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A Battle Of Rhetorical American Holocausts: Healthcare Reform Vs Abortion
There is one historical event that evokes emotions and outrage in the eyes of most of the world, and it should never be discussed or used except in a historical context to remind humanity that genocide committed by madmen can never happen again. In America though, leave it to extremist Christians to invoke the holocaust as a reference to a woman’s right to choose. As the anniversary of the controversial Roe v Wade decision that gave women the right to choose whether or not to carry a fetus to term is protested by the regular cast of religious fanatics, Republicans in the House and Senate are ramping up their attempts to limit Federal funding for abortion. The problem for Republicans though, is that the Federal government is restricted from paying for abortions except in the cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
In Washington yesterday, anti-abortion activists protested the 1973 Supreme Court decision while Republican legislators are busy ramping up their rhetoric against the decision. One Senator, Roger Wicker (R-Miss) said, “We believe Roe v. Wade has led to a three-and-a-half decades-long holocaust in the United States of America, and it amounts to a stain on our national conscience, and it’s time for it to end.” Wicker has a long history of anti-abortion rhetoric and he has attempted to pass a “Life at Conception Act,” and with a Republican majority in the House is going to reintroduce a bill in the Senate today.
Wicker continues, “It’s time for the 14th Amendment protection to be afforded to the unborn.” It is interesting that Wicker cites the 14th Amendment as applying to a fetus when Republicans have recently discussed the prospect of revisiting the amendment to change the birthright citizenship clause, and last month, conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that the 14th Amendment does not apply to women’s equal rights. Conservatives are not known for their equitable interpretation of any law, so it is no great surprise that Republicans are playing at hypocrisy again. There are some problems with the Personhood Amendment that Wicker is introducing.
In the Roe v. Wade decision, the high court defined viable life at between 24 and 28 weeks, and used as criteria the fact that a delivered baby could survive outside the womb at that age without assistance. However, abortion opponents feel that a fetus is a person at conception, and in some of the AFA literature, any contraception is considered murder of human life. If that argument is valid, then when a woman menstruates, she is killing a human being. The same is true of a male who fails to impregnate a woman during intercourse or masturbates. The abortion foes also don’t recognize that every fertilized egg does not become a fetus. Will they consider the miscarriages that happen every day murder or holocaust? It does sound absurd, but no more than claiming that a zygote is a human being worthy of the same constitutional rights as an adult.
The other problem Republicans have as they ratchet up the rhetoric against abortion is that the Federal government is forbidden from funding abortions. Under the Hyde Amendment and President Obama’s executive order, no federal funding is allowed for abortions. The Republican push to limit abortion funding is just more pandering to extremist Christians and their attempts to dominate and control women. Now though, the Christian movement is emboldened by its infiltration into the government as they march to turn America into a theocracy, and evoking images of the Holocaust is despicable by Wicker just like it was when Mike Huckabee did it in 2007.
The rhetoric has turned so vile, that abortion opponents have claimed that the government is co-opting murder. Joseph M. Schneider runs the Pro-Life Action League and he said, “This country stands for rights…yet we’ve given women a right to kill their own children.” Huckabee claimed in 2007 that, “we have aborted more than a million people who would have been in our workforce had we not had the holocaust of liberalized abortion under a flawed Supreme Court ruling in 1973.” This is the same Huckabee who is pushing advertisements on MSNBC several times each day claiming that America must repeal health care reform that will protect the lives of 30 – 40 million Americans. It is disingenuous of Huckabee and Republicans who will not support health care coverage for living Americans, but want to protect a fetus that does not contribute anything to American society.
Are Huckabee and his Republican allies guilty of a holocaust by condemning 30 – 40 million Americans to an early death by denying them affordable health care? These are the same Republican life-lovers who cut services to the poor as a matter of course and justify it by claiming they are the purveyors of fiscal responsibility. The forced-birth crowd loves their fetuses, but hates babies once they are born. Republicans in the House are going to attempt to force their bible-based beliefs on America and particularly women because of the bible, and nothing else. They are using their tired old lies to garner support from religious extremists, and the whole matter appears to be a smoke-screen of distraction to divert Americans’ attention from the fact that Republicans have not addressed creating jobs or economic recovery they promised during their campaigns.
If Republicans and the good bible-thumping crowd are so concerned with life, they would not advocate war or the proliferation of guns. They would embrace the Affordable Health Care Act as a means for saving lives instead of claiming that it is a privilege to have health care. However, Republicans and especially the bible crowd are not concerned about life any more than they are concerned with following the teachings of their exemplar, Jesus Christ. It bears repeating that a fetus is not a baby; a baby is a baby. A fetus in the womb is part of a woman’s body and it is her choice whether to carry it to term or not. Republicans should also remember that a fetus cannot vote or donate money to their campaigns. A zygote may be a living organism, but so is a sloughed-off ovary or the millions of sperm cells lost when a man masturbates. We should be careful though; some joker will take it seriously and accuse men of committing a holocaust every time they have sex or every time a woman has a menstrual cycle. One never knows when Republicans will throw around the word Holocaust; they are doing it a lot lately.