Anti-Choice

Porter Returns to Her Roots In Ohio

Janet Porter got her start in Religious Right politics back in Ohio, serving as the Legislative Director of Ohio Right to Life.  Eventually, she was lured away to Florida by D. James Kennedy to serve as the National Director for his Center for Reclaiming America.  After a few years, Porter then struck out on her own, launching Faith 2 Action and hosting a daily radio program that went increasingly off the rails until her operation was shut down due to her increasing involvement with Dominion Theology and self-proclaimed "prophets" like Cindy Jacobs.

And now things have come full circle, as Porter has moved back to Ohio and is applying her patented "send X number of Ys in support of Z" brand of activism to a piece of anti-choice legislation called "the Heartbeat Bill"

Representative Lynn Wachtmann, the new Chairman of the House Health Committee, has announced he will be introducing the "Heartbeat Bill" in the Ohio House which will protect unborn babies from abortion once their hearts have begun to beat.

"Science has already given us a yardstick to determine if someone is alive--a beating heart;" said Wachtmann, "We just want to see that measurement applied evenly. This bill calls for an end to discrimination and the protection of every human being with a beating heart--no matter their age!"

...

Janet (Folger) Porter, former Legislative Director of Ohio Right to Life, and President of Faith2Action, has moved back to Ohio to help lead the effort. "Ohio is going to make history again," said Porter, who helped to pass the nation’s first partial-birth abortion ban in 1995. "My last conversation with my dear friend Mark Lally, Ohio Right to Life's Legal Counsel, before he passed away, was about this very bill. We're going to pass it in his honor," added Porter.

Balloons ordered now will be delivered the week of Valentine's Day, when the bill is scheduled for introduction. Orders can be placed by going to http://www.HeartBeatBill.com before February 14th. Each balloon will come with a personalized card from the sender with the message: "Have a heart, Pass the Heartbeat Bill!"

Porter Returns to Her Roots In Ohio

Janet Porter got her start in Religious Right politics back in Ohio, serving as the Legislative Director of Ohio Right to Life.  Eventually, she was lured away to Florida by D. James Kennedy to serve as the National Director for his Center for Reclaiming America.  After a few years, Porter then struck out on her own, launching Faith 2 Action and hosting a daily radio program that went increasingly off the rails until her operation was shut down due to her increasing involvement with Dominion Theology and self-proclaimed "prophets" like Cindy Jacobs.

And now things have come full circle, as Porter has moved back to Ohio and is applying her patented "send X number of Ys in support of Z" brand of activism to a piece of anti-choice legislation called "the Heartbeat Bill"

Representative Lynn Wachtmann, the new Chairman of the House Health Committee, has announced he will be introducing the "Heartbeat Bill" in the Ohio House which will protect unborn babies from abortion once their hearts have begun to beat.

"Science has already given us a yardstick to determine if someone is alive--a beating heart;" said Wachtmann, "We just want to see that measurement applied evenly. This bill calls for an end to discrimination and the protection of every human being with a beating heart--no matter their age!"

...

Janet (Folger) Porter, former Legislative Director of Ohio Right to Life, and President of Faith2Action, has moved back to Ohio to help lead the effort. "Ohio is going to make history again," said Porter, who helped to pass the nation’s first partial-birth abortion ban in 1995. "My last conversation with my dear friend Mark Lally, Ohio Right to Life's Legal Counsel, before he passed away, was about this very bill. We're going to pass it in his honor," added Porter.

Balloons ordered now will be delivered the week of Valentine's Day, when the bill is scheduled for introduction. Orders can be placed by going to http://www.HeartBeatBill.com before February 14th. Each balloon will come with a personalized card from the sender with the message: "Have a heart, Pass the Heartbeat Bill!"

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/18/10

Michele Bachmann

GOP: Scheduled to address Montana GOP's Lincoln/Reagan Dinner on Feb 5 (Politico, 1/17).

Iowa: Conservatives in Iowa excited about Bachmann's appearance at Iowans for Tax Relief event this week (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/17).

Religious Right: Ultraconservative writer Joseph Farah praises potential Bachmann bid (WND, 1/11).

Haley Barbour

Immigration: Draconian Arizona-style law on immigrant rights to be considered by the Mississippi state legislature (Fox News, 1/17).

2012: Says he won't make a decision about a presidential run until the spring (WSJ, 1/14).

John Bolton

2012: Tells Russia Today that he could win the GOP nomination since he is in "the mainstream of the Republican Party" (GOP12, 1/17).

Foreign affairs: Knocks Obama Administration's handling of the political crisis in Lebanon (The Hill, 1/16).

Mike Huckabee

Alaska: Travelling to Alaska with a "Christian-based" cruise (HuffPo, 1/14).

Religious Right: Sarah Posner analyzes Huckabee's ties to Evangelical voters, "Christian nation mythology" (Religion Dispatches, 1/12).

Sarah Palin

Fox News: Tells Sean Hannity that Tucson shooting was "left-leaning," defends herself from criticism (Mediaite, 1/17).

Polling: Performs well among Republicans nationwide, but not in early primary states (Public Policy Polling, 1/14).

Arizona: Video response to Tucson shootings widely panned (Politico, 1/13; Salon, 1/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Economics: Opposes raising the debt ceiling despite prospect of default (HufPo, 1/16).

Religious Right: Tells Bryan Fischer of AFA that he supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell (RWW, 1/13).

Palin: Says that her "bullseye" crosshairs map of congressional Democrats isn't "his style" (MinnPost, 1/12).

