Politics

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The state of Georgia became the most recent battleground between Pro-Life and Pro-Choice supporters on the topic of abortion with the HB481 bill passed by state legislature and expected to soon be signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp. For those who are unaware of what HB481 is, It is part of Georgia’s Living Infants Fairness and Equality ACT and you may know it by a different name The Heartbeat Bill. I will be going over just what it is and what it does here in this post as well as the contention surrounding it from many considered to be Hollywood Elite.

First let’s take a look at the basics of the bill and how it defines Personhood.

The bill will amend state law to define “Natural Person” to mean any human being including unborn children.

The bill will include embryos and fetuses in state population based determinations.

The bill will amend the state tax code to redefine “dependent” to allow a fetus at any stage of development to qualify as a dependent minor.

The next part is where the real issue lies with Pro-Choice supporters. It is the Heartbeat Abortion Ban. This section covers the both the ban and the exceptions that the law intends to provide for.

Except in cases of medical emergency, no abortion may be performed or attempted to be performed unless the physician performing the procedure has first made a determination of the presence of a human heartbeat.

The bill will prohibit abortion when a fetus has been determined to have a heartbeat unless the pregnancy is diagnosed as medically futile, or except when the abortion is:

  • necessary to avert the death of the pregnant person or avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant person;
  • necessary to preserve the life of the fetus; or
  • because of a pregnancy at 20 weeks or earlier is the result from rape or incest (and such offense was reported to law enforcement).

The bill will require any abortion performed after the first trimester to be performed in a licensed hospital, in a licensed ambulatory surgical center, or in a health facility licensed as an abortion facility by the state Department of Community Health.

Any person who performs an abortion would need to be a licensed physician.

The bill will require all physician, hospital, or other health-care facility records to be made available to local law enforcement agencies.

The bill will require a physician to inform the pregnant patient of the presence of a fetal heartbeat at the time the abortion would be performed.

Informational materials provided by the state would need to include the following additional statement:

“By six weeks’ gestation, the unborn child has a human heartbeat.”

The bill will amend requirements for abortion reports to require physicians to include information on the determination of the presence of a fetal heartbeat.

In every case of the homicide of a child, current state law allows there to be some party entitled to recover the full value of the life of the child. The bill would extend this to apply to the homicide of a “child carried in the womb,” at the point at which a heartbeat is detected.

I promised a fight with the title of this piece didn’t I? I promised to cover a big duke-a-roo between the state of Georgia and Hollywood, didn’t I? Very well, now that I have gone over what the bill entails, let us now turn our attention to the opponent and what a list of 50 well known Hollywood actors signed off on in an open letter and petition sent on March 28th to the Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and Governor Brian Kemp.

You now see what the bill consists of and you see the opposing viewpoint. Now let’s get into the editorial part of this article as I attempt to suss out what the average person can make of this debacle. It is true that many such bills have been shut down in court as unconstitutional in accordance to the verdict of Roe v Wade in 1973. 46 years ago. I myself have been on both sides of the Pro-Life vs Pro-Choice debate as I remember a time that some of the more vocal Pro-Lifer’s were of the mind that every sperm produced by a man deserved a name. This is of course an exaggeration, but I assure you not by much. They were certainly of a sort that would have never allowed for the type of exceptions that I see presented in HB481, which was a huge part of my own reason for siding with the Pro-Choice argument.

Let’s consider the Pro-Choice argument in this particular case. Besides the obvious argument against constitutional rights, the letter states that the time frame is far too short and by the time many women know they are pregnant the choice is already taken from them. Once upon a time, I might have found this a reasonable point, however with advancements in both contraceptive methods, including a next day pill and the development of more sensitive pregnancy tests capable of detecting the HCG hormone in a little over a week, I would personally argue that any responsible person who is sexually active has the tools to prevent that time window of 6 weeks to pass them by. In light of this I would say the only reasonable argument would be the scheduling for such a procedure in the facilities required by the bill.

The letter goes on to talk about forced hidden procedures done at great risk to the woman. Seeing as how I saw nothing of this requirement in the bill itself, I can only deduce that the signee’s of the open letter were referring to DIY at home methods of abortion….To which I say again; The bill does provide for exceptions to the 6 week time frame. Given that any pregnancy outside of many of these conditions would have to be planned, accidental, or immaculate, being a responsible person provides the best protection. Again only the possibility of a woman’s inability to schedule the procedure within the time frame given is really a justification for this point’s reasoning and only that depending on the facilities available in a given area since same day surgical centers are listed as viable recognized options.

