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Friday, October 21, 2016

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Given the GOP’s obsession with making health care decisions for girls and women, you may have wondered how any self-respecting physician could identify with the Republican Party.

Rep. Doug Cox (R-OK) is wondering the same thing. Responding to legislation that would deny poor women contraception that would prevent abortions, Cox, a doctor, decided that he had to speak out in a letter to the The Oklahoman:

All of the new Oklahoma laws aimed at limiting abortion and contraception are great for the Republican family that lives in a gingerbread house with a two-car garage, two planned kids and a dog. In the real world, they are less than perfect.

As a practicing physician (who never has or will perform an abortion), I deal with the real world. In the real world, 15- and 16-year-olds get pregnant (sadly, 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds do also). In the real world, 62 percent of women ages 20 to 24 who give birth are unmarried. And in the world I work and live in, an unplanned pregnancy can throw up a real roadblock on a woman’s path to escaping the shackles of poverty.

Yet I cannot convince my Republican colleagues that one of the best ways to eliminate abortions is to ensure access to contraception. A recent attempt by my fellow lawmakers to prevent Medicaid dollars from covering the “morning after” pill is a case in point. Denying access to this important contraceptive is a sure way to increase legal and back-alley abortions. Moreover, such a law would discriminate against low-income women who depend on Medicaid for their health care.

Is my thinking too clouded by my experiences in the real world? Experiences like having a preacher, in the privacy of an exam room say, “Doc, you have heard me preach against abortion but now my 15-year-old daughter is pregnant, where can I send her?” Or maybe it was that 17-year-old foreign exchange student who said, “I really made a mistake last night. Can you prescribe a morning-after pill for me? If I return to my home country pregnant, life as I know it will be over.”

What happened to the Republican Party that felt that the government has no business being in an exam room, standing between me and my patient? Where did the party go that felt some decisions in a woman’s life should be made not by legislators and government, but rather by the women, her conscience, her doctor and her God?

ThinkProgress points out that Cox has a history of speaking out about his party’s policies that encourage back-alley abortions and a recent winner of Planned Parenthood’s Barry Goldwater Award.

The doctor recently suggested that his views aren’t so unpopular with Republicans in private.

“I have people who tell me they feel the way I do, but are afraid to vote the way I do,” he said.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • well, conflict in policies, like that of opposing abortion but denying contraception, has never seemed to bother a fair number of politicians attempting to legislate outside their areas of expertise. In my field of education we have people lamenting the dropout crisis at the same time they want to raise the bars for promotion and graduation – oh, and like with women’s health where they want to deny coverage for contraception under Medicaid, these same politicians want to cut spending on public schools, increase class sizes, eliminate electives, increase high stakes testing – and then they are going to complain that students drop out, that they do not learn well.

    • h4x354x0r

      Extremely well said! It almost seems to be the ‘conservative’ mantra that anything people aren’t really doing enough of (i.e. contraception, education), the solution is to make it harder for those people to access those services. “Raise the bar” indeed. And then, blame everyone and everything else when this tactic predictably fails.

      The pound of cure becomes a real and tangible liability if the ounce of prevention is not given, no matter how righteously anyone feels about it.

    • RobertCHastings

      And several states are now in the process of increasing the mandatory attendance age from 16 to 18. So, we will end up with students in the classroom who would rather have dropped out two years ago and look for a job. Thus, the classroom size is increased, and the classrooms are filled with people who don’t want to be there. What sort of “order” does that lead to?

  • Brian Maffett

    Seems like the good doctor is a “RINO!”

    • jmprint

      What’s is a RINO? Is the definition: A person with common sense?

      • ralphkr

        Your definition of RINO is excellent is basically true. It stands for Republican In Name Only which equals someone with enough sense to not swallow the Republican corrosive KoolAde. The same way the Dixiecrats were DINOs (Democrat In Name Only) because they were actually racist Republicans who had to adopt the Democratic name to be elected in the South.

        • RobertCHastings

          Nicely put.

          • Brian Maffett

            For a psychopath you mean?

          • RobertCHastings

            Accustomed to shooting from the lip? RINO = Republican In Name Only, which has become the insult of choice thrown at people like Chris Christie by the Tea Party. Christie’s credentials show him to be a good Republican, with traditional Republican values. This is NOT appealing to the Tea Party, who seem to now control the Republican Party.

