Tag Archives: Abortion

The “Pro-Life” Movement Is A Sad Dumb Joke (Legally Speaking)

I’ve stayed out on the latest attacks on Planned Parenthood, mainly because I am more or less confident that any financial attacks to that specific institution will fail by way of the President’s veto. However I do think that conservatives salivating over ending abortion judicially are also way too confident in what is looking more and more like a possibility after 2016. Frankly the anti-abortion cause, one that was a load of horseshit from the beginning, has overplayed it’s recent successes, and is throughly doomed with a new generation of sexually liberated and class cognizant millennials quickly approaching adulthood.  However the damage done to this fundamental right has been severe, and it’s worth discussing the idiotic excuse for legal reasoning that has allowed things to get this bad.

Whats interesting about the conservative movement after Hobby Lobby, is that they have put the idea of what exactly is a “sincere religious belief” clearly within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. They see this as a victory (and right now it clearly was), but there is a problem with this analysis.

Historical evidence clearly shows that American Protestants (including evangelicals), definitively disagreed with the Catholic view of life starting at Conception….until their rise as part of the new conservative coalition. Therefore it is worth asking whether subsequent regulations placed on abortion could even pass a rational basis review, given that the issue of “preserving potential life” was certainly more of a cynical  political calculation for maintaining solid Republican power in Red States, and therefore is not a belief supported by the rights provided by the 1st Amendment.

And while some might find it distasteful to challenge the seriousness of someone’s beliefs on this matter, its worth remembering that this insanely abstract view of “what is life” isn’t even consistently applied across the bio-medical world. I mean if life is so precious and pregnancy such a sanctified state that we don’t trust a woman to make her own decisions regarding the fate of the fetus, why do we then allow someone to essentially sell their baby to her wealthy client in surrogacy? Likewise you see very few graphic protests outside of IVF clinics, and no one is threatening nurses at sperm banks with pipe bombs.

So perhaps it is time to start haranguing the Tony Perkins of the wold why their “sincere” concern for the lives of fetus-americans doesn’t extend to properly funding W.I.C. once the kid is born.


An Open Letter To Steven Crowder About Abortion And Rhetoric

Anti-Abortion Terrorist Scott Roeder

Anti-Abortion Terrorist Scott Roeder

Dear Stevie C

I read your recent post on PatriotUpdate.com that ostensibly dealt with the Gosnell case, and I have to say that I’m a bit perturbed at the rhetoric that you chose when expressing your expectedly ridiculous opinions on abortion. To be brief dude: if want to join a war feel free to sign up for it yourself.

In case you are missing the subtly of that last sentence let me be a bit clearer. Unlike you I have lived in a place that has suffered from an act of domestic terrorism. I grew up in Birmingham Alabama in the 1990’s. It was a period in which some of your friends in Operation Rescue blockaded access to clinics and threatened doctors and patients on a pretty regular basis. This era of violent discontent eventually culminated in Eric Robert Rudolph blowing up a clinic down the street from my house and on the same block as the YMCA where my elementary-school aged friends and I went for aftercare.

I tell you this story Steven out of an entirely hopeless desire to make you recognize that the language that you are employing in trying to score some sweet click bait from your fellow wingnuts is beyond dangerous. For example:

(A)s you peel the layers of obfuscation from the atrocity that is the modern abortion holocaust, you will find a battle between two groups of people with very, very different values. Those people are either Lifeists or Abortionists.

Terms like “pro-choice” sound benign. Leftists designed them that way. Who could possibly be against choice?  Whether it’s “reproductive rights” or pizza toppings, “choice” sounds like a really good thing. But for this term to hold any real meaning, one would have to assume first that its adversaries are anti-choice, and that “choice” has anything to do with legitimizing murder.
….

People often think of “Idolatry” as an Old Testament act, requiring one to bow down to a Golden calf or Ram’s head. The people involved with today’s abortion holocaust are still doing it.  They’re idolizing themselves.
….

RIP to all of the babies, who were merely victims of “choice.”

