Tag Archives: Reproductive rights

Stop trying to focus on the word you used. The word you used is not the problem.

Bob FitzSimmonds (l) and Steve Martin (r)

Bob FitzSimmonds (l) and Steve Martin (r)

It’s possible, of course, that Bob FitzSimmonds doesn’t know what a common slang word for a part of the female anatomy means (he’s now claiming to have confused it with “twaddle”), although it’s hard to believe – even if he is “an old white guy who needs to get out more.”

If he and his supporters have any sense at all, though, they will stop trying to “explain.” When people try to “explain” to those whom they have just offended not only why they should not be offended, but how their being offended is actually an unfair attack on themselves, it does not go well. (Just ask Virginia State Senator Steve Martin. Actually, don’t ask him, because he still doesn’t get it.)

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Here Come the Social Issues

Question: Does Victoria Cobb have dementia, or does she just believe that other Virginians do?

In an email she sent us this week, with the actual subject line “Here Come the Social Issues,” the Virginia Family (not yours) Foundation president tells us that, because there is now a Democratic majority* in the state senate, “Senator Democrats [sic] will elevate their abortion and sex agenda** to their top priority,” and “there is little doubt that ‘social issues’ will dominate their agenda in the coming days.”

I will pause here so that anyone who has been living in Virginia for the last decade or two can finish laughing.

There certainly has been quite a bit of forgetfulness lately on the part of individuals who have made an “abortion and sex agenda” their top priority, hasn’t there? And Victoria’s forgetfulness about her own organization’s mission has just shot to the top of the hit parade, as further down in the very same email she mentions the 2011 TRAP*** law that she and her allies in the General Assembly engineered by adding anti-abortion provisions to an unrelated law. And you might think that Victoria would want to present the means by which this law was passed as a legitimate process driven by evidence and debate. You would be wrong.

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Having a woman deliver a lie doesn’t magically make it true

republicansinyourvaginaLast night the “official” Republican response to the State of the Union address was delivered by Washington representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who didn’t engage in any distracting large motor activities.

Rodgers made the encouraging assertion that the current Republican Party “trusts people to make their own decisions, not a government that decides for you,” and then a bit later that “Republicans believe health care choices should be yours, not the government’s. And that whether you’re a boy with Down syndrome or a woman with breast cancer … you can find coverage and a doctor who will treat you.”

But obviously that is not at all what Republicans believe, as earlier in the day nearly all of them had voted to prevent women from choosing to access abortion care, and they regularly endorse efforts that would allow health care providers, in the guise of “religious freedom,” to refuse to treat people on the basis of their personal beliefs about those people. Most notably this “freedom” to selectively do one’s job has involved pharmacists who don’t believe that people should use birth control, but it can just as easily be invoked to refuse all kinds of medical care to all kinds of people, care like hormone replacement therapy, fertility and prenatal care, and cancer treatment.

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Castle Doctrine Meet Personhood


Kyra Gracie - MMA fighter

She meant you harm. She meant harm to your family, your property, and she had the capability. She could kill you with a pen knife, a pencil, a piece of dental floss, or her bare hands. You shot her. You were “required*” to do so. You “did the right thing.” You are a hero.

But the autopsy reveals that she was six weeks pregnant, and in Kansas and fourteen other states, human life begins at fertilization. That fetus she was carrying is a “person.

Did the fetus little person intend to harm you too? The little person was in your home castle. So you shot her too. She was no innocent little person. She was a home invader, like her mom. Bye bye little one. You made my day.

*required” according to Jim Schatz’s April 5, 2013 letter to the editor of the Purcellville Gazette.

The “culture of life” that kills people

“It was worse than if the NRA had not spoken at all,” said Gene Grabowski, executive vice president of Levick Strategic Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based issues management firm that has worked with firearms manufacturers.