          • Brian Maffett

            Well at the risk of stating the painfully obvious. All political parties have wings, groups, factions, activists and supporters. Unlike Europe. Our parties are by comparison big tent affairs.
            Many Americans find “Core Democrat Constituencies” just as troubling a threat( If not a malignant cancer on the democratic process) as some find the Tea Party. Plainly as recent national polls have shown. When one in four Democrat voters think the Tea Party is a greater threat to the national security than Al Qaeda clearly there is some thing terribly perverse even deranged about a large part of the democrat electorate. I think this speaks to the whole sale takeover of the party by those who adhere to even champion a leftish “Identity/grievance” politic. As a wise man once said: Ignorance and want are forever busy and need feeding.

          • RobertCHastings

            Have you read the National Memo article on which this discussion is based? The good doctor who wrote the letter which resulted in the article has been a life-long Republican, sharing the values of that Party throughout his entire adult life. There are core values that motivate the majority of individuals on both sides of the aisle, and among those values are an intrinsic belief in the value of human life. As the doctor states in his letter, apparently some of his Republican associates no longer hold that basic value. Another very basic attribute of the Republican Party has been to keep the government out of an individual’s private and personal life. This is also another area in which the current incarnation of the Republican Party is no longer that of our fathers. When religious beliefs intrude upon political decisions, a country is well on its way to becoming a theocracy, something abhorred and feared by ALL of the nation’s founders, liberal or conservative, and justly abhorred by modern Americans, especially in light of Iran, al Qaeda, the Taliban, etc. I personally do not hold the same convictions as Rick Santorum or others who support him, nor do I adhere to the same economic principles as Paul Ryan. I DO, however, accept their right to present their policies in the public forum and have them fairly considered and subjected to an electoral process to determine the will of those who will be governed under those principles,and it has been the experience of this country over the past decades that we do not, as a majority, support their views. As the Tea Party refuses to accept the rule of the majority, I think that many Americans who may have once supported them are becoming disenchanted with them. We do not live in Europe,nor are we governed under a European system, although sometimes it does appear to be a system that would FORCE compromise.

          • Brian Maffett

            “As the Tea Party refuses to accept the rule of the majority”

            Liberals progressives and the left are in no position whatever when it comes to lecturing others about respecting majority rule or the democratic process. Indeed the current messianic sword wielding liberating christ like crusading Che Guevara figure occupant of the white house and his worshipful band of mind numbed virtual automatons have habitually treated the constitution and laws alternately as props or trifling annoyances..Pesky little things to be ingored,, worked around, undermined or just plain systematically eviserated by degrees over time. (I’m pressed for time now so this is not a full response, more later…..sorry

          • RobertCHastings

            Sorry you have such a warped view of this country and its leader. Che Guevara, really? Wow, you have really got to get a life.

          • Brian Maffett

            Already have a great life and rational real world view of the country. (not that it’s any of your concern.) I think The horrible reality that is Obama, liberals, progressives and the left is the problem for many. I talk about serious real world politics. I rather suspect yours is geared to fantasy and wee pretend.

          • RobertCHastings

            please refer to previous post, in spades.

        • Brian Maffett

          See above comment.

      • plc97477

        Just a republican with common sense. Not really all that common.

      • Brian Maffett

        What is a RINO? Is the definition: A person with common sense?
        Banal to the point of jejune. Have you anything original or do you just parrot and regurgitate?

        • jmprint

          A little behind on your reading I see! I said exactly what I meant to say, it was original. GOP educated and NO COMMEN SENSE? Are you one of them?

          • Brian Maffett

            I’m guilty of tardy reading it’s true. I don’t frequent Disqus. No offense intended ole boy, just been one of those days. I had the urge to draw and discharge a round or two. Sometimes you just got to get folks to know your intentions is serious. Best of luck.

  • sherrynport woods

    Forcing young women to have children is the best way to
    ensure minimum wage slaves for the multinational corporations.

    • Melda Page

      And for punishing women for being women–right out of the Bible.

    • darkagesbegin

      You got that right. In fact, most of society’s ills that conservatives complain about could be well on their way to being cured if everyone made enough to live on doing full time work. To me, the disintegration of the nuclear family can be traced back to keeping wages artificially low and uncertainty in employment.

      yes, there would still be a few criminals and whatnot, but the vast majority of people want a decent, secure living through adequate wages. give people the security of a living wage and a lot of society’s ills would be mitigated.

