‘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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Christian terrorists stage truck attack and set cars alight in fury over erotic film in Russia

Christian terrorists stage truck attack and set cars alight in fury over erotic film in Russia
Matilda, a film about Tsar Nicholas II’s relationship with a ballerina, sparked outrage among extremists.
Josh RobbinsBy Josh Robbins

Christian terrorists in Russia have been blamed for a string of violent protests in recent weeks against a big-budget film about the last king of Russia and his ballerina mistress.

In February, the ultra-orthodox group Christian State-Holy Rus warned that “cinemas will burn” if Matilda – an erotically charged account of Tsar Nicholas II’s relationship with Mathilde Kschessinska – was publicly screened.

The film was due to premiere in Moscow on 11 September. However, the screening was pulled for “technical reasons” after burnt out cars were left by the offices of lawyers representing the director along with a note reading: “Burn for Matilda”, Fontaku.ru reports.

Nicholas II was canonised by the Orthodox Church in 2000, prompting groups like Christian State-Holy Rus to claim award-winning director Alexei Uchitel’s film is a blasphemy.

His studios in St Petersburg were attacked with petrol bombs on 31 August while on 4 September a truck was driven into a cinema in the central city Yekaterinburg, setting the building on fire, in an attack police linked to Matilda. So far no one has been injured.

The film had its first screening on Monday in the eastern city of Vladivostock. Audience members were required to arrive 30 minutes early to go through enhanced security checks.

It is due to go on general release in late October, but the protests show no sign of abating.

Christian terrorists Russia Matilda
Burnt out cars were left by suspected Christian terrorists Facebook / Konstantin Dobrynin

MP Natalia Poklonskaya, a senior member of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, has called for the film to be banned, contesting that the film breaks the 2013 law of “insulting the feelings of religious believers”.

Konstantin Dobrynin, the lawyer whose offices were targeted by the burnt out cars, said on Facebook: “While Poklonskaya is telling everyone about some lawsuits by relatives of the holy tsar and trying to ban the film, her supporters continue throwing petrol bombs and start fires.

“And all this is happening simultaneously. Today they showed their face to Moscow and Muscovites, and came to our office. At 5.30am. Have a nice day, Russia.”

Holy Russia and Putin

St Isaac's cathedral St Petersburg
General view of St.Issac’s Cathedral. St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St.Petersburg Getty

Orthodox Christianity is undergoing a revival in Russia – decades after religion was suppressed by Soviet communists. Religious conservatives in Russia are fearful that without the church their country will descend into a decadent hellpit full of homosexuals and paedophiles like – in their view – western Europe.

In this climate, several extremist groups like Christian State-Holy Russia – who made the initial “cinemas will burn threat” – are blossoming.

Holy Russia leader Alexander Kalinin, 33, told Eurozine: ‘If they spit at my church, humiliate my faith, and everything that is holy, then by the law of God, I am forbidden to tolerate this.”

When asked about the being labelled a “Christian terrorist,” he replied: “That’s fine. Let them.”

President Vladimir Putin approved the 2013 blasphemy law, which is believed to be supported by around four fifths of Russians. He has previously urged artists to show “tact and respect” when dealing with religious subjects.


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American Pastor Who Helped Uganda Create ‘Kill The Gays’ Law Will Be Tried For Crimes Against Humanity

American Pastor Who Helped Uganda Create ‘Kill The Gays’ Law Will Be Tried For Crimes Against Humanity

Author: Jameson Parker

scott livy 3d26f01d0b605965791d0b52a5544d27

Most of us go our entire lives without ever standing trial for crimes against humanity. Then again, most of us aren’t notorious bigot Pastor Scott Lively, whose life work seems to be to ask the question: “How can I make gay people miserable across the world?”

In the United States Lively’s homophobic messages are largely ignored, and in recent years he has had to endure various setbacks at the state and federal level as equality makes historic gains. Undeterred, Lively has sought out foreign lands where his particular brand of ruthless anti-gay ideas are more accepted. In Uganda, he found a home away from home. During a Christian “workshop” in the African nation he managed to become one of the principal architects behind some of the most retrograde anti-gay legislation on the planet.

