Wild, Wild Horses


Wanted to share with you all this little bit of irony.

It seems our lovely government is fine with supporting birth control for wild horses, but not for women.

That’s right. On the same day they are voting to de-fund birth control and family planning for all women in America they have also decided by unanimous consent to give birth control to wild horses.

Seriously, people, I can’t make this stuff up. The amendment from Rep. Burton on wild horses is listed below in its entirety.

And just a note, before the naysayers get all up in arms, no, I’m NOT saying I don’t support the distribution of birth control to horses (which is, by the way, wildly supported by animal humane groups because it means less need for slaughtering), nor am I making a comparison between women and horses. Obviously, birth control is being distributed to horses as a means of population control, while it would be made available for women as a means of enabling them to be in control of their bodies and lives. I’m simply pointing out the irony there.

#30 – to be offered by Rep. Dan Burton – to reduce the Bureau of Land Management’s budget by $2 million to send a signal that the agency must reform its enormously wasteful and misguided program of capturing wild horses and burros and holding them in pens, rather than employing a much less costly and more humane option – immunocontraception to control herd size. Despite objections raised by Members of Congress, BLM continues its round up and removal policy, and is currently holding approximately 46,000 horses in pens. Total holding costs in FY10 were $36.9 million.

[emphasis added.]

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/kaelin/ Matt

    Two things:

    You totally missed the opportunity for a terrible “neighsayer” pun.

    The original post sort of touched upon the point, but I think when you talk about denying birth control to women and providing it to horses, while there is a contradiction, *both* cases show government is attempting to control others. In the horses’ case the government is controlling horses and nature (it’s not like the horses are consenting to it) “for their own good,” and in the case of women the government is denying women subsidized birth control, which takes away an option for them (not that women won’t necessarily still get birth control, but it presents a cost that will reduce their financial freedom).

    Sort of an issue that gets lost in Republicans preaching morality is that governments often do things to produce better long-term outcomes (which can constitute big government that Republicans are not always shy about seeking). It would help to have a frank dialogue about which such measures we should focus on (not just slinging around empty big/small government rhetoric when it suits someone’s goals), and we should strive for a policy that is internally consistent. If we are meddling with nature to keep certain animal populations sustainable, we also must curtail the damage from human activity (pollution, logging, etc) that is accelerating the rate of animal extinction — or put another way, we must first control our own (destructive) impact on nature before we start telling nature what to do.

  • http://feministing.com/members/esmeralda/ Esmeralda

    You know what this says to me? It tells me that our own government thinks that the worth of women and our health is less than that of a horse’s. It reminds me of that line from the movie Borat where he’s listing where women fall of the scale of worth compared to other animals. “First comes horse, then sheep, then dog, then woman, then chicken…”

    Hey Rep. Burton, Afghanistan called. They said they want their views on women back.