American Taliban: Washington’s Evil Cult of Authoritarian Theocrats


Roman Catholic theocratic fascist William Barr; a self-confessed enemy of America's Constitution

As the nation lurches closer towards being ruled by a tyrannical dictator with unwavering support from the Republican Party, the American people are ignoring an even greater threat to their waning secular democracy – rule by tyrannical theocrats. 

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The rise of theocrats in powerful positions of authority is particularly disconcerting because not only was America created as a secular nation with a secular Constitution, but because the theocrats running the federal government represent a very small minority of the population. And now Trump has given that vicious minority what they elected him to do in the first place; another radical Christian extremist, William Barr, in a powerful federal government position. 

J. Beauregard Sessions was a legitimate threat to America’s secular government as Trump’s attorney general, but his theocratic aspirations paled in comparison to Trump’s latest theocratic cabinet member – a conservative Catholic malcontent who is unlikely to ever defend the U.S. Constitution because it is a secular document. It is noteworthy that Sessions only stated that, according to his mind, the separation of church and state in the Constitution is a concept that is unconstitutional. However, his replacement ardently believes that America’s government is duty-bound to enforce god’s laws because there is no place for secularism. 

In a 1995 essay, Barr expressed the extremist Christian view that “American government should not be secular;” secularism is an abomination in Barr’s theocratic mind despite the law of the land is unmistakably secular. Furthermore, Barr contends America’s government is supposed to be imposing “a transcendent moral order with objective standards of right and wrong that flows from God’s eternal law;” eternal law best dictated by the Vatican and taught in public schools at taxpayer’s expense.

It is true that as attorney general William Barr will defend Trump’s criminality and corruption; it is one of the only reasons Trump nominated him. However, the real danger to the nation is Barr’s belief that the government’s primary function should be defending and enforcing his god’s moral edicts while ardently opposing any legislative branch effort to make secular laws according to the secular Constitution.

As noted by Michael Stone a couple of weeks ago, in addition to the racism and misogyny one expects from a radical conservative Christian, “Barr is also a bigot when it comes to non-religious people and others who respect the separation of church and state.” 

Barr epitomizes the typical extremist religious fanatic by blaming everything from crime to divorce to sexually transmitted diseases on what he alleges is “the federal government’s non-stop attacks on traditional religious values.” In fact, he joins no small number of Republican evangelical extremists who demand that taxpayers fund religious instruction, specifically Catholic religious instruction, in public schools. Barr, as a matter of fact, has called for the United States government to subsidize Catholic education and categorically called for federal legislation to promote Vatican edicts to “restrain sexual immorality;” an explicit reference to his religion’s ban on homosexuality, extramarital sex, and “artificial” birth control. Don’t believe it? 

In an address to “The Governor’s Conference on Juvenile Crime, Drugs and Gangs,” Barr condemned the idea of adhering to the U.S. Constitution’s mandated separation of church and state in the public education system. The theocrat said: 

This moral lobotomy of public schools has been based on extremist notions of separation of church and state or on theories of moral relativism which reject the notion that there are standards of rights or wrong to which the community can demand adherence. 

Barr also penned an article in The Catholic Lawyer where he complained vehemently about what he asserted was “the rise of secularism;” something he claims is anathema to a nation he believes should be ruled by theocrats. Barr attempted to give an answer to “the challenge of representing Catholic institutions as authorities” on what is considered right and wrong, or morally acceptable in a secular nation. In discussing what Barr termed was “The Breakdown of Traditional Morality,” the new attorney general complained thus:

We live in an increasingly militant, secular age…  As part of this philosophy, we see a growing hostility toward religion, particularly Catholicism. This form of bigotry has always been fashionable in the United States. There are, today, even greater efforts to marginalize or ghettoize orthodox religion… 

Barr is also a bigot when it comes to people who respect the Constitution’s separation of church and state in providing equal rights for all Americans whether theocrats agree or not. Barr’s belief that government is bound to enforce Vatican dictates is what drives his assertion that, for example, equal rights laws demanding that colleges treat homosexual groups like any other student group is inherently wrong.  

He claims treating LGBTQ people like everyone else is detrimental because: 

“[Equality] dissolves any form of moral consensus in society. There can be no consensus based on moral views in the country, only enforced neutrality. 

It is noteworthy that what Barr considers “enforced neutrality” is what most Americans understand is the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal rights for all Americans. If this country was not plagued with religious extremists, bigots, misogynists, and hate-driven conservatives there would never be a need to “enforce neutrality,” or protect all Americans’ equal rights guaranteed according to secular law. There is no such thing as equality in Barr’s theocratic mind and the idea of the government not enforcing the privilege and superiority the religious right has enjoyed for too long is abominable, and now he wields federal government authority to right that abomination.  

It is too bad that Barr’s religious mind incites him to believe the federal government’s job is enforcing his religion’s concept of “morality,” and that the purposely-conceived “secular” law of the land is “militant” and “hostile toward religion, particularly Catholicism.” If any American believes Barr will defend the Constitution, or equal rights, or freedom from religious imposition, they are deluded beyond belief. As the religious right’s attorney general, Barr will be the de facto enforcement arm of the evangelical extremists and aid in implementing all of the horrors a theocratic dictatorship entails – beginning with an increased government assault on women.

For an idea of how an avowed anti-choice theocrat leading the Justice Department will be the enforcement arm of the evangelical extremist cult, consider Trump’s latest evangelical edict forbidding medical professionals from giving women medical options the religious right and Vatican oppose.

Trump and Pence issued a gag order banning the term “abortion” as a woman’s option to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. The order will certainly face lawsuits, but instead of defending a medical professional’s ability to practice medicine, or exercise their freedom of speech, the theocratic-led DOJ will defend the religious right’s assault on women and medical professionals’ free speech because such speech is opposed by evangelicals. Trump’s latest theocratic edict was, by the way, a direct result of the evangelical right’s strict adherence to Vatican dictates banning women’s bodily autonomy and self-determination regarding reproduction. 

There is no good outcome going forward with an avowed theocrat serving as the nation’s top law enforcement official. This is particularly true since Barr has made no secret that he considers the secular government “militant” and “bigoted” for  not promoting “god’s eternal laws” of right and wrong. The very inconvenient truth for Americans is that long after Trump and Barr are out of power, the theocratic authorities will continue unimpeded because Trump has dutifully created a hard-line conservative judiciary specifically to ensure that America as a secular nation is, for all intents and purposes, coming to an end after resisting theocracy for over two centuries.

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‘Death sentence for women’: Alabama proposes law to make abortion punishable by up to 99 years in prison


Bill would even criminalise performing abortions in cases of rape and incest

Via:- Maya Oppenheim Women’s Correspondent @mayaoppenheim

The Independent US

Alabama is proposing a law that would make carrying out an abortion at any stage of the pregnancy punishable by 10 to 99 years in jail.

The strict abortion ban, which has been branded a “death sentence for women”, would even criminalise performing abortions in cases of rape and incest.

The legislation, which Alabama politicians introduced on Tuesday, would only allow abortions in instances where there is “a serious health risk to the unborn child’s mother”.

The bill also equates legalised abortion to some of history’s gravest atrocities – likening having your pregnancy terminated to the Nazi campaign of extermination that led to the mass murders of Jews and others during the Holocaust.

The legislation says: “More than 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States since the Roe decision in 1973, more than three times the number who were killed in German death camps, Chinese purges, Stalin’s gulags, Cambodian killing fields, and the Rwandan genocide combined.”

The bill, which has more than 60 co-sponsors in the 105-member Alabama house of representatives, means a doctor would be hit with a Class A felony if they were to perform an abortion. It would ban all abortions, even those using prescription drugs, as soon as a woman is “known to be pregnant”. 

“It simply criminalises abortion,” Terri Collins, a Republican representative who is the bill’s sponsor. “Hopefully, it takes it all the way to the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade.”

Pressed about pushing a measure that obviously conflicts with Supreme Court decisions, Ms Collins said the “whole point is to get the courts to relook at this issue”.

