Archive for reproductive rights

Chris #Christie finally admits that he supports Hobby Lobby decision

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

chris christie squawk box hobby lobby

Chris Christie on whether he agreed with the the Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court, on July 1 on CNBC:

"Who knows? ... Why should I give an opinion on whether they're right or wrong?"

How straightforward of him. What confidence! Way to take a stand, Governor Hubris. Dance around the issues much?

chris christie dancing

"The fact is that when you're an executive, your Supreme Court makes a ruling and you've got to live with it unless you can get the legislative body to change the law or change the Constitution. The point is: Why should I give an opinion as to whether they were right or wrong? At the end of the day, they did what they did. That's now the law of the land."

Now here's Chris Christie on whether he agreed with the the Hobby Lobby decision by the Supreme Court on July 17, at a meet and greet at MJ's Restaurant in Marion, Iowa (key word: Iowa):

Christie, responding to a Cedar Rapids man at the event:

"Do I support the Supreme Court's decision in the Hobby Lobby case? I do."

Well that only took two and a half weeks. How blunt and direct of him. Way to go, Gov. Panderer! Oh, and way to appeal to women. What a leader. I wonder how many times he licked his finger before putting it in the air to check who would donate to his 2016 presidential campaign the political wind direction.

HuffPo:

Thursday was the first time Christie had expressed his view on the decision. In fact, a day after the Supreme Court ruled, he told a CNBC host that he would not be sharing his opinion at all.

So Governor Rude-y McArrogant flip-flopped. Who does he think he is, Marco Rubio? Willard Romney? A dolphin?

flipper weather vane

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Poll-itics: SCOTUS approvals near lowest "in 14-year trend"

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

poll-itics smaller SCOTUS

SCOTUS, SCOTUS, SCOTUS, what are we going to do with you? Well, here's an idea: Elect Progressive presidents who will replace right wing extremist Supreme Court justices (and other judges) who decide cases that are turning this country upside down.

This Supreme Court has:

  • ruled in favor of prayers in city council meetings (read: Christian prayers);
  • eliminated buffer zones around abortion and contraception medical centers in Massachusetts so that women can now be intimidated and threatened literally within an inch of their lives;
  • weakened unions by ruling that they could not force home-care workers to join them and pay dues;
  • and, of course, allowed Hobby Lobby and other family-owned businesses to decide what kind of birth control their employees could use based on their bosses' religious beliefs. Not the workers' beliefs, mind you, because apparently, corporate religion trumps that of the individual.

And don't get me started on Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions allowing corporate money to attempt to buy elections the way Willard "Mitt" Romney buys car elevators.

According to Gallup, this has affected the court's popularity. Democrats in particular are not too thrilled with this SCOTUS. If that's the case, you know what to do: Vote. In droves. Swarm the polls. Help to register other voters and get them to the ballot box, too.

gallup scotus

Gallup:

Americans remain divided in their assessments of the U.S. Supreme Court, with 47% approving of the job it is doing, and 46% disapproving. These ratings are consistent with approval last September, when 46% approved and 45% disapproved, and rank among the lowest approval ratings for the court in Gallup's 14-year trend. [...]

Republican approval of the Supreme Court is up 21 percentage points since last September, from 30% in 2013 to 51%. Independents' approval shows little change, going from 47% to 46%. Support among Democrats, on the other hand, is down [...]

Americans' current views more closely reflect the court's own ideological divisions in these two recent decisions, rather than its bipartisan unanimity.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Dear pro-forced birthers: "What causes more abortions than not having contraception?"

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

abortion choice pro-forced birthers

Pro-forced birthers don't seem to have much depth, knowledge, or insight when it comes to how babies are made, how contraception works, or what women's health care agencies actually do.

Here's a tweet I just received, along with my reply:

Here is one of many excellent replies:

'Nuff said.

Sadly, "Franky's" tweet is typical of so many I receive from pro-forced birthers about women's reproductive rights, with one exception: He was civil.

With that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Jonah Goldberg's column on the Hobby Lobby case takes as given the distortion of scientific facts at the core of the case. ("Alito agrees: Your birth control is not your boss' business," Op-Ed, June 30)

Overwhelming evidence has shown that emergency contraception does not prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg and does not cause the termination of an existing pregnancy. Therefore, emergency contraception it is not an abortifacient, contrary to what the Supreme Court justices and Goldberg contend.

Such uncritical endorsements of distorted science are the source of much misinformation, as I have discovered in my own research on barriers to access to emergency contraception. It is sad that the highest court in the nation has propagated this false belief and created another barrier for access to safe, effective and evidenced-based pregnancy prevention.

Tracey Wilkinson, MD, Los Angeles

..

Goldberg compares requiring employers to provide contraceptive health insurance to their employees to hypothetically requiring these companies to pay for their employees to attend a "Game of Thrones" convention.

Goldberg ignores the fact that every time a couple engages in unprotected intercourse, they are putting the woman's life at risk. According to a study published in the medical journal the Lancet, 18.5 women died in childbirth for every 100,000 live births in the U.S. in 2013.

