April 12, 2013
College Students Can Glean Lessons from State Activity on Abortion
USA Today: Lessons for students from recent abortion cases, by Rebecca Wickel:
5 lessons that college students can takeaway from recent, high profile abortion cases: Know your representatives, read the fine print, go off campus, take a stand and stay informed.
New laws enacted in Arkansas and North Dakota represent some of the country's most extreme legislation against abortion. Now, both states will go head-to-head in court with abortion-rights advocates who insist the bills violate the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
The debate and the controversy surrounding it have many consequences in both Arkansas and North Dakota, yet they can teach college students anywhere how to get involved, take a stance and become educated.
March 20, 2013
Charles Murray Elaborates on Statement that Abortion is "Justifiable Homicide"
Human Events: Why Did Charles Murray Call Abortion 'Justifiable' Homicide? We Asked Him, by David Harsanyi:
I should start by admitting that I’ve been a fan of social scientist Charles Murray for a long time – and not only for the compelling reason that I agree with many of his conclusions. A fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, he is best known for his controversial books “Losing Ground” and “The Bell Curve” (his newest is Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010 ) — but all of them are excellent.
Murray caused somewhat of a ruckus at CPAC last week, not only advocating that Republicans embrace gay marriage (not entirely surprising), but for dropping this provocative statement about abortion on the crowd: “It’s a murder—it’s a homicide—but sometimes homicide is justified.” . . .
Murray says that abortion is murder. But his attempt to explain why he would still allow some abortions reveals the inconsistency of his position:
“I really consider abortion a hugely grave step that you move forward on with the greatest reluctance for the most compelling reason. But I always believed that it was beyond the competence of government to legislate those issues.” . . .
The easiest [abortions to defend], says Murray, are cases in which the health of mother is in question. But Murray is also sympathetic in instances when the fetus has serious health problems — brain stem problems “not Down’s Syndrome” but something that “constitutes severe damage.” Here again, he notes, the age-old problem arises: who exactly makes these calls?
Really? Would he think it "justifiable homicide" if a person were to kill another in order to preserve his own health? We don't require people to donate organs or even blood to help save another person's life or health. Would he consider it "justifiable homicide" if an individual were to decide to kill a person who had some sort of vaguely defined "serious damage" to the brain? Does he think it "beyond the competence of government" to ban such acts?
The fact that most conservatives feel uncomfortable about punishing women for obtaining abortions, or banning abortion in every instance, shows that they do not view embryos and fetuses as morally equivalent to a person. To admit that an embryo or fetus is not a person does not mean that we must abandon all claims that embryonic and fetal life has moral value. But forthrightly admitting that abortion is not murder would be more consistent with conservatives' other considered judgments, and it better explains why the vast majority of Americans would not ban abortions entirely. It also makes it much harder to defend allowing some abortions and not others, rather than leaving this moral decision to the woman to make. At the very least, it requires conservatives to defend proposed abortion restrictions on grounds other than the vague claim that "life begins at conception." For more on this topic, see The Meaning of "Life": Belief and Reason in the Abortion Debate.
See also: The New Yorker: Charles Murray's Gay-Marriage Surprise, by Jane Mayer.
March 16, 2013
Rep. Gingrey Backpedals on Rape Comments
The Hill - Healthwatch: Rep. Gingrey, mulling Senate bid, regrets defending Todd Akin, by Cameron Joseph:
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), who is weighing a campaign for Senate, said he regrets defending former Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) infamous "legitimate rape" remarks.
Gingrey, an obstetrician, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he had made "a very awkward attempt to explain the unexplainable" when he backed Akin in January. He disavowed his earlier remarks, calling them "stupid.". . .
March 05, 2013
The Guardian Offers Timeline of "2012 War on Women"
The Guardian: The War on Women, by Heather Long:
2012 was a tough year for American females as various aspects of female health and reproduction repeatedly took center stage. Politicians and pundits, mainly Republican, made degrading and factually incorrect remarks about rape and contraception. But Democrats also left their mark with an ill-timed snipe at stay-at-home mom Ann Romney, reinvigorating the "mommy wars".
Here are the key moments in the 2012 War on Women . . . .
March 5, 2013 in 2012 Presidential Campaign, Abortion, Abortion Bans, Anti-Choice Movement, Congress, Contraception, Fetal Rights, In the Media, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Parenthood, Politics, Pregnancy & Childbirth, Religion and Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Health & Safety, Sexual Assault, Sexuality, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
No End in Sight to GOP Ignorance and Insensitivity on Pregnancy Resulting from Rape
Huffington Post: Celeste Greig, California Republican, Claims Pregnancy From Rape Is Rare:
The president of California's oldest and largest GOP volunteer group took a wrong turn while trying to criticize GOP candidates' missteps on women's reproductive rights when she argued that pregnancies resulting from rape are rare "because the body is traumatized."
