Oklahoma

Inhofe Keeps Defending Gbagbo And Rips U.S. For Siding With "Muslim Rebels"

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has intensified his defense of the deposed president of the Ivory Coast. Laurent Gbagbo, the country’s Roman Catholic president, lost a December election to opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, who is Muslim. While the country’s electoral commission and the international community, including African nations, recognized Ouattara as the winner, Gbagbo’s appointed national council threw out the results (saying Ouattara won through voter fraud) and Gbagbo declared himself the winner. Gbagbo’s wife, an evangelical Christian, even declared that “God has given us this victory.” Earlier this week forces loyal to Ouattara removed Gbagbo from power, clearing the way for Outtara to become president.

But the Religious Right in the U.S. has become one of Gbagbo’s biggest cheerleaders, even though the International Criminal Court wants him charged with crimes against humanity for human rights abuses. Pat Robertson defended Gbagbo, saying he’s “a Christian, he’s a nice person, and he’s run a fairly clean operation in the Ivory Coast” and accused Outarra of “building up that ring of Shariah law around the Middle East.”

In Congress, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has been one of the leading apologists for Gbagbo, who he knows through The Family/C Street. After unsuccessfully trying to soften the Obama Administration’s approach to Gbagbo in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said that Gbagbo’s arrest “sends a strong signal to dictators and tyrants throughout the region and around the worlds,” Inhofe is now ripping the administration’s handling of the crisis and utilizing Gbagbo’s talking points about the purported voter fraud and violence of Ouattara’s force in an interview with the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow:

Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) publically supported Laurent Gbagbo from the floor of the Senate Tuesday afternoon. In a 30-minute speech, Inhofe claimed massive vote fraud took place during the monitored election of the West African nation. The congressman from Oklahoma says France, the United Nations, and the U.S. State Department were instrumental in toppling Gbagbo.

"They rigged the election, [they] stole the election, and then they sided with...the Muslim rebels from up north to come in and try to seize control, which they've now done, of the government in Ivory Coast in Abidjan," the lawmaker tells OneNewsNow.

Forces loyal to Ivory Coast U.N.-sanctioned president Alassane Ouattara on April 6 stormed the presidential palace of incumbent leader Gbagbo, who has refused to cede power.

"[The rebels] killed thousands of people; they tortured the Gbagbos," says Inhofe. "We're now trying our best to get some kind of an arrangement where they can get either an exile to a country or something -- [we're] trying to save their lives."

Shouldn't a "Day of History" Feature Actual Historians?

When Rith Aragon, Secretary of Oklahoma's Department of Veterans Affairs, writes a column explaining that as a former elementary teacher and principal she understands the need for students to learn and understand our history, we completely agree. 

But where she loses us is when she announces that she'll be hosting a "Day of History" event at the Oklahoma History Center featuring "historian David Barton":

That's why I am excited to emcee the professional development workshop, “A Day of History,” on April 29 at the Oklahoma History Center. Teachers and the general public across Oklahoma are invited to learn about ways to make the nation's founding come alive from nationally known author and historian David Barton and University of Oklahoma professor J. Rufus Fears.

Barton may be many things, but he is not a historian. Which raises the question as to why the Oklahoma History Center, which is an "affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute," is allowing Barton to use its facility [PDF] to spread his patented brand of pseudo-history:

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann will be attending a fundraiser hosted by Sheriff Joe Arpaio for the Arizona Republican Party this weekend.
  • Bachmann will also "deliver a special message to the attendees at The Awakening 2011" ... whatever that means.
  • I really am getting tired of hearing the phrase "American Exceptionalism."
  • Janet Porter's "Heartbeat Bill" made it out of committee by one vote.
  • The Oklahoma Family Policy Council is shutting down, mainly because it lost grants it had been receiving to teach abstinence education.
  • Finally, Ken Hutcherson warns that a DOMA cobra wants trick you into trusting it so that it can bite and kill you ... or something.  I have no idea what he is talking about:

Sponsor of Alabama Sharia Law Ban Doesn't Know What Sharia Law Is

After an Oklahoma judge blocked a state constitutional amendment “banning” Sharia and international law, state legislators across the country have been following in Oklahoma’s (failed) footsteps. Proposals to ban the use of Sharia law in courts have emerged in at least thirteen states, and legislators in Tennessee and Missouri may even make practicing Sharia law a felony.

