Tag Archives: Reproductive rights

Randy Minchew Opposes Birth Control

You might have heard about Mitt Romney’s kerfuffle with a voter in Iowa over the banning of hormonal birth control (the Pill and its successors). Essentially, policies that declare “life begins at conception” would have the practical upshot of banning the Pill, and hormonal birth control in general. It should be noted that this kind of birth control is a choice made by individuals – and couples – by the millions every day. It is safe, legal, effective and has improved the lives of innumerable people for fifty years.

So, of course, Republicans oppose it.

Here in Loudoun, the LCRC and its candidates want their radical anti-choice (and anti-women) polices declared “off limits” for public debate, or even mention. Indeed, I have no doubt this very post will result in a series of comments accusing me of being sensationalist or stirring up controversy. It is in the nature of these things. But when you ask the right questions, or read the right letters, (and I do mean right letters) you discover that the LCRC’s candidate’s positions on the fifty years of gender equality progress are, in fact, directly in line with the most radically paleolithic candidate they support. Which is why candidates that purport to be “moderate” like Randy Minchew, are in fact no better than Dick Black. They want to take away our daughters’ rights and supplant them with their own paternalistic hooey. In fact, Randy (and candidates like him) are actively campaigning on it.


Leaving aside for the moment the fact that a blastocyst is not a baby, and calling it a baby is disingenuous at best, the stridency of the language and appeal in this letter is worthy of note and consideration by Loudoun’s voters. Mr. Minchew has positioned himself as a calm, moderate voice, but it is clear from this letter that he is, in truth, anything but. He is as fringey as his Senatorial ticketmate Dick Black when it comes to advocacy on this issue.

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How to bully a girl into having an abortion, by Keith Deltano

Keith Deltano, a self described “Christian comedian” is back.  On October 3, 2011, he’ll appear at Smarts Mill Middle School in Leesburg for anti-bullying assemblies and a parent meeting.  According to his secular anti-bullying web site,  “no workshop is complete without teaching parents how to protect their children form online porn and gambling as well as bullying.”  Why he discusses porn and gambling in an anti-bullying program is a puzzle.  He may not have any real bullying expertise, like this, or he may believe that these things;  bullying, gambling and porn are somehow related.  I hope somebody asks.

Deltano first visited in 2007 and caused a controversy when he humiliated students and provided inaccurate information and horrible parenting advice.  He told parents not to trust their kids.  He said that kids will lie to parents, so parents have to spy on them.  If I recall, he said “you know that cute Nemo toy?  Your kid will hide an SDRAM full of porn in there“.  He also instructed parents to humiliate their kids.  “If your daughter is listening to raunchy music, make her repeat all the words back to you.” Authoritarian instruction is a Deltano theme.  His methods don’t help parents open communication channels.  They close them down.

On his Christian Comedian web site, Deltano explains a bit more about himself (emphasis mine).

“Christian comedy is rarely used for its entertainment value alone. Event organizers have used Christian comedy as a tool for outreach, fundraisers, gospel presentations, youth events and to deal with specific issues that are important to the body of Christ. A short list of these issues would include sexual abstinence, overcoming drug and alcohol abuse, strengthening marriage, singles issues, and scriptural inerrancy and apologetics. The list is as long as the topics that challenge us all….

Or, one could look at the fruit of Christian Comedy to determine if it is a valid and God honoring evangelistic tool. I have witnessed, as have many others, thousands come forward at the end of a comedic presentation. (The presenting comedian is more serious during the conclusion of a gospel presentation.)  Am I a comedian or a funny Christian youth speaker?  Can I be both? Many Christian comedians have used their abilities to raise funds for Crises Pregnancy Centers throughout the country.”

This time around, Deltano will address bullying.  He’s well aquainted with the topic.  In his abstinence gig, he shames and humiliates students.  At one point he holds a cinder block over a prone male student’s crotch.  The Smarts Mill PTA and administration seem to think he’s a good investment.  Maybe we should trust them give him a second chance.  His bullying routine has some good content.  In Mean Girls, he describes bullying by exclusion.

“how do you decide who’s in and who’s out…that’s bullying…my value comes from who I am…I’m a Wal-Mart shopper and i’m proud…You cannot judge people by clothing and appearance you should never pick on people for their clothing and appearance”

He’s on to something.  Exclusion – making a person an outcast – is a form of bullying.  If I had one question for Keith Deltano, it would be:

If a student is told that she doesn’t or shouldn’t exists, is that bullying?”