Celeste Greig leads the California Republican Assembly, which former President Ronald Reagan once called "the conscience of the Republican Party." It works to elect conservative Republicans to public office. . . .
There is already a petition asking for Greig's resignation here.
March 04, 2013
GOP Utah Lawmaker Compares Abortion to Cockfighting
The Salt Lake Tribune: Senator raises abortion issue in cock fighting debate, by David Montero:
A bill seeking to turn cock fighting into a felony took a detour during floor comments in the Utah Senate Monday when a Republican expressed dismay that the Legislature was looking to elevate the penalty for rooster fighting while abortion remained legal. . . .
"In a state where we can still allow people to kill their babies, we want to make it a felony to let chickens fight — the purpose for which they were raised," Christensen said. . . .
February 28, 2013
House Approves Expanded Violence Against Women Act
The New York Times: House Renews Violence Against Women Measure, by Ashley Parker:
The House on Thursday gave final approval to a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, sending a bipartisan Senate measure to President Obama after a House plan endorsed by conservatives was defeated. . . .
The legislation’s approval underscored the divide in the Republican party as it struggles to regain its footing with women after its 2012 electoral drubbing among female voters. . . .
February 25, 2013
More of the Same - GOP Continues to Push Aggressive Abortion Bills
MSNBC: GOP ignores 2012 lessons, pushes harsh anti-abortion bills, by Aliyah Frumin:
Republican lawmakers are pushing abortion-restricting bills in both Indiana and Arkansas, suggesting the GOP did not learn from the national backlash to super aggressive abortion rhetoric in the 2012 elections. (See: Akin, Todd and Mourdock, Richard.)
Old habits, it seem, die hard. . . .
February 25, 2013 in Abortion, Abortion Bans, Mandatory Delay/Biased Information Laws, Politics, State Legislatures, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
February 11, 2013
Young Montana Voters, Including Republicans, Lean Left on Social Issues
The New York Times: Young, Liberal and Open to Big Government, by Sheryl Gay Stolberg:
MISSOULA, Mont. — This funky college town, nestled along two rivers where five mountain ranges converge, has long been a liberal pocket, an isolated speck of blue in a deeply red state. Now Montana is electing more politicians who lean that way, thanks to a different-minded generation of young voters animated by the recession and social issues. . . .
Here in Missoula, young people who voted for Mr. Obama last year said in interviews that they would be open to voting Republican, particularly if a candidate supports same-sex marriage. Young Republicans, too, hope their party will shift on that issue.
“The social issues are hard,” said Ashley Nerbovig, a 19-year-old who backed Mr. Romney. “It’s not realistic that you can be against gay marriage and abortion.” . . .
January 17, 2013
Virginia AG Urges People to "Go to Jail" to Protest Federal Contraception Mandate
MSNBC - The Maddow Blog: Cuccinelli to allies: 'Go to jail' over contraception access, by Steve Benen:
Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) told supporters this week that they should "defy and or break the law" in order to resist the Affordable Care Act. Of course, the opinions of some strange former congressman, booted out of Congress after one term, probably don't carry much weight.
How about a man who may be elected governor of Virginia later this year?. . .
The Hill - Healthwatch Blog: Planned Parenthood slams Cucinelli for protest call for protest call against birth-control mandate, by Elise Viebeck:
Planned Parenthood Virginia PAC slammed the state's attorney general Friday after he said going to jail would be an effective way to protest President Obama's birth-control mandate.
Ken Cuccinelli, a conservative Catholic who opposes the mandate, made the remark late Wednesday on an Iowa radio program. . . .
Representative Diane Black Vows to Defund Planned Parenthood
The Hill - Healtwatch Blog: Rep. Black vows to defund Planned Parenthood after latest abortion report, by Pete Kasperowicz:
Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) this week vowed to continue trying to starve Planned Parenthood of federal funds after the group's latest report showed it performed a record number of abortions in its latest fiscal year.
According to Black, Planned Parenthood's latest report says the group received $542 million in taxpayer funding, nearly half of the group's revenue. She said the group performed nearly 334,000 abortions in the last fiscal year. . . .
January 16, 2013
Reining in Republicans on the Topic of Rape
The Susan B. Anthony List will train Republicans on how to discuss rape:
Feministing: Susan B. Anthony List to create training programs to help Republicans talk about rape, by Samhita Mukhopadhyay:
The only instruction that Republicans need about talking about rape these days is to…stop. Or, well, keep talking–so we can continue to learn about their curious and frightening logix about pregnancy, sex, consent, and magic uteri. I imagine Susan B. Anthony list’s training is going to be some form of–”doh, just stop talking about it!” But these fine men just can’t help themselves, because they actually believe what is coming out of their mouths. . . .