Mike Pence

2012: Former GOP Congressman launches a draft-Pence petition called the American President Committee (AP, 1/17).

Reproductive Rights: Planned Parenthood criticizes Pence's legislation to strip the group of federal funds (Muncie Star Press, 1/12).

Media: Introduces bill to block possible implementation of the Fairness Doctrine on talk radio (The Hill, 1/12).

Gun Violence: Denounces calls for gun control measures after Tuscon shootings (TPM, 1/12).

Rick Perry

2012: Begins polling voters outside of Texas (NRO, 1/17).

Immigration: Presses for new laws to curb immigrant rights (NYT, 1/15).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Meets with Israel's Prime Minister after visiting Afghanistan (Politico, 1/14).

Campaign: Hires new political director and pollster (RealClearPolitics, 1/13).

2012: Signs point to spring announcement as Romney steps down from the board of Marriott International (AP, 1/12).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Addressed the Aiken Republican Club 2011 kickoff meeting (The Augusta Chronicle, 1/17).

Religious Right: Keynoted major anti-choice rally in Columbia, South Carolina (The State, 1/16).

New Hampshire: Interviewed by Boston Herald at Granite Oath PAC house party (Boston Herald, 1/14).

John Thune

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Conference in February despite Religious Right boycott (Argus Leader, 1/13).

GOP: Keynote speaker for Missouri Republican Party's Lincoln Days fundraiser (News Leader, 1/11).

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/18/10

Michele Bachmann

GOP: Scheduled to address Montana GOP's Lincoln/Reagan Dinner on Feb 5 (Politico, 1/17).

Iowa: Conservatives in Iowa excited about Bachmann's appearance at Iowans for Tax Relief event this week (Minnesota Public Radio, 1/17).

Religious Right: Ultraconservative writer Joseph Farah praises potential Bachmann bid (WND, 1/11).

Haley Barbour

Immigration: Draconian Arizona-style law on immigrant rights to be considered by the Mississippi state legislature (Fox News, 1/17).

2012: Says he won't make a decision about a presidential run until the spring (WSJ, 1/14).

John Bolton

2012: Tells Russia Today that he could win the GOP nomination since he is in "the mainstream of the Republican Party" (GOP12, 1/17).

Foreign affairs: Knocks Obama Administration's handling of the political crisis in Lebanon (The Hill, 1/16).

Mike Huckabee

Alaska: Travelling to Alaska with a "Christian-based" cruise (HuffPo, 1/14).

Religious Right: Sarah Posner analyzes Huckabee's ties to Evangelical voters, "Christian nation mythology" (Religion Dispatches, 1/12).

Sarah Palin

Fox News: Tells Sean Hannity that Tucson shooting was "left-leaning," defends herself from criticism (Mediaite, 1/17).

Polling: Performs well among Republicans nationwide, but not in early primary states (Public Policy Polling, 1/14).

Arizona: Video response to Tucson shootings widely panned (Politico, 1/13; Salon, 1/12).

Tim Pawlenty

Economics: Opposes raising the debt ceiling despite prospect of default (HufPo, 1/16).

Religious Right: Tells Bryan Fischer of AFA that he supports reinstating Don't Ask Don't Tell (RWW, 1/13).

Palin: Says that her "bullseye" crosshairs map of congressional Democrats isn't "his style" (MinnPost, 1/12).

Mike Pence

2012: Former GOP Congressman launches a draft-Pence petition called the American President Committee (AP, 1/17).

Reproductive Rights: Planned Parenthood criticizes Pence's legislation to strip the group of federal funds (Muncie Star Press, 1/12).

Media: Introduces bill to block possible implementation of the Fairness Doctrine on talk radio (The Hill, 1/12).

Gun Violence: Denounces calls for gun control measures after Tuscon shootings (TPM, 1/12).

Rick Perry

2012: Begins polling voters outside of Texas (NRO, 1/17).

Immigration: Presses for new laws to curb immigrant rights (NYT, 1/15).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Meets with Israel's Prime Minister after visiting Afghanistan (Politico, 1/14).

Campaign: Hires new political director and pollster (RealClearPolitics, 1/13).

2012: Signs point to spring announcement as Romney steps down from the board of Marriott International (AP, 1/12).

Rick Santorum

South Carolina: Addressed the Aiken Republican Club 2011 kickoff meeting (The Augusta Chronicle, 1/17).

Religious Right: Keynoted major anti-choice rally in Columbia, South Carolina (The State, 1/16).

New Hampshire: Interviewed by Boston Herald at Granite Oath PAC house party (Boston Herald, 1/14).

John Thune

CPAC: Set to address Conservative Political Action Conference in February despite Religious Right boycott (Argus Leader, 1/13).

GOP: Keynote speaker for Missouri Republican Party's Lincoln Days fundraiser (News Leader, 1/11).

South Carolina GOP Fears Doctors May Be Required To Perform Abortions Under “Obamacare”

Republicans and their allies have consistently smeared the recent health care reform law by suggesting that it will lead to taxpayer subsidized abortions. Poltifact says that, despite Rep. John Carter’s assertions to the contrary, the health care reform law certainly “does not provide full federal funding of abortions — and that’s clear,” but that hasn’t stopped GOP leaders like Speaker John Boehner and Michele Bachmann from asserting that taxpayer funds are already being used to finance abortions. CitizenLink (formerly Focus on the Family Action) and Susan B. Anthony List even ran campaign ads that called the reform measure “the biggest expansion of abortion in decades” and charged supporters with backing President Obama instead of choosing “to protect life.” While the claim that the health care reform law provides funding for abortion has been readily discredited, an even more extreme and conspiratorial claim is emerging: that health care reform could require doctors to perform abortions.

