Category Archives: abortion

Hands off the Girl Scouts: a jump the shark moment?

It seems the Girl Scouts – in a Tweet – mentioned women of achievement (and linked to a story about Wendy Davis!). Which – as night follows day – means they are in league with Planned Parenthood. Here is ABC valiantly trying to follow the story but don’t bother (you could probably write it yourself – blindfolded).

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Texas. Again. And this time, tampon free.

A quick copy/paste is all I need do for this one:

Texas Senate is a no-tampon zone during abortion debate

Due to the heated debate taking place Friday in the Texas Senate over House Bill 2, a move to ban late-term abortions, the gallery is filled with people. And while women in the crowd may have differing opinions, none of them have any tampons. Or feminine pads or tissues. Or condoms. Fearing that such intimate items could become missiles flung at the heads of policymakers by abortion-rights advocates, state troopers are confiscating such female necessities from attendees. Senators may vote on the highly controversial matter Friday night, but at least they can concentrate without threat of a tampon fusillade.

Wisconsin won. Well, the godly gentlemens did anyway.

Calling Wendy! Calling Nina!

Governor Scott Walker put pen to paper yesterday and proudly inflicted mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds upon Wisconsin ladies because that’ll get the women’s vote fer-sure!

BOVfoNQCcAAFh12

Something new is in the air. My sisters are waking up.

Here’s what’s new. Wendy Davis and Nina Turner. And many many other women, young women, around the country using an entirely different vocabulary and saying back off fellas, hands off.  This is a different conversation. It’s a different fight. It’s not about abortion this time. . .  it’s not about fetuses. It’s about them. Always was.

Here’s what’s old. Ohio. Texas. North Carolina. Mandatory vaginal probes. Forced ultrasound. Catholic Bishops. Religious right. Family Research Council. Todd Aiken. The American Taliban. Rep. Steve King. Louie Gomert!!!! Michele Bachmann. Personhood. Pat Robertson. Phyllis Schlafley. Pin-up boy Ralph Reed.

A little background? Try this. And this. And this.

Or just read a whole buncha posts about lady parts and the men who want, well, this is what  they want:

Available in other colors – as long as it’s black.

Like Wendy, Nina knows it’s not really about abortion. It’s about women.

Meet another woman warrior; I love this lady. Like Texas’ Wendy Davis, Turner gets that all this is really about women, about uppity women, about women having sex. Especially about punishing women for liking it.

Take it away Ohio State Senator Nina Turner (she really rolls at 4:38):

Here’s a glimpse of her Governor, ole John Kasich with his theocratic allies thrusting themselves (legislatively of course – what, you thought I meant something else?) into yet more lady parts:

I do love (South – nope) NORTH Carolina: I’m not sure if it’s the abortion part or the Sharia part that’s taken my breath away

South North Carolina’s legislature swung into late night action to propose legislation (yet again, sigh) aimed at getting a handle on those lady parts – and to guard against the imagined but dangerous onslaught of Sharia law – and they did it all in one tidy bill.

Senate tacks sweeping abortion legislation onto Sharia law bill

Raleigh, N.C. — Senators on Tuesday tacked a suite of new restrictions and regulations pertaining to abortion clinics onto a bill dealing with the application of foreign laws in North Carolina family courts.

As described here, there is a long tradition of U.S. law incorporating religious law into our system.

Duncan has proposed a state constitutional amendment that would bar U.S. judges from considering Shariah or any foreign law. But that might be problematic: U.S. courts already recognize and enforce Shariah law in everything from commercial contracts to divorce settlements, wills and estates.

What’s In Place

Marc Stern, a religion law expert at the American Jewish Committee, says that’s no different from how religious laws and customs are already applied.

He says when there’s a conflict, U.S. law always wins. For example, when Orthodox Jews have asked judges to enforce their laws on divorce, the courts have refused to do it; they won’t be involved in interpreting religion. In the same way, the government won’t enforce Kosher food standards because it would violate the separation of church and state.

Of course, once in a while, a judge with limited knowledge of the law as it is (they’re out there) rules otherwise – and certain legislators and media stars get the vapors. For a while. The follow up   – rarely inspiring the alarm – is that such rulings are always overturned in appellate courts.

