Some women looking for abortions are being misdirected to “clinics” that have no intention of providing them with such a service.
"Misconception," a short documentary from Vice News, looks at the phenomenon of “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) — organizations staffed by anti-abortion groups, usually religiously-based, that encourage women to follow through with their pregnancies, even if they have already decided to terminate.
Some crisis centers provide factually incorrect advice about the process of abortion and its aftermath, others use religious rhetoric to shame women for their choices. Many such centers receive government funding through federal grants or state programs. Vice estimates that in 2014, CPCs could now outnumber abortion clinics 5 to 1.
The film, produced by Allison Yarrow and Claire Ward, investigates the deceptive practices these “clinics” use. Misrepresenting themselves as abortion providers using manipulative tactics like engineering their pages to show up in online searches for “pregnancy symptoms” or situating themselves next to abortion clinics, CPCs reel women in under false pretenses. Often, as shown in the film, these clinics refuse to provide abortion pricing information over the phone, often only revealing that the procedure is not offered there after subjecting women to a “counseling session” and sonogram.
The idea for the documentary came from Yarrow’s field reporting for a Newsweek feature, "The Abortion War’s Special Ops," which follows anti-abortion activist Lila Rose and pro-abortion rights activist Katie Stack. Stack, who was herself referred to a crisis pregnancy center following an unplanned pregnancy, founded The Crisis Project, which investigates the “medical misinformation, emotional manipulation and religious doctrine” that CPCs commonly use.
In “Misconception,” host Fazeelat Aslam attends the pro-life March For Life in Washington D.C., meets with a young woman in Texas who found herself at a crisis pregnancy center after searching for access to an abortion, and goes undercover with Stack to another CPC. Posing as Stack’s aunt, Aslam films a counseling session in which Stack is advised against abortion.
"[Abortion] could never be safe, because it’s so totally unnatural," an anonymous "counselor" tells Stack and Aslam. "Your body is meant to keep that baby, not to have someone put an instrument in and rip it out."
The film also features hidden camera footage from Stack’s visits to other CPCs around the country, revealing some of the shocking things CPC workers have said to her.
"If people die due to an abortion, later on a lot of times they’re finding parts of the fetus in like the lungs or the heart," one "counselor" says. (Hint: this is not true.)
Yarrow believes that “honest, well-run” crisis pregnancy centers have their place, but that the misrepresentation of their mission is unacceptable.
"Centers should reveal up front that they do not offer abortion services and that their counseling is inspired by an anti-abortion position and religious morals," she told The Huffington Post in an email. "We are all entitled to our own positions on abortion, but I bet many people disagree with taxpayer-funded deception."
Stack and other anti-CPC activists are pushing for CPCs to disclose that they do not provide abortions, so that women directed to these places are fully aware of the resources available to them. Raising awareness of this issue is working: organizations like Google have taken a stand, removing deceptive ads for CPCs from their search results.
"The best way to combat crisis pregnancy center deception is to know where these centers are located in your own hometown, and to inform other men and women in your community where they are and what they do," Yarrow told HuffPost. "Insist that your legislators support bills that require centers to adhere to truth in advertising standards."
Watch the full film above, and find out more about The Crisis Project here.
"Crisis Pregnancy Centers" = hotbeds of deceptive medical information for the anti-choice movement.
H/T: Nina Bahadur at HuffPost Women
Anti-Choice Activist Brian Clowes: "Gays Demand Acceptance Because They Feel Guilty About Their 'Horrible Lifestyle'"
Late last month, Molly Smith of Cleveland Right to Life and the National Personhood Alliance hosted Brian Clowes, the director of education and research at the Catholic group Human Life International, to discuss not their mutual opposition to abortion rights but the topic of LGBT rights, which Smith believes is inseparable from the anti-choice fight.
Over the course of 45 minutes, the two activists ran through an encyclopedia of anti-gay myths, including that gay men are prone to molest children, that people become gay because of abuse or neglect in their childhood, and that gay people have dramatically reduced lifespans.
Despite the fact that all of these claims have been thoroughly debunked, Clowes backed them up by saying, “The main principle to keep in mind is that every principle the Catholic Church teaches about sexual morality can be backed up by science, hard science and a lot of it.”
“Interestingly, you’ll find that if you get out of the homosexual lifestyle, you’ll be a lot happier,” he said. “If you’re living under God’s law, God wants us to be happy, so it’s going to be like that.”
The two went on to compare homosexuality to alcoholism, drug abuse and obesity.
“The term ‘gay’ certainly doesn’t apply here,” Clowes said. “It is a horrible lifestyle and it will kill you in the end. And those last few years of your life are not going to be happy because you’re going to be extremely sick, dying of cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, whatever.”
Earlier in the interview, Clowes claimed that LGBT people are demanding tolerance and acceptance because they are “involved in all kinds of sinful, but extremely unhealthy activities and their conscience is bothering them.”
“If they feel bad about themselves, it’s the church’s fault, it’s the homophobes’ fault,” he said. “You know what I’m talking about here? So the only way they can get rid of that nagging little voice of guilt is to have everybody say, ‘It’s all right that you’re gay, we support you in your choice.’ And they will never be satisfied until everybody who opposes them is simply shut up.”
h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW
Linda Harvey And Molly Smith: Anti-Choicers Must Oppose Gay Rights Because Gay Rights Cause Abortion
Molly Smith, the director of Cleveland Right to Life, lost her group’s affiliation with National Right to Life Committee last year when she criticized Sen. Rob Portman for announcing his support for marriage equality after his son came out as gay.
The national group chided Smith [pdf] for taking on “an advocacy agenda that includes issues beyond the right to life,” but her group pushed back, saying that “any politician, including Portman, who supports the break-up of the American family and supports the denial of a mother and father for children has forfeited the right of support and endorsement of the prolife movement .”
Then, earlier this year, Smith was picked as the head of the National Personhood Alliance, a new group meant to be an even more extreme rival to National Right to Life.
Which is to say, feelings are still raw. The subject came up in Smith’s interview this month with anti-gay activist Linda Harvey, who wholeheartedly agreed with Smith that anti-choice activists must also oppose LGBT rights because, she said, LGBT rights lead to a greater incidence of abortion.
“The Planned Parenthood and anti-life lobby is heavily imbued and connected to homosexuality,” Harvey told Smith. “They’re in favor of opening up the doors and spreading the boundaries of sexuality all across the board. That includes homosexuality. The lines are very blurred, and unless you stand strong on this issue, you’re going to see much more, and you do see much more, out of wedlock sexuality and then of course, more abortion.”
Harvey said that she had seen Planned Parenthood march in the Columbus, Ohio, LGBT pride parade: “Why are they doing that? Because they know, you muddy the water, and you get a lot more of their business, abortion.”
Smith and Harvey then discussed polls showing rapidly increasing support for gay rights, which they decided must be skewed.
“I’m beginning to lose all kinds of respect for these polls,” Smith said.
“Yes, they’re inaccurate, they portray things in the wrong way,” Harvey agreed, adding that if polls gave people “all the information” about LGBT people “they would change their minds” and realize that “maybe these people are defending something that is not defensible and is, indeed, shameful.”
h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW
THE GOP'S WAR ON WOMEN CRUSADES ON: 3 state measures that could end legal abortion in their respective states
Ballot initiatives in Colorado, North Dakota, and Tennessee could deal a major blow to abortion rights in those states.
States have approved more anti-abortion measures during the past three years than during the entire preceding decade. And this fall, voters themselves will also have the chance to decide whether to approve or block extreme anti-abortion ballot initiatives in three states. Ballot measures in Colorado and North Dakota would effectively ban abortion by defining personhood as beginning at conception, and a constitutional amendment in Tennessee would allow the state legislature to pass draconian anti-abortion laws, including a ban. Here’s a look at those ballot initiatives:
Colorado’s Constitutional Amendment 67: This ballot measure would amend Colorado’s constitution to define a fetus as a person under Colorado’s criminal code, a change that opponents say would make any abortion a crime, including in cases of rape and incest, and when the health of the mother is endangered.
Supporters of the amendment, including Personhood Colorado, the group backing the ballot measure, say it has nothing to do with abortion, but rather is designed to ensure that those who harm an unborn child in any manner will be prosecuted. The woman who initially pushed for the measure is Colorado resident Heather Surovik, whose fetus was killed by a drunk driver. The driver pleaded guilty to vehicular assault and driving while intoxicated, but because under Colorado law an unborn child is considered part of the mother’s body and not a separate person, he was not charged with killing the fetus.
"Amendment 67 corrects the loophole in Colorado law and ensures that those criminals can be charged with killing a child in many different scenarios," Jennifer Mason, a spokeswoman with PersonhoodUSA, told the Washington Post in August.
Reproductive rights advocates say baloney. The “Vote No on 67” campaign, a broad coalition of organizations including the ACLU of Colorado, the Colorado Bar Association and NARAL Pro-Choice America, note the amendment would “give legal and constitutional rights to a woman’s fertilized egg,” making criminals out of women who seek abortions and the doctors who perform them. Amendment 67 could also restrict access to emergency contraception and other types of birth control, as some prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus.
Planned Parenthood of Colorado is planning to spend at least $3.8 million in an effort to defeat the amendment. And Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is harping on the ballot initiative to help drive women to the polls in November. Udall’s Republican opponent, Rep. Corey Gardner (R-Colo.), says he opposes Amendment 67 but has supported personhood measures in the past.
Coloradans defeated personhood amendments in 2008 and 2010 that defined a fetus as a person from the moment of fertilization, or from the first stage of biological development. But because this time around the measure’s language focuses on “protecting pregnant women,” and supporters are framing it as unrelated to abortion, opponents fear it has a better chance.
North Dakota’s Constitutional Measure 1: North Dakota’s personhood amendment asks voters to decide whether the state’s constitution should protect “the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development.”
The measure would have the effect of banning all abortion services, according to the North Dakota Coalition For Privacy in Healthcare, a group opposing the initiative that includes the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition. “Victims of rape and incest could be forced to carry a pregnancy that resulted from sexual violence,” the coalition notes. “Women whose health is at risk could also be prohibited from terminating their pregnancies.” The measure could even criminalize miscarriage and ban some forms of birth control. Former North Dakota Democratic lieutenant governor Lloyd Omdahl has said Measure 1 is “driven primarily by theology.”
Proponents of the personhood amendment say the ballot initiative would keep existing laws governing abortion from being overturned by courts. Last year, North Dakota enacted two laws restricting abortion in the state. One forbade women from terminating a pregnancy based on sex or genetic defect. The other, which banned abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected—about six weeks after conception—was shot down by a federal court in April.
GOP state Sen. Margaret Sitte, a supporter of the personhood amendment, says Measure 1 is “intended to present a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade,” the landmark Supreme Court case that held the constitutional right to privacy included a right to abortion. If the measure passes, North Dakota would be the first state to define life as beginning at conception. States have defeated three other personhood ballot initiatives in recent years. In addition to Colorado’s 2008 and 2010 personhood amendment fails, voters shot down a similar ballot measure in Mississippi in 2011.
Tennessee’s Constitutional Amendment 1: As my colleague Molly Redden reported last week, the country’s biggest abortion battle is currently playing out in Tennessee, where supporters and opponents of abortion rights are fighting over a constitutional amendment that will appear on state ballots this November.
The measure states, “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.” It would allow the legislature “unlimited authority to pass burdensome and unnecessary restrictions and regulations on abortion, including banning all abortions,” according to Planned Parenthood, including in the case of pregnancy from rape, or incest, or when an abortion is necessary to protect the mother’s health.
Here’s Redden with the backstory:
Tennessee Republicans have been striving to put this referendum before voters since 2000, when a state Supreme Court decision blocked several harsh anti-abortion measures from becoming law. The ruling, which struck down several anti-abortion laws passed in 1998, has prevented the Legislature from passing certain strict laws enacted in other states, such as a mandatory abortion waiting period.…
Amendment 1 would overturn that court decision. ‘It will basically just open the floodgates for the General Assembly to pass any kind of restriction if the amendment passes,’ says Jeff Teague, the president of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee. ‘We think they probably have a long list of things they’re going to pass.’
The amendment is particularly insidious, the group Vote No on 1 says, because it “is carefully worded in order to deliberately confuse voters about the real intention and motives of those behind the amendment.” The reproductive rights coalition says the language in the ballot initiative may trick voters into thinking that it includes exceptions for women who are victims of rape or incest, or when a woman’s health is in danger, when it does not.
Proponents of Amendment 1 have raised over $500,000 as of early July—which they are spending on TV ads and voter outreach efforts—and hope to raise a total of $2.1 million. Opponents have raised more than $360,000 so far and hope to rake in a total of $4 million. The referendum battle looks to become the most expensive in the state’s history.
