Anti-Choice

South Dakota Abortion Bill Forces Women to Seek Counseling at Anti-Choice Centers

While the South Dakota state legislature announced today that it will shelve a radical bill that would open the door to legalizing the murder of doctors who perform abortions, the state is still weighing other legislation that would significantly curtail reproductive rights. NARAL Pro-Choice America says that South Dakota already has some of the most draconian laws on the books that constrain women’s access to reproductive health services, including biased counseling and 24 hour waiting periods, even though the state’s only clinic which offers abortion coverage has to fly in a doctor once a week to see patients. While voters twice rejected a comprehensive ban on abortion in the 2006 and 2008 referendums, the Republican-controlled legislature continues to create new burdens for women.

A measure passed by the State House Judiciary Committee would require women seeking an abortion to first visit a “pregnancy help center,” also known as a crisis pregnancy center (CPC), where they must inform women of “the risk factors” and “complications associated with abortion,” and “have a private interview to discuss her circumstances that may subject her decision to coercion.”

The legislation, introduced by Republican State Rep. Roger Hunt, says that such centers can be either “secular or faith based” and the bill only approves a center that does not “perform abortions and is not affiliated with any physician or entity that performs abortions, and does not now refer pregnant mothers for abortions, and has not referred any pregnant mother for abortions for the three-year period.”

A 2006 Congressional report found that such pregnancy centers frequently employ misleading and fallacious information to link abortion to breast cancer, infertility and other fertility problems, and severe psychological problems such as an increased chance of suicide. “The vast majority of the federally funded pregnancy resource centers contacted during the investigation provided information about the risks of abortion that was false or misleading,” according to the investigation, “In many cases, this information was grossly inaccurate or distorted.”

The National Abortion Federation also notes that such centers are mostly staffed by volunteers whose “main qualifications are a commitment to Christianity and anti-choice beliefs,” rather than medical professionals, and “many CPCs are connected with religious organizations, but few disclose that fact in their advertising.” And a report by The Daily Beast looked into the propaganda tools and medically-unsound practices commonplace at such pregnancy centers.

But if State Rep. Hurt gets his way, South Dakota may force women looking to terminate their pregnancy to first gain the approval of the staff of such biased centers, on top of an existing 24 hour waiting period. Since a doctor that provides abortion procedures is only available in the entire state just once a week, this bill would gravely endanger the already-limited access women have to reproductive services.

South Dakota Abortion Bill Forces Women to Seek Counseling at Anti-Choice Centers

While the South Dakota state legislature announced today that it will shelve a radical bill that would open the door to legalizing the murder of doctors who perform abortions, the state is still weighing other legislation that would significantly curtail reproductive rights. NARAL Pro-Choice America says that South Dakota already has some of the most draconian laws on the books that constrain women’s access to reproductive health services, including biased counseling and 24 hour waiting periods, even though the state’s only clinic which offers abortion coverage has to fly in a doctor once a week to see patients. While voters twice rejected a comprehensive ban on abortion in the 2006 and 2008 referendums, the Republican-controlled legislature continues to create new burdens for women.

A measure passed by the State House Judiciary Committee would require women seeking an abortion to first visit a “pregnancy help center,” also known as a crisis pregnancy center (CPC), where they must inform women of “the risk factors” and “complications associated with abortion,” and “have a private interview to discuss her circumstances that may subject her decision to coercion.”

The legislation, introduced by Republican State Rep. Roger Hunt, says that such centers can be either “secular or faith based” and the bill only approves a center that does not “perform abortions and is not affiliated with any physician or entity that performs abortions, and does not now refer pregnant mothers for abortions, and has not referred any pregnant mother for abortions for the three-year period.”

A 2006 Congressional report found that such pregnancy centers frequently employ misleading and fallacious information to link abortion to breast cancer, infertility and other fertility problems, and severe psychological problems such as an increased chance of suicide. “The vast majority of the federally funded pregnancy resource centers contacted during the investigation provided information about the risks of abortion that was false or misleading,” according to the investigation, “In many cases, this information was grossly inaccurate or distorted.”

The National Abortion Federation also notes that such centers are mostly staffed by volunteers whose “main qualifications are a commitment to Christianity and anti-choice beliefs,” rather than medical professionals, and “many CPCs are connected with religious organizations, but few disclose that fact in their advertising.” And a report by The Daily Beast looked into the propaganda tools and medically-unsound practices commonplace at such pregnancy centers.

