Fictional ban on interracial unions and abortion in America 2049 becoming all too real today

From our Restore Fairness blog-

Games, it turns out, imitate life — sometimes eerily so — just as history so often threatens to repeat itself. This week, Breakthrough’s ongoing Facebook gaming event, America 2049, tackles two major issues that become linked within the narrative of the game: interracial unions and abortion. During gameplay, players encounter the story of Bonnie, a privileged white Southern woman who is pregnant with the child of a black man: the product, that is, of an illegal relationship. But that’s not the only reason she’s in hiding; she’s also at risk of being forced to abort her baby as a “mercy” (”A baby like that wouldn’t know who its own kind is,” her father says), even though abortion too is illegal in this scenario. That’s where class comes in, too: it’s made clear that while families like hers have access to skilled abortion care, women less fortunate — and forced to seek out back-alley providers — die at a rate of 180,000 per year.

Sounds a lot like our pre-Roe v. Wade past, but also, more and more, like our near future. Last month, a Public Policy Polling survey (PDF) found that a majority of Republican voters in Mississippi would support a ban on interracial marriage. Meanwhile, on May 4, all House Republicans and 16 Democrats voted to pass H.R.3, the so-called “No Tax Payer Funding for Abortion Act,” which Ms. Magazine has called “misleading and punitive.” (For one thing, there is no federal funding of abortion.)

The bill will now go to the Senate, which is Democrat-controlled, leading many to believe that it will likely not pass. The Obama administration has also promised to veto the bill if it comes across the President’s desk.

The Mississippi poll results and the H.R.3 passage in the House happened independently, but their timing is apt. The scenario explored in America 2049 connects back to our country’s history of anti-miscegenation laws, which were not repealed until 1967. The story of Bonnie, the character in the game, echoes that of an interracial married couple Richard and Mildred Loving, whose fight for equality led to the historic 1967 decision to legalize interracial unions.

The Lovings are the subject of the new documentary The Loving Story that screened recently at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and will air on HBO in February 2012. Richard Loving, a white man, met Mildred Jeter, a woman of African and Native American ancestry, in 1951 in a small town in Virginia. When Mildred was 18, she became pregnant. She and Richard went to nearby Washington, D.C. and got married, since Virginia laws at the time prohibited interracial marriage. A few weeks later, back in Virginia, the Lovings were arrested for their union and banished from the state for 25 years. The Lovings reached out to legislators and advocates in Washington, D.C. and, after a long fight, they won their right to be together. On June 12, 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all remaining state anti-miscegenation laws and the Lovings returned to Virginia to live out the rest of their lives. The anniversary of the date, June 12, is now celebrated as “Loving Day“ by some interracial couples and increasing numbers of same-sex couples, who are currently fighting for their own right to marry.

Watch a testimonial by Bonnie, a character in America 2049, who speaks about the danger she is in for being in an interracial relationship and being pregnant with an interracial child.

The right to choose whom to love or marry; the right to control one’s body and future: they’re intimately linked. And at present — with H.R.3 only one of numerous legislative attacks on women’s human rights today — the latter truly hangs in the balance.

As Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, commented:

”True to form, the House majority has cast a wide net in its attack on women’s health and rights — this time, trying to use the tax code to eradicate all insurance coverage for abortion. This move is the height of hypocrisy, because politicians who regularly rail against big government today voted to raise taxes on millions of families and small businesses — merely to stop them from purchasing insurance plans that cover abortion.”

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, added:

”Despite facing intense public backlash for bringing the government to the brink of shutdown over defunding Planned Parenthood, Speaker Boehner and his allies have resumed their war on women with the passage of H.R.3. This bill is so extreme that it manipulates the tax code to advance anti-choice policies and could spur the IRS to audit rape and incest survivors who choose abortion care.”

The H.R.3 bill also affects the rights of physicians and their freedom to properly care for their patients. While women’s rights are greatly affected by this potential piece of legislation, the providers who would administer the abortions safely will be even more restricted and possibly at greater risk. The Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH) is one such group of providers who have committed to providing reproductive medical care, especially to those who with limited financial means. The organization supports the right of their doctors to deliver such care without becoming a target. Last night in New York, the PRCH Abortion Provider Awards recognized the dedication, compassion and tenacity of Dr. Eleanor Drey and Dr. Curtis Boyd. Said Dr. Boyd: “We are now facing the most repressive and aggressive legislation against women that we’ve seen since the 1950s.” How will we treat women and families of all sorts in the 2050s? You decide.

