Countdown Clocks

Countdown Clocks

Tweets by @JGibsonDem
Posts tagged "Reproductive Choice"

h/t: Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress Health

thepoliticalfreakshow:

These restrictions are part of a continuing effort by the anti-choice movement to make abortion so difficult to access that, for millions of women, it is legal in name only. Neither requiring admitting privileges or mandating medically unnecessary building requirements will make abortion care any safer. The clinics that can’t afford to undertake costly structural renovations or retrofitting close down; those that are able to meet the requirements often afford to do so by raising the fees that patients must pay.

Likewise, insisting that abortion providers have admitting privileges at local hospitals willfully ignores a number of realities. Licensed abortion providers have excellent safety records. Hospitals can also refuse to grant admitting privileges for reasons that have nothing to do with a physician’s record — not that a woman experiencing complications would be turned away from a hospital in the first place. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) observed, “Emergency room physicians, hospital-based physicians, and on-call specialists already provide prompt and effective treatment to all patients with urgent medical needs, including women with abortion-related complications.” For that reason and others, ACOG, along with the American Medical Association and other medical organizations, opposes the admitting privileges requirements and other parts of the Texas bill.

Not that the supporters of HB2 or similar measures have been swayed by the expert opinions of medical authorities. Nor have they appeared to take into account the real-world consequences of such requirements — for example, that forcing clinics to close for reasons that have nothing to do with patient safety will not make abortion safer for women. Rather, it will force women that can’t afford the higher fees or are unable to travel to another area of the state for health care to turn to risky methods to terminate their pregnancies.

Because that’s something else HB2 proponents want to ignore: that making abortion more difficult to access doesn’t automatically remove all the reasons a woman may want or need to end her pregnancy. Contraception will still fail, and women will still become pregnant as a result of rape. Women will still know best when to increase the size of their family; they, very often along with their partner or spouse, will still be the best equipped to decide if they have the economic security or social support or simple desire to be parents.

While the final verdict on HB2 has yet to be reached, other states that have attempted to restrict abortion access through similar measures have suffered significant setbacks lately. In early August, a federal judge rejected an Alabama law that would have mandated admitting privileges for abortion clinics. The law, which could have closed three of the state’s five remaining clinics, would have severely restricted access, according to U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson. In his decision, Judge Thompson stated that “If this requirement would not, in the face of all the evidence in the record, constitute an impermissible undue burden then almost no regulation, short of those imposing an outright prohibition on abortion, would.” Judge Thompson’s decision comes on the heels of a 2-1 ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that Mississippi’s attempt to enact its own admitting privileges law is unconstitutional.

And in Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe has promised to “undo” structural building regulations that were passed by his predecessor, Robert McDonnell. The regulations are currently under review after McAuliffe asked for an expedited review process.

While the news out of these three states is encouraging, the real-world effects of HB2 remain troubling. Just days before this most recent trial began, Whole Woman’s Health was forced to close its flagship clinic in Austin, leaving women with one less place to receive safe and comprehensive health care.

h/t: Lara Huffman at HuffPost Healthy Living

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

Hagee on pro-choice and LGBTQ-affirming Christians:

“You people who are running around calling yourselves Christians supporting abortion, you are not!” he thundered.

“Our greatest problem in this nation is counterfeit Christianity,” he explained later in the sermon, telling gay-affirming pastors, “Those of you who got on national television and endorsed homosexual lifestyle because the president did so, you are a counterfeit Christian, you are a moral coward, you are a hireling shepherd. Shame on you.”

Hagee on welfare and immigrants:

One of these was social safety net programs. “To those of you who are sick, to those of you who are elderly, to those of you who are disabled, we gladly support you,” he said. “To the healthy who can work but won’t work, get your nasty self off the couch and go get a job!”

“America has rewarded laziness and we’ve called it welfare,” he said, adding that “God’s position” is that “the man who does not work shall not eat.”

[…]

Hagee also linked the possible doom of America to the crisis of unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America, who he claimed are being used for cover by “rapists, murderers, pedophiles, drug pushers, terrorists” who are “being treated like royalty at your expense.” 

Earth to Dave Daubenmire: it’s people like you and not people who vote for Democrats that are the phony “Christians.” 

