Anti-Choice

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.

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.

Focus On The Family Warns Of Gay “Indoctrination” In Schools And The Military

Yesterday, RWW reported on the Religious Right’s virulent opposition to a California bill that would make sure lesbian and gay historical figures are represented in the curriculum. Now, Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink is linking the curriculum bill to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in its post “Indoctrination 101: From the Battlefield to the Ball Field.” Focus on the Family has consistently railed againsthomosexual indoctrinationin schools and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, demanding its reinstatement. CitizenLink looks to traditionally anti-gay groups such as the Center for Military Readiness and the Pacific Justice Institute, along with its affiliated California Family Council, to blast the purported “indoctrination”:

The California Senate Education Committee passed legislation Wednesday that would mandate public schools teach U.S. history, California history and social science with a deliberate emphasis on the roles and contributions of gay- and lesbian-identified individuals, as well as those of transsexuals and bisexuals.

“It seems a bit like a quota system,” said Ron Prentice, executive director of the California Family Council. “It’s based less on the level of contribution and more on one’s sexual orientation.”

Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, said: “Our Legislature just doesn’t get it — with thousands of teachers getting pink slips, this is not the time to place more expensive, politically correct mandates on our schools. This bill also undermines parental rights and is insensitive to those whose cultures and belief systems are at odds with the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) agenda.”



Meanwhile, the military has been ordered to “re-educate” its members on similar issues. The U.S. House Armed Services Committee soon will hold hearings on the repeal of the law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which prevented open homosexuality in the military.

In 1993, the House and Senate conducted 12 hearings and field trips before passing the policy. Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said the committee needs to hold a similar number before any repeal is made permanent.

“Imposition of LGBT law and policies on our military would be enormously complicated and anything but simple,” she said. “Members of Congress must ask questions and insist on honest answers.”

Among the issues Donnelly wants addressed: sexual privacy violations; “zero tolerance” of dissent; impact of sexual misconduct on unit cohesion and trust in leadership; infringements on religious liberty for chaplains and people of faith; plans to accommodate same-sex couples in military family housing; LGBT “sensitivity” training in all Defense Department training programs, academies and schools; and personal dress and behavior.

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.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 3/22/11

Michele Bachmann

History: New Hampshire politicians take jabs at Bachmann's history blunder (Politico, 3/17).

2012: Deep roots in conservative movement bolster her campaign prospects (TNR, 3/17).

Haley Barbour

Campaign: Expanding campaign and presence in early state (NYT, 3/22).

Mississippi: State taxpayers paid for $300,000 of his out-of-state traveling costs (Clarion Ledger, 3/21).

Foreign Affairs: Calls for reducing troop level in Afghanistan (CBS News, 3/16).

Mitch Daniels

Book: Signs book deal with conservative publisher (AP, 3/21).

2012: Wife raises doubts about potential run (Indianapolis Star, 3/20).

Newt Gingrich

New Hampshire: Schedules speeches and meetings in the Granite State (Union Leader, 3/21).

Foreign Affairs: Claims President Obama "does not even know who his enemies are" (Union Leader, 3/20).

Obama: Says President is busy on ESPN instead of handling crises (LA Times, 3/18).

Mike Huckabee

Religious Right: Says he wants world leaders to have a "biblical worldview" (RWW, 3/21). 

Anti-Choice: Lauds anti-choice leaders on Fox News show (News Hounds, 3/21).

Fox News: Favorite candidate of Fox News viewers (HuffPo, 3/18).

Sarah Palin

Foreign Affairs: Plans to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu during tour of Israel after visiting India (Forward, 3/21).

Energy: Alaska abandons much of Palin's energy agenda (NYT, 3/17).

Campaign: Top aide profiled by Los Angeles Times (LA Times, 3/16).

Ron Paul

Foreign Affairs: Slams US involvement in no-fly zone as "unconstitutional" (Raw Story, 3/21).

GOP: Wins California GOP convention straw poll (Sacramento Bee, 3/20).

Economy: Pushes elimination of the Federal Reserve (Reuters, 3/17).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: Announces formation of exploratory committee (Star Tribune, 3/21).