One Alabama state legislator now wants to pass a law which states, “The courts shall not look to the legal precepts of other nations or cultures. Specifically, the courts shall not consider international law or Sharia.”

The Anniston Star reports that the bill’s sponsor, Republican State Senator Gerald Allen, admits that he doesn’t know of any court cases in Alabama or anywhere in the U.S. using Sharia law to make decisions. Allen’s staff lifted the legislation’s description of Sharia law from Wikipedia, and the senator admits he doesn’t even know what it is:

A bill introduced Tuesday in the Alabama Senate would ban the use of Islamic law in Alabama courts.

The bill’s sponsor said the measure was designed to protect future generations from erosion of the Constitution. One Birmingham area Muslim leader said the move was an effort to “demonize Islam and Muslims.”

But no one — not even Sen. Gerald Allen, who sponsored the bill — can point to examples of Muslims trying to have Islamic law recognized in Alabama courts.

“It’s not about what’s happening right now,” Allen, a Republican from Cottondale, said in a telephone interview.

“I’m thinking about 10 years down the road, 20, 30, 40. Time has an effect on these things, and I’m thinking about the future.”

Allen is the sole sponsor of SB 62, a bill that would ban Alabama courts from using Shariah law or international law in making legal decisions.

The bill defines Shariah as “a form of religious law derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: The divine revelations set forth in the Qur’an and the example set by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad.”

That definition is the same, almost word for word, as wording in the Wikipedia entry on Shariah law as it appeared Thursday. Allen said the wording was drafted by Legislative staff. A source on the staff at the Legislature confirmed that the definition was in fact pulled from Wikipedia.

Allen could not readily define Shariah in an interview Thursday. “I don’t have my file in front of me,” he said. “I wish I could answer you better.”



Allen said his bill was based on a state constitutional amendment that was recently passed in Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, too, supporters of the measure were unable to cite a single in-state example of Shariah law being used in court, according to an account by the Los Angeles Times.

Allen said his bill, which also bans the use of international law in Alabama courts, is designed to “protect the Constitution for the future generations that come after us.”

“Our Founding Fathers were pretty smart,” he said. “They gave us three branches of government, a separation of powers. I want to preserve that system.”

Porter: My Heartbeat Bill Is Not Unconstitutional, Roe v Wade Is!

Yesterday we mentioned that Janet Porter had brought two fetuses to "testify" before an Ohio committee on behalf of her "Heartbeat Bill," and last night Alan Colmes had Porter on his radio program to give her a chance to explain just what she hoped to accomplish with this stunt.

Colmes tried to get Porter to admit that her goal is, ultimately, to outlaw abortion entirely but she kept dancing around the issue, insisting instead that she is really just embracing science and technology and that it is not her legislation that is unconstitutional, but rather Roe v. Wade that is unconstitutional.  She also reported that legislators in Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arizona are "lining up" to introduce their own versions of her "Heartbeat Bill."

Oh, and a big "thank you" to Alan for the shout out to RightWingWatch - we love him too:

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: PFAW Commends President Obama’s Stand Against Unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act.
     
  • Eric Lach @ TPM: Indiana Dep. AG Loses Job After Advocating 'Live Ammunition' For WI Protesters.
     
  • Rob Boston @ AU: Kern Spurned: Oklahoma Legislator’s Backdoor Creationism Bill Bounced.
     
  • Joe.My.God: Mike Huckabee Slams Obama: Gays Are Breaking Up "Traditional" Families.
     
  • Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Thrice-Married Gingrich Confronted On Opposition To Marriage Equality.
     
  • Charles Johnson @ LGF: Glenn Beck Rants About 'Commie' Logo That His Own Group Used.
     
