Abortion

Alabama Weighs Extreme "Personhood" Laws

As neighboring Mississippi is set to vote on a “personhood” amendment in November, Alabama may have its own personhood debate as a “personhood” amendment and statute have been introduced in the state legislature. Republican legislators in the Alabama legislature have introduced “personhood” laws as both statutes and amendments to the state constitution. Both chambers are controlled by Republicans, and the Senate statutory bill already has the support of a majority of state senators.

Personhood laws grant constitutional rights to zygotes and fetuses, and ban abortion without exception, certain forms of birth control, in vitro fertilization, and the treatment of pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancies. The radical anti-choice group Personhood USA along with the Foundation for Moral Law, led by former Alabama state Supreme Court justice and likely presidential candidate Roy Moore, are the main forces behind the state’s personhood legislation. Ben DuPré, the point person for the state’s personhood campaign, is a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University and Regent University School of Law and a former clerk for Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice and Moore, and is now an attorney for the Foundation for Moral Law and the head of Personhood Alabama. DuPré likened legal abortion to the dehumanization of black people in America:

The Foundation for Moral Law and Personhood Alabama have announced personhood bills and amendments in the House and the Senate, backed by a large number of supporters.

SB301 is a clear recognition of the personhood rights of all human beings, regardless of their age, size, or location. SB 301 states “The term ‘persons’ as used in the Code of Alabama 1975, shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization or the functional equivalent thereof.”

SB 301 is a statutory change to the Alabama Code, and is sponsored by a staggering 19 of 35 Alabama Senators.



Yesterday HB 405 and HB 409 were filed in the House by Representative John Merrill,a Personhood Statute and Personhood Amendment, respectively. The Personhood Statute and Amendment were backed by 31 co-sponsors.

“It is my belief that this bill will clearly affirm that, under law, an individual becomes a person upon fertilization,” stated Representative Merrill.



DuPré added, “America used to define the meaning of ‘person’ along racial lines; now we draw the line at the womb. Personhood legislation finally gives equal protection of the laws to the unborn as well as the born, and from the first moment of human life.”

Parsley and Parker Team Up To Fight "Black Genocide"

Every once in a while, Rod Parlsey takes a break from feverishly urging his audience and congregation to give him large sums of money so that God can bless them for their faithfulness so that he can focus on political issues.

Lately, his obsession has been "black genocide," the idea that some nefarious source is seeking to eliminate the African American community through legal abortion. And it was the topic he turned to again today, this time with the help of Star Parker as the two discussed how the fight against "black genocide" is just like the fight against slavery:

Religious Right Favorite Trent Franks Poised To Run For Senate

Arizona Congressman Trent Franks is preparing a campaign for US Senate following the retirement of Jon Kyl. According to Politico, Franks intends to “campaign to the right” of already-announced Republican Congressman Jeff Flake in the primary. Running to the right of Flake or almost any other Republican shouldn’t be difficult for Franks, who was tied for first as the most conservative member of the House.

Franks is a frequent critic of President Obama, even going so far as to call him an “enemy of humanity” at a right-wing conference, and later claimed unconvincingly that he simply meant he was an “enemy of unborn humanity.” He even wanted to impeach Obama over his decision not to defend unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act and warned that Obama has an “ideological commitment” to “weaken America.” Most recently, Franks joined Rick Santorum to claim that Obama and his allies were deliberately trying to destroy America. Such rancid statements shouldn’t come as a surprise, since Franks has floated Birther conspiracy theories and said Obama consistently “acts un-American.”

Expect the Religious Right to rally behind Franks against the more libertarian Flake. Franks is a noted proponent of the charge that abortion providers are leading a genocide against African Americans, and said that African Americans were better off under slavery than in America with reproductive freedom. He even introduced legislation barring “race-based” abortion along with leading anti-choice figures, believing his bill will “blow a fatal hole in Roe v. Wade,” and also screened the discredited documentary Maafa 21, which argues that Planned Parenthood wants to exterminate African Americans, in Congress. Moreover, Franks participated in Lou Engle’s militantly anti-choice and anti-gay The Call rallies, and worked with Dominionist groups.

The possibility of a Franks candidacy has already forced Flake to abandon his previously pro-reform position on immigration to compete with Franks, who is an anti-immigrant hardliner. Politico reports that Franks is poised to announce following a fundraiser with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Michele Bachmann:

Currently in his fifth term, Franks has solidified himself as the most conservative member of Arizona's delegation and indicated in early March he felt like he had a "responsibility to give the people a chance to choose between my perspective and Mr. Flake's."

