Archive for the ‘fill my pills you bloody pillock’ Category
In Wisconsin in the US, a judge has struck down a law preventing trans prisoners from accessing hormones.
In Wednesday’s order, Clevert found that the law amounts to “deliberate indifference to the plaintiffs’ serious medical needs in violation of the Eighth Amendment,” because it denies hormone therapy without regard to those needs or doctors’ judgments. He found the law unconstitutional on its face and also in violation of the inmates’ rights to equal protection.
Cracking. Loving the wankery Republican comments at the bottom of the story; in other news, sky still blue. Still, a victory for trans prisoners’ rights eh.
Apparently moral panics about the Northern Territory in Australia didn’t go out of style with the Howard government. The Northern Territory government has decided to make it mandatory for everyone to report underage sexual activity, and anyone having sex with a minor can be charged for –even another minor (that’s right, two minors could be found guilty of abusing each other).
This law has mostly been directed at doctors and health care workers, and it is there that we’ll see much of the results. From the ABC:
Until now, NT laws were similar to what operates in the other states; it was mandatory to report suspected child sexual abuse.
But now health workers must report sexual activity among under-16s to a team that includes police and staff in the Territory’s department of health and families.
Failure to do so could result in a fine of up to around $20,000. And it is not just doctors who will have to report.
“This applies to everybody,” Dr Bauert said. “Parents, brothers and sisters, mates.”
The legislation has been in place for months but it was only late last week that the Northern Territory Health Department told staff to comply.
They were told to report anyone under 16 who is sexually active, even if that person’s sexual partner is also under 16 or of the same age, and regardless of consent.
“Any person who has sexual intercourse with someone under the age of 16 is guilty of a crime and liable to imprisonment for 16 years,” Dr Bauert said.
“There’s no age defence, so if the person who was having sex with somebody under the age of 16 is 15, that is no defence.
“We are going to have young people not prepared to come seeking help in terms of contraception advice; they won’t be coming seeking advice in early pregnancy, if themselves or their partner are likely to be charged with a crime.”
Dr Bauert says patients will also think twice before seeking treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
Though it lacks the specificity of the “intervention” targeted at indigenous communities (cos nothing helps health issues like sending in the army), this law is clearly targeted at indigenous teenagers, and given the already existing difficulty for indigenous people accessing proper health care in the NT, is only likely to make things much, much worse. Because why on earth would a teenager go to the doctor for contraception advice knowing that their partner would get locked up as a result? A substantial amount of teenagers are likely to have sex no matter what, all this does is make the chances of their having unsafe sex that much higher–and as with anything sex-related, girls are going to get the worse of it.
This is not a preventative law, it is punitive and it is aimed at policing indigenous teenagers’ sexuality. Not only that, it will be counter-productive and utterly pointless.
via cheshire bitten
So yesterday, the Bush administration yesterday granted sweeping new protections to health workers who refuse to provide care that violates their personal beliefs. Jill at Feministe has pointed out that while this undoubtedly chiefly aimed at women’s reproductive freedoms, this is actually not about abortion–which depressingly already has this exception–but easy access to contraception.
One point I want to make about that, which I’ve stolen from Lee Edelman’s No Future, is that America is being organised around the figure of The Child. Not actual children, let alone the adults those children grow into, but a rhetorical child who must be protected at all costs–from the corrupting influence of gay marriages, porn on the internet etc and who must always be allowed to exist.
The rights of the Child, who is figured as a full person and not as a body of cells or ffs an egg and a sperm, supercedes the rights of adult women to have control over their bodies. Never mind that people (and I want to make the point that it’s not just women, eg some trans men use birth control too. Seriously, pay attention cis feminists and stop making the normative assumption that reproductive health equals het cis woman) use the pill primarily for other health reasons–to regulate their periods, to moderate PMS and PMDD etc etc. And needless to say, The Child does not grow up to be queer, or trans, or sexually active outside the sanctity of marriage. And The Child is clearly normatively white.
But whilst it is clearly aimed at heterosexual cis women, it will have a massive impact on other groups–especially trans men and women.
From the Washington Post:
“The far-reaching regulation cuts off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, health plan, clinic or other entity that does not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other employees who refuse to participate in care they find ethically, morally or religiously objectionable.”
Ok, let that sink in a bit. Care they find ethically, morally or religiously objectionable. Now, where is that going to leave trans people? Sex workers? People they think are drug users (a highly racialized image after all)? People with disabilities?
Like queerness, being trans has been framed by many on the Religious Right as a moral issue. To be trans is to be, by definition, immoral. By situating health care as a “conscience” issue, this law allows transphobic health care workers–not just doctors, but pharmacists, emergency medics etc etc–full license to indulge their bigotry and to not treat us. So, even if you can get through the knife lined obstacle course that is the gatekeeper process and get through to a hormone prescription, the bloody pharmacist might not even give them to you.
We all know health care for trans people is already shitty, let alone giving health care providers carte blanche to treat us worse. Remember Tyra Hunter, who died because firefighters decided not to perform emergency resuscitation on her when they discovered she was trans, and then a doctor at Washington General decided not to treat her. Because she was trans, because she was a woman of color, because she was not a person, she was an “it.” And, because some people consider that our existence is immoral and must be squashed out.
This is a nightmare of a ruling that potentially allows any person in the health-care business to rule that treating trans people goes against their conscience, and when something serious is occuring, you don’t have the time to shop around for someone who will treat you.
And the intersection between transness and race here will be even more deadly. Medicine has a long history of being used against people of color in the US, and this gives health care people legal protections to further that. As Kristin “the mean one on Feministe” just said to me, making the horrid implications of this explicitly clear:
“I didn’t quite make the connection as to why doctors would want to refuse anyone treatment in the context of a miscarriage at first. It just clicked. Why would they want to do that other than to refuse treatment to people they judge to be the “cause” of the miscarriage? You know, people like, say, possible drug users. Or people otherwise marked as “unworthy” of care. Say, homeless people, immigrants… Fuck. I mean, why else would anyone demand that kind of “right”? Fuck fuck fuck… I think this is going to be even more evil in practice than it looks on the surface. If that kind of “protection” becomes a fucking protocol, oh my god… If this becomes widespread… Organized against a specific group, that’s genocidal.”