  • Andy Kopsa @ Florida Independent: Federally funded Jacksonville abstinence program has ties to ‘Kill the Gays’ Ugandan pastor.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • PFAW: PFAW Commends President Obama’s Stand Against Unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act.
     
  • Eric Lach @ TPM: Indiana Dep. AG Loses Job After Advocating 'Live Ammunition' For WI Protesters.
     
  • Rob Boston @ AU: Kern Spurned: Oklahoma Legislator’s Backdoor Creationism Bill Bounced.
     
  • Joe.My.God: Mike Huckabee Slams Obama: Gays Are Breaking Up "Traditional" Families.
     
  • Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Thrice-Married Gingrich Confronted On Opposition To Marriage Equality.
     
  • Charles Johnson @ LGF: Glenn Beck Rants About 'Commie' Logo That His Own Group Used.
     
  • Andy Kopsa @ Florida Independent: Federally funded Jacksonville abstinence program has ties to ‘Kill the Gays’ Ugandan pastor.

Kern Introduces Creationist Bill So Science Teachers Can Teach "Pure Science"

Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern wants to make it clear that her new legislation protecting the rights of science teachers to "teach all science instead of just the Darwin model" is in no way an attempt to introduce creationism or Intelligent Design into the classroom.

It is, in fact, just an attempt to let teachers teach "pure science" about "all of evolution" ... and apparently Kern just wants the teaching of "all of evolution" to include the religious theories about how evolution is utterly false

"It stays 100 miles away from creationism and ID. It's not in any way trying to get those in there," said Rep. Sally Kern, (R) Oklahoma City.

Representative Sally Kern said her bill doesn't change any current science curriculum or textbook and doesn't alter Oklahoma's past standards for science education. The bill simply protects teachers who feel they don't have the freedom to fully explore controversial science topics.

"Some people say there's no problem. Yes, there is. I have some surveys that show that many teachers fear for their jobs. That they will be reprimanded or lose their jobs if they teach just pure science. If they teach all of science instead of just the Darwin model," said Rep. Kern.

...

"This bill is not anti-evolution. This bill is ‘Let's teach all of evolution.' Let's teach our children how to have inquiring minds. Let's teach them how to be critical thinkers, to look at both sides of an issue, scientific issue, and be able to examine what is the plausible thing there," said Kern.

Kern Introduces Creationist Bill So Science Teachers Can Teach "Pure Science"

Oklahoma state Rep. Sally Kern wants to make it clear that her new legislation protecting the rights of science teachers to "teach all science instead of just the Darwin model" is in no way an attempt to introduce creationism or Intelligent Design into the classroom.

It is, in fact, just an attempt to let teachers teach "pure science" about "all of evolution" ... and apparently Kern just wants the teaching of "all of evolution" to include the religious theories about how evolution is utterly false

"It stays 100 miles away from creationism and ID. It's not in any way trying to get those in there," said Rep. Sally Kern, (R) Oklahoma City.

Representative Sally Kern said her bill doesn't change any current science curriculum or textbook and doesn't alter Oklahoma's past standards for science education. The bill simply protects teachers who feel they don't have the freedom to fully explore controversial science topics.

"Some people say there's no problem. Yes, there is. I have some surveys that show that many teachers fear for their jobs. That they will be reprimanded or lose their jobs if they teach just pure science. If they teach all of science instead of just the Darwin model," said Rep. Kern.

...

"This bill is not anti-evolution. This bill is ‘Let's teach all of evolution.' Let's teach our children how to have inquiring minds. Let's teach them how to be critical thinkers, to look at both sides of an issue, scientific issue, and be able to examine what is the plausible thing there," said Kern.

Tony Perkins Embraces the Extreme Personhood Movement

The anti-choice campaign to pass “Personhood Amendments,” the radical plan once shunned by major Religious Right organizations, continues to gain prominent supporters within the conservative movement. Following in the footsteps of other right-wing leaders like Bryan Fischer, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has come out in favor of the Personhood Amendment, which would give legal rights to zygotes and criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, common forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization.