Franks' Senate announcement will come after a $250 morning fundraiser hosted by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Arizona insiders warn that Flake's flip on immigration gives Franks's candidacy immediate room to grow in a state still consumed by border violence and crime by undocumented workers. The key question is whether Flake will be able to replicate Sen. John McCain's conversion on the white hot issue.

"If it's a two-person fight, I believe Trent wins. Flake's flip on immigration kills him. He cannot effectively do a McCain and rebrand himself. McCain spent millions against a weaker opponent to rebrand himself. Flake will not have that luxury," according to one GOP operative currently unaffiliated with either campaign.

Arizona Bans "Race-Based" Abortion In Attempt To Bolster "Abortion As Black Genocide" Myth

In early February Right Wing Watch reported on a bill in Arizona that would make it a felony for women from having abortions if the decision to terminate the pregnancy was based on race or sex. Yesterday, Governor Jan Brewer signed the bill into law, allowing the biological father or the woman’s parents to sue abortion providers for damages if the doctor knowingly conducting the procedure on race or sex grounds:

Arizona is the first state in the nation to make sex- or race-selection abortions a crime.

Gov. Jan Brewer on Tuesday signed into law House Bill 2443, which makes it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion based on the sex or race of the fetus.



Rep. Katie Hobbs, D-Phoenix, said the only proof Montenegro offered was a magazine article on such practices in China and India.

The law allows the father of an aborted fetus - or, if the mother is a minor, the mother's parents - to take legal action against the doctor or other health-care provider who performed the abortion. If convicted of the felony, physicians would face up to seven years in jail and the loss of their medical license.

The law is a result of a right-wing campaign to smear abortion providers, notably Planned Parenthood, for allegedly targeting women of color in order to commit “genocide” against the African American community. Anti-choice groups have launched billboard campaigns using images of black children and President Obama, publicized the discredited “documentary” Maafa 21, and organized “Freedom Rides” against abortion-rights.

Susan Cohen of the Guttmacher Institute explains how activists who want to take away women’s reproductive rights are twisting the facts about abortion in minority communities. As Cohen explains, African American women’s disproportionate lack of access to contraception and healthcare has led not only to higher rates of unintended pregnancies but also to higher rates of sexually transmitted infections:

These activists are exploiting and distorting the facts to serve their antiabortion agenda. They ignore the fundamental reason women have abortions and the underlying problem of racial and ethnic disparities across an array of health indicators. The truth is that behind virtually every abortion is an unintended pregnancy. This applies to all women—black, white, Hispanic, Asian and Native American alike. Not surprisingly, the variation in abortion rates across racial and ethnic groups relates directly to the variation in the unintended pregnancy rates across those same groups.

Black women are not alone in having disproportionately high unintended pregnancy and abortion rates. The abortion rate among Hispanic women, for example, although not as high as the rate among black women, is double the rate among whites. Hispanics also have a higher level of unintended pregnancy than white women. Black women's unintended pregnancy rates are the highest of all. These higher unintended pregnancy rates reflect the particular difficulties that many women in minority communities face in accessing high-quality contraceptive services and in using their chosen method of birth control consistently and effectively over long periods of time. Moreover, these realities must be seen in a larger context in which significant racial and ethnic disparities persist for a wide range of health outcomes, from diabetes to heart disease to breast and cervical cancer to sexually transmitted infections (STI), including HIV.

Santorum: Abortion Responsible For Social Security Shortfall

Rick Santorum on a radio interview today claimed that legalized abortion is the reason that the Social Security system will begin paying out more in benefits than it brings in. Santorum won’t be the first Religious Right leader to blame economic problems on a woman’s right to choose, as Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) and Jim Garlow both tied legal abortion to unemployment. Speaking to the New Hampshire radio station WEZS, Santorum discussed how the “abortion culture” is harming the Social Security system, which he called “a flawed design.”

Agreeing with a questioner, Santorum said that “the reason Social Security is in trouble is because we don’t have enough workers to support the retirees, well, a third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion, because one in three pregnancies end in abortion, so we are depopulating this country.” Pointing to the birthrate in Europe, Santorum went on to say that “these demographic trends are causing Social Security and Medicare to be underfunded.”