      • RobertCHastings

        About twelve years ago, before 9/11, President George W Bush met with a group of world leaders in Monterey, Mexico. The purpose of the meeting was to determine the root causes of poverty in this world and come up with some solutions. Among those solutions was a promise by President George W Bush to commit 7/10 of one percent of the US GDP to an international war on poverty, a promise which was never fulfilled, and which led to greater poverty around the world. It is hard to believe that this country could not manage to follow through on such a promise, knowing such a small investment would make life better for BILLIONS of the impoverished around the world. Poverty is one of the basic causes of international tensions, especially in places like the Middle East where the majority of young men from teenagers into their mid-20s do not have jobs. These young men have nothing to live for, and it is understandable how it is easy for them to find something to die for. Poverty is rampant in Gaza and The West Bank, where Palestinians are under military and economic control of Israel – had poverty issues been dealt with 12 years ago, I will not say that 9/11 would not have happened because it was already in the planning stages, the basic issues that have (and will) kept us embroiled in the Middle East will not be resolved.
        However, we have, today, 15 million children who will go to bed hungry tonight, in THIS country. We have approximately 50 million individuals in THIS country living in poverty. We have tens of thousands of military personnel and their families in THIS country living in poverty. We have millions in THIS country who are not making enough to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical care for their families.
        Pardon my French, but f–k the Republican party.

        • plc97477

          I like you french.

        • LotusJoan

          It accounts for a lot of the tensions here as well. It would cost each of us on average +$.46 to have the second largest employer in American, Wal Mart, pay a living wage. +$.46 on your weekly shopping and you help support working families with dignity. Or you can continue to subsidize Wal Mart employment policies thru food stamps, school lunchs …..

          • RobertCHastings

            Sounds reasonable to me. Through civil disobedience and non-violence, the Occupy Wall Street Movement got a lot of attention. When folks unite in a common cause (like boycotts) things CAN get done. I don’t shop much at Wal Mart, because so much of their crap is from China.

          • Clint

            Where did that number come from?

          • LotusJoan

            A 2011 study from UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education found that if Walmart raised its minimum wage to $12 — an increase of $1,670 to $6,500 per year per employee – and passed the entire cost of the hike on to consumers, the result would be an increase of 1.1 percent in prices. Walmart’s prices are reportedly about 15 percent below its competitors’. This is not the exact article I got the .46$ from – articles about how little it would cost if Wal Mart paid a living wage abound.

        • Well said

  • jmprint

    I wonder what they are afraid of. Could it be: Donations form the rich, saving face with the tea baggers, or afraid the strings will break and they won’t be front line puppeteers?

  • Leota2

    So basically the doctor has said what we’ve all known for a long time. Those conservative republicans who are all up in women’s uteruses do what they have to do if the women are in their family. And most of them are just cowardly sheep.
    Got it.

  • RobertCHastings

    Sounds like one Republican I could vote for, as long as he was willing to get up one a debate stage and make precisely those views known. While the good doctor may dearly love the Republican party, I feel he will soon be joining the ever-burgeoning ranks of those who are understanding that today’s Republican party is NOT the Republican party of their fathers’.

    • GrannyKits

      What this country really needs is a VIABLE third party. A Republican with one or more “reasonable” views will not change the votes that end up being passed or, more often, obstructed by the rest of the party.

      • RobertCHastings

        I agree with you in part. I think what we need is a multi-party system in which whoever wins the major elections MUST form a coalition in order to obtain a majority, as with the Parliamentary system in many of our European allies and Israel. There are entirely too many viewpoints to be adequately expressed in just two parties.

  • howa4x

    The tea party and republicans scream tyranny about the government forcing them to be responsible adults and buy health insurance yet they turn around and think they have a moral right to legislate against the privacy of women. Somehow they feel women should have no rights to determine her sexual future, and rigidly only will accept abstinence as the only acceptable way for young people to conduct themselves. This position is why they continue to fail to capture the female vote. It is not only their stand about abortion that bothers everyone but why be against contraception? Not only can you prevent unwanted pregnancy but also STD’s. What also bothers me is that republicans make laws to have young women go to term on their babies but then immediately cut the social net that supports them. Most young single mothers end up in poverty. They the tealiban want to keep tax cuts for corporate jets but want to cut head start where these poorer kids get fed. So they want to support the rich while taking food out of children’s mouths and then say they are followers of Jesus. Really!! What text are they reading? Probably one that was written by Ayn Rand.

    • 4sanity4all

      The contradictions you have pointed out could only be accepted by the illiterate people that received an inferior education in a red state.

      • howa4x

        Isn’t it amazing??

    • plc97477

      Ayn Rand the atheist.

    • drurichman
      • howa4x

        great site

    • Geraldine McBarker

      women will not have rights to their sexual future as long as men can impregnate them with impunity. How is a 12,13,14 year old girl “choosing” to have sex? I don’t believe it.

  • Burzghash

    Republicans not living in actual reality has been their primary problem for years now.

  • cr0ft

    He should just join the Democratic party. They’ve moved quite a ways right in latter years, so it should be comfortable fit for a moderate Republican. It’s the actual liberals that no longer have anywhere to go.