But if State Rep. Hurt gets his way, South Dakota may force women looking to terminate their pregnancy to first gain the approval of the staff of such biased centers, on top of an existing 24 hour waiting period. Since a doctor that provides abortion procedures is only available in the entire state just once a week, this bill would gravely endanger the already-limited access women have to reproductive services.

Tony Perkins Embraces the Extreme Personhood Movement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tony Perkins Embraces the Extreme Personhood Movement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Huckabee: If I Run Again, It'll Be To Fight Abortion

Mike Huckabee continues to insist that he hasn't yet made up his mind about whether he intends to make another run for president.

But yesterday he was in Tennessee to headline a fundraiser for an ultra-right wing anti-choice group called Tennessee for the Center for Bioethical Reform which operates under the tag line" Graphically Exposing The Injustice of Abortion" and "on the principle that abortion represents an evil so inexpressible that words fail us when attempting to describe its horror. Until abortion is seen, it will never be understood."

The CBR is responsible for something called The Genocide Awareness Project which is "a traveling photo-mural exhibit which compares the contemporary genocide of abortion to historically recognized forms of genocide. It visits university campuses around the country to show as many students as possible what abortion actually does to unborn children and get them to think about abortion in a broader historical context."

And while delivering his keynote address, Huckabee asserted that if he does decide to run for president, it will be simply so that he can make abortion an issue:

During an appearance at a pro-life fundraising event on Monday night, pro-life potential Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee confirmed that, for him, abortion is the most important political issue.

“For me this is an issue that — as I’ve said before — it transcends all of the political issues,” he said. “I’ve often said I would gladly lose an election before I would ever yield on the issue of the sanctity of human life.”

At the event, held at the Knoxville Convention Center, the former Arkansas governor confirmed he is “seriously looking at” running for president again in 2012 and may do if only to “elevate the issue of life.”

Huckabee: If I Run Again, It'll Be To Fight Abortion

Mike Huckabee continues to insist that he hasn't yet made up his mind about whether he intends to make another run for president.

But yesterday he was in Tennessee to headline a fundraiser for an ultra-right wing anti-choice group called Tennessee for the Center for Bioethical Reform which operates under the tag line" Graphically Exposing The Injustice of Abortion" and "on the principle that abortion represents an evil so inexpressible that words fail us when attempting to describe its horror. Until abortion is seen, it will never be understood."

The CBR is responsible for something called The Genocide Awareness Project which is "a traveling photo-mural exhibit which compares the contemporary genocide of abortion to historically recognized forms of genocide. It visits university campuses around the country to show as many students as possible what abortion actually does to unborn children and get them to think about abortion in a broader historical context."

And while delivering his keynote address, Huckabee asserted that if he does decide to run for president, it will be simply so that he can make abortion an issue:

During an appearance at a pro-life fundraising event on Monday night, pro-life potential Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee confirmed that, for him, abortion is the most important political issue.

“For me this is an issue that — as I’ve said before — it transcends all of the political issues,” he said. “I’ve often said I would gladly lose an election before I would ever yield on the issue of the sanctity of human life.”

At the event, held at the Knoxville Convention Center, the former Arkansas governor confirmed he is “seriously looking at” running for president again in 2012 and may do if only to “elevate the issue of life.”

CPAC Anti-Choice Panel Pledges to "Drive" GOP's Agenda

CPAC’s anti-abortion rights panel “The Pro-Life Movement: Plans and Goals” was galvanized over the election of a Republican-led House, believing that the GOP leadership was committed to passing anti-choice legislation.

Hosted by Tim Goeglein, the head of Focus on the Family’s policy arm CitizenLink and a former Bush Administration staffer, the panel focused on attacking the health care reform law, Planned Parenthood, and Republicans who aren’t categorically anti-choice.

According to Goeglein, “the pro-life movement is becoming younger,” and the panel featured young leaders like Anna Franzonello of Americans United for Life, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, and activist Erin DeLullo.

Goeglein tried to balance his belief that the anti-choice movement was gaining support and energy with his fear that social conservatives may devolve into political obscurity and lose their place in the broader right-wing coalition. He said that smear-artist Lila Rose represents a “new generation” of the movement, but also anxiously insisted that the “pro-life and pro-traditional marriage” positions must “remain central to the conservative movement.”

