Let’s talk about the gag rule

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Humor Columnist Cate Streissguth gives her take on the recently proposed gag rule.

Sophie Roehse | Cavalier Daily

The Trump administration recently proposed a gag rule that would adversely affect Planned Parenthood. The administration has made some proposed changes to Title X that would basically ban medical professionals from referring persons and patients for an abortion. The gag rule muffles any conversations about abortions alongside many other types of preventative health care. These changes have the potential to suffocate Planned Parenthood and all the people using it by dangling funding above the non-profit’s head. 

I don’t want to show all of my political cards at once, but you wouldn’t be totally wrong if you assumed that I assumed this ruling came straight from some bro up in DC with a pea for a brain. However, you would be wrong to assume I was assuming. As a matter of fact, it does come from some bro up in DC with a pea for a brain! I am fed up with America’s inability to see the light! Women are people, people have a right over their bodies, bodies need the care provided at Planned Parenthood. Let the people do what they want with their bodies. Leave Planned Parenthood and the people using it alone! 

Now this is no laughing matter, but humor sometimes offers new ways to convey arguments. I want to talk a little bit about why the gag rule shouldn’t exist. 

1. My genetics are unique. My uterus is specific to me. Think about a 2008 Jaguar XKR Limited Edition Convertible that you can buy for $7,000 on craigslist in the Fort Lauderdale, Fla. area. That swooner of a car is unlike any other. The limited edition, the year, the make, all give it its own clout when it comes to uniqueness. You can’t go bundling it together with a Toyota Camry, or even the 2009 Jaguar XKR Limited Edition convertible. It stands alone! My uterus cannot be generalized about when it comes to specific policy. It is its own unique organ, and one story does not always tell them all. A gag rule unfortunately turns it into an organ that can be generalized about.

2. Your partner choosing not to talk to you for three days because they’re mad at you for taking sarcasm one step too far is fine. Indefinitely requiring doctors to stay silent about a part of women’s health is TERRIFYING. Not being able to discuss all possible medical options with your doctor or a medical profession is so so so so so dangerous. Not talking gets us into trouble a lot. There is probably some Disney movie that teaches us that lesson.

3. What if we implemented the gag rule in other parts of our country’s policies? What if they implemented a gag rule with ambassadors? You’re in a foreign country, there is a threat to your person, so you go to your embassy to seek help. NOPE they can’t help you. They can’t talk to you about your options. I guess you’re stuck dangerously figuring that one out? What if the Environmental Protection Agency couldn’t notify you about dangerous toxins or hazards near your home? Oh wait, that probably already happens. What if NPR couldn’t give its listeners any real information about what is actually happening? It would either be a really silent news show, or look a lot like a prime time Fox News broadcast. What if the government told University that in order to receive any further funding, it had to stop teaching evolutionism? There goes our biology department, physics department, chemistry department, all of the engineering school, the math department, maybe the music department and even most of the religious studies department. 

My uterus is literally mine, the same goes for every woman out there. Not yours, Trump and Pence, not yours. You can’t make decisions for me or her or her or her or them or him. What I want to do with my body cannot be dictated by some man in a suit that has never and never will give birth! It's not even that they will never give birth or that they don’t have the same organs as me. It’s that they feel it is more important to control woman than to let people speak to their doctor. Gag rules have a scary history, and they have plagued America and many other countries for a long time. In the past, gag rules have suppressed incredibly important discussions. It is unnerving that its doing the same today.

Cate Streissguth is a Humor Columnist at The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at humor@cavalierdaily.com.

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