Monday, June 07, 2010

Oklahoma Outrage and Rabbi Shmuley

Today I'm writing about two different things. A two-fer, if you will. Both are topics we should be speaking out about. But the first one? We should be SCREAMING about. 

I'm not a Power Blogger. I'm one small voice in this huge blogosphere, but if you feel as strongly about this issue I do, maybe you'll add your small voice. And, together, we can become one big vocal group. And our chorus of outrage will be heard.

This is Anti-family

I had an amniocentesis with my second and third pregnancies.

When I told people, or when they mentioned they were considering having one, I heard a lot of "Well, I would never have an abortion, so I don't need one."

As if the only reason you would have an amnio - or any prenatal testing - was with the intent to abort if something was wrong. It couldn't possibly be because you'd want to be prepared in the unthinkable event that something was, in fact, very wrong. You'd want to research, line up help for after delivery, find what resources are available, re-imagine what your life - or your baby's life - will be.

Yes, and maybe you'd decide to end the pregnancy. But maybe you wouldn't.

What you WOULD want is as much information possible to make an informed decision. If you live in Oklahoma, though, that's not what would happen. Because state legislators voted that a doctor cannot be sued if he or she decides not to tell a woman the baby she carries has a birth defect. That means, a doctor can lie to his patient and her partner about the health of her baby if the doctor thinks the results of prenatal testing will cause her to consider abortion.

The vote overrode Gov. Brad Henry's veto of this law, and while they were on a roll, they also overrode his veto of HB 2780 - the one that requires women to see an ultrasound before they have an abortion. 

And two weeks ago? They overrode the veto of a law requiring women to fill out a 38-question form, in which they'll have to answer questions "about their race, education, income, relationships and reasons for seeking an abortion," according to an Associated Press story. The information from the questionnaires will be compiled and posted on the website for the Oklahoma State Department of Health, without identifying information of the women.

I really hope you're as appalled as I am. I really do. Regardless of your view on abortion. Being pro-choice does not mean you are pro-abortion. However, in this country, abortion is legal. A state deciding to throw everything but the kitchen sink at women to try to deny them that right must be against the law.

And for doctors to deny women information about their baby's health? It's unethical at best. Can we not be trusted to make the best decision for our own child? Our own child. We have the right to know. Doctors have an obligation to tell us the truth. Anything less is a crime.

On a different topic...

Rabbi Shmuley Doesn't Want to see our (lactating) Funbags

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach makes a lot of sense. Much of the time. But a view he espoused four years ago is back again - this time, in his new book Kosher Adultery. It is so ridiculous it's almost funny. Almost.

He believes a huge issue facing families today is an "undernourished marriage." He's talking sexually. That doesn't sound so crazy. He then goes on to say that, basically, it's all our fault, for, you know, birthing children from Down There and then, then! having the nerve to nurse them with our suddenly porn star-esque boobs.

Because nothing says You're Not Sexy, You're a Mother than a close-up view of the birth canal and a nipple that's been gummed raw. 

He writes:

"...public breast-feeding is profoundly de-eroticizing, and I believe that wives should cover up, even when they nurse their babies in their husband's presence.
I believe this same problem comes up when men witness childbirth up close. There are certain poses in which a husband should not see his wife."

This man, by the way? He has eight kids. Apparently all bottle fed, or, at least, nursed in secret. And hopefully born while he rested his head on his wife's Naughtypillows.

It'd be laughable if he wasn't a very famous author, speaker and spiritual leader. But there will be some unenlightened men who will read this and think a woman's body is solely there for his pleasure, and that the act of giving birth - and of feeding his children - is something shameful. 

Maybe there will be women who will chose not to breastfeed so as to stay "attractive" to her spouse. Which would be even more shameful.

Since when did men become delicate? And since when do a woman's breasts define her, sexually or otherwise? Both ideas are insulting. 

My husband, who faints at the sight of a paper cut, was right there watching as our first child emerged from my Tunnel of Love. The second one, too (the third one was born in a pool, and he was behind me so he didn't have the same view).

I think my breasts saw more daylight in the past six and a half years then they have since I was a toddler, and being a topless girl was a summer rite.

David doesn't seem scarred from the experience. He still thinks I'm all that. Because being powerful enough to birth three kids, two drug-free? And watch them grow from the milk I provide?

That's pretty damn sexy.


Cheryl D. said...

I'm so not a fan of Rabbi Schmuley. I heard him speak years ago when his Kosher Sex book came out. He's supposedly ultra-orthadox, which is why he's espousing the beliefs he does (putting a modern reason on why orthodoxy espouses what it does). However, he breaks the rules whenever it suits his books sales, etc. He's a hypocrite. I'm not even going to address your other point other to say it's disgusting if doctors have the legal right to withhold medical information to a mother. I'm so angry right now....

Momfluential said...

Naughtypillows. OMG I love you. Snorting here. I have so much to say about this but I am snorting too hard to type.

