Warning: This is John Oliver, so most of you will know there are a going go be a few “naughty” words in the video. Sorry about that, but he tells it like it is.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Abortion Laws (HBO)
Published on Feb 21, 2016
Abortion is theoretically legal, but some states make it practically inaccessible. Texas is one of the worst offenders at making abortions almost unavailable in the name of “protecting women’s health.” It’s a lie, folks.
I’m very strongly in favor of protecting a 6 or 7 month old fetus against abortion in most cases, but a cluster of cells that has been developing in a womb for a few days is not a person. It’s exactly the equivalent of a mole or a wart.
Any pregnant woman who wishes she wasn’t shouldn’t have to be, and it ought to be legal for qualified doctors to remove a new fetus quickly, easily, cheaply, and without undue complications.
What the Texas legislature is doing to women, while claiming it is to protect them, is atrocious. Only you and I can correct the situation by making our voices heard now and voting for better legislators and governor when the time comes.
Protect the young women of our state. Tell the legislature you are against this nonsense, and tell Governor Abbott he should not ratify any more laws making it harder for women to get safe early abortions in our state. Unnecessary laws already on the books need to be repealed quickly.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King Jr.
As noted in the sidebar, the above quote is the guiding principle of this blog. I intend to speak out about things that matter. While there are many kinds of things that matter, it has always been my primary intention to write about science and the skepticism that is an essential part of it, including the nature that science studies and the technology it creates.
My passion for those four things — science, skepticism, nature, and technology — will not diminish. However, I also feel compelled to discuss American Presidential politics more for the next few months — maybe all the way to the election in about a year and a half. Presidential election campaigns in the United States have become circuses that last a minimum of two years, beginning long before anybody officially declares his or her candidacy. This is insane. Election campaigns in most of the free world last days or weeks, by comparison.
Not only that, but American elections cost an enormous amount of money. So much money that all but two candidates this time are seeking the backing of billionaires and SuperPACs. Otherwise, they cannot hope to finance their campaigns. One of the two exceptions is himself a billionaire, so he doesn’t have to sell his soul — if any — to the super-rich for campaign donations.
The other exception is focussing on getting small donations from middle-class people and is doing incredibly well. So well that he has been able, so far, to wage a very competitive campaign against the Democratic front-runner, who, for a long time, was considered a shoo-in for the nomination.
The Republican frontrunner is a self-centered, sexist, blustering, billionaire, bully. Please don’t misunderstand; I have nothing against billionaires personally. I’ve always wanted to be one myself. It’s self-centered, sexist, blustering, bullies I have a problem with, whether rich or poor; but being rich makes them better at it. Whether or not he can keep his followers loyal until the primaries start in Iowa on February 1 is anybody’s guess. I hope not.
The other Republicans are all scientifically illiterate; even those you’d think ought not to be, like the medical doctors. They deny evolution, almost without exception. Several are young earth creationists, claiming our world is less than 10,000 years old. That’s incredibly ignorant for the potential “Leader of the Free World!”
Most of them also want to ban most or all abortions, repeal the Affordable Care Act rather than fix it, leaving tens of millions of additional citizens unable to afford basic medical care; and commit a number of other atrocities like gutting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps, and other essential services. Several even openly and plainly put their interpretations of the Bible above the Constitution a President is sworn to uphold and protect.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not pleased with the Democratic frontrunner, either. Too many questions remain unanswered about the Benghazi Massacre. “Why does it matter now?” is not an appropriate response to an investigator’s question. It matters because it speaks to the character, loyalty, and ability of the then Secretary of State (as well as the current President, of course; but he’s not a candidate this time). In addition, there are still too many questions about her email debacle.
I sympathize completely with the guy who said a few elections back, “If God wanted me to vote, I think He’d give me somebody to vote for.” But I will vote, as I always have.
For the duration of this political circus, I feel compelled to make a lot more posts of a political nature. The Presidency is just too important to let it fall into the hands of another incompetent ignoramus like some we’ve had recently, an irresponsible, self-aggrandizing blowhard, or any of those candidates who would place their own beliefs and desires above the Constitution and laws of our nation.
The United States is not, never has been, and must never be “one nation under God.” Our forefathers fled that kind of nation in Europe when they came to North America in search of religious freedom. That’s why we have always been (since 1789) one nation under the Constitution of the United States of America.
However, most of you others probably need to take similar measures wherever you live, too.
I sent this letter to my State Senators just a few minutes ago. It’s late, since the committee meeting started today, but you can still have your voice heard if you hurry.
Texas citizens deserve a serious discussion of women’s health and an honest assessment of the consequences of legislative decisions affecting reproductive healthcare in our state. That discussion must include a comprehensive assessment of access to abortion care in Texas, The recent legislation that made abortion access so much harder to find in our state is completely unacceptable.
The failed abstinence-only sex education policies we have pursued in our schools for almost two decades are equally deplorable.
It should have been obvious to reasonable people 20 years ago that”abstinence-only” sex education will never work. Most young people are going to have sex no matter what their teachers tell them, and they need to know how to protect themselves from pregnancy, disease, and rape.
The proposed hearing in Sen. Nelson’s Health and Human Services committee on February 20 will apparently include neither of those critical issues. Please be sure they are added to the agenda.