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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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32 Responses

  1. Personal Failure
    Personal Failure January 14, 2010 at 3:44 pm |

    I hate those “i don’t want my tax dollars to pay for . . .” arguments. Guess what? I don’t have kids. Why should I have to pay for your kid to go to school? I don’t drive down your street so why should I have to pay for your road to be maintained?

  2. LN80
    LN80 January 14, 2010 at 4:06 pm |

    For several years, the National Network of Abortion Funds has led a campaign of many reproductive justice organizations, working in coalition, to repeal the Hyde Amendment. You can learn more, and join the campaign, here: http://www.hyde30years.nnaf.org/.

  3. Henrietta G. Tavish
    Henrietta G. Tavish January 14, 2010 at 4:15 pm |

    So . . . we SHOULD spend tax dollars on Blackwater, abstinece education, etc?

    The ad makes an exceedingly poor argument. The fact that everyone’s tax dollars are used to fund a service once it is approved, is not a reason to fund that service in the first place. The merits of the abortion debate (and Blackwater and abstinence ed, for that matter) are simply disregarded in favor of the notion that everything must be funded.

    No, I don’t want my tax dollars spent on _____. On what, you ask? Why does it matter? Under the ad’s logic, an objection to the federal funding of anything is a priori frivolous.

  4. Henrietta G. Tavish
    Henrietta G. Tavish January 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm |

    “I don’t want my tax dollars spent on X” is not a comprehensive and full argument.

    Of course it is. All Congress ever decides is whether it “wants” to spend tax dollars on X (i.e. whether X should be funded). The determination is essentially a moral one. The fact that people who disagree with the determination will ultimately be taxed to fund it, however, is not what justifies the decision.

    If the ad meant to say that abortion is good and Blackwater is bad so the former should be funded INSTEAD of the latter, it could have said so. Instead, it justifies funding abortion on the grounds that the bloggers are paying for things they find reprehensible. It’s a complete non sequitur. I think it’s preposterous that taxpayers fund Bill Moyers’ PBS program, but my objection to that would support my (completely separate) view that the government should distribute handguns to everyone.

    Nothing in the ad suggests, as you posit, that the objections to funding of Blackwater are “broader-based” than those to abortion. The thesis of the ad is that all objections to funding anything are frivolous, because in the end (once the funding decision is made) everyone’s tax dollars will be used with or without their consent. It’s merely an objection to objections, without regard to the moral content of them.

  5. Henrietta G. Tavish
    Henrietta G. Tavish January 14, 2010 at 5:29 pm |

    Perhaps the one level at which the ad works is the one involving a rough horse-trading logic — “I’m paying for your abstinence ed, which I hate, so you should pay for abortions, which you hate.” But that argument has nothing to do with the merits of funding either project.

  6. SnowdropExplodes
    SnowdropExplodes January 14, 2010 at 6:01 pm |

    Henrietta G. Tavish:

    Perhaps the one level at which the ad works is the one involving a rough horse-trading logic — “I’m paying for your abstinence ed, which I hate, so you should pay for abortions, which you hate.” But that argument has nothing to do with the merits of funding either project.

    Yes, that is exactly the point of the ad. It’s not saying anything about the merits of funding x or y or z, it is just saying that the decision to fund or not to fund can’t be based on a certain subsection of society saying “I don’t want to pay for x”.

    It is saying that if the rule “I don’t want to pay for x, therefore x cannot be paid for from taxes” were to be universally applied for all ‘x’, then indeed, nothing would ever be paid for from taxes.

    Since the only argument in favour of the Hyde Amendment is that anti-abortionists don’t want to pay for abortions to take place, this is a valid argument to make.

    It might also be pointed out that pacifists have long had a tradition of direct protest whereby they withheld that portion of their due taxes that was spent on the military. If there were no Hyde Amendment, then they would show the true measure of their commitment to a cause, by doing something similar – and of course, risking the legal repercussions from it.

  7. PharaohKatt
    PharaohKatt January 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm |

    Transcript please?

  8. Chally
    Chally January 14, 2010 at 6:45 pm |

    I’m about to start on that, PharaohKatt. :)

  9. PharaohKatt
    PharaohKatt January 14, 2010 at 6:54 pm |

    Thank you Chally :)

  10. jemand
    jemand January 14, 2010 at 6:55 pm |

    @Henrietta G. Tavish,

    The point is, individual citizens do not have a line item veto of public policy when they go to pay their taxes. They can work toward policy for other reasons, but when tax time comes, they pay. No veto power.