    • wildclover

      I’m expecting an implosion of the republicans, splitting and having the Tea Party/libertarians take it over in total, while any moderates left switch to democrat if they need to run for office while the more left wing dems desert to the Green party and make that viable in elections. Or maybe someone will revive the Whigs or Bull Moose party 🙂

  • plc97477

    One thing we need to see is that not all girls have a picture perfect family. What does that young girl do who is pregnant by her mothers boyfriend who raped her and “mommy” refuses to acknowledge it because then she would have to kick the jerk out of her life? We need to realize that there are other situations for some young girls.

  • demhack

    I’ve never heard a Republican politician come out against Birth Control. I have heard them say that their is no reason why taxpayers should pay for their immorality. What’s next the taxpayers paying for 6 packs and a bottle of wine for those still in HS??

    • GrannyKits

      Memories seem to be really short on the Republican side! Rick Santorum, for one, advocated against all birth controll while running for president.

      • exactly. He also said ‘ under no circumstances for abortion’.

    • LotusJoan

      Are you deaf, poor dear. Open a web browser and type in Republicans and the Affordable Care Act, Republicans and birth control. Your hearing is an inadequte criteria for truth, just because you did not “hear it” , does not mean it did not happen.
      Immorality – so every woman who does not want sex to end in childbirth is having immoral sex? Wow and here I was told it was ok as long as you were married. Since when do we legislate immorality? Who gets to deceided what is immoral – you?

      • RobertCHastings

        kudos for you, dear! However, let us remember one very important period of American history – Prohibition. Our attempt to legislate morality in that case was shown to be detrimental on so many levels that within a few short years the same majority that adopted it repealed it. We are today facing the same issues regarding the “War on Drugs”, as well as the issues of voter registration, birth control, etc., etc., etc. Medical care is an entirely different can of worms. The only morality guiding this issue is the immorality of poverty.

    • wake up.

      Where have you been?

      That is a main part of their platform “no abortion, no contraceptives, no planned parenthood’. The live and breathe it everyday and almost every sentence.
      Remember comdoms not only prevent children, but they also help to prevent Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C (no cure), HPV, and HIV which causes AIDS.
      People in menopause use the pill to level their hormones. Still against the pill?

      Rick santorum says ‘it is harmful to women and society’ (link cut paste)

  • Allan Richardson

    I remember an old joke that is relevant: a legislator in some unnamed state was listening to the debate on some other subject when his aide came down the aisle and whispered in his ear, “Sir, Dr. X wants to know what you are going to do about the abortion bill.” The legislator angrily whispered back, “Tell the SOB I’ll pay him next Monday!”

  • tomt45

    i liked nixon’s ‘well i’m not a crook’ speech..

    aka his resignation …

  • N.A.I. Multimedia

    Last year Liberals said they had to be all up in your health care because they knew what was better for you and the conservatives screamed “stay away from our civil liberties!”, this year the Conservatives are all up in your health care because they know whats better for you and the liberals are screaming “stay away from our civil liberties!” all I can do is shake my head at everyone. “”Given the GOP’s obsession with making health care decisions for girls and women, you may have wondered how any self-respecting physician could identify with the Republican Party.” No Liberal has a right to even say this IMHO, its hypocrisy. The left wanted government in health care, and now they are getting exactly that. Irony is a bitch.

  • Simple. (paying means either directly or insurance coverage) they don’t want to pay for condoms, that prevents the preg from even starting and also prevents many diseases. They don’t want to pay for birth control that also prevents the preg from starting. They don’t want to pay for the morning after pill even though the persons may be on the pill and it didn’t work and/or condom broke.
    Then don’t want to have an abortion, no matter what.
    So you end up with an unwanted child.
    No assistance in food (WIC program cuts and food stamps). No health care assistance for you or the child.
    How does a new mother hold her job and take care of a child at the same time?
    Now the child has its turn at life starting with being unwanted and possibly poor parents.
    Doesn’t want to pay for preschool to kickstart a good education. In Jr High, require kids to pray and say pledge of allegiance but don’t speak of preventions in education. Erases funding for planned parenthood for them either so they don’t learn about safe sex, etc.
    Cuts school funding at every turn, to ensure kids don’t get the best education.
    Eliminate college scholarships and raise the interest rates on college loans so that only a select rich few can attend. Now the adult is primed to either be so uneducated that they also get pregnant, or just can’t escape the revolving door of poverty.

    The original parent still struggles to get enough money to stay afloat. (Children are expensive).

    Ghee, what a plan.

    But now that they turn to crime to make ends meet, lets put them in the jail and pay $56,000 per year to house them, or if things go worse, they can put them on death row awaiting a table and needle.

    Can’t kill a fetus, must wait until it is fully grown and has suffered all its life destined for that table.

    Now as an adult… it all starts over again and again.