Sunday, February 2, 2014
CharlotteObserver.com: Abortion question divides North Carolina’s U.S. Senate candidates, by Renee Schoof & John Frank:
North Carolina’s fiercely competitive U.S. Senate race could turn on one of the most divisive issues in politics.
The abortion question shows up the stark contrast between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and her GOP challengers. . . .
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
The New York Times: Parties Seize on Abortion Issues in Midterm Race, by Jeremy W. Peters:
. . . Abortion is becoming an unexpectedly animating issue in the 2014 midterm elections. Republicans, through state ballot initiatives and legislation in Congress, are using it to stoke enthusiasm among core supporters. Democrats, mindful of how potent the subject has been in recent campaigns like last year’s governor’s race in Virginia, are looking to rally female voters by portraying their conservative opponents as callous on women’s issues. . . .
I found this passage interesting:
Coupling the issue of abortion with a subject important to Republicans’ Tea Party followers — government spending — is one way the party is recalibrating its election-year message. Republicans say that by framing the abortion debate in terms of fiscal conservatism, they can make a connection to the issue they believe will ultimately decide who controls Congress next year — the Affordable Care Act.
The GOP apparently doesn't feel confident that it can afford to address abortion head-on. Republicans are on the defensive, because they know they don't have public support for direct assaults on abortion. But as the GOP continues its stealth attacks on abortion, the struggle for pro-choice advocates and politicians will continue to be how to expose the Republicans' true agenda to voters.
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Detroit Free Press: Michigan's controversial abortion law to be targeted by opponents in 2014, by Dave Eggert:
Incensed Democrats and abortion rights advocates are vowing that Republican lawmakers overreached so much with new restrictions on abortion coverage in Michigan’s public and private health insurance plans that it will cost them in the 2014 elections.
A ballot drive to repeal or override the law is being considered. If enough signatures are collected, the statewide vote would coincide with November legislative races and keep the issue fresh in the minds of voters in 11 months. . . .
Saturday, November 30, 2013
The Daily Beast: The GOP’s Late-Term Abortion Strategy Is Backfiring, by Sally Kohn:
Right wing politicians who are push laws to restrict a woman’s access to later-term abortions presumably do so because they don’t want women having abortion after 20 weeks. But new research from medical school-based scholars finds that other policies that conservative Republicans are pushing, including restrictions on access to clinics as well as constrained access to health insurance, actually result in more women seeking later-term abortions. In other words, not only are Republicans hypocrites—but their hypocrisy is backfiring.
Diana Greene Foster and Katrina Kimport are professors in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences in the School of Medicine at the University of California in San Francisco. Between 2008 and 2010, Foster and Kimport studied the cases of 272 women who had received an abortion at or after 20 weeks of gestation, as well as of 169 women who received first-trimester abortions. These women were interviewed just one week after their abortions and asked a variety of questions including what led to the delay in their medical care. The results are striking and profoundly important for those who seek to promote—or constrict—the rights of women to access and exercise their own reproductive freedom. . . .
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
The New Republic: Did Lindsey Graham Sponsor the Abortion Ban Because Marco Rubio Wouldn't?, by Nora Caplan-Bricker:
On Thursday, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham introduced a bill that would outlaw abortion at 20 weeks, a companion to a measure that passed the House of Representatives this June and an echo of laws that have already passed in more than a dozen conservative states. Anti-abortion activists have been looking for a sponsor the legislation since it passed the lower chamber, and Graham has pro-life bona fides tracing back to his introduction of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act in 1999. And though President Barack Obama has vowed to veto the bill if, by some fluke, it passes the Senate, its appearance in the capital still seems a natural way for the national party to channel the rabid vitality of its state-level cousins. Only one thing seems strange: Wasn’t this bill supposed to be Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s pet project? . . .
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
The Christian Science Monitor: What close loss in Virginia governor's race tells national Republicans, by Linda Feldmann:
In deep blue New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie won reelection easily. But in purple Virginia, the tea party-aligned Republican candidate for governor, Ken Cuccinelli, lost to Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe. . . .
Taken together, New Jersey and Virginia provide lessons for the Republicans nationally, political analysts say.
Take abortion. Governor Christie opposes abortion rights in a state where a majority supports them, but it’s not a defining issue for him. In Virginia, Cuccinelli’s strong opposition to abortion – including support for a failed measure that would have required a vaginal ultrasound before an abortion and a new law putting significant restrictions on abortion clinics – put him out of step with unmarried women in his state, a key voting bloc. . . .
Saturday, November 2, 2013
MSNBC: 'I'm showing my son mercy', by Irin Carmon:
. . . Oklahomans brag that theirs has become the reddest state. Republicans hold super majorities in both chambers and every single seat in the U.S. Congress. Republican Mary Fallin is governor. Every single Oklahoma county rejected Barack Obama–twice. The changed political landscape allowed Oklahoma to become a staging ground for the anti-choice movement’s strategy to undermine Roe v. Wade, one seemingly narrow restriction at a time.
“We are the guinea pigs,” said Ryan Kiesel, a former state lawmaker who is executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma. . . .