Shell said...

I've heard about doctors not having to tell their patients about birth defects and I think it's ridiculous. Even though I about 99% pro-life/anti-abortion. I think that it helps to be prepared.

And seriously? Giving birth and breastfeeding? It means we are powerful amazing women.

Varda said...

OK, you got me, I now have classic cartoon steam coming out both ears (cue sound effect of train whistle). Wow, so much complete idiocy all around, I don't know who to slap first. If just one woman stops breastfeeding because of that jerk, grrrrrrrr -- words escape me, I'm going into angry animal mode here.

Thanks for getting up on the soapbox for us all, and keep up the good fight, please.

Alexandra said...

I read about this. I can't believe it.

The man is just showing all his Jungian and Freudian baggage to the world.

Very sick view of a wife, women, and mothering.

Well spoken, thank you.

kirsten said...

um, would this be the time when I comment just to let you know I read it but that my brain is melting out of my ears with astonishment, and have not one word to say in response??

I think there are many things in marriage that should be sacred - many things that perhaps we've let go in our society, but to suggest that a woman COVER UP whilst breastfeeding?? Unfreaking believable. ESPECIALLY from someone with 8 kids.

kirsten said...

Furthermore, I believe IN MY VERY CORE that there is no way a government should be legislating anywhere near a woman's body. That's just me.

One Photo said...

On the second topic of the now infamous Rabbi I will only say this man is trying to foist his own inhibitions and insecurities on the rest of man kind and he should simply be ignored for the lily livered idiot he is.

On the first topic when I read about this I was absolutely astounded. I totally agree with all you have said. I did not have an amnio instead I opted for the less risky triple screen but had those results indicated a potential genetic issue I would have followed up with the more definitive amnio because I would want to be armed with the right information with which to prepare and make the right decisions. Some chromosomal defects more prevalent in women in their mid-40's mean the baby will not survive long after birth, would you not want to know about that and decide how best to handle it? It is State making decisions that are the absolute right of individual human beings to make and not allowing them to is akin in my mind to stepping behind the iron curtain of the last century.

Anonymous said...

This needed to be said and you did so eloquently (being the professional that you are). First of all holy shit Oklahoma you suck! I think that its not so much what he said, people are entitled to their opinion with free speech and all. But its his role as an influential leader that makes his remarks irresponsible. So along with Oklahoma he sucks too.

Andrea (PARENTise) said...

Cheryl - you certainly are all that and then some...thanks for sharing. This is really disgraceful and the Rabbi stuff - ahh...nothing to say there.

Aimee @ Ain't Yo Mama's Blog said...

The first part of this post (and the news I had read about it already) really hit me. This past week, a very good friend of mine terminated her 18 week pregnancy upon the discovery of very serious issues with the fetus.

Her decision was, by far, the most challenging and difficult decision of her life. She is beyond distraught, as I'm sure any woman in that position would be. Her doctors informed her of the problems and gave her unbiased information. She and her husband made the decision to abort based on the information they received, as is the way it SHOULD be both legally and ethically.

It is the moral, ethical, and legal responsibility of our doctors to inform us of issues related to our health and bodies. To create laws that do otherwise is the ultimate betrayal of the patient and of the Hippocratic oath.


Gutsy Living said...

Well, having lived in Europe for 25 years, born in Denmark, I'm still shocked by what some attitudes in the U.S., regarding breastfeeding etc. Heathrow airport had lots of moms nursing their babies two weeks ago.

The Mayor! said...

Since I've already said my piece on the good Rabbi, who now has NINE kids, I will simply echo Mombshell in saying Oklahoma sucks...why do we continue to take such BACKWARD steps??!! Boo hiss!!

Cheryl said...

Cheryl - I've been furious all day, on many points..

Ciaran - HA!

Shell - That's the whole thing. We have the right to know, regardless of what might happen.

Varda - Yes! Steam! Same here!

Empress - Yes, i don't know what he's thinking, and then to attribute it to teachings of ancient Jews - I'd like to think we've all evolved since then!

Kirsten - Agreed on all fronts.

Aging Mommy - I once saw a bumper sticker that said "keep your laws off my body" and it still holds true.

Mombshell - They suck, indeed.

Andrea - you are SO reserved today! ;)

Aimee - I am so sorry to hear of your friend. I have a friend who also made the same decision, I believe due to trisomy 13. I can't imagine the heartbreak your friend is going through.

Gutsy - This country has taken a turn for the worse where that's concerned, unfortunately.

Mayor - Yes, you let him have it!! He has nine now? Oy vey!

Kelli/Plangirl said...

Seriously just don't know what to say to this. My insides are boiling, BOILING! I don't know if I can form coherent thoughs or sentences, so thank you, Cheryl, for saying it for me! Grrrr....

Kim @ Money and Risk said...

I agree that parents have the right to know what is wrong with their child so they can be prepared.

I don't know Rabbi Schmuley but I love naughty pillows. lol.

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