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Friday, December 3, 2010

Women Veterans Bill of Rights

H.R. 5953 is a proposed piece of legislation designed to help meet the needs of women who have served the United States in the military by posting "Women Veterans Bill of Rights" signs in Veterans Affairs offices. It includes a provision that will hopefully improve female veterans' awareness of their ability to access health care. A few days ago, the National Right to Life Committee was concerned that this language was vague enough to cover abortion. I'm happy to report that the language has been revised, so that abortion is excluded (among other things that were apparently raised by unrelated interest groups, like spa treatment).

But since, as everyone knows, pro-life groups hate women, especially women who would dare to be so brazenly feminist as to join the armed forces, pro-life members of Congress are urging a no v-- oh, sorry? Just kidding. Pro-life leaders stated that they had no objections, and the bill passed the House that same day.

That still leaves the Senate. It is expected to pass there without any changes; the real obstacle is not opposition to the merits of the legislation, but simply time, as the lame-duck Congress is scrambling to pass many other bills. To contact your Senator about the Women Veterans Bill of Rights law, click here.

31 comments:

Jesurgislac said...

Oh good. because the last thing any loyal American would want would be for a US soldier serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, to be able to get full healthcare at the military base where she serves.

If she needs an abortion, any loyal American would say, this soldier ought to have to leave the US base, find a local doctor who is willing to provide an abortion, and allow them to operate on her. Or else she ought to have to request emergency leave and fly home to get her abortion there.

I remember, once a upon a time, when "Thank you for your service" was something that could unite all Americans, left and right, for all US soldiers, regardless of their race, gender, or political opinion.

But not now. "Thank you for your service, and fuck you very much" from pro-life Americans to serving soldiers in a war zone.

Jesurgislac said...

What have you got that pic of a US soldier up there for? Target practice?

secularprolife.org said...

I think you're confusing this with something else. I'm talking about a sign that lets veterans (not active soldiers) know what services are available through the VA. If you actually read the post and links, you'll see that "Thank you for your service" is still agreed upon.

This has nothing to do with the Burris Amendment, which would push honorable military doctors into becoming abortionists. (Speaking of a "f*** you" to soldiers...)

But hey, if you want to spew your venom for no reason, and ludicrously accuse me of using soldiers for "target practice," go right ahead. It only makes your side look bad.

A Duck said...

Doesn't cover gender alterations either. Does that count as anti-women or anti-men? Or maybe gender is irrelevant and the procedure just isn't considered necessary.

...nah. Inconceivable.

Yonmei said...

I think you're confusing this with something else. I'm talking about a sign that lets veterans (not active soldiers) know what services are available through the VA.

Yeah, Jesurgislac got that wrong. Or rather, was confusing the fact that US military bases do require serving soldiers either to get an abortion from a foreign civilian doctor or to take instant leave and fly home to a civilian doctor, with services provided to veterans.

If you actually read the post and links, you'll see that "Thank you for your service" is still agreed upon.

I'm reading your post, and I'm not seeing any "thank you for your service" to female veterans to whom you so urgently want to deny healthcare.

This has nothing to do with the Burris Amendment, which would push honorable military doctors into becoming abortionists.

No honourable military doctor should need to be pushed to provide medical services to a veteran.

You mean you want dishonourable military doctors who want to impose their political/religious agenda on the bodies of female veterans should be allowed to continue this path of dishonour with a **** you for your service to a woman who fought for her country?

A Duck: Doesn't cover gender alterations either.

Yeah, because for all right-thinking Americans a trans soldier should be denied any thanks for their service, too.

I had a friend who was killed in Iraq a couple of years ago; she was trans, she wasn't out, she wanted to serve with her company and come home and live as a woman, freely. How near have you ever been to a battlefield, Duck, that you take it upon yourself to sneer at a woman who was serving in the US military, who was killed trying to save others' lives?

A Duck said...