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Rolling Stone: Why the Right Wing Is Targeting Birth Control Again, by Erika L. Sanchez:
What does birth control have to do with the congressional budget? Not much – unless you're a House Republican. In their latest effort to thwart Obamacare during the recent budget negotiations, several right-wing legislators attempted to tack a so-called "conscience clause" onto the law. The idea, which dates back several years, is to give employers who cite religious objections a way to block their employees from getting contraception covered by their health insurance.
Under the Affordable Care Act, preventative services, which include birth control, must be covered by health plans with no copayment, coinsurance or deductible. Even so, some top GOP leaders, most notably Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin), are still demanding restrictions on contraception. As a result, many women's rights advocates are now on high alert. . . .
Sunday, October 20, 2013
NBC Washington: Va. Gov. Candidates Battle over Abortion:
In the Virginia governor's race, the perennial hot-button issue of abortion keeps creeping into the dialogue.
Each candidate portrays the other as an extremist, although on opposite ends of the spectrum, on an issue that could have an impact in a state where 54 percent of the approximately 4.8 million voters are women. Polls have shown Democrat Terry McAuliffe with a wide lead over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli among female voters. . . .
Sunday, October 13, 2013
The Huffington Post: Ted Cruz Calls Birth Control 'Abortifacients', by Laura Bassett:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Friday repeated the misguided conservative talking point that the birth control coverage rule included in Obamacare forces employers to cover abortion-inducing pills.
Cruz told the crowd at the 2013 Values Voter Summit that the Obama administration is forcing Christian-owned businesses like Hobby Lobby to provide "abortifacients" or pay millions of dollars in fees. Hobby Lobby is one of several religious-owned businesses currently suing the administration over its requirement that most employers include contraception coverage in their health insurance plans. . . .
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The Washington Post - editorial: Virginia’s next governor will determine whether most abortion clinics close:
VIRGINIA ATTORNEY General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) was instrumental in ensuring that new regulations will result in the closure of many of the state’s abortion clinics. Two of the busiest, in Northern Virginia and Norfolk, already have closed. If Mr. Cuccinelli is elected governor in November, most of the remaining 18 clinics are likely to shut their doors within months.
That would make access to abortion, as well as to family planning advice, difficult for thousands of Virginia women, particularly in rural areas; in some cases, it would become practically impossible. It would also represent a capstone in the Republican campaign in Richmond to limit abortion, despite Supreme Court rulings protecting it. . . .
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Salon: GOP plan to appeal to millennials: “Make abortion funny”, by Alex Seitz-Wald:
Young Christian-right leaders think the answer to their problems with young voters lies in more snark
“How do you make abortion funny?” That was a key question mulled at a major conservative gathering Friday on how to make social conservatism appealing to young people, after an election where Republicans got trounced in the battle for millennial voters (who are are moving even further and further away from the Christian-right on marriage and other issues).
Abortion has to be made funny, the thinking goes, because funny sells on social media, and that’s where one goes to court young people. “You can engage with sarcasm, it’s hard with the abortion issue, but you have to,” said Students for Life president Kristan Hawkins at a breakout panel at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington today on how to win millennial voters. . . .
Time - Swampland blog: House Passes 20-Week Abortion Ban, by Kate Pickert:
In what some conservatives are calling the most important abortion measure to be considered by Congress since 2003’s partial birth abortion ban, the House today passed a bill that would make it illegal to terminate pregnancies after 20 weeks. The bill, which passed 228-196, is not expected to have an impact on federal abortion law. The Senate is unlikely to take up the bill and the White House has already threatened to veto such legislation if it ever lands on President Obama’s desk. . . .
The Washington Post - The House abortion bill likely won’t make it into law. But it still matters., by Juliet Eilperin:
The House bill that would ban abortions starting at 20 weeks, which passed Tuesday night 228 to 196, presents a clear challenge to federal law. But the White House has issued a veto threat, and the measure lacks the votes right now to pass the Senate.
Does it matter?
From a political standpoint, the answer is yes. . . .
Before passing the ban, GOP leaders added an exception for cases of rape, undermining all the moving rhetoric about "welcom[ing] young children who can feel pain into the human family." "Young children" who are the product of rape don't get welcomed into the human family?
CNN: House GOP leaders add rape exception to abortion bill, by Deirdre Walsh:
House Republican leaders are hoping to head off a repeat of last week's controversy over the issue of whether there should be an exception for cases of rape and incest in a GOP sponsored bill banning late term abortions by adding that exception before the House debates the measure on Tuesday. . . .
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Politico: Evangelicals to GOP: Don't betray us on abortion, by James Hohmann:
After Todd Akin last year and Trent Franks last week, abortion is the last topic many national Republicans want the political conversation to focus on.
Yet social conservatives in town this weekend for the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference said the GOP would be making a grave mistake to ignore the hot-button culture-war issue. To the contrary, they believe it’s key to the party’s fortunes in the 2014 midterms and beyond. . . .
Friday, April 12, 2013
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.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
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.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
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.". . .
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
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 (0)
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.
Monday, March 4, 2013
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. . . .