Photo courtesy of america2049.com

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Weekly Pulse: Arrests over the Ryan Plan, and the GOP’s Kinder, Gentler Medicaid Cuts

 


By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger

This week marks the final edition of the Weekly Pulse. I have been writing the newsletter since 2008 and it has certainly been an exciting time to be covering health care in the United States. Thanks to all the Media Consortium journalists whose work I’ve featured over the years, and thanks to our loyal readers, tipsters, Tweeters, and Facebook fans.

As the Pulse winds down, we look ahead to some of the most pressing health care issues facing the nation: The Republican war on Medicare and Medicaid and the anti-choice onslaught.

89 arrested over Ryan plan

Eighty-nine disability activists were arrested following their occupation of the Cannon House Office Building rotunda, Alison Kilkenny reports in The Nation:

The disability rights group ADAPT staged the event to protest Representative Paul Ryan’s Medicaid cuts, which would force people with disabilities to live in nursing homes rather than in their own houses.

Additionally, the House-passed budget resolution would turn Medicaid into block grants and reduce the program’s spending by more than $700 billion over ten years.

Suzy Khimm of Mother Jones reports that the Republicans in Congress are putting forward some “kinder, gentler” proposed Medicaid cuts in the hopes that these less extreme proposals will have a better chance of passing that the more extreme cuts Ryan has been touting.

Kinder and gentler by Republican standards is still pretty radical. Republicans in both houses of Congress introduced bills that would make it easier for states to kick people off of Medicaid or erect new barriers to entry. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) claims that “only” 300,000 patients would be kicked off Medicaid rolls under his proposal, many fewer than those would be under the Ryan plan. Gingrey, however, admitted that he didn’t have an independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score to back up his claim.

The war on choice

Sadie Doyle of In These Times takes a closer look at proposed legislation in Ohio that bans abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detectable:

Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill” is part of a barrage of anti-choice legislation designed to circumvent the fact that abortion is legal by making it nearly impossible to obtain one. But, whereas other bills focus on cutting funding or creating obstacles to abortion, H.B. 125 takes a relatively new tactic: It aims to ban abortions outright if the fetus has a detectable heartbeat—which happens at around six weeks, before many women even realize they’re pregnant.

This bill is one of hundreds of pieces of anti-choice legislation percolating at the state level. Many of these bills seem deliberately engineered to provoke a challenge to Roe v. Wade. Anti-choicers seem eager to get their challenge to the Supreme Court as soon as possible, before Obama can appoint any more justices.

Meet the H.R. 3 ten

At RH Reality Check, Sarah Jaffe introduces us to another one of the 10 Democrats who co-sponsored the so-called “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV). The bill, H.R. 3 would effectively end private abortion insurance coverage in the United States by imposing such onerous bureaucratic regulations on insurers that they would more likely to drop abortion coverage altogether rather than comply.

Michigan vs. teen moms

Pregnant teenagers are bearing the brunt of Michigan’s draconian new “fiscal martial law” bill that authorizes cities to appoint emergency managers with sweeping powers to take over cash-strapped cities, towns, and school boards. Students at the Catherine Ferguson Academy, a high school for expectant mothers, were arrested and manhandled by police as they protested the impending closure of their school.

Amanda Marcotte writes in AlterNet that the move to close the academy epitomizes the contemptuous attitude that so many conservative anti-choicers have toward teen girls who choose to give birth:

The imminent shut down of Catherine Ferguson demonstrates the emptiness of Republican claims that they oppose reproductive rights because they value life.  Instead, Republican policies are rooted in a sadistic desire to punish and control, and to deprive women—especially young women, poor women, and women of color—of any opportunities whatsoever.

Archives from The Weekly Pulse can be found here and will remain posted at this site. If you’d like see more top news and headlines from independent media outlets, please follow us on Twitter, or fan The Media Consortium on Facebook.

 

Married Women Abort for Secret Desire to Make Lesbians Equal

As a former Virginian, I’m all too aware of the asshatery that is Pat Robertson. I once lived a short distance from his colonial palace cum religious law school and occasionally saw some of his on-air “journalists” at the local Farm Fresh. I knew of him when Jim and Tammy Bakker were still producing a kids show starring gospel-spewing puppets (real puppets, not the marionettes that watch CBN). And I’ve followed his frightening career as he prayed away hurricanes and claimed the storms were God’s vengeance on Walt Disney World’s Gay Days.

His latest crusade against the Thundering Herd of Queerosity is a rip-roaring fantasy – aborting babies as a way to “level the playing field” for lesbians. He claims to speak directly with God on the celestial hotline daily, but this is more proof that God really should get a better PR man to service his temporal account.