If the ballot initiative passes, anti-abortion politicians in the state are expected to pass the same extreme abortion laws and regulations that have shuttered abortion clinics in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia, and Alabama.
Repulsive Anti-Choice #TCOT Morons Smear Miss America Winner Kira Kazantsev For Interning At Planned Parenthood
WASHINGTON — Kira Kazantsev has been Miss America for only two days, but she’s already taking a stand on issues that don’t usually make their way into the pageant. Kazantsev, who is from New York, made domestic violence the focus of her platform, speaking out about how she was in an abusive relationship in college.
"I want people to stop asking, ‘Why doesn’t she just leave?’" Kazantsev said in an interview with NPR. “Every woman is an expert in her own case, and there are so many extenuating circumstances that lead to a woman staying with her abuser.” She said she felt incredibly “alone” in the relationship and wanted people to start talking about domestic violence more openly.
Now, Kazantsev is getting attention for something else. Many conservatives are criticizing her for the fact that she once interned at Planned Parenthood.
Kazantsev’s LinkedIn profile notes that for three months in 2013, she worked at Planned Parenthood in Hempstead, New York, assisting with education programs.
The pro-life site LifeNews.com wrote a piece Monday taking aim at Kazantsev’s work with a company they say “snuffs out of the lives of young baby girls.”
So the woman representing the nation as the new Miss America interned for the very organization that has killed millions of Americans in abortions.
Kazantsev worked for the abortion giant just outside New York City proper for three months, from February 2013-April 2013. One month later, one of the Planned Parenthood abortion clinics in New York City botched an abortion. The incident occurred at the Margaret Sanger Center Planned Parenthood in New York City, New York.
The criticism spread to Twitter:
Planned Parenthood, of course, does more than just provide abortions. In fact, abortion services account for only 3 percent of what the group does. It also estimates that it prevents about 216,000 abortions each year through its contraceptive services.
In a statement to The Huffington Post, Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood, said the organization was proud of Kazantsev:
Miss America Kira Kazantsev interned last year at her local Planned Parenthood affiliate, where she supported staff members who provide sex education in the community and at local schools. Several past Miss Americas have supported Planned Parenthood’s mission, and we’re thrilled and proud that one of our former interns is the new Miss America.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider of sex education. Every year, we provide more than one million people with accurate, nonjudgmental information about relationships, sexuality, and healthy decision-making. An overwhelming majority of the American public supports access to comprehensive sex education in middle and high schools — the type of sex education programming that Planned Parenthood provides and which gives parents tools to have conversations with their families, and helps keep young people safe and healthy.
Kazantsev, 23, has also interned for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) campaign and the political consulting firm Solidarity Strategies. In 2012, she helped set up the presidential debate at Hofstra University.
UPDATE: 6:21 p.m. — Kazantsev’s LinkedIn profile is no longer available.
Kira Kazantsev = hero.
h/t: Amanda Terkel and Usha Sahay at HuffPost Politics
The most contentious political battle raging in Tennessee this year has nothing to do with control of the US Senate or the governor’s mansion—it’s taking place over a ballot measure that would make Tennessee the next hot zone in the war over abortion rights.
The referendum, called Amendment 1, would amend Tennessee’s constitution to read: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion,” including for pregnancies “resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.” If the amendment succeeds, it would allow state lawmakers to pass the kinds of draconian abortion restrictions seen in neighboring states. And pro- and anti-abortion rights groups are raising millions to swing the outcome.
Tennessee Republicans have been striving to put this referendum before voters since 2000, when a state Supreme Court decision blocked several harsh anti-abortion measures from becoming law. The ruling, which struck down several anti-abortion laws passed in 1998, has prevented the Legislature from passing certain strict laws enacted in other states, such as a mandatory abortion waiting period. In 2011, a supermajority of both chambers of the state Legislature, which included many Democrats, passed a measure to place Amendment 1 on the November 2014 ballot.
Amendment 1 would overturn that court decision. “It will basically just open the floodgates for the General Assembly to pass any kind of restriction if the amendment passes,” says Jeff Teague, the president of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee. “We think they probably have a long list of things they’re going to pass.”
VOTE NO ON 1 if you live in Tennessee!
h/t: Molly Redden at Mother Jones
Conservative commentators think we’re more interested in pretty shoes than voting. I wonder why they’re having trouble getting women’s support.