As voters consistently voted down Personhood Amendments by lopsided margins in Colorado, leading groups like National Right to Life and Americans United for Life refused to back the Amendment and the Colorado Eagle Forum warned allies in 2009 that the Personhood movement intends to “spread their disaster to key swing states like Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Montana.”

And now the Personhood movement is doing exactly that, but this time with the support of major Religious Right figures, and even Republican politicians.

Fischer, the American Family Association, and the Liberty Counsel have come out strongly in favor of the Personhood Amendment that will be on Mississippi’s November ballot, as have top Republicans like Senator Roger Wicker and Congressman Alan Nunnelee.

In Georgia, Perkins praised the Personhood Amendment introduced by state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, saying, “The Georgia Personhood Amendment is a reflection of a growing pro-life sentiment across the country.”

But in 2007, James Bopp, the General Counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, criticized the Personhood measure in Georgia, known as the Human Life Amendment (HLA), in a legal memo. Warning of “the inevitable striking down” of the amendment and that “significant damage would be done,” Bopp said that “the proposed HLA has serious flaws and is not a wise use of pro-life resources at this time.”

Georgia and Mississippi aren’t the only states where the Personhood movement is moving into high gear.

The State House in North Dakota just passed a personhood bill that one supporter said “should shut down” the state’s last clinic that provides abortion services, and a subcommittee in the Iowa State House also approved a personhood bill. Personhood USA, the leading advocacy organization, has pledged to mount fights in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Montana as well.

Tony Perkins Embraces the Extreme Personhood Movement

The anti-choice campaign to pass “Personhood Amendments,” the radical plan once shunned by major Religious Right organizations, continues to gain prominent supporters within the conservative movement. Following in the footsteps of other right-wing leaders like Bryan Fischer, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins has come out in favor of the Personhood Amendment, which would give legal rights to zygotes and criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, common forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization.

As voters consistently voted down Personhood Amendments by lopsided margins in Colorado, leading groups like National Right to Life and Americans United for Life refused to back the Amendment and the Colorado Eagle Forum warned allies in 2009 that the Personhood movement intends to “spread their disaster to key swing states like Florida, Missouri, Nevada and Montana.”

And now the Personhood movement is doing exactly that, but this time with the support of major Religious Right figures, and even Republican politicians.

Fischer, the American Family Association, and the Liberty Counsel have come out strongly in favor of the Personhood Amendment that will be on Mississippi’s November ballot, as have top Republicans like Senator Roger Wicker and Congressman Alan Nunnelee.

In Georgia, Perkins praised the Personhood Amendment introduced by state Sen. Barry Loudermilk, saying, “The Georgia Personhood Amendment is a reflection of a growing pro-life sentiment across the country.”

But in 2007, James Bopp, the General Counsel for the National Right to Life Committee, criticized the Personhood measure in Georgia, known as the Human Life Amendment (HLA), in a legal memo. Warning of “the inevitable striking down” of the amendment and that “significant damage would be done,” Bopp said that “the proposed HLA has serious flaws and is not a wise use of pro-life resources at this time.”

Georgia and Mississippi aren’t the only states where the Personhood movement is moving into high gear.

The State House in North Dakota just passed a personhood bill that one supporter said “should shut down” the state’s last clinic that provides abortion services, and a subcommittee in the Iowa State House also approved a personhood bill. Personhood USA, the leading advocacy organization, has pledged to mount fights in states like Texas, Oklahoma, and Montana as well.

Porter's "Heartbeat Bill" Generates Interest In Other States

As we have noted several times in recent weeks, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter has recently resurfaced in her native Ohio and is leading the effort to pass anti-choice legislation called "The Heartbeat Bill."

As part of this push, Porter has organized effort to send red, heart-shaped balloons to state legislators and today they are going to be delivered:

Thousands of shiny red heart-shaped balloons will be delivered to legislators today thanking (nearly half the House members who are co-sponsors) and encouraging the others to "Have a Heart! Support the Heartbeat Bill!" The Heartbeat Bill, which will be introduced this week, will legally protect all human beings in the state whose heartbeat can be heard.

