BDSM, Georgia Terrorism and Military Abortion


Serial terrorist attacks in Georgia start looking very serious indeed. The Senate considers lifting the ban on funding of abortion for raped soldiers. Also, can the BDSM community come to terms with sexual abuse within its ranks?

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Sponsor a uterus

Fire in a clinic in Georgia

Rachel Maddow on the Georgia situation

The Young Turks on military abortion funding

Military leaders support the Shaheen amendment

Nope, state-mandated vasectomies are unacceptable

On this episode of Reality Cast, Thomas MacAulay Miller will be on to explain how the BDSM community is and isn’t dealing with the problem of sexual assault in its ranks. Georgia is seeing a series of terrorist attacks in response to anti-choice legislation there, and military women are still struggling for even anemic reproductive rights.

Enjoy this public service announcement on the behalf of poor, misused uteruses.

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Check out the whole skit, which was written by Kate Lambert and directed by Bobby Richards.

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The past weeks in Georgia haven’t been getting a lot of national attention, but the situation there is incredibly serious. In the wake of a contentious battle over a 20 week abortion ban, terrorist actions against doctors have escalated. There have been burglaries of clinic, and it’s believed that the burglars were trying to punish doctors for speaking out against the ban. And now another one, and this time, the level of seriousness had quadrupled. A fire at a Cobb County clinic has attracted a higher level of media attention and federal investigative power.

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This situation is incredibly serious for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s just the latest in a series of attacks that seem to be escalating, though it’s possible and downright likely that the various attacks are not coordinated so much as just a spontaneous-ish response to the political climate in Georgia. But it’s also that this attack was so severe. The fire was set during business hours at a clinic that provides abortions. That no patients were under anesthesia at the time is a lucky coincidence; as the office manager in this clip makes clear, it could have easily gone another way and resulted in fatalities. Since the men that were spotted had to have seen the patients and workers around, this possibility couldn’t have passed their notice. In fact, it seems that the only reason it wasn’t worse was that a clinic worker was lucky enough to catch it in time.

Luckily, the FBI is taking this seriously as what it is, domestic terrorism. But the major problem here is that these supposed lone wolves—and the fact that they’re plural shows that they are NOT “lone wolves”—are reacting to a political climate that practically begs for vigilantes to commit acts of terrorism. Rachel Maddow was on the case. She explained how an association of doctors lobbied against the 20 week abortion ban, but didn’t sign their names to the letter on the grounds that they were afraid for their own safety. And this is what happened.

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Usually when it’s pointed out that doctors and other pro-choice people have to be very careful around personal security because of duh, all the murders and acts of terrorism, we’re accused of hysteria and whatnot from anti-choicers, who somehow get away with posing as if they’re non-violent despite the constant drumbeat of threats and violence. But any attempts to paint these doctors in this light have to contend with the fact that they were, in fact, targeted with acts of aggression, since various clinics have been broken into with evidence suggesting that the names of the doctors who signed the letter are what the burglars are looking for.

On top of all this, the fire that could have killed people in Cobb County isn’t even the first fire since all this craziness got underway.

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Rachel also pointed out that the last fire is believed to have been set by two men, once again undermining anti-choice claims that terrorism is a lone wolf phenomenon. But, more importantly, there’s a direct and clear relationship between what goes on in the state house and these acts of violence. That there’s a whiff of retaliation against doctors for speaking out in the best interests of their patients should make that clear. The anti-choice movement and politicians need to be held responsible for the role they play in all this.

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insert interview

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The basic human rights of military women is back on the docket of issues to be discussed again. Obviously, the only way that military women can be completely assured of their complete human rights is for abortion to be available to them for any reason they deem appropriate, and paid for by their employer as part of their health care coverage. Of course, in our misogynist world, that’s asking way too much. But right now, military women can’t get their abortions covered even if they somehow can demonstrate they’re so-called “good” girls who didn’t choose to have sex, but had it forced on them. Senator Jeanne Shaheen is trying at least to get abortion coverage to women who didn’t even make the choice to have sex, but were instead raped, which is sadly common in the military. Military leaders who support women spoke out in a video about the problem.

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For women serving overseas, this gets even uglier. They often have no access whatsoever where they’re at, which means at best, traveling all the way home in an attempt to get an abortion. Or worse, not having that opportunity, and instead getting sent home to have a baby she doesn’t want that was conceived by force. This is no boutique, minor concern, either. Rape in the military is excruciatingly common. There are about 400,000 active duty service women in the military, which should give you some context for how outrageous the rape rates are in the military.

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You can probably do some rough math yourself on how common that makes rape, but the Young Turks boiled it down in their coverage of the issue.

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I’m far from sure that’s the end of it; this is attached to the defense reauthorization bill, which the Senate has to deal with at some point. I don’t think it can be killed of procedurally that easily, since it came out of committee. But there might be something I’m missing here. My guess is this is still alive. It’s important to remember that this is more extreme than already-extreme limits on federal spending on abortion. If you’re on Medicaid, for example, you can in theory get abortion coverage if you’re raped, though in practice that tends not to work out very well. So these women are even being treated more like property and like they don’t matter to the country they’re defending.

To add to the understanding of how much the federal government is failing women in this situation, realize that most service women who are raped—and by most, I mean the vast majority—are victimized by their fellow service members. These are men that were supposed to be trusted colleagues. These are men the government hired and put in close quarters with their victims. Now, I’m not saying the government is to blame for not catching every would-be rapist before he rapes. That’s impossible. But if you put the rapist with his victim, even unintentionally, you at least owe the victim a chance to get proper medical care after the fact.

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Sadly, with the House being as anti-woman as it is right now, I’m not sure we’re going to see long term fixes to this problem. But we can start by raising awareness.

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And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts, for once they’re attacking men’s reproductive rights edition. Granted, it’s hard to really defend the man that’s being used as a scapegoat in this clip from Fox News, but hear me out. After the clip.

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All we can really guess from this is that this man has 30 children with various women. When Fox is blathering on about “state” support, who knows what they’re talking about. But offering forced sterilization as a solution is beyond the pale. Yes, there are very rarely people who are out of control out there. But when you open the door to state-mandated sterilization, what will happen is that people will be targeted for their race, their ethnicity, their background, etc. We can’t make laws that govern all of us to capture the very rare member of society who does something really weird. 


Follow Amanda Marcotte on Twitter: @amandamarcotte