Campaign: Adopts Southern accent in stump speech (Minnesota Public Radio, 3/18).

Tea Party: Set to address New Hampshire Tea Party rally (Think Progress, 3/17).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Allies downplay impact of Massachusetts health care reform law on primary (The Hill, 3/17).

Campaign: Recruits fundraisers close to former President Bush (Bloomberg, 3/17).

Donald Trump

Foreign Affairs: Brags to Fox News that he "screwed" Qaddafi on land deal (Fox News, 3/21).

New Hampshire: Scheduled to address political forum in New Hampshire (Boston Herald, 3/16).

Rick Santorum

Foreign Affairs: Derides Obama for turning the US into "the military of the UN" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3/18).

Health Care: Calls Mitt Romney's health care reform law a "failure" (The State Column, 3/18).

Religious Right: Tells far-right Catholic group that he was "appalled" by JFK's "radical" support of the separation of church and state (Boston Globe, 3/15).

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.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Equality Matters: Maryland's Marriage Equality Bill Sent Back To Committee, Reportedly Delayed Till Next Year.
  • Tim Murphy @ Mother Jones: Birther Bill Author: What's a Long-Form Birth Certificate?
  • Towleroad: Leading Anti-Gay Utah State Senator Chris Buttars is Retiring.
  • Joe.My.God: Corruption Bust: New York Post Outs Anti-Gay Sen. Carl Kruger And Boyfriend.
  • Media Matters: Wash. Times Gives Platform To Anti-Choice Extremist Randall Terry.
  • Igor Volsky @ Wonk Room: Iowa Kingmaker Vander Plaats Still Comparing Gay Marriage To Polygamy, Incest.
  • Brian Beutler @ TPM: New Hampshire Republican Won't Apologize For Saying 'Defective' People Should Die In Siberia.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Heritage Action, Family Research Council and Club for Growth have jointly announced "their opposition to any additional short-term continuing resolutions."
  • Glenn Beck's The Blaze, of all places, exposes the dishonesty behind James O'Keef's NPR sting video.
  • Could we really be so lucky as to see a Michele Bachmann presidential campaign?
  • Gary Bauer says that "If, God forbid, one of the conservative legislators is harmed in any way by a protestor, the blame will rest squarely with the unions and indirectly with President Obama for failing to condemn the climate of hate that the left has been encouraging for weeks."
  • Just let me say to John R. Guardiano that if it were Religious Right anti-choice activists protesting in Wisconsin, the entire right-wing echo chamber would be lauding them as heroes and true American patriots.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Bryan Fischer: "If you want to trace the recognition of gay marriage in the U.S. to its source, Mitt Romney is it, the man who kick-started the push to legalize sexually abnormal relationships at the state level. The man would be a disaster in the White House on social issues."

Texas Weighs Bill to Criminalize Nearly All Abortions

A Republican state legislator in Texas has introduced a bill that would ban all abortion except in the cases of rape or incest. State Rep. George Lavender introduced his blatantly unconstitutional bill to eliminate legal abortion as the state legislature considers legislation that would allow residents to purchase license plates to fund anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers. Moreover, the legislature just passed a bill that would require women to look at a medically unnecessary and potential unsafe ultrasound before terminating their pregnancy. Other states are considering similar bans on abortion but through so-called “personhood” legislation.

Chris Hoppe of the Dallas Morning News reports that if Lavender’s bill passes, it would likely be struck down by a court challenge, and that Texas already has a law criminalizing abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned:

Rep. George Lavender, R-Texarkana, has jumped well past the debate on the mandatory sonograms and filed a bill on Wednesday that would prevent any abortion except in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother.

The bill would be a direct affront to the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision and certainly, if passed, be detoured through a lengthy and predicatable court challenge. At least the ACLU promises that it will.

The civil rights' group called the bill, "a draconian attempt to roll back nearly 40 years of history by eliminating women's right to make decisions regarding their own bodies," said ACLU of Texas legal director Lisa Graybill.