  11. Faith from F.N.
    Faith from F.N. January 14, 2010 at 7:18 pm |

    “I’m about to start on that, PharaohKatt. :)”

    That would be much appreciated.

  12. Henrietta G. Tavish
    Henrietta G. Tavish January 14, 2010 at 7:20 pm |

    Jemand,

    If someone said, “I don’t want abstinence ed funded because it doesn’t work, and I don’t want handgun distribution funded because it would be dangerous,” would it make sense to respond “we have to fund those things because at tax time you must pay?” Or to say “we must fund those things because we’re funding needle exchange programs and food stamps?”

  13. Chally
    Chally January 14, 2010 at 7:24 pm |

    I don’t know why that took so long to type out…! I’ll not edit Jill’s post without her permission, so here it is:

    [Effect as though switching on an old fashioned television]

    [Jay Smooth, speaking to camera, with his name and website (illdoctrine.com) at the bottom of the screen. ‘Center for Reproductive Justice’ is at the bottom right of the screen and remains throughout Smooth’s parts of the video.]
    Smooth: The Hyde Amendment. We need to talk about the Hyde Amendment.
    Since 1976, Congress has tacked the Hyde Amendment onto every annual appropriations bill, blocking access to needed healthcare services for millions of poor women and families. [this paragraph summarised in dot points on screen]
    And right now the Stupak and Nelson amendments on this current health care bill try to expand Hyde into the private market, restricting insurance for abortion even when people pay for coverage themselves. [this paragraph summarised in dotpoints on screen again]
    Why does this one crowd get to pick and choose on this one thing (that’s totally unjust) while the rest of us never get to pick and choose?
    [‘the views expressed are bloggers’ own…’ appears at the bottom of the screen]
    I mean imagine, in your ideal world, what would you say we shouldn’t spend your tax money on?

    [Bloggers appear in rectangular frames with rounded corners on a black screen, with their names in white capital letters below and their websites in grey below their names. When they finish, their images shrink and the next blogger’s expands to replace it.]

    Aimee Thorne-Thomsen of protectchoice.org: Well I don’t want my tax dollars spent on building a 700 mile fence along the US-Mexico border.

    Sarah Seltzer of rhrealitycheck,org: Well I don’t want my tax dollars spent on a wasteful, racist war on drugs.

    Jesse Taylor of pandagon.net: You know what I wish the federal government wouldn’t spend money on anymore? Cancelling my favourite public television shows. [lowers voice so that it’s more whispery] I miss you.

    Melissa Harris-Lacewell of thenation.com and Heather Corinna of scarleteen.com, appearing in separate boxes: I don’t want my tax dollars spent-
    Corinna: -on abstinence-only sex education-
    Harris-Lacewell: -incarceration rather than education-
    Corinna: -corporate federal bailouts.

    Jill Filipovic of feministe.us: Well I don’t want my tax dollars spent on corporate farm subsidies.

    Amanda Marcotte of pandagon.net: Well I don’t wanna spend my tax dollars on mercenary organisations like Blackwater.

    [Allison Kilkenny of allisonkilkenny.com and Jamie Kilstein of WeAreCitizenRadio.com appear in the same shot]
    Kilstein: Wait.
    Kilkenny: Mm.
    Kilstein: You know what’s really dangerous?
    [Kilkenny turns to look at Kilstein]
    Kilstein: A woman’s right to choose a safe medical procedure.
    [Kilkenny turns back and nods in the direction of the camera.]
    Kilkenny: Mmm.
    Kilstein: Oh wait!

    Thorne-Thomsen: Abortion care is healthcare and don’t all women deserve good healthcare?

    Smooth: The impact of the Hyde Amendment will be hugely expanded when this healthcare bill adds millions more women and families to Medicaid. So we need to speak out on this right now.
    Submit your own video about what you don’t want your tax dollars spent on and help us prove how hypocritical and unfair the Hyde Amendment is. We’ll share some of your best submissions with the world. [On screen: Submit your YouTube vid (up to 20 secs) to: http://reproductiverights.org/youtube.
    [stroking cat] For more on the right for reproductive rights worldwide, go to noabortionban.org today. Thank you.