DeLullo made the case that the anti-choice community needs to quickly mobilize against Republicans like Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels who proposed a “truce” on social issues. She maintained that the Club for Growth, a pro-corporate group best known for funding primary opponents against more moderate Republican incumbents, should serve as a model for a “permanent political organization” that is “dedicated fulltime to make sure the ‘anti-life’ vote is as suicidal as a vote to raise taxes.” “The right to life cannot be put on the backburner,” DeLullo said, arguing that the group must act now to stop “‘trucers’ like Mitch Daniels.” Of course, there are already a plethora of social conservative political action committees, but maybe DeLullo was making a plug for her own firm.

AUL’s Franzonello claimed that “abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women,” and discussed her vehement opposition to emergency contraception and legal exceptions for cases of rape and incest. She also floated the “death panel” conspiracy theory about health care reform, saying that the law jeopardizes the lives of “elderly and disabled persons,” along with pushing the debunked claim that it promotes taxpayer-subsidized abortions.

Later, Hawkins of Students for Life, a self-declared “abortion abolitionist,” discussed ways anti-choice groups can drive the conservative movement. She noted that while young voters tend to generally hold liberal and Democratic-leaning views, they tend to be more opposed to reproductive rights than prior generations. The abortion issue, Hawkins argued, gives right-wing organizations an opening among young voters. Hawkins said that young voters are increasingly opposed to legal abortion because “Planned Parenthood nearly snuffed us out of existence,” and then allegedly tried to coerce young women on college campuses to have abortions.

Hawkins lavished praise on “prayer warriors” and Lila Rose, calling her “a modern day muckraker” who will “go down in history” for her role smearing Planned Parenthood. She said that young anti-choice activists should embrace Rose’s tactics in order to get the attention of Republican politicians and Fox News, saying, “We can drive their agenda.”

CPAC Anti-Choice Panel Pledges to "Drive" GOP's Agenda

CPAC’s anti-abortion rights panel “The Pro-Life Movement: Plans and Goals” was galvanized over the election of a Republican-led House, believing that the GOP leadership was committed to passing anti-choice legislation.

Hosted by Tim Goeglein, the head of Focus on the Family’s policy arm CitizenLink and a former Bush Administration staffer, the panel focused on attacking the health care reform law, Planned Parenthood, and Republicans who aren’t categorically anti-choice.

According to Goeglein, “the pro-life movement is becoming younger,” and the panel featured young leaders like Anna Franzonello of Americans United for Life, Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, and activist Erin DeLullo.

Goeglein tried to balance his belief that the anti-choice movement was gaining support and energy with his fear that social conservatives may devolve into political obscurity and lose their place in the broader right-wing coalition. He said that smear-artist Lila Rose represents a “new generation” of the movement, but also anxiously insisted that the “pro-life and pro-traditional marriage” positions must “remain central to the conservative movement.”

DeLullo made the case that the anti-choice community needs to quickly mobilize against Republicans like Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels who proposed a “truce” on social issues. She maintained that the Club for Growth, a pro-corporate group best known for funding primary opponents against more moderate Republican incumbents, should serve as a model for a “permanent political organization” that is “dedicated fulltime to make sure the ‘anti-life’ vote is as suicidal as a vote to raise taxes.” “The right to life cannot be put on the backburner,” DeLullo said, arguing that the group must act now to stop “‘trucers’ like Mitch Daniels.” Of course, there are already a plethora of social conservative political action committees, but maybe DeLullo was making a plug for her own firm.

AUL’s Franzonello claimed that “abortion is the ultimate exploitation of women,” and discussed her vehement opposition to emergency contraception and legal exceptions for cases of rape and incest. She also floated the “death panel” conspiracy theory about health care reform, saying that the law jeopardizes the lives of “elderly and disabled persons,” along with pushing the debunked claim that it promotes taxpayer-subsidized abortions.

Later, Hawkins of Students for Life, a self-declared “abortion abolitionist,” discussed ways anti-choice groups can drive the conservative movement. She noted that while young voters tend to generally hold liberal and Democratic-leaning views, they tend to be more opposed to reproductive rights than prior generations. The abortion issue, Hawkins argued, gives right-wing organizations an opening among young voters. Hawkins said that young voters are increasingly opposed to legal abortion because “Planned Parenthood nearly snuffed us out of existence,” and then allegedly tried to coerce young women on college campuses to have abortions.

