One major theme of yesterday's Rally For Women's Lives was that politicians have no business legislating medical decisions. Two OB/GYNs hit that issue hard yesterday in Montgomery. Dr. Didi St. Louis, the Medical Director of Planned Parenthood Southeast, was specific on that point: "politicians need to step out of the exam room!" Dr. St. Louis is also an Assistant Professor of OB/GYN at Morehouse School of Medicine.
Dr. Willie Parker gave a moving speech about the importance of conscience and serving others. He described the personal ethical and philosophical journey that made him willing to begin performing abortions. In short, he realized that he needed to return home to Alabama because "it's my job to take care of my sisters." Women can count on him, he says, but "can they count on you?"
Left in Alabama was there for the rally, and we be posting video from all the speakers. But, in light of the three anti-choice bills pending in the legislature, it seemed best to lead off with the words of actual medical personnel as they refute the mis-statements and outright lies of the politicians who think their place is between a woman and her doctor.
Here's more information about the package of pending legislation:
Planned Parenthood Southeast hopes to pack the Alabama Statehouse with pro-choice citizen lobbyists on Wednesday, May 20. Not up to the long drive to Montgomery by yourself? No problem! Meet new friends and travel in style on a bus provided by Planned Parenthood. You'll even get a t-shirt!
Join Alabamians from across the state for Planned Parenthood Southeast's Rally for Women's Lives! If you're sick and tired of politicians sticking their noses where they don't belong, then you need to be here on May 20th and bring your friends.
There are three pieces of bad legislation for women being bandied about in our legislature and we're here to fight every one of them! There's The Abortion Ban Bill that would ban abortions as early as 4-6 weeks into a pregnancy before a woman may even know she's pregnant, The Abortion Clinic Closure Bill which would close every abortion clinic in the state with one exception because of their distance from public schools, and The Health Care Discrimination Bill which would make it legal for health care professionals to deny care to individuals whose morals they disagree with.
Following the rally, our citizen lobbying program, Women in The Halls, will go inside the State House building to speak with legislators. Our lives are too important to sit this one out!
A bus, a t-shirt, and good company. Lobbying doesn't get any easier than this.
Traveling on your own? Here are the details:
Rally outside at the Alabama State House (11 South Union St. Montgomery, AL 36140) then lobbying inside the Statehouse. Wear track shoes in case you need to give chase to reluctant legislators (just kidding).
(Hope to see you in Montgomery tomorrow!! - promoted by countrycat)
It's time to tell the Alabama Legislature that "enough is enough." Women's health advocates will gather at the Statehouse in Montgomery on April 2 for a rally and lobby day. Please make plans to join us!
We can only hope that Alabama legislators will have to courage to actually meet with rally attendees. After last year's rally, our elected "leaders" ran from the Statehouse like it was on fire.
At the time, we were thrilled that SB12 (the vaginal ultrasound bill) had been shelved, but who realized what crap the legislature would throw at women and families this session?
Now, we need your voices more than ever. Get with the program, folks, and speak out. See you in Montgomery on April 2nd!
I'll say it again. God was Pro Choice in 1968, which is when
...Christianity Today published a special issue on contraception and abortion, encapsulating the consensus among evangelical thinkers at the time. In the leading article, professor Bruce Waltke, of the famously conservative Dallas Theological Seminary, explained the Bible plainly teaches that life begins at birth:
“God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: 'If a man kills any human life he will be put to death' (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22–24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense… Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.”
---Jonathan Dudley, author of "Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics."
Even casual students of the Bible have probably read this verse from 2 Peter 3:8: "Beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
But somehow Right Wing Evangelicals and their GOP leaders have persuaded themselves and their flocks that God has changed his mind in the last 40 years or so. The ways of God are hard to fathom, but I want to suggest here that this sudden sea change might have a lot more to do with Richard Nixon and Lee Atwater than any sudden dawning of spiritual light or moral conviction. One might even argue that religious doctrine supplied by two of the most corrupt political animals ever to stain the American landscape hardly meets the smell test.
Patrick Buchanan wrote a memo to Nixon advocating using the abortion issue to woo the Catholic vote. “If the president should publicly take his stand against abortion as offensive to his own moral principles … then we can force [Ed] Muskie [a failed Democratic presidential candidate in 1972] to make the choice between his tens of millions of Catholic supporters and his liberal friends.” The next week Nixon spoke of his “personal belief in the sanctity of human life – including the life of the yet unborn”.---Alan Bean, Abortion and White Evangelicals
Our current 'controversy' also owes a huge debt to Jerry Falwell and his so-called Moral Majority, who campaigned against Jimmy Carter (an actual Evangelical Christian) in favor of Ronald Reagan (who hated going to church and whose wife had a professional astrologer on retainer during the White House years). Falwell was also cozily in bed with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, receiving millions in cash from that source to bail out his failing university. The Rev. Moon convinced thousands of cult followers that he was the physical incarnation of Christ - the New Messiah - and claimed their total allegiance on that basis. Hey, let's talk some Bible here, shall we?
