Bush


People in the prolife movement are fond of saying they respect all life from womb to tomb. But I’m wondering if their talk is nothing but Christian confections like the sweet, gritty nothingness of cotton candy . I’m wondering about this because between saying and doing, there is an ocean of difference. Saying you’re prolife in polls, on blogs, on bumper stickers and in a house of worship is easy. Talk, as the saying goes, is cheap. But let’s face the possibility that being prolife is just code for being anti abortion. It is surely not about respecting all of life from womb to tomb. Recall the early presidential debates when prolife Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) made quite a show of being a conservative Christian. Yet under his watch he executed 234 prisoners, thus, raising questions about the big disconnect within conservative Christians and small government Tea Party libertarians in the Republican Party.  Let’s consider other examples of this questionable disconnect in the prolife movement.

First, let’s look at those mostly Republican legislators who promote cuts to WIC (education and nutrition supplements for women, infants and children). Their efforts give new meaning to putting women and children first as they place the nation’s fiscal concerns on the shoulders of babies. Economic analysis from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget has shown that every $1 spent on WIC results in a savings of $1.77 to $3.13 in health care costs, primarily attributed to reduced rates of low birth weight and improved rates of immunizations. Rather than saving money, cutting WIC services may ultimately result in increased health care costs due to low birth weight, iron deficiency and undernutrition. Again, it seems that the prolife moniker only means anti abortion.

As with WIC, there are cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP is a lifeline for those in need, which includes children and senior citizens. Rather than respect all life from womb to tomb, and contrary to the very values we hold as Americans to treat those most in need, our prolife legislators have elected to slash SNAP funding. This funding cut will increase hunger for our most vulnerable and eliminate thousands of jobs, particularly in the food-related industries. According to current statistics 16.2 million children live in households that struggle to put food on the table while prolifers worry about fetuses being aborted. The Food Research and Action Center claim that the “most prolific and compelling research shows that the effects of food insecurity on children impact their health, development, learning and mental health.”  I would argue that feeding children and those adults in need, ensuring that they have adequate nutrition, aligns more thoughtfully and authentically to the meaning about prolife than fretting about abortion.

Second, let’s ponder how those in the prolife movement claim that abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, target minorities by locating their clinics in their minority neighborhoods as a means for eliminating undesirables from society. But the fly in the ointment is the Guttmacher factoid that 63% of abortion providers are in predominantly non-Hispanic white neighborhoods. That hardly looks like targeting. Further, prolifers also argue that African Americans account for higher rates of abortion, a fact provided by the CDC. Disingenuously, prolifers fail to mention that numerous factors such as poverty, lack of health care, cultural practices, family size and lack of reliable birth control can contribute to higher abortion rates. More to the point is the fact that while the prolifers are wringing their hands about targeting minorities, they conveniently ignore the minorities who are being targeted by police and the judicial system and executed in our prison systems. In fact, despite a clear majority of voters (61%) who would choose a punishment other than execution, our nation retains the death penalty, a fact shared by difficult countries such as Libya, Chad, and Sierra Leone. So the hypocrisy of Governors Rick Perry (R-TX) and Phil Bryant (R-MS), both conservative Christians who claim the prolife label, but take the lead on the number of executions, is quite remarkable. On a related note, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the homicide victimization rate for blacks (19.6 homicides per 100,000) was 6 times higher than the rate for whites (3.3 homicides per 100,000). Making outrageous claims about Planned Parenthood targeting black women is an absurd waste of time particularly with respect to the genuine, far larger, more life-threatening issues that impact blacks in our nation.

A final example of the big disconnect among prolifers is drawn from the synergistic impact of the government, the military and corporatism. Corporatism— whether through direct handouts, corporate bailouts, eminent domain, licensing laws, antitrust regulations, or environmental edicts — inflicts a measurable degree of harm on Americans. For example, measurable levels of hundreds of corporate manufactured chemicals are routinely found in the bodies of all Americans, including newborns. Many of the toxins found in baby bottles and toys have been linked to developmental and reproductive disorders. Even Presidents Bush and Obama aggressively supported harmful genetically modified food policies from corporations like Monsanto while they plant organic gardens in the White House and have organic kitchen policies. And while our nation’s poorest are subjected to harmful environmental contaminants, nearby industries are afforded lenient policies to protect their bottom line. But these contaminants create the perfect health storm for mostly African American children living nearby. For black children, one out of every six (CDC) has asthma due to pollution, poverty, and being people of color. So, worrying about abortion seems rather petty in comparison to the misery that children and adults endure.

During wartime, the politically connected corporations derive high profits and cushy contracts. But war has its share of collateral damage. Where was the moral outcry for approximately 90,000 civilians who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan by our “freedom loving” military forced into service by George W. Bush? Where was the moral outrage when prolife, Christian conservative Republican President George W. Bush along with Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia and found guilty of war crimes for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment? While many patriotic types believe in American capitalism and our mighty military as a good for humanity, most are blind to the inherent savage, destructive nihilism of our country’s actions. Wringing hands and waving cardboard “End Abortion” signs seem frivolous compared to the tens of thousands who die, who are maimed or who are chronically ill because of policies and actions of the government, the military and corporatism.

While prolifers are forever worrying about the vast sums of money doctors earn from providing abortions, they’re not concerned at all about the vast sums of money that orthopedic surgeons or orthodontists earn. It can’t be about the money because many of them file frivolous lawsuits for handsome sums of compensation. And it surely isn’t their claim to respect all life at all ages because they’re apparently not concerned at all about their votes for candidates who support military actions that kill civilians. And while funding cuts to nutrition programs are touted as necessary to reduce the deficit and as important to ensure that we don’t create a welfare state, prolifers seem little concerned with the politicians’ decisions. In truth, they’re not prolife in any meaningful way. They’re just against abortion. And that, dear readers, is what I see as a Big Disconnect.