Yes, that's exactly what I meant. I was sneering at your late friend by speculating about the motivations behind healthcare restrictions. How perceptive you are having only read a single comment from me. Your intellect is matched only by your sanity (a truly remarkable feat).

The Alexir of Life said...

If a woman gets pregnant while on active military service she should be court martialed and dishonorably discharged.

A Duck said...

@Alexir

Heads up, Yonmei is going to call you a misogynist and say something insanely presumptuous and probably inflammatory. Every time you say something. Forever.

That aside, have you been in the military? What do they do if you get pregnant while serving?

Yonmei said...

Thanks for confirming that you see nothing misognistic about having a woman court martialed and dishonourably discharged for having sex with a man and failing to secure an abortion fast enough that she's found out, A Duck.

What do they do if you get pregnant while serving?

Women in both the UK & the US military used to be sacked if they didn't have an abortion fast - given an honorable discharge and told to go off and forget about their career. The EU courts declared this illegal in 1990 for the UK military. I believe it is now also illegal in the US military to give a woman the sack for not having an abortion, but I don't know when the law changed.

I don't think a woman was ever at risk of being court-martialled for failing to have an abortion, as Alexir suggests: but Alexir apparently prefers the good old days in the US military of covert abortions done quickly to save a woman's career.

secularprolife.org said...

My understanding of the rule is that you aren't supposed to be having sex anyway. But if a woman does get pregnant, discharge should be honorable. Otherwise, it encourages abortion. (Weird-- I'm actually agreeing with Yonmei.)

The Alexir of Life said...

I believe (though may be mistaken) that having sex in a combat zone (at least) is illegal for military personnel irrespective of gender.
Basically though, if being pregnant is in conflict with your job then you should either not get pregnant or lose your job. You shouldn't be allowed to kill your child.

secularprolife.org said...

@Alexir: Talking about them losing their jobs is going too far. After all, many female soldiers are mothers of born children. All that's needed is a leave of absence. Female soldiers should have the option of returning to the service after giving birth, if they want to.

@Abortion advocates: Childbirth services are NOT excluded. Neither are STD tests and treatments, pap smears, and other aspects of reproductive medicine. We consistently are opposed to exactly one thing: abortion. We are not on a mission to deny healthcare to women soldiers. The entire point of the legislation is to improve access to services that the VA already offers.

@A Duck: I don't know what the motivations were for excluding gender reassignment. Maybe it was seen as unnecessary, or maybe it was motivated by animus. All I know is that it wasn't one of the concerns raised by the NRLC.

The Alexir of Life said...

I was speaking of being pregnant, not of having children. One is a state that lasts for 9 months, the other for much longer.

Yonmei said...

secularprolife My understanding of the rule is that you aren't supposed to be having sex anyway.

Right, and that explains why only women are discharged and only if they don't get an abortion fast enough.

Alexir: Basically though, if being pregnant is in conflict with your job then you should either not get pregnant or lose your job. You shouldn't be allowed to kill your child.

Soldiers kill children all the time, Alexir. But we're not talking about children being killed, but about your thinking that a woman who gets pregnant should have to have an abortion fast or lose her job. Because a woman who needs to keep her job and is told she will lose it when her employers discover her pregnancy, will have to have an abortion or be - as you happily suggest - court-martialled.

A Duck said...

Me:
Heads up, Yonmei is going to call you a misogynist and say something insanely presumptuous and probably inflammatory. Every time you say something. Forever.

Yonmei:
Thanks for confirming that you see nothing misognistic about having a woman court martialed and dishonourably discharged for having sex with a man and failing to secure an abortion fast enough that she's found out, A Duck.

I rest my case.

M said...

*chuckles*

Yonmei said...

It is absolutely bizarre how many pro-lifers enthusiastically support policies that force a woman to choose between her job* and having a baby - and then go all "OOOOH HOW CAN YOU!" when it's pointed out to them that these policies directly force women to have abortions, whether or not they want to have a baby, because need they job.