Hawkins lavished praise on “prayer warriors” and Lila Rose, calling her “a modern day muckraker” who will “go down in history” for her role smearing Planned Parenthood. She said that young anti-choice activists should embrace Rose’s tactics in order to get the attention of Republican politicians and Fox News, saying, “We can drive their agenda.”

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...

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

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

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

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

Republican Congressmen Embrace Lila Rose and Live Action’s Hoax Videos

Live Action’s ongoing smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, where actors playing a pimp and a prostitute used hidden cameras to try to dupe clinic staffers into a sex trafficking ring, has ran into numerous hurdles. The radical group’s videos have found to be heavily doctored and actually show clinic workers acting properly and lawfully. In fact, before Live Action even released the edited tapes, Planned Parenthood alerted the FBI about visitors who sought advice for “underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring.” Live Action is led by anti-choice radical Lila Rose, who previously collaborated with notorious trickster James O’Keefe and likes to compare herself to Martin Luther King Jr. Rose also has a long history of deceptively editing videos.

But the Religious Right and leading Republicans have increasingly embraced Rose and her hoax videos, and Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) is using the discredited videos to promote his bill that would end federal funding of Planned Parenthood, imperiling women’s health services.

Tomorrow, leading GOP congressmen plan to join Rose and Pence to demand Congress strip Planned Parenthood of its funding. Congressmen Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Virginia Foxx (R-NC) , Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) , Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY), and Andy Harris (R-MD) will speak with Rose and Pence, along with Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List and Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America.

All of the Congressmen mentioned have a long history with extreme anti-choice activism:

Schmidt railed against reproductive rights in a speech to 1st graders in an elementary school; Buerkle served as the spokesperson for the extreme group Operation Rescue; Hartzler backed bills that would compel women seeking an abortion to view their sonograms and even supported legislation that would force the state to file murder charges against women and their doctors if they performed a late-term abortion; Foxx wants to ban emergency contraception like RU-486 and Ella; Harris wanted to allow pharmacists to refuse contraception to customers and challenged a moderate pro-choice Republican incumbent in 2008, and Ellmers is an avowed opponent of legal abortion who recently justified receiving taxpayer-subsidized health care by claiming that Washington DC is too expensive to live in with a $174,000 per year salary, while pushing to defund health services for low-income women.

But having such an extreme group of anti-choice congressmen standing with Rose is no surprise, as Rose herself has called for abortions to “be done in the public square.”

Republican Congressmen Embrace Lila Rose and Live Action’s Hoax Videos

Live Action’s ongoing smear campaign against Planned Parenthood, where actors playing a pimp and a prostitute used hidden cameras to try to dupe clinic staffers into a sex trafficking ring, has ran into numerous hurdles. The radical group’s videos have found to be heavily doctored and actually show clinic workers acting properly and lawfully. In fact, before Live Action even released the edited tapes, Planned Parenthood alerted the FBI about visitors who sought advice for “underage girls who were part of a sex trafficking ring.” Live Action is led by anti-choice radical Lila Rose, who previously collaborated with notorious trickster James O’Keefe and likes to compare herself to Martin Luther King Jr. Rose also has a long history of deceptively editing videos.

But the Religious Right and leading Republicans have increasingly embraced Rose and her hoax videos, and Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) is using the discredited videos to promote his bill that would end federal funding of Planned Parenthood, imperiling women’s health services.

Tomorrow, leading GOP congressmen plan to join Rose and Pence to demand Congress strip Planned Parenthood of its funding. Congressmen Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Virginia Foxx (R-NC) , Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) , Renee Ellmers (R-NC), Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY), and Andy Harris (R-MD) will speak with Rose and Pence, along with Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List and Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America.

All of the Congressmen mentioned have a long history with extreme anti-choice activism:

Schmidt railed against reproductive rights in a speech to 1st graders in an elementary school; Buerkle served as the spokesperson for the extreme group Operation Rescue; Hartzler backed bills that would compel women seeking an abortion to view their sonograms and even supported legislation that would force the state to file murder charges against women and their doctors if they performed a late-term abortion; Foxx wants to ban emergency contraception like RU-486 and Ella; Harris wanted to allow pharmacists to refuse contraception to customers and challenged a moderate pro-choice Republican incumbent in 2008, and Ellmers is an avowed opponent of legal abortion who recently justified receiving taxpayer-subsidized health care by claiming that Washington DC is too expensive to live in with a $174,000 per year salary, while pushing to defund health services for low-income women.

