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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quick News Roundup: 09/16/10

To our Mexican readers - Happy Independence Day! Now, onto the news.

Domestic News: The revocation of noted late-term abortionist Steven Brigam's license has progressed further in New Jersey. It's already been stripped in Maryland, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania for incidents involving late-term abortions as discussed last week. Attorney General Paula Dow, who is decidedly liberal, is already investigating it and asking Brigham to provide evidence in his own defense to maintain his license. Pro-life / conservative activist Christine O'Donnell defeated Congressman Mike Castle in the Republican US Senate primary in Delaware on Tuesday. For reference - Castle received a 46% from NRTL PAC in 1996 and has received significantly lower marks since then. His most recent grade was 0% in 2008. In the oddest news story I've heard in a while - Planned Parenthood board member / abortion activist / Rabbi Alan Freedman is holding services in...a Catholic Church in Texas. According to LifeSiteNews, Rabbi Freedman will actually hold his Jewish services in the main body of the church while Catholic churchgoers will have their Saturday services in the chapel. Not that I have a problem with inter-faith cooperation, but a Catholic Church in Texas allowing a Jewish active member of Planned Parenthood to hold his services in their sancturary just seems...well, odd.

International News: 7 women were recently freed in Mexico in a case involving infanticide. The details are not fully understood as human rights groups are claiming something different than the authorities involved in the case. What I understand, the pregnancies were terminated for each of these women for unknown reasons and instead of being charged with illegal abortions, they were charged with infanticide in Guanajuato. Some believe this to be backlash following the legalization of abortion in Mexico City. Any readers from Mexico who know more about the situation from local media, feel free to add to our understanding of the entire issue. News based outside of Mexico may not paint the whole story.

Discussion Topic: One of the more recent movements has been to modify individual State Constitutions in order to define when life begins. The so-called "Personhood" movement has been gaining momentum and will be on the ballot in Colorado in 2010 and in Mississippi in 2011. What are your thoughts on this approach to pro-life activism? Do you think it will work?

13 comments:

Nulono said...

I think the Personhood Movement came about due to impatience it's a great idea, but it should not be used to the exclusion of incremental choices.

secularprolife.org said...

What Nulono said. Let's not have the perfect be the enemy of the good.

There's nothing that odd about churches and synogagues sharing space on occasion. It's the "he's a Planned Parenthood abortion activist" part that gives me pause. There are plenty of pro-life Jews out there; why not invite one of them instead?

secularprolife.org said...

Sure enough, LifeSiteNews reports that the rabbi's visit has been cancelled in light of the Planned Parenthood connection.

Yonmei said...

One of the more recent movements has been to modify individual State Constitutions in order to define when life begins. The so-called "Personhood" movement has been gaining momentum and will be on the ballot in Colorado in 2010 and in Mississippi in 2011. What are your thoughts on this approach to pro-life activism? Do you think it will work?

There is such widespread popular support for a woman's right to choose abortion in the US, that I don't think that - in the long term - any of the attempts by the pro-life movement to turn the US into a pro-life country like Guatamela would really "work".

If the pro-lifers got their way, and managed to repeal Roe vs Wade, the resultant tide of dead women would - eventually - mean that human rights legislation for women, explicitly protecting her right to choose abortion, would, I think, eventually get through into federal law. That's what's happened in every other developed country (aside from Ireland, which conveniently exports their abortions to the UK, a geopolitical convenience which the US, except in states bordering Mexico or Canada, simply doesn't have).

If the fetus is defined as a person, that doesn't in itself give a fetus the right to make use of another person's body against her will. To do that, you need further legislation or court decisions ruling that women's bodies are not their own - that women are not full persons.

Yonmei said...

But then, if Roe vs Wade were repealed, the Republican Party would lose one of their best electoral tactics, whipping up hate against women who choose abortion.

So while it's convenient for the Republicans to have an army of grassroots activists who support them against their own interests, there will never be any mainstream Republican support in repealing Roe vs Wade.