The ACLU said that if this bill should pass, along with a package of bills aimed at illegal immigrants, that Texas -- now in the throes of cutting teachers, nursing homes and health programs -- will end up expending large amounts of taxpayer money to defend lawsuits that have little chance of success.

"The state of Texas is attempting to trump federal law," said ACLU executive director Terri Burke. "This is a serious overreach."

Texas currently has law that would immediately outlaw abortions if the Supreme Court overturns its decision and leaves the legality of abortions up to individual states.

Right Ratchets Up Pressure As FRC Announces It Will Score Vote On Continuing Resolution

Last month, House Speaker John Boehner stated that, despite the demands from the Religious Right, Republican had no intention of shutting down the government over the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood. 

The issue was not included in the last Continuing Resolution, but now that that one is set to expire soon, anti-choice Religious Right activists are warning that they will oppose any resolution that does not include the Planned Parenthood and a related anti-choice provision and will score the vote accordingly: 

In a letter FRC provided to LifeNews.com that it sent to House members, FRC Senior Vice President Tom McClusky said, “I want to strongly encourage you to oppose any additional temporary Continuing Resolutions for FY 2011 that fails to prevent government funding of abortion in the District of Columbia and government funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.”

While FRC did not apply this pressure to House members on the first short-term continuing resolution, it is taking a more intense approach this time.

“FRCAction will score against any such extension of government funding without these key pro-life provisions,” the group promised. “FRCAction will oppose any additional temporary Continuing Resolution that does not include these two pro-life provisions and include any such vote in our scorecard for the First Session of the 112th Congress.”

Sarah Palin to Share Stage With Lila Rose

Sarah Palin will be appearing with notorious smear artist Lila Rose in an upcoming fundraiser for the anti-choice group Heroic Media. Rose, the head of the extreme group Live Action, has called for abortions “to be done in the public square” and pushed discredited and doctored videos against Planned Parenthood. Heroic Media uses advertisement campaigns to push anti-choice messages, such as, “the most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb,” and hosted Palin in 2010.

Flashback:

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 3/8/11

Michele Bachmann

Health Care: Decries secret funding of reform law which wasn't actually a secret (Minnesota Post, 3/7).

Energy: As gas prices rise over Mideast crisis, Bachmann blames Obama (CNN, 3/7).

Religious Right: Invites Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel to her Tea Party Caucus (RWW, 3/4).

Haley Barbour

Campaign: Adds staff to leadership PAC (The Fix, 3/7).

Iowa: Will join Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich and others at conference hosted by Steve King (Des Moines Register, 3/7).

Background: Made millions as a lobbyist for the energy industry, now repeating their arguments (HuffPo, 3/3).

Mitch Daniels

Indiana: Democrats in state legislature lead boycott to protest Daniels's anti-labor agenda (TPM, 3/4).

Religious Right: Richard Land attacks Daniels's truce proposal as "political suicide" (RWW, 3/4).

Newt Gingrich

Campaign: Discusses "confusion" of exploratory committee announcement (Des Moines Register, 3/7).

Obama: Tells Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition that "secular, socialist" Obama administration "cannot represent America" (The Hill, 3/7).

Religious Right: Plans to address Religious Right conferences in Iowa and Liberty University, and meet with controversial pastor John Hagee (RWW, 3/4).

Mike Huckabee

South Carolina: Tells South Carolina crowd on book tour that the state is a must-win primary (The State, 3/8).

Culture: Slams actress Natalie Portman for allegedly glorifying single motherhood (The Week, 3/4).

Obama: Agrees with Bryan Fischer that Obama is anti-American; falsely claims that President Obama grew up in Kenya and then lied in his mea culpa (RWW, 3/2; County Fair, 3/7).

Religious Right: Joins Bachmann, Barbour, Gingrich and pseudo-historian David Barton for a webcast on religion in politics (RWW, 3/2).

Jon Huntsman

Campaign: Top aides meet in New Orleans, set sights on New Hampshire voters (RCP, 3/7).

Obama: Praise from President may damage Huntsman's chances (Salt Lake Tribune, 3/6).