According to the Columbia Free Times, Republicans in the South Carolina State House are planning to pass anti-choice legislation including one measure entitled “Obamacare Abortion Opt-Out.” The South Carolina House Republican Caucus announced that State Rep. Greg Delleney will be introducing the “Obamacare Abortion Opt-Out” to ensure that “S.C. Doctors will not be required to perform abortions if required to by Obamacare.” The legislation is one of many right-wing bills that the South Carolina GOP hopes to pass in the new session, including a “Repeal Amendment” and a “Taxpayer Bill Of Rights.”

Rep. Delleney is a staunchly anti-choice member of the State House and he also plans to introduce a bill that would allow health care workers to refuse patrons contraceptives. He previously introduced legislation that would require women to see ultrasound images before terminating their pregnancy and to endure a twenty-four hour waiting period before having an abortion. Rep. Delleney also gained attention when he excluded gay and lesbian students from dating violence curriculum in schools.

His “Obamacare Abortion Opt-Out” though represents one of the GOP’s most ludicrous and extreme attempts to malign the health care reform law yet.

SBA List’s Marjorie Dannenfelser Claims Victory Over “Social Issues Truce”

Indiana Governor and potential presidential candidate Mitch Daniels has taken a pounding from the Religious Right, since June and even up to today, for suggesting that there should be a “truce” over social issues in order to increase attention to the country’s economic problems and debt. Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the fiercely anti-choice and poorly named group the Susan B. Anthony List, writes in the National Review that the debate over the next chairman of the Republican National Committee shows that GOP has decidedly rejected any moderation on social issues such as the right to choose and gay rights. She praises the conservative views of the RNC chair candidates and also points out that Daniels himself even backpedaled on his own call for a truce. But while Dannenfelser believes the GOP is united over the importance of social issues, CPAC’s growing crisis reflects otherwise.

The debate was completely devoid of the kind of fireworks that political commentators love. As SBA List and National Organization for Marriage Skype pre-interviews had suggested, each of the five candidates affirmed without hesitation their determination to support the Republican platform’s social-issue stands and to honor that support in the party’s programs, from recruiting candidates to buying ads to micro-targeting votes.

The aura of unity sorely exasperated professional cynics like the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, who fumed for his readers, “The candidates were nearly dissent-free. Abortion? All opposed. Lower taxes? All in favor. Gay marriage? All opposed. Cutting spending? All in favor.” Jon Stewart found comedy in the comity.

Far from being a dull affair, however, the debate proved that the 2011 GOP has an unshakable core — and this core exercises real influence over the expressed convictions of the GOP’s national leaders. After all, only two short years ago, current RNC chairman Michael Steele — who was a board member of the pro-choice Republican Leadership Council — told GQ magazine that he believed abortion was an “individual choice.” Maria Cino, one of the four leading challengers he faced this week, served on the board of WISH List, a political action committee devoted solely to electing pro-choice Republican women.

At the debate, both Steele and Cino expressed profound pro-life conviction and commitment.



Governor Daniels, for his own part, made another attempt just after Christmas to explain away his “truce talk,” saying that his message was not directed at social conservatives but at the people “aggressively trying to change the definition of marriage.” His advice to the liberal activists: “Stand down for awhile” so the country can focus on its deepening fiscal crisis.

All of this is progress — and rapid progress at that. It’s also recognition that the conservative resurgence this past November involved a confluence, and not a divergence, of the social, fiscal, and national-security streams within the GOP. One week into the two-year cycle that leads to the reelection or defeat of Barack Obama, the GOP truce on internal disunity is turning out to be the one that really counts.

Cuccinelli & VA Family Foundation Drop Out of Anti-Choice Rally Targeting Gov. McDonell

Anti-choice activists are hosting a rally outside the Virginia capitol on Thursday at which VA Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and representatives of the Virginia Family Foundation were scheduled to participate ... that is until they found out the rally was designed to pressure Gov. Bob McDonnell to place tighter restrictions on women's clinics.

Upon learning that, Cuccinelli and the VA Family Foundation dropped out:

Both Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) and the conservative Family Foundation declined to participate in an anti-abortion rally scheduled for Thursday outside the Capitol to avoid "confronting" McDonnell after they found out that organizers designed the event to pressure the governor.

Both Cuccinelli (R) and Family Foundation Chaplain Bishop E.W. Jackson Sr. had been scheduled to attend the rally, which will take place on the second day of the General Assembly's annual session.

"While Attorney General Cuccinelli is a long-time pro-life leader and is very supportive of the people redressing their grievances with their elected officials at a rally like this, he does not support calling on his client -- the governor -- to circumvent the normal public regulatory process, even for the most laudable of goals,'' Cuccinelli spokesman Brian Gottstein said. "While this may be a favored approach to getting a more immediate resolution to the abortion clinic issue, the expanded use of this power -- generally reserved for emergency situations -- would set a bad precedent, allowing future governors to abuse such a power."

Del. Bob Marshall, who is speaking at the rally, describes the Family Foundation's absence as "odd" and "inconsistent" and wonders whether it has to do with the group's president's husband employment with McDonnell. Several conservative activists also e-mailed Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb accusing her of remaining "silent'' because of her desire to not "confront" the governor, according to e-mails provided to The Post.

...

