Posts Tagged ‘anti-abortion’
Somebody hand me a snake!
The focus of a fierce suburban congressional battle turned from the economy to abortion literally overnight following Republican Rep. Joe Walsh’s controversial declaration that there’s no medical necessity to use the procedure to save a woman’s life.
“With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance,” Walsh declared in comments to reporters after a televised debate Thursday night against Democrat Tammy Duckworth in the northwest suburban 8th District race…
The man’s an ignoranus. He cares nothing for a woman’s life.
…The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said 600 women die annually in the U.S. from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes. Comments like those from Walsh, the group said in a statement, were ample reason why politicians need to “get out of our exam rooms.”
“Walsh’s comments have no grounding in science and are completely inaccurate,” said Dr. Cassing Hammond, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine…
Dr. David Grimes took issue with anti-abortion politicians who view “women as some kind of Tupperware container that holds the fetus for nine months.”
The unfolding controversy stepped on Walsh’s key political message about slashing government. It also spurred critics to compare him with Republican Rep. Todd Akin, another staunch abortion foe who famously damaged his once front-running Missouri U.S. Senate campaign by proclaiming that a rape victim’s body would not allow her to become pregnant.
Duckworth, who supports abortion rights, also took aim at Walsh. “I am flabbergasted that he is that out of touch with science,” she said.
Duckworth is being polite. Like most of his peers, Walsh is as anti-science as he is anti-women. He doesn’t care in the least for informed analysis and opinions. His brain is stuck into 19th Century ideology.
No one really expects the Kool Aid Party to give up on a good thing. They’re raking in money and power that might challenge the take that right-wing fundamentalist sects suck from their followers. And it’s an opportunity for bottom feeders who never would have achieved power and position in, say, the Republican Party of Eisenhower or Bob Dole – or George Romney.
Cardinal Dolan to lead Republican convention in prayer for victory over civil rights, liberated women and uppity nuns
On your knees, sinners!
The news that New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the nation’s most prominent Catholic prelate, will deliver the closing blessing to the Republican National Convention in Florida next week was seen as a huge coup for Mitt Romney, the party’s presumptive nominee. But the move has also prompted a sharp debate within the church over the increasingly close ties between leading bishops and the GOP.
“The cozy relationship between a sizable portion of U.S. bishops and the Republican Party should be cause for concern, and not just among progressive Catholics,” Michael O’Loughlin wrote in a post on the website of America magazine, a leading Catholic weekly published by the Jesuits.
“Cardinal Dolan’s appearance in Tampa will damage the church’s ability to be a moral and legitimate voice for voiceless, as those who view the Catholic Church as being a shill for the GOP have just a bit more evidence to prove their case,” O’Loughlin concluded…
Similarly, David Cruz-Uribe, a member of the Secular Franciscan Order and a professor of mathematics at Trinity College, wrote on the Vox Nova blog that Dolan’s decision “will only drag the Church further into a partisan divide and fuel the perception (true or not) that the Catholic Church wants to replace the Episcopalians as the Republican party on its knees…”
Cripes. I haven’t read that phrase in years. Reminds me of no end of salacious jokes.
By tradition, the local bishop often delivers a prayer at the party convention meeting in his city, but it is highly unusual for another bishop — and the leader of the hierarchy — to fly in to deliver a benediction, as Dolan will do on Aug. 30, right after Romney is formally nominated…
Examine the range of issues – and positions on those issues – today’s Republican Party and the most reactionary elements of the Catholic Church hold in common. They share a war on Women – denying reproductive rights, abortion, birth control, IVF – even the papal edict against a woman choosing to abort to save her own life.
They oppose civil rights for the LGBT community. They demand that religious dogma and doctrine take precedence over civil law. All that may be missing from the podium that night is an appearance by one of those uppity nuns – gagged and in chains.
You want us to honor reproductive rights for who? — Flores, Ryan, Akin
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
Even as the Republican establishment continued to call for Representative Todd Akin of Missouri to drop out of his Senate race because of his comments on rape and abortion, Republicans approved platform language on Tuesday calling for a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion with no explicit exceptions for cases of rape or incest.
