Tag Archives: abortion proponents

How abortion proponents view current pro-life tactics

Robin Marty-As I wrote in my post, “How abortion proponents view the current abortion landscape,” I have developed a collegial relationship with Robin Marty, pictured right, senior political reporter for RH Reality Check.

This past weekend Robin was in Chicago for a National Organization for Women convention, and we got to meet. She had asked if she could interview me for a piece she’s writing.

Through the course of our lunchtime conversation (which she paid for, thanks!) Robin enlightened me on how abortion proponents view current pro-life efforts, particularly since 2010, when pro-lifers began passing laws in unprecedented numbers. Robin agreed to let me share her thoughts. I’m not going to pick them apart, I simply find them fascinating and thought you might, too.

Playing fair

Robin shocked me when she accused pro-lifers of not playing fair. Of course, pro-lifers think pro-choicers (using Robin’s preferred terminology for this post) are underhanded and conniving. But us?

Robin acknowledged, “It’s fair to say both sides think the other side isn’t playing fair.” But Texas was a glaring example of pro-life chicanery in the eyes of abortion proponents, even as pro-lifers thought just the opposite.

“In Texas you had a legislative session that finished with no abortion bill, and then the governor added a special session,” Robin explained. “And we feel we won that special session. We organized as quickly as we could. We had a massive filibuster.”

What about the infamous mob that kept a vote from happening by midnight?

“I can see how your side can say the debate was finished at 11:48p, and it should have been time for a vote, and we broke the rules by not letting that happen,” said Robin. “But at the same time there was a series of events leading up to those 12 minutes.  Our people watched Wendy Davis filibuster and be told she went off-topic [broke filibuster rules], although we thought she was completely on-topic. Those 12 minutes were a culmination of events that led up to them.”

Robin gave another recent example of Republican legislators in North Carolina gutting a bill about Sharia law and inserting pro-life provisions. Robin said such tactics have been disheartening to some pro-choicers, who proceed to walk away from politics. I responded that legislators do this all the time. IMO it’s simply politics. Politics are dirty. Politics aren’t necessarily fair. I reminded her of our classic example of Democrat dirty politics: Obamacare.

Common ground

“There’s no such thing as common ground,” Robin agreed, “when we believe this is a civil rights issue for women, and you believe it’s a civil rights issue for the unborn. I don’t think we will ever agree.”

“But I think it is interesting that we both have common ground in the opposition,” Robin noted. “There are a lot of parallels between both the pro-choice and pro-life side when it comes to what each side thinks is justified and not justified and thinking the other side is not playing by the rules.”

Robin hearkened back to the Texas fiasco. “Maybe that 12 minutes wasn’t a traditional tactic,” Robin explained, “but in this case it was justified. And on your side, exposing a bloody fetus poster to a 5-yr-old would be justified because that’s what’s necessary for you to make abortion end.”

Robin noted that we both have factions we cannot control. We have factions that move too fast and factions that move too slow. She said we also both now often the same civil justice language.

Is the sky really falling this time?

I so often hear wild exaggerations from the other side that I never know if and when they think something is a real emergency. I asked Robin about this. Do they see these particular times as truly alarming?

“I can only speak for myself and a lot of activists I have talked to,” Robin responded. “‘The sky is falling’ is a bit extreme, but I do think there has been a significant shift. The language has changed, the tactics have changed. Local stories – such as when Ohio added abortion restrictions to their budget, or when North Carolina gutted that bill – are now national news events.  There is a sense that abortion access could be changed forever. People who weren’t necessarily engaged are paying attention. The public is becoming more aware that abortion isn’t a settled issue, which many believed was until now.”

 Losing my religion

I asked Robin about the perceived thrones of pro-choice power in Washington and New York. Do they call the shots for the movement, and if so, how does the movement like that?

“I do believe a lot of the policy is being made in DC and New York that I don’t think resonates with people who live in the Midwest or South,” Robin responded, “especially messaging that can come across as anti-religious. I think the pro-choice position needs to be discussed in a way that can be taken to churches – embracing faith, family, and community.

