Tag Archives: abortion

Video: MN State Sen. Ron Latz speaks against anti-choice bill

17 May

I’ve already spent a lot of time today reading about abortion on the wingnut websites I had to cruise for the last post. But hey, why not. It’s our GOP politicians’ favorite subject of late, so I suppose now it’s mine, too.

The Minnesota Senate already voted to cut state funding of abortions for poor women and to limit abortions to under 20 weeks. Governor Mark Dayton is expected to veto it. That doesn’t make this video of Sen. Ron Latz (DFL – St. Louis Park) speaking against the bill any less awesome to watch.

Latz points out what so many women feel every time these new restrictions on abortion are passed under the justification that taxpayers don’t want to fund them: there are any number of things that taxpayers hate funding — like unjust wars, like the nice government health care plan of any GOP congressman, like crisis pregnancy centers that provide medical misinformation to women.

Yet the fact that the government still spends billions to fight wars to kill children in faraway lands and yet sermonizes about saving $1.5 million on family planning funding and listens to the screeching of an incoherent right-wing agenda that calls itself “pro-life” even as it undercuts social safety nets, health care and education for the increasing numbers of poor — hell, Latz could use a little more outrage.

5 tips for trying to Google search “abortion”

17 May

ThinkProgress posted yesterday about a sneaky new little tactic from the anti-choice organizations out there hoping to trick women: buying up Google ad space to make their ads for Online for Life among the first hits when someone searches the term “abortion.”

Clever! If you can trick women into clicking on websites about staying pregnant when they try to Google “abortion,” they’ll change their minds when they see that fetus circled with a heart on your homepage! Women are fairly easy to trick.

To help a lady out, I have written a helpful list of ways a woman can identify if she has mistakenly arrived at one of these anti-choice sites while looking for actual medical information instead.

1. This is an easy one. If the site talks about abortion like a Michael Bay movie apocalypse terror scenario, this site, like a Michael Bay movie, has no basis in reality.

2. Rule out pregnancy centers that don’t understand how babies are made in the first place.  This is like asking Finn from Glee about how babies are made.

3. Oh look, here’s an organization that tries to raise funds to buy ultrasound machines for crisis pregnancy centers. Pro-lifers imagine this moment of a woman looking at the ultrasound like the kiss at the end of the movie and everyone goes home happy afterwards forever.

Who doesn’t love fantasy? Probably women seeking abortions, who generally don’t change their minds after seeing the sonogram. Avoid sites (and politicians) that believe sonograms have magic powers.

Also, here’s a side tip: maybe don’t let centers with no “medical expert on staff” operate medical machinery on you.

4. You may have to look hard sometimes between otherwise coherent words on a site like this  that even has a section on abortion options, but phrases like “the tiny baby will die” generally indicate bias.

5. Avoid sites that talk about abortion like it’s a shopping trip. Would you like to try on this jewelry? Don’t buy so fast! Make the sales representative let you try it on one more time!

This is exactly like the last time you went to Sam’s Club.

Sanity and hypocrisy: Planned Parenthood Indiana funding

16 May

Since most of the insane, cruel people in this country are either politicians or people who lobby politicians for legislation that negatively and needlessly impacts their fellow human beings for no particular reason whatsoever except “Jesus wanted it that way for poor people,” it’s not surprising to hear that sane and compassionate ordinary citizens from 36 states across the country have put up donations to Planned Parenthood Indiana to allow it to serve Medicaid patients for another week. Unlike Gov. Mitch Daniels and his “he’s the least horrible option” possible GOP presidential bid, some Americans would not like to see thousands of Indiana women denied preventive medical care.

Incidentally, did you know that the Indiana law stripping Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood only applies to clinics? Hospitals that perform abortions will still receive Medicaid funding as normal. If the GOP were as committed as they say they are to fake “stopping abortions” by cutting off all funding to anyone at all who provides (safe, legal) abortions, then logically they’d also be required to cut Medicaid funding to hospitals that perform them as well. I imagine they sensed, however, that turning out a bunch of sick people at hospitals onto the street wouldn’t go over well when it came time to enforce the law.

A bunch of women, on the other hand…



Other links: Donate to PP of Indiana

Even conservative feminists getting sick of GOP anti-choice agenda

28 Apr

Over at the blog Red State Feminists, some conservative feminists are getting kind of angry that the GOP men are focusing on abortion to the exclusion of other issues. Yeah, that’s annoying, right?