But having such an extreme group of anti-choice congressmen standing with Rose is no surprise, as Rose herself has called for abortions to “be done in the public square.”

Focus on the Family's Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Agenda for Congress Unveiled

CitizenLink, the policy and advocacy arm of Focus on the Family, is calling on members to put pressure on the House GOP to implement their far-right goals. Despite the initial claims of House Republican leaders that they would concentrate their work on economic issues, the GOP leadership has embraced a litany of anti-choice bills along with legislation that aims to block the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and revoke marriage equality in Washington DC.

The group is now demanding Republicans pass harsh anti-choice bills that would cripple women’s health services, and also wants the GOP to rollback the rights of gays and lesbian: asking Republicans to repeal the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, block the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and protect the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Tom Minnery, the head of CitizenLink, previously called on the House Oversight Committee led by Darrell Issa (R-CA) to investigate the Department of Justice over their handling of successful challenges to DOMA.

According to CitizenLink’s petition, Republican leaders should:

1.) Eliminate government support and funding of abortion in any federal health care program, particularly the new health care law.

2.) Eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion seller, which received $363 million in government funding during fiscal year 2008.

3.) No new taxes or fees imposed on American families.

4.) Defend the free exercise of religion and speech by rejecting the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and repealing the Hate Crimes bill passed in 2009.

5.) Support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and demand that the Obama Administration uphold and defend DOMA.

6.) Reinstate the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and underlying federal law that affirms homosexuality is incompatible with military service.

Focus on the Family's Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice Agenda for Congress Unveiled

CitizenLink, the policy and advocacy arm of Focus on the Family, is calling on members to put pressure on the House GOP to implement their far-right goals. Despite the initial claims of House Republican leaders that they would concentrate their work on economic issues, the GOP leadership has embraced a litany of anti-choice bills along with legislation that aims to block the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and revoke marriage equality in Washington DC.

The group is now demanding Republicans pass harsh anti-choice bills that would cripple women’s health services, and also wants the GOP to rollback the rights of gays and lesbian: asking Republicans to repeal the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, reinstate Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, block the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and protect the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Tom Minnery, the head of CitizenLink, previously called on the House Oversight Committee led by Darrell Issa (R-CA) to investigate the Department of Justice over their handling of successful challenges to DOMA.

According to CitizenLink’s petition, Republican leaders should:

1.) Eliminate government support and funding of abortion in any federal health care program, particularly the new health care law.

2.) Eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion seller, which received $363 million in government funding during fiscal year 2008.

3.) No new taxes or fees imposed on American families.

4.) Defend the free exercise of religion and speech by rejecting the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and repealing the Hate Crimes bill passed in 2009.

5.) Support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and demand that the Obama Administration uphold and defend DOMA.

6.) Reinstate the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and underlying federal law that affirms homosexuality is incompatible with military service.

Porter's Ohio Effort Being Undercut By Her Former Employer

As we have noted in the past, the groups pushing the anti-choice "personhood" amendments all around the country have tended to operate on their own because other established anti-choice groups have refused to support the efforts because a) they are unlikely to pass and b) they are unlikely to survive court challenges.

And despite the fact that the whenever "personhood" has made it onto the ballot, it has failed miserably, organizers continue to press the issue, and are even picking up support for an effort in Mississippi from the American Family Association while Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker is introducing national "personhood" legislation in Congress.

And in Ohio, Janet Porter has resurfaced with her own "personhood"-like legislation called "The Heartbeat Bill." The legislation would ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected and, just like with the various "personhood" efforts, Porter's former colleagues at Ohio Right to Life are refusing to support her measure because it won't stand up in court: 

[T]he so-called “Heartbeat Bill” legislation, which would ban abortion as early as 18 to 24 days after conception, isn’t supported by the Ohio Right to Life Society. That organization is backing a number of other anti-abortion bills, including a ban on late-term abortions after 20 weeks except when necessary to prevent the death of the mother or the irreversible impairment of a major body function.

Mike Gonidakis, the group’s executive director, said the heartbeat legislation would not survive a court challenge. “Despite noble aspirations, there is no scenario under which the heartbeat legislation will be upheld by any court and therefore no lives will be saved by passage of this bill,” Gonidakis said in an e-mail. “Our goal is to protect the lives we can now and that is why we introduced the late-term ban.”

