Monday, March 21, 2005

"Culture of Life"

So, lemme get this straight...

Congressional Republicans are pretty much saying that the Federal government has a right (nay, duty) to intervene whenever an American is in serious danger. (Terry Schiavo, who is being put through seeming torture with continuous removal and reinsertion of her feeding tube, is the focus of a law passed by Congress saying that her parents can appeal to have the tube reinserted.)

The argument is that the government has a role whenever there is serious doubt over whether a person needs critical medical care. Lets take this "culture of life" idea further...

Are Republicans seriously contending that we, as a country, should in all cases mandate care, even when there are severe obstacles to it? (ie husbands, insurance providers, lack of funds)

Because, if so, they have just endorsed a great idea: national health care.

Poor people, elderly people, immigrants... many of them cannot afford healthcare. If we truly believed in a culture of life, we'd make sure they had health care.

If we truly believed in a culture of life, we'd make sure that pregnant women had access to health care and fetal nutrition programs, reducing the number of abortions (because, really, for the right-wingers, this "culture of life" is really all about abortion).

I read this on some blog (I should look it up and give credit but I'm lazy): Some Democrats in Congress should introduce a Culture of Life Act (Terri's bill) which guarantees health care for all Americans. See how many Republicans you'll get to endorse that. But, isn't a culture of life more important than money, Mr./Ms. Republican??

How quickly the "cult of life" people forget that while Governor of my great state GWB passed a law saying that hospitals can pull the plug on people on life support if it's clear that they won't be able to pay. Just in the past week, an infant was removed from life support against his mother's wishes for inability to pay. Huh? This is a culture of life??

But, here's the thing: Do I actually think Republicans want a culture of life? No.

Do I think Democrats should make this about a culture of life? No.

This should so totally NOT be political. I am not arguing that the feeding tube should/should not be put back. I am arguing that this is not an issue for political opportunists in Congress to get in on. This is a decision by the family. Clearly, there is disagreement. Where does our law say the case should go? The court system. Let them decide. This should be a judicial, not a political decision. And, no, I don't think it counts when, after being adjudicated several times, CONGRESS makes a political move to kick it back into the legal system. Sorry.

"A memo distributed to Republican senators by party leaders called the case a "great political issue" and a "tough issue for Democrats," The Washington Post said.

This disgusts me. This woman has been through enough torture, what with the removal and reinsertion of the feeding tube several times now. This is clearly (by their own framing of the issue in the memo and by GWB's TX law) not about a "culture of life" by any stretch of the imagination. No, this is about mobilizing a base. We forget that this is a real woman, a real family!

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