Meanwhile, during that curious week of self-imposed silence from the NRA, we’ve heard just about every offensive explanation and excuse imaginable for the atrocity in Newtown, Connecticut: The gunman could have his way with the elementary school because it was a “feminized setting” without enough “male aggression” (this ignorant assertion made in the face of the heroic actions of the women who hid children and tried to tackle the gunman); this massacre and others like it are the price we must be willing to pay for the convenience to gun enthusiasts afforded by the “almost universally benevolent” Second Amendment; and of course, there was the predictable ranting from the usual suspects blaming an imaginary “war on Christmas,” imaginary “homosexual agenda,” imaginary “end of school prayer,” etc. But in the discussion of a naked propaganda post that managed to go on and on and on about a sustained, lethal assault upon schoolchildren with a military assault weapon without once using the word “gun,” one commenter takes the prize for disingenuous sanctimony by claiming the atrocity wouldn’t have happened if only, if only, we had a “universal respect for life.”

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Bravo Sister!

“They’re saying it’s only about doctrine. But for us, the dialogue is about reflecting on our lives out of Gospel. Theology in our view is about exploration and discovery. They think that’s wrong. It’s like cutting the heart out of who we are,”

Sister Simone Campbell on the Vatican’s view of “open dialogue,” reported in today’s Washington Post.  The Vatican believes that dialogue is “a conversation about how best to implement the pope’s vision.”  Really? Isn’t Sister Simone asking, “Who represents Catholic women?“ How can a conversation be called “dialogue” if one side says – “I’m the authority, shut up and implement what I say.

Michelle Boorstein’s article really gave me hope. This dialogue between the nuns and the pope is one the most significant political advances I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. Why is it political? When asked if the dialogue includes hot button issues like contraception, Sister Simone replied,

“Absolutely. Theologies have evolved over two millennia. When Jesus died and rose, it wasn’t all settled.”

Bravo Sister!

What I’ve been reading, links worth following

These are links from my Twitter Feed from today*.

*I may spend a smidge too much time on Twitter.

Thanks, Republicans

And thanks to you also, Governor McDonnell, for your leadership on this. Thank you for amending the Ultrasound Rape bill to be merely an Ultrasound Battery bill. And then passing it.

This action unequivocally proves that the purpose of this bill has nothing to do with ensuring that a woman sees an ultrasound image of the embryo she has decided to abort, since in almost all cases, an external ultrasound won’t produce anything to see. No, this is just about throwing up any old pesky obstacle in her way and making it more inconvenient and expensive to exercise her legal, constitutional right to obtain an abortion. Thanks again for making that so clear. It’s way more convincing than us saying it.

On large, unexpected expenses

Once in a while there appears a post or a letter to the editor so earnestly, hilariously dumb that we must sit for a moment of awestruck silence. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ben Belrose:

Dear Editor: There are certain expenses in life that are “normal” ongoing expenses that people pay for out of their budget. We buy insurance to cover large, unexpected expenses.

Years ago, the common plan was described as “major medical” which was designed to help people cover medical hospitalization, i.e., expenses that could not be covered by their normal budget. A routine visit to the doctor for a cold or the flu was paid out of the available normal resources…

The purpose of this letter is to establish the idea that reproductive health, which includes control over conception, is not properly categorized as a health care expense. He would like for us to consider categorizing it instead as one of many “normal living expenses” like buying gasoline or “daily trips to the coffee bar.” Continue reading

Eat more cookies, teach liars a lesson

We may have found a new standard for effortless advocacy.

It isn’t really news that people sometimes lie to get their way, but is it my imagination that there has been a sharp uptick in the sheer brazenness of the lying? I’m not talking here about the weaselly, defensive type of lying that public figures often engage in when caught in compromising positions (yawn). I’m talking about utterly making things up with the intention of compromising other people, wholly fabricated things that the liar knows are demonstrably false, but doesn’t care. Things that the liar wishes were true, but are not. So the liar just goes ahead and says they are anyway.

Things like stating as fact (click ‘See more’ under the first block of text) that a kind of rape scenario has occurred in a community when no such thing has ever happened.

Things like claiming that the Girl Scouts of America “promote abortion”, or have a “partnership” with Planned Parenthood, or encourage girls to have promiscuous sex. People dedicated to promoting these and other lies about the Girl Scouts have produced a media campaign that has the fingerprints of hate groups like American Family Association all over it, and are going after, of all things, Girl Scout Cookie sales.

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