Archive for personhood

Take that! Judge's ruling keeps all four Wisconsin abortion clinics open despite new state law


curses foiled again

On August 1st I posted: Federal judge extends– for 3rd time– hold on WI law requiring abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges.

In that post I reminded you of the many GOP-run states trying to eliminate women’s privacy and reproductive rights: WI GOP lawmakers pursuing change to state constitution to give fetuses a right to life.

And I also reminded you of Rachel Maddow’s astute and eye-opening segment: Bye-bye women’s rights: “If you live where the Republican party is in control now, right now, this is your life.”

Of course, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed an abortion bill requiring women to undergo unnecessary ultrasounds. Plus it “requires doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of where they perform the procedure.” See how he's reaching out to women voters?

Well, Scotty, you've had another setback. Per The Cap Times:

The state’s four abortion clinics — two of which were slated to close — will remain open following a preliminary injunction issued late Friday by a federal judge in a case involving hospital admitting privileges for abortion doctors.

U.S. Judge William Conley’s ruling will keep Planned Parenthood’s Appleton abortion clinic and the Affiliated Medical Services clinic in Milwaukee open to perform abortions.

Conley wrote, “On this record, the admitting privileges requirement is a solution in search of a problem. Devoid of any documentation of a medical need or purpose in Wisconsin, the governor nevertheless signed the act on July 5, 2013.”

Oh snap.

The trial begins at the end of November, and the clinics will remain open until the case is resolved.

Kansas, Tennessee, Utah, Arizona, North Dakota all have similar laws, but the court blocked Alabama's efforts. Please watch Rachel Maddow's segment on the growing number of states trying to deny women their rights.

So, GOP, how’s that extreme makeover thing workin’ for ya?

abortion GOP elephant hangers


Federal judge extends-- for 3rd time-- hold on WI law requiring abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges


abortion GOP elephant hangers

So many GOP-run states trying to eliminate women's privacy and reproductive rights, so little time: WI GOP lawmakers pursuing change to state constitution to give fetuses a right to life.

And then there was Rachel Maddow's astute and eye-opening segment: Bye-bye women’s rights: “If you live where the Republican party is in control now, right now, this is your life.”

Of course, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed an abortion bill requiring women to undergo unnecessary ultrasounds.

Hey GOP, how’s that reachy-outy, makeovery, reinventiony thing workin’ for ya?

So much for "small government."

For the third time, a federal judge is highlighting the failure of the Republican party to rebrand itself. Via JSOnline:

Madison A federal judge Wednesday extended for another week a hold on a state law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges.

This is the third time U.S. District Judge William Conley has temporarily blocked the law from going into effect. He now has placed it on hold until Aug. 8, or until he decides whether to issue a preliminary injunction that would be in place for a longer period.

Conley said he expected to rule on the injunction by the end of the week. If approved, that injunction would likely remain in effect until at least November, when Conley will preside over a trial on the constitutionality of the requirement for doctors who perform abortions.

The law in question "requires doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of where they perform the procedure. It also requires women seeking abortions to get ultrasounds, but that provision has not been challenged in court and has gone into effect."

So Wisconsin women... you ready for a change yet?


Federal judge blocks North Dakota's "clearly unconstitutional" fetal heartbeat abortion ban, most restrictive in U.S.


pro life after born abortion

This attempt to control the rights and privacy of women was supposed to go into effect as of August, but now it will be on hold until the court considers the merits. Merits? What merits?

The Hill:

A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked North Dakota's anti-abortion law, which banned the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

Judge Daniel Hovland said the state's anti-abortion law — the most restrictive in the country — is "clearly unconstitutional under an unbroken stream of United States Supreme Court authority.” [...]

“The State has extended an invitation to an expensive court battle over a law restricting abortions that is a blatant violation of the constitutional guarantees afforded to all women," Hovland wrote.

The judge is a GW Bush appointee, by the way.

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the lawsuit on behalf of North Dakota's only abortion clinic.

One by one, Republican-run states have tried to eliminate women's access to health services by writing laws that result in closing down clinics that can't possibly meet demands laid out in those laws. See: Bye-bye women’s rights: “If you live where the Republican party is in control now, right now, this is your life”:

women's health clinics in jeopardy abortion rights maddow

Their ultimate goal is to get an abortion rights case in front of our currently very conservative Supreme Court as they use it as a wedge issue politically. In the meantime, women are already turning to "self-abortion," endangering their own lives in order to receive the care they should be getting legally.

And they're also "finding it easier to leave the United States for Mexico in order to pursue health care options."

So these laws aren't stopping women from undergoing procedures; instead they're causing them to pursue unsafe methods that could cut their own lives short.



WI GOP lawmakers pursuing change to state constitution to give fetuses a right to life


fb obama personhood joke

Wisconsin GOP State Rep. André Jacque claims to be trying to fix a "loophole" in his state constitution, or as I like to call it, banning abortion, the legal procedure guaranteed by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that gave women a constitutional right to choose.

Of course, by trying to establish "personhood" for fetuses, Jacque's little antics would also result in making in vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, and some forms of birth control like IUDs and the morning-after pill illegal.

I covered this kind of backward attitude yesterday in Dep’t. of Obvious: The GOP “really seems to be struggling with that compassion thing.” But the party continues to implode daily, inspiring more posts on their inability to evolve. At all.

Jacque's proposal is so bad that even some of his allies, such as Wisconsin Right to Life, the state's largest anti-abortion group, are opposing it:

Susan Armacost, the group's legislative director, said the measure would have no practical effect, could harm other anti-abortion efforts and would cost groups like hers millions of dollars to conduct a referendum campaign.

At least she's on the right side of this one, despite her pro-forced birth policies.

More from JSOnline:

MadisonLess than a week after an anti-abortion measure was signed into law and blocked by a federal judge, some Republicans are pursuing a change to the state constitution meant to give fetuses a right to life.

The measure — aimed at keeping an anti-abortion statute on the books if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses course on the issue — will have a difficult time passing the Legislature because it has divided anti-abortion groups, with some saying it could inadvertently work against their movement.

Article I of the state constitution begins by declaring, "All people are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness..."

Rep. André Jacque (R-De Pere) wants to drop the word "born" from that part of the constitution, so it begins, "All people are equally free and independent." He also wants to add a sentence to the constitution that says, "As applied to the right to life, the terms 'people' and 'person' shall apply to every human being at any stage of development."

Don't even start me (scroll).

By the way, is Jacque also in favor of food stamps, Medicaid, and other programs that would keep actual children alive once they're born? Or does "right to life" only apply to cell clusters and feti that may or may not be viable outside the womb?

Hey GOP, how’s that reachy-outy, makeovery, reinventiony thing workin’ for ya?

More details at the link.



Another Upchuckable Week: The place where religion meets your rights


separation of church and state smaller

Please welcome back guest blogger K.C. Boyd. You might remember her from her earlier posts. This one is longer than her others, so we're only posting part of it. You can link over to read the rest here.

Another Upchuckable Week - the place where religion meets your rights - by K. C. Boyd

With the 2012 election a dim memory and it’s crazy-making religion soaked primaries even dimmer, you’d be well advised to keep an eye on the states because that’s where it’s happening when it comes to Christian Crazies. For a brief sampling, take a read:


  • Proving there’s still a little ‘Year of the Bible’ in all of us, last month the Pennsylvania House of Representatives declared the fast-approaching April 30 as “National Fast Day.”


& Everywhere

  • Conservatives target political funding, investing where it gets the biggest political bang: in statehouses. Take a look here to learn about state funding efforts :

The “State” of Education

  • A Central Mississippi high school allegedly forced students to watch a Christian video and listen to church officials preach about Jesus Christ.
  • In Tennessee: The Blue Ridge Christian Academy Gave Fourth Graders the Creationism Test Heard Around the Internet.
  • In New York, the Godly wonder: Can the Bible Save Minority Students From NYC’s Failing Public Education System?
  • HB 1017, which sailed through the Arkansas House of Representatives, would require the state board of education to approve public school courses that teach the Bible. Similar measures were introduced in North Carolina and Wyoming.
  • Virginia politicians tried a different tactic: a state constitutional amendment mandating that citizens as well as elected officials and state employees have the right to pray on government premises and public property.
  • Pennsylvania must have some pretty dumb pencils because: 20 percent of its high school science teachers say they believe in creationism. Zowie.Zounds. Egad.
  • Mississippi, (Yet again. – do I detect a pattern – er, a takeover?) opens the door to student-led prayer. The state makes schools develop policies giving opportunity to pray/preach at official school events.
  • In the hang-loose, shake your bootie state of Hawaii; Governor Neil Abercrombie (alas, he’s a Dem) proposed amending the state constitution to allow for public funding of religious pre-schools.
  • Alaska legislators have proposed amending the state constitution to allow for tax aid to religious schools.
  • Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott ruled that school districts and cities are in violation of the State Constitution for offering health insurance benefits to the domestic partners of their employees..
  • A new Alabama tax-credit law that subsidizes tuition at private schools will likely end up helping academies founded to get around racial desegregation of public schools.
  • Down in the bayou, a Louisiana voucher plan subsidizes religion:

Speaking of Louisiana, Here’s an Extra Bit of Educational Lagniappe

  • Despite a half century Of Supreme Court Rulings, states still look for ways to sneak prayer Into Public Schools.
  • The eight most conservative senators join fight against common core education standards.

