If you missed it, last week I posted a column that talked about the current GOP’s love of precious metals because of their irrational affinity for alchemy. At the end of that column, I turned from their bullets and guns, missiles and bombs, and their border walls and electric fences to TX Senate Bill 5, also known as the “Texas Hanger.” It is the bill which riled women, drew national attention, and was ultimately defeated thanks to the 12-hour filibuster of courageous State Senator Wendy Davis.
Democrats, progressives, Texas women, and generally, all reasonable and sane people celebrated the victory. However, as we celebrated, we also knew it was a very temporary victory. And it turned out to be shorter lived than we expected. The next day, Governor Prick Perry called another special session of the TX legislature for the sole purpose of feeding red meat to his base…passage of the crazy-restrictive, anti-abortion, anti-women bill.
That bill has just cleared the TX House and is on its way to the Senate. PoliticusUSA’s very own Sarah Jones has a fine, succinct post on the resurrected bill here. It is expected to sail through the Senate and be signed by Perry as his last big hurrah on his way out of the governor’s mansion and into what he believes to be a god-ordained 2016 run for president.
But the bill and the governor is not what I really want to discuss. What I want to focus on is TX Representative Jodie Laubenber, the woman who sponsored SB 5. Most of you now know her because she made herself famous by uttering some of the stupidest mumbo-jumbo ever heard by human ears: she claimed that women don’t need abortions anymore—not even, or perhaps especially, in cases of rape—because hospitals have these things called rape kits, and according to Laubenberg, “In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out.”
Let’s be nice and set her lack of sophistication with words and logic aside; let’s even forgive her shamefully willful mental incapacity. Laubenberg introduced the bill and “fought” for it (though by all accounts, she absolutely sucks at defending/arguing/reasoning/explaining/answering questions about any bill she sponsors) because she considers herself the guardian of kids, the custodian of zygotes, the angel of life, if you will. In short, she presents herself as the sentinel of the unborn.
Jodie Laubenberg will do whatever it takes to ensure that every life is taken to be godly, considered divined, understood to be sacred. Even life that has yet to be born. Especially life that has yet to be born. Jodie Laubenberg champions the unborn on behalf of the unborn. Jodie Laubenberg exalts all unborn fetuses as hallow, ecclesiastical…
…except when it comes to policies with which she disagrees. Then, the unborn can suck it; they can fend for themselves. The same Jodie Laubenberg who portrays herself as a patron sponsor of the unborn, is really only impersonating a pro-lifer.
Back in 2007, on the same TX House floor, Laubenberg repudiated the fact that the unborn are actually alive and worthy of consideration. Laubenberg added an amendment to an appropriations bill that would force mothers to wait three months to get prenatal and perinatal care under the Children’s Health and Insurance Program (CHIP). One of her colleagues, Democrat Rafael Anchia challenged her and pointed out that her amendment was in fact, very, very anti-life. At which point, Laubenberg “loses it,” flies off the handle, and dips into the “cessschool” of I scream louder therefore I am right.
Laubenberg starts speaking about her amendment at the 1:00 minute mark. Anchia starts questioning her around the 2:57 mark, and the exchange (and subsequent dismantling of Laubenberg) occurs at the 4:10 mark and continues…
“But they aren’t born yet.” Therefore they do not have any rights. Therefore they cannot be counted as citizens. Therefore they should not receive benefits reserved for the alive and sacred.
So which is it, Representative Laubenberg? Are you really pro-birth, or are you just pro-alcohol-intake-before-9am?
But this is not just about Jodie Laubenberg. This is really about the entire Republican playbook when it comes to their “pro-life” position. Republicans aren’t really pro-life; they are flagrantly and reprehensibly pro birth; only pro-birth and nothing more. Just pop the kid out, evermore, quoth the Republican nevermore…
Truth be told, the real GOP record on “pro-life” is disgraceful. As comedian George Carlin so astutely pointed out at one point, “boy, these conservatives are really something, aren’t they? They’re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you’re born, you’re on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don’t want to know about you. They don’t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re preborn, you’re fine; if you’re preschool, you’re fucked.”
And the sage continues to dissect the sanctimonious, pro-life GOP: “Once you leave the womb, conservatives don’t care about you until you reach military age. Then you’re just what they’re looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers.”
Carlin forgot, “and exploited labor.”
So clearly, these scream-at-the-top-of-their-voices pro-lifers don’t really care about life or the living. So what is their true agenda for wanting women to carry babies to term?
Well, our future president Hillary Clinton captured it best, and she gets directly to the point: “Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me. But they all seem to. It doesn’t matter what country they’re in or what religion they claim. They all want to control women. They want to control how we dress. They want to control how we act. They even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and our own bodies.”
But the future president doesn’t just stop with acknowledging the extremism, she offers a way forward: “it is hard to believe but even here [in America] we have to stand up for women’s rights and we have to reject efforts to marginalize any one of us, because America has to set an example for the entire world.”
So, sane people everywhere, especially in Texas, follow Clinton’s lead. Fight. Stand up against the forces of Neanderthal male oppression. Better yet, vote. Vote damn it, vote!! Send these Old Testament men (and the women they puppet) back to the stinking kitchen of their own homes.
We don’t want them in government, in control, in our lives.