The anti-abortion plank, approved by the Republican platform committee…was similar to the planks Republicans have included in their recent party platforms, which also called for a constitutional ban on abortions…
“Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert Blah, blah, blah…“We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”
The timing of the approval of the Republican anti-abortion plank was awkward for Mitt Romney, who has denounced Mr. Akin’s comments about rape and abortion and who has said that he supports exceptions to allow abortions in cases of rape. And it comes as his selection of his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, was already drawing scrutiny for his support for a more absolute ban on abortions, even in cases of rape or incest…
The Republican platform committee waded into the abortion debate again later on Tuesday when it approved language opposing drugs like RU-486, which can terminate pregnancies. “We oppose approval of these drugs and similar drugs that terminate innocent human life after conception,” said Mary Summa, a delegate form North Carolina, who introduced a plank calling on the Food and Drug Administration not to approve such drugs…
The party also approved a plank supporting abstinence-only education, as it has in the past…“We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with increased funding for abstinence education, which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and expected standard of behavior.”
I’m not certain if the Republican Party would prefer to drag this nation back into the 19th Century – removing the voting franchise from women and non-whites – or take society all the way back to the 14th Century and simply get rid of all that stuff about voting and democracy altogether. Rule by kings and papal edict seemed to work well enough for the moneyed classes of the time and, after all, that is the only imperative for political rule in today’s Republican Party.
Leticia Parra, a mother of five scraping by on income from her husband’s sporadic construction jobs, relied on the Planned Parenthood clinic in San Carlos, an impoverished town in South Texas, for breast cancer screenings, free birth control pills and pap smears for cervical cancer. But the clinic closed in October, along with more than a dozen others in the state, after financing for women’s health was slashed by two-thirds by the Republican-controlled Legislature.
The cuts, which left many low-income women with inconvenient or costly options, grew out of the effort to eliminate state support for Planned Parenthood. Although the cuts also forced clinics that were not affiliated with the agency to close — and none of them, even the ones run by Planned Parenthood, performed abortions — supporters of the cutbacks said they were motivated by the fight against abortion.
Which proves one of two things – or both:  anti-abortion crusaders are fanatics who don’t care who they crush in the course of their religious blitzkrieg;  anti-abortion crusaders really consider all questions of women’s health to be unimportant — matching their attitude about women in general.
On November 8, Mississippi voters will not only decide who should lead the state, but also indicate whether they agree with the candidates about the status of embryos. The Initiative 26 ballot measure proposes to amend the state’s constitution to redefine ‘person’ as “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning, or the equivalent thereof”. If approved, the amendment would effectively bestow human rights on fertilized human eggs, making abortion illegal in the state in most, if not all, circumstances.
“The unborn child in the womb is scientifically proven to be a human being, and when it comes down to it we are a human-rights organization,” says Jennifer Mason, communications director for Personhood USA…Ms. Mason, like most of her peers, is deluded, a hypocrite, a liar.
By defining personhood so broadly, the measure would also have an impact beyond abortion—for example, it could rule out research using human embryonic stem cells and put doctors who offer in vitro fertilization (IVF) in a dubious legal position, because not all embryos created during fertility treatment survive the procedure.
“This is a dangerous and extreme government intrusion into women’s health, women’s rights and families’ health,” says Stan Flint, a consultant to Mississippians for Healthy Families, based in Jackson, which opposes the amendment.
Similar propositions have been put to voters in the United States twice before—during statewide campaigns in Colorado, where the personhood movement first emerged as a strategic challenge to abortion laws. But in both 2008 and 2010, personhood initiatives were roundly defeated, respectively winning only 27% and 29% of votes cast…Mississippi could be very different…
The Mississippi vote itself will have little direct impact on human embryonic stem-cell research, because the state is not a major player in the field. The potential threat to reproductive technology is more immediate…
As the campaign for Initiative 26 heads into its final days…defeat of the Mississippi initiative would be a turnaround, but an increasingly vocal opposition movement has thrown predictions of an easy victory for the initiative into question. “Starting from a dead stop at two months out, we have put together a major campaign,” says Stan Flint. “The momentum has swung strongly towards the opposition to this amendment.”
Just as fundraising for organizations like Planned Parenthood were an absolute necessity in the days spent fighting for a woman’s right to choose an abortion, for everyone’s access to birth control – here we are, again, faced with religious nutballs trying to enforce their 14th Century ideology on the Land of Liberty.
That they choose to couch their intellectual backwardness in terminology that includes the word “science” sprinkled here and there is lip service to rare notice of what century we really live in. In truth, many of our politicians are as backwards as the people who elect them to “lead”. I expect as little from them as I do from the huddled clusters of fanatics who say Mississippi is God’s Country.
Is this a Rick Perry or Michelle Bachmann voter?
