Tag Archive: Abortion

Mar 22 2012

Democrats Are Trying To Scare Women?

At least, that’s the party line according Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) who appeared along with Democratic Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon (IL) on “Hardball with Chis Matthews.”  That was her rote answer to Matthews questions about the recent legislation that has been passed through Republican state legislatures, radically restricting a woman’s legal right to seek an abortion and health care. I’m no fan of Chris Matthews but no matter how hard he tried to get her to answer his question, she evaded him repeatedly saying that it wasn’t the main issue for women. There was feint praise in Matthew’s words at the end when he thanked her from coming on his show and said she was “brilliant”. She sure was, at evading the issue.

Feb 28 2012

State Mandated Assault On Women

The assault on women is not isolated to the Virginia legislature. There are currently bills in 27 states that require unnecessary procedures to obtain an abortion. The only purpose for those procedures is to humiliate women seeking a procedure they have a right to obtain.

   Virginia officials backed off last week from requiring vaginal ultrasounds before abortions, but state legislators are still expected to pass a bill that mandates abdominal ultrasounds and adds other significant requirements for women seeking abortions.

   In recent years, this common diagnostic tool has taken a greater role in abortion-related legislation. Seven states require ultrasounds before abortions. Twenty states regulate some aspect of ultrasound exams, including requiring abortion providers to give women the option to view the image or listen to the fetal heartbeat if an ultrasound is performed.

   Eleven other states have legislation pending. If all of the measures pass, more than half of the states will have laws governing ultrasound exams before abortions. “I think we’re in the middle of a wave of ultrasound bills,” said Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst with the Guttmacher Institute, which studies reproductive health.

As David Dayen at FDL News Desk explains these requirements force the woman to make an extra trip to the doctor at her own expense. Ultrasounds are rarely medically necessary in the first few weeks of pregnancy. There is only one reason for it to be require: to heap shame and guilt on the woman getting her to stop the abortion. In the states where this is mandated, there has been no precipitous drop in abortion rates.

Angi Becker Stevens of RH Reality Check explains the ony purpose of the Michigan bill is humiliation:

In Michigan, House Bill 4433 would expand the state’s already-present requirements for pre-abortion ultrasounds. If passed (a likely outcome in Michigan’s strongly anti-choice state government) the law will require pre-abortion ultrasounds to be conducted with the “most technologically advanced ultrasound equipment available,” further defined as the equipment which “is capable of providing the most visibly clear image of the gross anatomical development of the fetus and the most audible fetal heartbeat.” While the bill states that a woman be given the “option” to view the ultrasound or not, it also mandates that the monitors must be turned toward the woman, so that her only way of not viewing the image is to close her eyes or turn her head away. The bill also requires that the professional performing the ultrasound give a detailed description of the fetus’ current developmental stage, and must offer the woman a printed ultrasound image.

Requiring transvaginal ultrasounds would violate women by invading their bodies. Turning an ultrasound monitor toward a woman and attempting to force her to view the images even if she does not want to see them is an act of emotional and psychological violation. Both are medically unnecessary and needlessly cruel and patronizing. And neither should ever be mandated by a state’s government.

While the procedure may provide the physician with needed information there is no reason to force the woman to view the screen, hear the fetal heartbeat or the a detailed description of the fetus. A woman who has made the decision to terminate her pregnancy is not going to change her mind at this stage. Using hack psychology has no medical value and is just another assault on her person.

Since all the publicity about the Virginia bill mandating state rape with a transvaginal untrasound, there is increasingly vocal and organized opposition to these bills as Rachel Maddow highlighted

If you really want to raise your blood pressure and have a strong stomach, you can read the transcript of a live interview with Gov. Bob McConnell from WTOP. I won’t elaborate.

May 27 2011

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs????

The Republicans in the House have been so busy with the really important issue of finding new ways to restrict a woman’s right to choose that creating jobs were left to wait until now.

On day 141 since the GOP took control of the House Republicans finally released their jobs plan. It was a minor distraction from their laser-like focus on your uterus. Racel Maddow takes a look at waht they’re trying to do in the House and states like Louisiana, Georgia and Florida.

May 05 2011

GOP Really Hates Women

The GOP really hates women so much that they have been barely able to focus on little else at times. They managed to stop the District of Columbia from using its own money to assist poor women in obtaining the procedure by attaching a rider to the continuing resolution to fund the government throwing Democrats the bone of removing the rider that would have defunded Planned Parenthood.