...

Thousands of balloons, sent by residents from all over the state of Ohio and nation, will be delivered today to the 99 state representatives at the Vern Riffe State Office Tower.

"The Heartbeat Bill insures that if a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected," states Janet (Folger) Porter, the president of Faith2Action and coordinator of bill-related efforts through www.HeartBeatBill.com. "You can help pass what will be the nation's most protective legislation when you go to www.HeartBeatBill.com," added Porter. "We're not going to wait any longer because the time to protect the babies is now."

Last week Porter and other activists, including Phll Burress of Citizens for Community Values, gathered for a press conference in a room filled with these balloons during which Porter reported that she is already getting calls from legislators in Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, Kansas, and Arizona who are interested in introducing similar bills in their own states:

This is quite a change from Porter's recent activism wtih Cindy Jacobs praying that God will give Christians control over the media and every level of government:

Porter's "Heartbeat Bill" Generates Interest In Other States

As we have noted several times in recent weeks, Faith 2 Action's Janet Porter has recently resurfaced in her native Ohio and is leading the effort to pass anti-choice legislation called "The Heartbeat Bill."

As part of this push, Porter has organized effort to send red, heart-shaped balloons to state legislators and today they are going to be delivered:

Thousands of shiny red heart-shaped balloons will be delivered to legislators today thanking (nearly half the House members who are co-sponsors) and encouraging the others to "Have a Heart! Support the Heartbeat Bill!" The Heartbeat Bill, which will be introduced this week, will legally protect all human beings in the state whose heartbeat can be heard.

...

Thousands of balloons, sent by residents from all over the state of Ohio and nation, will be delivered today to the 99 state representatives at the Vern Riffe State Office Tower.

"The Heartbeat Bill insures that if a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected," states Janet (Folger) Porter, the president of Faith2Action and coordinator of bill-related efforts through www.HeartBeatBill.com. "You can help pass what will be the nation's most protective legislation when you go to www.HeartBeatBill.com," added Porter. "We're not going to wait any longer because the time to protect the babies is now."

Last week Porter and other activists, including Phll Burress of Citizens for Community Values, gathered for a press conference in a room filled with these balloons during which Porter reported that she is already getting calls from legislators in Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, Kansas, and Arizona who are interested in introducing similar bills in their own states:

This is quite a change from Porter's recent activism wtih Cindy Jacobs praying that God will give Christians control over the media and every level of government:

Wyoming State Rep’s Desire to Invoke His “Christian Faith” in Government Motivated Sharia-Law Ban

Proposing a law to ban the use of Sharia law in courts, Wyoming State Rep. Gerald Gay said he was mounting a “pre-emptive strike” on judges from employing Islamic legal code in their decisions. Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches reports that while campaigning, Gay made videos shooting balls representing “socialism” and “big government.”

Gay wants to replicate an Oklahoma law that was recently found to be unconstitutional, fearing that Wyoming’s judiciary may become an outpost of Islamic law. Gay says he makes “governmental decisions based on certain tenants [sic] of the Christian faith,” and his desire to maintain his Christian-outlook towards governing “motivated his proposal” to ban Sharia:

"I have quite a bit of extensive personal exposure to sharia, so it's not like I'm dealing with something that's unfamiliar or like somebody else came up with the idea and just came to me and asked for sponsorship," the Wyoming Republican explains. "I'm bringing my own basket of goods to the deal."

While Gay admits his Christian convictions have motivated his proposal, he points out that the spread of radical Islam could bring sharia law to Wyoming courts in cases involving arranged marriages or so-called "honor killings."

"Wyoming's Constitution has Article VII, Aection 22, which says, 'The duty of the legislature is to promote such laws that protect the morality, health and general welfare of the citizens of the state,'" the legislator notes. "By invoking that, I feel very comfortable in making my governmental decisions based on certain tenants of the Christian faith."