Listen:

Santorum: It Is Our "Obligation" to Make Our Civil Laws "Comport With God's Laws"

Last week we noted that Rick Santorum had filled in for Tony Perkins as co-host of "Today's Issues" with the American Family Association's Tim Wildmon. During the program, Santoum attempted to explain how Shariah law is incompatible with western civilization:

Jesus said "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's" and that huge piece of wisdom has really set the course for western civilization where you have civil laws and have civil penalties - we exact justice in a civil fashion - and then we have higher laws, we have God's law. Now our civil laws are supposed to comport with God's laws but sometimes they don't, and so it is always the obligation of those, for example, the issue of abortion - the civil law does not comport with God's law, in my opinion and I think the opinion of many people in this country and it is our obligation to continue to try and change that law. We have to live under the civil law, we have to obey that law because it is the civil law but we need to continue to try to change it to make sure that these laws, the laws our country, comport.

In the Islamic world, that is not the case. Mohammad did not say "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's" because the civil law in Islam and the sacred law are one in the same. Shariah is both a civil code and a religious code.

So let me get this straight: Muslims want civil laws to comport to the dictates of their holy book, the Quran, so that the civil law and the religious law are one in the same.  And that is incompatible with western civilization ... because Religious Right activists are too busy operating under the principle that "our civil laws are supposed to comport with God's laws" as laid out in the Bible? 

What exactly is the difference between Santoum's assertion that is the obligation of Religious Right activists to make sure our laws comport with God's law and Shariah, which says the nation's civil laws and religious laws are to be one in the same?

Flashback: Abby Johnson’s Suspicious "Conversion" To The Anti-Choice Movement

As part of their campaign to defund Planned Parenthood, the Susan B. Anthony List is running television advertisements featuring Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood staffer now with Lila Rose’s LiveAction group. As RWW previously reported, Johnson baselessly asserted that Planned Parenthood has abortion “quotas” and requires their staff to “coerce” women and minors into having abortions:

In addition, the Texas Monthly poked numerous holes in Johnson’s story:

Johnson’s departure from Planned Parenthood turned out to be a more complex story than it first appeared. At a court hearing for an injunction sought by Planned Parenthood to prevent Johnson from divulging confidential information to her new allies, two of Johnson’s former co-workers testified that she told them in the days before she resigned that she was afraid she was about to be fired. At one time, Johnson, who was named the regional Planned Parenthood affiliate’s employee of the year in 2008, seemed to have a promising future with the organization. By mid-2009, however, her relationship with her employer had begun to deteriorate. Salon reported that on October 2, Johnson was summoned to Houston to meet with her supervisors to discuss problems with her job performance. She was placed on what Planned Parenthood calls a “performance improvement plan.” It was just three days later, on Monday, that Johnson made her tearful appearance at the Coalition for Life. The following day she faxed Planned Parenthood a resignation letter, which mentioned nothing about a crisis of conscience.

...

Other questions about Johnson’s credibility arose during our interview. She told me, for example, that there had never been any threats of violence against the Bryan clinic; however, Johnson herself received a series of threatening letters in 2007. “God will punish you for killing the innocent or we will,” read one. “You are not taking us seriously. You were at the clinic alone. Not very smart,” read another. In fact, the threats were taken so seriously that security cameras were installed at Johnson’s house, as she later acknowledged. Johnson also claimed that while most services at Planned Parenthood were provided by a nonprofit corporation, abortions were done by a for-profit corporation. Both she and Carney seemed to sincerely believe this was true, though all services at Planned Parenthood are, in fact, provided by a pair of separate nonprofit corporations.

As confounding as these inconsistencies are, there may be a much larger problem with Johnson’s story. Johnson has told the story of her journey from pro-choice activist to pro-life celebrity many times in many venues, and the crux of the tale is always the same: her moving description of what she saw on the ultrasound that September day in the Bryan clinic’s operating room ... Johnson’s account is so plausible and rich in detail that even Planned Parenthood seems not to have investigated whether this event ever took place. At my request, the staff at the Bryan clinic examined patient records from September 26, the day Johnson claims to have had her conversion experience, and spoke with the physician who performed abortions on that date. According to Planned Parenthood, there is no record of an ultrasound-guided abortion performed on September 26. The physician on duty told the organization that he did not use an ultrasound that day, nor did Johnson assist on any abortion procedure. “Planned Parenthood can assure you that no abortion patients underwent an ultrasound-guided abortion on September 26,” said a spokesperson. It’s difficult to imagine that Johnson simply got the date wrong; September 12 was the only other day that month that the clinic performed surgical abortions.