It’s on to the 2014 Election Upchuckables aka, How To Insure Religion Remains On the Ballot

  • The American Renewal Project, whatever the frick that means, plans to target twelve key swing states in the mid-terms. Reminiscent of Ohio’s ’06 dance with the “Patriot Pastors,” they plan to organize pastor briefings and voter registration drives in an attempt to restore the U. S. to its Judeo-Christian roots.
  • Mat Staver’s Liberty Counsel, an affiliate of Jerry Falwell  Liberty University, announced that it is gearing up to mobilize pastors who share the belief “that America was established as a Christian nation, and the guardians of those Biblical principles has always been His church.”

Military Issues Provide for Deadly Serious Upchucks (thanks goes to Mikey Weinstein and his Military Religious Freedom Foundation)

Novelist K.C. Boyd is the author of Being Christian: A Novel. According to Mikey Weinstein, President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, “Boyd created a story so riveting that not only could I not put it down, but upon finishing it, I found myself, like an addict, craving more.


Maine Joins 12 Other States in Officially Supporting an End to Corporate 'Personhood'


And it's high time, too.

From Mark Karlin, Editor of BuzzFlash at Truthout:

Twelve states are officially backing a constitutional amendment to eliminate corporate personhood, and Maine just became the thirteenth.

According to he Bangor Daily News:

Sen. Richard Woodbury, I-Yarmouth, plans to introduce a resolution Tuesday in the Maine Senate that directs the state’s congressional delegation to support a constitutional amendment that would overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 “Citizens United” opinion equating campaign spending with free speech....

In March, independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Democratic U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida introduced a constitutional amendment to overturn “Citizens United.” The proposed amendment would “expressly exclude for-profit corporations from the rights given to natural persons by the Constitution of the United States, prohibit corporate spending in all elections, and affirm the authority of Congress and the states to regulate corporations and to regulate and set limits on all election contributions and expenditures.”

More here at Truthout:


PhotOH! KS Gov. Brownback signs pro-forced birth, personhood law; scrawls "JESUS + Mary" on bill notes


reagan separation of church and state

KS Gov Sam Brownback signed abortion bill Jesus, Mary

Photo via Gawker

Photo via Gawker

You know how Republicans love to tout the U.S. Constitution? Oh, I'm sorry, I meant to write, you know how Republicans love to tout certain parts of the U.S. Constitution when it suits them. My bad.

One of those parts that they wave around a lot is the First Amendment (and of course, the Second Amendment, but right now, let's concentrate on the First). "Freedom of speech!" they tweet me if I dare to use the Twitter "block" option, not realizing that the Constitution refers to government infringement, not my personal blocking rights. Same goes for Comments here at TPC. But I digress...

Many in the GOP seem to ignore basic concepts like, oh I dunno, separation of church and state. Wiki reminds us:

The phrase "separation of church and state" is derived from a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to Baptists from Danbury, Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper soon thereafter. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Jefferson writes:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.[15]

Kansas governor Sam Brownback must have let that slip his mind. Or didn't care. Or something. Think Progress is reporting on how he signed one of the most restrictive anti-abortion, pro-personhood, pro-forced birth laws ever, even requiring doctors to lie to their patients about the disputed theory that abortions lead to cancer.

And then he added his own special LookaMeI'mAChristian touch:

Before Brownback signed HB 2253 into law at a ceremony at the statehouse on Friday, an AP photo reveals that he made a few additions of his own in his notes on the bill. He typed out some phrases — “building a culture of life,” and “all human life is sacred” — that he ended up using in his speech to abortion opponents before approving the legislation, and he also scribbled “JESUS + Mary” at the top of the paper.

Guess what, Governor Sam? Your religion is not necessarily anyone else's religion. Your Jesus/Mary embellishment is completely inappropriate and should never have been scrawled on a government document. And Jesus and Mary have nothing to do with legislating, let alone a law that eliminates legal reproductive rights of women.

Religious beliefs should not be a foundation for U.S. law. Feel free to practice any faith you choose, but don't force it unto others. To quote Barry Lynn, ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, a lawyer, and Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State:

This struggle is really nothing more than an attempt by some religious groups to use the power of the government to impose their dogma about reproduction, sexuality and the beginnings of life.

Invoking those names, or any religious references, are irrelevant and, hey guess what, there are actual living, breathing Christians who are pro-choice:

People of faith support women’s access to contraception, and most religious groups don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade. In fact, over 75 percent of white Protestants — along with 65 percent of black Protestants and 63 percent of white Catholics — support women’s constitutional right to legal abortion services.


By the way, GOP, how’s that reachy-outy, makeovery, reinventiony thing workin’ for ya?

what's the matter with kansas