She said: “I think people are seeing a possibility that the Supreme Court might have a more conservative-leaning balance”.

Alarm bells have been raised that Roe v Wade – the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalised abortion nationwide in 1973 – could be overturned or radically undermined with new conservative justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. 

Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, called it a “death sentence for women across this state”.

She said: “These bans are blatantly unconstitutional and lawmakers know it – they just don’t care. Alabamians are just pawns in this political game to challenge access to safe, legal abortion nationally.”

Alabama is the latest Republican-leaning state to try to pass a strict abortion ban as conservatives take aim at Roe v Wade. Abortion opponents in other states have been emboldened to attempt to provoke new legal battles that could spark Supreme Court justices to revisit the key case.

The Alabama bill comes after Kentucky and Mississippi approved bans on abortion once a foetal heartbeat is detected, which happens as soon as the sixth week of pregnancy. At six weeks, many women do not yet know they are pregnant. 

Other states, including Georgia and South Carolina, could pass similar bans.

Georgia’s governor is contemplating whether to sign a law banning abortion once a foetal heartbeat is detected. More than 50 Hollywood actors, including Alyssa Milano, Alec Baldwin and Amy Schumer, sent a letter threatening to pull business out of Georgia, a focal point for TV and film production, if the ban is enacted.

A South Carolina House subcommittee passed a similar heartbeat bill on Tuesday.

Critics argue the Republicans are unnecessarily launching legal battles that will prove to be expensive and futile – with taxpayers potentially footing the bill.

Rights organisations have accused the Trump administration of attacking women’s reproductive rights by reinstating the global gag rule, which blocks federal funding for non-governmental organisations that provide abortion counselling or referrals.

Campaigners have also criticised the government for appointing anti-abortion rights activists to key posts in federal departments that handle women’s health, and striving to cut Title X funding to health providers that carry out abortions or make abortion referrals. 

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The Christian lobby is now trying to convince women that abortion causes breast cancer


The Christian lobby is now trying to convince women that abortion causes breast cancer
 Jane Gilmore

Last week the ACL sent out an email inviting people to attend a Melbourne screening of Hush, a documentary described as “a pro-woman perspective on the abortion debate”.

The ACL describes controversial anti-abortion documentary ‘Hush’ as “a pro-woman perspective on the abortion debate”.

Hush has been lauded by anti-abortion and religious groups around the world for its allegedly “balanced” reporting of thoroughly debunked myths – that abortion causes breast cancer, infertility and mental illness.

Perpetuating dangerous and disproved claims about serious medical issues is a definition of “a pro women perspective” I haven’t heard of before, but to be fair, there are many issues pushed out by the ACL that I find difficult to comprehend.

A still from the documentary 'Hush'.
A still from the pseudo-documentary ‘Hush’.  Photo: Hush

Hush props up the allegation of “balance” by claiming the director, Punam Kumar Gill, is pro-choice. Despite this, there are 28 people featured in the film discussing the alleged dangers of abortion, and only two who assert it is a safe procedure.

Whether or not Gill really is pro-choice is irrelevant in the face of the claims made by the documentary, which gives significant weight to assertions by Christian anti-abortion researchers while ignoring overwhelming evidence from the medical profession that there is no reliable link between abortion and breast cancer.

It’s very much akin to the work of anti-vaxers, who cling desperately to risible claims by quack scientists, in the face of irrefutable evidence that they are wrong, because their feelings trump facts.

The film has been described as “a prototype of pseudoscience” by Dr David Grimes, who says he “advised the director in writing in September of 2014 of the poor credentials and discredited science of several anti-abortion activists interviewed for the film.

“She was apparently undeterred in conjuring up a conspiracy,” he says.

The documentary’s website lists a bibliography of the so-called “science” behind the breast cancer claims. The first article shows a possible small increase in the number of young women with breast cancer, but does not posit any possible causes. The second article was eviscerated by Discover Magazine in 2003, which utterly debunked the premise, methodology, results and conclusions of the study. And pointed out that – as Phyllis Wingo, chief of the cancer surveillance branch for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said – even if you accepted their flawed suppositions, “a relative risk of 1.3 – compared with the relative risk of 20 associated with smoking and lung cancer – is usually considered too weak to draw definite conclusions”.

The third link supporting the ludicrous notion that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer was written by Patrick Carroll, an insurance expert with no medical training, who works for the Pension And Population Research Institute, an obscure institution with a single-page website linking only to Carroll’s three papers on breast cancer and abortion.

These studies were used to prove a link that has been investigated and rejected by the National Cancer Institute, the Cancer Council of Australia, the American Cancer Society, and the Australian Medical Association, among many others.

Dr Tony Bartone, Vice-President of the Australian Medical Association, said the assertion is irresponsible. “There is no evidence that abortion is in any way linked to the development or onset of breast cancer.

“A patient suffering from breast cancer has enormous challenges to deal with, and they certainly don’t need this kind of misinformation adding to their already overwhelming worries,” he said.

“Also, patients making informed decisions about terminations do not need to be subjected to this kind of misinformation, which can only create significant and unnecessary further stress when they already have so many  concerns to deal with.”

What’s worse, the screening for which the Australian Christian Lobby was issuing invitations is a fundraiser for Women’s Forum Australia, “an independent women’s think-tank” founded by Melinda Tankard Reist, which claims to advocate for “women’s health and wellbeing”.

Of their 10 published news items, three were anti-abortion, six were about adoption (with a focus against same-sex parents adopting) and one was advocating against surrogacy. Their two events are the Hush screening and a Pregnancy Support Awards for services that persuade women against abortion.

Tankard Reist has long resisted publicly declaring any link to faith-based organisations, but the links between her, the organisations she’s founded, and right-wing Christian groups are difficult to ignore.

While faith is certainly a personal matter that no private individual should ever be obliged to disclose, it is relevant to public advocacy. Women’s Forum Australia has every right to argue against abortion if they choose to, but peddling dangerous misinformation under the guise of “balance” and “science”, and hiding a faith-based agenda behind an alleged concern for women’s health, demands some investigation and response.

ACL’s invitation to the event was forwarded to Fairfax Media and came directly from Dan Flynn, the Victorian Director of ACL. Kristan Dooley, the contact provided on the event information, confirmed to Fairfax Media that the event is a fundraiser for Women’s Forum Australia.

The ACL is very clear on its purpose, as stated on its website it is “seeking to bring a Christian influence to politics”. If the ACL is promoting a fundraiser, it would be unlikely to do so without some faith-based or ideological alignment with the beneficiaries.

Pseudoscience and discredited conspiracy theories do nothing for the anti-abortion cause. Using such things to raise funds for further advocacy is egregiously unethical.

If these are the best arguments they can make for an ideological crusade against a legal medical procedure that saves women’s lives, they desperately need to rethink their strategy.

And in the meantime, Australian women can rest assured that if they require an abortion, the procedure is safe, legal (in most states) and entirely a matter for each individual to decide.

 

Via:- http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/news-and-views/opinion/the-christian-lobby-is-now-trying-to-convince-women-that-abortion-causes-breast-cancer-20161018-gs535e.html

 

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God is the Greatest Abortionist


NEAL - abortion _ b7NaWCn

God is the Greatest Abortionist

If there is a God, does this God choose life?

Not really. For example, God is the world’s greatest abortionist, and God evidently hates babies.

How many embryos and fetuses never make it to birth?  How many babies die in natural childbirth?  How many infants die before reaching age five?  The statistics are not good.  The most hazardous journey of life is the first few months. According to the calculations of Gregory Paul (see his published articles here), who used the best figures from embryology and neonatal doctors, as few as one-quarter of all conceptions avoid reabsorption or miscarriage, and of those fetuses that do make it to full-term, another large percentage die during natural childbirth.  It’s obvious that embryos are not well-designed for making it to infancy.

The female body was not well-designed for childbirth, either, since the ratio of fetal skull size to female hip size doesn’t make for great odds for the mother.  Every year, more than half a million women die in pregnancy or childbirth.  Natural evolution, not religion, explains the tough compromises forced on the human body, and why few embryos make it to infancy and so many mothers die in the process.

