April 27, 2011, 11:00am

By Ruth Gadebusch – LiberalOpinion.com

What is it about female reproductive organs that blots the rest of the body from the sight of members of Congress? There is a whole body just as with men.

We are yet to see some section of a male’s body singled out for punitive treatment as if that were the only part that mattered. No one has decided that hospitals can ignore a man’s injury because it is in a particular part of the body that they don’t want to treat. Why should women be so punished? Why should a fetus life be more important than that of the woman bearing it?

While it has long been known that some hospitals had turned away women needing an abortion even when a life or death matter, it has never before been legitimized. At this writing there is a bill before the Congress allowing—perhaps thereby encouraging—hospitals to do just that.

Then there is the matter of health insurance for women. All manner of restrictions are proposed for women’s policies, even to the point of penalizing firms that would provide insurance that might cover an abortion. Such provisions would make it almost impossible for women to get health coverage at all. There would be great fear of almost any treatment being somehow connected to the reproductive organs and the possibility, no matter how slight, of somehow, someway harming a fetus, thus engendering a penalty.
Not satisfied with after conception care, or no care as the case may be, there is legislation that would severely limit birth control information and services. Focused mainly on Planned Parenthood such legislation would take us back to the dark times when Margaret Sanger paid such a high price for her efforts to eliminate restrictions on family planning.

A total lack of understanding is exhibited in cutting funds for Planned Parenthood. The proponents of such legislation either don’t know, or don’t care, that Planned Parenthood’s major role is in general health care. It is the only available health care for thousands, including males.

As well as providing for health care, it is an educational institution advocating for responsible sex. With schools so limited in what they are allowed to teach on the subject and many families failing to talk with their children it often provides the only education available on matters of sex. In short, it is ever so much more than abortion. Actually, the latter is only a small fraction of its work and done entirely with private funds. There is already law prohibiting the use of public funds for abortion so the proposed legislation is overkill.

In their zeal to prevent a single abortion occurring anywhere in the world, these short sighted, limited vision members of Congress would close down the federal government, even paychecks for our military whom they ostensibly support so fully.
Speaking of the military, maybe these folk so obsessed with abortion will think a bit differently when they learn of some of the latest injuries from improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan. The Los Angeles Times reports that not only have amputations increased astronomically in the last year but genital injuries have more than doubled. If I may be so blunt as to suggest it, this nation has generally had a different attitude when it comes to male reproductive health compared to that for women. Remember when Viagra was covered by insurance but birth control for women was not? That double standard still prevails in many ways. Considering some of their well known sexual peccadilloes, I find it particularly galling to have some of these characters telling women what to do.

It is time to recognize women as responsible humans fully able to make serious decisions regarding our health care. Insurance should be available under exactly the conditions as that of males. Congress truly has more pressing matters than relegating women to second-class by interfering in our health care. Women are adults who have the right to control our own medical care including reproductive aspects. Only then will we be full-fledged citizens.