The intimate relations between couples are no mere game. The ability to obtain and use contraceptives is a matter at the heart of family life.

Goldberg and the five men who make up the U.S. Supreme Court majority in the recent Hobby Lobby case have shown the world that they place little value on the lives of women.

Eleanor Egan, Costa Mesa

..

I suspect that because Hobby Lobby is so deeply religious, it would not support a woman's right to have an abortion. What causes more abortions than not having contraception?

Sarah Maze, Orange

Via .ecobumperstickers.com

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

SCOTUS rules for Freedom of Tyranny

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

women's rights vote 2014 scotus decision freedom of religion

Freedom, freedom, freedom schmeedom. The concept is losing its meaning, especially in light of the Supreme Court's warped perception of the word. My reaction to their ruling on contraception and "freedom" of religion is still hampered by my inability to respond with anything but sputtering noises and involuntary twitches, bursts of banging my head against the wall, and convulsing into tears of outrage. Freedom my ass. What about our freedom to not have your damned religion shoved up our atheist and/or non-Christian hineys?  Bam! And that was just a hiccup. I'm shutting up now.

By the way, conservatives, how's that outreach thing going for ya these days?

Anyway, instead of ranting, which would be nothing more than stream-of-consciousness outbursts at this point, I'll leave it to the Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because, despite evidence to the contrary, our voices still matter. The Times headline for this batch of letters is, notably, "Don't want more Hobby Lobby decisions? Then don't elect conservative presidents":

The U.S. Supreme Court's distressingly improvident 5-4 decisions in this year's religious rights cases should surprise no one. They are the price we have paid for suffering disproportionate conservative appointments to the high court from 1980 to 2008, when Republicans occupied the White House for 20 of those 28 years. ("Supreme Court, citing religious liberty, limits contraceptive coverage in Obamacare," June 30)

All who despair over the Supreme Court's unseemly bowing to religious zealots — especially when certain faiths' tenets are allowed to trump enlightened medical care — should remember this in 2016: If a Republican is elected our next president, look for the court's conservative judicial activism to endure far beyond his or her term of office.

Robin Groves, Pacific Palisades

***

I am losing confidence in our system of three branches of government. Two of them seem no longer to be working for us.

The Supreme Court increasingly seems to be operating as a political body, rendering decisions that make questionable judicial sense unless one happens to be a corporation that has taken on "person" status or a religious group that wishes to impose its specific beliefs on its employees. These decisions are becoming more questionable as our do-nothing Congress functions less like an elected body responsible to the people and more like a robot body created and manipulated by wealthy donors.

As long as our lethargic electorate keeps reelecting these legislators, our president is left to act alone and the court decides in an increasingly predictable way, we will see the continued eroding of our beloved constitutional form of government.

Bette Mason, Corona del Mar

***

If there's a silver lining to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, it's that the decision will energize progressive voters to flood the polls for the foreseeable future as well as fuel boycotts against businesses that use religion as an excuse to discriminate.

Jerry Weil, Seal Beach

***

Will someone please explain to me how forcing your religious beliefs on others, who may or may not agree, is freedom of religion? Sounds more like tyranny to me.

Barbara Buckner, Laguna Niguel

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Supreme Bullshit!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

The Roberts Court will likely go down in history as one of, if not the worst Supreme Court in our relatively short history.

Today, we were anticipating the final four decisions for this session. But this ego-maniacal set of justices are prolonging our misery for one more weekend. Today, they gave us two unanimous decisions that make any reasonable person ask what these idiots are smoking!

The first decision offered today was written by one of the "liberal" justices, Stephen Breyer. In NLRB v. Noel Canning,   SCOTUS decided the fate of "recess appointments." At issue:

(1) Whether the President’s recess-appointment power may be exercised during a recess that occurs within a session of the Senate, or is instead limited to recesses that occur between enumerated sessions of the Senate; (2) whether the President’s recess-appointment power may be exercised to fill vacancies that exist during a recess, or is instead limited to vacancies that first arose during that recess; and (3) whether the President's recess-appointment power may be exercised when the Senate is convening every three days in pro forma sessions.

The court in this case held  that recess appointments made during pro forma sessions of the Senate are invalid. In plain English, this means:

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that President Barack Obama's recess appointments to fill slots on the National Labor Relations Board in 2012 were unconstitutional.

The unanimous opinion, written by liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, said that Congress, and only Congress, decides when it is in session and when it is in recess. It ruled the Senate was not in a formal recess when Obama made the 2012 appointments — therefore, they were illegal.

Oy. If that wasn't bad enough, the second and final decision offered today should satisfy anyone's perverse need for something horrendously sickeningly abusive and dead wrong.
In McCullen v. Coakley, the justices were considering the question of buffer zones at Women's Reproductive Health clinics

:(1) Whether the First Circuit erred in upholding Massachusetts’s selective exclusion law – which makes it a crime for speakers other than clinic “employees or agents . . . acting within the scope of their employment” to “enter or remain on a public way or sidewalk” within thirty-five feet of an entrance, exit, or driveway of “a reproductive health care facility” – under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, on its face and as applied to petitioners; (2) whether, if Hill v. Colorado permits enforcement of this law, Hill should be limited or overruled.

