Friday, August 7, 2015

Planned Parenthood, Mark Meadows, and the false Rhetoric of "Life"

So I signed this petition the other day: Planned Parenthood

I did so, of course, in response to the smear campaign organized by the so-called "Center of Medical Progress" and championed by the most conservative faction of the Republican party in an attempt to de-fund Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides invaluable health care to women.

When I signed the petition, the site generated an automatic letter to Mark Meadows, my right-wing, Tea Party congressman, known most recently for trying to get John Boehner fired.  Boehner, it seems, is too liberal for the likes of Meadows.  And that's terrifying.

Anyway, here's the form letter that I received from Meadows in response to the petition.  

August 6, 2015
Dear Dr. Laura Wright:

          Thank you for contacting my office with your concerns regarding Planned Parenthood. As your representative in Washington, I want to ensure that your opinion is heard.
          As you may know, on July 14, 2015, the pro-life organization Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released an undercover video of Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Senior Director for medical services at Planned Parenthood. The video showed Dr. Nucatola explaining the process of preserving fetal tissue and body parts of aborted children for sale. On July 21, the CMP released a second video showing former President of Planned Parenthood Medical Directors' Council, Dr. Mary Gatter, also discussing fetus tissue sales. 
          Please know that while I understand you have concerns with CMP's actions, I believe that human life is sacred and that our nation must protect it. Based on this principle, know that I am opposed to any policies that advocate abortion or use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. As a pro-life advocate, regardless of the politics, I will always fight to preserve and protect the life and health of both women and children.
          Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. If you have additional concerns on this or any other issue, you are welcome to call my Washington D.C. office any time at (202) 225-6401. To keep you informed on what's happening in Washington, please sign up for my weekly newsletter at
Mark MeadowsMember of Congress


Meadows is a "pro-life" advocate who is an avid supporter of hunters and hunting rights; the respect he has for "life," as he makes clear, only extends to "human life," which he says he holds "sacred." 

Here's the ecofeminist vegan response (in which I say nothing about ecofeminism or veganism):

Dear Congressman Meadows,

Thank you for your form letter.  

I find it utterly impossible to believe that my opinion has been heard, and I find it even harder to believe — given your voting record with regard to the Violence Against Women Act, gun control, the environment, and the Affordable Care Act — that you "will always fight to preserve and protect the life and health of both women and children.”  You are interested in birth, not life.  You are a proponent of limiting women’s access to safe health care; you are not an advocate for the welfare of our country’s children, their mothers, or the environments in which they live.

Furthermore, I am extremely aware of the way that the so-called “Center for Medical Progress” is generating propaganda in tandem with the attack on women’s rights, security, and health care orchestrated by social conservatives in your party.  And I am also aware that your stance has nothing to do with this propaganda, as your position with regard to women’s health and safety was consistent and disappointing well in advance of the release of CMP’s videos.  

It's easier to read the text here.

The rhetoric of “life” that ideologues in your party spout is blatantly hypocritical — and paternalistically insulting — to those of us you have been chosen to represent.  It is an affront to those of us who actually value life, who work to care for and nurture it, who recognize in our respect for it that we owe future generations greater care and stewardship of our planet.  If you care about “human life,” which you claim to believe is “sacred,” then your support of human beings cannot stop with unborn children.  It must extend to those children after they are born — and to their families.  

Your record makes abundantly clear that your understanding of what constitutes “human life” is extremely limited.  And it makes clear that you hold the lives of the humans that you represent in great contempt.

Because I do hold life sacred, I will do everything in my power to work to get you out of office as soon as possible.

Laura Wright

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