Sunday, October 20, 2013

This Just In: Florida is banning abortion on June 1, 2018 and other news

Florida Rep. Larry Ahern is even more impressive than the Mayans. They only thought they knew what day the world would end on. Rep. Ahern, meanwhile, knows exactly when abortion will be illegal in the state of Florida. June 1, 2018.

"We want Florida to become the state that stops the killing of the preborn," Rep. Ahern said at the state Right to Life convention. "I'd like to set a date certain to make that happen."

It's nice of Rep. Ahern to be so open about the fact that they aren't interested in women's safety, as anti-choice activists so often claim lately. One other thing we know is true and he'll admit candidly behind closed doors -- they want to put Planned Parenthood out of business all together as well.

"We want to shut down Planned Parenthood,...As the pro-life movement advances, remember, the culture of death becomes a lot like a wounded animal and will fight fanatically to protect that false right to kill the unborn. ... They will get rabid as it gets worse for them."

He didn't set a date for that part, yet.

Oklahoma's war on pregnant teens seeking abortions starts this week. This is why that matters.

Former Kansas AG Phill Kline, who made it his mission to try to put Dr. George Tiller in jail before an anti-choice terrorist shot and killer Dr. Tiller in church, has had his Kansas law license suspended. Anti-choice groups have responded by calling it a "political vendetta" and "political lynching." The irony would almost be amusing if Kline wasn't in a completely new career in Virginia working for Liberty University, with no intention of practicing law in Kansas again, and Dr. Tiller was dead.

A faculty member at a Catholic University is being forced to resign for saying abortion is a decision that should be between a woman and her doctor.

This man has been charged with trying to burn down a Missouri Planned Parenthood. Twice. The clinic did not offer abortions. This man says that helping to lead the Black Hawk Special Ops force has prepared him for the "current state of warfare" of saving babies. This one says that because he lets his parents buy him food and it's not legal to kill him, abortion is wrong.

Both abortion rights supporters and opponents are continuing to protest in front of Crestwood Hospital in Alabama. Anti-choice activists want the hospital to fire the doctors who have admitting privileges that allow a local clinic to stay open. Pro-choice advocates want to show the hospital support for keeping the doctors on staff. The question will be whether the presence of both sides makes the hospital cut ties with the doctors just to get people to stop protesting in front of it. Which, of course, is exactly what the abortion opponents are counting on.

Finally, women could be the deciding factor in the Virginia governor's race. So, if you are a Virginia woman reading this, please, please PLEASE vote.

Friday, October 18, 2013

This Just In: Fetus in a Handbag, Antis in the Driveway


A teen is being investigated after having a miscarriage, because the fetus was discovered in her bag when she was questioned for shoplifting. If there was any doubt that they are trying to decide if she should be charged criminally for the miscarriage, the fact that they are allegedly having a medical examiner check to see if the fetus took a breath or not should clear that up.

As this article explains, in countries where abortion is illegal all miscarriages are investigated just because of a "presumption of guilt." The issues that will make you look the most guilty are the same issues that would make you more likely to miscarry in the first place: young, irregular periods, poor, little access to health care, the same things that would make you unlikely to get prenatal care and lesson your chances of a successful pregnancy.

It's a vicious cycle and one American abortion opponents seem all too willing to push pregnant people into under the guise of "saving babies.

Alabama wants to make it even less likely that abortions would be performed outside of clinics by cutting the number of abortions a doctor can perform in his or her private practice from 30 a month to just 10.  Alabama, you will remember, passed a bill that would have closed all the clinics in the state if the courts hadn't enjoined it. So, twofer!

Sen. Rand Paul makes no qualms that his entire reason for trying to make abortion illegal again is biblically based, telling an anti-abortion fundraiser: "Our message doesn't have to be one of fire and brimstone — OK, maybe a little fire and brimstone."

Finally, things you would think anti-abortion activists would know by now:  women covered in sheets aren't dying, they are being protected from you taking pictures of them. Which you commend. Also, no one could threaten to run you over if you weren't standing in driveways, which are meant for cars. But you know that, because you are trying to impede traffic.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

This Just In: Real Women Don't Like Lust and other Anti-Choice Idioms

“A child’s right to life trumps a mother’s right to choose to end her pregnancy." There is the entire anti-choice movement in one succinct sentence.  And it was uttered by the radical, bloody fetus waving Missionaries to the Pre-Born.

With that belief energizing the anti-abortion, anti-birth control movement, even leaf-letting is getting aggressive when anti-abortion activists do it. Meanwhile AI.com wants to know if you think clinic protesting works. Go vote.

Dr. Carhart has been cleared of any medical negligence in the case of a woman who died early this year after having a later abortion. The doctor took the opportunity to rightfully shame anti-choice activists who released her name and medical info without her family's consent in an attempt to score political points. 

Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta railed against the proposed 20 week abortion ban in Albuquerque, calling it “an assault on the rights of women.”

Bakersfield councilwoman Jacquie Sullivan is still trying to push for some form of anti-choice resolution in the city, since her Human Life Amendment got trashed. Tonight will be a final vote to see if she gets what she wants.

The president of Susan B. Anthony List wants you to know that most later abortions are elective. Then again, when you believe a parent would benefit best by holding their born baby in their arms and watching him or her die, I guess you think every abortion is an "elective" one.