Several organizations, including the American Freedom Project and Hampton Roads for Life, have organized a petition drive to encourage McDonnell to act.

"Governor Bob McDonnell is reluctant to give the directive to the state Board of Health to move forward in promulgating these regulations,'' said Mike Prunty of the American Freedom Project. "This is somewhat puzzling to some because he built his political career as a 'pro-life candidate.' ''

....

The rally at the bell tower begins at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

Other speakers include Keith Fournier, deacon of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond and founder of the Catholic Way; David Bereit, national director of 40 Days for Life, a Christian pro-life organization; Shawn Carney, co-founder of 40 days for Life; John Seeds, a Richmond doctor; Andrea Pearson of Silent No More; Rita Dunaway, assistant director of the Valley Family Forum; Tom Glessner, founder and president of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates; and Karen Zbinden of Concerned Women for America.

Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, will speak by audio hook-up. Maddy Curtis, a 16-year-old "American Idol" contestant from Virginia, will sing the national anthem.

2012 Candidates Weekly Update 1/11/10

Michele Bachmann

PAC: Vast majority of MICHELE PAC money went to Iowa politicians or PACs (National Journal, 1/10).

Religious Right: Potential 2012 bid wins plaudits from Religious Right activists (RWW, 1/10).

Iowa: Speaks to Iowans for Tax Relief PAC in Des Moines on 1/21 (Iowans for Tax Relief PAC, 1/7).

Mitch Daniels

Indiana: Makes 7th State of the State address with emphasis on education (South Bend Tribune, 1/11).

CPAC: To address the Conservative Political Action Conference along with other 2012 prospects (Politico, 1/6).

Newt Gingrich

Religious Right: Invited to speak at the Freedom Federation’s Awakening 2011 along with other potential 2012 candidates (RWW, 1/10).

Iowa: Listed to address Iowa Renewable Fuels Association in Des Moines on Janurary 25th (Des Moines Register, 1/10).

Mike Huckabee

Iowa: New poll shows Huckabee on top with 24% support from Republicans (TPM, 1/10).

Poll: Gallup finds in nationwide poll that Huckabee has the highest favorable rating among potential GOP candidates (WSJ, 1/10).

Reproductive Rights: Scheduled to address anti-choice fundraise in Tennessee on February, 14th (Knoxville News Sentinel, 1/9).

Sarah Palin

Extremism: Faces torrent of criticism over "bullseye" map with target on Giffords's congressional district, defends herself to Glenn Beck (The Week & NYDN, 1/10).

Reality TV: Doesn't sign on for a second season of Sarah Palin's Alaska (Forbes, 1/10).

Tim Pawlenty

2012: Tells newspaper he is "seriously considering running for president" (St. Petersburg Times, 1/10).

Book: Memoir focuses on his faith, attacks on Obama (MN Public Radio, 1/8).

Palin: Calls Sarah Palin "a force of nature" (Mediaite, 1/7).

Mike Pence

Reproductive Rights: Introduces legislation to de-fund Planned Parenthood (Human Events, 1/10).

2012: Tells an Indiana Rotary Club that he will decide on future political plans by the end of January (The Republic, 1/10).

South Carolina: Keynote speaker for South Carolina’s America Conference (Politico, 1/4).

Mitt Romney

Foreign affairs: Met with Afghan leader Hamid Karzai as plan of tour of Afghanistan and Middle East (Boston Globe, 1/10).

Poll: Pew poll has Romney as most competitive candidate against Obama in Nevada (UPI, 1/10).

Rick Santorum

Religious Right: Speaks with group founded by right-wing activist Ovide Lamontagne (Granite Oath PAC, 1/10).

New Hampshire: Hires GOP Congressman Frank Guinta’s strategist as state director of his America’s Foundation PAC (Union Leader, 1/5).

GOP: Says Romney’s Massachusetts health care law will make it “very hard for us to nominate” him (National Journal, 1/4).

Personhood Movement Announces 50-State Strategy

The anti-choice movement to use state ballot initiatives to give fetuses and embryos legal rights has announced a nationwide petition drive to bring their radical measure to all fifty states. Opponents of reproductive rights hope to use “personhood amendments” to criminalize abortion, stem-cell research, and common forms of birth control by giving zygotes constitutional protections. While the amendment failed miserably at the polls in Colorado, Personhood USA hopes to bring personhood amendments to states such as Florida, Mississippi, Montana, and Wisconsin, among others.

Personhood activists have their hopes set on Mississippi, where the amendment will be voted on in November. Personhood Mississippi is led by Les Riley, a member of an extreme separatist organization called Christian Exodus, and Riley’s campaign has received the support of notable Republicans like Congressman Alan Nunnelee and Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant, and groups such as the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel.

Now, Personhood USA has launched petition drives in every single state. According to the group, they already have gathered over 900,000 signatures:

"Now in every state in America, prolife volunteers are engaging their communities with the truth of personhood, and are working to change the laws as citizens or lobbying the lawmakers in their state to do their job and protect every person by love and by law, " stated Keith Mason, cofounder of Personhood USA. "We are thrilled to have met our goal to be in all 50 states in just two years, and we are so thankful to be closing in on 1 million signatures defending the personhood of the preborn child."



"Personhood USA functions as a support system, giving as little or as much help as needed, and we have truly been blessed by Jesus Christ as He is accomplishing so much through us in just the past two years. We can't wait to see what He does, in all 50 states, in 2011," added Cal Zastrow, cofounder of Personhood USA. "We will keep working hard for the rights of preborn children, knowing that this is the best chance we've ever had to end abortion in America."