Ask yourself that question as you watch Deltano’s Pregnant In The USA: Sex Sells video.  The featured photo shows Deltano imitating a girl’s unintended pregnancy.  “Sex sells” he says but the “result of sex“; pregnancy and disease, doesn’t.  His message is that a pregnant girl isn’t sexy.  She’s rather ugly.  Nobody wants her.  She has nothing to be proud of.  She’s not like a “Wal-Mart shopper”.  She’s an outcast.  She’s in a shameful state.  She shouldn’t exist, at least not in his secular context.

If he switched to his “Christian” context, she would no longer exist as an independent person.  She’d be a ward of the state, a vessel for the “most vulnerable member of society“.  But this is his secular show, so she’s just fat, ugly and shameful.

What message is Deltano sending to a real-world pregnant girl?  She’s a person who shouldn’t exist.  She’s going to get fat and ugly.

What option does she have to avoid the shame?  What’s the path of least resistance?


Thanks Keith!

disembodied fetus

[promoted by Liz]

In “Single-Issue Voter”, Roberto Rivera describes growing up in a Democratic Catholic blue-collar household.  He’s progressive on all the issues but, he’s “strongly pro-life” and finds himself politically aligned with people who “if, by some (please God!) miracle, abortion disappeared tomorrow, many of them would probably vote in much the same way they do now”.

Rivera wouldn’t.  He’d return to being a progressive, if “abortion disappeared”.

Roberto doesn’t know how abortion disappears.  Remarkably, his article makes no mention of “woman” or “pregnancy”. Abortion is something that “happens” to a disembodied fetus.

Disembodied 12-week fetus - National Library of Medicine

The illustration was produced with your tax dollars.  Isn’t he cute?  His name is Adam.  God created Adam from dust without the help of a woman.  The Adam above looks like he’s going to wake up and practice Mozart piano sonatas before he goes back to being a fetus.

That’s the image that Rivera wants you to maintain as he alludes to – if not women – to original sin.

A society that enshrines (the word fits particularly well in this context) the right to use private lethal violence against its weakest and most vulnerable members isn’t only unjust in this regard, it’s likely to be unjust pretty much across the board. The right to an abortion is based on a jurisprudence and an underlying worldview that denies the existence of a common good and holds personal autonomy and self-fulfillment as the highest goods.

Mark Earley wrote a similar piece, “No Life, No Justice” for Prison Fellowship Ministries that referenced Rivera’s article.  Earley does mention women, and Planned Parenthood, of course.

Since the passage of Roe vs. Wade in 1973, more than 48 million unborn children have perished—and only 7 percent of the women who had those abortions cited medical concerns, rape, or incest as their reasons. And those who promote abortions—they are flexing their muscle as never before. In Fiscal Year 2006-2007, Planned Parenthood…

According to Earley and Rivera, 93% of the time, women are choosing “personal autonomy and self-fulfillment” over their duty to dear Adam.

The fetus is fertile ground for conspiracy.  Rand Paul ratchet’s up the rhetoric in a very Delgaudioesque fundraising letter (emphasis mine).


Dear Concerned American,

It’s a horrifying modern day genocide happening in our own backyards.

Last year alone, Planned Parenthood was responsible for ending the lives of over 320,000 innocent babies….

I believe there is something deeply wrong with an organization that kills babies, and even more so when they are funded through the taxpayer dollars….

Planned Parenthood’s progaganda calls the pro-life movement a war on women.

And believe me, they have their supporters riled up like never before.

Daily emails from Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and Emily’s List are being sent smearing pro-life Americans like you and me as villains.

Maybe the fetus should should be sitting on a slippery slope.  Too bad there is no slope.  Roberto is no liberal.  If he was operating in the reality-based world he’d put down his moral smugness and ask, “what’s the root cause of abortion, unwanted pregnancy, maybe”?  Wouldn’t Rivera sound more rational if he said “if, by some (please God!) miracle, unwanted pregnancy disappeared tomorrow“?  But then he wouldn’t have a straw enemy.  He wouldn’t be able to blame women for using “private violence“.  He would have to take responsibility as a man.  He’d be forced to ask if that 7% (3.5 million) pregnancies terminated for reasons of medical concern, rape or incest “disappeared”, if that would require some degree of violence against societies weak and vulnerable.  He’d have to acknowledge that women actually embody those fetuses and that he’s advocating a Handmaid’s Tale world.

Suzanne Moore wrote personal piece in the Guardian, “It’s the same old game.  Get your rosaries off my ovaries, as we used to say“.  When she was 11, Moore and her mum were booted from a tupperware party.  When talk turned to ‘getting “rid” of things’, Moore’s mum blurted

Christ, you really don’t know what you are talking about. If it wasn’t for abortion I’d have a football team by now.”