 

For decades now people on the far right wing have been slowly pushing the boundaries of acceptable hate speech with regards to people who choose to exercise their constitutionally protected right to have an abortion. Each generation of pro-life extremists (not satisfied with simply calling these women sluts or murderers) has increased the level of “justified” hatred and violence through literal calls to arm that are virtually indistinguishable from this awful piece of shit that you have published. Ironically while the Randal Terrys and Flip Benhams  inspire the James Kopps and Eric Robert Rudolphs of the world, the latter group of folks never faces jail time themselves, protected by the broad sanctuary of the First Amendment.

But of course I’m not saying anything that you do not already know.

In writing something like this you are consciously entering a level of internet trolling that goes beyond simply being outrageous or attention-seeking. You want to be taken seriously and know that you can do so by inspiring a movement where people are held accountable for making “proper” choices or condemned in a biblical fashion for being “glorified hitmen”. If someone picks up a gun and shoots a doctor or two you’ll say that it was a regrettable loss, but nothing compared to the loss of the babies to the abortion industry. It’s a familiar circle of awfulness, and one that guarantees someone like yourself a considerable degree of street cred in the forced birther sect.

So here’s the deal Steven. If you want to be a big man who dolls out justice against the wicked in order to defend the innocent, step away from the keyboard and join the fight. Google “Army of God” and become the handsome face and articulate persona for those crazy fuckers. Start plotting your Second Amendment remedy to this problem that you are so concerned with. If you think that equating medical procedures and reproductive freedom with the systematic murder of 12 million people is appropriate, than do something concrete to stop it.

Do it for the babies Steven. Grab a gun and make a list.

Or shut the fuck up and mind your own goddamned business.

-Stefan


A Quick Lesson To Breitbart’s Ben Shapiro About Political “Bullying”

Hey Ben! Heard about your new book today on twitter, and if it’s anything like the HILARIOUS promo from Pajamas Media I’m sure that it will be a big success with the wingnut book clubs:

Ben Shapiro uncovers the simple strategy used by liberals and their friends in the media: bully the living hell out of conservatives. Play the race card, the class card, the sexism card. Use any and every means at your disposal to demonize your opposition—to shut them up. Then pretend that such bullying is justified, because, after all, conservatives are the true bullies, and need to be taught a lesson for their intolerance. Hidden beneath the left’s supposed hatred of bullying lies a passionate love of its vulgar tactics.

Not to rush to judgement about what is surely a well-researched and thought-provoking paperweight, but I have one small quibble about your thesis. Ever been to Birmingham Alabama? I grew up there and let me tell you that the right wing made living in that great city during the 1990’s, well, a little tough at times. Perhaps you might recognize this picture:

RSimage001

That was the edifice of the New Woman’s clinic in South Birmingham after Eric Robert Rudolph detonated a pipebomb full of nails in a flower pot outside of the building in 1998. This building is down the street from my house, and right next to the YMCA where I attended aftercare with a host of other elementary school age children everyday (luckily for us the bomb went off in the morning). I don’t know if you remember this act of terrorism, but it claimed the life of a Birmingham Police Officer who also served as a security guard at the building on his off-times. A nurse, Emily Lyons, was severely injured in the attack. Would you like to see her face?

LaterFace

The man responsible, pictured below, was not caught until 2004. It is believed by the FBI to this day that he survived during that time mostly due to the assistance he received from the right wing fringe groups that became so powerful during the 1990’s after receiving mainstream recognition from the established conservative movement, which you are now a part of. History!

rudolph000

When you speak about “bullying”, it’s a bit personal for people like me. I’m sorry if Tbogg hurt your feelings or if you feel the need to carry on your dead editor’s insane false equivalency but you are batting way out of your league here. Feel free to stop by anytime and I’ll enlighten you as to what real political violence looks like and which party has reaped a political advantage from it in the last generation.