Tonight Think Progress reports the House passed H.R. 3 which proposes some of the most radical and draconian restrictions on women’s rights:

– Redefinition Of Rape:

The bill sponsor Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) faced serious backlash after he tried to narrow the definition rape to “forcible rape.” By narrowing the rape and incest exception in the Hyde Amendment, Smith sought to prevent the following situations from consideration: Women who say no but do not physically fight off the perpetrator, women who are drugged or verbally threatened and raped, and minors impregnated by adults.

Smith promised to remove the language and while it is not technically in the bill, Mother Jones reports that House Republicans used “a sly legislative maneuver” to insert a “backdoor reintroduction” of redefinition language. Essentially, if the bill is challenged in court, judges will look at the congressional committee report to determine intent. The committee report for H.R. 3 says the bill will “not allow the Federal Government to subsidize abortions in cases of statutory rape” – thus excluding statutory rape-related abortions from Medicaid coverage.

Tax Increase On Women And Small Businesses:

H.R. 3 prevents women from using “itemized medical deductions, certain tax-advantaged health care accounts or tax credits included in last year’s health care law to pay for abortions or for health insurance plans that cover abortion.” In doing so, the bill forces women and small businesses that provide health insurance that covers abortion to pay more in taxes than they would otherwise.

– Rape Audits:

Because H.R. 3 bans using tax credits or deductions to pay for abortions or insurance, a woman who used such a benefit would have to prove, if audited, that her abortion “fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, or that the health insurance she had purchased did not cover abortions.” Essentially, the bill turns Internal Revenue Service agents into “abortion cops” who would force women to give “contemporaneous written documentation” that it was “incest, or rape, or [her] life was in danger” that compelled an abortion.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called this bill the “most comprehensive and radical assault on women’s health in our lifetime” and the president has already said that he would veto this bill if it made it to his desk which is doubtful since the Senate would never pass it. That doesn’t mean they won’t try to attach it to the Debt Limit Compromise. As David Dayen reports Rep. Trent Franks R-AZ) has already proposed just that with the blessing of House Speaker John Boehner:

   The decision to put the measure on the floor is giving new hope to some social conservatives who want their issues swept up into the debt limit debate.

   Rep. Trent Franks, an anti-abortion advocate, said that House Republicans “have some leverage” to get the Democratically controlled Senate to take up the legislation, similar to the way House Republicans forced an amendment onto the continuing resolution that would defund federal funding for Planned Parenthood. As part of a larger agreement on the final CR, Senate leaders agreed to hold a separate vote on the Planned Parenthood amendment […]

   While Franks, a two-term lawmaker from Arizona, acknowledged that a balanced budget amendment may be better suited to be part of a compromise debt limit vote, he still has hope for a Senate vote on an anti-abortion bill.

   Franks isn’t alone in hoping that H.R. 3 is part of the discussion on the debt ceiling extension.

   “What we use the debt limit to leverage is really up to the leaders, [but] I would think this would be one of the bills that we could be asking for,” said Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), an ardent anti-abortion supporter.

I really despise these people.

May 01 2011

The Week in Editorial Cartoons – So, Who’s the Hair Apparent Now? (Special Appeal)

Crossposted at Daily Kos  and Docudharma



GOP Hair Apparent by Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune, Buy this cartoon

:: ::

Note: Sections 1-4 contain dozens of additional editorial cartoons and commentary.  I’m not sure why but I was getting the below error when trying to post the complete diary.  Check out the remaining portions of the diary at Daily Kos.

java.sql.SQLException: Incorrect string value: ‘xC2x8CxC2xA9=1…’ for column ‘extendedText’ at row 1

Apr 09 2011

The Budget Battle: From Here To Thursday

The Government has avoided a shut down in the last minutes, however, this isn’t over, by a long shot. While the Obama supporters will be touting tonight’s passing of a “Bridge CR” and agreement for the 2011 budget a “victory’, is it? Yes, they managed to remove some of the most egregious riders that the “Full Mooner” Tea Party Republicans were trying to jam through but it cost Obama almost $39 billion more than the $40 million that he originally proposed for a grand total of $79 billion in cuts that will only carry through until September that is if they pass it next Thursday. It still isn’t very clear just what is in that extra $39 billion in cuts.

There are still give aways in the bill which includes the riders to ban DC from using its own funds to pay for abortions for poor DC women and approval of the unpopular DC school vouchers which was opposed by the DC city council. So much for Republican respect for state’s rights.

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post sums it up, this is “2011 not 1995”:

The substance of this deal is bad. The rhetoric of it is worse.