Although the odds of a fertilized egg making it to a live birth are less than 1 in 5, another hazardous journey through infancy lies ahead.  Before modern medicine, around 20% of children in England and the United States died before the age of five, and that number was much higher in pre-industrial societies.  For most of the existence of our human species, over the past one hundred thousand years or so, probably only around half of all born babies reached the age of five.

All these poor odds add up to the fact that for most of human existence there had to be 10 pregnancies or more to guarantee the life of a single five year old child. But that’s because humanity came into existence through natural evolution. And for those who think that God used natural evolution to create us, they need to wake up to the way that God could not be anything like the loving person who believers want to worship.

And worship and prayer does nothing to help these terrible odds against life.  Only in modern industrialized countries using secular scientific medicine do we see infant mortality rates dramatically reduced.  However, it remains generally true that countries with higher rates of religious faith have higher rates of infant mortality.  Is that part of God’s plan too?

Rick Santorum: Only dirty commies support the separation of church and state


Rick Santorum: Only dirty commies support the separation of church and state

The social conservative favorite is playing to type VIDEO

Rick Santorum: Only dirty commies support the separation of church and stateEnlargeRick Santorum (Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Rick “Man on Dog” Santorum made his political career as a champion of theocratic conservatism, so it’s hardly a surprise that he’s no fan of the separation of church and state.

But to Santorum, the concept of church-state separation isn’t merely misguided. It’s downright communist.

Santorum delivered this sizzling take in a conference call with social conservatives posted online today and flagged by the watchdog group Right Wing Watch. A caller told Santorum that that many of the policy priorities of President Obama and “the Democrat Party” appeared in Karl Marx’s “The Communist Manifesto”; the caller proceeded to cite a number of things, including same-sex marriage, that appear nowhere in the tome.

“Well, I was just thinking,” Santorum chimed in, “that the words ‘separation of church and state’ is not in the U.S. Constitution, but it was in the constitution of the former Soviet Union. That’s where it very, very comfortably sat, not in ours.”

The fact that the phrase “separation of church and state” doesn’t appear verbatim in the Constitution is a favorite right-wing talking point — one that conveniently glides over the founders’ explicitly expressed support for a “wall of separation.” It’s been a particular hobbyhorse of Santorum, who made headlines during his 2012 presidential campaign for saying that he “almost threw up” upon reading then-Sen. John F. Kennedy’s famed 1960 speech in which he advocated an “absolute” separation of church and state.

Santorum’s latest remarks don’t mark the first time he’s tarred an idea he doesn’t like with the pinko label. Earlier this year, he said that using the term “middle class” is “Marxism talk.”

“Since when in America do we have classes?” Santorum asked at the time. “Since when in America are people stuck in areas or defined places called a class? That’s Marxism talk.”

Early indications suggest that Santorum is prepared to take his anti-commie crusade to the 2016 presidential race, although it’s looking like America will be deprived of the chance to be led by the warrior for all that is good and godly. RealClearPolitics’ polling average finds Santorum in 11th place in the GOP field, garnering just 3 percent support.

Listen to Santorum’s newest comments, via Right Wing Watch:

Luke Brinker is Salon’s deputy politics editor. Follow him on Twitter at @LukeBrinker.

Why Does Texas Hate Women?


Why Does Texas Hate Women?

By mario piperni

Hillary Clinton - Quote on Abortion - http://mariopiperni.com/

Now that a federal appeals court has reinstated most of Texas’ Draconian abortion law, Hillary’s statement defending reproductive rights and family planning takes on an even greater significance. One third of abortion clinics in Texas will shut down immediately, forcing women seeking abortions to travel hours to seek proper medical care. Gov. Rick Perry has stated on a number of occasions that the clear goal is to abolish abortion in Texas.

In her 2009 statement, Hillary spoke of witnessing suffering in third world hospital waiting rooms where women were “fighting for their lives against botched abortions” and where “denial of family planning consigns women to lives of oppression and hardship.” Why would anyone believe that the same would not apply to Texas or any other state where the goal has been to abolish abortion and defund Planned Parenthood? Why would anti-choice organizations who profess to care about women’s health, go out and push for legislation which history and empirical data shows does the exact opposite. Reducing women’s health choices seriously endangers women’s lives.

What is wrong with these people and why do they hate women so?

___

Anti-Choicers Admit They Want to Imprison Women for Abortion


Iowa Anti-Choicers Admit They Want to Imprison Women for Abortion
Amanda Marcotte

by Amanda Marcotte

Rep. Rob Bacon of IowaRep. Rob Bacon of Iowa

A little over a month into 2013, and one thing is absolutely certain: Anti-choice legislators aren’t going to let the damage that their war on women did to their fellow conservative politicians’ electoral prospects slow them down from competing with each other to show who can concoct the most vile schemes to undermine women’s rights. Now Iowa Republicans are flexing their muscles, trying to show that they hate the ladies even more than the forced-transvaginal-ultrasound folks in Michigan, Texas, and Virginia, or the women-can’t-think-on-weekends-and-holidays nuts in South Dakota.

Nine state representatives in Iowa have introduced a bill that would define killing a fertilized egg as “murder”.

707.1 Murder defined.

1. A person who kills another person with malice aforethought either express or implied commits murder.

2. “Person”, when referring to the victim of a murder, means an individual human being, without regard to age of development, from the moment of conception, when a zygote is formed, until natural death.

Murder includes killing another person through any means that terminates the life of the other person including but not limited to the use of abortion-inducing drugs. For the purposes of this section, “abortion-inducing drug” means a medicine, drug, or any other substance prescribed or dispensed with the intent of terminating the clinically diagnosable pregnancy of a woman, with knowledge that the drug will with reasonable likelihood cause the termination of the pregnancy. “Abortion-inducing drug” includes the off-label use of drugs known to have abortion-inducing properties, which are prescribed specifically with the intent of causing an abortion, but does not include drugs that may be known to cause an abortion, but which are prescribed for other medical indications.

The point of this bill is, simply put, to throw women in jail for “murder” for deliberately ending pregnancies—and quite possibly for trying to prevent them, as many anti-choicers continue to insist, despite the evidence against them, that the pill and emergency contraception work by “killing” fertilized eggs. (They work by suppressing ovulation and preventing fertilization.) The language of this is quite expansive. They’re not only counting women who reach out to legal providers for abortion as “murderers,” but also women who go online and buy drugs for this purpose. The broadness of this suggests that they may even try to snag women for “murder” for taking common rue, a herbal medication women use to kick start their period (and potentially end an unwanted pregnancy) if they’re late.

This is a dramatic shift in the traditional anti-choice approach to discussing the issue of how to handle women who seek abortion. While I personally have no doubt that many to most anti-choicers fully intend and have always intended to get to a place where women are being jailed for abortion, the official stance of anti-choice legislators and activists is generally to deny believing that nearly a third of American women should go to jail for “murder.” Maintaining the illusion of disinterest in punishing women for abortion with jail is so important that after Rep. Cathrynn Brown of New Mexico was caught proposing jail for rape victims who get abortion, she rewrote the bill specifically to avoid the accusation.

Claiming they don’t believe that women who get abortions are murderers even while calling abortion “murder” has been a huge part of the anti-choice movement for years. (See discussions about it from 2006, 2007, and 2010, for instance. There’s also this fun video that makes the rounds periodically that demonstrates how inane this little dance really is.) This giant failure of logic stems from a couple of things, but mainly because it’s well-understood that anti-choicers don’t actually think abortion is murder, and just want to punish women for sex. And jail time for sex is just going to strike most people as inhumane in the extreme. So they’ve split the difference and said they intend to jail doctors but not women—a position, that while illogical in its rationale at least made them seem slightly less malevolent towards women.

So what’s changed that some anti-choicers, in Iowa at least, are coming out and not only admitting they want a third of women to go to jail for abortion, but are aggressively pushing for it? A huge chunk of it is the result of the overall shift rightward amongst conservatives in the past few years, a shift that is increasing extremism on many fronts, such as more overt racism and, as we’ve seen in recent weeks, an absolutist stance against gun control that resists even the most common sense measures.