In this miscarriage of justice- and by unanimous decision(!), the court struck down the buffer zone law. In plain English, as the NY Times explains:

The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that barred protests near abortion clinics.

The law, enacted in 2007, created 35-foot buffer zones around entrances to abortion clinics. State officials said the law was a response to a history of harassment and violence at abortion clinics in Massachusetts, including a shooting rampage at two facilities in 1994.

The law was challenged on First Amendment grounds by opponents of abortion who said they sought to have quiet conversations with women entering clinics to tell them about alternatives to abortion.

The court was unanimous about the bottom line but divided on the reasoning. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote a relatively narrow majority opinion. He was joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. He suggested that the state could pursue other alternatives.

Justice Antonin Scalia, in a concurrence joined by Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas, said the majority’s approach was too tentative. The law, he said, is “unconstitutional root and branch.”

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. filed a separate concurrence.

In 2000, the Supreme Court upheld a similar Colorado law in Hill v. Colorado. That law established 100-foot buffer zones outside all health care facilities, not just abortion clinics. Inside those larger zones, the law banned approaching others within eight feet for protest, education or counseling without their consent.

Massachusetts experimented with a similar law but found it inadequate.

That leaves two more cases for them to weigh in on, including the Big Kahuna on religious rights of corporations to impose its owners religious beliefs on its employees in Sebelius v Hobby Lobby, which will be handed down on Monday.

Today, in response to the buffer zones (McCullen v Coakley), I was joined by Katie Klabusich who blogs about her work as a dedicated activist who helps establish clinic defense escort programs, providing logistical and moral support to reproductive access groups at KatieSpeak.com

Needless to say, this was not the decision they'd been counting on. While the groups fighting for women's rights regroup and decide up a proper response and course of action, Katie suggests following the Clinic Vest Project on Twitter. While you're at it, add NARAL and the Center for Reproductive Rights to you follow list too. And stay tuned...

On Thursday mornings, we have two regular segments, both of which were quite fitting for today.

Amy Simon, cultural herstorian and the woman behind She's History joined us to talk about some fabulous females who challenged religious zealotry - from Katie Kelly, a lifelong Mormon who was trying to become a Mormon minister and was expelled from the church this week, to Anne Hutchinson back in the 16th century who dared to challenge the the authorities who charged her with violating the "Fifth Commandment"!

And, as was truly needed today, Stephen Goldstein joined in for the No More Bullshit Minute! The author of  The Dictionary of American Political Bullshit  joins in every Thursday morning to help us extricate the bullshit from American politics. Today, in response to the bullshit from the Supreme Court, we examined the bullshit surrounding "The Constitution" and "activist."

If you'd like to review a copy of The Dictionary of American Political Bullshit for Amazon just send me a note with your name and address. We'll send them out to the first five who request!

And that's it for a Thursday. Back tomorrow for Flashback Friday when we'll dig into my archives for my first interview with Ray Davies of The Kinks. That's one you don't want to miss.  See you tomorrow... radio or not!

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

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

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

abortion choice my mind my body

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

 

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Michigan's Rape Insurance -- A Tragic Catch-22

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

rape

We all know what a Catch-22 is: A situation in which a desired outcome or solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently illogical rules or conditions. Or to borrow from the famous New England expression when asked for directions, "You can't get there from here."

And that is the condition in the state of Michigan as of Thursday, March 13, 2014: you can't get there from here.

Legislation known as "The Rape Insurance bill," which passed in the Republican dominated state house has become law. Yes, wake up all you sleepy-head women in Michigan!  As of today, if you get raped, and somehow become preggers despite what Todd Akin said, your insurance will no longer cover an abortion. Well, that's not fully true. Insurance companies can cover this procedure if you purchased a separate rape insurance policy -- in advance.

So, all you have to do is plan ahead for your next rape. C'mon, women - take some personal responsibility! Is that so much to ask? After all, it generally takes two to tango, if you catch my drift.

Just go out and get some rape insurance. Don't make a big to-do out of this. It's for your own protection. I mean we all have auto insurance because everyone gets into a fender bender from time to time. And we hopefully now all have health insurance (ACA) because sooner or later we all have medical issues. So why not just carry rape insurance?

Well, that's a good question. Sadly the answer isn't quite as good. NO INSURANCE CARRIERS IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN CARRY RAPE INSURANCE.

It seems there's a mandated insurance coverage should this situation arise, but not a mandated provider for that coverage. That's the Catch-22. There's where the insanity lies. And that's why you can't get there from here.

This is literally all the Republican's fault. And Gov. Rick Snyder signed the bill into law.

If you want to feel the outrage, listen to Rachel Maddow railing over this last night.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare