Abortion Mifeprex


texasBy now, any person who reads this blog is aware that the State of Texas has ruled that their very unnecessary anti-abortion law, designed to make it impossible for current abortion providers to comply, can be immediately enforced.  The Facebook page of Abortion.com just posted the link to an essay by Damon Linker in The Week (10-3-14) that raises critical questions that all pro-choice voters must hold their anti-choice elected officials accountable to answering:

If you believe abortion is murder, what specific punishment should be meted out against women who seek abortions, those who assist in the procurement and practice of abortion, and those who provide abortions?

In your view, Ms./Mr. Elected Official, since you think abortion is murder, will you be sponsoring legislation asking for the death penalty if your state has laws restricting abortion?

Damon Linker wrote: “If abortion really is murder, then everyone involved deserves to be punished, and punished severely…If, on the other hand, such punishment sounds wildly, almost absurdly disproportionate, then maybe it’s a sign that abortion really isn’t murder after all.” His point is excellent and one that has been raised here as well as the Abortion.com Facebook page. Politicians have never really been forced to reveal the actual penalties they believe should be imposed on those who participate in an abortion, should it become illegal or severely restricted and prompt women to resort to whatever is feasible and providers to resort to underground practices. At the moment, it is arguable that Texas ought to start expanding their correctional facilities. We know that women have already been obtaining drugs from Mexico and international mail for medical abortions or to cause a miscarriage. Yep, Texas better get their death row lodging in good order, not to mention make sure that all lethal injection protocol training is thorough and an ample inventory of execution drugs.Lethal injection

This ruling will undoubtedly energize the most whacko, zealous of the anti-abortion groups to pattern the Texas laws into initiatives in other states. Therefore, it is sensible and important for pro-choice voters to get their pols to answer the questions raised here.

The organizations that have fervently advocated reproductive rights over the years, specifically Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and National Organization for Women, opposed grassroots efforts to propose legislation to support reproductive justice in states like Arkansas in 1989. Their reasoning was that it was somehow better to work with legislatures to oppose restrictive laws, which, at the time, were focused primarily on parental notification or consent. Creating law is easier than trying to undo law. I sure hope those organizations – that raised a lot of money on the issue – kept the contact information on the many that supported the pro-choice legislation efforts. They will need it now for more than donations.

The one silver lining in this outrageous ruling in Texas is that it may well motivate voters to show up in the upcoming mid-term elections. Texas indeed does things big – that does not mean any other state is interested in Texas sharing any of their “big.” There is not one excuse for a pro-choice person to not vote this November.

Stop Bullying Women

For many years, anti-abortion activists have lobbied their state legislatures to pass laws that require abortion clinics to share certain information with their patients.  These so-called “Right to Know” laws take many forms:  giving the patient a brochure that shows the stages of fetal development, taking an ultrasound and showing it to the woman, reciting a script to the patient that is a litany of things that can go wrong with an abortion, etc., etc.

Although the pro-choice movement regularly opposes these laws, I have written in the past about how the affect of these laws on the woman is rather minimal.  For example, most women casually look at the brochures, if at all, then toss them into

the garbage.  I’ve been in the rooms with woman as they observed their ultrasound, asked questions about the fetus then proceeded to have the abortion.  It’s all a rather big waste of time if you ask me, but if the anti-abortion movement wants to spend their time on this kind of stuff, go for it.  And, after all, it’s all well-intentioned, isn’t it?  Sure, they would prefer to make that woman’s act totally illegal, but since they can’t do that they want to make sure that a woman is making an informed choice.  How compassionate of them, huh?

Meanwhile, up in New York City, the City Council has taken a great interest in the activities of a number of “crisis pregnancy centers” that, according to testimony provided in a hearing, are engaging in “deceptive” practices designed to convince the woman that they are actually medical facilities.  It seems that the staff in some of these cpcs a

Ultrasound Before Abortion Procedure

re doing some interesting things.  For some reason, they are collecting personal and insurance information in the waiting room, the consultations are taking place on examination tables with the woman in the stirrups and “scrub suited consultants” are giving free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds.   On its face, it sounds a little deceptive to me but I’m sure these reports are not accurate because we’ve been told so many times that cpcs do not engage in this kind of behavior.

Still, this crazy ole City Council is concerned about this alleged behavior so they passed a law requiring the cpcs to post signs saying they have no doctors on site and don’t’ give advice about abortions or birth control.  Sounds kind of like the “Right to Know” laws that are being imposed on abortion clinics.

But, lo and behold, here comes the Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian advocacy group, and they challenge the law, saying it would have violated the center’s right to free speech.  And, recently, a local judge agreed with them and slapped an injunction on the new law.