But it’s probably also partially a reaction to the changing landscape of abortion. The growing popularity of medication abortion plus an abundance of illegal pharmacies selling all manner of drugs online and the increasing restrictions on legal abortion have created a situation where everyone believes—even though hard evidence is elusive—that more women are taking matters into their own hands when it comes to abortion. As Ada Calhoun of the New Republic explained:

Online, however, these drugs are readily available, often via suspicious-sounding sites that make claims like: “The Affordable Abortion Pill Will Safely, Quickly Terminate Your Undeveloped Fetus In The Privacy Of Your Home, Save You Time And Hundreds Of Dollars. It Is 100% Clinically Safe, Very Effective And The Most Affordable Abortion Pill You Will Get Your Hands On For Now!!!”

Determining how many American women have had home abortions is exceedingly difficult: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not track illegal abortions. There is no blood test for drugs like Cytotec, and so such an abortion is indistinguishable from a natural miscarriage, even to a doctor. However, the proliferation of online dispensers suggests a rising demand. There are thousands of websites selling Cytotec for as little as $45 to $75 (compared with $300 to $800 for a legal medicated abortion in a clinic). Some claim to offer the harder-to-come-by Mifeprex, but may in fact be peddling Cytotec, or aspirin, or nothing at all. (Possible sources for the drugs include Mexico, where Cytotec is available over the counter, or even the United States, since it’s also prescribed here as an ulcer medication.)

The traditional anti-choice stance of blaming the provider while pretending the patient is a mindless baby machine and not a choice-making person is harder to maintain in the face of women acting as their own providers. It’s common for anti-choicers to paint an image of an abortion patient as a woman who simply hasn’t thought about it—this also helps justify waiting periods to “think” it over—and who is a victim of greedy doctors and evil feminists who are somehow tricking women (who they clearly imagine are very, very stupid) into getting abortions. But even anti-choicers with the most active imaginations have to struggle with explaining how a woman can fire up a computer, search around for black market abortion-inducing drugs, and order them without being capable of making a decision and therefore being held accountable to the laws regarding that decision.

So this is where we’re at: Iowan anti-choicers admitting they want to throw women in jail for abortion. It’s an unpopular stance precisely because it lays bare the misogyny of the anti-choice movement. Instead of dithering around with more waiting periods and humiliating mandatory ultrasounds, I sort of hope more anti-choicers start demanding jail time for a third of American women. That sort of thing can offer clarity for people who had any doubt left that the anti-choice movement is, indeed, nothing but a war on women.

Suit Reveals Ties Among Radical Abortion Opponents


Suit Reveals Ties Among Radical Abortion Opponents
PHOTO: This combination of undated file photos shows Scott Roeder, left, and Angel Dillard.
This combination of undated file photos shows Scott Roeder, left, and Angel Dillard. (AP Photo)

By ROXANA HEGEMAN Associated Press 

A lawsuit against a Kansas woman who publicly proclaimed her admiration for the man who gunned down one of the country’s few late-term abortion providers is revealing the unwavering support a small group of radical anti-abortion activists has for the imprisoned killer despite an ongoing federal investigation into the 2009 slaying.

Though no federal indictments have been handed down by a grand jury investigating whether Dr. George Tiller’s death was connected to a broader case involving extreme anti-abortion activists, the lawsuit against Angel Dillard is one indication the Justice Department is taking a more heavy handed approach to perceived threats to abortion providers. In addition to alleging Dillard, of Valley Center, sent a threatening letter in 2011 to another Wichita doctor who was training to offer abortions, the lawsuit also highlights Dillard’s relationship with Scott Roeder, the man convicted of fatally shooting Tiller at the physician’s church.

When Roeder opened fire on Tiller, he propelled himself to icon status among abortion opponent extremists — a status that hasn’t wavered since he was sentenced to life in prison. A leader in the Army of God, which supports violence against abortion doctors, notes Roeder gets more correspondence than other imprisoned anti-abortion activists.

Hailed by militant anti-abortion forces as a “prisoner of Christ,” Roeder has been spreading his radical views from a Kansas prison. Other extremists have gravitated to Roeder, visiting him in prison, sending him money and offering legal advice, court documents show.

Abortion rights supporters fear a disturbing pattern whereby imprisoned abortion opponents inspire others to commit further acts of violence against abortion providers and clinics. But radical anti-abortion activists contend the government is trying to suppress “serious opposition” to abortion by targeting Dillard.

“We are always concerned when extremists are getting together and spreading hate and encouraging others to engage in criminal activity,” said Vicki Saporta, executive director of the National Abortion Federation, the professional association representing abortion providers.

A federal grand jury began investigating in 2010 whether Tiller’s murder was connected to a larger case involving radical anti-abortion activists. Though no public charges have been filed, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Dena Iverson, said the investigation is still open.

The lawsuit against Dillard was filed in April 2011 under a federal law aimed at protecting access to reproductive services. It seeks a court order keeping her from coming within 250 feet of the doctor, along with damages of $5,000 and a civil penalty of $15,000. The case is scheduled for trial in October.

Dillard had been under government scrutiny even before she mailed the letter to the Wichita doctor, and the FBI had interviewed her several times after she first wrote Roeder in prison.

“I think they just wanted to check us out and make sure that we weren’t nuts who were planning to pick up where they think Roeder left off,” Dillard told The Associated Press in 2009, adding that she and her husband had no plans to “do anything of violence to anyone” and wanted to minister to Roeder. Dillard also said she admired Roeder and developed a friendship with him.

Dillard is now claiming “ministerial privilege” in refusing to answer the government’s questions about that relationship. Her attorney, Donald McKinney, argued his client’s religious ministry is protected by the First Amendment. But defense filings in her case made public jail records detailing more than a dozen visits and deposits totaling $373 she made to Roeder’s inmate fund between April 2010 and March 2012. Those documents showed contributions from others.

The ongoing support for Roeder also is apparent in the appeal of his murder conviction. Seven abortion opponents who asked in 2010 and 2011 to file friend-of-the-court briefs were spurned without comment by the Kansas Supreme Court. Other activists are now writing legal briefs for Roeder to file himself, arguing Tiller’s death was necessary to defend the unborn. No oral arguments are scheduled in his appeal.

The Rev. Don Spitz of Virginia, who runs the Army of God website, which supports violence against abortion providers and clinics, is helping Roeder with correspondence.

Roeder likes to “debate” with people who write and often asks Spitz to mail them a militant anti-abortion book written by Paul Hill, a Florida man who was executed for murdering an abortion provider in 1994, Spitz said. Roeder also asks him to send them the book written by the Rev. Michael Bray, an Ohio activist and author of “A Time to Kill,” which defends using lethal force to protect the unborn.

Saporta said those offering Roeder legal help doesn’t concern her, “in that I don’t think any appeal is going to be successful, but nothing good happens when these people get together and reminisce and figure out how to target other providers,” noting Roeder had visited a woman who shot and wounded Tiller in 1993 and was later convicted in a series of abortion clinic arsons and bombings.

Roeder’s appeals attorney did not return a message for comment. Roeder declined comment from prison after the AP refused to guarantee everything he said would be printed verbatim.

Bray — who has spent four years in prison in connection with the destruction of abortion clinics in the Washington, D.C., area — attended Roeder’s trial. He still writes and visits Roeder in prison. One day last year, Bray and Dillard visited Roeder on the same day. Bray and another person were already ministering to Roeder when Dillard arrived, McKinney said, adding his client has not had any other contact with Bray other than meeting him at Roeder’s trial.

“Those who resisted seriously with force are shunned,” Bray said in a phone interview. “They are immediately dragged into jail or fined very weightily — fewer and fewer people are willing to stand in support because of the great oppression of those who do.”

 

Abortion More Common Where It’s Illegal: Where Are Rates Highest?


Abortion more common where it’s illegal: Where are rates highest?

 choice, abortion, sign, stock, 4x3

istockphoto

(CBS/AP) Abortion rates are highest where the procedure is illegal, according to a new study. The study also found nearly half of all abortions worldwide are unsafe, with the vast majority of unsafe abortions occurring in developing countries.