    [on screen: noabortionban.org]

    [Effect as though switching on an old fashioned television]

  14. Rob F
    Rob F January 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm |

    Back in July, Cara had a post at The Curvature about how, were it not for the Hyde Amendment, approx. 1/4 of women who who would have had an abortion instead give birth.

  15. jemand
    jemand January 14, 2010 at 8:53 pm |

    “If someone said, “I don’t want abstinence ed funded because it doesn’t work, and I don’t want handgun distribution funded because it would be dangerous,” would it make sense to respond “we have to fund those things because at tax time you must pay?” Or to say “we must fund those things because we’re funding needle exchange programs and food stamps?””

    No that’s crazy. If someone says “I don’t LIKE handgun distribution, and since I pay taxes we CAN’T have handgun distribution funded,” then the reply is, that’s a nonsensical argument. If someone says “I don’t like abortion, and since I pay taxes, we CAN’T have abortions funded” that’s an equally nonsensical argument. If you have other arguments, bring those other arguments to bear, but when you fail at convincing people to make abortion illegal, you can’t pitch a fit at what happens with “your” money after tax time. After that, it’s not your money anymore.

  16. southern students for choice-athens
    southern students for choice-athens January 15, 2010 at 3:44 am |

    What do we not want our dollars (taxed and otherwise) spent on?

    How about politicians, political campaigns, and a political party (FLASH DONKEY SILHOUETTE) that claims to support abortion rights, but does so time after time by accepting compromises that usually somewhat protect (and maybe possibly enhance) abortion rights in relatively progressive states, larger cities, and college towns, (getting pro-choice votes in those communities) while selling out it’s constituency cheap to the antis in relatively conservative states and communities, allowing them to restrict in a multitude of ways access to abortion in ways that especially target young and poor women, so much so that even if the FREAKING Hyde amendment was overturned there would hardly be any more improved access for those young and poor women in those conservative states and communities? Oh, and in the process getting not-so-pro-choice votes in those communities. So they get pro-choice votes won in relatively progressive states, and anti-choice votes are won elsewhere. Sound like a win-win? (PAUSE) Or not?

    How about let’s speak out about this in times other than outside of an election campaign, like this ad contest, for example, now, which candidates for upcoming elections next year aren’t likely going to comment on? Yeah, we’d LOVE to see a campaign like this take hold especially in a presidential election year to give young people an alternative to the free pizza & kegs of St. Pauli Girl-style bandwagon that was the dominant get-out-the-voice message for young people voting for Obama, like it did for Clinton, and then didn’t ONCE comment on abortion rights during the health care debate during the Obama administration, just like it didn’t comment on that during the failed attempt at national health care reform during the Clinton administration.

  17. southern students for choice-athens
    southern students for choice-athens January 15, 2010 at 5:16 am |

    Our point is that focusing on ONE example of national anti-choice policy like the Hyde Amendment and implying that if reversed or overturned it would have a profound & positive impact on abortion rights is freaking FLAWED. It’s FLAWED because the antis have really don’t care so much to restrict abortion rights nationally, across the board, as much as in one state as another for women as a class. But saying so plays the “gender gap” card which has helped win votes and money for Democrats ever since Reagan beat Carter in the Presidential campaign of 1980, winning votes and money from pro-choice women while nationally, on average, winning the same from antis for Republicans…with a rough sort of symmetry until votes and dollars for antis began to outnumber votes and dollars for pro-choice candidates, and then our side started to more obviously not do so good. In the meantime, abortion rights have become so restricted in many conservative states and communities that getting an abortion require overcoming so much legal red tape and traveling such distances that it’s arguably harder to get an abortion over much, maybe most of the country than it was before Roe — and that’s why overturning Hyde would really make little difference over much of the country.

    Antis don’t want so much to restrict reproductive rights for people with money, education, mobility, etc as they do people who don’t have those privileges. Really! They really want to restrict primarily it for relatively poor people and less educated people, especially for poor and less educated people who live in conservative states and communities and rural areas. And for the most part, they’ve gotten what they want.