As with all Robertsonian screeds, he fails in the simple logic his “God” bestowed on humans. Clearly the daily conversations with the Big Kahuna aren’t nearly often enough.

Ether of the Gods
In his latest jaunt into the non-secular ether – ether which is apparently copiously pumped into the CBN News set – he makes his case for how lesbians would be on a “level field” with straight women.

His level playing field theory is so weak because he is simply unable to step across the aisle to see that women are constitutionally supposed to be on a level playing field, much as the religious can’t be “demoted” because atheists think Christians aren’t worth of a half set of civil rights (I believe that’s the implicit 11th Commandment he’s following here).

Pinhead Pat also contends that, “If a woman is a lesbian, what advantage does she have over a married woman? Or what deficiency does she have?”

“Well, she can’t have children,” his animatronic co-host mews. Pat answers, “And so if these married women don’t have children, if they abort their babies, then that kind of puts them on a level playing field (with lesbians).

Pat buddy, it’s time for your birds and the bees talk. Let us break out our copy of Pat Has Two Mommies which we bought at the last Level Playing Field Bowl.

Your rambling analysis jumps to the conclusion that lesbians can’t have children – “Little Pat, pay attention! Both straight and lesbian women can have children. It happens every day. You really should get out more.”

Sapphic vs. Non-Sapphic Equality
And what’s up with this whole “abortion levels the playing field” concept? If a straight woman gets an abortion does she become a lesbian or a straight woman at 4th and 10 on the 20 yard line? If a lesbian aborts, does she become straight?

And, what’s on this “level playing field” anyway? Equal pay? The right to marry whoever she damn well pleases? Does it take an abortion to make the sapphic and non-sapphic equal in their right to get divorced?  And let’s not forget the gentlemen. If gay men get a geldingoscopy, do they turn straight, or is the other way around?

Just how many lesbians can dance on the tip of your pin head any way?

Pat, I know you’re terrified of many things in life, not the least of which are people who play for the other team. But dammit (Author’s note: The author was careful to adhere to the Third Commandment) Pat, if you’re going to love the sinner and hate the sin by hating both the sinner and the sin, get your story straight. Notwithstanding your belief in Creationism according to the Vlasic pickle stork, hire someone having a nodding acquaintance with the simple biology that deposited you here like a gay turd on our doorstep. It would be money well-spent. Unless, of course, God turns you into a lesbian to level the playing field.

Ouch! That WOULD be embarrassing, wouldn’t it?

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Married Women Abort for Secret Desire to Make Lesbians Equal

As a former Virginian, I’m all too aware of the asshatery that is Pat Robertson. I once lived a short distance from his colonial palace cum religious law school and occasionally saw some of his on-air “journalists” at the local Farm Fresh. I knew of him when Jim and Tammy Bakker were still producing a kids show starring gospel-spewing puppets (real puppets, not the marionettes that watch CBN). And I’ve followed his frightening career as he prayed away hurricanes and claimed the storms were God’s vengeance on Walt Disney World’s Gay Days.

His latest crusade against the Thundering Herd of Queerosity is a rip-roaring fantasy – aborting babies as a way to “level the playing field” for lesbians. He claims to speak directly with God on the celestial hotline daily, but this is more proof that God really should get a better PR man to service his temporal account.

As with all Robertsonian screeds, he fails in the simple logic his “God” bestowed on humans. Clearly the daily conversations with the Big Kahuna aren’t nearly often enough.

Ether of the Gods
In his latest jaunt into the non-secular ether – ether which is apparently copiously pumped into the CBN News set – he makes his case for how lesbians would be on a “level field” with straight women.

His level playing field theory is so weak because he is simply unable to step across the aisle to see that women are constitutionally supposed to be on a level playing field, much as the religious can’t be “demoted” because atheists think Christians aren’t worth of a half set of civil rights (I believe that’s the implicit 11th Commandment he’s following here).

Pinhead Pat also contends that, “If a woman is a lesbian, what advantage does she have over a married woman? Or what deficiency does she have?”

“Well, she can’t have children,” his animatronic co-host mews. Pat answers, “And so if these married women don’t have children, if they abort their babies, then that kind of puts them on a level playing field (with lesbians).

Pat buddy, it’s time for your birds and the bees talk. Let us break out our copy of Pat Has Two Mommies which we bought at the last Level Playing Field Bowl.

Your rambling analysis jumps to the conclusion that lesbians can’t have children – “Little Pat, pay attention! Both straight and lesbian women can have children. It happens every day. You really should get out more.”