Abortion Terrorist Alleged

Abortion Terrorist Alleged

FBI agents have arrested and charged Justin Carl Moose with describing how to make explosives in his effort to bomb an abortion clinic. The agents found the instructions on Moose’s Facebook page. Moose describes himself as an “extremist, radical” and the “Christian counterpart of Osama bin Laden” according to the FBI. They arrested him in the northwest Concord neighborhood on Tuesday.

Extremism has been on the rise of late with advocates of violence referring to the possibility of “Second Amendment” remedies if the Tea Party does not win Congress this year, and at least one Tea Party member threatening to put a bullet in the head of the leader of Delaware’s GOP. The FBI was alerted about Moose’s plans by Planned Parenthood and the FBI began an investigation into that Facebook page which advocated the use of extreme violence against abortion providers. Last week, he began collaborating with a confidential informant in crafting a plan to bomb an abortion clinic in North Carolina. Moose was, apparently, also in communication with others who advocate violence against abortion clinics.

Terrorist

Terrorist

Among the targets of Moose’s anger were abortion doctors, President Barack Obama’s health care plan, and the plans to build the so-called Ground Zero Mosque in New York City. He also expressed his support for anyone killing abortion providers. According to the affidavit, he stated on his page “Whatever you may thing about me, you’re probably right. . .Extremist, Radical, Fundamentalist…? Yep! Terrorist…? Well, I prefer the term ‘freedom Fighter.’

According to the affidavit he also wrote “The Death Care Bill passed last night. Keep your phone and rifle close and wait. . .There are few problems in life that can’t be solved with the proper application of high explosives :) . . If a mosque is built on ground zero, it will be removed. Oklahoma City style. Tim’s not the only man out there that knows how to do it.” The last, of course, refers to the actions of Timothy McVeigh who murdered several hundred people when he detonated explosives in front of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. Despite claims of links to external sources from others, McVeigh has been proven to be the originator of the plot.

Moose was an unemployed father of three who now faces a very long stay in prison without much chance of finding gainful employment as he faces twenty years in prison for distributing bomb making instructions.

Abortion NC State Seal

Abortion NC State Seal

The sting operation began on 3 September when the FBI informant phoned Moose and told him a story about his best friend’s wife’s plan to have an abortion. Moose offered to help, and on 4 September, Moose and the informant met in the Concord Mills TGIFridays. There, Moose described several bombs that the source could make to destroy the clinic, and Moose gave the source instructions on how to do surveillance on the clinic including drinking a few beers and staggering around drunk. After being confronted, the source was suppose to ask for the bathroom.

On 5 September, the source contacted Moose and Moose walked him through making the explosives.

To date, no one involved with Moose has been willing to offer a comment.

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A few miles from where I sit, the anti-abortion crowd is assembling (in the rain) near the White House, getting ready for their annual March on Washington.  What I have never understood is how the anti-abortion movement made this “their” day?

They march to the Supreme Court, dragging little kids with them, making them holding disgusting signs.  They give vicious, anti-women speeches, they excoriate doctors who perform abortions, they swamp the Capitol Hill offices demanding that Roe v Wade be overturned.

Why are we not marching on the Capitol?   Why are we not celebrating this Supreme Court decision that liberated millions of women?  Why are we not barraging the media with stories of women who were saved by abortion?   Why are we not publicly praising this decision that gave women control over their own bodies? Why are we not thanking the doctors and staff that work at the clinics?

The anti-abortion movement has successfully stigmatized abortion, which has lead to an erosion of support for the pro-choice position.  Meanwhile, even the pro-choice movement tends to shy away from the word “abortion.”   Those of us who support abortion rights have to speak up about the benefits of the availability of this procedure.   We need to celebrate how abortion has actually saved hundreds and thousands of lives of women who, were it not for Roe v Wade, might be dead by a self-induced abortion. We do not need to be afraid of the word “abortion.”

Meanwhile, women who have had abortions need to speak up and talk about their experiences.   I trust women to be able to make this decision on their own, unlike anti-abortion zealots who want to control women, who want to force them to raise children.  But women whose lives were saved by abortion need to relate that experience and not hide in the shadows.   Their silence is deafening.  Over one million women a year receive an abortion.   Why are we still under attack?

We also should be celebrating the election of a pro-choice President. Barack Obama won a landslide, generation changing election while not shying away from his support for abortion rights.  We should be in front of the White House today, holding signs saying “Thank you, Mr. President.”

There will be battles ahead.   There will no doubt be vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court that need to be filled.  Yet, while I am heartened that we have a pro-choice President, we must not let our guard down.  We must INSIST that the next appointments reflect the President’s support for abortion rights.

Today’s anniversary should be a wake up call to the pro-choice movement.  We need to take back Roe v Wade day, it is our day of liberation!   It’s too late to do anything on this particular day but let’s vow to reclaim this anniversary as a celebration of our essential freedoms!

Throughout the history of our nation every election has seemed monumentily important. Think back on all the slogans of every past election are they really all so different.

This author is not a historian so the question is rhetorical.

I urge an objective look at the records of the two very decent individuals running for office. I believe them both to have integrity in their convictions and a desire to do what is right. I grant them that.

My friends and fellow Americans it is now time to have the courage to follow your convictions and make a choice. A choice which may determine your choice and opportunity to govern your own body.

That is as serious as it gets.

Look back on 8 years and reflect.

Please make your voice heard. Vote.

Who would you vote for today?
( polls)

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