Could clinic staff and the physician be mistaken? The Texas Department of State Health Services requires abortion providers to fill out a form documenting basic information about each procedure performed at a clinic. This document is known as the Induced Abortion Report Form. The Bryan clinic reported performing fifteen surgical abortions on September 26. Johnson has consistently said that the patient in question was thirteen weeks pregnant, which is plausible, since thirteen weeks is right at the cusp of when physicians will consider using an ultrasound to assist with the procedure. Yet none of the patients listed on the report for that day were thirteen weeks pregnant; in fact, none were beyond ten weeks.

Obama Featured on Chicago Anti-Abortion Rights Billboards

After an anti-choice organization placed, and ultimately pulled, a New York billboard with the message “The Most Dangerous Place for an African American is in The Womb,” the group is now posting similar billboards in Chicago featuring President Obama. Jill Stanek, a radical anti-choice blogger, details the group Life Always and its new billboard in Obama’s hometown that reads: “Every 21 Minutes, Our Next Possible Leader Is Aborted.” Stanek writes that “Tomorrow, March 29, over 30 pro-life billboards will be unveiled on Chicago’s south side, where residents are predominantly black.”

The “Abortion as Black Genocide” theme in the anti-choice community continues to grow, with legislators even pushing bans on so-called “race-based abortion.” Kathryn Joyce of Political Research Associates explains:

Recent studies by the Guttmacher Institute found that abortion rates are indeed higher among women of color. African Americans, in particular, are thirteen percent of the population but account for 37 percent of all abortions. However, Guttmacher determined, this is due to their greater incidence of unwanted pregnancies, resulting from economic inequality and poor access to contraception and education. Nonetheless, the anti-abortion movement holds that Black and brown populations are being targeted – rather than served – by abortion providers who deliberately place clinics in inner-city, low-income neighborhoods.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Rep. Michele Bachmann hails Iowa for standing up to the "black-robed masters" in removed three judges from the state Supreme Court.
  • Ken Blackwell for Senate?
  • CWA's Wendy Wright testified on behalf of Janet Porter's "Heartbeat Bill" yesterday.
  • Honestly, how is Sheriff Joe Arpaio still in office?
  • Is Sean Hannity embracing Birtherism?
  • When Grover Norquist talks taxes, Republican fall all over themselves to do his bidding.  When he talks criminal justice reform, they couldn't care less.
  • Finally, FRC asks God to help them defund Planned Parenthood: "May God grant our House leaders courage and conviction to defend Life at any cost. May He stir consciences in the Senate and bring an unexpected miracle. May pro-abortion liberals fail in their effort to deceive America, and if a 'shutdown' occurs, may they get the blame."

Land: America Didn't Realize How Good We Had It Under George W. Bush

The Florida Baptist Witness reports that Richard Land spoke at the Jacksonville Baptist Association’s Leadership Institute last week and said that America was on the verge of revival that would reverse all of the horrors that President Obama has inflicted upon this nation ... provided that none of the conservatives on the Supreme Court die before Obama can be voted out of office. 

Oh yeah, and Americans will also come to realize just how good they had it under George W. Bush:

Addressing abortion, Land said the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which effectively legalized abortion on demand, likely will be overturned during his lifetime. One pro-choice justice being replaced by a pro-life justice would result in a majority willing to overturn Roe, he said.

“We just need one more vote,” Land said, “which means that we need to pray that none of the justices that are conservatives die until after we get a conservative president. And then one of the liberals has to change.”

Since abortion was legalized in 1973, more Americans have been aborted each year than have died cumulatively in all the wars the nation has fought, according to Land. Yet abortion is not merely a moral issue, but also an economic one, he said.

“How many people that are not working would be working if we hadn’t killed those babies?” he asked. Unemployed Americans could be “making goods and services for those people, building homes for those people, building schools for those people, teaching in the schools for those people.”

Recent healthcare legislation also threatens the sanctity of human life, Land said. If so- called “Obamacare” is not repealed, elderly Americans will be denied life-saving medical procedures because of the cost involved, he said.

“I personally think that the greatest threat to the sanctity of human life right now is Obamacare,” he said, adding, “I have no compunction about telling you that everybody in this room will live a shorter life, and it will be more filled with pain and suffering—if Obamacare is not rescinded—than you would otherwise. They are going to ration care.”

...

Land predicted that President George W. Bush will experience a similar fate as Harry Truman, who left office with a low approval rating but was appreciated decades later as one of the greatest presidents in American history.

Evangelicals likely will not see a president in the near future who identifies with them as much as Bush, he said, calling Bush’s two inaugural addresses “extraordinary” and “insightful.”