*Or other desired outcome.

Is there any way to see supporting coerced abortion but as fundamentally misogynistic as supporting coerced pregnancy? Pro-lifers support both.

secularprolife.org said...

It is absolutely bizarre how many pro-lifers enthusiastically support policies that force a woman to choose between her job* and having a baby.
And yet when we support pregnancy centers that help moms continue their education, pro-choicers try to shut them down. I actually voiced my AGREEMENT with you on the dishonorable discharge issue, but don't let that stand in your way.

Is there any way to see supporting coerced abortion but as fundamentally misogynistic as supporting coerced pregnancy? Pro-lifers support both.
And yet when this blog posted a story in opposition to coerced abortion in China, you objected, because you were outraged that pro-life people would adopt a position that you felt rightfully belonged to your side.

Nulono said...

You want to know why there's an image on this post? It's because all-text posts are boring.

Yonmei said...

And yet when we support pregnancy centers that help moms continue their education

Lie.

There are no "pregnancy centres" in the US that provide cash bursaries to young single mothers who need financial help to get through high school and college.

pro-choicers try to shut them down.

As I understand it, pro-choice campaigns against the "crisis pregnancy centers" in the US have primarily been about forcing CPCs to declare up front that they're not going to provide abortions - since CPCs usually try to pose as family planning/healthcare clinics to lure young pregnant women in, in order then to bully and harass them about not having an abortion. (And then if they succeed, many CPCs funnel babies from low-income mothers directly into the US adoption industry.)

I actually voiced my AGREEMENT with you on the dishonorable discharge issue

Not because you support women soldiers. You explicitly made clear that your support only comesy with respect to their already having children. You didn't give a damn about the principle that no woman, with children or childless, ought to be coerced into having an abortion under threat of losing their job.

because you were outraged that pro-life people would adopt a position that you felt rightfully belonged to your side.

As I recall (without going back to check) because it struck me then as hypocritical. You're indifferent to coerced abortions when forced by the US gov't and/or the fear of losing your job: and as pro-lifers you support forced pregnancy and childbirth.

Pantheroom said...

Forced pregnancy? Really? Refusal to kill means you somehow forced her to have sex and get pregnant. Huh. Well as long as you're being rational...willing to take responsibility for your actions... I know that's probably expecting too much, though. Recurring theme with pro-choicers- pregnancy isn't their fault

secularprolife.org said...

You didn't give a damn about the principle that no woman, with children or childless, ought to be coerced into having an abortion under threat of losing their job.
I limited my comments to soldiers, because that's what this discussion thread is about. With respect to civilian jobs, the United States already has laws against pregnancy discrimination in hiring and firing. I support those laws, and contrary to what your misogynist theory would predict, there is no pro-life campaign against them.

secularprolife.org said...

There are no "pregnancy centres" in the US that provide cash bursaries to young single mothers who need financial help to get through high school and college.
Wow. You know so much about American pregnancy centers without ever having stepped foot in one! Impressive.

As it happens, many pregnancy centers serve college students. And pro-lifers were behind the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Students Act, which provides grants to states to use for scholarships and other programs that improve moms' access to higher education (like housing).

Clearly, that's because we hate women who have sex, and hope that they'll be forced to drop out of school.

Yonmei said...

Pantheroom: Forced pregnancy? Really?

When a woman wants to terminate her pregnancy and a pro-life government or other authority wants to force her through pregnancy against her will, yes.

SP As it happens, many pregnancy centers serve college students.

By providing them with bursaries for the full costs of childcare during their studies? I guess big lies are the best ones: you want me to believe that, show me the evidence. A straight news story (ie not off a pro-life site): a system by which pregnant students who will be having children at college can apply for these bursaries? Go on. *waits*

As it happens, many pregnancy centers serve college students. And pro-lifers were behind the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Pregnant and Parenting Students Act, which provides grants to states to use for scholarships and other programs that improve moms' access to higher education

Your claim about this Act is not backed up by Wikipedia.