Putting aside all the legal mumbo-jumbo and the current status of the law, what I cannot sort out is why anti-abortion advocates want abortion clinics to inform women of everything but the kitchen sink, but when the NY City Council wants to ask them to give out just a little information about their centers, they balk at the idea?

Somebody help me here, please!

Abortion

I first want to apologize for being incommunicado for the last five days.  My spouse and I slipped out of town to spend some “quality time” together.  We actually had a wonderful time not talking about the kids or about our mortgage payment.  Geez, I don’t even recall having one serious argument!

And now I’m back in the Washington, D.C. area and all anyone is talking about here is the upcoming election.  You just can’t avoid all of the debates, the talking heads on the cable shows, the campaign commercials and the political predictions.   Of course, the group that is probably getting the most attention is the now-famous “Tea Party.”   I’ve written about these folks before.  I’ve talked about how I really have no idea what they want and what they would do if they got elected.  All I can gather is that they are angry at everyone and they think it’s time to “clean house.”    Well, that sounds all well and good and it is a very simple phrase that appeals to a lot of folks in this country who are too lazy to think about the real issues that confront our nation.   Still, there are enough yahoos in the good ole USA that some of these Tea Party candidates actually have a chance of winning.

So, let’s take a minute to think about what would happen if a “Tea Partyer” is sent to Congress in January.

The first thing that he will be asked to do is to vote for the Speaker of the House (the position currently held by Nancy Pelosi).  There will be two people running for that position, one nominated by the Democratic Party and one by the Republican Party.  There will not be a nominee from the Tea Party, so from the very beginning this new person will have to cast their lot with one of the established parties.  And, of course, they’re going to vote with the Republican Party.

Abortion

Then they have to try to get on a committee that will be of great relevance to their district.  If the Republican Party takes over the House of Representatives, as is predicted, the chairman of every committee will be a Republican.  So, that young, brash Tea Party person, who may have spent some time during the election bashing both parties, will then have to make an appointment with the chairman of the committee they want to be on and perhaps have to explain to him why they spent the election season bashing his party.  Now, won’t that be interesting?

Then the Tea Partyer will start voting.  One of the most important matters they vote on first is the budget.  Generally speaking, Members of Congress get to vote on two versions of a budget – one offered by the Democrats and one by the Republicans.  So, the new Tea Party person will have only two options.   Oh, sure, he or she can put together their own budget on behalf of himself and the maybe 3 other Tea Partyers in the House.  That budget might have suggestions like cutting all federal support for public education, eliminating the Medicare program and reducing the minimum wage.  The final tally on that proposal would be in the neighborhood of 4 in favor and 431 against.  Now, that is really shaking up Washington!

So, what it will come down to ultimately is that these Tea Party folks will

Abortion

wind up voting with the Republican Party 95 percent of the time.  Oh, sure, they’ll go to the floor of the House and give a fiery speech about the “special interests” and the old ways of Washington that need to be changed.  They will then make thousands of copies of that speech and mail it to their constituents to show how they are “fighting” for the common man.  Their constituents won’t know that when they gave the speech there was no one else on the floor or in the galleries except for an intern or two.

They will accomplish nothing.  They will vote with the Republican Party.  But their constituents will have no idea.  They will just be thrilled that they sent a “fighter” to Washington, D.C. to shake things up!

Is this a great country or what?

Abortion and the Supreme Court

Abortion and the Supreme Court

Okay, boys and girls.  It’s time for a lesson in civics.

The fate of legalized abortion rests with you – the voters.  Yeah, that might sound kind of corny but it’s true.

Let’s talk about whether or not abortion will remain legal in this country.  It drives me nuts when I hear someone say that Roe v Wade is “settled law.”  That’s total bull crap.  No, it’s double bull crap.

That issue of whether or not abortion will remain legal in this country ultimately rests with the U.S. Supreme Court.  Sure, the Congress could theoretically pass a constitutional amendment overturning Roe v Wade, but they tried that in the early 1980’s and got crushed.  They ain’t gonna try it again for a very, very long time.

So, the anti-abortion crowd has to look to the Supreme Court for assistance.  At this point, there are 6 members of the Court (out of 9) that appear to support legal abortion.  That includes Justices Sotomayer and Kagan, who have not voted on the issue publicly but who we assume are pro-choice.  I say it “appears” that we have six votes because most people count Justice Anthony Kennedy as pro-choice.  The problem is he is a wild card and has supported abortion restrictions.  Then there are three solid votes against legal abortion.  So far, so good.  The home team is up 6-3.