Wyoming State Rep’s Desire to Invoke His “Christian Faith” in Government Motivated Sharia-Law Ban

Proposing a law to ban the use of Sharia law in courts, Wyoming State Rep. Gerald Gay said he was mounting a “pre-emptive strike” on judges from employing Islamic legal code in their decisions. Sarah Posner of Religion Dispatches reports that while campaigning, Gay made videos shooting balls representing “socialism” and “big government.”

Gay wants to replicate an Oklahoma law that was recently found to be unconstitutional, fearing that Wyoming’s judiciary may become an outpost of Islamic law. Gay says he makes “governmental decisions based on certain tenants [sic] of the Christian faith,” and his desire to maintain his Christian-outlook towards governing “motivated his proposal” to ban Sharia:

"I have quite a bit of extensive personal exposure to sharia, so it's not like I'm dealing with something that's unfamiliar or like somebody else came up with the idea and just came to me and asked for sponsorship," the Wyoming Republican explains. "I'm bringing my own basket of goods to the deal."

While Gay admits his Christian convictions have motivated his proposal, he points out that the spread of radical Islam could bring sharia law to Wyoming courts in cases involving arranged marriages or so-called "honor killings."

"Wyoming's Constitution has Article VII, Aection 22, which says, 'The duty of the legislature is to promote such laws that protect the morality, health and general welfare of the citizens of the state,'" the legislator notes. "By invoking that, I feel very comfortable in making my governmental decisions based on certain tenants of the Christian faith."

Arizona to Consider Bill Banning ‘Race-Based Abortion’

The anti-choice movement has consistently attempted to tar reproductive freedoms as anti-black genocide. Most recently, Rick Santorum said that it was “almost remarkable for a black man” like Obama to support abortion rights, and Terry Heck believes that Obama’s pro-choice position made him a “disgrace” to “his ancestors” like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass.

Now, a state legislator in Arizona wants to “criminalize abortions if they’re sought because of race or sex,” reports Cronkite News:

If a state lawmaker has his way, women seeking abortions in Arizona would be required to sign documents saying they’re not terminating a pregnancy because of the fetus’ race or sex.

Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Litchfield Park, is sponsoring two bills that would criminalize abortions if they’re sought because of race or sex. Doctors knowingly performing abortions for those reasons would face Class 3 felony charges.

Michelle Steinberg, an Arizona policy manager for Planned Parenthood, said women should never have to make a case to get an abortion and called the bills demeaning and bizarre.

“This could be a slippery slope in terms of requiring women to disclose why they’re choosing abortion,” she said. “Women should never have to present a case to get an abortion.”

Montenegro didn’t respond to several requests for interviews left with his office and with a spokesman for House Republicans. However, he told Capitol Media Services that abortion clinics are targeting minority areas and that more females are aborted than males.

Steinberg said the fact that minority women seek more abortions stems from other problems.

“This idea that minority women are having abortions at higher rates than white women speaks more to rates of poverty, access to contraception and a lack of sex education,” she said. “This is not racial genocide for God’s sake; this is a real problem that we’re not addressing.”



U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican representing Arizona’s second district, in 2009 sponsored similar legislation: the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act. The bill, which never made it out of committee, would have criminalized abortion because of the “sex, gender, color or race of the child, or the race of a parent.”

Illinois and Pennsylvania have laws prohibiting sex-selection abortions. Several other states, including Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Idaho and Oklahoma have tried to enact legislation that would prevent sex- or race-selection abortions.



Roy Spece, a lawyer and professor at the University of Arizona’s law and medical schools who co-authored a book on cases of bioethics and the law, said Montenegro’s bills could move Arizona backward.

“We could return to the era when you have hospital committees who would decide why each specific woman’s reason for having an abortion is sufficient,” he said.