Nearly all of the Republican presidential candidates would put the brakes on President Obama’s efforts to broaden federal spending on embryonic stem cell research, a move many scientists feel would jeopardize the future of a promising but controversial field that has been whipsawed by political shifts over the past decade.
The prospect of an about-face in White House policy alarms researchers, who in 2009 hailed Obama’s executive order to lift Bush-era restrictions on taxpayer support for this type of work as the end of the scientific Dark Ages. Last month, a federal judge dismissed a legal challenge to government funding for the experimentation.
Human embryonic stem cells have the ability to become any tissue in the body and might eventually lead to treatments for intractable diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.
But antiabortion GOP candidates equate the emerging science with abortion because human embryos must be destroyed to extract the stem cells. And like President George W. Bush, who in 2001 barred the National Institutes of Health from supporting most embryonic stem cell research, they vow to restrict future funding for it…
Bush’s compromise drew sharp criticism from some conservatives, who chastised him for allowing any federal support of the research. Now most of the Republican candidates have refused to be pinned down as to just how far they will go in their opposition.
Wary of alienating social conservatives who have become increasingly important to winning in 2012, their campaigns responded to a Globe survey of their positions with vague statements and dodged questions about whether they would endorse Bush’s position of allowing funding for research on a limited number of existing stem cell lines to continue.
Fact is, the Republican Party and their Kool Aid Party brownshirts aren’t even up to the 19th Century Age of Reason when it comes to understanding modern science, the benefits of science. The lives of ordinary human beings, the economic life of businesses grounded in advancing technology, medicine, healthcare, and knowledge in general – grow and thrive in a world where every scientific step forward has both a social and an economic component.
Nothing counts more to the ideologues of the Right than getting elected or reelected and if that means promising to end studies in evolution, geography, astrophysics, genetics and biology – so be it! If the destruction of government requires the end of science as we know it, they have no problem with that!
“They say you’re selling condoms in here”
A group which is opposed to abortion in all circumstances and favours an abstinence-based approach to sex education has been appointed to advise the government on sexual health. The Life organisation has been invited to join a new sexual health forum set up to replace the Independent Advisory Group on Sexual Health and HIV…
In contrast, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) has been omitted from the forum despite its long-term position on the previous advisory group and 40-year track record in providing pregnancy counselling nationwide.
“We are disappointed and troubled to learn that having initially been invited to the sexual health forum we have been disinvited, particularly now we understand that Life have been offered a seat at the table,” said Ann Furedi, chief executive of BPAS. “We find it puzzling that the Department of Health would want a group that is opposed to abortion and provides no sexual health services on its sexual health forum…”
Not especially different from the catalogue of Republican Party fears about gay sex, young people having sex, old people having sex, contraception, abortion right, women’s rights, choice and above all else – people being free to have sex.
Blake said: “Having made…massive progress, what we have to do is sustain that … and not go back to a time when the young had really poor sexual and relationship education and see a rise in teenage pregnancy rates and sexually transmitted infections as a result…”
Life also became a founding member last week of a new Sex and Relationships Council, which was launched in parliament with the endorsement of the education secretary, Michael Gove.
The council, which includes the Christian-run pro-abstinence group the Silver Ring Thing, says it aims to bring the voice of what it describes as “value-based, parent centred” sex and relationship education (SRE) providers to policy discussions on the future of SRE in schools…
Some secular organisations have been growing increasingly worried that Tory ministers are opening up government to the agendas of faith-based and pro-life groups…
In Richmond, south-west London, the Catholic Children’s Society has taken over the £89,000 contract to provide advice to schoolchildren on matters including contraception and pregnancies. Another Christian-run charity, Care Confidential, is involved in providing crisis pregnancy advice under the auspices of Newham PCT in east London. Care’s education arm, Evaluate, was one of the founding members, alongside Life, of the Sex and Relationships Council.
Sounds to me like the same crap ideology advanced against Planned Parenthood in the United States by reactionaries and religious conservatives. They’ve found a home in what now passes for the Republican Party and are out to press regression of women’s rights back before World War 1.
In Florida, “uterus” is a dirty word. A member of the state house of representatives drew a reprimand when he complained that while Republicans want to repeal rules and regulations on corporations, they are all hot to impose rules and regulations on individuals. Women, for example. The rightwingers who control both the house and the senate in Florida have introduced 18 bills to restrict abortion.