So what is my take away from this? The bill. The fact that 50 Hollywood stars signed off on a letter that threatened a boycott of an entire state and the urging of production companies to follow suit. There was a time when, as a person who sided with Pro-Choice, I would have been content with what HB481 provides for. As far as Anti-Abortion bills go, I really see nothing unreasonable about it given all of the advancements in prenatal healthcare in the last 46 years. So the only elephant that is left in the room is whether or not it is unconstitutional…..The “What a woman does with her body.” argument. I agree, to a point……a 6 week point. You see human beings in most all cases, but a few extremely rare defect scenarios, only have one heart beat, because they only have one heart. When a second heart beat is detected…..It really isn’t JUST the woman’s body anymore……is it? When you consider that this argument essentially can be seen as the woman having the right to treat an unborn child, a second life form with it’s own heart beat, as though it were an article of personal PROPERTY to be kept or discarded at will…..I ask you, the reader, how constitutional is regarding a human life as if it were PROPERTY?

I have been promising this entry for awhile now, but have found myself getting hung up on many other things in the interest of catching up on my other writing and getting my other pages back up and running. With this entry I want to take a moment to go a different route than most post election thoughts have gone, which is a Trump bashing party. I did not support Trump, in fact I signed a petition to get the Electoral College to side with the popular vote, that was me doing my part. Even so I want to steer clear of bashing our next president, because, for starters, there is more than enough of that going around so I would not be covering anything new, and also there are things that I feel “We the People” have been over looking for a really long time in the interest of putting all of our eggs in one basket, so to speak.

I predict, that within the first 90 days of Donald Trumps presidency, a lot of the people who voted for him and most of the ones who did not, are going to be trashing his term, and I say this, because guess what? The same thing happened to Obama. The same thing happened to GW Bush. Now while all elected officials make mistakes, there is something to be said of UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS, when it comes to these people that we vote into office. Only one percent of Americans can afford the type of lifestyle where you are not generally having to devote so much of your time and life just trying to make ends meet, because of this I think we have this issue of WANTING to think that these people are like shiny golden gods and maybe, just maybe they are going to get in there and fix things from the top of Mt. Olympus on down……. Problem is much of what ails this country is not anything that CAN BE FIXED by some long winded list of government made rules, It is things that the government, in reality can’t nor should be expected to handle. We are a democracy and what that means is, where we see our government fail, is where WE THE PEOPLE need to take up the slack.

The free thinking people who came up with the concept of democracy many millennia ago, did so with the working knowledge that putting the needs of the many into the hands of a few is a fools errand. An example of the meaning of this would be one of the big gripes people have had about the Obama Administration and that is Obamacare. Healthcare reform. Sounds good doesn’t it? Sounds necessary doesn’t it? One of the strong points made to justify it, was to ensure that everyone could have affordable Healthcare, and we got government funded insurance on the idea that it could force the private insurance companies into lowering their premiums. Sounds good in theory, untill you realize that the greed of the private insurance companies, is in part caused by the greed of other sectors of healthcare that Obamacare did not even address. One of these is the unethical practice of doing unnecessary tests and treatments, just because the doctor knows they can get the money for it. Obamacare got hit with that, but what we don’t think about is that the private insurance companies have always been hit with that as well. I’m sure that uncalled for back surgery that the insurance company got hit up for, for over eight grand works wonders for keeping those premiums down…..Not so much. Then you have what we call BIG PHARMA and the fact that when one of these companies make a patent on a new drug, no one else can make a knock off for two whole years, meaning in the beginning they can put whatever price tag they want on their product and if there is no substitute the patient has to pay that 800 USD for seven little pills in a bottle. What you did not see Obamacare do is try to regulate that by having a government based drug company. So in the end most of what makes healthcare cost an arm and a leg was left untouched. Is that all the fault of Obamacare? No, it is isn’t, because the reality is, in order for government to enact healthcare reform and be perfect, you would be looking at a book of laws and programs, that written in legal terminology, would be roughly seven times the size of the Holy Bible and if you were lucky about an eighth of it could even be understood, and if you were divinely fortunate one sixteenth of it would actually get enforced to any degree of efficiency once it made it’s way down the levels of healthcare. Our problems, CAN NOT be fixed from the top, down. From 1998 until 2000, one of my three jobs that I held at the time was as a janitor for a private owned doctors office. On three occasions while emptying the trash in the phlebotomy room I almost got stuck, by used needles that were wrongly placed in the regular waste paper basket rather than in the plastic biohazard container where they belonged. On all three occasions I went off  on the doctors who ran the place to do something about it, but alas it happened again. That was NOT on any government agency to do anything about, it was on the doctors who ran that private practice to fix and they failed. See where I am going with this? Before we have the right to expect more from our elected officials who come from American families and American towns, we HAVE to be able to expect better from ourselves, because “We The People of The United States of America” ARE the BOTTOM LINE, WE always have been.