PICTURES – Abortion around the world: Where are rates highest?

As for the overall global abortion rate, it remained virtually unchanged from 2003 to 2008, at about 28 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 4 –  a total of about 43.8 million abortions – the study found. The rate had previously been dropping since 1995.

The new global abortion study – that’s published in the Jan. 19 issue of The Lancet – is from the U.S.-based Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization. Researchers found a link between higher abortion rates and regions with more restrictive legislation, such as in Latin America and Africa. They also found that 95 to 97 percent of abortions in those regions were unsafe.

Experts couldn’t say whether more liberal laws led to fewer procedures, but said good access to birth control in those countries resulted in fewer unwanted pregnancies.

About 47,000 women died from unsafe abortions in 2008, and another 8.5 million women had serious medical complications. Almost all unsafe abortions were in developing countries, where family planning and contraceptive programs have mostly levelled off.

“An abortion is actually a very simple and safe procedure,” Gilda Sedgh, study author and senior researcher at the Guttmacher Institute, said. “All of these deaths and complications are easily avoidable.”

The proportion of unsafe abortions rose from 44 percent in 1995 to 49 percent in 2008, researchers found. Sedgh acknowledged it was difficult to get an accurate number for unsafe abortions in particular and described their estimates as modest.

They used sources including official statistics, national surveys, and hospital records. To account for unreported abortions, they made adjustments and relied on information from other kinds of studies, expert assessments, and surveys of women.

The authors defined unsafe abortion as any procedure done by people lacking needed skills or in places that don’t meet minimal medical standards. Sedgh said some women in Africa resort to using broken soda bottles or taking strong doses of medicines or herbal drugs to induce abortions.

“It is precisely where abortion is illegal that it must become safer,” wrote Beverly Winikoff and Wendy R. Sheldon of the Gynuity Health Projects in New York, in an accompanying commentary.

Experts said increasing birth control options for women in poor countries, like providing long-acting implants, would make a big difference.

“Wherever we have made better contraception available in the countries where we work, hundreds of women will walk hours to get it,” said Dana Hovig, CEO of Marie Stopes International, a family planning organization. He was not connected to the study.

Which regions of the world have the highest abortion rates? Keep clicking to find out:

19 Photos

Abortion around the world: Where are rates highest?

Christian Conservative Magazine WORLD | Abortion Illegal in South Korea, But Abortion Rates are “double the U.S. rate.”


The Christian conservative magazine WORLD notes that while abortion is illegal in South Korea, abortion rates there are “double the U.S. rate.” As we’ve said before, abortion rates tend to be higher in countries where it is criminalized.

SOUTHERN LIVING: A 29-year-old who has decided to keep her baby is seen at the Duri Home, a center for unwed mothers in Seoul.Enlarge Image

Jean Chung/The International Herald Tribune/Redux

SOUTHERN LIVING: A 29-year-old who has decided to keep her baby is seen at the Duri Home, a center for unwed mothers in Seoul.

Woman Refused Abortion Dies In ‘Catholic Country’ | The Republican Party Intends Far Worse For American Women


Irish Hospital Refuses to Perform Abortion, Lets Woman Die
This is what the Republican Party wants for America
Posted by:-  Charles Johnson
This horrifying story from Ireland is a grim warning of what’s in store for the United States if the Republican Party’s anti-abortion agenda is allowed to succeed: Woman ‘Denied a Termination’ Dies in Hospital.

Two investigations are under way into the death of a woman who was 17 weeks pregnant, at University Hospital Galway last month.

Savita Halappanavar (31), a dentist, presented with back pain at the hospital on October 21st, was found to be miscarrying, and died of septicaemia a week later.

Her husband, Praveen Halappanavar (34), an engineer at Boston Scientific in Galway, says she asked several times over a three-day period that the pregnancy be terminated. He says that, having been told she was miscarrying, and after one day in severe pain, Ms Halappanavar asked for a medical termination.

This was refused, he says, because the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.

She spent a further 2½ days “in agony” until the foetal heartbeat stopped.

Note the hospital’s reason for refusing this poor woman an abortion: a heartbeat was present.

This is exactly the kind of law the Republican Party is pushing in many states – to define human life as beginning when a heartbeat is audible.

It’s no exaggeration at all to say this is what the GOP wants for America. They’re working hard to make it happen, right now.

Raped By Stepfather at 13 | Forced to Get Illegal Abortion in Mexico


Raped by stepfather at 13, Forced to illegal abortion Mexico

Raped By Stepfather at 13 | Forced to Illegal Abortion in Mexico

By Dawn Hill

I Was Raped By My Stepfather at 13 and Forced to Get an Illegal Abortion in Mexico

I became pregnant, contrary to the “scientific theories” of many modern Republicans. Not only was the experience loathsome and painful, it was also impossible for me to deal with or talk about because abortion was illegal in the 1950s.

This is one of a series of powerful stories from survivors of rape, you will find them all here .

Last week, Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock argued in a debate that women who have been raped should not have access to abortion services because their pregnancies are a “gift from god.” As a survivor of childhood sexual violence, I disagree with him completely.

My name is Dawn Hill. Though I am old now, there was a time when I was young and carefree as you perhaps are now or can remember being in your childhood. Childhood should be a happy and carefree time for all our children, but my mother found her new husband, my stepfather, much more important. He forever took the joy away from my life when I was just 11 years old: He began molesting me and continued until he began raping me when I was 13.

Mr. Mourdock last night said: “I came to realize life is that gift from God, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape. It is something that God intended to happen.”

I became pregnant, contrary to the “scientific theories” of many modern Republicans. Not only was the experience loathsome and painful, it was also impossible for me to deal with or talk about because of the times: in the fifties, abortion was illegal. Illegal in the same way the Republican Party platform states it wants to make abortion now by constitutional amendment and just as Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has suggested casually he would “be delighted” to return to.

Please, take a moment to travel back to the fifties with me.

My mother took me to Mexico, where anyone could get an abortion for a price. I have blocked out many memories associated with this entire experience, but I remember the pain. Illegal abortions are not the simple safe vacuum procedure used today by legal abortion providers. Oh, no: They were a “dilatation and curettage.”

This means that my cervix was mechanically opened by insertion of larger and larger metal “dilators” until it was opened enough to get a sort of sharpened spoon inside my 13-year-old uterus, while strangers looked at my exposed parts that were theretofore called “private.”

It was cold and dirty in the room, and then the true torture started. They shoved this curette into me and scraped away the entire lining of my uterus with the sharp side. I screamed the entire time even though no one had seen so much as a tear out of me before this moment because I had developed a stony stoicism to protect my mind from the molestation.

This pain was, however, like nothing I’ve ever felt before or since. Can you imagine what happened to those women and girls who couldn’t even get this barbaric abortion? They stuck wire hangers into themselves and bled to death or suffered other horrible complications. Then, too, I also got a terrible infection from the filthy conditions.

I can tell you, though, that I would have gotten a hundred illegal abortions before carrying that monster’s offspring and going through labor, even to give the child away. That would have been the unkindest cut of all.

For women and girls, safe legal abortions are essential. While many will choose a different path than I with their pregnancies, having that choice is essential. Any encroachment on that right is an encroachment on the life, liberty, and safety of the women and girls of America.

Related articles

Right Wing Neanderthal Tod Akin | Using Government to Coerce Women


Todd Akin, right-wing hero

The Republican Senate candidate in Missouri doesn’t just spew anti-abortion rhetoric, he acts on it

BY THE AMERICAN PROSPECT

Todd Akin, right-wing hero

This article originally appeared on The American Prospect.

The American ProspectTodd Akin, the Republican challenger for Claire McCaskill’s U.S. Senate seat representing Missouri, has made himself a national figure so far this election season by declaring that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape” and claiming that abortion clinics routinely perform abortions on women who aren’t actually pregnant. But what’s garnered less attention, until this week, has been Akin’s history of not just saying but also doing disturbing things. His history shows a lifelong dedication to a misogynist right-wing ideology that flirts with using force to get its way when persuasion fails.