But let’s say that Kennedy suddenly starts having reservations about legal abortion for some reason.  If he switched, that brings the score to 5-4 in favor of Roe v Wade.  Then, jump to the year 2012 and suppose that President Obama is defeated for re–election, which is a distinct possibility at this point.  So, all of a sudden we have a President Palin or Gingrich (hand me the barf bag, please) to deal with come January, 2013.  Then, let’s say that one of our solid votes dies or resigns from the Court.  Justice Ginsburg, who is old and ill, comes to mind.  That means that the new right wing President suddenly has an opportunity to appoint a conservative judge who would be in favor of reversing Roe.  That makes if 5-4 for the bad guys.

Now, please don’t tell me that the Supreme Court relies very heavily on “precedent.”   That’s garbage.  The Supreme Court, as we saw in the Gore-Bush election case, is now a very partisan institution.  These are not sage, respected jurists who sit back with an open mind, then research the issue and hand down their opinion.  No, they already know how they feel about the basic issues and when a case comes before them they just pretend to listen to the oral arguments, then they go back to their chambers, tell their clerks what their decision is and instruct them to figure out the reasoning.

So, the bottom line is whether or not we have a pro-choice President or not.

And that’s entirely up to you.

Abortion

Abortion

Yesterday, to escape this blasted heat, I went into Washington, D.C. to catch an exhibit of Norman Rockwell paintings that had been donated by Stephen Speilberg and George Lucas.  It was nice just taking my time walking around, examining every amazing detail in Rockwell’s works.

At one point I came across a piece entitled “Free Speech.”  The piece focuses on one man, standing in the middle of a crowd.  The caption next to the painting said this was a man who disagreed with the crowd on some issue, but his opponents were listening to him intently, respecting his right to say what was on his mind even though they ultimately would not support him.   I was almost brought to tears.

Today, of course, that person would have been shouted down, totally discounted as some nut ball by his opponents.  That’s just where we are as a society these days.  We just don’t listen anymore.  Worse, when someone tries to suggest something contrary to our beliefs, we try to silence him with harsh words, with guffaws, with rolling eyes, as if this person could never say anything that was remotely of some benefit.

Of course, we see this kind of behavior all the time in the abortion debate.  Indeed, the harsh back and forth is probably more pronounced when discussing the abortion issue than any other issue.  We are so locked into our beliefs, the battle lines are drawn oh-so-clearly and you cannot cross them lest you be accused of ceding some valuable territory to the opposition.  Just watch an abortion debate on television.  You know exactly what I mean.  It’s a constant screaming match.    “Abortion is murder!”   “A woman has the right to control her body!”   And on and on and on.

No one is communicating.  They’re just yelling over each other.  Actually, years ago I stopped watching these “debates.”

I’m pro-choice, I’ve worked for pro-choice organizations for years.  But, much to the chagrin of many of my colleagues, years ago I started reaching out to pro-life people in an attempt to try to get inside their head, to learn more about them and, hopefully, to allow them to learn more about me .  I actually started engaging the other side after I learned that a number of the abortion clinics that I represented engaged in the same discussions with their local anti-abortion activists.

At the same time, I challenged my pro-choice colleagues to address the tougher questions about abortion.  When I visited the clinics, I talked to the women and it became clear to me that they were not there to make a statement about their constitutional rights or to promote some feminist ideology.  They were there because they were in a difficult situation and they needed help.  They also had to deal with something that pro-choice organizations would rather not address – they were carrying a baby that they didn’t want.   I soon discovered that the bottom line was that abortion is all so complicated.

So, amidst the screaming and yelling, the women continue to seek abortion services.  I think that anti-abortion folks owe these women more respect and the pro-choice activists should not try to reduce this issue to a simple bumper sticker.  Both sides should listen more to the other side with the goal of having a civil debate about abortion – kinda like that group in the Normal Rockwell painting.

 

Abortion Pill

Abortion

I’ve been told that one of the tricks to making a blog more visible is to mention the keyword that you are dealing with as often as you can.  In this case, of course, the word is ABORTION.   If you mention a word like ABORTION as often as possible, it gets indexed better, or it gets picked by the Googles or something happens that is good.   I don’t get it.  ABORTION.

 

So, I try to come up with an ABORTION topic every few days but I gotta tell you that this has been an incredibly sucky week for me and I don’t have the energy to write about ABORTION or the anti-ABORTION people or late term ABORTION.  I just want this ABORTION of a week to end.

It started late Saturday night when my 20 year old son, who I did not ABORT, complained of severe stomach pains.  Ultimately, we took him to our local hospital, which does not do ABORTIONS, and he sat there for four hours.  Fortunately, I talked over the phone to my good friend, Doctor Scott, and he made us feel a little better about his situation.  My son ultimately survived, unlike the fetus during an ABORTION.