Officially titled the “Anti-Homosexuality Act” and more commonly known as the “Kill the Gays” bill, Lively’s vision was nothing less than a roadmap for the total persecution and eradication of homosexuals from Uganda. In Lively’s original design, anyone caught engaging in homosexuality would be executed. A newer bill softened that stance slightly after worldwide condemnation – in the latest version, homosexuals would only be sentenced to life in prison.

Unfortunately for Lively, orchestrating genocide in another country is kind of frowned upon, and in 2012 a lawsuit was filed against Lively in federal court in Massachusetts for crimes against humanity. This week, the First Circuit Court of Appeals denied Lively’s final request to have it dismissed because, well, the whole genocide thing.

During his lengthy appeals process, one would think that Lively would lay low and avoid saying anything that suggests he isn’t at all sorry for helping Uganda try to kill its gay population. Instead, Lively has continued to double down on his efforts to spread as much homophobia as possible. It’s gotten so bad that the watchdog group Human Rights Campaign dedicated September to chronicle the various ways Lively and his anti-gay ministry were “exporters of hate.

Scott Lively is the head of Abiding Truths Ministry in Springfield, Massachusetts and is known around the world for his notorious work successfully advocating for anti-LGBT laws in Uganda that could send LGBT people to prison for life. In fact, Lively has traveled the world over presenting himself as an expert on LGBT issues, urging lawmakers to crack down on LGBT rights and the right of free expression.

In 2007, Lively wrote in “Letter to the Russian People,” “Homosexuality is a personality disorder that involves various often dangerous sexual addictions and aggressive anti-social impulses.”

And this week, while he awaited his fate at his crimes against humanity trial, Lively told Trunews that homosexuality should be considered “more offensive” than mass killings, because gay people caused the Great Flood that wiped out the human race (technically, God did, and technically there is no evidence of that actually occurring, but who’s counting?).

“Homosexuality is not just another sin,” he said according to Right Wing Watch, “it is the sin that defines rebellion against God, the outer edge of rebellion against God and it is the harbinger of God’s wrath, that’s why the Scripture gives the warning, ‘as in the days of Noah.’”

In a way it makes sense that Lively would be adamant that homosexuality was worse than mass murder, considering that the mass murder of gay people is what he stands accused of trying to achieve.

Lively currently lives in Springfield, Massachusetts, and hopefully soon will have a permanent residency behind bars.

h/t Death and Taxes Magazine

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Austin Gunman Linked to Extremist Christian Group, Police Say

Austin gunman linked to extremist Christian group, police say

Austin gunman

Austin gunman

Laura Skelding / Austin American-Statesman

Austin police investigate the scene where an officer shot and killed a man who had shot at least 100 rounds into government buildings.

By Molly Hennessy-Fiske

contact the reporter

Austin gunman Larry McQuilliams ‘had hate in his heart,’ police say

Larry Steven McQuilliams, who fired more than 100 gunshots at government offices in Austin, Texas, last week until he was killed by police, was a “homegrown American extremist” connected to a right-wing Christian group, police said Monday.

“He had hate in his heart,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

Investigators record the scene where a gunman shot at least 100 rounds into buildings in downtown Austin, including the Mexican consulate and the federal courthouse.

Bullets shattered glass windows and doors, spraying glass inside police headquarters.)

FBI personnel photograph the federal courthouse in Austin, TX and mark evidence at the scene.

Propane canisters are scattered at the scene of the Mexican Consulate after a gunman targeted buildings in downtown

Police chief Art Acevedo briefs media at a press conference on the gunman who targeted buildings in downtown Austin including the Mexican consulate, the federal courthouse and Austin police headquarters.

McQuilliams, 49, belonged to the Phineas Priesthood, police said, describing the organization as a white supremacist group based in the Pacific Northwest that is responsible for armed robberies, abortion clinic bombings and planned attacks on FBI buildings.

He served time for a 1992 armed robbery and was released in 2000, police said, but acted alone in carefully planning Friday’s attack.

Days earlier, McQuilliams had rented a white van and packed it with supplies, including several guns, ammunition, a gas mask, homemade explosives, a list of 34 targets (among them two churches) and a book, “Vigilantes of Christendom,” in which he left a note describing himself as a priest against “anti-God people,” Acevedo said.