[Red State Feminists] believe that abortion is one of the most important issues of the day. RSFs also believe, heretically, that the pro-life position can be completely consonant with feminism–because no woman wants an abortion.

But it is with a great deal of frustration that we find that the first issue pushed in new Republican-controlled state legislatures, are further constraints on abortion. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are some reasonable constraints that might make sense. Standards for equipment and facilities, safety inspections, parental notification, and so forth may be seen by abortion proponents as harassment, but can also be argued to be important advances.

I won’t agree wholesale, but these are fairly sane voices in the conservative lady wilderness. The gloss over the debate about “equipment and facilities” aside, since sometimes those standards are falsely used as masks to shut down safe abortion clinics (and sometimes those standards should legitimately be raised), we can pretty much all agree that we’re frustrated by the myopic obsession with abortion currently floating around the GOP. Why? Because it addresses none of the underlying problems. We can get that far together. Continue reading

Why conservatives need the abortion issue

13 Apr

What is it about the abortion issue that makes it so popular with social conservatives? Do they really feel that equality between women and men and the act of a woman choosing not to bear a child represents a total meltdown of social order?


But beyond that fear, here’s my other theory: abortion is essentially the only issue on the social conservative platform that has at least the appearance of being about something warm and fuzzy: babies. “Save the children” is a simple battle cry that implies you still have some actionable human feeling for others.

Can you think of any other such warm and fuzzy issues on the social conservatives’ agenda?

Let’s ponder… poverty is the result of laziness, minorities and immigrants are ruining America, unemployed people aren’t trying hard enough, gays are unnatural and do not deserve equal citizenship, Muslims are evil and should be persecuted, global warming is fake and the environment is underexploited, tolerance is code for “homosexual agenda,” teachers are paid too much…

In general, American social conservatism reflects a fair amount of hostility towards the basic well-being of others.

So here we have abortion. It is the sole demonstrable political way in which conservatives show ardent positive feelings for abstract “others,” which perhaps tellingly are not yet actual individuals (and thus exempt from the hostility).

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Bachmann woos Iowa with her 17th-century vision for society

12 Apr

Why pick on poor LensCrafters? What about Kay Jewelers? Or Wendy’s Drive-Thru? Did LensCrafters “forget” to donate to Bachmann’s re-election campaign?

From Politico:

In a barn-burning speech to social conservatives here, Michele Bachmann called Monday for abolishing the entire tax code and the Department of Education, labeled Planned Parenthood the “LensCrafters of big abortion” and slammed same-sex marriage advocates for going against what she called 5,000 years of human history.

This poor reporter, Kasie Hunt, basically had to just cram every insane thing Bachmann said into a vague article about her ranting in order to keep it under the assigned word limit. Michele also went on to call for the abolishing of the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce and said district courts are too busy making “decisions,” and they should knock that off.

Bachmann continues to romance Iowa conservatives by calling for the return of candlelit log homes full of illiterate, unwanted children using their guns to fend off the intruders, whom they can no longer bring to “courts” because courts suck and the people called “judges” apparently are, verbatim, “black-robed masters” because they are ninjas and why should they have all the fun. It’s almost like these people would enjoy being Amish ninjas with poor eyesight.

While the myopic Amish ninja contingent is unlikely to win Michele much support in the rest of the contact-lens-wearing-electricity-guzzling-drive-thru-strip-mall-abortion-loving country, we do enjoy her colorful, gothic 17th-century vision for society.

Iowa Senator: women and livestock, they are politically similar

12 Apr

Abortion headline alert! State Sen. Matt McCoy (D-Des Moines) introduced an amendment to a bill prohibiting the secret taping of mistreated farm animals that would also prohibit secret taping inside “pregnancy termination locations.”

Wait! You said something about abortion! News aggregators like those headlines. Pageviewz! “Senate amendment: ban secret video at Iowa abortion clinics.” Finally, sanity emerges from the Iowan cornfields.

Oops. McCoy apparently doesn’t actually think the amendment will pass, but God bless him, he wanted to make a confusing point about how women’s clinics and cows both need to be videotaped, or not.

“What I was trying to illustrate was that livestock industry is really setting themselves up as a niche industry,”McCoy said.  Livestock would be provided more protection from secret taping than people visiting women’s health centers and other places that work closely with people, he said.

Wait, what? Protection? Livestock aren’t really “protected” by a ban on secret taping, which is maybe what he actually wanted to say since he is against the bill? JUST SAY THAT. But somehow, his response came out as “women’s clinics and livestock, we should think about how they are videotaped, secretly.” Cows and women, women and cows. It’s important to see how similar they are, for politics.