...

Janet Porter, a key backer and a former Ohio Right to Life legislative director, said, “If we never ask, we’re never going to get it.”

Porter's Ohio Effort Being Undercut By Her Former Employer

As we have noted in the past, the groups pushing the anti-choice "personhood" amendments all around the country have tended to operate on their own because other established anti-choice groups have refused to support the efforts because a) they are unlikely to pass and b) they are unlikely to survive court challenges.

And despite the fact that the whenever "personhood" has made it onto the ballot, it has failed miserably, organizers continue to press the issue, and are even picking up support for an effort in Mississippi from the American Family Association while Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker is introducing national "personhood" legislation in Congress.

And in Ohio, Janet Porter has resurfaced with her own "personhood"-like legislation called "The Heartbeat Bill." The legislation would ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected and, just like with the various "personhood" efforts, Porter's former colleagues at Ohio Right to Life are refusing to support her measure because it won't stand up in court: 

[T]he so-called “Heartbeat Bill” legislation, which would ban abortion as early as 18 to 24 days after conception, isn’t supported by the Ohio Right to Life Society. That organization is backing a number of other anti-abortion bills, including a ban on late-term abortions after 20 weeks except when necessary to prevent the death of the mother or the irreversible impairment of a major body function.

Mike Gonidakis, the group’s executive director, said the heartbeat legislation would not survive a court challenge. “Despite noble aspirations, there is no scenario under which the heartbeat legislation will be upheld by any court and therefore no lives will be saved by passage of this bill,” Gonidakis said in an e-mail. “Our goal is to protect the lives we can now and that is why we introduced the late-term ban.”

...

Janet Porter, a key backer and a former Ohio Right to Life legislative director, said, “If we never ask, we’re never going to get it.”

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Ron Paul to tour Iowa with Bob Vander Plaats’s anti-gay group.
  • Even William Kristol is troubled by Beck’s Egypt comments, and Beck hits back.

Lila Rose Is "The Upton Sinclair Of This Generation"

Last night, anti-choice leaders gathered together for a webcast organized around Live Action's latest video hoax attacks on Planned Parenthood and it was pretty much just an hour of Religious Right leaders and Rep. Mike Pence calling for a defunding of Planned Parenthood.

But there were a few interesting points, like when Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee who - when she feared she was going to be fired - decided to rebrand herself as an convert to the anti-choice movement, claiming that Planned Parenthood staffers are "required" to coerce women, especially minors, into having abortions to meet their "quotas":

Later, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America and Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life joined the webcast via Skype, during which Yoest declared Live Actions' Lila Rose to be "the Upton Sinclair of this generation":

Lila Rose Is "The Upton Sinclair Of This Generation"

Last night, anti-choice leaders gathered together for a webcast organized around Live Action's latest video hoax attacks on Planned Parenthood and it was pretty much just an hour of Religious Right leaders and Rep. Mike Pence calling for a defunding of Planned Parenthood.

But there were a few interesting points, like when Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee who - when she feared she was going to be fired - decided to rebrand herself as an convert to the anti-choice movement, claiming that Planned Parenthood staffers are "required" to coerce women, especially minors, into having abortions to meet their "quotas":

Later, Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America and Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life joined the webcast via Skype, during which Yoest declared Live Actions' Lila Rose to be "the Upton Sinclair of this generation":

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Sarah Palin will, once again, be skipping CPAC.
  • Speaking of Palin, Stephen Stromberg learns just how pointless it is to point out that she has no idea what she is talking about.
  • John Hagee is up in arms over Sen. Rand Paul plan to cut aid to Israel.
  • You can watch tonight's right-wing anti-Planned Parenthood webcast here.
  • On a related note, right-wing anti-choice advocates are claiming that YouTube is trying to "censor" Live Action's videos.  Can we point out that YouTube complete shut down our last channel? So obviously that means YouTube is biased against liberals.
  • Finally, in honor of Ronald Reagan's upcoming 100th birthday, I give you this quote from the book "Firewall: The Iran-Contra Conspiracy and Cover-up," written by Iran-Contra Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh:
  • Whatever the intentions, the effects of the political institutions - legitimate and illegitimate - were to prolong the Iran-Contra investigations, to increase its cost, and to frustrate the prosecution of those who had helped conceal President Reagan's willful disregard of constitutional restraints on his power.