“I suspect too many Americans didn’t realize what they had when they had George W. Bush,” Land said.

Save California Warns of "Sexual Brainwashing" in History Bill

A proposal in the California State Senate that incorporates the state’s important LGBT historical figures into the social studies curriculum is stirring up intense anger on the anti-gay Right. Known as the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act, S.B. 48 ensures that schools discuss the contributions made by “gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans” along with a multitude of other groups, including “Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, [and] European Americans.” But the militantly anti-gay group Save California is fiercely resisting the measure.

Save California, which is led by Randy Thomasson, already runs the “Rescue Your Children” campaign against public schools. The group’s “ten reasons to leave your government-run school” includes “#1 homosexual-bi-trans indoctrination;” “#2 abortion indoctrination;” “#3 condom/birth control indoctrination;” “#4 anti-God, pro-evolution indoctrination;” and “#9 Anti-Christian indoctrination and widespread rejection of religious and moral values.” Thomasson was also a strong opponent of California’s Harvey Milk Day, which he called a “moral crime,” saying “teachers, principals, and schools that push Harvey Milk's values are responsible for the degradation of children as human beings.”

Thomasson now tells WorldNetDaily that SB 48 will lead to “the worst school sexual indoctrination ever”:

Randy Thomasson of the family-promoting SaveCalifornia.com said parents "don't want and children don't need 'LGBTIQ' role models in school."

"S.B. 48 micromanages public schools by forcing teachers, administrators, local school boards, textbooks, and instructional materials to promote a gaggle of sexual lifestyles that disturb parents and confuse kids," Thomasson said. "This costly state mandate targets children for sexual brainwashing, behind the backs of parents, teaching boys and girls to admire those who engage in homosexual, bisexual or transsexual behavior."



In a letter to Rep. Alan Lowenthall, chairman of the Senate Education Committee where the vote – six Democrats in favor and three Republicans opposed – was recorded, Thomasson's organization had opposed the plan.

"On behalf of the millions of parents we serve and the children they love, please oppose S.B. 48, which is the most radical sexual indoctrination ever of children in California public schools, which are supposed to be about academics," the letter said.



"The California public schools are no longer safe places for boys and girls morally," he told WND. "This new bill, S.B. 48, reflects the desire of the Democrat state legislators to recruit boys and girls to support the homosexual-bisexual-transsexual agenda both personally and publicly."

Right Wing Leftovers

Jacobs: America Will Erect A Memorial On National Mall To The "Holocaust of the Unborn"

Earlier this year, Cindy Jacobs spoke at a conference in Arizona where she stated that "one of my friends in Congress" told her that because of Planned Parenthood in America, more than a billion abortions have taken place throughout the world and went on to recount a prophesy she delivered several years ago that one day abortion would be outlawed in the United States and that a memorial would be built on the National Mall remembering the "holocaust of the unborn":

I, for one, would be very interested to know just which member of Congress is friends with Cindy Jacobs.

FRC Outraged That US Opposes The Criminalization Of Homosexuality

On Monday, the State Department issued a joint statement in the UN’s Human Rights Council opposing the criminalization of homosexuality. Currently, well over 70 countries impose criminal penalties for gays and lesbians, and the statement has the support of 84 countries. According to the Family Research Council, however, the US is committing a great injustice by condemning the criminalization of people because of their sexual orientation. The FRC dubs it “Operation International Tolerance,” complete with a picture of Obama wearing a rainbow helmet:

The FRC claims that the resolution will “force acceptance of the world’s gays and lesbians,” and defended countries that criminalize homosexuality or “any behavior they think is harmful to society”:

While American forces bomb away at Libya, the Obama administration is launching another global offensive: Operation International Tolerance. As he looks on from South America, the President put troops on the ground today for a meeting of the U.N.'s Human Rights Council, where his diplomats plan to strong-arm other countries into embracing homosexuality. In a major U-turn from the Bush years, the Obama administration is actually initiating an "anti-discrimination" resolution to force acceptance of the world's gays and lesbians. As recently as 2008, the United States refused to sign a similar declaration because President Bush thought it conflicted with the states' rights to pass things like marriage amendments.



Obviously, FRC believes that homosexuals and transgenders shouldn't be subjected to violence. But this resolution goes well beyond that to endorsing a behavior that dozens of member nations oppose. No binding document of international law has ever recognized a universal "human right" to engage in sex with a person of the same gender. And although even the U.N. admits that "resolutions" like this one "aren't legally binding," they do help to create a legal norm. We've seen this similar approach with respect to abortion, where countries like the U.S. have tried to insinuate a "right" under international law where there is none. Our global neighbors have the freedom to believe that homosexuality is wrong--just as they have the freedom to legislate against any behavior they think is harmful to society. That freedom--and their very sovereignty--would be threatened by this effort.

