Archive for pro-life

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

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anti abortion signs

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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Rape Insurance? You Gotta Be Kidding Me

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michigan abortion law

If you're planning on getting raped in Michigan, you better have rape coverage first or it could bankrupt you.

Talking Points Memo DC:

Just after the Michigan state legislature passed a law banning private insurance companies to bundle abortion care coverage along with state-subsidized plans, the Democrat jockeying for the open seat vacated by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) was quick to slam the law as bad for women while the Republican candidate has yet to make a statement.

Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), the lead Democratic candidate in the race, was quick to slam Republicans in the state legislature for passing a new "rape insurance bill" into law.

So the male Democratic candidate immediately spoke out against this law. The Republican candidate -- former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R), allegedly a woman, has stayed quiet on the issue.  How amazing, a male candidate sees all that's wrong with this bill and the Republican woman doesn't know yet. She hasn't been told by her party which way she should lean. Whichever way it is, she better keep her legs crossed. Talk about setting the women's equality movement back 50 years.

Let's boil it down. Recently, the latest way to get around the law regarding abortion is to try to exclude it from health insurance plans. These right wingers and religious zealots see an opening here. They want to deregulate the insurance industry pattern of providing coverage by making one part of normal covered procedures illegal to be covered. If that sounds convoluted, that's because it is.

Health insurance has always been bundled in order to give the consumer a lower cost. If you went with an ala carte menu of services, many of the things people are covered for would be avoided because they may cost too much or people don't think they'll ever need them. But of course, the one thing you leave off the coverage will come back to bite you and you won't be covered. So you'll go bankrupt or worse, the cost will be passed onto the taxpayers.

So here's the angle. If you make abortion coverage an elective, many people won't carry it. Perhaps they're single women who don't feel they'll need it. And most likely they won't.

According to the Department of Justice 1 in 6 US women will become victim's of a rape attack during their lifetime? Rape isn't planned by the victim. It's planned by the assailant.  But the Republicans in Michigan want women to be prescient and know ahead of time when they're going to be attacked so they can purchase insurance. I can just hear a woman's plea, "No, please don't attack me, attack her over there. She's got insurance. I don't have abortion coverage in case my system doesn't automatically shut down."

Is there total insanity in Michigan and the other six states planning this outrageous, cold and calloused law? What the hell are they thinking?

Putting rape aside, what if during a planned pregnancy a woman's health becomes an issue in seeing the pregnancy to term. She may die without an abortion. She didn't think she'd have any need for a D & C but it became necessary to save her life. Where's she supposed to get the money for that procedure? It would have been covered by her health policy if the state house boys didn't screw around with it.

This law in these states is bad on so many levels. But you don't have to drink all the poison in the glass to die. It might only take a sip. Michigan is drinking from that vessel right now. If there's a woman in Michigan who votes Republican after this, she deserves the results of the full glass of this potion.

You can follow  me on twitter: @linzack

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You know who is really and truly pro-life? TX Dem gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.

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Wendy Davis

Via the Dallas Morning News, we get to see Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis turn the old "pro-life" talking point around on right wing, pro-forced birth activists. Take that!

Via Taegan, because the Dallas Morning News is subscription only:

"I am pro-life. I care about the life of every child: every child that goes to bed hungry, every child that goes to bed without a proper education, every child that goes to bed without being able to be a part of the Texas dream, every woman and man who worry about their children's future and their ability to provide for that future. I care about life and I have a record of fighting for people above all else."

As you may recall, Wendy Davis stood on her pink-sneakered feet for eleven hours filibustering fighting against this:

gop abortion wire hanger cartoon Bennett

I've used the images below over and over again in my posts to point out habitual GOP hypocrisy; they seem especially appropriate now:

Via .ecobumperstickers.com

right to life my ass pro life

Wendy Davis is the true "right-to-lifer."

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Required Viewing for Elected Office

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To think that George Carlin's 1996 rant would be as on point 17 year later. Watch this and let your laughs mix with your outrage. How prescient George Carlin turned out to be.

Now aren't you glad you carved out a few minutes with George? Maybe this should be mandatory viewing in every Republican household -- an certainly in every state house considering taking away women's rights. Think about it. Yes, that means you, too, Texas. Maybe this should be played instead of opening benediction when you reconvene in July. Demand it.

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How my friend became my hero. This is what being “pro-life” really means. R.I.P. Marcy Bruno (@tosfm). #lovetosfm

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my hero smaller

tweet tosfm passed awayLink

tweet tosfm message

Added:

I can hardly write this through my tears. I am truly devastated and want to pay tribute to someone. A dear friend, a hero, a true humanitarian and activist, someone who not only bravely stood up for those she didn't know, but stood up for me personally when I needed someone, has passed away unexpectedly.

It was brought to my attention that Marcy Bruno was on life support last night after being hospitalized due to a series of complications following a previous surgery. Her passing was sudden and perplexing to many of us. Only a few days ago, she was fighting the good fight, despairing over some news she got about a hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay and asking me to get the story out. She seemed fine other than what she was going through emotionally about the plight of the prisoners.