Finally, this is the saddest commentary you will ever read. Ever.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

This Just In: Yes, Politicians Who Want to Investigate Miscarriages Can Have Wives Who Have Had Miscarriages, and other news

We're getting closer to election day for a number of states, and that means the abortion-related mudslinging is getting underway. In Virginia, one politician is claiming that his opponent voted for bills that could open miscarriages up to a criminal investigations.

His opponent's wife, responding on his behalf, says that's an obvious lie, since she herself has had miscarriages.

It's a touchy subject, but yes, Personhood bills, and, frankly a lot bills that are on the books, do exactly that. Even in Virginia, miscarrying women are already being investigated as potentially undergoing illegal self-abortions. At whatever point in gestation abortion becomes criminalized, any miscarriage after that fact will be ripe for potential criminal charges.


Kansas has spent nearly $1 million defending anti-choice laws in court. Let's hear it for fiscally responsible GOP legislatures!

Indiana Right to Life has filed 500 complaints against a local abortion provider who apparently filed most of his reports for the 2012 year with a mistake in his facility's address on the form. DANGEROUS!

Colorado is so over Personhood. Instead, this time they'll just try to add "unborn human beings" to the criminal code instead. "Unborn Human Beings USA" could not be reached for comment.

Abortion providers in Texas will actually end up being more regulated than ambulatory surgical centers. Shocked face.

Speaking of Texas, the man who wants to be the next governor of Texas is yelling to have President Obama impeached.

Created Equal is bringing the jumbotron of fetal parts out for another run.

Finally, this woman wishes National Right to Life wouldn't use her story for their own personal crusade against abortion.




Monday, October 14, 2013

This Just In: 40 Days? Feels Like 400...

We are now -- oh who am I kidding. I have no idea how far into 40 days for life we are at this point. I know abortion opponents claim that their "hundreds of babies saved" are stacking up like the "millions served" at a McDonald's restaurant. So, here's the latest.

North Dakota's one clinic is under constant protest, including the midnight hours, which are mostly handled by the local Knights of Columbus whom, from the sounds of this article, are mainly there to talk to the drinkers heading home at bar close. Sounds like those bar patrons could use some 40 days of tacos, am I right?

The praying, weeping and harassing at one Alabama has become so bad that clinic supporters have started pledging protesters. According to pro-life folk, this is somehow crass. Because demanding patients entering a clinic not "kill their babies" is the height of decorum, I guess.

The protests outside this clinic in Illinois are more subdued. Maybe that's because it mostly offers gynecology and urology services.  The protests in front of this clinic has made a woman just trying to get screened for cervical cancer uncomfortable, but hey, Focus on the Family is giving money to the CPC next door to help them up their presence, so praise Jesus.

Speaking of praising Jesus, this group is having church at one abortion clinic because, why not.

By the way, if you weren't aware, we even exported 40 Days over seas.  Who says America doesn't know how to give back to the rest of the world?

This guy threatened repeatedly to blow up a clinic if his ex went to get an abortion. I wonder why they broke up?

Finally, quote of the day. "Unfortunately our culture is filled with change agents who work diligently to promote the concept of 'choice' without consequences. Like Alice, having fallen down the rabbit hole, women are being told to simply 'take a pill' and there are no negative outcomes for bad choices"

Thursday, October 10, 2013

This Just In: God's Judgement, Zombies and Missionaries to the Pre-Born

An attempt to stop the 20 week ban in Albuquerque was derailed in a city council meeting. Despite the state Attorney General saying such a restriction would be unconstitutional and unenforceable, but a resolution offered at the meeting to get outside legal council before the November 19th vote was panned by audience members who said at this point it would be denying the "democratic process." The resolution was referred to a committee to be looked at after the election, once it is too late to make any difference.

If there was any doubt that the bill is mostly being pushed by those with a religious agenda, they were dismissed by comments hurled at the council member recommending legal review. “May your sneaky ways be judged and forgiven by God.”

The Santa Fe Reporter has a must read article on access in New Mexico, including the protests and the impact of the CPC network down there. One of the most striking parts is how CPCs convince women that if they abort, they may be risking their only chance to ever be pregnant. "I guess I’d rather have a baby than risk the chance of not having one again. I guess abortion is out of the picture,” said one interviewee. (Note: trigger warning on the picture accompanying it)

Sally Kohn writes about why protecting reproductive rights is about caring about children and families, despite anti-choice rhetoric claiming otherwise. "We need a vibrant pro-choice, pro-family, feminist movement created by the daughters and sons of the last generation, all of you here today, seeding a generation of leaders and voices for my daughter and your daughters and everyone else’s daughters—and sons. A movement that must continue to safeguard reproductive choice and promote sexual autonomy and economic liberation for all women and families worldwide."

Things I can't make up: "People wouldn't be so accepting of abortion if zombies weren't so popular.