And they seem to need it:
The Hill - Healthwatch Blog: Rep. Gingrey: Todd Akin 'partly right' about rape and pregnancy, by Sam Baker:
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) said former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) was "partly right" when he made controversial comments that women cannot become pregnant from a rape.
Akin, then the Republican Senate nominee in Missouri, said a woman cannot become pregnant from a "legitimate rape" because the female body can "shut that whole thing down."
Gingrey, who is an OB-GYN, said in a town-hall meeting that Akin was partially correct, according to a report in the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal. . . .
January 07, 2013
Supreme Court Will Not Review Anti-Abortion Group's Challenge to FEC PAC Disclosure Rules
Reuters: Supreme Court won't hear challenge over PAC disclosures, by Terry Baynes & Jonathan Stempel:
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to review a challenge to federal regulators' method for determining which political groups need to register as political action committees and reveal their donors.
Without comment, the court declined to hear the appeal of The Real Truth About Abortion, an anti-abortion group that had sued in 2008 to challenge numerous Federal Election Commission rules that govern disclosures of political spending. . . .
January 06, 2013
Anti-Abortion Gala to Feature Paul Ryan
Politico: Paul Ryan to raise profile at anti-abortion event, by Kathryn Smith:
Paul Ryan has kept a low profile since Election Day — but he’ll retake the spotlight again soon as the headliner at an anti-abortion organization’s fundraiser.
The Susan B. Anthony List announced Friday that the House Budget Committee chairman and former vice presidential nominee will be the keynote speaker at its annual gala in April. . . .
Sen. Patty Murray on House Republicans' Failure To Take Up Bill Reauthorizing Violence Against Women Act
CNN opinion: House GOP failed women on Violence Against Women Act, by Patty Murray:
(CNN) -- This week, just over 250 days since the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan and inclusive bill to extend the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives allowed the clock to run out on protections that bill would have provided to millions of women across our country. . . .
December 18, 2012
Gov. Bobby Jindal's Op-Ed on Contraception
The New Republic: The GOP Better Listen to Bobby Jindal on Birth Control, by Amy Sullivan:
Lost amid the shock and horror of Friday's news was a remarkable op-ed in the Wall Street Journalby Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who should no longer be called a "rising star" of the GOP. He commands attention by virtue of being smart, good at his job, and not a white guy. So it's significant that he chose to use his platform to break ranks with many social conservatives in his party by calling for over-the-counter sales of birth control pills. . . .
December 17, 2012
Rick Perry Reaffirms His Goal to Ban All Abortions
Think Progress: Rick Perry: Outlawing All Access to Abortion is 'My Goal', by Tara Culp-Ressler:
At a press conference on Tuesday organized by the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) reaffirmed that his ultimate legislative objective is to restrict all women’s access to abortion services. . . .
December 09, 2012
Planned Parenthood's Remarkably Successful Campaign Strategy
The Washington Post (Blog): Inside Planned Parenthood's campaign strategy, by Sarah Kliff:
Planned Parenthood Action Fund earned an honor this campaign cycle that had nothing to do with women’s health: It was the most effective political group in the 2012 election.
Over 98 percent of its spending was in races that ended with the desired result, according to an analysis by the Sunlight Foundation. . . .
British Columbia Conservative MP's Motion on Sex Selective Abortion Stirs Controversy
The Province: Battle looms over Tory MP's motion on sex-selective abortion, by Jordan Press:
A Conservative backbencher’s motion on sex-selective abortions caught the ire of opposition parties Wednesday, with the NDP and Liberal leaders claiming it was another attempt to outlaw abortion, while the MP behind the proposal called it a stand for human rights.
The volleys over Tory MP Mark Warawa’s motion are part of an ongoing tug-of-war between anti-abortion MPs who want to claim the motion for their cause, and advocates who want to keep the proposal distanced from the politically controversial abortion debate. . . .
December 04, 2012
Senator Shaheen Promises to Fight for Servicewomen's Access to Reproductive Healthcare
The Hill (Blog): Shaheen vows to fight for abortion coverage for women in the military, by Ramsey Cox:
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) vowed Friday to fight for abortion rights and healthcare coverage for military service women if the Senate defense bill reaches a conference committee with the House.
Shaheen said the National Defense Authorization Act, S. 3254, includes language allowing reproductive healthcare for female service members.