The first shots were reported at 2:18 a.m. Friday as bar patrons were spilling into the streets of downtown Austin, the state capital. The shooter targeted police headquarters, a federal courthouse and the Mexican Consulate.

Austin Police Sgt. Adam Johnson was nearby with a mounted patrol. As McQuilliams fired what sounded like an automatic rifle, Johnson gripped the reins of two horses with one hand and, with the other, took aim in the dark, Acevedo said, firing a single shot that struck and killed McQuilliams. No one else was injured in the attack.

At the medical examiner’s office, officials discovered McQuilliams had scrawled a message on his chest, beneath a tactical vest stuffed with ammunition: “Let me die.”

He did not leave a note specifically explaining his motive.

Neighbors at his south Austin apartment complex described him as an impoverished, gentle loner who rode his bicycle to work at a carwash. Investigators said he appeared “upset by the fact that he could not find employment” and, “in his eyes, many immigrants had more services afforded to them than he had himself,” said Christopher Combs, FBI special agent in charge of the San Antonio division office.

Because McQuilliams targeted the Mexican Consulate and the federal courthouse, the FBI is assisting in the investigation.

The police chief said investigators were still trying to determine whether McQuilliams was mentally ill and how he managed to obtain several guns as a convicted felon.

“We have a country where it’s way too easy for people to use straw purchasers to get these guns in their hands,” Acevedo said, noting that he and other police chiefs have called for legislation that would restrict straw purchases of guns “to ensure we protect the 2nd Amendment by keeping them in the hands of law-abiding Americans of sound mind.”

Related story: Gunman killed after firing 100 rounds at Austin government buildings

Related story: Gunman killed after firing 100 rounds at Austin government buildings

Religious Right Pose National Security Threat

Are evangelicals a national security threat?

A new poll suggests that American Christians (unlike Muslims) are likely to put their faith before their country

By David Sirota

If you have the stomach to listen to enough right-wing talk radio, or troll enough right-wing websites, you inevitably come upon fear-mongering about the Unassimilated Muslim. Essentially, this caricature suggests that Muslims in America are more loyal to their religion than to the United States, that such allegedly traitorous loyalties prove that Muslims refuse to assimilate into our nation and that Muslims are therefore a national security threat.

Earlier this year, a Gallup poll illustrated just how apocryphal this story really is. It found that Muslim Americans are one of the most — if not the single most — loyal religious group to the United States. Now, comes the flip side from the Pew Research Center’s stunning findings about other religious groups in America (emphasis mine):

American Christians are more likely than their Western European counterparts to think of themselves first in terms of their religion rather than their nationality; 46 percent of Christians in the U.S. see themselves primarily as Christians and the same number consider themselves Americans first. In contrast, majorities of Christians in France (90 percent), Germany (70 percent), Britain (63 percent) and Spain (53 percent) identify primarily with their nationality rather than their religion. Among Christians in the U.S., white evangelicals are especially inclined to identify first with their faith; 70 percent in this group see themselves first as Christians rather than as Americans, while 22 percent say they are primarily American.

If, as Islamophobes argue, refusing to assimilate is defined as expressing loyalty to a religion before loyalty to country, then this data suggests it is evangelical Christians who are very resistant to assimilation. And yet, few would cite these findings to argue that Christians pose a serious threat to America’s national security. Why the double standard?

Because Christianity is seen as the dominant culture in America — indeed, Christianity and America are often portrayed as being nearly synonymous, meaning expressing loyalty to the former is seen as the equivalent to expressing loyalty to the latter. In this view, there is no such thing as separation between the Christian church and the American state — and every other culture and religion is expected to assimilate to Christianity. To do otherwise is to be accused of waging a “War on Christmas” — or worse, to be accused of being disloyal to America and therefore a national security threat.

Of course, a genuinely pluralistic America is one where — regardless of the religion in question — we see no conflict between loyalties to a religion and loyalties to country. In this ideal America, those who identify as Muslims first are no more or less “un-American” than Christians who do the same (personally, this is the way I see things).

But if our politics and culture are going to continue to make extrapolative judgments about citizens’ patriotic loyalties based on their religious affiliations, then such judgments should at least be universal — and not so obviously selective or brazenly xenophobic.