Hello? Oh, I’m sorry, I think you’ve stumbled into the wrong place. This is a piece about politics, and you’re on Cosmopolitan.com. Surely you were looking for something about shoes, or maybe information on how to find a boyfriend? If you’re a young woman, scoot along now, little lady, because all this talk about “issues” and “elections” is probably beyond the purview of what you’re looking for from Cosmopolitan.com. (Do you know what “purview” means? Don’t worry your pretty head about it).
Insulted yet? Well, that’s what folks at Fox News and a series of conservative commentators and websites seem to think about you. On Fox’s Outnumbered — a show so dedicated to serious and not-at-all-sexist political analysis that it bills itself as “Featuring an ensemble of four female panelists &#OneLuckyGuy" — panelists took turns complaining about Cosmopolitan.com's decision to endorse pro-choice candidates, claiming (falsely) that Cosmopolitan.com will “probably leave out jobs and a whole bunch of other stuff that we ladies care about.” Putting aside the fact that Fox commentators have not always shown such a commitment to the interests of working women, our endorsement criteria are actually a little more detailed and include issues such as equal pay for equal work, raising the minimum wage, and leadership on ending violence against women. In the past month, our political stories have included coverage of a Supreme Court justice’s reflections on Roe v. Wade, multiple threatened executions by ISIS, sexual assault in the armed forces, and the militarization of the police in places like Ferguson, Missouri, just to name a few.
"Is this beyond the purview of what the readership of this magazine actually wants to see?" Fox panelist Guy Benson asked about our #CosmoVotes initiative aimed at getting women to the polls. “Do they want to be preached at about politics when they really just want to check out the latest fashions and these wonderful shoes you guys are all wearing?” With that last line, he gestured to the footwear of his four female co-hosts.
One of the reasons we started #CosmoVotes was because we saw how regularly young female voters are derided, condescended to, and insulted. Women hear so often that we’re dumb and uninformed that even the most politically savvy among us start to believe it: Women are less likely than men to think they’re qualified to run for office; they’re less likely to hear they should run for office; and once they do run, they are less confident and less likely to take risks. With the inescapable "Beyonce voter" heckles from the media peanut gallery, who can blame them?
Women who are assertive and confident are punished for that too, because they’re seen as abrasive, while men are just leaders. And so even though more women vote than men and more women are graduating from college than men, women are still sorely underrepresented in every major political body. Men go through life with a pervasive overconfidence, which benefits them in the workplace and in leadership positions; for women, simply having a female name means you’re perceived as less competent. Women, then, opine less and are less likely to see themselves as experts or adequately informed; as a result of that, and the fact that female voices and opinions are routinely derided, womenplay less of a role in public political debate.
It means we realize that pro-life women use birth control and have abortions too, and we think they should have that right.
We think that’s a damn shame. And we want to give our readers the tools to push back on it by encouraging them to vote (no matter which candidate they vote for) and by throwing our weight behind candidates who stand up for women instead of condescending to us.
Yes, that means we are endorsing candidates who are pro-choice. That doesn’t mean we don’t care about our pro-life readers. It means we realize that pro-life women use birth control and have abortions too, and we think they should have that right. It means we realize that outside of the “pro-choice” and “pro-life” monikers, 7 in 10 Americans say they want abortion to be legal. It means we recognize that nearly every American woman will use contraception at some point in her life, and 1 in 3 will have an abortion before her 45th birthday. We recognize that contraception and abortion are normal parts of women’s reproductive lives, and choosing to determine the number and spacing of your children is an act of love, of responsibility, and, sometimes, of basic self-preservation. It means we know women don’t see contraception as a frivolous allowance, but as a cornerstone of their personal and financial well-being — a tool that allows them to complete an education, pursue a career, pick a partner they love and not one they’re tied to out of shame and obligation, and build a family when they are emotionally, financially, and physically ready. And it means we understand that reproductive health care is basic health care and limiting that care is a public health issue: where contraception and abortion are unavailable, women are killed and injured.
No one has to agree with us or with the candidates we’ve endorsed. We welcome vigorous debate, and as we’ve said before, we hope you do your own research, form your own opinions, and vote for the politicians you believe represent your best interests. But we do object to the suggestion that Cosmopolitan.com shouldn’t be issuing endorsements at all because, apparently, we’re bubbleheads who should “stick with fashion and orgasms.” Newspapers that cover, say, sports — not exactly the height of intellectual acuity — aren’t subjected to the same condescension that comes with writing about sex, fashion, and beauty. They don’t hear the accusation that they’re “dictating" what their apparently mindless readers should do or face the assumption that because light content appears on one page, there’s no place for something more serious.