Speaking of zombies, Missionaries to the Preborn hit a campus in Indiana with bloody fetus posters and used little children to hand out pamphlets. “It is appalling; the fact that they had little kids out here is ridiculous,” said one student, commenting on the 9 year old brought by the group to help

Good news! The Governor of California has signed a bill to expand who can provide abortions. Now hopefully they will have enough people to handle the overflow when pretty much every other state cuts off access altogether.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This Just In: Lawsuits, Duggars and Satanic Intervention

The courts are getting even more active when it comes to making decisions around abortion access. A law suit against the Virginia board of health challenging its new TRAP law will not be dismissed and will proceed to trial, welcome news to the activists who rallied at the court house. Meanwhile, the ACLU in Ohio has filed a lawsuit against the anti-choice amendments tucked last minute into the state's budget bill, claiming the move violated the single subject rule.

The Portland, Maine city council has voted to allow a buffer zone to keep anti-choice activists from directly harassing clinic patients, and Albuquerque has approved a ban on allowing similar pickets and protests in front of the private homes of providers.

The Duggars are heading to Tennessee to rally support for an amendment that would among other things allow the state to add a waiting period prior to an abortion. What they don't mention is that waiting period wouldn't be a typical 24 hour one, but 48 hours instead.

Finally, Satan hates crisis pregnancy centers, in case you were curious, or so claims Chris Slattery, proprietor of a chain of New York centers (EMC) he claims is being targeted by the devil himself. "Today EMC starts year 29. And Satan growls and bears his teeth. HELP!" pleads Slattery, before describing a litany of floods, disease and other catastrophes he is positive is the work of the Evil One.

Sorry, but until he offers locusts, I remain unconvinced.

Monday, October 7, 2013

This Just In: Judges Gone Wild, Buffer Zones and other news

A Nebraska Supreme court ruled that a 16 year old in foster care was too immature to decide on her own not to have an abortion, and that she needed the permission of her "evangelical christian family" who were "morally opposed to abortion." As my co-author Jessica Mason Pieklo writes in some must read analysis, the decision essentially cuts off abortion to girls who are wards of the state, who both officially have no parents to consent to an abortion but because of the ruling no longer have the autonomy to make the decision on their own, no matter how much counseling they receive.

But that's exactly what the trial judge wanted. A man who once defended "Rescue" activists on the necessity defense -- a plea that claims that illegal action is justifiable if you truly believe you are doing it to save a person's life -- as well as an anti-choice stalker harassing an abortion provider, he had the audacity repeatedly tell the pregnant teen she was "killing" the "baby" inside of her. Commenters on his court bio state repeatedly that he has a "God complex" and that he often dismisses the concerns or desires of female plaintiffs in the court, even in instances of violence to themselves or their children.  Cutting off the options of teens in foster care seems like the logical next step of a judge who would defend "the unborn" but force children to continue to have contact with the parents accused of physically and mentally abusing them.

This man wants to cut off access to contraception because his mother gave birth to him despite doctors telling her it was a bad idea.  This man thinks that adoptions should be "faster, cheaper and easier.This man thinks that buying an extra rider on your insurance in case you might want an abortion should be like getting flood insurance or fire insurance for your house.

This man says that Republicans are dumb for not supporting birth control, even looking at it as a straight fiscal issue. I'd rather listen to this man talk.

Albuquerque may stop letting abortion protesters picket private residences. Portland might make a buffer zone outside their clinic. Both may learn that they can't depending on how the Supreme Court decides on a Massachusetts bubble zone case on the docket this session. The Supreme Court starts meeting today.

Btw, according to abortion opponents, if you feel like you are being harassed, that just means you really don't want an abortion. “If (pregnant women) feel like (an abortion) is something they don’t want to do, it’s going to feel like harassment when someone tells them the truth – that they are going to murder their baby..The harassment is coming from within the person."

Monday, September 30, 2013

This Just In: Ted Cruz has "Moxie" and other puzzling lines...

Liberty Counsel very much wants Obamacare to get blocked, so much that they can praise Texas Senator Ted Cruz and invoke Godwin's law in the same post:

The moxie Sen. Cruz showed during his marathon 21-hour Obamacare-funding speech had the dual effect of both shining the spotlight of truth on the inherent lie that is “The Affordable Care Act,” as well as launching this no-nonsense lawmaker’s Reaganesque bona fides into the stratosphere.
...
Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda, often said, “The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.” President Obama’s ministry of propaganda has, until now, gotten away with this whopper: “Obamacare does not force taxpayers to fund abortion.”
The jig’s up. It does and everyone knows it.
Congressional obstructionism, now with 200% more "moxie"!

Since Cruz's "filibuster" didn't actually do anything, though, the GOP is even more desperate than ever to kill Obamacare. The latest push? Allow every employer to be able to veto covering birth control...just because.  Never ending, no limits "conscience protection" for employers has been a key demand of the Susan B. Anthony List, and the USCCB, and once more raises the question of whether the "women in politics" organization that claims to be about electing pro-life women is really anything more than a front for the Catholic church to get involved in politics without jeopardizing its tax status.

Speaking of which, this Catholic bishop is in favor of Albuquerque banning abortion after 20 weeks, despite it being unconstitutional. And This man in Albuquerque wants you to know that adoption is a "solution" to abortion. However, he doesn't seem to realize it isn't a "solution" to not wanting to be pregnant.

Without a court intervention, there will be no more telemed abortions in the state of Iowa as of November 1st, effectively putting most of the state out of access to nearby abortion care.

Finally, today's reminder of why abortion opponents want clinics to remain open only by the grace of a hospital allowing them to be: hospitals are much more susceptible to pressure. But churches can feel the heat for their "support of abortion," too.

