I tend to lurk on a lot of Btvs/Angel/Dark Angel/etc fandom livejournals.
None of them tend to deal with just the fandom.
One of them shocked me today. It had a link to some information about a bill that been linked with an appropriations bill.
A right to refusal of treatment bill. Essentially, it gives doctors free reign to refuse treatment based on religious or moral objections without penalty. Actually, it protects them penalties including malpractice suits. And, unlike most bills of this nature, doctors who refuse treatment do not need to make referrals to doctors that would provide treatment.
Treatments such as abortions. Such as birth control.
Doesn't really seem like much, huh? I mean, why should a doctor be forced to take an action that they find morally or ethically rephrenesiveable. And a referral is the same as treatment - you are helping them do the morally or ethically wrong action. Sounds kinda simple.
Until you realize the amount of people that live in areas where it is difficult enough to get to one hospital or doctor's office or pharmacy. Until you realize the amount of Catholic owened hospitals that are the only source of medical treatment for a good amount of the poor. Until you realize that even if doctor's don't want to refuse that treatment, pressures from hospital administrators, local groups, and rent collectors can force that choice. After all, if there is no penalty to refusing treatment, it isn't too much to ask that the person you rent office space to make the moral choice you espouse. . And until you realize some health care plans come with a limited selection of doctors and treatment by any doctor outside that group requires an referral.
The proponents of the bill are charging with the idea that this will help to stop abortion. Kept kinda hidden is the anti-birth control context. That might scare people.
The real shocker to me is a majority of states already have a similar state law on the books.
One of the posters asked where the angry liberals are. I replied that the angry liberals feel like they already won the war about choice and that the religous right realizes that it wasn't one fight and tenacity would win in the end. I talked about how there are always people willing to take away your freedoms and most people are so sure that those freedoms, once hard won, are there to stay.
But I didn't point the finger at myself. Sure, I have signed some petitions and written a few emails. But I really haven't done much. Haven't even voted in every election since I turned 18. Only worked for one election once in high school.
I can't be angry at the way things are going and sit around and do nothing.
I am scared. I am scared when I look at what has happened since September 11. I am scared when I look at the way a small vocal group used discussion about morals and ethics to impose their religous views on a majority. And I am scared when I realize that I don't know how to change things.
One of the ljers that I read daily came forward in her journal and chided us for talking about the pro-lifers like the were all rapid bad guys. And we all backed down. 'Cause we like her, and we don't want to paint her with the same tar brush that we were using on the religious right. We didn't want to classify her with the same group that includes a doctor who refused to do an D&C on woman who fetus had died because "a D&C is an abortion".
But I don't know that we were right in that. When I was young, my parents taught that the company you keep is important. That people will judge you by your friends and therefore you should chose your friends carefully. Granted, my mother is also a rapid pro-lifer and I know that more than once she wasn't too happy with the friends I chose.
But maybe the religious right has such a sway because we are so careful to not paint those who share their views with the same tarry brush. Maybe it's time to say, "I know you would never try to take away my freedoms, but you support those that would. And until you withdraw that support, I have to class you with them."
I complimented her because she actually contributes to an organization that helps out women who chose adoption over abortion. But when it comes to the vote, we are going to be on opposite sides. Her vote will cancel mine, and yet I joined the chorus of 'it's okay to have your viewpoint and it doesn't make you bad'.
The religious right discriminates. They vote, they vote again with their dollar, and they try to silence those who oppose them. They use intimidation, discriminition, and hate to get their way. They use fear and they use prejudice.
I don't want to live in a theocracy. I am not ready to give up on this country.
I am going to be looking into which of my state representatives shares my views. And then I am going to see what kind of help I can give them. I am going to make certain that I send out that snailmail letter that all the websites says will count for more than email. Don't know what else to do as of yet.