H/T: Miranda Blue at RWW

ppaction:

A federal judge just blocked a medically unnecessary “Texas-style” law in Alabama that would have severely restricted access to safe, legal abortion by forcing all but 2 health centers to stop providing abortions. 

Laws like these place onerous restrictions on doctors and health centers, are politically motivated, and do nothing to advance patients’ health — instead, they put women in danger.

h/t: Caitlin MacNeal at TPM

Today’s verdict is a victory for the people of Mississippi and for the supporters of reproductive choice. 

h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progress Health

The vice president of a notorious right-wing legal organization has spent much of 2014 developing one of the most extreme anti-LGBT “news” sites on the internet. Now he’s using the site to hawk a treasure trove of right-wing merchandise and souvenirs.

In January of 2014, Liberty Counsel vice president Matt Barber launched BarbWire.com, a website that claims to offer news and opinion “from a decidedly biblical worldview.”

Though BarbWire isn’t exclusively an anti-LGBT website – the site spares some vitriol for immigrantsMuslimsreproductive choice, and President Barack Obama – LGBT topics have dominated its content since its inception. BarbWire’s first post championed Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson for his comments comparing gay people to murderers and equating homosexuality with bestiality. 

In its short existence, the site has featured commentary some of America’s most notorious homophobes; Scott Lively, an American pastor closely linked to anti-LGBT persecution in Uganda and Russia; the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who blames gay men for the HolocaustLaurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute, another anti-LGBT hate group; and Robert Oscar Lopez, an anti-gay activist who has made a second career of publishing bizarre gay erotica novels.

Unsurprisingly, BarbWire has become a hub for the kind of anti-LGBT propaganda that even many conservative news sites shy away from:

Hucksterism

But BarbWire is more than just a platform for publishing the Right’s more unsavory anti-LGBT sentiments – it’s also a money-making scheme for Liberty Counsel’s Barber.

In July, subscribers to BarbWire’s mailing list began receiving emails peddling products from Patriot Depot, a website that offers “supplies for the conservative revolution.”

There’s the “’Say Hello To My Little Friend’ Garden Gnome,” available for $18.95:

A tin “Don’t Tread On Me” sign could be yours for $14.95:

You could purchase an “Obama’s Last Day Countdown Clock” for $12.95:

And nothing will stick it to liberals quite like Rise, Kill, & Eat, a paean to “edible wildlife” from “Genesis to Revelation” featuring a foreword by Ted Nugent:

Both BarbWire.com and Patriot Depot are part of Liberty Alliance, a network of conservative web sites and web stores. 

BarbWire And Liberty Counsel

BarbWire’s anti-LGBT extremism closely mirrors the work Barber is known for at Liberty Counsel.

Led by Mathew Staver, Liberty Counsel is the legal arm of the Jerry Falwell-founded Liberty University. Billed as a nonprofit “litigation, education, and policy organization,” Liberty Counsel is notorious for championing even the most extreme anti-gay causes in the name of religious freedom. The organization defended Scott Lively against a federal human rights lawsuit stemming from his role in a 2009 bill that would have imposed the death penalty for homosexuality in Uganda. While Liberty Counsel fancies itself as a serious conservative legal organization, it also churns out bombastic statements denouncing LGBT-inclusive education as “sexual assault” on the nation’s children.

Despite his fondness for fringe causes, Staver’s connections in conservative media and politics have helped elevate Liberty Counsel to a prominent position on the Religious Right. A close associate of Fox News host and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Staver is a repeat guest on Fox and has testified before Congress in support of “ex-gay” therapy. In recent weeks, Liberty Counsel garnered headlines for defending Florida’s same-sex marriage ban in court.

And though Liberty Counsel is not formally affiliated with BarbWire.com, Staver hasn’t hesitated to be a frequent contributor to his deputy’s website. (Sample headlines: “Obama Puts Homosexual Rights Over Children’s Innocence,” “Sharia Law Is A Growing Threat To American Culture,” and “36,000 New Reasons To Impeach Obama.”)

For years, conservative outlets like Fox have reliably offered Liberty Counsel favorable, accountability-free treatment, allowing figures like Staver to depict Liberty Counsel’s work as part of a noble effort to defend religious liberty and obscuring the group’s true extremism. Now, in order to disseminate that extremism unfiltered, the group’s vice president felt compelled to create his own “news” site – offering an ugly look at the animus that motivates his organization’s work.