Akin has friends in high places. He spent his time in Congress working with vice-presidential candidate and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, with whom he crafted anti-choice legislation that would—surprise—redefine rape narrowly to eliminate many rapes that don’t involve overt violence to subdue the victim. This would better reflect Akin’s belief that many to most rapes are not “legitimate.” It’s tempting to imagine that radicals like Akin are outside the mainstream but, as I’ve written before, he and his ilk have come to control the party. So, who is Todd Akin?

It’s no secret that Akin used to be part of militant abortion groups that have lulled the public into calling them “protesters,” even though their tactics—taunting abortion-clinic patients and stalking providers in a threatening manner—are better described as harassment that verges on terrorism. We’ve grown to accept these ghouls who’ve become part of abortion-clinic scenery and who clearly long for the days when sexually disobedient women could be put in the stocks.

What’s faded from memory somewhat is how much worse they used to be, before a string of vicious murders and bombings in the 1990s caused Congress to pass federal legislation in 1994, signed by President Bill Clinton, that increases the penalties for using physical force to close clinics and scare patients away from getting abortions. Todd Akin “protested” in those days of extreme anti-choice militancy, and as the liberal research group People for the American Way has reported, was arrested in 1987 as part of a Mother’s Day attack on a St. Louis clinic, when militants tried to physically block patients from entering the clinic. (Celebrating Mother’s Day by trying to physically force childbirth on the unwilling sounds an awful like celebrating Labor Day by strike-breaking.) The Huffington Post revealed Tuesday that Akin had been arrested at least three previous times for criminal trespass in 1985 during invasions of abortion clinics, events that included screaming invective at patients and trying to block access to clinics.

Akin was caught on tape last year bragging to a right-wing group about his arrest, and when People for the American Way confronted him about it, he claimed he would fill them in on the details later. His campaign broke that promise, and little wonder why. The group’s researchers dug around and found that Akin associated with the Pro-Life Direct Action League and Whole Life Ministries, groups that used aggressive action aimed directly at private citizens as the mainstay of their activism.

As reported by Salon, Akin’s aggressive activities didn’t stop with his recorded attempts to force individual women to bear children by blocking access to abortion. Akin once publicly defended a friend who assaulted another woman at an abortion clinic. It was 1989, and Akin was campaigning for Congress and serving as a Missouri state representative. Using official state letterhead, Akin wrote a letter on behalf of the friend, Teresa Frank, who was convicted of battery for shoving another woman to the ground during a July action at an abortion clinic. The language he used further reveals his ugly, outdated view of women, even those he’s defending: “Teresa is a deeply sensitive and caring person,” he wrote, “but along with this, she is also one very frightened little girl.”

At the time, Frank was 41 years old, a mother, and a friend of Akin’s wife. But Akin’s is a worldview in which women don’t ever get to be full adults but are, at best, little girls. That persists even when he’s not accusing them of inventing rape to cover up for having consensual sex, or suggesting they’re so stupid that doctors routinely trick them into thinking they’re pregnant so they can perform unnecessary abortions on them. It’s easy to see how a man with such a low opinion of women convinced himself that he has the power and the right to physically stop them from exercising their reproductive rights. To him, women fall somewhere on the creation scale between small children and wild animals, and the only appropriate response is to exert control instead of letting them make up their own minds about their lives and their bodies.

After Clinton signed the law that attempted to squelch the rising tide of violence and harassment against abortion providers—activism that Akin participated in—seven clinic workers were murdered between 1993 and 1998, before the violence receded. In the past decade, only Dr. George Tiller, a doctor in Kansas who performed late-term abortions, was killed by such violence, in 2009. Most anti-abortion militants are limited to yelling invective or trying to shame women who want abortions by passive-aggressively praying at them. Most understand that aggressive actions can result in federal prosecutions. But as Akin’s continued pride in front of anti-choice audiences shows, this doesn’t mean the movement has abandoned the ideologies that justify the use of force to mandate that all pregnant women give birth. They’ve just learned to elect their warriors to political office, where they can use the government to exert the force that militants used to employ directly.

Read more of The American Prospect at http://www.prospect.org.

RAPE “that’s something God intended” GOP Senate Candidate Tells Women


 

GOP Senate Candidate Shouldn’t Tell Women God Wants Them To Have Babies From Rape

Richard Mourdock Abortion Rape

 

Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Tuesday that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, “that’s something God intended,” and that she should not be able to get an abortion. Is this shocking to you?

Read More at: http://hollywoodlife.com/2012/10/24/richard-mourdock-abortion-rape-victims-god-intended-pregnant/#utm_source=copypaste&utm_campaign=referral

Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Tuesday that when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, “that’s something God intended,” and that she should not be able to get an abortion. Is this shocking to you?

Read More at: http://hollywoodlife.com/2012/10/24/richard-mourdock-abortion-rape-victims-god-intended-pregnant/#utm_source=copypaste&utm_campaign=referral

Would Desperate Rape Victims Seek Illegal Abortions? Joelle Gomez, executive director of the Women’s Center in Stockton, Cali., which counsels 4,000 rape victims a year, worries that raped women might seek unsafe abortions, as they did in the past. And as in the past, they might die from illegal abortions.

Read More at: http://hollywoodlife.com/2012/10/24/richard-mourdock-abortion-rape-victims-god-intended-pregnant/#utm_source=copypaste&utm_campaign=referral

Will Women Have Any Rights? But Mourdock’s position is so extreme that it leads Gloria Feldt, the former President of Planned Parenthood, to believe that the “whole issue of women’s reproductive rights, isn’t about what God thinks, but about not seeing the ‘personhood’ of women.” “If you don’t have the right to own and control your own body, then other rights are meaningless,” she explains. “Also, would God really want women to be punished. It’s so cruel.”

Read More at: http://hollywoodlife.com/2012/10/24/richard-mourdock-abortion-rape-victims-god-intended-pregnant/#utm_source=copypaste&utm_campaign=referral

Religious Neanderthal Todd Akin Arrested in 1987 With Radical Anti-Abortion Group


Missouri Caveman Todd Akin Arrested in 1987 With Radical Anti-Abortion Group
Very bad craziness
 Via:-Charles Johnson

It’s easy to laugh at Todd Akin’s ridiculous caveman views, but Akin and the deranged anti-choice fanatics he associates with are really not a laughing matter; they’re deadly serious and willing to break laws: Todd Akin Arrested on May 9, 1987 With Radical Anti-Abortion Group.

We learned from a public records request that Akin was arrested on May 9, 1987 in St. Louis. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch covered the protest and reported the following day that police “arrested 30 anti-abortion protesters” for blocking “the front doors of Reproductive Health Services” while about “50 anti-abortion activists picketed two clinics” in St. Louis County. The Post-Dispatch quoted the spokesman for the protesters, John Ryan, who said the actions “were in honor of Mother’s Day.”

At the time, Ryan was head of the Pro-Life Direct Action League. He and his organization were among those sued by the National Organization for Women in 1986, which sought to “stop what it called a nationwide conspiracy to close abortion clinics.” “We believe there is a reign of terror going on,” said Eleanor Smeal, then president of NOW. She labeled Ryan – who had been “arrested almost 350 times” by then – a “terrorist.”

This is who Akin chose to get involved with in 1987 – and it gets worse. Ryan was pushed out as head of the Pro-Life Direct Action League around September 1987 and replaced by an aggressive, fundamentalist leader, Tim Dreste. Dreste affiliated the group with Randall Terry’s radical Operation Rescue the following summer. This is the same Randall Terry who later said of abortion providers, “When I, or people like me are running the country, you’d better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we’ll execute you.”

Dreste shared a jail cell with Terry in September 1988 and returned to St. Louis under orders to break with the Catholic-dominated Pro-Life Direct Action League. Just one month later, Akin appeared at an event for Dreste’s new group, Whole Life Ministries.

The Post-Dispatch reported on October 29 that Akin, who was elected days later to public office, “spoke to about 35 anti-abortion activists” planning to block clinic doors the next day. He said, “As far as I am concerned, you are the freedom fighters of America.” “My hat is off to you,” he continued.