Donors: Supporters of Huntsman paid for video about his work as Ambassador (Politico, 3/3).

Sarah Palin

2012: Says she would run for President if voters are ready for someone who is against "obsessive partisanship" (BBC News, 3/7).

Culture: Picks fight with comedian Kathy Griffin (LA Times, 3/7).

Foreign Affairs: Prepares for trip to India (Politico, 3/6).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: May be GOP front runner due to the "process of elimination" (TNR, 3/8).

Religious Right: Calls on members of Ralph Reed's Iowa group to "take back our country" (CBS News, 3/7).

Minnesota: Keith Ellison says Pawlenty has "no connection" to his roots (Think Progress, 3/4).

Buddy Roemer

Tea Party: Tells Religious Right group, "Thank God for the tea party" (Des Moines Register, 3/7).

Campaign: The former Louisiana governor announces exploratory committee (CBS News, 3/4).

Mitt Romney

Health Care: Massachusetts AG uses Romney's health care policy to defend federal law (Politico, 3/7).

Social issues: After turning hard right on social issues, Romney now wants to downplay them (Salon, 3/7).

Campaign: Produces "restoring hope" video for leadership PAC (Politico, 3/7).

Rick Santorum

Reproductive Rights: Plays-up his career in the anti-choice movement to Ralph Reed's Iowa group (Des Moines Register, 3/7).

Religious Right: Argues in Iowa op-ed that LGBT equality will "eviscerate" freedom (RWW, 3/7).

South Dakota Governor Likely to Sign Radical Anti-Choice Bill

The Republican governor of South Dakota announced that he is “inclined to sign” an extreme bill passed by the state legislature that requires women seeking an abortion to undergo a 72 hour waiting period and biased counseling. RWW first reported on the bill when it was first approved by a House committee, and has since passed the full House and Senate.

As outlined in a new People For the American Way report on the flurry of anti-choice laws under consideration in the states, the impending 72 hour waiting period would even exceed the more common 24 hour waiting period in a state which only has one clinic that offers abortion services, which are provided just once a week.

If signed into law, South Dakota women would be forced to meet with staffers of so-called “pregnancy care centers,” better known as crisis pregnancy centers, who are typically not medical professionals but instead anti-choice activists. Such centers receive significant funding from Religious Right groups and organizations opposed to abortion rights, and frequently employ deceiving and discredited propaganda against abortion and contraception.

According to a 2006 Congressional report, close to 90 percent of such centers “grossly misrepresented the medical risks of abortion, telling the callers that having an abortion could increase the risk of breast cancer, result in sterility, and lead to suicide and ‘post-abortion stress disorder.’” Many of the groups also receive government funding through abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and one of the largest private financers said that the goal of such centers is to “get the chance to share the Gospel with [women], which is the ultimate thing of what we’re doing.” In fact, the New York City Council just passed a measure that would make the centers disclose that they are not accredited medical offices.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Mike Huckabee is holding a Facebook fundraiser seeking donations from those who "support traditional marriage and disagree with Pres. Obama's decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act."
  • Rick Santorum wants to know why he and Newt Gingrich were suspended from Fox but Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin were not.  That is a good question.
  • Maggie Gallagher reacts to the Supreme Court's Westboro Baptist decision by declaring that "the Constitution is not a suicide pact." I have no idea what she is talking about.
  • Ed Meese will receive the 2011 Vision and Leadership Award at the Values Voter Summit.
  • Abby Johnson is challenging Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards to a public debate. I challenge Johnson to come clean about the real reason for her departure from the organization.
  • Bryan Fischer longs for the good old days when blasphemy was illegal.
  • Finally, here is Janet Porter-approved footage of her "Heartbeat Bill" stunt:

Anti-Choice Activists Remind GOP That Defunding Planned Parenthood is "Non-Negotiable"

Last week, a group of anti-choice activsts sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders declaring tha that "defunding Planned Parenthood must be a non-negotiable in the Continuing Resolution and we urge you to accept nothing less than this outcome."