Using Christina Hendricks To Get My Point Across

Yesterday I was reading something on the internet and I stumbled across Mad Men star and demigod Christina Hendricks advertising my favorite brand of blended scotch. I posted the picture on my facebook page (because it was incredible) and made a joke about how “subtle” the ad was.

What quickly became apparent is that this post garnered way more attention that virtually anything else that I do here on the internets, this blog included. While I might spend hours constructing some (hopefully) cogent argument in favor of increased social safety spending, most people understandably ignore it in favor of some new adorable cat video. Being tuned out by a bored audience is the painful reality of just being one blogger in a sea of other idiots with strong opinions.

In that spirit however I have a new idea. Like Dave Chappelle discovered almost 10 years ago, a sometimes harsh or unpopular opinion becomes infinitely more palatable if the message is delivered by a pretty white girl. As there is no prettier white girl currently in the popular zeitgeist than Ms. Hendricks, I am going to use that same picture from yesterday to express a few things that need to be said. I am confident that this is a more efficient use of my time that writing 2,000 word diatribes about the evils of PRWORA.


The 2012 GOP Platform: Enough Batshit Insanity To Piss Off Everyone In America

A few weeks ago the good folks in the Texas GOP decided to drop their horrendously crazy party platform. At the time those who read it were amazed to see the majority party of our second biggest state embrace the fringy ideas of the John Birch Society mixed in with the conspiracy theories of white supremacists groups. However as it turns out, the GOP was saving its prime cut of crazy for the national platform. Get ready America, this may only be a draft, but it is already doozy.

Excellent….

From Think Progress and the Tampa Bay Times (unless otherwise noted):

The 14th Amendment now bestows “personhood” rights on a zygote, but not women:

“We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize heath care which includes abortion coverage.”

TEH GAYS are targeted as well: 

“We reaffirm our support for a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

“We will enforce and defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), in the armed forces as well as in the civilian world.”

Arizona’s SB 1070 is going national:

….Kobach’s positions on immigration, most notably the idea of “attrition through enforcement” — what Romney called “self-deportation” — laid out by SB 1070, will still be part of the Republican message.

And states can no longer count undocumented immigrants as “people” for the census: “We support changing the way that the decennial census is conducted, so that citizens are distinguished from lawfully present aliens and illegal aliens. In order to preserve the pinciple of one-person, one-vote, the apportionment of representatives among the states should be according to the number of citizens.”

PTSD is not an issue in the Military, rather the GOP has a problem with its inclusiveness:

No women in combat: “We reject the use of the military as a platform for social experimentation and will not accept attempts to undermine military priorities and mission readiness.”

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell comes back: “We affirm the cultural values that encourage selfless service and superiority in battle, and oppose anything that might weaken team cohesion, including intra-military special interest demonstrations.”  (This includes the wearing of military uniforms at gay pride parades and activism for same-sex marriages and benefits.)

The Separation of Church and State does not apply to the military: “The spiritual welfare of our troops and retired service members should be a priority of our national leadership….there is an urgent need for the kind of counseling that faith-based institutions can best provide.  We support rights of conscience and religious freedom for military chaplains and people of faith.  A Republican Commander-in-Chief will protect religious independence of military chaplains and will not tolerate attempts to ban Bibles or religious symbols from military facilities.”

Washington D.C: No voting representative in congress:

The Republican Party’s platform committee spent the day addressing amendments to sections of the platform draft that came up through subcommittees.  It seems that the DC delegation had managed to get into the draft platform some vague language supporting improved representation. It didn’t last.

The language said that while the Party is opposed to statehood, there could be constructive alternative means of representation that should be considered.  Even that was too much.  James Bopp, delegate from Indiana, dripping contempt for DC, called for that to be hacked out, which it was. He said the District already has representation through its delegate and through the “Democrat Party,” which is “of, by, and for the federal government.”

But they get guns!

FRC’s Perkins, who recently blamed President Obama and the Southern Poverty Law Center for the shooting at FRC’s Washington headquarters, requested and received a section specifically urging the DC Council to expand gun rights. The same section also opposes DC statehood, which would allow the District to govern itself and put an end to Congressional attempts to impose abortion bans on DC.