Moore’s was writing about British “independent counseling” legislation.  It failed.  The British controversy is like the new clinic rules that are pushing Virginia to the forefront of the abortion debate reported in the Loudoun Times Mirror.  Both regulations intend to make it harder to obtain abortion services.  Moore’s analysis is relevant to Virginia.

We are repeatedly told this is an “emotive” issue. The new vocabulary of the anti-abortion lobby is full of vaguely feminist platitudes – not feminist enough to counsel the men who walk away from pregnancies but still. Underneath, we are fallen women, damaged goods and so terribly stupid that we can be persuaded to have a quick abortion by wicked charities. When we could be what? Wombs to provide babies for “proper couples” or go it alone as the root of all evil: single mothers?

This is nauseating. A vote of conscience? If MPs had one they would say it is not the business of the legislature to control women’s reproduction. They would stop telling us what is “emotive” and ask what actually is. I didn’t want counselling in order to have an abortion. I certainly did after a miscarriage – again an awfully common experience – but none was offered. No, instead let’s bring on an army of “independent” zealots who can tell us that abortion leads to cancer, mental health issues and infertility, and sod the evidence that having a baby is more risky than having an abortion. Anyone who talks about how easy it is and how the reality is glossed over is ignorant. You have a scan. You know and see what you are doing. It’s not a walk in the park but it is a huge relief. The emotive part is the enforced waiting.

Now the tactics are to further that wait. This is nothing short of cruelty dressed up in the language of concern.

Chris Freund of the Virginia Family Foundation explains the rationale for the regulations. “The threat that a health department inspector could visit the clinics at any time also will ensure that clinics operate safely”. When discussing medical procedures, it’s no longer polite to refer to “private lethal violence”.  “Safety” is a much better talking point.

Moore knows where Freund is coming from.

All fundamentalisms seek to control female sexuality. It’s the same old game. Get your rosaries off my ovaries, as we used to say. You trust me with a child but not with a choice? If MPs want to help women then they can make access to abortion and contraception more efficient. Who has the authority over my body – some geezer in the House of Commons? Or me and my doctor? Like my mother, I feel no shame and I refute this language of “care”. You want a definition of a nanny state? How about one that thinks it’s OK to poke around in your uterus?


Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime..

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about “Liberty and Justice for All, Born and Unborn.”

It is not justice to force a pregnant person into involuntary servitude for 9 months, risking her life and health. With no trial. No judge. No jury.

It is not justice to declare that the life and health of a living person is worth less than the fetus she carries. With no trial. No judge. No jury.

It is not justice to withhold life-saving surgery from a living person due to concern for the fetus she carries. With no trial. No judge. No jury.

It is PARTICULARLY not justice to do so when you are also working to allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth control.

It is PARTICULARLY not justice to do so when you are also working to prevent accurate sex education.

It is PARTICULARLY not justice to do so when you are working to cut funds to social services, day care, foster care.

…If we truly valued children, we would do everything in our power not to traumatize, deprive, or neglect them…

Until I see this, I won’t believe that “pro-lifers” care about life at all. I won’t believe that “family values” proponents care about families. And I won’t believe that those who seek to “protect” children care about children.
-Matt Kailey at Womanist Musings

Oh! And in case you thought Choice is only about Abortion, here’s a post that will better inform you.

(cross posted at DoorbellQueen)


LUNAFEST Arlington 2011
Hosted by the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Foundation
Thursday, May 12, 2011, 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
near Pentagon City Metro station, Arlington, VA 22202
(location available upon ticket purchase or reservation)
Join us on May 12 to enjoy great short films while supporting two important causes! Proceeds support the research, education and outreach work of the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Foundation, as well as the national LUNAFEST beneficiary, the Breast Cancer Fund.  Featuring:
  • Screening of LUNAFEST’s compelling, diverse short films by female filmmakers
  • Reception with wine and other refreshments to enjoy during the films
  • Silent Auction with great prizes to bid on, including: a one-week stay at an international vacation condo; original artwork; handmade jewelry; a one-night stay at the W Washington DC Hotel; a basket of great wines; spa treatments from Calvert Rejuvenations; gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses such as Pizzeria Paradiso, Georgetown Cupcake, and Thrive Pilates; Potomac Nationals baseball tickets… and more!
Watch the teaser trailer for this year’s films below!
Choice Guardian Host Committee
Barbara Burgess • Matthew Boyer • Jennifer Brown • Liz Miller • Jennifer Brooks Miller • Gary Spoden • Lori Swain
Silent Auction donors
Lisa Baker • Calvert Rejuvenations • Georgetown Cupcake • Ben Greenberg Photography • Misty Jones • Pizzeria Paradiso • Potomac Nationals • Thrive Pilates & Yoga • W Washington DC Hotel

LUNAFEST®, sponsored by LUNA, is a national traveling festival of short films by, for, and about women. It was established in 2000 to promote women filmmakers, raise awareness for women’s issues, and support the Breast Cancer Fund and other worthy nonprofit organizations working on women’s issues throughout the country.