Every election whether it is treated like UFC 200 Main event, like this last one was or not, is ripe with ads where candidates talk about what they believe and other politicians with known faces come on there and talk about how much this person or that person cares for our nation and it’s people and it is all to the inspirational and patriotic orchestra music playing in the back ground. I swear I don’t think I have seen a single profession where more people go out of their way to create larger than life personas to get the support of people than politics….. Oh wait a minute, professional wrestling comes to mind. With this being the case how can the people hope to believe that they can do as much for themselves as these shiny golden gods of Olympus that we feel the need to punch a ticket for once every four years? Well let me challenge you with a little piece of history that took place here in 2016 amid the desperate struggle for presidency. You might have seen me post here about a movement called Rise which was founded in the interest of protecting the rights of rape victims. The movement gained such support from people in general that they created an Act to take to the federal government to get passed into law. Now the fore runner of this group is a 24 year old girl named Amanda Ngyun and from start to finish the Act she took to Washington, with the backing of her supporters, went through each section of government with UNANIMOUS votes and government support. A girl, backed by the people, a girl twelve years too young to even be able to run for President of the United States, by law and without a political title of her own, did more to cut through the same old partisan politics that have been a stopper to many things attempted for the common good of the people than ANY president has been able to do for decades. We have power. Our problem comes from either not knowing how to use that power, or simply not believing that we have it in the first place.

Now before I close this out to the appearance of being just another know it all who specializes in complaining about an issue rather than trying to come up with a way to fix it, I want to revisit a point I made in one of my earlier entries. I talked a lot about my time living on a river bank in the small town of Marmet in West Virginia after my divorce. In that time I met many challenges. No room in shelters. No transportation other than walking because I had to keep every penny I found for things like water especially because this was in June of 2014. When you are placed in this type of situation, you have a choice to make. You can either cave to the despair that every single one of the numerous set backs cause, or you can really take stock of what is creating the issue, why some of these programs do not work, or do not work to the degree needed to really move towards solving homelessness as a problem. In the process of documenting my every move via Facebook I really was able to look at the situation and say. PROBLEM: I don’t have transportation, but I have to go to multiple places, JUST to get an idea of what all is out there that can help me get through this and come back into being a productive member of society, I then have X number of places that need to go to just to get the ball rolling. I have five days a week that any of these places are open to make use of them. THIS IS DOUBLE THE LEG WORK, DOUBLE THE TIME, and being on the streets, is no different than any survival situation where time is of the essence. SOLUTION: An easy fix would be to inform and provide the information to all of these programs to all of these organizations, since they are all essentially there to fix the same problem. What this would allow to happen is for someone of limited transportation to only have to go to one place in order to get informed themselves of all that is out there to aid them and cut down the leg work through giving them the tools to figure out a plan of action rather than go off of trial and error. I bring this up, because I believe that if we collectively had this same type of mentality, we would find that there really is so much more that we can do towards fixing our problems ourselves, instead of relying so heavily on elected officials just to turn around and blame them for EVERYTHING. And truthfully, if you are already feeling the negative effects of something that you are complaining about, then it stands the reason that you are already in that mess and it really will not take anymore of your time to examine it and see exactly where the problem is occurring and have an idea that can be shared on how that problem can be reduced if not eliminated. In short as a former president once said. “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”