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The Blue Bird Film PosterI guess that’s the (ex)presidential privilege but it does strike me that declaring January 18th the Sanctity of Human Life Day smacks of desparation. The Press Release reads:

All human life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection. On National Sanctity of Human Life Day, our country recognizes that each person, including every person waiting to be born, has a special place and purpose in this world. We also underscore our dedication to heeding this message of conscience by speaking up for the weak and voiceless among us.

Now ‘cuse me for being picky Mr Ex-President but that line “every person waiting to be born”. Now other than the gross fallacy in the film the Bluebird (a film which also involves by the way things like “Milk” and “Sugar” anthropomorphosised and talking) which depicted all people waiting patiently for a great mystical elevator to take them to be born that isn’t quite what happens. I guess Daddy (or Ex-President Bush Snr) was too busy to explain this to you but we don’t wait anywhere pre-birth, we are created in the moment when a sperm meets and egg and manages implantation. But we’re not persons at that point. Oh never mind, you know what, you find me the waiting room and I’ll arrange the nice angels in white coats to evaluate you…

But my bigger beef (fairy tales aside) is this – you claim every life is sacred but apparently that only applies to nice, white, US ones and not to the deaths your actions caused in Iraq and Afghanistan nor to the deaths of women caused by your misguided and frankly evil global gag rule which amounts to starve or deny contraception to women. Actually it doesn’t even apply to all nice, white lives either as workers rights and health carerights advocates would point out – just rich ones.

The next paragraph just breaks down hilariously:

“The most basic duty of government is to protect the life of the innocent.” – unless they are “foreign”, “poor” or non-white.

“My Administration has been committed to building a culture of life” by killing millions.

“America is a caring Nation” except when it’s raining hellfire down on your for being the “wrong type” of person (see above for examples).

I’ll stop before I get vitriolic but let me make my position clear – wherever you stand on abortion I don’t think we should allow Bush to hypocritcally present himself as the defender of anyone’s life – man, woman or child. Menstrual Poetry takes a more sanguine approach to this:

I really have to say, George Bush, you are a comedic genius. A president who has sent countless innocent men and women to death in a war that should publicly be acknowledged as the second Vietnam is not what I would call “protecting the innocent.” But we can read through the lines here; Bush opted for calling the day ‘Sanctity of Human Life Day’ instead of ‘Stop Having Abortions Day’ or ‘Let My Personal Morals Infringe Upon Yours Day’ or ‘Start Squeezing Out Future Dead Soldiers Day.’ I could really go on for hours about the hilarity of this day as well as how deceiving it’s clever title is, but I digress…Since January 18 is suddenly ‘Sanctity of Human Life Day’ I will be blogging…About birth control, emergency contraception, safe sex education, and yes, abortion.

Feministe also covers the story:

Cutting off health care to developing countries and pushing abstinence-until-marriage (even teenage marriage) has done wonders to affirm the lives of women and girls. His administration did absolutely nothing to prevent federal funding for abortion overseas — laws against federal funding of abortions abroad have been on the books for decades. What the Bush administration did do was remove health care funding from clinics that so much as mentioned abortion as an option — meaning that women and men around the world found their access to contraception, condoms, safer sex tools, HIV/AIDS treatment, sexual health information, well-baby care, pre-natal care, and STI care suddenly cut off. And they found themselves being told that the solution to HIV/AIDS is simply to hold off sex until marriage — despite the fact that for a lot of women, marriage is a major risk factor in contracting HIV (not to mention a potential risk for intimate partner violence and other abuses), and early marriage can mean early pregnancy, which can mean early death.

Women around the world need health care. They need basics, like access to clean water and nutritious food and safe housing. They don’t need sanctimonious “sanctity of life” days from leaders who have demonstrated again and again that women’s lives don’t matter, and that the “pro-life” commitment to life outside of the womb is virtually non-existant.

So, January 18th is Every Life if Sacred Day? Lets hope Ex-President Bush, you spent it reflecting on how saying “God made me do it” isn’t a good enough justification for hypocrisy. In the meantime, I’ll continue to see it as Winnie the Pooh day – at least he admits to being a bear of very little brain.