    But if Congress made my work more difficult, the root of the problem was the executive branch's strategy. Ronald Reagan's advisors succeeded in creating a firewall around him. He escaped meaningful interrogation until it was no longer of use, and he escaped prosecution altogether, while subordinates suffered. The delay in producing government records and the concealment of personal notes were crucial to the strategy. George Bush's misuse of the pardon power made the cover-up complete.

    What set Iran-Contra apart from previous political scandals was the fact that a cover-up engineered in the White House of one president and completed by his successor prevented the rule of law from being applied to the perpetrators of criminal activity of constitutional dimension.

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Anti-Choice Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 09/27/2011, 11:45am
Janet Porter saved the big guns for last when she organized her Heartbeat Bill rally last week.  After speakers were done comparing supporters of the effort to Moses and likening women's health centers to concentration camps, Dutch Sheets and Lou Engle took to the podium to beseech God to pass this legislation.  While Sheets asked God to give no rest and no peace to Ohio senators until they agree to pass the bill and "end this curse in America," Engle screamed out, calling upon God to break the demonic spiritual powers over the Senate so that Senators will receive dreams... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/27/2011, 11:27am
Jim Garlow of Renewing America’s Leadership (ReAL), Newt Gingrich’s Religious Right group, told activists at Janet Porter’s Heartbeat Bill rally last week that the end of abortion in America will be remembered just like the end of the Holocaust. Garlow told the crowd that after abortion is criminalized, people will tour shuttered abortion clinics in the same way that people now tour concentration camps in Europe. Garlow, who has also been organizing the “Pulpit Initiative” to convince pastors to use more partisan political rhetoric from the pulpit, also... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 09/22/2011, 12:57pm
Earlier this week, Janet Porter organized a rally to press for passage her radical "Heartbeat Bill" which has been endorsed by everyone from James Dobson and Roy Moore to Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry. For the event, Porter brought in Religious Right activists like Rick Scarborough and Wendy Wright, as well as "prophets" and "apostles" like Lou Engle and Rick Joyner.  And, just as she did when her bill was being debated in the Ohio state house, she brought an ultrasound of a fetus to "speak" on behalf of the legislation. The woman in the... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 09/21/2011, 4:54pm
PFAW: Romney Still Thinks Corporations are People. They Still Aren’t. Kate Sheppard @ Mother Jones: Inside Virginia's Abortion Crackdown. James Crugnale @ Mediaite: Rick Santorum Contacted Google Over His Search Engine ‘Problem.’ Jillian Rayfield @ TPM: Ted Haggard Appearing On Celebrity Wife Swap With Gary Busey. Andy Kopsa: Ultrasounds on Capitol Hill: latest in anti-choice tactics. Chris Rodda: I Want David Barton To Sue ME! MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/21/2011, 3:42pm
Before heading to this week’s Presidency 5 conference in Orlando, Rick Perry named two Religious Right leaders to his Florida Presidency 5 campaign leadership team: John Stemberger and Pam Olsen. While Stemberger’s anti-choice, anti-gay and anti-Muslim activism is well known, Olsen is a far more obscure figure, but no less extreme. Olsen has said that same-sex marriage will lead to God’s judgment, preached Seven Mountains dominionism, and even claims that she, as a prophet, will have the power to raise the dead in the End Times. Olsen heads the Tallahassee branch of the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 09/21/2011, 10:37am
Janet Porter’s proposed “heartbeat bill” in Ohio, which would criminalize abortion in the vast majority of cases, is so extreme that the Ohio Right to Life Society refuses to back it, but for some anti-choice radicals, it does not go far enough. As we’ve previously reported, Personhood USA wants to put a personhood amendment on the Ohio ballot in 2012, and Personhood Ohio is no fan of Porter’s “heartbeat bill.” While the personhood movement may appear to be a fringe group, since proponents oppose even draconian legislation like the “heartbeat... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/20/2011, 10:11am
Only a few years ago Religious Right groups and Republicans were running as far as possible away from the Personhood Colorado campaign, the effort to pass an extreme anti-choice measure that was twice handily defeated by Colorado voters. Last year, the National Right to Life Committee, Americans United for Life, Colorado Citizens for Life all refused to back the Colorado personhood amendment, and the Colorado Eagle Forum called the personhood campaign a “disaster.” But now, the Personhood Mississippi campaign –which is nearly identical to the Colorado effort – has... MORE