The thing that wouldn’t die

POSTED BY ORHAN

222px-Paul_RyanPaul Ryan is at it again; he’s agreed to cosponsor the Sanctity of Human Life Act yet one more time. The bill asserts that life begins with fertilization, and permits states to ban abortion outright, even in the case of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother.

And besides outlawing many forms of in vitro fertilization, the bill goes on: if a woman is raped in an abortion-banning state, then goes to an abortion-permitting state intending to have an abortion, her rapist can sue to stop the abortion, and win.

The prior version of this way-over-the-top bill died in Congress, and it’s expected this one will too. But Ryan’s ongoing attempt to repeal women’s reproductive rights exemplifies conservative entitlement; politicians like Ryan, along with conservative employers and landlords, sanctimoniously believe their morality outweighs the rights of those they govern and control.

Watch the bouncing ball!

Memories,
Like the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories
Of the way we were

His mom would be so proud.

This is adorable: Todd Akin refers to himself in the third person

I just got an email campaign ad from Rep. Todd Aiken. I was thrilled because I’d been afraid he would never  call, never write.

Here’s some of it. Check out the language:

For too long, the Party Bosses – the same ones that left Todd Akin for dead politicially — have come to you hat in hand for your support. They ask for your money, your time, and your energy.

They raise money from pro-life supporters like you and me, but they then turn around and give it to people like Scott Brown, but not Todd Akin. Enough is enough!

Like Mike Huckabee said: “If they don’t want us, then they don’t need us.”

Mike and Janet Huckabee have donated the maximum to Todd Akin because they know that Todd won’t just talk the talk, he will walk the walk.

Todd Akin doesn’t shy away from what he believes in. He will STAND UP for life, regardless of the political consequences. Won’t you consider helping Todd stand for life?

If you want a candidate who says “NO” to the corrupt Party Bosses and “YES” to life, support Todd Akin today!

Sincerely,

Todd

We luvz science! Science iz fun!!!

Paul Ryan, when asked about jailing women for having an abortion, said “If it’s illegal, it’s illegal.”

To put these fools in office, millions of my fellow Americans voted for them. And they write laws.

A not famous Factoid

The Pledge of Allegiance, the one we all recited as school children (although mine most assuredly did not include under God* in the early grades) and still do at public events, was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy. It started out as part of a marketing plan to offer flags to schools that subscribed to The Youth’s Companion, but quickly became a sincere patriotic effort. We all know how successful it was.

And Mr. Bellamy? Well.

Bellamy was a Christian Socialist[3] who “championed ‘the rights of working people and the equal distribution of economic resources, which he believed was inherent in the teachings of Jesus.'”[2] In 1891, Bellamy was forced from his Boston pulpit for his socialist sermons, and eventually stopped attending church altogether after moving to Florida, reportedly because of the racism he witnessed there.[4]

* The words Under God were added in 1954 to protect us from godless Communism – by our feckless Congress Critters who, in matters sacred (like American uteri), were just as vigilant then as they are now.

(h/t Crazycrawfish for the info.)

Choice is about more than abortion and let’s stop pretending it isn’t

In spite of the legions of sincere people who support pro-life policies, the impetus for the movement itself is the never-ending assault on women by those who deeply resent the counter movement toward gender equality. The forces propelling the likes of Todd Akins only pretend a tolerance for equality. They want their sovereignty back.

In a comment thread below, Patsouthward pointed me to an article on CNN by  a rape victim who had her child, now being sued by her rapist:

It would not be long before I would learn firsthand that in the vast majority of states — 31 — men who father through rape are able to assert the same custody and visitation rights to their children that other fathers enjoy. When no law prohibits a rapist from exercising these rights, a woman may feel forced to bargain away her legal rights to a criminal trial in exchange for the rapist dropping the bid to have access to her child. . . . I know it because I lived it. I went to law school to learn how to stop it.

This looks to me just like the campaign to deny women the right to abortion, where men – and the state – have sovereignty over a  woman. It’s the exact same thing.

A ‘scolds bridle’ used to silence wives and legal up to the 19th century

The kerfuffle of the day is not just about Todd Akin and his knuckle-dragging (to quote the Speaker of the House) cohorts who claim to be Christian but adhere to the Old Testament . . . it’s about attempts to restore the millennial old definition of women as property.