Watch Les Riley explain to the AFA’s Director of Issue Analysis Bryan Fischer back in October about the Personhood movement’s plan to overturn abortion rights:

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Right-wing leaders give the GOP its marching orders.
  • Gov. Mitch Daniels will attend CPAC.
  • Ted Haggard gets a reality show.
  • Rep. Mike Pence will headline a Susan B. Anthony List fundraiser.
  • It never fails to amaze me how anti-choice activists can turn any cultural event into a moral about abortion.
  • Finally, I have to say that it is odd to see Religious Right leaders and Fox News hosts presenting themselves as opponents of book censorship ... also, I think it is interesting that during this entire discussion of the new edition of "Huck Finn," not one person involved was willing to actually say the word in question on the air. 

Leading Republicans Embrace Personhood Amendment and “Christian Exodus,” Separatist Advocate

Last week Right Wing Watch reported on the success of anti-choice activists to place a “Personhood Amendment” on Mississippi’s 2011 ballot to coincide with the gubernatorial election. The radical group Personhood USA hopes to use the so-called “Personhood Amendments” to criminalize abortion, common forms of birth control, stem cell research, and even in-vitro fertilization, by giving legal rights to fetuses and embryos.

Major anti-choice organizations including the National Right to Life Committee have generally shied away from “Personhood Amendments” due to the extreme nature of the measure and the fringe Personhood USA. Colorado voters rejected three different Amendments from Personhood Colorado by wide margins, with the 2010 measure failing with less than 30% of the vote.

Activists in Mississippi, however, have made great headway in receiving support from the Religious Right and the GOP. Leading Religious Right groups and Republican politicians, including the American Family Association (AFA), Liberty Counsel, and Congressman-Elect Alan Nunnelee, have backed Personhood Mississippi’s efforts. Mississippi’s Republican Lt. Governor and gubernatorial candidate Phil Bryant has embraced the Personhood Initiative as well. Bryant, when announcing his bid for governor on the AFA’s radio program, claimed that “one of my goals in public life is to end abortion in Mississippi, so we’re going to work really hard on that.” A vocal and ardent supporter of the “Personhood Amendment,” Bryant called the initiative “another way of trying to stop abortion in Mississippi and simply allow once and for all the opportunity for the people to say we want to do that and we feel so strongly about it that we want to add it to our Constitution.”

Today, Personhood Mississippi (the state affiliate of Personhood USA) will be hosting a rally in Jackson to celebrate the measure’s inclusion on the 2011 ballot, and Bryant is scheduled to speak at the event.

But who is behind Personhood Mississippi and the Personhood Amendment’s sponsor?

The head of Personhood Mississippi is right wing activist Les Riley, a featured blogger of the group Christian Exodus, which has “goal of forming an independent Christian nation that will survive after the decline and fall of the financially and morally bankrupt American empire.”

Christian Exodus had attempted to move thousands of supporters to South Carolina in order to “form a biblically inspired government and secede from the United States,” and also has close ties to the separatist and Neo-Confederate League of the South. Christian Exodus also is encouraging adherents to move to Panama and Idaho in order to build theocratic settlements.

Lt. Governor Bryant said he wanted to “personally thank Les Riley” for his work, and Les Riley told AFA Radio that Mississippi’s Personhood Amendment is “the biggest news in the pro-life movement in twenty years” because it will not only eradicate reproductive rights in Mississippi but also set up a challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court.

As the “Personhood Amendment” movement finds more allies and greater support in the Religious Right and Republican Party, its extremist leaders and radical beliefs have not changed.

American Family Association Promotes Extreme “Personhood Amendment” in Mississippi

After efforts to amend the Colorado constitution to give constitutional rights to embryos and fetuses badly failed in November, advocates of so-called “Personhood Amendments” are now hoping that Mississippi voters will back a similar amendment in 2011. The Colorado proposal, called Amendment 62, “would have banned abortion, many forms of birth control and embryonic stem cell research in the state.” Mississippi activists were able to put a similar measure on the ballot in 2011 to coincide with the gubernatorial election.

Back in 2008, the American Life League began pushing “Personhood Amendments” to become an integral part of the anti-choice movement; however, many Religious Right groups traditionally resisted “Personhood Amendments” because of their radical nature and tremendous unpopularity. Anti-choice groups in Colorado such as National Right to Life, Americans United for Life, Colorado Citizens for Life, and the Colorado Eagle Forum refused to support the “Personhood Amendment.”

Personhood USA, the leading organization behind such measures, likened President Obama to the “Angel of Death,” and activists in Colorado compared pro-choice laws with Nazism.

Now, “Personhood Amendment” proponents will try their luck in Mississippi, which already has strict anti-choice laws, and they are receiving significant publicity and support from a leading Religious Right group: the American Family Association, which is based in Mississippi.

Matt Friedeman of the AFA’s American Family Radio said that if the proposal succeeds in 2011, he hopes it would lead the way to the criminalization of abortion across the country:

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So what we’re hoping for here is that one of these initiatives will be taken all the way to the Supreme Court and they’ll have to decide at that point what to do with it. And hopefully at that juncture we have a pro-life majority, and you never know from year to year to year what’s gonna happen there, but we hope we have a pro-life majority and we hope the day comes when Roe v. Wade is wiped off the books and we can go back to the states. Maybe even, if God would allow, to get a pro-life amendment for the whole country.