Robin noted “a rift between the religious and nonreligious side of our movement.”

Planned Parenthood

How does the movement view Planned Parenthood, I asked?

“The feeling toward Planned Parenthood  has more to do with your interaction with them,” said Robin. “I don’t think there is an overarching belief that Planned Parenthood is helping or hurting the movement. It does fantastic work trying to obtain access for contraception. It is also doing quite a bit with litigation and keeping clinics open – not just their own. I think  overall Planned Parenthood continues to be something the movement supports.”

 Who will win?

Simple question.

Robin answered, “Your side wins if you convince everyone there is a baby at the point of conception. Our side wins if we convince people this fight is not just about disallowing those who don’t want to be pregnant to not be pregnant, but it’s also about stopping people from not getting pregnant in the first place. This will end up being a game of who appeals most to the vast majority of people who aren’t taking a side.

“The topic of contraception is necessary to be discussed. We are focusing more on birth control not because abortion isn’t a winning issue but because we never thought birth control was in jeopardy. That’s frightening to us.”

—-

Thanks to Robin for going out on a limb and accepting her first “hostile” interview, as she put it. I appreciate her candidness.

Sometimes I see everyone on the other side as a big lump of evil people, even though I pray to see them as Jesus does. I’m sure many think the same of us. Robin is a reminder to me that even though we couldn’t be more at odds on the most important issue of our lifetime, many pro-choicers are fellow human beings with good – albeit terribly misled (sorry had to say it :)) – intentions.

How abortion proponents view the current abortion landscape

pro-abortion abortion proponentsPro-abortion authors Robin Marty and Jessica Mason Pieklo have co-authored a fascinating new book, Crow After Roe.

Marty is senior political reporter for RH Reality Check, and Pieklo is a senior legal analyst there. Over the past year or so I’ve developed a collegial relationship with Robin. Even as we both stand our ground, it’s refreshing to discuss and debate sans animus.

Robin was kind enough to give me a copy of her book, which I have been reading with interest. Even though Robin writes from a biased perspective, which she freely acknowledges, she writes intelligently, another refreshing difference from the typical pro-abortion fare I usually read.

Crow After Roe is written from a standpoint of alarm but offers solutions. “[T]he book will shock and move you to action,” notes Feministing founder Jessica Valenti on the back cover. “Most importantly, though, Crow After Roe gives you hope and a roadmap for what we can do to change the current anti-woman tide.”

It is precisely those two points that interested me. Why are abortion proponents alarmed? And how do they envision the way out of their perceived predicament?

The book title refers to Jim Crow laws, created by southern whites after blacks were freed from slavery, which allowed oppression and segregation to continue. The authors believe pro-life laws serve the same purpose of oppressing poor and minority abortion-vulnerable mothers.

Further, Crow After Roe makes the case – with which pro-lifers will readily agree – that, of late, certain pieces of our proposed legislation have been written with the goal of triggering the overturn of Roe v. Wade. To that end the book “examines 11 states… that since 2010 have each passed a different anti-abortion or anti-women’s health law explicitly written to provoke a repeal of Roe….” (It was fascinating reading the names of many people I know on those pages.)

In her forward to the book, former Planned Parenthood CEO Gloria Feldt writes:

[T]he anti-choice right has leveled a volume and variety of attacks never before seen in this nation….

But we can stop them if we change our tactics and bring the struggle for reproductive justice out of the “women’s issues” ghetto focusing only on abortion….

We must also face the fact that privacy is not and has never been a strong enough legal justification for reproductive rights. Therefore, it is essential to bolster jurisprudence affirming women’s civil rights to make their own childbearing choices, and to pass laws such as the Freedom of Choice Act….

The latter seems like a long haul, when even a liberal state like New York just failed to pass an increasingly rare pro-abortion bill, and, as Feldt noted, Obama bailed on FOCA.