Friday, September 27, 2013

This Just: "Your Baby Will Die a Few Hours After Birth. Have a Hat!" and other missions from God

"Beatriz" nearly died waiting to be "allowed" to induce her pregnancy early so that El Salvador could save face and say they never let abortions happen, ever. Now, months later, still suffering from the effects the pregnancy had on her kidneys and lupus, advocates share some of the worst "help" that anti-choice advocates trying to force her to continue carrying her

"Beatriz" nearly died waiting to be "allowed" to induce her pregnancy early so that El Salvador could save face and say they never let abortions happen, ever. Now, months later, still suffering from the effects the pregnancy had on her kidneys and lupus, advocates share some of the worst "help" that anti-choice advocates trying to force her to continue carrying her ancephelatic pregnancy to term offered:
In an on-the-ground interview with RH Reality Check in El Salvador, Morena Herrera, president of the AgrupaciĆ³n, said “the most disgusting and inhumane” episode occurred when the anti-choice group brought Beatriz a basket of baby clothes, including small knitted caps to cover the head of the anencephalic fetus she was carrying.
The fetus died a few hours after birth, just as medical professionals all agreed it would, lacking a significant part of its brain. Beatriz is still recovering from the damage to her own health of being forced to remain pregnant with a baby that would not survive, as well as being torn from her young son during that period.

Antis claim no one would ever be denied an abortion if their lives were really in jeopardy, but obviously, they were lying. What other lies do they tell? Well, that no one would ever be investigated over a miscarriage, like this woman in Kentucky is currently being. Or that women would never be jailed if they do carry to term and give up their newborns in safe haven laws, like this woman in Alabama may be if they ever identify her.

So why all the lies? Why the deceit? Because they are on a mission from God, as Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant explains.

"[A]s a Christian, I say, 'Lord, Lord, I think I understand what you would like me to do as governor when it comes to the sanctity of life.' In fact, I think it's best I can, to interject myself and to try and stop that horrible procedure whenever I can."

Speaking of God (or, more likely, for God), it's 40 Days for Life, the nearly six weeks of "peaceful prayer" in front of clinics that coincidentally in the fall ends right before election day. So far, with two "40 Days" events, that means nearly one quarter of the year is spent dealing with fully coordinated anti-choice presence at clinics (as opposed to all the other times they are there). A look at the number of religious groups getting involved in the Massachusetts Supreme Court buffer zone case, however, shows that the intent is to be there always, and as close as humanly possible.

They say they are just praying. But the buffer zone law is a test to see how much contact with patients will be allowed as freedom of religion. That contact will spread beyond patients and clinics as well, and will become less about prayer and more about in your face protests and graphic images. This will become an everyday appearance. As you can see, minors are not exempt from their tactics.

Speaking of which, think the assault on Albuquerque is over? Not a chance, as Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust announce they will be returning for more demonstrations in time for the 20 week abortion ban vote. pregnancy to term offered:
In an on-the-ground interview with RH Reality Check in El Salvador, Morena Herrera, president of the AgrupaciĆ³n, said “the most disgusting and inhumane” episode occurred when the anti-choice group brought Beatriz a basket of baby clothes, including small knitted caps to cover the head of the anencephalic fetus she was carrying.
The fetus died a few hours after birth, just as medical professionals all agreed it would, lacking a significant part of its brain. Beatriz is still recovering from the damage to her own health of being forced to remain pregnant with a baby that would not survive, as well as being torn from her young son during that period.

Antis claim no one would ever be denied an abortion if their lives were really in jeopardy, but obviously, they were lying. What other lies do they tell? Well, that no one would ever be investigated over a miscarriage, like this woman in Kentucky is currently being. Or that women would never be jailed if they do carry to term and give up their newborns in safe haven laws, like this woman in Alabama may be if they ever identify her.

So why all the lies? Why the deceit? Because they are on a mission from God, as Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant explains.

[A]s a Christian, I say, 'Lord, Lord, I think I understand what you would like me to do as governor when it comes to the sanctity of life.' In fact, I think it's best I can, to interject myself and to try and stop that horrible procedure whenever I can."

Speaking of God (or, more likely, for God), it's 40 Days for Life, the nearly six weeks of "peaceful prayer" in front of clinics that coincidentally in the fall ends right before election day. So far, with two "40 Days" events, that means nearly one quarter of the year is spent dealing with fully coordinated anti-choice presence at clinics (as opposed to all the other times they are there). A look at the number of religious groups getting involved in the Massachusetts Supreme Court buffer zone case, however, shows that the intent is to be there always, and as close as humanly possible.

They say they are just praying. But the buffer zone law is a test to see how much contact with patients will be allowed as freedom of religion. That contact will spread beyond patients and clinics as well, and will become less about prayer and more about in your face protests and graphic images. This will become an everyday appearance. As you can see, minors are not exempt from their tactics.

Speaking of which, think the assault on Albuquerque is over? Not a chance, as Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust announce they will be returning for more demonstrations in time for the 20 week abortion ban vote.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This Just In: Creepy fetus photos and the 40 Days Begin

West Virginia Republicans want to talk about restricting abortion access in the state insurance exchange. Not that there is a bill to do it yet, nor that one will be proposed soon. Or that the legislature is likely to pass it if they did. No, they just want to bring a little negativity to open enrollment for the exchange, which launches next week.