Then the next day, I got hit with the same stomach cramps.  They felt much like the cramps you get when you have a non-surgical ABORTION.  I got feverish, had the runs like you wouldn’t believe.  I spent hours and hours in the bathroom.  Probably the most annoying thing was every time I made my trek to the porcelain God, my stupid dog followed me in and just stared at me.  Do they perform ABORTIONS on dogs?  All she wanted to do was play with her damned rubber toy.  Hey, dog, get outta my face!  Can’t you see I’m peeing through my butt here?

The next few days were a blur, like the days following an ABORTION.  One day I just took Nyquil and slept for 24 straight hours.  I mean, I missed everything.  We could have been hit with a nuclear bomb and I wouldn’t have known it.  It was surreal.

Then, of course, to add insult to injury there was the heat.  It got as hot around here as a saline ABORTION (which they don’t do anymore, by the way).  Here in Virginia, it climbed over 100 degrees, there was no rain, the air did not move, everything turned brown in three days.  We broke records.   And some folks are still telling me there’s no global warming issue.  Those folks should be ABORTED.

By Wednesday night, I was able to eat some unbuttered toast and hot tea.  Hurray!  Finally, something solid in my stomach.  Five minutes later, I threw it up.

Have I mentioned ABORTION lately?

This morning, however, I feel like I’m turning the corner.  I feel like there’s some light at the end of the tunnel, that a new day is dawning.  The temperature has dropped to a lovely 98 degrees and we actually had a 27 second cloudburst this morning.  The birds are chirping again.  I feel like my life is back on track.   Kinda like after you’ve had an ABORTION.

Jeferson Abortion

Abortion Pills

I hope everyone had a pleasant and safe Fourth of July.  Of course, when we think of Independence Day we no doubt think about our basic freedoms that were articulated so elegantly in the Declaration of Independence.   We think wistfully of our Founding Fathers, debating back and forth for months upon end in the steaming heat of that Philadelphia summer.

Or, I could be wrong.

Maybe most folks just think about tossing firecrackers at passing automobiles from the parkway overhang or pigging out on beer and hot dogs.  Or maybe Independence Day is that Will Smith movie where the aliens blew up the White House.  You decide.  As for me, thinking me-self a scholar of sorts, I will take the high road.

We all know by now that the word “abortion” is not in the Declaration of Independence or in the U.S. Constitution.  Indeed, I am no expert but I’ll venture to guess that the word never even came up during the deliberations over those two historic documents.    Now, the pro-lifers will say: “Wake up, Pat, the framers were thinking about abortion when they wrote that we are guaranteed “LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”    So, there’s the proof that Jefferson, Franklin, et al were opposed to abortion.   That’s a bunch of horse dung and everyone knows it.   Chances are that when Jefferson read that line aloud to the delegates, they all looked at him and said “good line, Tommy, let’s get on with it” and there was no discussion after that.  They had more important things to discuss, like the question of slavery.

Ultimately, as we all know, on January 22, 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the landmark Roe v Wade decision.  Ironically, the decision was not the headline of the day because on that same day President Lyndon Baines Johnson died.  In the Roe decision, the Court said basically said that the constitutional right to privacy extended to the right of a woman to obtain an abortion.  Yes, the word “privacy” cannot be found anywhere in the original Constitution but that document is a living document, our interpretation of it evolves (if it didn’t, blacks would still be using separate bathrooms) and in previous decisions the Court had determined that married couples had a right to privacy when it came to birth control.  So, this decision took that right one step further.

In so many words, Blackmun and the 6 other justices who joined him, said that a woman could have an abortion through the second trimester with basically no questions asked.  After the fetus became viable, the states could impose restrictions (which most of them have).  Thus started the abortion wars.  The pro-life movement was born, the battle lines were drawn and the public was subjected to decades of dueling bumper stickers.

Interestingly, the ONLY time the pro-life movement was able to force a vote reversing the Roe v Wade decision was in 1983, when the Senate overwhelming defeated the Hatch Constitutional Amendment.  It was not even close.  While pro-life forces needed 67 votes to pass the Amendment, they didn’t even get a majority.  The final vote was 49 in favor and 51 against.  Since then, despite the fact that pro-life Congressmen have chaired important committees (e.g., Cong. Henry Hyde chaired the House Judiciary Committee), no similar measure has ever been considered by the Congress.    The bottom line is that the pro-life movement just does not have the votes to outlaw abortion.    So, we’re in good shape there.

But watch out for the Supreme Court, folks.  That’s another story.

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