That was a concept in law right into the 19th century, not ancient history but from the  ‘modern era’. Here are a few examples (first photo and quote from tumblr, here) :

The “curb-plate” was frequently studded with spikes, so that if the tongue moved, it inflicted pain and made speaking impossible. Many men sustained in this “husband’s right” to “handle his wife”, and to use salutary restraints in any case of “misbehavior” without the intervention of what some court records of 1824 referred to as “vexatious prosecutions.” Generally a husband would need only to accuse his wife of disagreeing with his decisions, at which the Branks could be applied. The woman would then be paraded through the streets, or chained to the market cross where she was exposed to public ridicule. Wives that were seen as witches, shrews, gossips, nags and scolds, were forced to wear a brank’s bridle, which had been locked on the head of the woman and sometimes had a ring and chain attached to it as a leash so her husband could parade her around town and the town’s people could scold her and treat her with contempt; at times smearing excrement on her and beating her, sometimes to death.

No divorce for you!

Here’s another one – from England – just before our Civil War (here):

Once married, it was extremely difficult for a woman to obtain a divorce. The Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857 gave men the right to divorce their wives on the grounds of adultery. However, married women were not able to obtain a divorce if they discovered that their husbands had been unfaithful. Once divorced, the children became the man’s property and the mother could be prevented from seeing her children.

Sarah Palin does not disappoint

The ‘half-governor’ and now national joke offers one of her signature word-salads on Todd Akin. Here’s an exquisitely twisted bit of grammar (my favorite part is in bold). Just splendid.

Todd Akin has said he’s not going to drop out, and bless his heart, I don’t want to pile on Todd Akin, because in some respects I understand what he was trying to say here, in standing on principle that he doesn’t want to be perceived as a quitter, but you gotta know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. Believe me, I’ve walked before, and I know when you have to hold that mantle and then hand it someone else in order to progress a positive agenda. That’s what I had to do in Alaska.

Ladies, how about this?

We can’t all whip out clever youtube videos, so how about painting the town in bras? Get your old bras, buy a bunch more at Goodwill . . .then drop those babies around town, drape them on parking meters, mailboxes, doorknobs on government offices, Republican HQ (let’s double down on that one) churches (certain ones anyway) . . . Picture it: bras everywhere!!! We could make it rain bras! It would bring our American Taliban to their knees, I tell you . . . to their knees! (pssssttt, tell your facebook friends to do it too.)

Oh damn, am I going to have to go find an old bra so I can burn it?

From TPM:

Rep. Steve King . . .  did not strongly condemn Rep. Todd Akin Monday for his remarks regarding pregnancy and rape  [and] signaled he might agree with parts of Akin’s assertion.

King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.  “Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”

In any personal way?  Open to discussion? 

Prediction: Romney will rue the day . . .

At least they didn’t claim God told them

UPDATE: The GOP wants this guy out, fast. From Karl Rove to Sean Hannity . . . Ann Coulter to The Weekly Standard and National Review – all demanding Aiken withdraw from the race. He says he won’t. I give him 24 hours.

ORIGINAL POST: At least Rep. Todd Aiken isn’t alone. It seems there’s a history to the rape doesn’t cause pregnancy meme, here.

Pennsylvania state Rep. Stephen Freind (R) was an ardent abortion opponent. . . He also looks to be the first legislator to make the argument that rape prevents pregnancy, arguing in the late 1980s that the odds of a pregnancy resulting from rape were “one in millions and millions and millions.”

Try saying that with the Friends, Michelle. Dare ya’!

NOTE: Rape results in pregnancy 4.8% of the time, which corresponds with plain old sex.

His explanation? The trauma of rape causes women to “secrete a certain secretion which has the tendency to kill sperm.” Reproductive health experts immediately denounced those remarks. One told the Philadelphia Inquirer, ”Boy, if I could find out what that [secretion] was, I’d use it as a contraceptive.”

It’s not inconceivable that this could cost the GOP a Senate seat. Even Michelle Malkin is disgusted. She does the partisan dance around it of course – don’t we all – but closes with this:

The question for Republicans in Missouri is whether sticking by self-inflicted-wounded Akin is more important than securing a U.S. Senate majority.

They’ve nominated this guy for the United States Senate

He is expected – or had been expected – to win the Senate race in Missouri over incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill.