    You can see that disparity in conservative states best by looking at major public universities, seeing what they have to offer young people in the way of reproductive health care and information, and comparing that to what other young people have to deal with in the same states and communities. Look at the University of South Carolina, for example, which came in first place in Trojan’s “college sexual health report card”:

    http://www.dailygamecock.com/news/usc-tops-sexual-health-rankings-1.834143

    …in a state which has consistently over the years received an “F” from NARAL in their “Who Decides” scorecard ranking states on their policies on reproductive rights:

    http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/choice-action-center/in_your_state/who-decides/state-profiles/south-carolina.html

    There is a definite tendency in conservative states for major state universities to offer far better reproductive health services to students than they would get if they were trying to support themselves in the same communities (and all the more so elsewhere in that state) with entry-level jobs for graduates with less than a bachelor’s degree. And while there’s some lip service given to the anti-choice constituency from anti-choice politicians that they’re opposed to funding universities providing remarkably comprehensive reproductive health services and education to students, they pretty much leave the publicly-funded campuses alone on that count and focus on restricting the rights of young and poor people off campus even further. And that makes it REALLY difficult for a lot of college students in relatively conservative states to appreciate what young and poor people off campus have to put up with in these states.

    Maybe a campaign like this could reach college students with good internet connections and an inclination to blog and watch online videos and educate them how much worse off young people are off-campus, especially in conservative states and communities and inspire them to do something about it. Maybe, that is, if we ever see focused as much or more attention on the pro-choice movement in less pro-choice states and communities as is given to more pro-choice states and communities, and find students who care as much about what other young people get from clinics in the community as what they are getting for themselves on campus.

    OK, we’ll get some breakfast and work on it.

  18. Faith from F.N.
    Faith from F.N. January 15, 2010 at 8:29 am |

    “Back in July, Cara had a post at The Curvature about how, were it not for the Hyde Amendment, approx. 1/4 of women who who would have had an abortion instead give birth.”

    Your point?

    I’m guessing by your blogroll, that you threw out that fact in order to try to show how harmful the Hyde Amendment actually is to women. I’m guessing you’re trying to be supportive of women not having to be forced to go through pregnancy. But since you threw out that factoid without any explanation, one can only guess what you are attempting to say. For all I or anyone reading knows, you could be trying to shame feminists for supporting federal aid for abortion by pointing out the number of abortions that would occur if women had access to federal aid.

    Explanations are really helpful instead of trying to make the rest of us guess the point that you are attempting to make.

  19. jemand
    jemand January 15, 2010 at 9:50 am |

    @Faith, I think a statistic, a fact, is valuable in and of itself and doesn’t require a specific interpretation of that fact by the person sharing it in order to add to this conversation. The author is just one person, the statistic is true for the entire country.

  20. struckdown
    struckdown January 15, 2010 at 11:35 am |

    Gee, anarchy looks more and more appealing every day.

  21. Faith from F.N.
    Faith from F.N. January 15, 2010 at 11:56 am |

    “I think a statistic, a fact, is valuable in and of itself and doesn’t require a specific interpretation of that fact by the person sharing it in order to add to this conversation. The author is just one person, the statistic is true for the entire country.”

    I disagree heartily. Different people are going to interpret different statistics and facts in different ways. It doesn’t do much good to cite stats without explaining the purpose behind citing those stats. I prefer to have some idea if the person I’m engaging as an ally or not. I can’t respond to that stat that he added to the conversation without knowing -why- he added it to the conversation.

    Does he hope to see women gain better access to abortion? Is that why he added the stat? Or is he anti-abortion and trying to point out that giving women access to federal aid will increase the abortion rate?

    Whether I want to or not, I can’t really engage without more info.

  22. libdevil
    libdevil January 15, 2010 at 2:38 pm |

    Faith is right – you need to engage the argument. If I state, “11 people were killed by Martians in the US last year.” What does that mean? It’s just a ‘fact.’ Do I think that not enough people were killed by Martians? Too many? Am I citing that statistic because we’ve made great strides in fighting the murdering Martian epidemic? Because the number is up from and average of 1 per year for the previous decade? Because I think it may be falsely low after Marvin started mass marketing his disintegration gun, leading to fewer bodies of Martian victims being found and identified? Attach an argument or interpretation to the statistic, or it’s just noise.

