Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'll See Your Moral Objection and Raise You One

Digby writes a sarcastic post intended to flip the "moral" argument against tax money going to insurers with abortion coverage:
I have a moral objection to paying for any kind of erectile dysfunction medicine in the new health reform bill and I think men who want to use it should just pay for it out of pocket. After all, I won't ever need such a pill. And anyway, it's no biggie. Just because most of them can get it under their insurance today doesn't mean they shouldn't have it stripped from their coverage in the future because of my moral objections. (I don't think there's even been a Supreme Court ruling making wood a constitutional right. I might be wrong about that.)

Many of the men who are prescribed this medication are on Medicare, so I think it should be stripped out of that coverage as well.
Remember, too, that only after ED drugs hit the market did insurers begin to cover women's birth control products, to avoid sex discrimination lawsuits.

But there is a very real reason to object to paying for the use of Viagra, and even though it's old news, nothing I'm aware of has changed:
America's CIA has found a novel way to gain information from fickle Afghan warlords - supplying sex-enhancing drug Viagra, a US media report says.

The Washington Post said it was one of a number of enticements being used.

In one case, a 60-year-old warlord with four wives was given four pills and four days later detailed Taleban movements in return for more.

"Whatever it takes to make friends and influence people," the Post quoted one agent as saying.

"Whether it's building a school or handing out Viagra."

'Silver bullet'

The newspaper said the use of Viagra had to be handled sensitively as the drug was not always known about in rural areas.

It quoted one retired agent as saying: "You didn't hand it out to younger guys, but it could be a silver bullet to make connections to the older ones."

In the case of the 60-year-old warlord - the head of a clan in southern Afghanistan who had not co-operated - operatives saw he had four younger wives.

The pills were explained and offered. Four days later the agents returned.

"He came up to us beaming," the Post quoted an agent as saying. "He said, 'You are a great man.'

"And after that we could do whatever we wanted in his area."

The pills could put chieftains "back in an authoritative position", another official said.
Ha ha ha. Do whatever we want, once again over the disposable bodies of women. As for the chieftains, they've been in an "authoritative position" for a long, long time. Anyone who has followed the fate of Afghan women and girls knows the brutalization, rape, and indignity they suffer in their role as men's slaves and breeding stock:
Jamila was married off when she was seven years old. Subjected to brutal beatings for nine years by her husband, she approached her father-in-law for help. For this "shame," a family member shot her in the leg.

During a rare visit to her parental home, she sought a divorce. A jirga, or assembly of local elders who act as informal dispute-resolution mechanisms in the absence of a formal justice system in many parts of Afghanistan, rejected her plea and sent her back to her marital home.

Jamila, whose real name and location cannot be revealed for her own safety, was punished once again, this time by her father-in-law, who beat her, cut off one nostril, shaved her head and tied her with a rope before throwing her outside the house.
Or this:
Afghanistan has quietly passed a law permitting Shia men to deny their wives food and sustenance if they refuse to obey their husbands' sexual demands, despite international outrage over an earlier version of the legislation which President Hamid Karzai had promised to review.

The new final draft of the legislation also grants guardianship of children exclusively to their fathers and grandfathers, and requires women to get permission from their husbands to work.

"It also effectively allows a rapist to avoid prosecution by paying 'blood money' to a girl who was injured when he raped her," the US charity Human Rights Watch said.

In early April, Barack Obama and Gordon Brown joined an international chorus of condemnation when the Guardian revealed that the earlier version of the law legalised rape within marriage, according to the UN.

Although Karzai appeared to back down, activists say the revised version of the law still contains repressive measures and contradicts the Afghan constitution and international treaties signed by the country.

Islamic law experts and human rights activists say that although the language of the original law has been changed, many of the provisions that alarmed women's rights groups remain, including this one: "Tamkeen is the readiness of the wife to submit to her husband's reasonable sexual enjoyment, and her prohibition from going out of the house, except in extreme circumstances, without her husband's permission. If any of the above provisions are not followed by the wife she is considered disobedient."
Nice. This, by the way, is what we're sending people to die for over there, in case anyone forgot. And this is what we are assisting with the dispensation of ED drugs. Not that clever bastards the world over haven't used it for rape before.

You think good old American men haven't thought of it, too? Let's take it to the logical conclusion: allowing insurance companies to cover Viagra once the new insurance exchange is in place is tantamount to using your tax money to facilitate rape.

Oh, but silly me, that's ok. If their victims become pregnant, the Stupak amendment will let them abort, assuming they can find a way to pay for it.

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