Right-Wing Commentator: Obama Wants Black Children “Eliminated”

When the state of New Jersey ordered the closure of a school named after President Barack Obama over waning enrollment numbers, right-wing commentator Jeannie DeAngelis knew who was responsible: President Obama. Not because of the President’s education policies, but for his support of a woman’s right to choose. DeAngelis, like many others in the anti-choice movement, espouse the erroneous conspiracy theory that abortion providers are targeting the African-American community. Writing for RenewAmerica, the conservative blogger blames Obama’s advocacy of abortion-rights for having black children “eliminated long before they could register for kindergarten”:

Sad to say, but Barack H. Obama Elementary School in Asbury Park, New Jersey, a school whose student body is 94% black, is being forced to close its doors. Due to a "steep decline in total enrollment" this summer, the school will shut off the loudspeaker and ring the dismissal bell for the very last time.

"Bruce N. Rodman, the state-appointed official who manages the school district's finances, said enrollment at the Obama school had seen a 35 percent drop over the past ten years."

How ironic, an institution named after a President who is a champion of Planned Parenthood, an organization that prides itself on providing accessible "reproductive services" to black women, is being forced to close because potential students were eliminated long before they could register for kindergarten.

The empty seats at Barack H. Obama Elementary School, formerly known as Bangs Elementary, are a visible testimony to the success of the abortion policies America's first black president proudly supports. If the school's namesake were invited to speak at a school assembly, thanks to the type of pro-abortion policy he promotes the guest of honor would find the auditorium filled with a small cluster of children and only hear a faint echo of clapping from somewhere in the last row.



Instead the school is closing, and when it does, the unintentional message is that the students emerging through those double doors are a but a small percentage of living, breathing survivors who, despite Planned Parenthood's efforts, miraculously managed to escape being victims of an abortion policy the "Barack H. Obama" brand continues to endorse.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Zaid Jilani @ Think Progress: GA GOP Rep. Bobby Franklin Says America Is Like Qadaffi Because Abortion Is Legal.
  • Alan Colmes: Franklin Graham: Japan Disaster Could Mean Second Coming.
  • Alvin McEwen: Religious right leader Bryan Fischer: Obama is a boy president.
  • Truth Wins Out: Scientist Calls On Apple to Remove ‘Ex-Gay’ app That Distorts His Research.
  • Benjy Sarlin @ TPM: Herman Cain to Muslims: Stop Trying to Convert Us to Islam.
  • County Fair: Washington Times' Knight Uses Anti-Bullying Legislation To Attack Muslims, Gays.
  • Joe.My.God: JMG Wins 2011 GLAAD Media Award!

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Nick Baumann @ Mother Jones: GOP Bill Would Force IRS to Conduct Abortion Audits.
  • Ryan J. Reilly @ TPM: James O'Keefe Doesn't Want To Be Videotaped: 'He's Got Lawsuits Up The Gazoo.'
  • Towleroad: TX Democratic County Chair Dan Ramos Calls Gay Groups 'Termites', Compares Them to Nazi Party.
  • John @ Bold Faith Type: Immigration Reform: Who Would Jesus Shoot?
  • Pam Spaulding @ Pam's House Blend: Here comes Bam Bam and The Peter with the 'Truth Academy' circus.
  • Steve Benen: Those who are 'sympathetic' to the terrorists' 'cause'.
  • Greg Sargent: An easy way to burnish your conservative cred: Beat up on poor Mitt Romney.
  • Media Matters: Beck: "If This President Is Re-Elected In 2012, There Is No Way We As A Nation Survive In Any Form That We Understand."

Personhood Law Would Ban Treatment of Life-Threatening Pregnancies

As personhood legislation sprouts up in states like Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Iowa, the radical anti-choice group Personhood USA also hopes to introduce their extreme (and unconstitutional) legislation in North Dakota. Personhood bills criminalize abortion and certain forms of birth control by granting legal rights to zygotes, declaring it a separate ‘person’ from the mother. Many doctors believe that such legislation would ban in vitro fertilization and prohibit doctors from giving medical assistance to women with serious pregnancy complications like ectopic pregnancies. The AP reports on North Dakota doctors speaking out against the radical legislation in their state:

Doctors told the North Dakota Senate's Judiciary Committee that it could affect couples using in vitro fertilization to try to have a baby as well as women who have complications in early pregnancy that will prevent an embryo from developing into a viable baby. Such complications include an ectopic pregnancy, which happens when a fertilized egg begins growing outside the uterus. The doctors who testified said they did not perform abortions.