Another solution suggested by Robin and Jessica is to borrow from a surprising pro-life page:

According to… Feldt… what is needed is a strong, energetic core, not unlike a feminist version of the “personhood movement” that has been popping up in a variety of states. “Just as the personhood efforts are not coming from the mainstream anti-chice groups,” she says, “I’d love to see a band of feisty young feminists out there leading the charge on this, saying, ‘Excuse me, we are persons and we want our personhood guaranteed.'”

The problem, there, of course, is the abortion movement claimed these “feisty young feminists” weren’t persons before they were persons and killed a huge chunk of them off.

On Robin and Jessica’s “to do” list:

  • Repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bans government funding of most Medicaid abortions
  • Increase the number of abortion providers by ensuring all med students have abortion training and allowing nondoctors to commit abortions
  • Make contraception “easily accessible and affordable,” which they think Obamacare goes a long way toward ensuring (although they’re leery of all the lawsuits)
  • Toss pro-life Democrat politicians from the tent
  • Elect more pro-abortion women
  • Get more liberal judges appointed to the courts

Those are all proactive steps. “However,” they write, “the most immediate step is to stop anti-abortion and anti-contraception bills from becoming law in the first place.”

To that end the authors think a spark was lit in Virginia last year when abortion advocates rallied against an ultrasound bill:

[I]f there is a silver lining to the anti-contraception, anti-abortion, anti-women laws that have been passed or enforced since 2010, it is that they have created the beginnings of a powerful activist backlash.

Despite the Virginia bill’s eventual passage, “[t]he fight over the bill… took its toll,” they write, saying support for ultrasound legislation and pro-life politicians in that state dropped.

Robin and Jessica maintain that even if a bill passes, vocal opposition can weaken it, which may also serve a dual purpose of “fracturing… anti-choice community” support.

Nevertheless, the authors admit their first order of business is to stop our onslaught. (Coincidentally, the Washington Times reported today that only midway through 2013 we have already tied the second-highest number of pro-life bills passed in a year, which was only last year, and 2011 holds the record.)

In other words, they can never get to their “to do” list while playing defense. As I wrote the other day, abortion proponents now find themselves racing from brushfire to brushfire, many of which they are unable to put out. They think pro-lifers have galvanized them; I hearken back to Proverbs 24:16, i.e., it won’t last.

Is it anti-life for me to admit I smell blood in the water – and like it?

I do recommend reading Crow After Roe as good recognizance.

Stanek weekend question: What are frustrating ways pro-lifers shut down dialogue?

Randall+Terry+Howard+Dean+Joins+Rep+Jim+Moran+pxPyJSHQiEjx

Last weekend we focused on abortion proponents. This week we analyze ourselves. This weekend’s question comes again from good friend Josh Brahm, Director of Education and Public Relations, Right to Life of Central California:

What are the most frustrating or annoying things that pro-life people do that shuts down good dialogue? Stories are welcome.

[Photo, via Getty Images, is of pro-life activist Randall Terry interrupting a town hall meeting hosted by pro-abortion Democrat U.S. Rep. James Moran of Virginia in 2009]

For abortion proponents, “facts are irrelevant”

prochoice protestor - abortion facts seem irrelevant It’s a lot easier to get someone in the stirrups if they’re uneducated about the subject, and once they’ve had their abortion, facts are going to be irrelevant to them from that point forward, because the denial/anger/misery-loves-company mindset will take over and then she can take her place as the one trying to get someone in the stirrups so she can join “The Sisterhood.”

They’ve lost the debate. They know this. They lose when it gets down to the facts of the matter. So now, their only hope is to play a numbers game and try and get as many people as possible to participate in this barbarism so that their conscience is killed and facts become irrelevant to them, as well.

Because the people who say “Well, *I* had an abortion, and it was the best thing since sliced bread because I *HAD* to!! YOU DON’T KNOW ME! DON’T YOU DARE JUDGE ME! YOU HAVEN’T LIVED IN *MY* SHOES!!!” (or, “My sister/mother/aunt/girlfriend/friend had an abortion… and… I can’t look at this objectively, because otherwise I’d have to come to terms with the fact that someone I love isn’t perfect!!! WHY DO YOU HATE SO MUCH?!”) aren’t going to listen to facts, nor do they care about facts, anyway (abortion facts = irrelevant).