MT 7:15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves."
Falwell is also in large part responsible for bringing Roman Catholic dogma into Protestant thinking, and even Catholics haven't always held the belief that life begins at conception.
[Thomas] Aquinas, the father of Roman Catholic theology, believed that life began at forty days but only because he mistakenly believed that’s when the unborn fetus was capable of intellectual life. ”Today, we know that the rudimentary organs are not developed until around ten weeks after conception,” Dudley writes, “and that the brain is not sufficiently developed to support sentient intellectual life until around six months after conception.”
For that matter, neither did St. Augustine - another bastion of the Roman Church. For Evangelicals, who lean heavily on the Old Testament for Biblical support, it's also problematic that Jewish tradition holds that life begins at birth. My opinion is that it has to do with the breath of life. Unlike the anti-choice quotes, which mostly boil down to one sentence ( Jeremiah 1:5), the equation of Life=Breath is repeated endlessly in Scripture, starting at Genesis where God "breathed life into Adam". The act of breathing, whether God's or ours, seems to be a fairly universal definition of life in Scripture. But don't take my word for it. How about an unimpeachable Evangelical source like the 700 Club?
We almost get a little spooky talking about the Holy Ghost, but the Hebrew word behind spirit is ruach, and it means "air in motion." It is the same word for "breath." It also means "life."--Gordon Robertson, The 700 Club
I apologize in advance to LiA's non-Christian and Progressive Christian readers for what may seem to be a religious diatribe, but facts are facts and one big fact is standing out there right now: white evangelicals are going for Mitt Romney ( a huge, proven liar) in a big way. I attribute a lot of this lukewarm support to the Pro Birth Agenda which has convinced God-fearing evangelicals, and in particular evangelical women, that a vote for Obama and the Democrats is a vote for Satan. It isn't. It's a vote against Nixon, Falwell, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, Paul Weyrich and a host of other corrupt, non-believing political manipulators who want to use YOUR faith to promote THEIR agenda.
Their agenda isn't yours, and it isn't Christian. In fact, the Republican agenda is as far from the 'red words' as you can get.
If you are wavering towards Romney solely on this issue, please reconsider the history and the men behind it, and vote for what you know in your heart to be the best interests of 95% of the living Americans around you. Leave these personal moral choices where they belong - with those affected. It's moral, it's principled, and it's by Golly American.
One of the photos in this article is human. One is an eleven week old elephant fetus. Can you spot the difference? If you can't, should you be deciding these matters for everyone in the country? Think about it. Take all the time you need.
How is it that anyone really thinks that standing on a streetcorner and yelling that passerby are "headed for Hell" is an effective religious recruitiment technique? The talk of Sweet Home AlObama (the fun party lounge for Alabama folks here at the convention) has been "Jesus Guy," a man who is nothing if not persistent.
He's been on the streetcorner in front of the Charlotte Convention Center for the past 2 days (equipped with a portable bullhorn) shouting about abortion, Democrats, Obama, Mitt Romney, and Jesus. And he only compliments Jesus. Amazingly, "Jesus Guy" only likes Jesus. Romney, you see is also going to Hell because of his religion - or lack thereof, according "Jesus Guy."
He's arguably more offensive than the "Jesus Truck" that drives around - it may have photos of fetuses, but at least it has no soundtrack.
These folks had quite the confrontation with a Planned Parenthood rally yesterday when the two groups traded chants from opposing streetcorners. It seemed pretty boring to me and Robiticcats - until the SWAT team showed up. At that point, we got a bit nervous, but all ended peacably.
Still, how on Earth do these so-called religious folk think they'll attract converts this way?
Earlier today, James Anderson (who was the ADP's AG nominee in 2010) was talking with me about the subject. He quoted Hank Sanders.... "These guys are all pro-life - until birth."
Holy Cow. So far this week, we've seen a Catholic food bank refuse donations from Planned Parenthood, Rick Santorum's spokeswoman criticized President Obama's "radical Islamic" policies, and a Republican Indiana legislator is condemning the Girl Scouts.
Stay tuned, campers... we have the first GOP debate in a month scheduled in Arizona on Wednesday night! In the meantime, dip a finger into the "shallow end of the gene pool" but be sure to wash it (with Clorox) afterwards!
If this song makes you think of Madison County Commission candidate, Wayne Parker, well.... welcome to the club.
Yesterday, Republican frontrunner Rick Santorum said the president subscribes to a "phony theology." His spokeswoman Alice Stewart took to MSNBC today to clarify: Santorum was referring to Obama's "radical Islamic policies." She herself later called MSNBC to clarify her clarification: she mean to say "radical environmental policies." It's a common mistake — haven't we all mistakenly called it the Islamic Protection Agency?