Not to be outdone, AFA Director of Issue Analysis Bryan Fischer said that Mississippi’s “Personhood Amendment” will advance his objective of “aligning” the country’s laws with “the word of God:”

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One of the things we look for from our political leaders is we want to see them work to align the public policy of our country with the standards of the word of God, that’s what we want, we want an alignment. We’re not talking about a theocracy where the clergy rules this country; we’re talking about statesmen, both men and women, who are committed as a matter of moral conviction to align the public policy of the United States with the word of God.

As “Personhood Amendment” advocates hope to find a more favorable electorate in Mississippi in 2011, will more Religious Right groups join the AFA in embracing their radical proposals?

Penny Nance: "I Literally Chased Bart Stupak Down the Hall" to Stop Health Care Compromise

When describing her efforts to stop the health care reform law, Penny Nance of Concerned Women For America said she “literally chased Bart Stupak down the hall” in order to “defend babies.” Rep. Stupak (D-MI), was the leader behind the Stupak-Pitts Amendment which would have seriously undermined reproductive rights by “eliminating coverage of medically indicated abortions over time for all women, not only those whose coverage is derived through a health insurance exchange,” according to a George Washington University study. However, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment was removed from the final version of the bill after President Obama agreed to issue an executive order reaffirming “longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion.”

Stupak and other anti-choice Democrats voted in favor of the final version of the bill, and the nonpartisan fact-checking group PolitiFact confirms that the health care reform “law does not provide full federal funding of abortions--and that’s clear.” In fact, Nancy Keenan of NARAL Pro-Choice America expressed her disappointment regarding the “restatement of the Hyde amendment, a discriminatory law that blocks low-income women from receiving full reproductive-health care.”

But Nance repeats the patently false claim that health care reform would lead to taxpayer funding for abortion after describing how she “chased Bart Stupak” down:

 

Everyday we’re working very, very diligently to try to keep the terrible Obama health care plan from coming into law. Of course, you know we eventually lost that fight but it was a good fight. I literally chased Bart Stupak down the hall the day he caved, right before that vote. I had my high heels clicking on the marble, but it was important: we had to defend babies and so I would do it all over again.

When Stupak addressed the House about the health care reform bill, Republican Congressman Randy Neugebauer of Texas shouted “baby killer!”

Anti-Choice Groups Intensify Efforts to Restrict Reproductive Rights in States

Energized by gains made by Republicans not only in congressional elections but also in gubernatorial and legislative races, anti-choice organizations are gearing up plans to push new laws restricting women’s right to choose. Already, anti-choice groups hope for more states to replicate Oklahoma’s new law, which compels women seeking to terminate their pregnancies to watch an ultrasound monitor and have a doctor read a state-specified script about the fetus. Slate’s Emily Bazelon writes that Oklahoma’s law stands “at the top of the heap of paternalism that Justice Anthony Kennedy started climbing two years ago, in his opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart,” which upheld the federal ban on late-term abortion. Kennedy “injected into that case the constitutionally novel idea that because some women come to regret their abortions, the court could substitute its judgment for their doctors’ by sparing them from a procedure that women would reject as too gruesome if they only knew the details.”

Now, anti-choice groups hope to use the 2007 decision in Gonzales v. Carhart to advance more restrictive laws across the country. Robert Barnes of the Washington Post reports that anti-choice legislators in Nebraska, led by Speaker Mike Flood, used “that decision as a road map” to ban abortion after 20 weeks without health exceptions. “The importance of Flood's bill is likely to be felt far beyond Nebraska,” writes Barnes, as “abortion opponents call it model legislation for other states and say it could provide a direct challenge to Supreme Court precedents that restrict government’s ability to prohibit abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb.” Barnes writes:

The importance of Flood's bill is likely to be felt far beyond Nebraska. Abortion opponents call it model legislation for other states and say it could provide a direct challenge to Supreme Court precedents that restrict government’s ability to prohibit abortion before a fetus can survive outside the womb.



“Many in the pro-life movement have become very pragmatic when it comes to the court: “Can you count to five?’” said Mary Spaulding Balch, director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee. “With the Gonzales decision, we were happy to see that we could.”

The justices have not revisited the issue of abortion since, but the decision has emboldened state legislators to pass an increasing number and variety of restrictions in hopes that a changed court will uphold them.

“I believe the decision was like planting a bunch of seeds, and we're just starting to see the shoots popping out of the ground,” said Roger Evans, who is in charge of litigation for Planned Parenthood of America.

The Center for Reproductive Rights concluded that in 2010, state legislatures “considered and enacted some of the most extreme restrictions on abortion in recent memory, as well as passing laws creating dozens of other significant new hurdles.”



“We can't say with any certainty that this is going to meet constitutional muster,” said Nebraska Right to Life Executive Director Julie Schmit-Albin. “But you know what, from our perspective, if we aren't bucking up against Roe, we're not doing our job.”

Already, legislators in Iowa, Kentucky, and Indiana are marshalling support for legislation which imitates Nebraska’s restrictive new law, and “abortion opponents are pushing lawmakers in Kansas, Maryland and Oklahoma to do the same.”

In Alaska, anti-choice groups also pressured the governor to resist a judge’s decision that significantly weakened a parental notification law. A federal judge recently threw out parts of a parental notification law that was approved by voters on the same day of the contentious Miller/Murkowski Republican primary in August. According to the Associated Press, the judge “removed provisions calling for a fine of up to $1,000 and imprisonment of up to five years for people who knowingly violate the law” and also made notification easier to obtain and “ struck a section allowing physicians to be liable for damages.”

