Archive for Freedom of choice

WI judge: "I remain troubled… with the inflexibility" of restrictive abortion law

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Republican-run states have done everything they can to legally abolish women's reproductive rights, including reasonable access to abortions. One way to do this is to circumvent their constitutional right to the procedure by shutting down women's health clinics. Wisconsin is one of those states. Others include Alabama, Louisiana and Texas. A federal judge in Wisconsin has put a temporary stop such legislation that severely restricts abortion providers, legislation that GOP Gov. Scott Walker signed into law last July.

Milwaukee women would have to travel about 85 miles one-way to a clinic in Chicago in order to get the health services they need.

But a judge has raised his judicial eyebrows at the extreme demands placed on physicians. Via PostCrescent.com:

A federal judge said Friday he is worried that a Wisconsin law requiring abortion providers to get hospital admitting privileges is too rigid.

Planned Parenthood and Affiliated Medical Services sued the state last summer, arguing the requirement will force AMS’s Milwaukee clinic to close because its doctors can’t get admitting privileges. [...]

Conley noted that the law provided no grace period and gave abortion providers no recourse if they couldn’t get the privileges. He also said it could dampen clinics’ efforts to recruit new providers who would essentially have to come to the clinics with admitting privileges in-hand.

“I remain troubled … with the inflexibility of the law,” he said.

I remain troubled by the GOP and their hypocritical proclamations of outreach efforts to women and minorities.

I remain troubled by the GOP and their hypocritical cries for individual freedom and less government intrusion into our private lives.

I remain troubled by the GOP hypocritical stomping all over our constitutional rights as they bellow about Democrats (specifically President Obama) stomping all over their constitutional rights.

The judge's final ruling won't come for at least six weeks.

outreach my ass reach out inclusive

freedom my ass 2

 

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Scalia - Listen To Me: They're Not Anti-Abortion Protesters, They're Counselors

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Okay, last week the Supreme Court was hearing oral arguments in a case based in my home state of Massachusetts. It has to do with freedom of speech, actually. It relates to the rights of women who elect to visit and/or use the legal abortion clinics in the state. Both sides participated in a heated exchanges in front of SCOTUS -- the issue is whether a 35 foot buffer zone was really necessary to keep free access to the clinics for patients -- or if protesters had the right to get right up into a woman's grill and block her free passageway.

What makes this case quite curious is the take on the protesters by Supreme Court Justice, Anton Scalia.

The DAILY BEAST reports this.

Last week, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told us that these people are not anti-abortion “protesters.”  Instead, he glowingly described them as, “counselors” who wanted “to comfort these [pregnant] women” by speaking to them, “quietly and in a friendly manner.”

Quiet. Friendly manner. Counselors. That all seems to be quite benign. But is it really?

The author of the Daily Beast article, Dean Obeidallah, decided to take a look at just what kind of friendly greetings women were receiving upon their clinic arrival. Here are a few of the welcoming signs these women were met with:

“Be a man-stop your woman from killing your baby!”

“Mommy, don’t kill me!”

“You are going to be the father of a dead baby!”

“Babies are murdered here”

“Danger! Baby killing zone.”

Well, that hardly seems to me to be all friendly-like. Could Scalia have been wrong in his assessment? A SCOTUS justice not knowing a protester from a counselor? To me, this might be a simple case of Scalia coming down with "...ass from his elbow" syndrome.

Obeidallah was in his local area -- New Jersey. So this isn't some Red state battleground. He points out that the Garden State has NO buffer zone law like Massachusetts but they do have a ban on electioneering within 100 feet of a polling place. So we can see where priorities fall in Governor Christie's state. Don't mess with the pols, just with women who are pregnant.

After parking his car a block and a half from the clinic, Obeidallah got out of his vehicle. From there he could hear shouting coming from the direction of the facility, but he wasn't sure what it was until he arrived on the premises. There he saw men and women shouting, cursing, and trying to convince every woman who attempted to enter, not to have an abortion.

They handed out pamphlets explaining alternatives to abortion.  They even offered free sonograms to pregnant women in a van parked outside the clinic. As one “counselor” explained to me, “Once a women sees her baby, she will never have an abortion.”

Free sonograms? Administered in a parked van? Given by whom? Is this a case of practicing medicine without a license or in an licensed medical facility? There's a lot of questions here.

But what this all comes down to is why there's a need for a buffer free zone for women seeking a legal procedure. That's the crux of the case in front of the Supreme Court. This isn't really a matter of counselling or protesting. This is a matter of reasonable access to a legally licensed facility without zealotry prohibiting their right to public entrance.

As Obeidallah writes:

This group of men had formed an angry gauntlet in front of the clinic. They held signs bearing photos of dead babies, Biblical verses, and allegations that baby-killing was taking place at this facility.

But one thing is clear, they were not there as Justice Scalia claimed, “to comfort women.” They wanted to intimidate women to not enter the clinic.

We now have to wait until June for the court's official opinion to be revealed. But when you hear a justice like Scalia making totally outrageous remarks, tendered in a dark cloak of tunnel vision, you can only hope there are others on the bench who do know when their shoes are being pee'd on and they're being told it's just rain.

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Do You Know What Women Want And Deserve?

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What women want

Picking up where Laffy left off yesterday in her great post Fed Up Dems...

If I knew what women want, I'd be a kazillionaire because I'd write a book about it and rake in the dough. The truth is I have no idea what women want. I know this because I'm married to a wonderful woman. And just when I think I've got it figured out, I'm told I'm wrong, asked what was I possibly thinking and then met with a silent shake of the head. My male, married buddies tell me I'm lucky that it's just a silent shake of the head.

So building on a platform of I'm no expert, I do know some things. I know that women want and deserve the right to self-determination, just like the guys. They don't want to be treated differently -- just fairly. And I don't have any argument against that.

But the Republicans do. Their mostly white, older men composite seems to feel that women are inferior mentally and emotionally, that they're not capable of rational decisions -- even with it comes to their own bodies and health issues. More of them think along the legitimate rape lines than in rational scientific reasoning. And those genteel, Southern Gentlemen who demurely dismiss women with their cloak of protecting them from themselves, "those sweet little souls. They are so lovely, aren't they -- like a field of violets or Lady Slippers, swaying in a warm, summer's night." And all the while the Lindsay Grahams spew their charming tripe, their mind is busy with the melodic refrains of "Dixie."

In the wake of Roe v Wade, individual states, feeling the decision of the SCOTUS was wrong, have set out to correct this injustice. They've taken a clearly decided issue and are chipping away at the rights determined by the highest court in our land. That's the conservative, right-wing way.

Finally, after assault on assault at the state's level, accelerated in every red state with a Republican-led legislation, women's rights and protections are being circumvented or even stricken. This has got to stop.

How?

Kraken

Well, the slow moving but well-intentioned Democrats in Congress have finally had enough. They've gone from being a sleeping giant to a forceful vociferous champion of women.  Release the Kraken-- Sen. Richard Blumenthal.  HuffPo reports:

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) will introduce the Women's Health Protection Act of 2013, joined by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Reps. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Lois Frankel (D-Fla.). The bill would prohibit states from passing so-called Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, which impose strict and cost-prohibitive building standards on abortion clinics, require women seeking abortions to have ultrasounds, and create other barriers to abortion access.

Looks like good ol' Connecticut Senator Blumenthal's gonna be gettin' sometin' sometin'  from Mrs. Senator B when he goes home on his next break. And you know what, he deserves it. My only criticism is why this took so long. The last pro-active abortion legislation to pass through the Senate was in 1994, with the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. That made it a federal crime to block or harass patients or doctors who entered or exited abortion clinics.

When Republicans don't like something, they propose a bill and there's immediate discussion, press coverage and oftentimes votes. In the case of Obamacare, 42 votes. Of course that's the House and they're led by government shutdown fever and Republican leader, Speaker John Blunder.

Blumenthal's bill wouldn't automatically overturn states' existing anti-abortion laws, but because federal law trumps state law, it would provide a means to challenge them in court. The bill would direct judges to consider certain factors in determining whether a restriction is legal, such as whether it interferes with a doctor's good-faith medical judgment, or whether it's likely to interfere with or delay women's access to abortion.

This bill will surely pass the Senate. In the House, it'll probably never even come to a vote. But when the 2014 elections come around, you can add that to the Democrats long list of things the Republicans did -- stopping immigration reform, shutting down the government, restricting women's rights, repressing voters rights, obstructing qualified presidential appointees to the bench, pushing for war with Iran, and so many others. I'll need another blog just to continue the list. And like my wife, I make lists.

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Wisconsin state Dem senator expects "all out hell" on GOP abortion bills

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Anti-abortion, pro-forced birth bills are moving right along in Wisconsin's state Senate, and Democratic Sen. Jon Erpenbach will do everything he can to prevent them... loudly and clearly.

If his name sounds familiar, it's because he was also very vocal during the enormous protests against Gov. Scott Walker a couple of years back.

The typically anti-choice, invasive, War on Women bills in question would:

--Ban abortions "that are solely based on whether the fetus is male or female,"  (AKA sex selection) but Democrats don't think Wisconsin needs a bill like that at all since there are very few, if any, of those procedures that are even performed.

--Prevent public workers' health insurance plans from covering abortions and exempt religious organizations from providing insurance coverage for contraceptives. Contraceptives would be available if they're needed for something other than birth control. This bill is the biggie.

Via Madison.com:

"Their morals are fine for them but not for the rest of the state," Erpenbach said after the hearing. "Government intrusion like this is shocking."... When asked after the hearing how he expected Tuesday's debate to play out, Erpenbach said, "All out hell. Seriously."

Republicans control the Senate 18-15. Gov. Scott Walker has said he supports both bills and will sign them into law once they pass.

Notice the report doesn't say "if they pass."

The hypocrisy by Republicans is astounding. They scream "Small government!" but their version of "small government" becomes hugely intrusive when it suits them."Governor Ultrasound" ring a bell? Sure, government is just small enough to fit into our vaginas.

Memo to Republicans: My body, my choice. Stay the hell out of my uterus and my birth control methods, GOP. Clear?

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small government my ass

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