That letter apparently didn't have much influence on Boehner, as just a few days later he admitted that Republicans have no intention of insisting that the provision to defund Planned Parenthood remain in the Continuing Resolution if that means shutting down the government.

But Religious Right anti-choice activists are continuing to draw a line in the sand, and dozens of them - including Tony Perkins, Tom Minnery, Penny Nance, Phyllis Schlafly, Charmaine Yoest, Richard Land, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Andrea Lafferty, and Bob Vander Plaats - have signed on to a new letter [PDF] to Speaker Boehner and Rep. Eric Cantor to ostensibly thank them for supporting efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and remind them that this issue is "non-negotiable"

Funding Planned Parenthood and its affiliates does not decrease abortion. Rather, it increases the incidence of abortion, while it also encourages irresponsible and sometimes illegal activities that harm young women. In addition, Planned Parenthood’s abortion machine massively outpaces its adoption referrals. In 2008 a woman entering a Planned Parenthood clinic was 134 times more likely to have an abortion than be referred for adoption.

As debate over the Continuing Resolution continues, you and your colleagues will undoubtedly receive pressure from Planned Parenthood and its allies. Spending must be reduced, and taxpayers do not need to be, and do not want to be, funding the abortion empire. Defunding Planned Parenthood is a non-negotiable for this budget.

We hope you will continue to champion the Pence provision to ensure that it is not removed during the legislative process. 

Raul Labrador Badly Twists the Facts on Planned Parenthood

During his successful congressional campaign last year, now-Congressman Raul Labrador (R-ID) used his opposition to abortion-rights as a wedge issue to criticize his opponent, who was the most conservative Democrat in the House. The freshman congressman recently joined his conservative colleagues by voting in favor of the Pence amendment to defund the women’s health organization Planned Parenthood. ABC’s Boise affiliate KIVI reports:

Freshman Boise congressman, Raul Labrador says the abortion debate just about splits this country in half, but GOP lawmakers argues all Idahoans agree on one part. "They don't want the federal government to be abortions. There's so much money going to Planned Parenthood. And it's impossible for us to know where they're going. They claim they are not funding any abortion with that money, but that's the main business they do," argues Labrador.



Planned Parenthood believes Congress is attempting to take away the reproductive rights of women. However, Congressman Labrador takes exception to that. The freshman republican, states, "I don't think Planned Parenthood speaks for women. If they want to provide services, they can continue to do so. We're not closing their shop, we're just saying no more federal funding." The Senate is expected to vote on the resolution this coming week.

However, Labrador is indisputably wrong when he said that abortion is Planned Parenthood’s “the main business.”

Abortion services account for just three percent of the group’s services, with the vast majority going towards contraception, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, immunizations, and screenings for breast and cervical cancer. Such services especially help women without health insurance, with Planned Parenthood clinics sometimes acting as the only women’s health service providers in many regions.

Labrador also incorrectly describes the federal government’s role in providing abortion services, as the 35-year old Hyde Amendment prohibits federal taxpayer funding abortion care except in the cases of rape and incest, or when the woman’s life is at risk.

The freshman Congressman’s erroneous statements reflect the collaboration of Religious Right and Republican leaders to dishonestly smear Planned Parenthood.

Raul Labrador Badly Twists the Facts on Planned Parenthood

During his successful congressional campaign last year, now-Congressman Raul Labrador (R-ID) used his opposition to abortion-rights as a wedge issue to criticize his opponent, who was the most conservative Democrat in the House. The freshman congressman recently joined his conservative colleagues by voting in favor of the Pence amendment to defund the women’s health organization Planned Parenthood. ABC’s Boise affiliate KIVI reports:

Freshman Boise congressman, Raul Labrador says the abortion debate just about splits this country in half, but GOP lawmakers argues all Idahoans agree on one part. "They don't want the federal government to be abortions. There's so much money going to Planned Parenthood. And it's impossible for us to know where they're going. They claim they are not funding any abortion with that money, but that's the main business they do," argues Labrador.