(Note, I'm sure these small children know all about abortion. Or even about the health care exchange)

Wisconsin policy group that advocates against abortion and same sex marriage swears that its involvement in the "Choose Life" license plate funneling scheme won't mean that it receives and tax payer dollars.

Business owner in the center of one of the birth control mandate cases claims it's his Catholic "sense of social justice" that is behind his refusal to let his employees have no copay birth control, as well as try to stop Obamacare from offering insurance to millions of uninsured. Apparently, his definition of social justice is a little different from others.

This article doesn't tell you anything you don't already know. But I'm linking it because the photo is creepy.

Finally, happy 40 days for life launch. Stay safe, clinic folk, and tell your patients that we support them in whatever their decisions are.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

This Just In: Keep Church and State separate, but please keep bringing the pony

Bakersfield, CA will NOT be passing an ordinance to make abortion illegal, which means that Lifesavers Ministry will have to go back to just harassing patients outside of clinics again. They will continue to draft a resolution to call abortion a really bad thing, however, so mini-victory for Tim Palmquist and his devoted followers.

Wisconsin will introduce "Choose Life" license plates today that will funnel funds to crisis pregnancy centers in the state. One group that is spearheading the project as well as helping to set up the organization that will funnel the funds is Pro-Life Wisconsin, which wants to see birth control made illegal.

Speaking of antis, special request -- can yall bring the pony back to the Wichita clinic when I visit in two weeks? I love ponies!

Alabama abortion opponents are trying even harder to get Crestwood Hospital to fire two doctors who are allowed to admit patients if there is a complication during an abortion. The hospital would like to point out that firing people for no cause is, well, sort of illegal.

In its statement, Crestwood said the doctors referenced by Henderson are independent, state-licensed physicians with their own private practices. Both are on Crestwood's medical staff, but neither is employed by the hospital.
"We do not intend to - nor can we legally - revoke the medical staff privileges of any trained, licensed, lawful and duly credentialed physician for issues that have no bearing on his or her work or practice at the hospital," the statement said.
Montana antis protesting Dr. Susan Wickland are being told the the clinic closure has absolutely nothing to do with them or their efforts. But antis are likely to get even more up close and personal if the buffer law in Massachusetts gets knocked down by the Supreme Court. No wonder more groups are filing on in favor of breaking down the buffer under the guise of "religious freedom."

And, one more note on religious freedom, from the Toledo Blade:

No one seeking employment should have to worry about the religion of the boss. Nor should a mother struggling to hold a family together and unable to afford another pregnancy be denied access to contraceptive coverage because of her employer’s faith.
 Indeed.

Monday, September 23, 2013

This Just In: "My City Hates Abortion," "Mine Hates Pregnant Women" and other news

Anti-choice activists in Bakersfield, CA has been trying for months to get the city to approve an ordinance that would ban abortion, despite the fact that a city ordinance would be utterly unconstitutional (are you listening, Albuquerque?). Now, they have kicked it back down a notch, saying just a city ordinance condemning the act is good enough.

 But that may not be good enough for some council members:
"I'm a strong pro-life person, and there are many people in our community that are also very strongly pro-life, so I would like there to be something stronger," Sullivan said. "I don't think this discussion has to be considered a negative thing. I hope it's enlightening."
Nebraska Republicans are getting ready to pick a new candidate for governor. One topic for debate -- does this "pro-life" group of candidates believe that a pregnant person deserves prenatal care even if she isn't documented?
Janssen, also a state senator, has one of the toughest stances on the issue. The Fremont lawmaker has made his fight against illegal immigration a cornerstone of his political career.
In the most recent legislative session he attempted, unsuccessfully, to repeal the prenatal care law. He believes the law makes the state more attractive for illegal immigrants.
“To me, this basically made Nebraska a sanctuary state for people who are here illegally and who (may) come for medical care,” he said.
Should the University of Iowa force Gov. Branstad to publicly state whether he would allow reimbursement for low income women who get abortions because of issues with the fetus? The Iowa Press Citizen says yes.

Again, we’re glad to hear that the university is continuing to help these women who wouldn’t be able to afford an abortion otherwise. But by refusing to seek reimbursement — by treating this procedure differently than it would any other medically necessary procedure — the university is still acquiescing to the politics of the situation.

Branstad hasn’t declined any reimbursements, and he hasn’t said for sure that he will. But the best thing — for the women making these decisions and physicians counseling them — would be to change this ill-conceived law and remove the governor’s direct involvement in the process.
 Finally, conservatives wish the Pope wouldn't be such a social liberal, abortion caused the floods in Colorado,  and one college student gives the West Virginia A.G. a piece of her mind on his plan to close the state's abortion clinics.

Friday, September 20, 2013

This Just In: Is The Pope Catholic? Not According to Abortion Opponents and Petitions Petitions Petitions!

The Pope has causes a frenzy by taking on the crazy idea that maybe the Catholic Church should concentrate more on loving the "sinner" than eradicating the sin. Obviously, he's been spending too much time with Nuns on a Bus. Since anti-choice activists have long declared that you can't be Catholic if you don't actively oppose abortion, I look forward to one of them trying to deny him communion.