They’re just trying to get more Germans in the church so they can sing louder.

~ Commenter xalisae, on Stanek Quote of the Day, “Tasmanian PM: Students ‘haven’t lived long” enough to protest abortion,” April 11

[HT: Kel]

Time magazine cover story: Abortion proponents on losing path

Click to enlarge…

The title of the January 14 issue of Time magazine reads, “40 years ago, abortion-rights activists won an epic victory with Roe v. Wade. They’ve been losing ever since.”

It’s hard to imagine the other side thinks they’re losing. They’re defending their turf atop 55 million dead babies. How many more do they want? They heap 1.2-1.6 million more every year. But I agree we are slowly but surely strangling them, even as they slowly but surely commit harikari.

The cover article is only available by subscription, but I will excerpt its major points. It’s always fascinating to me to view the situation through the other side’s eyes.

Before I list them, I want to mention that Time also published an excellent essay by Susan B. Anthony List’s Emily Buchanan, “Pro-life and feminism aren’t mutually exclusive,” which is viewable online.

On to the list of pro-abortion laments…

Pro-life laws

In the past two decades, laws like the ones that govern appointments at Red River [in North Dakota] have been passed with regularity as pro-life state legislators have redrawn the boundaries of legal abortion in the U.S. In 2011, 92 abortion-regulating provisions – a record number – passed in 24 states after Republicans gained new and larger majorities in 2010 in many legislatures across the country. These laws make it harder every year to exercise a right heralded as a crowning achievement of the 20th century women’s movement.

In addition to North Dakota, three other states – South Dakota, Mississippi and Arkansas – have just one surgical-abortion clinic in operation.

According to my studies/sources, there are actually five states with only one abortion clinic, the four listed above, plus Wyoming. National Abortion Federation lists Wyoming as having NO “NAF member provider(s).” Planned Parenthood’s lone Wyoming clinic only offers abortion referrals. Perhaps someone has updated info?

The number of abortion providers nationwide shrank from 2,908 in 1982 to 1,793 in 2008, the latest year for which data is available.

This number comes from Guttmacher Institute and includes hospitals committing abortion as well as private practices. AbortionDocs.com lists the total number of free-standing abortion clinics down to 861 (659 surgical abortion clinics plus 202 “abortion pill” clinics).

Getting an abortion in America is, in some places, harder today than at any point since it became a constitutionally protected right 40 years ago this month

It might seem as though recent electoral victories by Barack Obama and congressional Democrats set the stage for a reversal of this trend. The President’s campaign mobilized Democratic voters and women around the issue of reproductive rights – an effort that produced, according to some exit polls, the widest gender voting gap in history.

But while the right to have an abortion is federal law, exactly who can access the service and under what circumstances is the purview of states. And at the state level, abortion-rights activists are unequivocally losing….

The modern era of state restrictions on abortion began in 1992 with the Supreme Court’s decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The court upheld Roe v. Wade but said states have a right to regulate abortion as long as they don’t write laws that impose an “undue burden” on women.

Pro-life politicians enacting laws to limit abortion are now testing the limits of the Casey ruling. Their ultimate goal is to land another abortion case before a sympathetic Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn Roe. Along the way, in what Charmaine Yoest, president of the antiabortion group Americans United for Life, describes as a strategy to “work around Roe,” pro-life activists hope to severely – or completely – curtail access to abortion at the state level….

The other strength of the state-based clinic laws, which often are based on text written by pro-life activists and lawyers and distributed to lawmakers, is that they are hard to campaign against. The zoning regulation in Virginia, for example, would require abortion clinics to widen all hallways to 5 ft. (1.5 m). “Is that the kind of thing that will rally voters?” asks Cristina Page, author of the book How the Pro-Choice Movement Saved America. “‘We’re not going to expand these hallways to be 5 ft. wide!’ is not a compelling message. The villain is now in the fine print.”