Arizona to Consider Bill Banning ‘Race-Based Abortion’

The anti-choice movement has consistently attempted to tar reproductive freedoms as anti-black genocide. Most recently, Rick Santorum said that it was “almost remarkable for a black man” like Obama to support abortion rights, and Terry Heck believes that Obama’s pro-choice position made him a “disgrace” to “his ancestors” like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass.

Now, a state legislator in Arizona wants to “criminalize abortions if they’re sought because of race or sex,” reports Cronkite News:

If a state lawmaker has his way, women seeking abortions in Arizona would be required to sign documents saying they’re not terminating a pregnancy because of the fetus’ race or sex.

Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Litchfield Park, is sponsoring two bills that would criminalize abortions if they’re sought because of race or sex. Doctors knowingly performing abortions for those reasons would face Class 3 felony charges.

Michelle Steinberg, an Arizona policy manager for Planned Parenthood, said women should never have to make a case to get an abortion and called the bills demeaning and bizarre.

“This could be a slippery slope in terms of requiring women to disclose why they’re choosing abortion,” she said. “Women should never have to present a case to get an abortion.”

Montenegro didn’t respond to several requests for interviews left with his office and with a spokesman for House Republicans. However, he told Capitol Media Services that abortion clinics are targeting minority areas and that more females are aborted than males.

Steinberg said the fact that minority women seek more abortions stems from other problems.

“This idea that minority women are having abortions at higher rates than white women speaks more to rates of poverty, access to contraception and a lack of sex education,” she said. “This is not racial genocide for God’s sake; this is a real problem that we’re not addressing.”



U.S. Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican representing Arizona’s second district, in 2009 sponsored similar legislation: the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act. The bill, which never made it out of committee, would have criminalized abortion because of the “sex, gender, color or race of the child, or the race of a parent.”

Illinois and Pennsylvania have laws prohibiting sex-selection abortions. Several other states, including Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Idaho and Oklahoma have tried to enact legislation that would prevent sex- or race-selection abortions.



Roy Spece, a lawyer and professor at the University of Arizona’s law and medical schools who co-authored a book on cases of bioethics and the law, said Montenegro’s bills could move Arizona backward.

“We could return to the era when you have hospital committees who would decide why each specific woman’s reason for having an abortion is sufficient,” he said.

South Dakota Considering Ban on Courts Using “Foreign Religious or Moral Code”

In states like Wyoming and South Carolina, numerous state legislators are proposing measures to limit the application of “international” or “religious” laws in the court. An amendment that “forbids courts from considering or using international law” and “Sharia Law” passed easily in 2010, only to be blocked by a federal judge.

Now, it appears South Dakota is jumping on the bandwagon. The Republican-dominated State Legislature is considering House Joint Resolution 1004, which similar to the South Carolina resolution, uses broad language and does not explicitly mention Sharia law:

The judicial power of the state is vested in a unified judicial system consisting of a Supreme Court, circuit courts of general jurisdiction and courts of limited original jurisdiction as established by the Legislature. No such court may apply international law, the law of any foreign nation, or any foreign religious or moral code with the force of law in the adjudication of any case under its jurisdiction.

Twenty-eight members of the State House already signed on as cosponsors, along with five members of the State Senate.

South Dakota Considering Ban on Courts Using “Foreign Religious or Moral Code”

In states like Wyoming and South Carolina, numerous state legislators are proposing measures to limit the application of “international” or “religious” laws in the court. An amendment that “forbids courts from considering or using international law” and “Sharia Law” passed easily in 2010, only to be blocked by a federal judge.

Now, it appears South Dakota is jumping on the bandwagon. The Republican-dominated State Legislature is considering House Joint Resolution 1004, which similar to the South Carolina resolution, uses broad language and does not explicitly mention Sharia law:

The judicial power of the state is vested in a unified judicial system consisting of a Supreme Court, circuit courts of general jurisdiction and courts of limited original jurisdiction as established by the Legislature. No such court may apply international law, the law of any foreign nation, or any foreign religious or moral code with the force of law in the adjudication of any case under its jurisdiction.

Twenty-eight members of the State House already signed on as cosponsors, along with five members of the State Senate.

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