General Admission Tickets: $35
($25 discounted rate for GEM for Choice monthly donors and Students/Young Professionals)
VIP Admission: $75 Individuals / $125 Choice Power Couples
 ($50 discounted VIP rate for GEM for Choice members)
Includes tickets with reserved seating & admission to VIP pre-show reception.

Choice Guardian Host Committee: $250
Includes your name on website & event publications, 4 tickets with reserved seating & admission to VIP pre-show reception.

Please contact rsvp@naralva.org or 202-973-3085 with any questions about purchasing or reserving your tickets.

 If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or donating an item to be placed up for bid at our Silent Auction, please contact caroline@naralva.org.


Thank you to everyone who made last year’s LUNAFEST 2010 a great success! Check out some additional photos from the night right here!

From my inbox

Dear Liz,There's still time to contact Gov. McDonnell!

It could come down to just 20 minutes.

The McDonnell administration is pulling out all the stops to steamroll through new, overreaching regulations that could force 17 of Virginia’s 21 abortion providers to close their doors.

Tell Gov. McDonnell to veto this bill today.

Last month, cunning anti-choice lawmakers voted to categorize Virginia’s abortion providers as hospitals! This, of course, is not only utterly ridiculous, but downright reckless. Their aim is to shut down clinics. And, if that happens, the majority of women in the Commonwealth will lose access to vital reproductive health care.

We have learned that the process to recategorize abortion providers are hospitals is being fast tracked and that the public will have little to no input. In fact, the Board of Health will only allow 20 minutes for public comment at their September meeting! That’s not how democracy should work!

You can help stop this power grab by putting pressure on Gov. McDonnell. It’s not too late. He has not yet signed this draconian bill into law, but every minute counts. He has until Tuesday, March 29.

After trying to pass this sort of bill into law for 20 years, it could come down to just 20 minutes of public comment – 20 minutes that could shape women’s access to safe, legal abortion in Virginia for the next 20 years and beyond.

The McDonnell administration is attempting to work in secret to eliminate safe, legal abortion care in Virginia. This cannot happen. It’s up to you to stop this attack!

Ask the governor TODAY to veto the bill designed to shut down abortion providers.

If Gov. McDonnell signs this bill into law, we will spend the next six months working tirelessly to make sure new regulations do not severely limit access to abortion in the Commonwealth. We have our work cut out for us, but I know pro-choice Virginia is ready to stand up and tell the McDonnell administration we will not tolerate its harmful anti-choice agenda.

Please stay tuned over the coming weeks to learn more about how we will be fighting this dangerous attempt to limit reproductive care.

For choice,
Tarina Keene
Executive Director

P.S. We will need a lot of support in the coming months to fight these attacks, so please consider making a donation to help us protect Virginia’s valuable abortion providers.

House votes to de-fund NPR

So far, they’ve tackled: removing funding from Metro; medicaid payments for abortions; taking away funding for basic women’s health care (pap smears and breast exams); and taking away enforcement power from the EPA.

Now they’ve taken funding away from NPR.

But they haven’t even begun on a single jobs bill.

Weren’t jobs their biggest priority back in November?

#DearJohn, #WhereAreTheJobs?

What Choice means to me

It means the ability to say, “No”. It also means the ability to say, “Yes”.

Choice means that sexual contact with someone who cannot or did not consent is rape.

Choice means having full and factual information. About how reproduction happens, about how to prevent reproduction from happening, and how to have the healthiest baby possible – if you choose to reproduce. Without full and factual information, there is no informed consent.

Choice means that women should be able to choose to get a tubal ligation, or be able to decline to get one.

Choice means that women should be able to get their birth control pills from any pharmacy that also stocks Viagra.

Choice means that any insurance company that covers Viagra should also cover birth control pills.

Choice means that abortion should be safe and legal and available and, yes, covered by insurance (and not on a separate policy).

Choice means that the health of the mother should trump the life of a fetus.

Choice means that clinics that provide out-patient first-trimester abortions should not be held to a higher standard than clinics that provide out-patient vasectomies.

I am pro-choice. Please donate to NARAL Pro-Choice VA, to help stop TRAP. Or join Tarina and many others for Lobby Day next week.