So environmenal protection is a religion? Is she saying that President Obama is a druid?
A lawmaker has sent a letter to fellow Republican members of the Indiana House saying he will not support a resolution celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts because he believes it is a "radicalized organization" that supports abortion and promotes homosexuality.
The former GOP presidential hopeful, campaigning on behalf of former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), told a crowd at Collins Hill High School here that when it came to voters, “50 percent of the American people do fall in the category of either stupid or ignorant as to what’s going on in this country.” [...] “Some people don’t like me because I tell the truth like it is,” Cain said. “Those of us who are informed outnumber the stupid people, but not if we stay home.”
Ok... I admit to being math-impaired... but if 50% is "stupid" how do the "informed" outnumber them?
Perception is reality, Conservative columnist (and former Bush II speechwriter) David Frum notes. All week, the GOP has been busy reassuring itself (and all those birth control using gals) that the current fight is about supporting "religious freedom," not opposing birth control. They might want to refine that message, Frum says, because the facts don't support it:
If the audience is paying attention, for example, it will notice that Republicans are not proposing to allow employers and plans to refuse to cover blood transfusions if they conscientiously object to them (although there are religious groups that do). Or vaccinations (although there are individuals who conscientiously object to those as well). Or medicines derived from animal experimentation. (Ditto.)
Which means it will be very hard if not impossible to persuade the target audience that this debate is not in fact about contraception. Everybody quite sure that's a wise debate to have?
This whole issue has annoyed me for quite some time. Why do Catholic bishops think they get special dispensation when it comes to issues involving women's health? This fixation on controlling women's reproduction is just creepy. Jennifer Johnson noted on Twitter that the bishops might feel differently if altar boys could get pregnant.
One of my closest high school friends was a Jehovah's Witness who was quite prepared to refuse a blood transfusion - even in an emergency situation. Suppose Regina became a doctor or nurse. Should she have the right to refuse to provide that life-saving treatment to a patient?
And Christian Scientists really get taken when you look at how their tax money is spent! Look at the cost of Medicare, Medicaid, medical research, support for medical schools, etc. Why aren't we debating the ethics of requiring them to support activities that go against their religious beliefs?
We all know the answer. There are a heck of a lot more Catholic voters than Jehovah's Witnesses (who don't vote at all) or Christian Scientists.
That means removing the provision from the health care law altogether, he said, not simply changing it for Catholic employers and their insurers. He cited the problem that would create for "good Catholic business people who can't in good conscience cooperate with this."
Good heavens, it's like negotiating with the House GOP. Give a little and they always want more.
The Unicorn Police are back! In what is perhaps the most breathtaking bit of psychological projection ever, the House GOP leadership seeks to pass a bill to bar the use of Welfare funds at strip clubs. That's right: no lap dances for the poor & unemployed.
Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-La.), the chief sponsor of the strip-club loophole bill, said in an interview that the legislation was a response to press reports that recipients of benefits under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program were using state-issued debit cards containing the funds for gambling, alcohol and adult entertainment.
“It’s pretty rampant around the country,” Boustany said of the abuses. “This has really eroded the credibility of the TANF program in the eyes of the American taxpayer — a program that has been successful, by and large.
Really? Rep. Boustany, could it be that the only credibility getting eroded is that of the GOP?
Besides the "morality" and "fiscal" aspects of the bill, alert readers might surmise that there's an added benefit for our political leaders: more room at the lesbian bondage clubs if rules are tightened to keep out the riffraff:
A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.
Far to busy to say, pass a jobs bill, discuss tax fairness, or address any single issue that could lessen the burden on working families. Rather than protecting the public from yet another unicorn, couldn't you tackle the real issues?
I understand your priorities. I just think they're stupid.
So Arizona Senator Jon Kyl went and did a stupid thing the other day by claiming on the floor of the Senate that 90% of what Planned Parenthood does is related to abortions, and that, by God, we need to cut that Federal funding for abortions, and we need to cut all Federal funding for Planned Parenthood-and we need to do it today.
Of course, that 90% claim was total hooey; it turns out that only 3% of Planned Parenthood's work relates to abortions. (The Federal funding for abortions part is, too; the Hyde Amendment made such funding illegal decades ago.)
When confronted, Kyl's office released a statement claiming the Senator's comments were "not intended to be a factual statement".
Sir Rev. Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA, decided to have a bit of fun with Kyl, and he challenged his audience to Tweet their own "Not Intended To Be A Factual Statement" about Kyl.
I decided to compose a Tweet of my own...and then another...and before I knew it I had an entire story's worth; that's why, today, we'll be taking a taking a short break from the daily grind to have a bit of fun with a man who truly deserves it: Jon Kyl.