Jim Minnery of the far-right Alaska Family Council condemned the decision, saying, “We totally opposed his decision to neuter or take the teeth from the law by eliminating all the legal civil penalties for violating the law.” Now, Alaska Governor Sean Parnell filed a motion to reconsider in order to defend a law he claims “reflects the will of the people.”

Pence: Congress Should Defund Planned Parenthood Because of High Unemployment

Empowered by Republican gains and the recent selection of Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) to Chair the Subcommittee on Health, Indiana Congressman Mike Pence is again speaking about ending what he calls “taxpayer funding of abortion.” Pence is the sponsor of the “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act,” which would cut-off federal finances to health services groups such as Planned Parenthood. However, the title of Pence’s bill is deceiving, as under current law “Title X funds may not be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.” As a result, there is no taxpayer funding of abortion either under Title X or the new health care reform law, another baseless charge frequently used by the right wing activists.

Under Pence’s bill, the government will stop giving taxpayer dollars to organizations which perform abortions or contribute to groups which perform abortions, even though abortion coverage is already banned from using federal dollars. As The Nation points out, Planned Parenthood is one of the largest and most well-known groups working in the extensive field of reproductive and sexual healthcare, and would incur most of the damage from this bill: “The aim is to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest network of clinics for family planning and women’s health, and in many regions the only provider within reach.”

Now Pence, the winner of the Values Voter Summit 2010 presidential straw poll, believes that cutting funds to reproductive healthcare organizations is not just necessary to constrain a woman’s access to healthcare but also to address unemployment. Pence told the anti-choice news service LifeNews:

With a nearly 10 percent unemployment rate, there is simply no reason during these tough economic times why taxpayers’ hard-earned money should fund the activities of abortion providers and equip them with the resources they need to end innocent human life.

The time has come to deny any and all federal funding to Planned Parenthood by passing the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which I intend to introduce again in the next Congress.”

Michele Bachmann has also embraced Pence’s bill, and the bill’s 103 co-sponsors include Speaker-designate John Boehner, incoming Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Pitts, who plans to push anti-choice legislation through his Subcommittee on Health. Pence isn’t the first leader on the Right who suggested that anti-choice bills address economic problems like unemployment, as Jim Garlow, the Chairman of Newt Gingrich's Renewing American Leadership, recently claimed that abortion is responsible for high unemployment:

Right Wing Round-Up

Right Wing Leftovers

  • For some reason, Michael Steele thinks he has a chance of getting re-elected as Chairman of the RNC.  Good luck with that.
  • Want to spend ten minutes listening to Mike Huckabee talk about playing bass guitar?  Well, you are in luck.
  • Anti-choice activists have big plans for when Republicans take over state legislatures.
  • Focus on the Family is airing its interview with George W. Bush and it was surprisingly dull.
  • Finally, the American Decency Association reports that "shoppers are appalled at the eroticism portrayed" by Victoria's Secret, including "models are in sexually explicit poses [and some that] have promoted lesbianism."

SBA List Signs On to Co-Sponsor RNC Debate

A few weeks back we noted that Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform was going to be quizzing candidates running for Republican National Committee chairman as moderator of a debate in January and wondered, given Norquist's lack of interest in social issues important to the Religious Right, just how the social conservatives would react to the prospect of seeing their agenda ignored at this event.

Well, it looks like the Religious Right can rest easy in knowing that their issues will be a part of the debate, as the anti-choice Susan B. Anthony List has now been named as a co-sponsor and is promising to make their issues a central part of the discussion:

Today, the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) and Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) announced SBA List’s co-sponsorship of a debate among candidates for Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman to be held on Monday, January 3, 2011. The event will take place in the Ballroom of the National Press Club and stream live online at RNCdebate.org between 1:00pm and 2:30pm ET.

“It is critical that the next RNC chairman sincerely recognize the electoral power of the pro-life movement, can articulate its message, and is prepared to advance its priorities,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “We look forward to vetting the candidates on Life through thoughtful questioning and open discussion.”

Anti-Choice Crowd Celebrates as GOP Picks Joe Pitts, Presses for New Restrictions on Abortion

When Michigan Republican Fred Upton was tarred as a “moderate” during his campaign to lead the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, leading anti-choice groups including the National Right to Life Committee and the Susan B. Anthony List suggested back in November that they could support Upton if he picks Joe Pitts to chair the Health Subcommittee. Pitts, the co-author of the restrictive Stupak-Pitts amendment during the health care reform debate, is one of the most fervently anti-choice members of Congress. Now, Upton won his campaign to lead the committee and selected Pitts to chair the Health Subcommittee which not only deals with health care legislation but also sets policy with regards to abortion rights and reproductive health.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser called Pitts’s appointment “a major pro-life victory,” and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told LifeNews that Pitts is committed to passing anti-choice legislation to stop the purported taxpayer funding of abortion.

While the nonpartisan PolitiFact already determined that rightwing claims of taxpayer funding for abortion are false and simply untrue, the facts didn’t stop groups like SBA List, CitizenLink (formerly Focus on the Family Action), and the Family Research Council from spreading the badly misleading claim.

The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” better known as “Stupak on steroids” would impel private insurers to drop abortion coverage by taking away the insurance plans’ tax deductions, make the Hyde Amendment permanent, and prevent “any government department from funding any program that touches on abortion in any way, however notional.” There is already a drive by Mike Pence and Michele Bachmann to pass the "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act," which would de-fund reproductive healthcare organizations which provide abortions, like Planned Parenthood, even though such financing does not go to abortion coverage.