Although the measure exempts in vitro fertilization from criminal penalties, it includes language saying that "causing injury to a human being" is not justified.

Dr. Stephanie Dahl, a Fargo infertility specialist who works at North Dakota's only in vitro fertilization center, said the bill would make it illegal to do the procedure.

"The process of IVF may result in injury to an embryo," Dahl said. "It is unavoidable."

Dr. Shari Orser, a Bismarck obstetrician and gynecologist, told the committee that most eggs that are fertilized for in vitro fertilization never become viable embryos "and only a small percentage of embryos thought to be viable produce a child."

"To suggest that every embryo is a person is absurd," Orser said.

Orser said the law also would complicate the treatment of ectopic pregnancies. Without treatment, a tubal pregnancy can result in serious internal bleeding and death, she said.

Other conditions can result in a fetus developing without kidneys, lungs or a brain, Orser said.

"These diagnoses are often made in the first half of these pregnancies," Orser said. "Should a woman be forced to continue the pregnancy when she knows that her baby will die, or can she be spared the emotional distress and the risks of carrying a pregnancy to term?"

Religious Right Rebels Against Latest GOP Budget Proposal

It looks like it barely took two months for major Religious Right groups to panic over the GOP leadership’s agenda. Speaker John Boehner decided to pass another temporary continuing resolution that includes funding towards family planning and health services groups like Planned Parenthood, which anti-choice organizations fiercely opposed. With Republican leaders ready to ignore their pleas, many are now on the attack.

Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association did not mince words in his attack on Republican leaders:

The new temporary Continuing Resolution, which will be voted on in the House tomorrow, is perfectly terrible. It does not defund Planned Parenthood, abortions in D.C., ObamaCare, NPR or the EPA. The GOP leadership right now is only agreeing to stuff that Obama said he didn't want anyway. This is an inkling that there may an alarming lack of spine in House GOP leadership. This is the optimum time to strike down funding for Planned Parenthood, after Lila Rose's undercover investigation exposed its willingness to aid and abet those who traffic in child prostitution by arranging for underage girls to get flatly illegal abortions. The question on defunding is simple: if not now, when?

The Family Research Council will score the vote on the continuing resolution in its ratings of members, and Tony Perkins called on the group’s allies in Congress to vote against it:

Much to the displeasure of voters and dozens of organizations like FRC, the proposal sidelines every pro-life provision for which we fought. Apparently, some Republicans are worried that the bill will get hung up by the language to defund Planned Parenthood and D.C. abortions. All the more reason to have this battle now and move on.

Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List said the defunding of Planned Parenthood was a “non-negotiable” issue:

If Congress can’t cut off taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood, a willing partner of the exploitation of women and young girls, how can it be serious about cutting spending anywhere else? The time to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood is not next week, or in three weeks, or in a month, it’s now. Ending taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood in both short-term and long-term Continuing Resolution bills is a non-negotiable.

Perkins: Planned Parenthood is Causing Hike in Abortions, STDs

Tony Perkins took to The Hill today to argue that Planned Parenthood costs taxpayers billions of dollars because, he argues, by providing affordable contraception it raises the abortion rate, and by providing abortions it raises the STD rate.

First he acknowledges that the one study that he uses to back up the contraception-abortion link doesn’t actually conclude what he wants it to conclude. But that doesn’t stop him from contributing his own scientific analysis:

Earlier this year, the medical journal “Contraception” published a study, “Trends in the use of contraceptive methods and voluntary interruption of pregnancy in the Spanish population during 1997–2007.” The researchers noted that from 1997 to 2007, “the overall use of contraceptive methods increased from 49.1 percent to 79.9 percent.” During this same period, “The elective abortion rate increased from 5.52 to 11.49 per 1000 women.”

Although the article states, “The factors responsible for the increased rate of elective abortion need further investigation,” the relationship between increased contraception and increased abortion seems apparent.

I’d refer Perkins not only to common sense, but to this study in The Lancet and this USAID report citing numerous studies proving that access to contraception does, in fact, prevent unintended pregnancy.