Polifact calls an ad claiming Cuccinelli wants to make abortion illegal "even in cases of rape, incest and health of the woman" MOSTLY FALSE because hey, the Virginia AG allegedly supports abortion if the pregnant person's life is in danger.

Michigan antis think they are going to have enough signatures on a petition that they can get abortion coverage eliminated from the state insurance exchange. Oregon antis think they have a shot at getting enough signatures on their petition to Medicaid abortions ended in the state (spoiler alert, probably not). West Virginia antis are bringing a petition to try and get abortion coverage removed from their state exchange, too. 

Who needs a constitution when you have petitions?

It's almost 40 Days for Life time. Don't forget to thank a provider. There aren't a ton left, and that's just what abortion opponents are going for.  Sadly, Montana will be down another clinic next month, due to Dr. Susan Wicklund's retirement. The loss will leave many residents traveling an additional 100 miles for care. Be sure to read Dr. Wicklund's book about being a provider targeted by the most extreme and violent of anti-choice activists.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

This Just In: 13 year olds should be forced to give birth and other "pro-life" wisdom

Indiana's Right to Life community has made some pretty tenuous grasps to try to close clinics in the past (like, for example, trying to use the Americans With Disabilities act to attack a provider for not having a wheelchair ramp). Now, they are attacking Illinois Dr. Ulrich Klopfer again. His crime? Providing an abortion for a pregnant 13 year old (and likely with the consent of that girl's parent, since Indiana has a parental consent law). IRL is arguing that the clinic didn't report the abortion soon enough, as per Indiana law. But anti-choice activists also make it clear that in their world, the 13 year old should have been force to remain pregnant and give birth to the child, too.

“It's heartbreaking to learn that a 13-year-old became pregnant and now must live with the pain of an abortion for the rest of her life,” Humbarger said in a statement. “But it's doubly-heartbreaking that Dr. Klopfer's failure to report the abortion may have allowed the girl's molester to walk. In Indiana, sex with a person under 14 is recognized as child molesting, regardless of the male's age.
Using a 13 year old's pregnancy for political gain is sad on its own, but what is particularly disturbing is how the information was obtained. According to CNSNews, the Right to Life group was informed about the 13 year old's abortion by a "sidewalk counselor" tracking patients.  It was a follow up by Humbarger to check the abortion reporting stats that made them believe that the abortion was never reported.

Let me explain that one more time --- they use sidewalk counselors to track patients, then check abortion reports to look for specific patients that they monitored at the clinic. They aren't "praying." They aren't "offering pregnant women options." They aren't "speaking the truth the abortion industry don't want you to know." THEY ARE TRACKING PATIENTS.

Remember that the next time an anti-choice activist claims protesters are only there to help, and that they aren't trying to harm patients.

Speaking of protesters, Alabama is protesting hospitals that don't provide abortions simply because they do offer transfer agreements, Created Equal took bloody fetus posters to University of Toledo, and another graphic abortion display protest lost a debate to a 15 year old.

Florida is about to try another go at a "personhood" attempt in the wake of the Remee Lee "tricked into ingesting cytotec" case.  Lawmakers say this isn't about abortion, yet admit the goal is to redefine viability.

[Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland] said the bill would make any unborn child, no matter how far along, viable, “so the courts don’t have to determine the viability factor.”
Viability describes whether an unborn child can survive outside the womb.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is apparently attempting to see just how much lower his approval ratings can tank by giving a Department of Health and Human Services job to a former Tea Party leader and anti-choice activist. This would be a person who may be writing the new regulations that could potentially shut down all of the abortion clinics in the state.

Finally, good news -- Wendy Davis is probably announcing a run for Texas governor in October. Which is fantastic since I can't take any more bad news for a while.

Indiana AG Can't Take The Heat for Proposing Mandatory Drug Testing Pregnant Women

Earlier this week I wrote an article about the Indiana Attorney General arguing in favor of mandatory drug testing of pregnant women, and the concerns everyone should have, especially considering the state's history of charging pregnant women with crimes.

In a complaint to the Care2 website, under an email that accused my story of being "inaccurate and misleading" an A.G. spokesperson said I was completely wrong.  "[C]comments should not be interpreted to imply that he supports mandatory opioid testing of any kind for pregnant women," the office's spokesperson wrote.

But that's not what he said, according to the original report I read in the Indiana Public Media. And it's pretty hard to deny the words in this follow up interview, conducted after the initial report, and which local advocates alerted me to.

MR. MCCONNAUGHAY: Oh, that’s terrible. I got another one here, uh, there’s been a lot of press recently expressing your support for mandatory drug testing of all pregnant women – [emphasis added]

MR. ZOELLER: Yeah.

MR. MCCONNAUGHAY: Similar question – I’m a believer in the Fourth Amendment and observing pregnancy itself is not a reasonable suspicion of criminal behavior. Can you explain why you consider this measure, which appears so brazenly to violate the Constitution, to be legal?

MR. ZOELLER: Well it is legal. I’ll tell you, everybody’s jumping to the conclusion that when you do a drug screen, you uh – uh, turn somebody in to the police. That’s not what we’re looking for. You’re already given a drug screen, so they’re drawing the blood anyway –

MR. MCCONNAUGHAY: Mm-hmm.