Cristina neglected to mention the rationale for 5 ft. hallways, which is the minimum width required for two gurneys to pass. Hello, women’s safety?

Public sentiment

Part of the reason is that the public is siding more and more with their opponents. Even though 3/4 of Americans believe abortion should be legal under some or all circumstances, just 41% identified themselves as pro-choice in a Gallup survey conducted in May 2012. In this age of prenatal ultrasounds and sophisticated neonatology, a sizable majority of Americans supports abortion restrictions like waiting periods and parental-consent laws. Pro-life activists write the legislation to set these rules.

Their pro-choice counterparts, meanwhile, have opted to stick with their longtime core message that government should not interfere at all with women’s health care decisions, a stance that seems tone-deaf to the current reality.

Pro-choice activists’ failure to adapt to the shift in public attitudes on abortion has left their cause stranded in the past, says Frances Kissling, a longtime abortion-rights advocate and former president of Catholics for Choice. Kissling is part of a small group within the pro-choice movement trying to push the cause toward more nuanced stances. “The established pro-choice position – which essentially is: abortion should be legal, a private matter between a woman and her doctor, with no restriction or regulation beyond what is absolutely necessary to protect the woman’s health – makes 50% of the population extremely uncomfortable and unwilling to associate with us,” she says.

Generational in-fighting

At the same time, a rebellion within the abortion-rights cause – pitting feminists in their 20s and 30s against pro-choice power brokers who were in their 20s and 30s when Roe was decided – threatens to tear it in two. Many young activists are bypassing the legacy feminist organizations that have historically protected access to abortion, weakening the pro-choice establishment at the very moment it needs to coalesce around new strategies to combat pro-life gains and connect with the public.

As memories of women dying from illegal pre-Roe abortions become more distant, the pro-choice cause is in crisis…. If abortion-rights activists don’t come together to adapt to shifting public opinion on the issue of reproductive rights, abortion access in America will almost certainly continue to erode….

But in Washington, establishment pro-choice activists are dealing with another set of threats that are mostly self-inflicted. What pro-choice activists call “the movement” is in many ways more fragmented than it’s ever been, thanks to a widening generational divide. The problem is rooted in leadership, which is concentrated in a small but powerful army of women who were in their 20s and 30s when Roe was decided and who now oversee a number of establishment feminist organizations, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, run by Nancy Keenan, 60; the National Organization for Women, headed by Terry O’Neill, 60; and Feminist Majority, run by co-founder Eleanor Smeal, 73.

Some of these leaders and their similarly aged deputies have been reluctant to pass the torch, according to a growing number of younger abortion-rights activists who say their predecessors are hindering the movement from updating its strategy to appeal to new audiences….

I find it interesting that although Keenan announced she was retiring eight months ago, NARAL hasn’t yet found a successor. Shouldn’t she have been grooming one? And, of course, the irony remains that abortion proponents have killed 1/3 of their future followers.

But the infighting could splinter the movement if the younger generation abandons those feminist institutions that have traditionally been the headquarters for voter-mobilization campaigns, fundraising and lobbying, the lifeblood of any political movement. Erin Matson, 32, became a vice president of NOW in 2009 but recently resigned. “When you want to build a jet pack, sometimes that means you have to leave the bicycle factory,” she says.

Playing defense

In many ways, the fight to preserve access to abortion is even more daunting than the fight to legalize it 40 years ago. In a dynamic democracy like America, defending the status quo is always harder than fighting to change it. The story of pro-choice activism after Roe reveals that there may be nothing worse for a political movement’s future than achieving its central goal.

Science

The antiabortion cause has been aided by scientific advances that have complicated American attitudes about abortion. Prenatal ultrasound, which has allowed the general public to see fetuses inside the womb and understand that they have a human shape beginning around eight weeks into pregnancy, became widespread in the 1980s, and some babies born as early as 24 weeks can now survive.