And speaking of guns, Stand Your Ground® is now part of the platform:

“We support the fundamental right to self-defense wherever a law-abiding citizen has a legal right to be, and we support federal legislation that would expand the exercise of that right by allowing those with state-issued carry permits to carry firearms in any state that issues such permits to its own residents.

That whole debt ceiling compromise is also now seen as the worst thing ever, and taxes will NEVER be raised unless there are brown people to be killed:

“We call for a Constitutional amendment requiring a super-majority for any tax increase with exceptions for only war and national emergencies, and imposing a cap limiting spending to historical average percentage of GDP so that future Congresses cannot balance the budget by raising taxes.”

The Separation of church and state goes away, except for Muslims:

“We support the public display of the Ten Commandments as a reflection of our history and our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, and we affirm the right of students to engage in prayer at public school events in public schools and to have equal access to public schools and other public facilities to accommodate religious freedoms in the public square.”

Science can go to hell too by the way:

“We oppose federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.”

Remember though, describing these proposals as something akin to the hallucinations of a syphilitic fascist junta leader poisons the national discourse. I’m sure that both sides are somehow responsible for the Republicans unilaterally embracing this level of crazy shit into their official platform. We are totally screwed.


All Abortions Are Necessary

For those of us who believe in the fundamental right to privacy Todd Akin, Paul Ryan, and Bob McDonnell have each provided a strong lesson in how to properly defend issues relating to reproductive health. From now we need to stop distinguishing between different groups of people who “deserve” certain medical procedures. There is no common ground on which proponents of access to contraception and abortion services can meet and agree with the other side. “Safe, legal, and rare” as a political strategy has proven to be ineffective in stopping the zealots. Appeasement is over, and it is time to go on the offensive in assuring this essential aspect of individual liberty.

Akin’s asinine idea concerning the fecundity of rape victims is just the latest example of the decades long Republican resistance to allowing this particular group of women access to abortion services. The “no exceptions” idea has been on the national Republican platform since 1976. The desire to force women into giving birth was never analyzed by conservatives. Their position has always been about control, and their zealotry has only metastasized into even more disgusting versions of extremism, including the justification and facilitation of outright terrorism.

Democrats on the other hand decided, perhaps in the hopes of stemming the rising levels of violence from the other side, to equivocate. However by agreeing to sacrifice the singular legal and moral position from which the right to an abortion was established (the right to privacy for all), we in effect divided those who seek abortions into separate and unequal camps. On one side there were women who deserved to exercise the right to choose, and then there were the “others” whose reasons for terminating a pregnancy were not seen as valuable or morally defensible for some untold reason (i.e. they are poor or happen to engage in a lifestyle which we disapproved of).

By placating to the prejudices and adopting the insane line of thinking as the other side we allowed the worst elements of the festering extremism within the right wing to become an acceptable political position in the 21st century. By refusing to properly defend the morality inherent in preserving the right to choose, we enabled the “moderate” position to continually shift rightward. As a result, access to abortion is becoming increasingly rare in many parts of this country, to the point that the unsafe back-alley procedures of the past are now once again becoming the only options for many women suffering from an unwanted pregnancy.

This line of thinking ends now. The right to decide to undergo an abortion needs to be reaffirmed by the Democratic party with no reservations, with no exceptions, and with no further need to justify our position. Access to abortion is part of a basic human right to proper healthcare, and it is further guaranteed by the 14th Amendment’s right to privacy. There is no ambiguity in this stance, and there is no need to expound or debate the nuances within this assertion. Furthermore a pregnant rape victim might be more sympathetic for some people who would otherwise oppose abortion, but they should be treated the same under the law as a person who became pregnant as a result of consensual sex. All that matters is whether or not individual who is pregnant consents to the procedure to end their pregnancy.

