09 February 2011

more fun with congressthings!

so mr. canseco wrote me back. and by "wrote me back" i mean sent me an "i'm sorry you're pro-choice :(" piece of shit form letter.

Dear Rachel:

Thank you for contacting me to let me know of your opposition to H.R. 3 the “No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act.” While we don’t see eye-to-eye on this issue, I appreciate having the benefit of your thoughts on this issue.

It is my ardent belief in the sanctity of life and the right to life for every unborn child. I am a strong believer that life begins at conception and that innocent lives must be protected. Our Founding Fathers believed that all Americans have certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that these rights must be protected. As a Member of Congress, it is my duty to defend the rights of all Americans, especially those who cannot stand up for themselves.

As you know, the “No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act” (H.R. 3) would establish a government-wide prohibition on the use of federal funds for abortion. This legislation ensures that millions of Americans who believe in the sanctity of life do not see their tax dollars used to destroy innocent life.

Again, thank you for contacting me. In the future, if there is anything else with which I may assist you, please feel free to contact me. To keep track of what is happening in Congress, I encourage you to visit my website at http://canseco.house.gov/, my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/RepCanseco, or follow me on my twitter site http://twitter.com/RepCanseco.

Francisco “Quico” Canseco
Member of Congress

and because i am objectively better than he is, i wrote him a response. too bad i couldn't add "and if you would actually engage with my arguments this time that would be great, thanks in advance" to the end.

this is so difficult. how utterly insulting to be told that we as women matter less than any potential lives we might temporarily house in our uteruses, and then easily dismissed or ignored when we protest this indefensible injustice because we...have uteruses. it's like a grandly unfunny chicken-or-egg question, except that you can't look clever by remarking that dinosaurs laid eggs.

i don't know, maybe i'd be less bitter if i were talking to a woman.

Mr. Canseco,

Thank you for taking the time to write me back. I appreciate the response.

I do not appreciate, however, having my concerns about the rights of rape survivors dismissed with a list of pro-life platitudes.

You say that as a member of Congress, it is your duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves. I strongly agree with this precept, but if I may be so bold, do you extend that duty to all of the oppressed and voiceless? Because I see no reason why women who are victims of rape, poverty, and utterly inadequate education are less deserving of your protection than the unborn.

I am aware and extremely thankful that the "forcible rape" language was removed from H.R. 3, and I assume that change extends to H.R. 358, which duplicates it in its original form as accessible online. But there is a much larger issue at play here: is it really just to legislate safe and legal abortion out of the reach of the women who need it most, when that action may destroy their lives? Ensuring that women in poverty will remain there by denying them access to the contraceptive of last resort, especially when taken in concert with denial of access to decent preventative care, seems to me to be a poor way to represent them in government. If you are going to pledge to protect the sanctity of life, perhaps it would be wiser to begin with persons who are biologically independent.

And finally, while I respect your dedication to the founding principles of this nation and that references to the Declaration of Independence play well with your base, I must remind you that the Declaration does not and has never carried the force of law -- and even if it did, nowhere in that august document are fetuses mentioned. And furthermore, I implore you to consider how your rhetoric concerning the Life and Liberty of the unborn negatively affects the Safety and Happiness of 51% of your constituency.

Rachel K. Clair

his note had typist's initials at the bottom, like an old-school memorandum. i should have shouted out to him/her.

so, uh. A.F., do you actually believe all the fuckery he makes you type?

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