It’s almost as if the problem isn’t that we, like so many other publications, are writing about politics and endorsing candidates, but that we’re writing about politics and endorsing candidates and we’re a publication focused on women.
We think you’re perfectly capable of reading an article about shoes and still walking yourself to your polling place to cast an informed, thoughtful vote.
This is all especially rich coming from conservative media mouthpieces, in an election year when conservative candidates are having a tough time appealing to female voters (the only women who reliably support Republicans are those who are both married and don’t have a college degree). Many conservative policies — like opposition to abortion access, insurance coverage for contraception, equal pay for equal work, a higher minimum wage, and gun control — do women real harm. Of the 10 worst American states for women, measured by women’s economic security, leadership roles, and health, all 10 are Republican-dominated red states. This isn’t just about a horse race; it’s about women’s day-to-day ability to live up to their full potential and to exist in a healthy, cared-for body.
Conservative rhetoric hurts too. It’s not just the cluelessness about how women’s uteruses supposedly “shut down” “legitimate rape.” It’s also the idea that women are more interested in driving their kids to the dentist than in equal pay, that the pay gap isn’t real, that abortion is never necessary, and now that young women just want to see shoe pictures and are too dumb to realize Cosmopolitan.com's endorsements are our analysis and suggestion, not marching orders.
We think you’re perfectly capable of reading an article about shoes and still walking yourself to your polling place to cast an informed, thoughtful vote. We hope you do vote, no matter who it’s for, because the more women cast their ballots, the more all our political parties will have to respond to our needs and interests. But we also hope you’re paying attention to the subtle and not-so-subtle messages that politicians and political commentators send about women, and that you’re making connections between rhetoric, worldview, and policy.
And we hope that doing that analysis is a reminder that political thought and leadership isn’t just for the TV talking heads and the white-haired men in Congress. Listen to what these guys are saying about you — and then don’t believe it.
We’ll see you at the polls on November 4. And we’ll see you right here on Cosmopolitan.com every day before then, writing about, discussing, and sometimes opining on the abundance of issues that shape your health, your financial future, and the many dimensions of your life.
Late last night, at around 11:30PM CDT, The Missouri Senate successfully overridden the veto of HB1307 by a 23-7 vote. Just a couple of hours earlier, the House successfully overridden the veto by a 117-44 margin. The bill increases the abortion waiting time from 24 to 72 hours, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or other circumstances that threaten the life of the woman.Missouri lawmakers have overridden a veto to enact one of the nation’s longest abortion waiting periods.STLToday.com:
Legislators passed a measure Wednesday that will require women to wait 72 hours after consulting a physician before having an abortion. That’s the second most-stringent standard behind South Dakota, where a 72-hour wait can sometimes extend longer because weekends and holidays are not counted.
Utah is the only other state with a 72-hour wait, but it has exceptions for rape, incest and other circumstances.Missouri’s new waiting period law will take effect 30 days after the veto-override vote.KWMU (St. Louis Public Radio):
Planned Parenthood, which operates Missouri’s only licensed abortion clinic in St. Louis, has not said whether it will challenge the 72-hour waiting period court. But the organization has said its patients travel an average of nearly 100 miles for an abortion, and an extra delay could force them to either make two trips or spend additional money on hotels.
Women also could travel just across the state line in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas to abortion clinics in Illinois and Kansas that don’t require as long of a wait.
Missouri’s current waiting-period also lacks an exception for rape or incest. It requires physicians to provide women information about medical risks and alternatives to abortion and offer them an opportunity for an ultrasound of the fetus.
Missouri has a history of enacting abortion restrictions. Republican and Democratic lawmakers twice previously joined together to override vetoes of abortion bills — enacting what proponents referred to as a partial-birth abortion ban in 1999 and instituting a 24-hour abortion waiting period in 2003.
Three Missouri clinics have quit offering abortions in the past decade, and the number performed in Missouri has declined by one-third to a little over 5,400 last year.The Missouri General Assembly has made the state the third in the country to require a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can obtain an abortions, after the state Senate killed off a filibuster.Tweets that sum up the disgraceful veto override vote on HB1307:
The Senate voted 23-7 – along party lines — to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the bill, but only after deploying a procedural action that it hadn’t used in seven years to end a Democratic filibuster that had gone on for about two hours.