MR. ZOELLER: I’m asking that they do another screen to see if you are addicted to opiates or other things that would harm you as well as the baby. The doctor really ought to know that, and most – let’s say, a lot of what we hear is the – the women who are pregnant will lie about having a drug problem and they don’t know about it until the baby’s born addicted –

MR. MCCONNAUGHAY: Mm-hmm.

MR. ZOELLER: So this neonatal abstinence syndrome – we’re not trying to send somebody to court and to be prosecuted. Uh, we’re not trying to, uh, take away their benefits from Medicaid, ‘cause a lot of these women are Medicaid recipients –

MR. MCCONNAUGHAY: Mm-hmm.

MR. ZOELLER: This is all about the health of the mother, the health of the baby. And it’s not a new draw; it’s something we’re already taking the blood from the pregnant woman, we just want it screened for opiates.


Those statements seem pretty hard to interpret any other way than that the A.G. supports mandatory drug testing.  I welcome another email from the  A.G. office if they would like to clarify how it is not.

There is a petition to urge the A.G.'s office to follow the constitution and give up the idea of mandatory drug testing of pregnant women. I urge everyone to sign it, since it appear that public scrutiny and blowback makes the office very uncomfortable.

Edited to add: I of course welcome the news that the AG has hopefully changed his mind and will not propose that drug tests be mandatory.  I just prefer I not be told that I am the one doing the "misleading."

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

This Just In: "Hickey? No Birth Control for You!" and more

Apparently, you can have the pill in Texas, but only if it's for something other than preventing pregnancy. No necking, young lady!

“I had a hickey and the doctor was just like, you shouldn’t be doing that. I’m like, ‘It’s a hickey, it’s nothing major.’ But I got a big lecture. [He said] my boyfriend was abusive and all of these things. And then I asked for birth control. I did not hear the end of that. So I said, 'Never mind, I’ll go somewhere else,'” Mason told KUT News.
Is that the first step to this "world without abortion" Texas Governor Rick Perry is so certain he'll see soon? Or even better, no hickeys?

Of course, if everyone just didn't have sex if they didn't want a baby, this wouldn't be such a problem, amirite?

Speaking of religious zealots who want to decide who is allowed to have sex, Stanton Healthcare has opened a CPC next to Planned Parenthood in Idaho. You may remember Stanton's Brandi Swindell, the woman who loves performing ultrasounds in the capitol and declaring "How can anybody call this offensive?”  Idaho has three clinics and a mandatory 72 hour wait prior to an abortion.  [edit: oops, that's Utah with the wait.], two in Boise and one in Cannon Falls.

Albuquerque city council has finally scheduled their 20 week abortion ban vote, and it will be on November 19th. If there is a city run off election it will be in person, otherwise, it will be done via mail. No one in the session doubted the ban was unconstitutional, rather the debate revolved around whether the city was obligated to hold the vote regardless.

The Albuquerque arm of Operation Rescue, who spearheaded the vote, is delighted.

“The will of the people has prevailed tonight and we are excited to move forward to ensure that women and their babies are protected from perilous late term abortions. We are confident moving forward that Albuquerque residents don’t want their city to be known for being the “go to” place for late term abortions. Albuquerque is one step closer to seeing this come to an end,” stated Tara Shaver, spokeswoman for Project Defending Life.
Speaking of which, Operation Rescue becomes more blatant about their endgame when it comes to "safety of abortion clinics"ruse.

"This is the reality of abortion clinics today," said Troy Newman, Operation Rescue President. "We have yet to find one that complies with all laws and safety codes. The public health would be best served if they were all closed."

Monday, September 16, 2013

This Just In: "Don't Listen to the Gay Abortion Activists!" and More

Pastors are always moral, righteous and just. So, if it turns out your minister was running an investment scam, don't believe the charges, that's just the awful pro-gay, pro-abortion folk out to bring him down.
Himes went on to claim that gay and pro-abortion activists may be behind the charges against him and co-defendant James "Jeb" Bryant, another self-proclaimed pastor.
Himes further claimed that State Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen may also be behind the charges because of political disagreements they've had in the past. Other callers quickly, and forcefully, called him out for making groundless accusations.
Himes and Bryant are accused of perpetrating an investment scheme that reportedly bilked a Bitterroot Valley man out of his $150,000 inheritance.
Saturday was National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Babies, something I wrote about for In These Times. The memorials themselves were, well, pretty much what you would expect.

“We’re just praying for those who are victims of abortion,” Hodges said, “for the women who were duped into it, the confused scared girls, really, that God would have mercy on them, that they would repent and come to their senses, that they would find forgiveness and healing, and we’re praying for the babies themselves.” 
and:
I was approached by a group here in Delaware Valley and said I’d be happy to help them,” McFadden said. “Two small caskets sat in the center aisle of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church and I celebrated a funeral Mass for the babies. After the Mass, we buried the babies here and for the past 25 years we have gathered in their memory.”

McFadden said people are hesitant to face the reality of what happens both during an abortion and afterward.

“Babies have been found in Dumpsters — thrown away like garbage,” he said. “Can you imagine that happening to one of God’s beings?” 

