The Right-Wing And The Hypocrisy Of Government Interference
We have people like Glenn Beck repeatedly decrying government interference in our lives. That seems to be the mantra of the far-right these days: government interference is bad.
But not all kinds, apparently. The far-right is perfectly content to let the government impose religious beliefs on American citizens, as long as those religious beliefs are approved of by – you got it – the far right.
A case in point is abortion. The central platform of the GOP in the 2008 election cycle was abortion. That makes for a pretty small tent and it’s no surprise they lost as a result (At this year’s CPAC abortion ranked #5 on the list of attendee concerns).
But what is anti-abortion legislation if it is not government interference in the private reproductive rights of an individual? And 80% of those polled at CPAC said that government “intrusion into their lives of its citizens” was their main concern.
But is it? Really?
The government says, in effect: you get pregnant, you keep your baby – even if it kills you. Even if you were raped. Even if you were a victim of incest. Even if you were too young to sign a binding legal document – a contract – when you got pregnant, you’re old enough to agree to keep the baby.
The anti-abortion movement – which finds most of its supporters to right of the aisle – doesn’t seem to have a problem with some kinds of government interference.
That kind of government interference is welcomed. The irony is that while they’re arming themselves (quite literally) to resist every other kind of government interference in their lives, they’re also arming themselves to force you to obey the government when it tells you to have that baby.
In Utah, the situation is even more absurd. According to legislation that is awaiting the governor’s signature, you can go to jail for having a miscarriage.
Yes, the government can now decide that you fell down those stairs intentionally – in order to trigger a miscarriage.
Think I’m joking? Ask the pregnant woman in Iowa who fell down the stairs and was arrested. Yes. She not only had to suffer possible injury (not to mention fear for her baby’s life) but she had to suffer the humiliation of the government coming into her home and telling her what her intentions were.
Isn’t that what Glenn Beck and his ultra-right friends pretend to be against?
Why aren’t they defending this woman?
Iowa is not the only state with such laws (There are 37 states with a feticide law on the books). The anti-abortion movement, driven by religious extremists, has done just what the right-wing fears and insinuated the government into our homes, or in Glenn Beck’s words, tracking of “everything you do” (February 22 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks’ The Glenn Beck Program). Including, obviously, falling down the stairs while you’re pregnant.
Yes, my fellow citizens: Accidents are now crimes.
Let’s not pretend ignorance here: the so-called pro-life movement is not pro-life. It is anti-life. It is against women’s reproductive rights, it is against the life of the mother if complications threaten her survival, and it is against the life of underage girls who are pregnant due to incest, or the life of any woman who is the victim of rape.
Apparently, however the sperm got there, God wants you to be pregnant.
Your life is meaningless if you’re a woman.
The sperm gets treated like baby Jesus.
Christine Taylor in Iowa eventually walked away from both her fall and from jail, but not because the law was recognized to be wrong, but because she turned out to be not in her criminal third trimester but in her second.
In other words, she walked on a technicality. There was no admission that falling down the stairs was not in fact an attempt to murder the fetus.
Because in right-wing America, after all, you’re guilty until you’re proven innocent.
For anti-choice fanatics – and they are fanatics – women are the enemy. Women and their bodies. It is hard not to see misogyny at the root of this war against women’s reproductive rights. And incidents like these quite clearly expose the hypocrisy of the right’s position that government interference is bad.
It isn’t bad. It’s good when the government is acting on the right’s behalf.
Government interference is only bad when it’s the “cancer of progressivism” – in other words, the embrace of individual human rights as a result of the European Enlightenment – which guides the government’s hand.
In the end, the only right people like Beck are fighting for is the right to decide who gets rights – and who doesn’t.
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