  23. Rob F
    Rob F January 15, 2010 at 2:52 pm |

    @Faith:

    That statistic and the post I linked to provide background information and put numbers behind exactly why the Hyde Amendment is bad. It demonstrates how the HA puts women at risk unnecessarily (because abortion is far safer than childbirth); it domonstrates how the HA affects poor women almost exclusively (because affluent women will have the funds to pay for an abortion, whereas poor and less affluent women must save up, which takes time [requiring a later abortion] and may require funds to be taken from other necessities [such as rent, food, other healthcare, etc.]); it demonstrates how too many women are forced to give birth and become mothers (because it interferes with their reproductive rights); and so on.

  24. DAS
    DAS January 15, 2010 at 3:06 pm |

    Some people don’t think abortion is moral? Some people feel gay marriage offends their religious sensibilities?

    Well, my religion teaches (very strongly) that you shouldn’t eat blood. Yet my tax dollars go to fund USDA inspections (for which we should thank FSM — I think I read about what would happen without those in a book once), including of plants where they make blood sausage. Thus my tax dollars are going to condone and certify the safety of products my religion teaches are immoral.

    If my tax dollars can go toward putting a government imprimatur on blood sausage, why can’t a government imprimatur be put on gay marriage or tax dollars be spent on abortions?

  25. Henrietta G. Tavish
    Henrietta G. Tavish January 15, 2010 at 3:07 pm |

    For all I or anyone reading knows, you could be trying to shame feminists for supporting federal aid for abortion by pointing out the number of abortions that would occur if women had access to federal aid.

    Why would a feminist be shamed by that? It proves the point federal funding facilitates abortion, and that women end up having children they didn’t want to have.

  26. The Chemist
    The Chemist January 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm |

    I completely understand the point and direction of this campaign, but I just know it’s going to motivate someone to deride government spending on space exploration (a pet peeve of mine for a number of reasons best not discussed here). As Henrietta G. Tavish points out though, it is problematic. I think it’s equally problematic to buy into the narrative of how we talk about taxes in this country- where taxes themselves have an immediate negative connotation as opposed to a neutral one.

  27. Faith from F.N.
    Faith from F.N. January 15, 2010 at 4:20 pm |

    “Why would a feminist be shamed by that?”

    Feminists wouldn’t -actually- be shamed by that. Anti-feminists would, and do, -attempt- to shame feminists with that fact. If an anti-choicer believes that abortion is murder, then pointing out that providing women with federal funds for abortion is the equivalent of calling us in favor of a higher murder rate.

    Anti-feminists attempt to shame women who support or have abortion all the time with arguments such as that.

  28. Henrietta G. Tavish
    Henrietta G. Tavish January 15, 2010 at 7:10 pm |

    Well, you can hardly blame people for trying to shame others out of what they consider a murder-like activity. I guess the feminist strategy should be to shame women out of believing that the fetus is human-like.

  29. Faith from F.N.
    Faith from F.N. January 16, 2010 at 9:28 am |

    “Well, you can hardly blame people for trying to shame others out of what they consider a murder-like activity. I guess the feminist strategy should be to shame women out of believing that the fetus is human-like.”

    Oy.

    I most certainly can blame people for trying to shame women out of having abortions. Regardless of whether or not abortion actually is taking a life (and guess what, I actually do believe that it is. I even believe that when someone takes antibiotics to kill bacteria that they are taking a life), there are many other factors to take into consideration. Like, oh, the women’s right to bodily autonomy and the women’s right to defend herself against an unwanted intrusion upon her body.

    And, no, I don’t believe that the feminist strategy should be to shame women into believing that the fetus isn’t human-like in any respect. I don’t believe that shaming women into believing anything is ever the answer. It is possible to acknowledge the humanness of the fetus while still acknowledging a woman’s right to own and control her own body.

  30. Jackie
    Jackie January 17, 2010 at 2:10 pm |

    Jill,

    Did you open your home to women for Haven Coalition? Could you either email me or respond to my post? I would love to know more about it. How long does the visitor need a place to sleep? Did you find you needed to provide emotional support as well?

  31. Politicalguineapig
    Politicalguineapig January 19, 2010 at 8:45 pm |

    I’ve proposed eliminating “the blue pill” from Medicare and any government health plan before. I bet it’d make a lot of men think twice.

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