In Albuquerque has managed to fend off the onslaught of anti-choice activists from the Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust in August. But Southwestern Women's Options shouldn't expect the  attention to die down anytime soon. Not only is the city still preparing to vote on a 20 week abortion ban, but now the Shavers (Operation Rescue's New Mexico branch) have arranged to ensure there is one church protesting the clinic non-stop for the next year.

The vision of Project 52 is to activate 52 local churches to adopt the late-term abortion clinic, Southwestern Women’s Options (SWO) for one week out of the year. Each church will have the freedom to minister as they see fit to each and every abortion minded woman. During their designated week, they will claim the Late-Term abortion clinic for every hour, every day SWO is open (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).
Finally, a bit of good news: of the 360 anti-choice bills proposed, only 60 passed. That's a pretty bad batting average for AUL this year.

Friday, September 13, 2013

This Just In: Texas Honors Lawmakers Who Ban Abortion After "'40 Weeks" & Other Things Just As Ridiculous

Yes, I know it's just a typo, but I like to think it was done on purpose: Texas Right to Life will be commending everyone who helped pass the anti-abortion omnibus bill, a bill which was apparently not as bad as we thought:

Texas Right-to-Life is celebrating its 40th year fighting to outlaw abortion. The group will also honor Sen. Glenn Hegar and Rep. Jody Laubenberg, the Republican lawmakers who authored a bill outlawing abortion after 40 weeks. [emphasis added]
Just as ridiculous as a 40 week ban? Re-criminalizing sodomy. Yet that's where the leader of the anti-choice group  "Missionaries to the Pre-born" is arguing efforts should be put.

Trewhella regards marriage licenses as a grant of authority to marry from the state.
“The state cannot grant the right to marry. It is a God-given right.”
Despite that view, Trewhella wants the state to ban same-sex marriage.
“I think the whole idea of privatizing marriage is absurd because the state should uphold and affirm the law word and created order of God regarding marriage as revealed in Scripture.”
He believes the solution to same-sex marriage is not privatization but the re-criminalization of sodomy.
“That’s what makes the whole homosexual marriage debate go away,” he said.
I guess Trewhella has been talking to Ken Cuccinelli.

Australia is considering a 20 week "personhood" bill, but swears that nothing in it will ever charge the pregnant person with a crime.  Let's hope that's true, since we've all seen states in the U.S. have had no such qualms.

And in some somewhat good news, abortions for poor women who have discovered that their fetuses have anomolies has not ended, despite the Governor's new plan to decide one by one if he favors reimbursing the doctors in each case. Rather than deal with the ambiguity of not knowing if they would receive reimbursement, the University of Iowa has decided so far to simply not charge anything for the abortions.

In today's anti-choice landscape, sadly, that's what represents a win these days.


Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/09/13/5158965/perry-abbott-speak-at-anti-abortion.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Koch Money, Koch Money...

When Jessica and I were on Democracy Now promoting our new book, "Crow After Roe," one of the questions Amy Goodman asked was how Citizen's United and the endless funding for socially conservative political action groups came into play when it comes to the new landscape of states where abortion is accessible in name only. One piece that we would get the most questions about was the type of role the Koch brothers might be playing in propping up state-based anti-choice bills or supporting the candidates proposing them

That the Kochs had at least a finger in the pot was never in question. We'd already learned last year that Susan B. Anthony List  received over $1 million from a shadow Koch group known as Center to Protect Patients’ Rights. Americans United for Life received almost $600,000 from the same organization, and Nebraska Right to Life and Concerned Women for America got some funds as well.

But a new report from Politico shows that Koch funds were far greater than that initial disclosure showed. Center to Protect Patient Rights actually ended up receiving $115 million from Freedom Partners, another Koch group, and we already know that they were funneling that money out to these other anti-choice political groups.

More interesting is the revelation that Freedom Partners also provided over $8 million directly to Concerned Women for America -- millions more than SBA List received from their Koch affiliate.

Funding groups like SBA List or National Right to Life Committee to provide them with campaign support to get anti-choice candidates elected is unsurprising. After all, it's a way to filter money to Republican candidates without being overtly partisan and because of their hyper-focus on abortion and birth control restrictions, they aren't as traditionally "controversial" as other organizations.

The massive financial support of Concerned Women for America? Now that's something quite different. This is a group who goes beyond simple "social conservative" issues and into building a platform for American theocracy. After all, when your key issues are reasserting Biblical authority in the educational and political sphere, and your mission statement "affirms the Bible's unmistakable standard that there is right and wrong; that God is the Authority who established right and wrong by creation and by revelation in His Word, the Bible; that He has sent a Savior, Jesus Christ, to free us from our sin (wrong) by simple repentance and to enable us through the Holy Spirit to do what is right," we've gone way beyond "let's vote to have Republican leaders."

Is theocracy the Koch brother's end goal? If not, why are they so intent on funding groups that want one?

The Seven Most Extreme State Laws Proposed This Year (Rolling Stone)

"From the 2012 lame duck session in December through the 2013 calendar year, a number of states have offered truly extreme bills dismantling voting rights, defunding public schools and banning abortion before many women might even know they are pregnant.
And those are just a few of the better-known examples. Here are seven more of the worst bills proposed since November 2012 that you've probably never heard of..."

Read the rest in my first piece at Rolling Stone...