Stigma

Kissling… says the pro-choice movement’s effort to “normalize abortion” is counterproductive. “When people hear us say abortion is just another medical procedure, they react with shock,” she says. “Abortion is not like having your tooth pulled or having your appendix out. It involves the termination of an early form of human life. That deserves some gravitas.”

Aging abortionists

[T]he generation of doctors who stepped up to perform legal abortions after Roe have retired or died without a robust new class of physicians to take their place. Efforts are under way at many obstetrics-gynecology and family-practice residency programs to offer abortion training to more doctors, but the specter of protests and unwanted attention remains.

Mission impossible

Their most pressing goal, 40 years after Roe, is to widen access to a procedure most Americans believe should be restricted – and no one wants to ever need.

I have no clue what this means

These sentences made no sense to me no matter how many times I read them:

The abortion rate in impoverished black communities has remained disproportionately high despite efforts by Planned Parenthood and others to provide access to family-planning services. “What this proves,” says [Loretta] Ross [co-founder of Sister Song], “is that if people are not convinced that they have realistic economic and educational opportunities, you could put a clinic in a girl’s bedroom and she would still think early motherhood is a better choice.”

An African-American girl chooses “early motherhood” over contraceptives and then opts for abortion?

Anyway, there you go. Thoughts?

Abortion proponents injure pro-life vet and elderly man in two separate attacks

In recent days we have reported on the assault of a pro-life protester (caught on video and followed by arrest) and the vandalization of a pro-life leader’s home.

Here are two more attacks by abortion supporters against pro-lifers to report.

The first occurred June 30 and is in follow-up to my story that pro-life activists planned to distribute flyers outing country singer JoDell Nauert as the owner of three abortion clinics at an Independence Day gig.

This was ironically a charity event for a group supporting handicapped children and adults.

Six pro-lifers paid to enter the event and were in the process of distributing tracts when organizers asked them to leave, which they did.

But one of those pro-lifers, Steve Kinn (above right) is a disabled veteran who walks with a cane due to injuries sustained to both his knees. When he didn’t exit fast enough, the property owner allegedly shoved him, making him fall to the ground and reinjure one of his reconstructed knees to the extent he had to be taken out in an ambulance.

It was of no help that a police officer threatened to arrest Kinn for trespassing both before and after he reached the hospital.

But the officer got a call and suddenly left.

Meanwhile, however, pro-lifers continued to picket outside the Nauert’s event for 90 minutes.

Here’s a great video synopsis, shot and edited by Jay Rogers of the Florida Pro-Life Network

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In a separate attack, 69-yr-old pro-lifer Everett Stadig was collecting personhood initiative signatures in front of a Denver grocery store on July 1 when he was shoved to the ground by an enraged abortion supporter and fractured his hip. Read details of the story at LifeSiteNews.com.

Supposedly a passerby got the license plate number of the perpetrator, and police took a report, but there has been no word from authorities since.

Nevertheless, Everett is still collecting personhood signatures from his bed, the dear man.

It goes without saying to pro-lifers that a movement grounded on killing babies is inherently violent.

It used to be that they could ignore us. But that is no longer possible.  As the saying goes (attributed to Gandhi but disputed), which describes the phases of nonviolent activism, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

If this is true, the other side is nearing the end of the mocking phase and beginning the fighting phase.  This transition has been ongoing for a few years, as evidenced by the growing intolerance to pro-life displays on college campuses, for one.

Someone recently posted this on Facebook, which I love. Click to enlarge…

As abortion proponents apparently sense defeat at hand, they are beginning to engage in anarchy.

Get ready. As I said, this is only the beginning.

Surge in pro-abortion vulgarity: Desperate much?

The lips of the righteous know what is fitting,
but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.
~ Proverbs 32:10


Warning:
Vulgarity ahead.

The other side has apparently determined it can no longer command attention by employing logic. As pro-life ideology begins to dominate politics as well as the thinking American mind, abortion proponents are increasingly exercising the use of shock to make their points.