The article identified Dreste as director of Whole Life Ministries, “a new anti-abortion group in St. Louis.” “We’re going to tell her we’re not going to allow her to kill her baby,” he said. Dreste made clear that protesters would block the clinic doors and refuse police orders to move. “We will tell (police) we will obey God’s law before we obey man’s law.” Sound familiar?

GOP Delegate Claims Disabled Children Are God’s Curse


GOP Delegate Bob Marshall Claims That Disabled Children Are God’s Punishment for Abortion

After his remarks set off a national controversy, Marshall tried to claim that he had somehow been misunderstood:

A story by Capital News Service regarding my remarks at a recent press conference opposing taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood conveyed the impression that I believe disabled children are a punishment for prior abortions. No one who knows me or my record would imagine that I believe or intended to communicate such an offensive notion[.] I regret any misimpression my poorly chosen words may have created[.]

But the video speaks for itself. Marshall explicitly stated that he believes God punishes women who have abortions by giving them disabled children. And then he backed up his claim with what he evidently considered to be evidence (and the gentleman to his left nodded in agreement).

Marshall is entitled to his offensive views, but he should not run from them.

It’s worth noting that Marshall has a history of saying offensive things – or being ‘misinterpreted.’

He said this about abortion in the case of rape: “[T]he woman becomes a sin-bearer of the crime, because the right of a child predominates over the embarrassment of the woman.”

And he said this about contraception: “[W]e have no business passing this garbage out and making these co-eds chemical Love Canals for these frat house playboys in Virginia.”

Marshall was not the only one at last week’s press conference to say something completely ridiculous and offensive, or as Marshall calls it – creating a ‘misimpression.’

Rev. Joe Ellison said he agrees with Pat Robertson’s comments that Haitians brought the recent devastating earthquake on themselves by striking a deal with the Devil and practicing voodoo:

From a spiritual standpoint, we think the Dr. Robertson was on target about Haiti, in the past, with voodoo. And we believe in the Bible that the practice of voodoo is a sin, and what caused the nation to suffer. Those who read the Bible and study the history know that what Dr. Robertson said was the truth.

And let’s remember. These guys aren’t just some sideshow attraction in Virginia’s state capital. They hold sway with top Virginia Republicans, including Gov. Bob McDonnell, and are making gains in their war on the reproductive rights of Virginia women

Fetus Fetish | The Christian Reich’s Phoney Abortion Politics Furthering Misogyny and Patriarchy


Fetus Love: Christian Right‘s Abortion Politics Furthers Patriarchy
Anti-Choice Politics is More About Oppressing Women than Loving Fetuses

By , About.com Guide

Conservative Christians in America can exhibit a strange obsession with fetuses. They appear to be willing to sacrifice any level of women’s personal autonomy and civil rights in the “interests” of the fetus, even though similar measures would not be taken to protect the interests of a fully-grown and conscious adult human in analogous circumstances. Perhaps this is because their agenda is less about the alleged interests of the fetus and more about promoting a patriarchal culture where women are kept subordinate.

It would be unusual, if not impossible, for people to adopt political positions in isolation, which is to say without those positions being interdependent with a variety of other political positions. Even if this might be true with a few individuals, it’s not true of entire political movements. Attempts to explain or understand the anti-choice movement in America requires us to therefore take into consideration positions on contraception, feminism, marriage equality, rape, women in the workforce, religious dogmas on the roles of women, welfare spending, education policies, and so forth.

In Sacred Choices: The Right to Contraception and Abortion in Ten World Religions, Daniel C. Maguire writes:

There is ample reason to say that this newborn love of fetuses is but a cover for the patriarchal fear of the free woman who is appearing in our day. Can we really believe that patriarchal Catholics, patriarchal Protestants, and patriarchal Muslims, after centuries of warring with one another, are suddenly and stunningly bonded by fetus-love? […]
What lurks beneath family value rhetoric on the right — among Protestants and Catholics — is a kind of sweet love ethic that loses sight of social justice and the needs of the common good. This makes the right the darling of the harsher modes of capitalism. The suppression of social conscience and concern for the poor that is masked by family value piety, really intends, in [Beverly] Harrison’s [former professor of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York] view, “to make Christianity the ‘handmaiden’ of ‘the Market God’ who brooks no rivals.”

So-called “family values” are really the faith-based “values” of rigidly defined gender roles — not just in the family, but also in the workplace, politics, culture, and society generally. These are the “values” of white, Christian men retaining public positions of privilege, power, and dominance while women are relegated to more private and hidden positions where whatever “power” or “skills” they are allowed to exercise are automatically devalued. No matter how much some may protest that the role of housewife and mother are critical for the future of society, for example, men who choose to adopt such roles are derided and their masculinity is questioned.

Glorifying the fetus is an effective tactic in promoting a patriarchal agenda because it allows people to subordinate women’s autonomy and civil rights without admitting that that’s what they are doing. They can claim altruistic motives on behalf of the fetus in a manner that is analogous to how more general civil rights are narrowed on the basis of calls to “protect the children” from some amorphous threat. So long as somewhere, somehow, some child may be threatened, it’s acceptable for the basic liberties and civil rights of everyone to be constrained.

In both cases, it is clear that concern for the children or the fetuses isn’t really motivating them because all their “concern” seems to end once we stop talking about limiting the rights of others as part of the protection efforts. If you try to turn the conversation towards increased food assistance, better education, environmental cleanups, and so forth, suddenly you’re a socialist who is trying to inappropriately infringe on the economic liberties of the wealthy.

This is also why contraception is becoming a focus of concern by the same people: contraception allows women to avoid becoming pregnant and thereby becoming subject to fetus-based restrictions on female autonomy. A woman who chooses when and if she becomes pregnant is a woman exercising personal autonomy and personal choices, precisely what theses religious conservatives oppose. No fetus even exists yet, so obviously the opposition to contraception isn’t motivated by a desire to defend one. Instead, it’s motivated by a desire to create more fetuses and thus create more situations where women can be denied the ability to exercise personal autonomy.

It’s not just female autonomy that is targeted by religious conservatives,. All autonomy is subject to attack because personal, human autonomy means having the ability to act contrary to the will of God. Autonomy is simply another label for blasphemy and apostasy as far as some Christian Nationalists are concerned. It’s not a coincidence that the most frequent targets of censorship or other restrictions on civil liberties are also often the ones which create the most consternation for devout religious believers.

It’s theoretically possible to favor criminalizing abortions while opposing the establishment of a stronger faith-based patriarchy throughout politics and culture, but working for the former in today’s political context means helping people who are working for the latter. It’s a bit like someone favoring a national fingerprint and DNA database of all citizens while opposing the establishment of a fascist or dictatorial government. Sure, it’s theoretically possible, but even in the current climate supporting the former means making the latter much more likely; in a climate where there is a large, powerful political movement trying to achieve the latter, no one pushing the former could legitimately feign ignorance or innocence.

So regardless of how strongly they protest their opposition to patriarchy and faith-based oppression of women, anyone who supports restrictions on or the criminalization of abortion is objectively aiding and abetting precisely those goals. Politically speaking, what’s the difference between them and someone who does indeed actively desire those goals?

Newt Gingrich | Catholic Facsist Theocrat


Gingrich Promises Presidential Commission On Ending The Separation Of Church/State

Catholic Crusader Newt Gingrich has published a document vowing that “on Day One” of his presidency he will create a commission to investigate any attempt to enforce the separation of church and state. He also promises that he will thwart any attempt to stop the religious bullying of LGBT students.

Effectively, Gingrich is saying that he endorses the right of Christians to express “their conscience” and harass, threaten, bully, and beat LGBT kids if God says they should.

 

 

Gingrich To Force Women to Birth Rapists’ Babies


Gingrich: I’ll Force Women to Bear Rapists’ Babies

The Republican Party’s monstrous anti-choice positions
Via:- Charles Johnson

If anyone ever asks again why I left … no, ran away from the right, here’s one of the main reasons: the utter heartlessness of a party so morally bankrupt that it would force women to bear the babies of rapists and incestuous family members. Gingrich: I ‘Wouldn’t Make Exceptions’ For Abortions In Cases Of Rape Or Incest.

