Friday, March 16, 2012

Peas and Cookies

Yesterday began here: Texas Loses Entire Women's Health Program
And here's where we are today: Texas Sues Obama Administration

So, let me get this straight.

Rick Perry LIKES getting federal funding for women's health care, as long as he can tell you where to go and how exactly to use said money. He absolutely opposes the idea of Planned Parenthood, simply because these clinics offer abortion services - and neglects to note the other invaluable services that they provide

It is disgusting to me that any government is willing to use its citizens as pawns in a political fight.

I am not applauding what the Obama administration has done, by any means. Nor am I applauding what the state of Texas has done. Rick Perry was playing a dirty game and got caught, so the federal government wants to teach him a lesson (more or less). But what both parties fail to see is the astounding number of innocent women who are now up shit creek without a paddle with regards to affordable health care in the state of Texas. Health care is not a game, gentlemen.

Indulge me for a moment.

Forgive the bad analogy, but it reminds me of being a little kid at the dinner table: you sit down to eat, in front of a plate full of vegetables. You KNOW that Mom always makes dessert, and you know that in order to always get dessert, you have to eat everything on your plate - But Mom and Dad are busy talking, and you start to realize that the family dog doesn't expect dessert - and, in fact, the family dog will EAT YOUR PEAS, no questions asked. So you start slipping the peas to Rover when Mom isn't looking. One by one, they start to disappear from your plate, and those fresh chocolate chip cookies are inching ever closer to your wide-eyed little face. But Mom isn't as dumb as you'd like to think, and notices that not only have you NOT touched anything on your dinner plate that you normally devour, but the pile of peas (which you whine about, daily) is almost gone. She's onto you. She banishes Rover from the kitchen, and replenishes the tiny green mountain on your plate.

Then, the ultimatum: "Lindsey, you need to finish EVERYTHING on your plate before you can have dessert. If I catch you feeding peas to the dog one more time, then you're going to bed without dinner, AND without dessert."

There is a moment of indecision.

You really hate those god-damned peas.

But your belly is rumbling, and Mom makes killer macaroni and cheese.

Mashing everything together is out of the question, because try as you might, you can still taste the peas.

You could eat everything else first and then complain about being too full to finish the peas, but then Mom won't give you dessert.

Meanwhile, Rover has crept back into the kitchen, and his head is resting ever-so-lightly on your little knee.

This is where you get sneaky.

You accept the re-filled plate of veggies from Mom.

She is watching you like a hawk.

You pierce a pea with the tine of your fork. Bring it to your lips. Chew. Make an obnoxious show of gagging and choking. Wash, rinse, repeat.

You do this maybe 3 or 4 times, making the show more and more obnoxious as each pea makes its way toward your belly. Eventually, you abandon the pea pile and move on to the more interesting parts of your plate - the macaroni and cheese, the fresh fruit, the steamed carrots. Again - you eat the interesting bits in teeny tiny forkfuls, making sure that Mom hears just how delicious THESE parts of dinner are.

Mom points out that you haven't finished your peas.

"They make me sick, Mom," says little you. "They make me gag, and they make me feel like I'm going to throw up."

Before your brain registers what has happened, you suddenly find yourself alone in your bedroom, with a mostly empty stomach, and more importantly, without dessert.

Like I said, it's a bad analogy. But I used to do that all the time when I was a kid, and parts of it resonate with the whole Texas situation.

Texas gets funding for women's health, but Rick Perry doesn't support it going toward helping Planned Parenthood, because PP offers (among many MANY other necessary services), abortion procedures. So the Texas Legislature passes a law that bans funding for clinics affiliated with abortion providers, even if it effects services that aren't abortions. The government says that this is illegal, and that it directly violates the rules governing Medicaid and a woman's right to choose (relating to which clinic she wants to go to). So they vote to cease funding altogether. Now, Rick Perry is angry - you can't restrict funding for things you don't support when ALL of the funding is now gone.

Looks like someone else is going to bed without dinner and cookies, too.

(Again, please note that I am NOT in any way condoning the actions of either side. What AM doing, however, is encouraging women everywhere to fight back. And if I have to rile you up to do it, then so be it.)

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