The last time the procedure – called “moving the previous question’’ – was used was in 2007, when the Senate also was temporarily paralyzed by an abortion bill. Dubbed a “PQ” for short, the procedure allows a simply majority of senators to end a filibuster.
The Senate action came several hours after the House had voted 117-44 in favor of the override. The House supporters had included almost all Republicans and nine Democrats.
Both votes reflected the intense passions on both sides of the abortion debate, underscored earlier Wednesday by the two morning rallies that had attracted hundreds of people to the state Capitol.
BREAKING: Missouri State Senate Republicans’ controversial 72-hour waiting period on abortion bill that was originally vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon has been passed into law during Missouri’s veto session.
Senate Republicans kill filibuster, vote to override @GovJayNixon veto of 72-hour abortion waiting period http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/the-buzz/article2048499.html … #moleg
BREAKING: Veto of #HB1307 has been disgracefully overridden in the Missouri State Senate 23-7, 72-hour abortion waiting period w/o execptions will become law
Senate on abortion bill, just a few minutes after override passed House. Democrats discussing. Looking for indication of filibuster #moleg— Jonathan Shorman (@jshormanNL) September 11, 2014
Sifton: I am going to take some time this evening making some points #moleg— Jonathan Shorman (@jshormanNL) September 11, 2014
Missouri’s abortion waiting period will become 72 hours #moleg— Jonathan Shorman (@jshormanNL) September 11, 2014
BREAKING: #HB1307 has been veto overriden in the House 117-44. The Senate is next.
Since Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis (D) revealed in her new memoir that she once made the difficult decision to end a pregnancy she and her husband very much wanted, some conservatives have cast doubt on the truth of Davis’ story and her motivations in telling it.
The right-leaning National Review called Davis’ story “convenient” and “unverifiable” in an article on Tuesday, saying the Davis campaign did not “respond to questions about whether Davis’ highly unusual abortions were matched by any medical evidence, doctor statements, or public verification from her ex-husband or two daughters.” Davis wrote in her memoir that she had also terminated a different pregnancy because it was ectopic, which can be life-threatening for the mother.
Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak accused the campaign of using Davis’ story to promote abortion, a move he called "sickening" and "subhuman," and he noted that the media attention would “impact book sales and also pay dividends for the campaign.” He later apologized for using the word “subhuman” and deleted the original tweet.
But Davis’ decision to end the pregnancy apparently was a painful memory for her family before she announced her campaign for governor. When Davis’ father died in September 2013, his obituary named “Tate Elise” — Davis’ deceased daughter — as one of his relatives.
Davis explains in her memoir that she made the difficult decision to have an abortion after a doctor told her the fetus had developed a severe brain abnormality that was causing her to suffer in the womb. She wrote that she and her husband named and baptized and mourned Tate Elise after the C-section procedure.
"On her feet were crocheted booties, and next to her was a small crocheted pink bunny," Davis wrote. "Jeff and I spent the better part of the day holding her, crying for her and for us."
Davis’ campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Votes, said she is grateful to Davis for “shining a light on a subject that is too often hidden in the shadows of shame and stigma.”
As Missouri lawmakers head back to the state capitol this week for a special session, there’s one thing at the top of their to-do list: Override Gov. Jay Nixon’s (D) recent veto of a harsh abortion restriction.
The legislation would effectively triple Missouri’s existing waiting period for abortion, forcing women to wait a full 72 hours before being allowed to proceed with the medical procedure. If approved, Missouri will join the ranks of Utah and South Dakota, the only two states in the nation that currently impose a three-day abortion waiting period.
In May, as the bill was moving through the GOP-controlled legislature, women’s health advocates launched a 72-hour filibuster to protest what they said was a condescending measure that assumes women aren’t capable of making their own decisions about their reproductive health care. They pointed out that the restriction will pose a significant hardship for the women who will be forced to make several trips to the abortion clinic — once to receive the mandatory “counseling” about the procedure, and again for the actual abortion three days later — which could require them to take multiple days off work.