With Gingrich now changing his previously stated views, the majority of the Republican candidates for President are onboard with this monstrous position — a position not arrived at through reason or rationality, but through religious fanaticism. Bad craziness indeed.

Rick Perry Embraces Sadistic Anti-Choice Fanatics


Rick Perry Joins the Heartless Anti-Choice Fanatics

Via Charles Johnson

It’s horrifying to hear almost all the GOP presidential candidates proudly saying that victims of rape or incest should be forced to give birth to an attacker’s child. There’s nothing that makes the utter heartlessness of this fanatical agenda more evident, and now Rick Perry (who previously supported rape/incest exceptions) has announced that he’s a monster like the rest of them: Perry changes stance to oppose all abortions.

CNNTexas Gov. Rick Perry revealed a hardening in his stance on abortion Tuesday, telling a crowd in Iowa that he opposed abortions in all cases, including when a woman had been raped or the victim of incest.

Previously, Perry had not opposed the procedure in cases of rape or incest, or when the mother’s life was threatened.

Responding to a question about the change in position, Perry said, “You’re seeing a transformation.”

Perry told the crowd at his campaign stop that the decision came after watching a documentary on abortion produced by former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

“That transformation was after watching the DVD, ‘The Gift of Life,’” Perry said. “And I really started giving some thought about the issue of rape and incest. And some powerful, some powerful stories in that DVD.”

Perry said a woman who appeared in the movie who said she was a product of rape moved him to change his mind about abortion.

“She said, ‘My life has worth.’ It was a powerful moment for me,” Perry said.

Maryland Father Newest Target for Anti-Choice Terrorism


Maryland Father Newest Target for Anti-Choice Terrorism

by Kari Ann Rinker [1], National Organization for Women (NOW), Kansas

September 13, 2011 – 11:38pm (Print [2])

Cheryl Sullenger of Operation Rescue, shown here protesting in Iowa against the use of telemedicine for abortions

Cheryl Sullenger appeared before the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) last week [10] to speak out in favor of the abortion regulations known as TRAP (targeted regulation of abortion providers). [10] Fifteen minutes into her commentary, the hearing officer finally saw fit to end her tirade against abortion doctors and physically removed her from the podium.

The litany of alleged abuses and manufactured transgressions of the “abortion industry” in Kansas, for which Ms. Sullenger declared moral outrage, was not unexpected. Cheryl is the Senior Policy Advisor for Operation Rescue [11]. As I watched her being removed from the podium, I wondered how many people listening to her were aware of her background? Ms. Sullenger works for an organization that professionally harasses physicians, clinic employees and their patients. Beyond this, Ms. Sullenger has the ultimate “pro-life” credentials of being a federally convicted terrorist. She has served jail time for conspiracy to bomb an abortion clinic in California.

From Tara Murtha at the Philadelphia Weekly:

In 1987 Sullenger pled guilty to conspiring to blow up San Diego’s Alvarado Medical Center with a gasoline bomb. Sullenger served two years in federal prison. Her name and phone number was found on Scott Roeder’s dashboard after Tiller’s murder. [12]

James McElroy [13], a civil-rights attorney who won the judgment against Jeff White, says both Sullenger and (Troy) Newman had restraining orders filed against them. “Suffice it to say they were in legal trouble most of the time they were in San Diego. They had very little respect for the law,” says McElroy. “Not laws protecting private property or against harassing people or disturbing the peace … They are not the kind of people you want rolling into town.”

And more from the January 04, 1988 [14] LA Times:

Cheryl Sullenger, 32, and her husband, Randall, 35, until recently were resident apartment managers in Spring Valley. Many of the overt acts listed in the federal indictment revolve around Cheryl Sullenger, a longtime activist in the Pro-Life movement. The informant told police that Randall Sullenger, a warehouse worker, conducted moonlight surveillance of possible bombing targets. Cheryl Sullenger gave Svelmoe a woman’s wig to wear as a disguise during the bombing attempt. The Sullengers also collected from Svelmoe the byproducts of the pipe bomb and agreed to destroy them.

From the May 06, 1988 [15] LA Times:

Gillam staggered the sentences so that at least one of the Sullengers could stay home with their two daughters, ages 6 and 4. Cheryl Sullenger will begin her term after her husband has completed his sentence.

This “pro-life” maven was busy doing nighttime surveillance and making bombs with her husband, willfully putting her own children in a situation where they would be without both their mother and father, while they did jail time for their crimes Despite all of this, here she was in front of a crowded room at a high profile state proceeding professing knowledge about what makes an abortion clinic safe, when her knowledge of such clinics consists primarily of conspiracy to bomb one.

Local media has repeatedly sought her for comment and her words have been printed. She has often been treated as a source of reputable authority for the anti-choice movement. The media would be served just as well to seek out Scott Roeder, convicted murderer of Dr. George Tiller, for his take on matters of abortion in Kansas. Her words are sensational and inflammatory, but her personal actions are much worse, having proven violent in the past.

Cheryl isn’t just one bad apple, just as her friend, Scott Roeder, is no lone wolf. Their actions are par for the course within these groups who advocate against abortion rights. Theirs is a family that not only prays together, they harass and conspire together. They pass along information and techniques that have proven successful through the years.

Just months after Dr. Tiller’s assassination, Operation Rescue called for a siege on Dr. Carhart’s clinic in Nebraska. They have since followed this Doctor to his new practice in Germantown, Maryland. They have been at the forefront of a coalition dedicated to driving Dr. Carhart out of town, by any means possible. [16] Another coalition partner called Defend Life has taken up Operation Rescue’s torch while they have been busy here in Kansas. Defend Life has moved their focus to the owner of the building where Dr. Carhart practices medicine. This is a play straight from Wichita, where the landlord of Dr. Mila Means (at the urging of Operation Rescue) took her to court to prevent her from providing abortions within her office space [17]. As she searched for other locations to rent, a prospective landlord was then harassed at her home with phone calls and the empty building itself was picketed.

In typical anti-choice terrorist fashion, Defend Life has included Dr. Carhart’s landlord’s name, photograph, email, home address and phone number in a mass email to their followers. They have even provided the names of his two middle school aged children. They have been in front of his school, greeting the students with a sign with his picture and phone number on it for several days. This is some text from the email that was sent…

 

“_____________ is the building owner and landlord for Germantown Reproductive Health Services. This is where Abortionist LeRoy Carhart conducts his reign of terror killing fully viable 25 – 35 week old preborn babies.

___________ and LeRoy Carhart have turned Maryland into the late term child killing capital of the world, and you can help bring an end to the needless slaughter of these innocent babies. Although ________ and his wife _______ have been blessed with two incredible children, _________ and ___________, he was not raised in an environment that taught him about the sanctity of human life.”

I spoke with the Maryland landlord who is being harassed. His main concern was for his children. This “pro-life posse,” unabashedly obsessed with the unborn, put the lives of school-aged children at risk through the targeting of this father. It is unabashedly dangerous and it is the preferred organizational model of the anti-choice movement.

Source http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2011/09/13/maryland-father-school-principal-newest-target-antichoice-terrorism-0

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[1] http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/user/kari-rinker
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[6] http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/tag/cheryl-sullenberger
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[8] http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/tag/scott-roeder
[9] http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/taxonomy/term/8269
[10] http://m.cjonline.com/news/2011-09-07/abortion-activists-clash-over-clinic-rules
[11] http://www.operationrescue.org/
[12] http://blogs.pitch.com/plog/2009/06/inside_the_car_of_the.php
[13] http://www.jmcelroylaw.com/
[14] http://articles.latimes.com/1988/jan/04
[15] http://articles.latimes.com/1988/may/06
[16] http://www.deaconforlife.blogspot.com/2010/12/operation-rescue.html
[17] http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/mila-means-abortion-tiller-wichita
[18] http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/files/teaser-images/cherylsullenger (1).jpg
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