So, Congressman, would you allow abortion in the case of rape?

“…First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

Just make it stop

What is it with these Republican men?  They’re at it again in Congress because  apparently contraception is still the enemy of freedom.

A Letter to the Editor in my paper a few weeks ago provided a nice list of religious beliefs and rules that are ignored, indeed violated,  by civil law:

  • The Catholic ban on divorce
  • Muslim and Jewish laws about women and children
  • Buddhist and HIndu prohibitions against killing animals
  • Capital punishment
  • Quakers and conscientious objectors pay taxes that finance wars
  • Christian Scientist pay taxes to support medical care they abjure.

Donald Trump: pretend conserative, genuine liberal but opportunism always comes first

(Narcissist that I am), I’ve been perusing old posts here at Whatever Works (actually, I am trying – without much success – to find something).

My browsing brought me back to this one. It’s from last April when Donald Trump was flirting with being the most-powerful-man-in-the-whole-widest-world, while simultaneously planning his epic expose to prove Obama’s really a secret KENYAN!

But he wasn’t always on Sean Hannity’s ‘A’ List. Here’s the pre-birther Donald:

“By imposing a one-time 14.25 percent net-worth tax on the richest individuals and trusts, we can put America on sound financial footing for the next century.”Writing in his book, The America We Deserve, January 2000

“I’ve been around for a long time. And it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.” –Interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, March 2004

Bush is probably the worst president in the history of the United States.”Interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, March 2007

“I’m totally pro-choice.”Interview with Fox News Sunday, October 1999

“I want to see the abortion issue removed from politics. I believe it is a personal decision that should be left to the women and their doctors.”Remarks to reporters, December 1999

“I’m very liberal when it comes to health care. I believe in universal health care.”Interview with CNN’s Larry King, October 1999.

“The Canadian plan also helps Canadians live longer and healthier than Americans… We need, as a nation, to reexamine the single-payer plan.”Writing in his book, The America We Deserve, January 2000

Ah, but did Hitler diddle little boys?

From a recent homily by Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria (unfortunate name that):

[some governments] “tried to force Christians to huddle and hide only within the confines of their churches . . . Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services and health care . . . In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro-abortion and extreme secularist agenda – now seems intent on following a similar path.”

So . . . comprehensive health care / ethic cleansing and genocide . . . not very different actually.

 

Nice girls do NOT like it. Nor do good girls. Only those other kind.

It’s always been okay for the boys  . . . but us? Well, we’re supposed to endure sex, as our grandmothers (for younger women, your great-grandmothers) were taught. And we are never supposed to enjoy it.

But we did. And we do. And there is the outrage, there is why we must be punished. For if all this business, this shaming, is anything recognizable, it is punishment.

Doonesbury notices and, of course, gets banned. The truth must never be spoken.

 

 

You knew it and I knew it. And now we all know it.

We’ve got trouble folks. We’ve got trouble – right here in River City. Trouble with a capital “T” and that rhymes with “P” and that stands for . . .

Herewith some serious fine journalism from CNS News, a rather interesting ‘news’ outlet, owned by the Media Research Center, a non-profit dedicated to proving there’s a librul media. Got that?

Goldwater on the religious right (hint: he didn’t like them)

I kind of wish Barry Goldwater were still around:

Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.

When you say “radical right” today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party away from the Republican Party, and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye.

The big thing is to make this country, along with every other country in the world with a few exceptions, quit discriminating against people just because they’re gay. You don’t have to agree with it, but they have a constitutional right to be gay. And that’s what brings me into it.

Having spent 37 years of my life in the military as a reservist, and never having met a gay in all of that time, and never having even talked about it in all those years, I just thought, why the hell shouldn’t they serve? They’re American citizens. As long as they’re not doing things that are harmful to anyone else… So I came out for it.

I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.”

Oh, let the good times roll !!!

In Oklahoma, Constance Johnson attached an “every sperm is sacred” amendment to the GOP’s Personhood bill.  The amendment would have construed any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina as an action against an unborn child.

From here. For the theme video? Here.

The 19th century continues to spill into the 21st

Ed sent this:

Several Girl Scout troops in Chantilly, Va., have been banned from meeting at a local Catholic church and a neighboring school.

