right the hell ahead.

The bottom line remains is that no male lawmaker ever has the right to dictate to any woman what she’s free to do or not to do with her uterus.If her money is going to empty the uterus, then that is what should happen, without the bureaucratic bullshit.

I can only hope that this will die on the Senate floor, but the House doesn’t exactly raise me with optimism either. You’re all for the government staying the hell out of your lives? Make it stay out of women’s lives first. Or women aren’t people? Of course not. After all, you’re willing to subsidize contraception for horses.

Thanks, again, GOP, for reinforcing the idea that the poor don’t matter, women don’t matter, and if they’re both, then they’re SOL.

Take Action Now. Donate to Planned Parenthood. Write an open letter to your Congresspeople. House Reps. Senators.

I’m writing this and urging you to keep this on the radar. Crank those teaspoon arms.