Perkins goes on to argue that Planned Parenthood—which directs a full third of its budget to testing for and treating sexually transmitted diseases—is actually driving the STD rate in the United States because of the three percent of its budget that it spends on abortion services:

But the connection between Planned Parenthood’s so-called family planning and an increase in abortion is not the only manner in which the abortion giant is running up the taxpayer tab. A 2005 study from George Mason University suggests that as the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood is costing taxpayer billions of dollars a year by fueling the sexually transmitted disease pandemic.

According to researchers Jonathan Klick and Thomas Stratmann, who examined over four decades of data related to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), there is a statistically verifiable link between legalized abortion and the rise in STDs. Klick and Stratmann make the argument that sexual behavior responds to economic incentives. In other words, as the laws and economies of scale, along with government subsidies made abortion more economically enticing, an increase in risky sexual behavior followed and with it STDs.

How much is this increase costing us? The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 19 million new STDs occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24. The estimated price tag is $15 billion dollars for healthcare costs alone!

So, Perkins’ plan is to take away the ways women have to prevent pregnancies and STDs, thereby scaring them into abstinence. Sounds like the Religious Right’s dream come true…but truly scary public policy.

Syndicate content

Abortion Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/13/2011, 11:48am
Janet Porter has, in many ways, been at the center of the merger between the "mainstream" Religious Right and the Dominionist prophets and apostles of the New Apostolic Reformation.  In fact, it was through Porter's participation in the "Convergence 2010" event, where she prayed that Christians would take control of the media, that we first became aware of the likes of Cindy Jacobs.  Since then, Porter has gotten progressively more involved with the movement - so much so that she lost her radio program due to her embrace of Seven Mountains Dominionism. But now... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 09/12/2011, 5:01pm
As we’ve been reporting, self-proclaimed prophet Cindy Jacobs has dedicated her show God Knows to discussing how lands are cursed by sins like abortion, adultery and homosexuality, calling on Christians to literally take control over the weather and reverse the curse. In the fourth part of the series, Jacobs claims that lands are cursed with violence because they were previously inhabited by Native Americans who “did blood sacrifice” and “were cannibals and they ate people.” Fortunately, Jacobs maintains, Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally in... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 09/12/2011, 2:00pm
With conservative politicians and groups trying to ‘reclaim feminism’ for the Right, it is no surprise to see the notoriously anti-feminist Concerned Women for America jumping on the bandwagon. Concerned Women for America claims it was founded by Beverly LaHaye, whose husband is Religious Right leader Tim LaHaye, to counter the National Organization for Women because “She knew the feminists’ anti-God, anti-family rhetoric did not represent her beliefs, nor those of the vast majority of women.” LaHaye has said, “Feminism is more than an illness. It is a... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 09/12/2011, 11:54am
Chuck Pierce is heir apparent to C. Peter Wagner in assuming a central leadership role within the New Apostolic Reformation and is a widely respected "prophet" whose prayers have caused earthquakes and lead to the capture of Saddam Hussein. Pierce claims that in 2005 "the Spirit of God" came upon him and told him that a Black man would be elected President of the United States. Then, in 2008, God told Pierce that President Obama would make a speech in May 2011 on Israel that would literally split the United States into two camps consisting of 20+ states that will stand... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 09/09/2011, 2:38pm
Earlier today Brian noted how even conservative Christian activists, like talk-show host Janet Mefferd, are marveling at the "strange turn of events" that had brought the self-proclaimed apostles and prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation together with the traditional Religious Right activists and put on display for the world to see at Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally. But it is not just "mainstream" Religious Right activists who are alarmed at this development, as now even the full-blown Christian Reconstructionists at American Vision are... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 09/09/2011, 1:06pm
Janet Mefferd, one of the leading Christian conservative radio talk show hosts in the country, dedicated part of her show yesterday to discussing the rise of dominionism in conservative politics. Along with her guest, “Christian apologist” Robert Bowman of the Institute for Religious Research, Mefferd expressed her grave concerns about the growing influence of dominionists and their participation in Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s The Response prayer rally. They defined dominionism as the belief that fundamentalist Christians should have control over positions of political power and... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 09/08/2011, 5:33pm
Rick Perry says the Ten Commandments are "good policy and at the end of the day ... probably good politics." It looks like Janet Porter's Heartbeat Bill is heading to Kansas. The folks at Personhood Mississippi who are seeking out outlaw abortion insist that "obviously ... we're not taking away any rights." Bryan Fischer has re-worked his "Muslims are using 9/11 to celebrate" column in light of the fact that he completely got the day wrong. Finally, the Liberty Counsel's lawsuit against healthcare reform lost in court, but LC vows to... MORE