The legislation also drew harsh criticism for failing to include an exception for victims of rape and incest, potentially forcing those women to deal with the additional emotional trauma of remaining pregnant for longer than they would prefer. When Nixon vetoed the proposed waiting period in July, he cited that reason for opposing the bill, calling it “insulting to women” and “callous” to victims of rape and incest. “It victimizes these women by prolonging their grief and their nightmare,” the governor said in a statement.
Nonetheless, Republican leaders think they have enough support for the bill to override Nixon, which requires a three-fourths majority in each chamber. Senate leaders told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch they’re confident they’ve got the necessary votes. And they’re not concerned about the lack of a rape exception; in fact, Rep. Kevin Elmer (R), who sponsored the bill in the House, told Mother Jones that he never considered adding such an exception because he believes life begins at conception.
“The bottom line is that a woman who is a victim of rape and incest needs to have time also to consider what is right for her. Many times victims of rape and incest are brought to the abortion clinic by the perpetrator and forced into an abortion very quickly,” Patty Skain, the executive director of Missouri Right to Life, told The Missourian.
Even though there’s just one abortion clinic left in the entire state of Missouri, lawmakers there have been particularly focused on restricting the procedure. This past year, the legislature considered more than 30 different anti-abortion bills.
It’s not unusual for Republican-dominated legislatures to exert their veto power for this purpose. Last year, in Arkansas, lawmakers overrode the governor to enact 12-week and 20-week abortion bans. In Michigan, lawmakers were recently able to implement a measure preventing women from using their insurance coverage to pay for abortion — widely derided as “rape insurance” because it also lacked an exception for rape victims — by collecting enough petition signatures to bypass the governor and trigger a vote on the controversial legislation.
Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for Texas governor who sprung to fame when she held back sweeping abortion restrictions, reveals in a new memoir that she terminated two pregnancies for medical reasons.
Davis writes in a new campaign memoir that in the 1990s she had two abortions, including one where the foetus had developed a severe brain abnormality.
Davis writes in Forgetting to be Afraid that she had an abortion in 1996 after an examination revealed that the brain of the foetus had developed in complete separation on the right and left sides. She also describes ending an earlier ectopic pregnancy, in which an embryo implants outside the uterus.
Davis disclosed the terminated pregnancies for the first time since her 13-hour filibuster in the state legislature – she talked non-stop to try to run out the time on proposed legislation bringing in tough new Texas abortion laws.
Both pregnancies happened before Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth, began her political career and after she was already a mother to two young girls.
She writes that the ectopic pregnancy happened in 1994 during her first trimester. Terminating the pregnancy was considered medically necessary. Such pregnancies generally are considered not viable, meaning the foetus can’t survive, and the mother’s life could be in danger. But Davis wrote that in Texas it’s “technically considered an abortion and doctors have to report it as such”.
Davis said she and her former husband, Jeff, wound up expecting another child in 1996. After a later exam revealed the brain defect, doctors told her the baby would be deaf, blind and in a permanent vegetative state if she survived delivery.
“I could feel her little body tremble violently, as if someone were applying an electric shock to her, and I knew then what I needed to do,” Davis writes. “She was suffering.”
Davis is running against Republican attorney general Greg Abbott, who is a heavy favourite to replace the incumbent Republican governor, Rick Perry, in 2015.
Davis’s filibuster in June 2013 set off a chaotic scene in the Texas Capitol that extended past midnight. Thousands of people packed watched it live online, with President Barack Obama at one point tweeting: “Something special is happening in Austin tonight.”
The bill required doctors who perform abortion to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and mandated that clinics upgrade facilities to hospital-level operating standards. A federal judge in Austin last month blocked a portion of the law that would have left Texas with only seven abortion facilities statewide.
Matthew Hagee: Christians Cannot Support Gay Marriage Or Abortion Because They Must 'Vote The Bible'
On yesterday’s “Hagee Hotline,” Matthew Hagee told his viewers that, as Christians, they are required to “vote the Bible,” which means that they cannot ever vote for any candidate who supports reproductive rights or marriage equality.
Hagee declared that if Christians would just vote the Bible on these two issues alone, “we would find ourselves with principled leadership that can lead this country back to what we are supposed to be.”
"If you see a politician who says that he’s pro-choice or she’s pro-choice, you cannot vote the Bible and vote for that politician," Hagee said. "If you see a politician that wavers on what the definition of a marriage should be, you cannot vote the Bible and vote for that individual":
h/t: Kyle Mantyla at RWW