See Also: Right Wing Watch’s archives about BarbWire.com

h/t: Luke Brinker at Equality Matters

a person’s a person no matter how small
Dr. Seuss, a pro-choice advocate who publicly donated to Planned Parenthood and actively sued pro-life organizations for using this as a slogan. Stop using this to justify your bullshit pro-life ideals. Not even the original author of the phrase agrees with you.  (via celestialfucker)

(via pro-choice-or-no-voice)

h/t: Zoe Greenburg at RH Reality Check

h/t: Tara Culp-Ressler at Think Progress Health

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Hundreds of anti-choice activists are currently congregating in New Orleansto stage protests against abortion around the city, an event that’s expected to last all week long. So far, tensions have come to a head in an unexpected place: the sanctuary of a church, where abortion opponents interrupted a service to tell congregants that they don’t have a “true faith” because their denomination supports reproductive rights.

This week’s protests are being spearheaded by the national anti-abortion group Operation Save America, which used to go by the name Operation Rescue National. That far-right organization, frequently criticized for its “militant” tactics, is perhaps best known for being tied to Dr. George Tiller’s assassination. And on Sunday, as part of its week long protest in Louisiana, group members decided to take their message straight to the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans.

As the Uptown Messenger reports, anti-abortion activists interrupted worship at the church — specifically, disrupting a moment of silence for a church member who recently passed away — to declare that this particular church isn’t a “true faith” and tell the service attendees to “repent.” Operation Save America’s opinion about the First Unitarian Universalist Church is made clear on its website, which refers to the “church” and its “pastor” in scare quotes and calls it a “synagogue of Satan.”

Rev. Deanna Vandiver, a guest speaker at the service, invited the protesters to either join the service respectfully or hold their protest outside of the building. As the congregation sang, church leaders led the loudest anti-abortion activists out of the sanctuary.

Vandiver told the Uptown Messenger that she wasn’t entirely sure why the church was targeted — but it’s likely because of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s progressive stance on reproductive rights. Even before Roe v. Wade legalized abortion throughout the country, UU churches officially affirmed the right to choose. Since then, the religious body has passed several resolutions related to reproductive justice and continues to be very involved in efforts to support abortion rights. The Unitarian Universalist Association’s official policy states an explicit opposition to “any attempt to enact a position on private morality into public law.”

“Beloved, we have a lot of different opinions in this country about family planning. I believe, however, that there is a moral consensus about religious terrorism. NO ONE should invade the sanctuary of another’s faith to terrorize people as they worship,” Vandiver wrote on Facebook following the incident. “I call on everyone of every faith tradition and no faith tradition to stand with on the side of love and resist the evil of the week of hate being visited upon the city of New Orleans.”

Holding protests in church is certainly not unheard of, although it often walks a fine line. In 2012, members of the feminist punk collective Pussy Riot were infamously arrested after performing a “punk prayer” in Russia’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior, criticizing corruption within the Orthodox Church and calling for Putin’s removal. And in the 1980s, thousands of LGBT activists protested at Catholic churches to call for more inclusive policies on abortion, homosexuality, and AIDS; although most of those protesters gathered outside of church buildings, several dozen were criticized forentering a sanctuary and disrupting Mass.

Local law enforcement is on alert as they anticipate more potentially disruptive protests from Operation Save America activists this week. Anti-abortion activists have already held an open-casket wake for a fetus in a public square. And outraged residents of one New Orleans neighborhood complained that their privacy was violated on Saturday when protesters picketed the private home of a doctor who lives there.

Nonetheless, over the weekend, the mayor of New Orleans issued an official proclamation of welcome to the protesters, signing a certificate thanking the anti-choice group for its “service” to the city. That prompted more than 500 New Orleans residents to sign a petition asking the mayor to reconsider. “Regardless of personal ideologies, most Americans agree that harassing women and threatening doctors is extreme behavior that should not be welcomed by the mayor’s office. The certificates signed by you gives them a legitimacy that they do not deserve,” the petition reads.

The members of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans appear to feel similarly. “Whatever your faith tradition, I invite you to stand with Unitarian Universalists and other liberal religions besieged by hate-filled rhetoric that can trip so easily from violent words to violent deeds,” Rev. Deanna Vandiver wrote in a blog post about the incident.

Source: Tara Culp-Ressler for ThinkProgress