During an interview with CNSNews, Bachmann was asked “What should Republicans do to advance protections for the lives of those unborn babies who are being slaughtered in this country?” Bachmann repeats the two baseless and fallacious claims that women in Pennsylvania received taxpayer funding for abortions and that “for the first time in American history under Obamacare, socialized medicine, under President Obama, we have federal funding of abortion.” She also calls for the reinstatement of the global gag rule, which cuts off US funding to international family planning services.

Watch:

Terry Hopes To Run Graphic Anti-Choice Ads During Super Bowl

Last week we noted that Randall Terry had hatched a plan to recruit dozens of anti-choice activists to run for political office in 2012 in order to exploit a loophole that prohibits broadcasters from refusing to run ads from candidates seeking office or from censoring such ads "in any way, or for any reason," thereby allowing them to run graphic anti-choice ads on television stations all over the country.

Anti-choice activist Jill Stanek reports that she "excited about this" and thinks the plan has "great potential," especially since Terry assured her that the candidates they support will be "credible and articulate."

Stanek also reports that Terry has big plans for this own presidential campaign as he intends to try and exploit this loophole in order to get his graphic ads on the air during the Super Bowl:

Terry is considering a run for president specifically with the goal to air a graphic abortion ad during the big game in 2012. Terry's back-up plan if unable to raise enough funds, estimated at $2.5-3 million, would be to run his ad during either the AFC or NFC championship game two weeks prior.

This one I'm a little more hesitant about, although a lengthy conversation with Terry alleviated many of my misgivings.

One is Terry's penchant for showmanship, but he assured me 100 percent of his ad would be dedicated to the atrocity of abortion.

Another is a concern for financial accountability, particularly for what may be a massive amount of donations. The names on Terry's finance committee would be critical here.

Misgivings aside, running a graphic abortion ad during the Super Bowl would indeed be a pro-life activist's "coup de grace," as Terry said.

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Anti-Choice Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Wednesday 06/22/2011, 10:30am
WorldNetDaily’s Molotov Mitchell is the executive producer of a new film about a future where abortion is outlawed after black terrorists systematically murder abortion doctors. Mitchell is one of the many abortion rights opponents who have embraced the notion of “abortion as black genocide.” This claim, propagated by films like Maafa 21 and numerous billboard campaigns, holds that abortion clinics are attempting to exterminate African Americans. The film is styled as a documentary from 2016 about how in 2014, a Black terrorist group called “Zulu 9” and its... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 06/21/2011, 5:36pm
Newt Gingrich’s campaign continues to implode. Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel thinks People For the American Way and other members of the “intolerant left” are going to purge religion from the US. Focus on the Family is, ironically, upset that gays are political. Abby Johnson has signed on as a blogger for Life News, even though her story about leaving Planned Parenthood falls short of reality. Finally, the Family Research Council pleads that we pray against marriage equality in New York. MORE
Brian Tashman, Monday 06/20/2011, 6:19pm
Personhood USA loves Rick Santorum. Naturally, Rep. Steve King adds an anti-choice amendment to an agriculture bill. No bloggers allowed in Alliance Defense Fund poll on marriage equality. Janet Porter claims that the Ohio State House will soon vote on her anti-choice ‘Heartbeat Bill,’ I wonder if the fetus she brought to testify will attend. Finally, Chuck Norris prepares the fight against Jersey Shore and the “television tidal wave of explicitly sexual content that is invading the hearts and minds of America's youth.” MORE
Nichole, Friday 06/17/2011, 9:54am
Earlier this week, the National Black ProLife Coalition, in conjunction with TooManyAborted.com, announced the launch of another anti-choice billboard campaign in Atlanta and other major metropolitan areas. These billboards are designed to offend, featuring slogans such as “The 13th Amendment Freed-Abortion Enslaves” and “Abortion Makes Three-Fifths Human Seem Overly Generous.” According to the press release, these billboards are supposed to show “how Roe v. Wade has made a mockery of Civil Rights history by offering destruction and bondage instead of possibility... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 06/15/2011, 5:23pm
Rabid anti-choice activist Clenard Childress, who believes that gay rights are a sign of the End Times, is now comparing advocates of LGBT equality to the people in the Bible that called for Jesus' death. Wrongly suggesting that the American Psychological Association believes that homosexuality is a choice (the group says the opposite), Childress also claims that gays and lesbians can't claim to have civil rights "because your sexual orientation could be flawed." Childress writes: The Roman Empire had been occupying and subjugating Israel for multiple years along with the... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 06/15/2011, 4:13pm
Religious Right groups are launching another billboard campaign against Planned Parenthood for allegedly committing genocide against the African American community. Following billboards featuring Barack Obama and a young black girl reading "The Most Dangerous Place For An African American Is In the Womb," anti-choice organization are out with a new billboard accusing Planned Parenthood of targeting the black community for extermination. The leadership of the latest California billboard campaign even likened the work of the women's health group to the ongoing genocide in Darfur: The... MORE
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 06/08/2011, 10:52am
Last year, Randall Terry hit upon the idea of running for president in order to exploit a loophole that would allow him to air graphic anti-abortion ads on television. Today, he announced that his first campaign ad would begin airing in Iowa, though it is mostly just a standard political ad: Barack Hussein Obama is the worst President in our history. He's at war with our founding principles of life and liberty. His bailout of Wall Street, and socialist agenda have enslaved our children to debt…to China. His addiction to Arab oil funds Islamic terrorists, while he leaves billions of... MORE