A Google search doesn’t turn up any other articles on this amendment to help clarify. It would have been helpful to know if McCoy is pro-choice or not to fully contextualize the comparison he is seeking to make, which in any case is convoluted from the way it is portrayed in this Des Moines Register blog post.

But does it really matter? Women and livestock, they are very similar! Cows and ladies are both kind of stupid, they don’t really know if they want to be videotaped or not, some men should decide that, but luckily women and cows can both be used to make political points in Iowa.

GOP would like IRS to have benefit of hearing your sexy abortion stories

18 Mar

I love this one. Nick Baumann of Mother Jones, still bravely sifting through the surrealist existentialist masterpiece that is the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (HR3) in the same way that some literary aficionados bravely spend months enduring Infinite Jest with a tortured smile, finds that in the world Republicans imagine on paper, for money, paid for by taxpayers (and I can’t get paid to write fiction), IRS agents have some free time and would like to hear a sexy bedtime story about your incest-fueled abortion dramedy (and yes, that was one sentence). IRS agents love to hear about those things, that’s what they exist for. Not only do they want to hear about it, they want to see some drawings of it maybe.

Under standard audit procedure, a woman would have to provide evidence to corroborate facts about abortions, rapes, and cases of incest, says Marcus Owens, an accountant and former longtime IRS official. If a taxpayer received a deduction or tax credit for abortion costs related to a case of rape or incest, or because her life was endangered, then “on audit [she] would have to demonstrate or prove, ideally by contemporaneous written documentation, that it was incest, or rape, or [her] life was in danger,” Owens says.

It’s a good thing Republicans are getting paid, in Congress at their desks during work hours, to write these classic cultural tomes that illuminate the soul of our society with such lyricism. We as Americans are so indomitable, so inimitable. It’s like the Congressional bill-writing equivalent of the poetic ad I just saw in the Miami airport Burger King that said, “THIS IS PERFECTION.”

It’s comedy night in the Texas state legislature

7 Mar
Not realizing that most Republicans and in particular the anti-choice goblins can’t compute hypocrisy, irony or comedy (which, incidentally, is the best reason not to be either of those things), hero Democratic state representatives in Texas held an amateur comedy open mic on the floor of the House during debate over the Texas sonogram bill that would force women seeking abortions to undergo a sonogram before the procedure and have the doctor describe to her the image in detail.
State Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, offered an amendment that would, in the event that a woman decided to carry her child to term after undergoing a sonogram as required by the bill, require the state to pay for that child’s college tuition. When that didn’t work, Dutton proposed that the state pay for the child’s health care until age 18. That failed, too. He followed up with a similar amendment that only went up to age 6, but with no more success.
Honestly, he’s going only for the most obvious joke here. We feminists joke about that all the time, about that whole base irony of the “pro-life” term. He gets points for repeating the premise for maximum effect, though.
Another representative went the props route and waved around a sonogram wand while using the “shock-value humor” style of making everyone think about how gross vaginas are. Awkward laughter!
The debate was sometimes uncomfortable. Intent on highlighting the invasive nature of sonograms during the early part of a pregnancy, state Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, asked how a woman unclothed from the waist down, with her “legs in the stirrups very far apart” was supposed to “get up and walk away” if she did not want to view the sonogram or hear the fetus’ heartbeat.
Of course, these jokes are all kind of subtle. At least  there was one representative to make the also-obvious but classic substitution joke to suggest women instead be given control over men’s reproduction.
State Rep. Marisa Marquez, D-El Paso, proposed giving a pregnant mother being required to undergo a sonogram the option to force, by court order, the unborn child’s father to undergo a vasectomy.
I’m just kidding. These representatives all know their humor fell on deaf, humorless minds.

A gallery of screen grabs from the “Faith2Action” Youtube channel

2 Mar

By now you’ve heard of the “fetus witness” being called to “testify” before the Ohio state legislature’s health committee.

But did you know how hard Faith2Action works to entertain people, on the internet, with a full menu of songs, spoken-word poems, cheap visual stunts, conspiracy mass death theories and pro-life romantic comedy films?

Here is an angry war baby from the Faith2Action music video for the bill.

What would he sing if he could speak?

“A heartless worry we must scurry, call the troops out in a hurry. This is what we’re waiting for. This is it boys, win the war.”

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