The Esrati position on the “war on women”

At tonight’s Democratic party candidates’ night all six candidates were allowed to speak for 5 minutes, answer two more questions in the next five minutes and finally given 2 minutes to recap. I’ve got it all on video and will post asap.

Ryan Steele got asked what he would do about “the war on women”- he had to ask for clarification. I’ll let you watch his response and judge how well he answered it. On the way home, my treasurer and significant other said I should post my response under my hot-button issues category– so here it is.

  • I believe that the right to have an abortion isn’t something that anyone other than the mother should have the right to decide. Yes, I rule out the “rights of the father” because it’s not his body that’s going to be transformed by the following 6 months (update: not a typo, but abortions after the first 3 months are more dangerous and should be avoided if possible). I believe late-term abortions should only be considered if the life of the mother is at risk or if there is medical evidence that the viability of the child may be questionable.
  • I understand that there are Americans who don’t want to pay for abortions and that they should have that right. We can have a private fund created to fund abortions for those who can’t afford it. The big difference is I believe that birth control should be made easily, readily and affordable to all. I don’t like abortion, but I like less the fact that we don’t do enough to stop unplanned pregnancy.
  • STEM cell research has been out of the public forum for a while- but, in case you are wondering, I fully support the use of placentas in research. I believe in health sciences implicitly and believe, if anything, we should be more concerned with the possible mutations  and other possible problems that could arise from genetically modified plants and seed for food.
  • And just for good measure, I don’t believe the government should be in the marriage business. I don’t care who you live with- and your status as a couple shouldn’t have any effect on your taxes. I also don’t care about your sexual orientation as long as it isn’t toward animals, children or non-consenting adults.

Yes, this is a short post. Nope, I didn’t mince words. Yep, you may find a reason to not vote for me because of these positions, however the problem with “hot button issues” is that my vote will likely never make a difference on any of these issues because they end up in the courts. In fact, the things that do matter- like financial re-regulation, ending corporate welfare, taking the money out of politics are much more relevant to most of us than any of the above issues, so please, open your mind and look me in the eye and say we can agree to disagree- but, in general, I prefer a candidate who has principles over puppet strings to the people with the money.


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4 Responses

  1. Ice Bandit February 6, 2012 / 11:32 pm

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  2. djw February 7, 2012 / 7:32 am
    I appreciate this; thanks. I disagree with your support for the Hyde amendment–abortion is a crucial part of health care for women, and if the government is the health care business, they shouldn’t be picking and choosing what they will and won’t provide based on outraged third parties. Christian scientists morally oppose 90% of modern health care, but they don’t get out of paying taxes because of it. I morally oppose these damn pointless wars but I don’t get out of paying taxes to support the military. If we try and take the principle behind this position and make it a general principle, everything will fall apart pretty quickly. Nevertheless, I can see where you’re coming from and your views are clear.

    That said, this bothered me:

    And just for good measure, I don’t believe the government should be in the marriage business. I don’t care who you live with- and your status as a couple shouldn’t have any effect on your taxes. I also don’t care about your sexual orientation as long as it isn’t toward animals, children or non-consenting adults.

    This strikes me as a bit of an evasion of an important issue. I happen to more or less agree, if you were asking me how I’d re-organize society and government if I had the power to do so. But if you’re in politics, you don’t get to do that. You often have to choose between viable positions. The fact is, the vast majority of our fellow citizens, including virtually all politicians, disagree with me and you. So we have a choice; we be frustrated with that gap, which ultimately means supporting the status quo for the short and medium term, OR we can get behind efforts to reform the status quo. There’s a really important effort to reform the status quo; to make civil marriage a much less discriminatory institution by allowing same sex couples to participate in it. That issue is facing politicians across the country; it’ll be a while before it gets back to Ohio, but it will probably happen eventually.

    This statement is fine, but for an aspiring politician it reads as an excuse to not take an issue on a controversial live issue–same sex marriage–by talking about something else entirely, that has no current legislative support, and is likely to be irrelevant for quite some time. Since I respect and admire your aspiration to be the kind of politician who is forthright and frank about where he stands, I ‘d like to see you speak to the underlying issue more clearly. If you are unable to drum up support for legislative action to ‘remove the state from the marriage business altogether’, will you support other, less sweeping reforms to the status quo such as ending discrimination against same sex couples?

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  3. David Esrati February 7, 2012 / 10:00 am

    @DJW- to be clear- I agree that abortion should be an option for health care- but, I’m trying to offer a compromise so that we can move on. The number of abortions will drop considerably when we have a rational approach to health care and birth control is available to all at an affordable price.

    As to gay marriage- I am 100% for it. I believe love should be encouraged- and I don’t care what’s in your pants or panties.

    However- I also believe that our country discriminates against single people and unmarried couples- with different taxation, different treatment of insurance, death benefits- etc. I had to switch insurance companies because my significant other and I are not married- and having 2 home insurance policies is insane.

    I hope that clarifies things for you.

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  4. djw February 7, 2012 / 2:57 pm
    Thanks for the clarification.

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