Her son is Lt. Col. Barry Wingard, someone you've seen me write about for four years now. Marcy was a fierce advocate for Barry and the defense of his client, a Gitmo detainee named Fayiz Al-Kandari, who has been unfairly imprisoned for 11 years. She fought tirelessly for his cause, and others', and Barry has just let me know that we must continue this fight in her honor.

I promise I will. Count on it.

Marcy cared deeply about those she loved, and those who she believed were wronged. In this case, Marcy was wronged. She died way too young.

I'll miss you terribly, Marcy. Thank you for your compassion, humility, unselfishness, your big heart, your courage, your generosity, your words and your deeds. And thank you deeply for all the love and support you've given to so many of us. You were fearless.

In her honor, I am bumping up this post from April 28, 2012:

One of my first and best friends on Twitter goes by “tosexyformy” (@tosfm), but her real name is Marcy Bruno. Her Twitter bio reads, “Son is a Gitmo attorney seeking to spread truth and find justice for Fayiz Al-Kandari. Who is being held without charges in Gitmo. In a pool of tears.” (I’ve written about her son, Lt. Col. Barry Wingard, and Fayiz extensively here and here.)

Barry’s always been a hero to me, but he now has competition: His mom. Last night, acting as a genuine, real-life Good Samaritan, she saved a very young life. Via CBS:

 

Police say a Good Samaritan spotted the child just after 8 p.m. and reported it…

Here’s a video (unembeddable) that Marcy linked to on Twitter in which she is briefly interviewed.

“I saw this littler person running and he wasn’t about to stop,” said Marcie Bruno. “I’ve never seen a 2-year-old run so fast. I kept pleading with him to stop and that I would find his mother. Finally he turned around and threw both hands up in the air and he allowed me to pick him up.”

Another dear friend, @Tymlee, describes Marcie perfectly in this tweet:

Her son rescues detainees in Gitmo and she rescues babies wandering the streets! Beat that!

Here is Marcy’s version of events in a series of her own tweets:

I found him….she said she went shopping. It was dark and cold.

Poor baby was so fearful.

He was put in bed and she left… that day…he got out.

I was returning to my office and saw this little tyke running thru the alley and different alley ways. He was fast!

Ahhh, twaz a Forrest Gump moment…anyone would have done the same.

I hear the baby is doing well.

I ran my old butt off..he was fast..he finally stopped as i pleaded, he threw his arms up and i picked him up. there’s a river near.

I feared he’d be hit by a car or run to the river. Temperature went down to the high 30′s last night.

Actually, I ran him into my office and sent a guy to get the police. The baby and I were both covered in his bm.

but we managed to get him warm and clean.

I called the one news station to get answers about what happened to him. I’d love to see him again..we’ll see.

Now you know why I admire her so much.  Note to conservatives: This is what being pro-life really means.

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DMV study bolsters driver's license push for undocumented immigrants

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US map immigration diversity

Immigrant rights groups and other supporters believe that issuing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants would reduce fatalities and uninsured motorist claims. Per the L.A. Times, the most recent data available shows that insurance companies paid out $634 million in claims for collisions related to uninsured motorists in 2009.

But critics argue that it just rewards illegal activity. I don't see driving legally as a reward necessarily, especially in light of the positives... like fewer deaths. I don't know about you, but I think living is a lot better than dying, so lowering death tolls could be construed as a, you know, good thing.

L.A. Times:

Unlicensed drivers in California — the vast majority of whom are illegal immigrants — are nearly three times as likely to cause a fatal crash as licensed drivers, according to a study by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The report suggests that merely meeting the modest requirements necessary to get a license — passing a written exam and driving test — could improve road safety and help reduce the several thousand fatalities that occur in the state each year. [...]

Supporters point out that granting licenses to illegal immigrants also could reduce the number of hit-and-run accidents. Unlicensed drivers leave crash scenes at significantly higher rates than licensed drivers, according to a 2011 national report from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

If you hit someone with your car, and you're afraid of consequences like, say, being deported, you're less likely to stick around afterwards. Go figure.

If nothing else, safety should trump anti-immigrant sentiment here (key word: should), what with all that "pro-life" talk and all; it just makes sense. And it also means drivers' information would be on record, which one would think would please even the most conservative, ardent anti-immigrant types. And let's not forget the one benefit that seems to matter to some people more than anything: Money. Issuing licenses saves lots of it.

But the real rewards would go to those whose lives were saved.

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VIDEO- What pro-life looks like: Young cancer survivor on "Obamacare": "I'd been so alone... in my pain. He understood."

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So much for that whole GOP "death panel" meme. This is what pro-life looks like.

:

Get involved in Colorado: http://OFA.BO/q2Yg8h

Annie survived an extremely rare form of cancer and without Obamacare she runs the risk of not being covered in the future due to her pre-existing conditions.

Now with a second chance at life; she's taking nothing for granted. After hearing President Obama speak on Planned Parenthood she started volunteering in Colorado. Now she's a Summer Organizer.

As Annie shares:

"My favorite part of volunteering for the campaign is meeting people. And really just having really wonderful conversations with people. I think that's how things change"

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