St. Timothy Catholic Church said that scouts won’t be allowed to meet or wear their uniforms on church property. The edict also applies to the adjacent St. Timothy School, which enrolls students from preschool to eighth grade.

According to the Arlington Diocese, the pastor did not believe the National Girl Scouts membership to the World Association of Girl Guides & Girl Scouts aligned with the message of the church, stemming from a perceived connection between WAGGGS and Planned Parenthood.

Happily, I think we’ll see a steady stream of comic relief.  Susie sent this:

A group of female Democratic legislators in the Georgia House of Representatives has proposed a bill that would ban men from seeking vasectomies.

Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies,” said bill author Yasmin Neal in a statement

What are all these men afraid of? Giggle, giggle.

The modern Republican Party

FROM the front page of Little Green Footballs at 11:55pm. Here are screen shots of five of the seven stories.

The man is obsessed

Someone tell Rick Santorum that Woodstock was nearly 50 years ago . . .

“Woodstock is the great American orgy. This is who the Democratic Party has become. They have become the party of Woodstock. The prey upon our most basic primal lusts, and that’s sex. And the whole abortion culture, it’s not about life. It’s about sexual freedom. That’s what it’s about. Homosexuality. It’s about sexual freedom.”

Nevertheless, as a Democrat, I’m happy to be credited for that supporting sexual freedom part.

Maybe Margaret and Helen will join in

Kay has a post up today on yet another legislative proposal from the American Taliban that is moving through the Virginia legislature –  it would require women to undergo an ultrasound probe before an abortion. That is, “a trans-vaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced”.

(The second-to-last-Republican-President-in-waiting tried it in his State last spring. I’m thinkin’ that’s why he did so well in the recent primaries and why he’s now running up a whopping 30% approval rating at home.)

It could pass. From Kay’s post:

[A different lawmaker suggested that women who consent to sex also consent to vaginal probing.]

Well then, let’s have us a consent form – consent doesn’t count without a form, makes it all nice and legal. To whom exactly do they consent I wonder? A petitioner? Must the petitioner be the one who is hoping to penetrate? Can a parent stand in to petition? Or to consent?  This part is a little confusing.

(Of course, no signee, no sexee . . .that’s the one weapon we know works.)

I’m really getting tired of this shit. Women may need to go back to the streets and remind our vice police wanna-be’s of a few things. I know Margaret and Helen* would help!

(* Margaret and Helen, they of the nearly 5 million blog hits. America does love its old ladies.)

Part 5: Where are the women?

Didn’t think the Republicans would hand me a brand new graphic to add to Tuesday’s series of posts. I really thought I’d drained that pond. But no . . . Rep. Darryl Issa (multiply charged criminal-CA) had him a little panel today. He didn’t want any girls to mess things up though cuz it was all about religious freedom. He even has a rabbi and a black guy, so it’s the real thing.

Dear Elvis, can you get their deity out of my legislators. And my body. Please.

Some random thoughts arising from my extreme annoyance caused by the legions of men who think they know best:

Republican men in suits on my teevee keep telling me that birth control is a sin and that same sex marraige is an abomination, because it was ordained by their god to be between one man and one woman. They’ve successfully sold that marriage part to their fellow religionists while the rest of the country moves on. But that birth control bit is, I think, going to cause them a bit of trouble.

Historically – and to the present in many parts of the world (no matter what the Reverend Republicans say) – marriage has been an economic contract, not a religious state. Even the English expression ‘took a wife’ is a reminder of what was once a universal tenet – that women were property. This idea is apparently enjoying something of a revival among the overly religious who demand  authority over women’s bodies. They also want the State to give them that authority, all legal like. (No more the ‘mommy state’, now comes the ‘daddy state’.)

One man and one woman? Meh. Even that Commandment about ‘cleaving’ feels a bit empty since it was handed down to a man who himself had a few Mrs. Moseses.  Multiple wives abound in the Old Testament and in ‘holy’ scriptures of all religions. (Of course, today’s version of that is the taking of serial wives, as practiced by Messrs. Gingrich, Trump, Limbaugh, and other stalwarts of traditional values. )

Marriage, no matter the attitudes and rituals of the religious, is a civil contract, one which requires a license.

Remember the Florida ‘Uterati’? (Background here)

Just go away I say.