Planned Parenthood believes Congress is attempting to take away the reproductive rights of women. However, Congressman Labrador takes exception to that. The freshman republican, states, "I don't think Planned Parenthood speaks for women. If they want to provide services, they can continue to do so. We're not closing their shop, we're just saying no more federal funding." The Senate is expected to vote on the resolution this coming week.

However, Labrador is indisputably wrong when he said that abortion is Planned Parenthood’s “the main business.”

Abortion services account for just three percent of the group’s services, with the vast majority going towards contraception, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, immunizations, and screenings for breast and cervical cancer. Such services especially help women without health insurance, with Planned Parenthood clinics sometimes acting as the only women’s health service providers in many regions.

Labrador also incorrectly describes the federal government’s role in providing abortion services, as the 35-year old Hyde Amendment prohibits federal taxpayer funding abortion care except in the cases of rape and incest, or when the woman’s life is at risk.

The freshman Congressman’s erroneous statements reflect the collaboration of Religious Right and Republican leaders to dishonestly smear Planned Parenthood.

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Anti-Choice Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Friday 09/16/2011, 10:45am
While right now Janet Porter is focused on using spiritual warfare to persuade the Ohio State Senate to pass her anti-choice ‘Heartbeat bill,’ she continues to lead the Christian Zionist group ‘Israel: You’re Not Alone.’ Porter was able to bring together an impressive list of supporters including well known conservative leaders Mike Huckabee, James Dobson, Mat Staver, and Tim Wildmon, and during the group’s introductory press conference accused President Obama of carrying out “ethnic cleansing.” On September 11th the organization released a... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 09/15/2011, 1:00pm
Mississippi is set to vote this November on a patently unconstitutional personhood amendment that would criminalize abortion in their state, and ‘personhood’ advocates now strive to put a similar amendment on the ballot in Ohio in 2012. Personhood laws would not only prohibit abortion in all cases but also ban certain forms of birth control and the treatment of ectopic pregnancies by giving legal rights to zygotes. The anti-choice activists hope that Ohio will vote on it at the same time as the swing state’s closely contested presidential election. Right now Ohio is on the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/14/2011, 10:31am
Frank Pavone, the head of the prominent anti-choice group Priests for Life, has been suspended from his position because of concerns over financial improprieties. Pavone is a priest in the Roman Catholic diocese of Amarillo, Texas, but has used his position in Priests for Life to be a full-time political activist. He garnered national attention during the Terri Schiavo case when he called her husband Michael “a murderer.” He gained more notoriety after bringing in Alveda King to Priests for Life, when he launched “Freedom Rides” in the South in an attempt to connect... MORE
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
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 09/12/2011, 5:33pm
Tim Pawlenty endorses Mitt Romney while Bobby Jindal is set to endorse Rick Perry. Hey, what do you know?  The Religious Right is mobilizing pastors to get active in the 2012 elections. On a related note, a coalition of anti-choice groups are mobilizing to register voters. James Dobson suffered several broken bones in a horse-riding accident. The man charged with helping Lisa Miller to flee the country wants his statements quashed and his trial moved out of Vermont. MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 08/31/2011, 12:40pm
Mike Huckabee is scheduled to be the featured speaker at a fundraiser for Personhood Mississippi, the group running the campaign to pass Amendment 26, which would criminalize abortion with no exceptions by giving rights to zygotes. In addition to banning abortion, the personhood amendment would also make certain forms of birth control, in-vitro fertilization and the treatment of problem pregnancies a crime. The American Family Association, which is based in Mississippi, committed $100,000 to fund the effort to pass Amendment 26 in November. By supporting Amendment 26, Huckabee places himself... MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 08/29/2011, 1:50pm
No matter how many times the deceitful claim that abortion providers are systematically targeting the black community for genocide is repudiated, new anti-choice groups can’t seem to stop running more ‘black genocide’ billboard campaigns. In March, a group called Life Always notoriously used images of President Barack Obama and a young black girl in their billboard campaign that abortion is black genocide. Earlier this summer the National Black Pro-Life Coalition put up billboards in Atlanta likening legal abortion to slavery and the Radiance Foundation and Issues4Life... MORE