The final compromise was $38.5 billion below 2010’s funding levels. That’s $78.5 billion below President Obama’s original budget proposal, which would’ve added $40 billion to 2010’s funding levels, and $6.5 billion below John Boehner’s original counteroffer, which would’ve subtracted $32 billion from 2010’s budget totals. In the end, the real negotiation was not between the Republicans and the Democrats, or even the Republicans and the White House. It was between John Boehner and the conservative wing of his party. And once that became clear, it turned out that Boehner’s original offer wasn’t even in the middle. It turns out to be slightly center-left.

But you would’ve never known it from President Obama’s comments following the conclusion of the negotiations. Obama bragged about “making the largest annual spending cut in our history.” Harry Reid repeatedly called the cuts “historic.” It fell to Boehner to give a clipped, businesslike statement on the deal. If you were just tuning in, you might’ve thought Boehner had been arguing for moderation, while both Obama and Reid sought to cut deeper. You would never have known that Democrats had spent months resisting these “historic” cuts, warning that they’d cost jobs and slow the recovery.

Although there will now be a separate Senate vote to cut Title X funding for Planned Parenthood, which will most likely fail, this is a major capitulation by Obama and the Democratic leadership that gives 1/6th of the government 2/3rds of the budget cuts it wanted. All of these riders will appear again and again and many will pass the House and, perhaps, even the Senate. What matters more to Obama than anything else is his notion of “bipartisanship” which is shifting this country further and further to the right to the detriment of the majority if Americans and the future.

Nice spelunking by the Spelunker-in-Chief.

Apr 08 2011

Deja Vu All Over Again

There has been this aura of sameness about the current budget stand off and the past. The impasse is not about money, it’s about ideology concerning women’s reproductive rights and the environment. The Tea Party Republicans refuse to remove the riders that would block funding to Planned parenthood, ban the District of Columbia from using its own funds to pay for abortions and severely restrict the EPA ability to regulate emissions and green house gases. Meetings at the White House, while productive about the amount of money set to be cut from the long-term budget:

Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid said Thursday that he is “not nearly as optimistic” as he was last night about avoiding a government shutdown before a Friday deadline, saying of a federal funding gap: “it looks like it’s headed in that direction.”

The Democratic leader said that the two sides have essentially agreed on the amount of money set to be cut from the long-term budget but that Republicans have drawn a line in the sand over “ideology”  – including policy issues dealing with funding for Planned Parenthood and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Our differences are no longer over the savings we get on government spending, Reid said. “The only thing holding up an agreement is ideology.”

The President has reasonably suggested that a “clean bill” to extend the budget for one week and a provision that the troops would be paid in the event of a government shut down was rejected by the Tea Party who passed a bill this afternoon they know the President will veto, if it even gets past the Senate.

We’ve been there before in 1995 with the same issue over women’s reproductive rights and the so-called less government gang insisting on interfering with matters that should be between a woman and her doctor. But no, they can’t give it up:

   “Gingrich and Dole are offering the funding and higher-debt bills but have loaded them with ‘riders’ such as the Medicare bill that the president won’t accept and with other items such as limits on appeals by death-row inmates. [Denver Post, 11/15/95]

   “One of the largest spending bills, for the Commerce, Justice and State Departments, is still being negotiated because it has riders on social issues like school prayer. The spending bill for the District of Columbia has been bogged down over a provision to bar Federal money to pay for abortions in the District and would prohibit public hospitals and clinics from offering abortion services.” [New York Times, 11/29/95]

   “Congress has been unable to send any bill to the president because of the excessive number of anti-environmental riders.” [U.S. Newswire, 12/8/95]

The fanatics just can’t let go of some issues so women should incorporate their uteruses as the Florida ACLU has suggested:

Incorporate Your Uterus

…before some politician gets between you and your M.D.

Of course, you can’t legally Incorporate Your Uterus, but you can online. And by doing so, you can send a message to the Florida Legislature that less regulation and government intrusion begins with a woman’s uterus. So “Incorporate Your Uterus” below, sign-up to receive updates about the important fight going on in Tallahassee and utilize our social networking tools to spread the word about this critical effort. After all, no politician should get between a woman and her doctor.

Learn how you can “Incorporate Your Uterus”

Aug 05 2010

Tribute to Dr. William Harrison 20100804

I read with sorrow this evening that Dr. Harrison is closing his practice.  He is an excellent physician, and skilfully delivered my firstborn son in 1985.

Dr. Harrison has been in a bit of controversy, since he is the only OB to provide abortions in the northwest Arkansas area.  This man has guts.  The fundies are rejoicing.  I am mourning.

When the former Mrs. Translator and I visited his office in late 1984 and early 1985, he also practiced OB-GYN and delivered babies.  The costs of that became large afterwards, so he limited his practice to abortions.

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