Tiffany Campbell of South Dakota talks about her activism against the abortion ban, and how legal abortion allowed her to have her baby. Also: debate analysis, and the question of Sarah Palin and feminism.
Links in this episode:
This week on Reality Cast, I’ll be interviewing a very brave woman, Tiffany Campbell of South Dakota. She’s here to talk about her medically necessary selective abortion, and why other women should have the rights that saved her baby’s life. Also, it seems that America has come to a conclusion on the burning question of whether or not Sarah Palin is a feminist. And some debate analysis and a quick lesson on domestic terrorism.
New Reality Cast out! This one is on stem cells, which is a favorite topic of mine because you get to see people who claim to be "pro-life" bend themselves into pretzels while arguing against potentially life-saving research.
- reality check *
You can see this and other videos at rh reality check dot org slash video.
I’m assuming everyone listening to this podcast was just as excited as I was when Bob Schieffer asked the presidential candidates a question about reproductive rights during the debate. It’s this weird shadow issue, because while most Americans just consider it one of many important issues, the rabid anti-choicers consider it the only important issue and can make or break an election on it. To make it worse, your average workaday American, much less media person, seems to think you can boil the whole issue down to the right to choose abortion in the first trimester. Bob Schieffer’s question reflected this narrow perception.
- debate 1 *
There’s a long series of problems with framing reproductive rights in this way, and not the least of which is that anti-choice politicians have a well-practiced answer to this that helps them appease anti-choicers while coming across as reasonable. And that answer is, let’s all say it together, I have no litmus test on my appointees except, hint hint, I want them to be originalists. And by originalist, I mean against Roe v. Wade. McCain basically gave this answer. In fact, he outright contradicted himself.
- debate 2 *
If you want assurance that he’s going to overturn Roe, you can find it in that statement. If you want assurance that he won’t, you can also find it in that statement.
Obama took an interesting tack.
- debate 3 *
There’s some controversy in pro-choice circles about Obama’s insistence on referring to religious advisors when he describes a woman’s process in choosing an abortion. I agree that it has a whiff of pandering to it, but I can’t really care, because I think he’s also doing something interesting there, which is reminding people that being religious doesn’t automatically mean being anti-choice.
But the moment during the debate that caught everyone’s attention was when John McCain put air quotes around the concept of women’s health.
- debate 4 *
I’ll just say in my living room we were shocked. It’s interesting, too, because I think McCain just unraveled years of work from anti-choicers who want to create the illusion they care about women. McCain indulged an ugly, sexist stereotype, that women wait until they’re 24 weeks pregnant and then think, "Oh gosh, I’ve changed my mind" and then lie to get an abortion. The idea that women are fickle, flighty, and deceitful did not go over well with the audience. Or with the media, who had a field day. Chris Matthews was openly shocked.
- matthews health *
About once every three months, I’m forced to say this, but Chris Matthews made an astute observation. He did it by framing the issue in the larger context of how we as a society value women. And he’s right—questioning women’s honesty and right to health care is a classic tactic to degrade women as a class of people. Which is why the Taliban has all but banned gynecological care for women, which has resulted in many deaths, and that’s literal deaths, not air quote deaths.
Really, it obsessed Matthews. He had Cecile Richards from Planned Parenthood on to talk about it.
- matthews health 2 *
And then again, Rachel Maddow and he discussed it.
- matthews health 3 *
She’s right. NARAL immediately put an ad out expressing what you might call a little shock and awe about that moment.
- insert interview *
The way that politicians and pundits, especially those who lean to the right, are acting, you would think that feminism itself is a candidate for President. I would actually rather see Feminism win than any candidate, especially the series of male candidates we get who look uncomfortable when they have to talk about abortion, but I suspect there’s a constitutional issue there. But Feminism is getting bashed and getting defended and doing everything a candidate does, except of course fund-raising and making speeches.
I knew things were going to get rough for feminism when John McCain got a little excited bashing feminism on Fox News.
- mccain fox *
This comment made me wish that someone had just asked McCain what he thought on the question of whether or not Sarah Palin is a feminist before all the media hand-wringing over the issue. He seems to think it’s obvious that the answer is no.
In fact, the nation seems to have come together on this question that caused so much confusion amongst pundits mere weeks ago. And everyone agrees. Sarah Palin and feminists are mutually exclusive groups. Which gives the right wing an opportunity they love to take, which is spreading the idea that the only reason women would want equality is that we’re bitter that creepy sexist anti-choicers refrain from asking for our sexual favors. Lee Rodgers said it.
- lee feminism *
I’m continually impressed by the ability of right wing talk show hosts to convince themselves that feminists really want their lustful glances. I know he wouldn’t believe me, but as someone who wears the label "feminist" without any hand-wringing, I would probably not feel anything but relief if I met Lee Rodgers and he kept his eyes to himself. I’m just saying.
Bill Bennett also accused feminists of jealousy, because women can’t, of course, have substantive disagreements. All women everywhere are in a death match to get Bill Bennett to wish he saw us naked. That has to be it.
- Bennett feminists *
I don’t know. Most feminists I know are happy and competent. I can’t say that Bill Bennett would try to get their phone number, but it’s clear that he thinks that they should want that very much.
Rachel Maddow replied to this.
- maddow replies *
But let’s make it clear. It’s not just people on the right who have concluded that Sarah Palin is probably not a feminist, and this time it’s for reasons completely outside of whether or not the right punditry finds her attractive. The Young Girls of America put together a video addressing Sarah Palin. (http://www.feministing.com/archives/011700.html)
- young girls *
And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts. I don’t know what this segment would be without Michael Savage, but I do suspect the country on the whole would be better off if he retired from a career of hate-mongering and lying. This week’s is a doozy.
- savage lies *
This is like a mega-lie. Not only are not all terrorists Muslims, but the majority of terrorist attacks committed within U.S. borders are done by right wing Christians. Yes, bombing an abortion clinic is terrorism. So is shooting a doctor. Terrorism is politically motivated violence that’s supposed to intimidate a population. Abortion clinic stalking, vandalism, bombing, and shooting fits the definition. Right wing domestic terrorism isn’t that forgettable, even. Birmingham. The Atlanta Olympics bombings. The Oklahoma City federal building. Are the perps in these cases retroactive Muslims and foreigners?
Tune in next week for the last podcast before the election. And after that, we’ll be back to normal, which probably means a return to making fun of the Tyra Banks Show.