Representative Scott Randolph, a Democrat from Orlando, said that his wife had decided the only way to protect her rights was to, as he put it, “incorporate her uterus”. Maybe then the business sycophants of the Republican party would stop trying to micromanage it with laws circumscribing reproductive freedom. Speaker Dean Cannon said he was shocked – shocked! – at such language on the house floor, deeming it a breach of “decorum”. Stephanie Kunkel, Planned Parenthood’s Florida director, rolled her eyes: “If the speaker can’t bear to hear or say the word ‘uterus’, he shouldn’t be legislating it.” Newspaper columnists amused themselves concocting acceptable euphemisms: Frank Cerabino of the Palm Beach Post suggests “baby garage”.
And that’s pretty much how Republicans see women – as a place to park a kid till he’s ready to pop out and go to Sunday School and learn that sex is filthy. Republican-controlled legislatures across the US are hell-bent on stopping women from exercising control over their own bodies. Florida is one of 13 states that would require women to have an ultrasound – which they would have to pay for – before terminating a pregnancy. In Indiana, Texas, Kentucky and four other states, a woman would be forced to look at the foetus. Doctors would have to describe to her, in great detail, the foetus and its physical functions. After all this, she would still have to cool her heels for several days before being permitted to actually have the abortion…
In Texas, where they’re trying to restrict RU-486, the “morning after pill”, the legislature also threatened to cut funding for low-income contraception programmes on the logic that birth control among the poor leads to increased abortion rates. That’s bad and stupid, but not as bad and stupid as what’s going on in Louisiana where Representative John LaBruzzo has introduced a bill to outlaw all abortions – no exceptions, even where the life of the mother is at risk – and charge doctors who perform abortions with “foeticide”. On 26 April, Mother Jones reported that LaBruzzo would also like to make criminals of women who have abortions, but that he may remove that provision in his bill, making it easier to pass.
As Gloria Steinem said, so many years ago: “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.”
I’ve been following the serious attack on freedom of choice by Republikans – about right for self-titled Libertarians. Plus the absurd assault on language by Florida Republicans. You should RTFA in the Guardian for the best precis of what’s going on. Both the criminal and laughable elements of the tale.
As is customary, most of the news-as-media-and-entertainment crowd who own American journalism have paid little attention to the political struggle and fear possible retaliation by Republicans and their Kool Aid Party brown shirts. So, there has been little coverage of the uterati event. Though it would fit nicely in with their dedication to column inches about stupidity like birthers and other racist camouflage.
Enda Kenny campaigning in Donegal
Irish people are voting on Friday in what is arguably the most important general election in the republic’s history.
The electorate of more than 2 million will be sending representatives of a new government back to Brussels early next month to renegotiate the terms of the international bailout package that gave Ireland more than €80bn.
Enda Kenny, leader of the main opposition party, Fine Gael, is almost certain to be elected taoiseach and is already planning to travel next week to Brussels to meet his counterparts in the European People’s party bloc.
The meeting will pave the way for an EU finance summit later in March during which a number of debt-stricken countries, including Ireland, will attempt to persuade fellow Europeans to lower the interest payments on the loans.
Up until the final day of campaigning, Kenny and his party have been resisting all calls to reveal who they will share power with after the election. Kenny has also declined to give advice to Fine Gael voters as to where they should place their second, third, fourth and other preferences. Ireland elects its 166 members of the Irish parliament on the single transferable vote system in 43 multi-member constituencies…
Despite a surge in support, Fine Gael is unlikely to reach the magic figure of 83 seats that would allow the party to govern with an overall majority. Over recent days, relationships have been improving between Fine Gael and the Irish Labour party, Kenny’s most likely coalition partners.
Labour has complained of last-minute dirty tricks directed at the party by the Catholic right. Anti-abortion pressure groups have covered lamp-posts along O’Connell Street, Dublin’s major thoroughfare, with stickers claiming: “A vote for Labour is a vote for abortion.” Labour is the only one of the major Dail parties to take a pro-choice stance on abortion, which is still illegal in Ireland…
Despite several unresolved disagreements between Fine Gael and Labour – not least over the issue of abortion – most commentators and bookmakers seem to think the two parties are most likely to form the next coalition with a 30-plus majority in the Dail.
When you have an international theme following 14th Century ideology, you needn’t wonder at the consistency of reactionary political tactics. Whether you’re in Kansas or Dublin the game’s the same even if the name isn’t.
Taking away women’s rights to choice are a pretty consistent piece of that ideology – along with opposition to practices as modern, say, as the 19th Century – like contraception.