[Cross-posted from DailyKos — I’m new around here and couldn’t figure out anything really original to start out with, so bear with me — Nonpartisan]

This is my congressman.

Congressman Rick Renzi’s lady friend in this photo is Corrie Hill, a former Miss Arizona whose platform was domestic violence and who spends her time “perched on a plush sofa in a gorgeous home in a gated community in the nicest part of Gilbert, [Arizona.]”  And you may remember Congressman Renzi’s other lady friend — Katherine Harris, the author of the Bush Presidency, Volume I.  And sure, Congressman Renzi likes his wife, Roberta, a whole lot too — as evidenced by the fact that they have twelve children.

But it’s not in question how my congressman feels about rich women, whom he obviously adores.  What’s bothering me today is how he feels about poor women.

Specifically, whether he thinks they should be tortured.
Last week on DailyKos, I learned something new about abortions.  I learned that anaesthesia costs extra.  I learned that, if you’re a poor woman, abortions hurt.  In fact, they hurt like hell.

The Goddess best describes the horrific experience of being tortured through an abortion:

You see, poor women don’t get the “luxury” of general anesthesia. The dignity and comfort- not to mention humanity- of sleep cost extra. A Poor woman has to stay awake. She feels the cold of the famous (or should I say infamous) stirrups in a room full of doctors and technicians. She endures seven needles plunged into her cervix. Men don’t even have a body that comes close to causing that kind of pain. … Once the shots have been administered, and the “numbing” begins hard metal is used to pry open the cervix to allow access to the uterus. … Again, this is pain only women ever get to know. And I put quotation marks around “numbing” because it’s not as if the woman doesn’t feel all of this. She does. She feels the center of her being being spread wide and she feels the scraping of her uterus. The scraping of her uterus. Or the “vacuuming”. Either way, it’s not a way a human should be awake for on a Saturday morning.

When the procedure is done, the woman walks(!) into a room full of reclining chairs or chaise lounge type chairs with a bunch of other women. Some are crying. Some are sleeping or unconscious. Some are cramping and throwing up- or rather, heaving, because they haven’t eaten. When she’s feeling stronger, she might have a little orange juice or peanut butter and crackers. After a couple of hours, they send her home. Goddess help her if she hasn’t got someone to care for her, or especially if she has children or others that she must care for. Even worse, if she lives alone and begins to hemorrhage in her sleep. You can’t call 911 if you can’t afford a phone.

This is torture, folks, pure and simple.  It’s torture of poor women.  And it could be avoided very easily: through federal funding of abortions, making them easily available to all as necessary medical procedures.  But the Republican Party, as stated in their 2004 Party Platform, opposes any federal funds going to abortions:

We oppose using public revenues for abortion and will not fund organizations which advocate it.

Translation: We support torture of poor women.

This Republican viewpoint is actually written into American law through the repulsive Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding of abortions not caused by rape, incest, or in some cases the health of the mother.  In 2004, the House actually got an opportunity to overturn the Hyde Amendment when Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the Freedom of Choice Act of 2004.  The response of the Republican Congress?  You guessed it.  The bill was bottled up in committee until the end of the session.

Now, back to my congressman.  What does Rick Renzi have to do with any of this?  Simple: He supports the party that wants to torture poor women.  He signed the platform that enshrines torturing poor women in official party policy.  And he voted for a House leadership that suffocated the Freedom of Choice Act in committee, keeping the torture of poor women enshrined in American law.

My congressman, and yours, are responsible for the torture of poor women in the United States of America.  And while Rick Renzi is posing with Miss Arizona or canoodling with Cruella, I’ll be out there fighting to throw the bum out of Congress, and to give poor women the freedom from torture they so desperately need.

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