Sapphic vs. Non-Sapphic Equality
And what’s up with this whole “abortion levels the playing field” concept? If a straight woman gets an abortion does she become a lesbian or a straight woman at 4th and 10 on the 20 yard line? If a lesbian aborts, does she become straight?

And, what’s on this “level playing field” anyway? Equal pay? The right to marry whoever she damn well pleases? Does it take an abortion to make the sapphic and non-sapphic equal in their right to get divorced?  And let’s not forget the gentlemen. If gay men get a geldingoscopy, do they turn straight, or is the other way around?

Just how many lesbians can dance on the tip of your pin head any way?

Pat, I know you’re terrified of many things in life, not the least of which are people who play for the other team. But dammit (Author’s note: The author was careful to adhere to the Third Commandment) Pat, if you’re going to love the sinner and hate the sin by hating both the sinner and the sin, get your story straight. Notwithstanding your belief in Creationism according to the Vlasic pickle stork, hire someone having a nodding acquaintance with the simple biology that deposited you here like a gay turd on our doorstep. It would be money well-spent. Unless, of course, God turns you into a lesbian to level the playing field.

Ouch! That WOULD be embarrassing, wouldn’t it?

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Married Women Abort for Secret Desire to Make Lesbians Equal

As a former Virginian, I’m all too aware of the asshatery that is Pat Robertson. I once lived a short distance from his colonial palace cum religious law school and occasionally saw some of his on-air “journalists” at the local Farm Fresh. I knew of him when Jim and Tammy Bakker were still producing a kids show starring gospel-spewing puppets (real puppets, not the marionettes that watch CBN). And I’ve followed his frightening career as he prayed away hurricanes and claimed the storms were God’s vengeance on Walt Disney World’s Gay Days.

His latest crusade against the Thundering Herd of Queerosity is a rip-roaring fantasy – aborting babies as a way to “level the playing field” for lesbians. He claims to speak directly with God on the celestial hotline daily, but this is more proof that God really should get a better PR man to service his temporal account.

As with all Robertsonian screeds, he fails in the simple logic his “God” bestowed on humans. Clearly the daily conversations with the Big Kahuna aren’t nearly often enough.

Ether of the Gods
In his latest jaunt into the non-secular ether – ether which is apparently copiously pumped into the CBN News set – he makes his case for how lesbians would be on a “level field” with straight women.

His level playing field theory is so weak because he is simply unable to step across the aisle to see that women are constitutionally supposed to be on a level playing field, much as the religious can’t be “demoted” because atheists think Christians aren’t worth of a half set of civil rights (I believe that’s the implicit 11th Commandment he’s following here).

Pinhead Pat also contends that, “If a woman is a lesbian, what advantage does she have over a married woman? Or what deficiency does she have?”

“Well, she can’t have children,” his animatronic co-host mews. Pat answers, “And so if these married women don’t have children, if they abort their babies, then that kind of puts them on a level playing field (with lesbians).

Pat buddy, it’s time for your birds and the bees talk. Let us break out our copy of Pat Has Two Mommies which we bought at the last Level Playing Field Bowl.

Your rambling analysis jumps to the conclusion that lesbians can’t have children – “Little Pat, pay attention! Both straight and lesbian women can have children. It happens every day. You really should get out more.”

Sapphic vs. Non-Sapphic Equality
And what’s up with this whole “abortion levels the playing field” concept? If a straight woman gets an abortion does she become a lesbian or a straight woman at 4th and 10 on the 20 yard line? If a lesbian aborts, does she become straight?

And, what’s on this “level playing field” anyway? Equal pay? The right to marry whoever she damn well pleases? Does it take an abortion to make the sapphic and non-sapphic equal in their right to get divorced?  And let’s not forget the gentlemen. If gay men get a geldingoscopy, do they turn straight, or is the other way around?

Just how many lesbians can dance on the tip of your pin head any way?

Pat, I know you’re terrified of many things in life, not the least of which are people who play for the other team. But dammit (Author’s note: The author was careful to adhere to the Third Commandment) Pat, if you’re going to love the sinner and hate the sin by hating both the sinner and the sin, get your story straight. Notwithstanding your belief in Creationism according to the Vlasic pickle stork, hire someone having a nodding acquaintance with the simple biology that deposited you here like a gay turd on our doorstep. It would be money well-spent. Unless, of course, God turns you into a lesbian to level the playing field.

Ouch! That WOULD be embarrassing, wouldn’t it?

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

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