According to Wikipedia, what this Act does is

"establish a pilot program to provide $10 million annually for 200 grants to encourage institutions of higher education to establish and operate a pregnant and parenting student services office. The on-campus office would serve parenting students, prospective student parents who are pregnant or imminently anticipating an adoption, and students who are placing or have placed a child for adoption."

Sounds like a government-funded CPC - a means of trying to funnel babies from low-income mothers into the adoption industry. No wonder pro-lifers support it.

Nulono said...

The act supports parenting or adoption, whichever the mother opts for.

A Duck said...

It is absolutely bizarre how many pro-lifers enthusiastically support policies that force a woman to choose between her job* and having a baby

Are you referencing military service? Because I think there's a little more than policy that would stop a woman from having a baby while in the military. You know, training. Combat. Those kinds of things.

There are no "pregnancy centres" in the US that provide cash bursaries to young single mothers who need financial help to get through high school and college.

Does Planned Parenthood do that?

SP:
Female soldiers should have the option of returning to the service after giving birth, if they want to.

Yonmei:
You explicitly made clear that your support only comesy with respect to their already having children.

Well, obviously they can't return to their job after giving birth if they were coerced into an abortion. And by "coerced" do you mean "worried about getting shot in combat because you're physically debilitated by pregnancy"? I thought I might have been coerced once or twice before, but I guess not...

secularprolife.org said...

A straight news story (ie not off a pro-life site): a system by which pregnant students who will be having children at college can apply for these bursaries?
Straight news won't cover it; part of it is pro-abortion bias, but it's also just because these things are grassroots in nature. But as an example, should you choose to accept it, the pro-life students of St. Louis University are raising money for the school's pregnancy assistance fund: http://pages.slu.edu/org/sfl/ppsa_index.html

Does Planned Parenthood do that?
Exactly. If the choice in question isn't abortion, it's the pro-life groups that are providing it. Pro-choice is pro-abortion.

Yonmei said...

Duck: Because I think there's a little more than policy that would stop a woman from having a baby while in the military. You know, training. Combat. Those kinds of things.

Paid maternity leave. I know it's an unknown concept in the US, but all other developed countries manage it.

If your point is parents shouldn't be in the armed forces, okay: even-handed legislation would give an honourable discharge to every woman who gave birth and every man named as a father - if he wants to challenge that, he can use DNA testing.


Does Planned Parenthood do that?


Goalpost change! You were making mad claims for what pro-life charities do. Prove it. Cite it.

SP: Straight news won't cover it;

yeah, because straight news has an unfortunate tendancy to prefer stories that have some connection with factual reality.

Pro-life news of course has no such limitation.

But as an example, should you choose to accept it, the pro-life students of St. Louis University are raising money for the school's pregnancy assistance fund

Good for them. See? While obviously this program is not half as popular with real pro-lifers who want to bully women (I note the level of funding....) it's a nice gesture. Given the costs of childcare and the level of funding, this really won't be much, and of course it does depend how it's managed whether it achieves what could be it's chief usefulness: solidarity with students who are single parents.

Jesurgislac said...

Comment which I thought had posted, gone to spam queue.

A Duck said...

Paid maternity leave. I know it's an unknown concept in the US, but all other developed countries manage it.

Women in the military do get paid maternity leave...
Whate else have you got?

Goalpost change! You were making mad claims for what pro-life charities do. Prove it. Cite it.

Actually, all SP said was:
"we support pregnancy centers that help moms continue their education".
You derived cash bursaries from that. It's not terribly surprising that you equate "support" with "cash" though; it's a common misconception when you have a one-track mind.

Tron4JC said...

Pro-life charities? Habitat for Humanity, World Vision, Compassion, Harvest, etc. Pro-aborts got nothing on prolifers, secular or religious, when it comes to helping others out in their times of need, male or femaler, young or old, black or white, etc., etc.