This position is not only easier to defend constitutionally in the judicial system, it is also a sounder electoral strategy for progressives. While the other side features raving psychopaths like Randall Terry, buffoons like Todd Akin, and terrorists like Eric Robert Rudolph, the people defending the right to abortion include well reasoned individuals who tend to justify their opinions using actual science, basic forms of empathy, and common sense. As a society we should finally admit that raising a child is not an absolutely wonderful “blessing” for everyone who becomes pregnant. We should encourage adoption, contraception, and “planning”, but for the sake of a child’s life and proper development we should also refuse to stigmatize those who choose not undertake the commitment necessary to raise a child.

Allies of the abortion rights movement need to seize this opportunity provided to us by the lunatics trying to justify forced birth in a society that celebrates our Bill of Rights. Equivocation was a worthless endeavor, as it allowed the division and weakening of the popular consensus and legal basis necessary to support our position. This year supporters of this right need to be present themselves as morally righteous and politically certain in campaigning for an expansion of abortion services across the country. At this point we really have nothing left to lose, and the weakness within the other side is becoming more obvious everyday. There is a war on women, and it is time to declare that we will accept nothing less than a total victory over those who wish to keep 51% of this country as 2nd class citizens.


Ron Paul Fans (Like Most Republicans) Have No Business Whining About Todd Akin

By now you have probably become aware of Missouri Senate Candidate and current congressman Todd Akin and his remarks detailing how women cannot become pregnant as a result of a “legitimate” rape (meaning that a pregnancy is actually an indicator that a woman must have enjoyed or consented to the act). Akin has since been roundly condemned by pretty much everyone, including conservatives (excluding hacks like Dana Loesch). There have even been calls by Republicans for him to withdraw from the race, although as of right now it seems that he intends on staying in the race.

Just to remind the pseudo-libertarian Ron Paul followers out there, here is your hero of “individual liberty” basically saying the same thing back in February:

And just to drive home the point, the kindly old doctor douchebag himself also signed onto that idiotic personhood amendment, which reads:

I believe that in order to properly protect the right to life of the vulnerable among us, every human being at every stage of development must be recognized as a person possessing the right to life in federal and state laws without exception and without compromise. I recognize that in cases where a mother’s life is at risk, every effort should be made to save the baby’s life as well; leaving the death of an innocent child as an unintended tragedy rather than an intentional killing.

Ron Paul, like his jackass scion currently serving as the junior Senator from Kentucky, has always had a serious problem with extending his vision of unlimited personal freedom to include a woman’s right to control her own reproductive system.

The current strain of “libertarianism” within the Republican party has always been little more than a facade employed during times when a Democratic President is in charge to distract the narrative-hungry members of the Washington media from the profligate spending and fascist foreign policies of the GOP when they are in power. The same transparently fraudulent argument is repeated because we as a country need for “two sides” to exists to every movement, and calling out one side of an argument as being demonstrably full of shit or evil is considered déclassé. The conservative minds of this country continue to believe (as they always have) that the only “people” who should be free from government control are corporate business interests and religious authority figures, and neither group thinks to fondly of a woman having unregulated control of their vagina.

Todd Akin, Ron Paul, and Paul Ryan have all been champions within the Congress for restricting abortion even in cases of rape and incest, an indefensible and maliciously cruel policy position for anyone to take, much less someone with the power to actually affect legislation. Akin and Ryan also worked during this congressional term to redefine rape (with reference to the limited allowable medicaid reimbursements for abortions) by qualifying the act with the term “forcible”. This means that other forms of non-consensual sex would not be eligible for federally-funded abortion services. The belief that “fake rape” is being frequently used as a excuse to exploit a loophole for a procedure that these men think should never be allowed is widespread amongst the Republican party, even amongst the stalwart defenders of “economic liberty”.

It is time to stop giving these men the benefit of the doubt concerning their records and their own words. The people who are promoting this line of thinking are hypocrites, misogynists, and sadists for wishing anyone to undergo a forced birth. Calling these men “libertarians” or defenders of “liberty” is beyond ironic, it is disgusting.