The recent uptick in pro-abortion vulgarity can somewhat be traced back to Oklahoma Democrat state Senator Judy Eason McIntyre, who couldn’t deal with the passage of a personhood bill in her chamber in March. So she joined a protest holding the stately sign, “IF I WANTED THE GOVERNMENT IN MY WOMB I’D F*** A SENATOR.”

Now you can buy t-shirts.

Which is exactly what a pro-choicer known only as “O,” pictured left, did, and then became unrighteously indignant when booted off an American Airlines flight in May after refusing to turn it inside out or change it.

Abortion proponents saw this as viewpoint discrimination rather than an issue of decency. Fumed RH Reality Check Editor-In-Chief Jodi Jacobson:

But protest these laws and the War on Women with a t-shirt that gets right to the point? Let people know the basis of all of it, the people that “want government out of our lives” want to place it directly into our bodies? In a country supposedly founded on freedom of speech and expression, in which protestors can stand outside clinics harassing and threatening women and doctors, and run through every public square with gory doctored photos?…

Oh, no. You can’t do that. You can’t take that message that your body is your own anywhere. Because in the United States today, that is like taking your burqha off under the Taliban. That is “offensive,” “insulting” and “not for public consumption.”

I must momentarily digress. Jodi, please show me a photo of an abortion you think isn’t “doctored.” Show me your reality of the procedure.

The liberal Netroots Nation 2012 conference earlier this month had “vulgarity on steroids,” as Gateway Pundit called it, for sale. Check out these posters…

I didn’t even know what the word “p***t**g” meant. Had to ask someone if it was bad enough to censor.

As a bookend to this post comes final offensiveness from another female Democrat state legislator, this one Michigan state Rep. Lisa Brown, who on the House floor on June 14 told Republicans, “I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no,'” regarding a fetal pain bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks with no exceptions – even for rape. Her comment got her banned from speaking on the floor for a day…

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Brazenly, Brown was a participant in a reading of “The Vagina Monologues,” an obscene play about female sexual oppression, outside the Capitol a few days later.

In my view this coarsening of the conversation by the other side is one big panicked temper tantrum.

Newsweek article on Personhood movement riles abortion proponents

A June 25 article in Newsweek about the Personhood movement is shaking up the pro-abortion community. Just read a sampling of the 315 comments and counting that have poured in since it was crossposted on The Daily Beast since yesterday.

Why? Because author Abigail Pesta wrote a fair piece that positively portrays Personhood leader Keith Mason (pictured above with wife Jennifer) and legitimizes the movement itself, concluding:

The group has helped spark 22 “personhood” bills and ballot initiatives; while none has passed, in each ballot vote on personhood, the margin of defeat has declined….

Personhood efforts have existed for decades, but they have never taken hold in the public imagination the way Mason’s work has.

Pesta expounds in this video…

Bottom line, great news:

His group is now collecting signatures for ballot efforts in Colorado, Ohio, and Montana for the November elections and in Florida for 2014….

He says his team has gained more than 80,000 volunteers and more than a million signatures….

As Mason’s team gathers signatures for the fall ballots in his most ambitious season so far, opponents are bracing for a fight. Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, and other groups have filed lawsuits and launched extensive publicity campaigns. Personhood is a “formidable presence in every state,” says NARAL’s Crane. “If any one of these initiatives passes, it could work its way through the courts. And the courts can’t necessarily be counted on these days to make decisions that will protect women’s health.”


There are those on our side who don’t think the courts should be counted on to go our way either, for example:

Paul Linton, former general counsel for the pro-life group Americans United for Life, says personhood is “fundamentally flawed,” as “no justice on the Supreme Court… has ever expressed the view that the unborn child is or should be regarded as a federal constitutional ‘person.’”

But it does look as though we will someday find out, just another reminder of the importance of this election, since the next president may select up to three Supreme Court justices.

[Photo via Newsweek]