This could change if the teaparty movement takes control of the Republican party, because the key thing about teaparty politicians is that they seem to literally believe the mishmash of misogynistic, homophobic, racist nonsense that career Republicans have long used to manipulate people. But this doesn't make teaparty candidates very electable, since they have nothing to appeal to the mainstream: they appeal only to the nutcases who also really believe the pro-life or the anti-gay the general racist crap.

Eventually, the teaparty movement could bring down the Republican party as an electoral force. And if that happens, and the Democratic party fractures into a more normal range of political parties, the US could finally get some 21st-century human rights legislation. Or even 20th-century human rights legislation, such as protecting a woman's right to choose.

Nulono said...

I hate to break it to you, but 50% of Americans consider abortion morally wrong as opposed to 38% who consider it morally acceptable. The tide of over 52,000,000 deaths from Roe v. Wade is what led to these Personhood amendments.

And of course personhood would make abortion illegal. Even Roe v. Wade itself says so.

"The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a "person" within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. In support of this, they outline at length and in detail the well-known facts of fetal development. If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case, of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the Amendment. The appellant conceded as much on reargument." -Roe v. Wade

Yonmei said...

I hate to break it to you, but 50% of Americans consider abortion morally wrong as opposed to 38% who consider it morally acceptable.

Ah, this reluctance to go to source. I did.

"Slightly more Americans call themselves "pro-life" than "pro-choice," 47% vs. 45%, according to a May 3-6 Gallup poll. This is nearly identical to the 47% to 46% division found last July following a more strongly pro-life advantage of 51% to 42% last May."

"The current parity among the U.S. public between the "pro-choice" and "pro-life" camps is mirrored in a separate Gallup question asking Americans whether abortion should be legal in all circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances, or illegal in all circumstances. In Gallup's May and July 2009 surveys, the percentages favoring one of the two extreme positions are about equal. Currently, 21% say abortion should be legal without exceptions while 18% say it should be illegal."

And the majority, who are as much your political opponents as I am, even though some of them undoubtedly identify as pro-life, are the whopping 57% who say abortion should be legal "under some circumstances". Gallup Poll

Yonmei said...

So, let me recap that for you Nulono.

78% of Americans disagree with you - and only 18% actually support the pro-life ideal of abortion being illegal under all circumstances.

See, the pro-life movement has succeeded in making pro-choicers in the US publicly identify as pro-life. It hasn't succeeded in convincing the pro-choice majority that women should be forced through pregnancy and childbirth against their will.

Yonmei said...


And of course personhood would make abortion illegal. Even Roe v. Wade itself says so.


"Personhood" would overturn Roe vs. Wade. Abortion would remain legal in states where it was legal before Roe vs Wade.

So there would be a lot of women who could afford it travelling to states where they could still have abortions. The women who couldn't afford it, would stay home and have an illegal abortion.

It might take quite a while - the US government is notoriously slow to respond to human rights issues that only kill people who "don't matter" - in this case, overwhelmingly, the women who would die of the pro-life movement's success would be poor, would be women of colour, would tend to be young and voiceless - but eventually, as the body count piles up, the pro-choice majority who value women's lives would defeat the poisonous minority who want women to die and call themselves "pro-life".

Yonmei said...

Remember what happened in South Dakota, Nulono? The pro-life movement got through an abortion-banning amendment. Then, once it was passed, the pro-choice majority woke up and realised that this amendment actually took away their rights - their own right to choose abortion, or the right of women they care for to choose abortion. Geeze, it wasn't even my country, and I remember that propaganda failure - and South Dakota is one of the states where pro-life terrorism has ensured there's just one health clinic that provides abortions and the doctor has to fly in once a week to keep the appointments.

Yonmei said...

Of course it would be ugly, what would happen to women in the US if Roe vs Wade were overturned. I don't want it to happen. But if the teaparty movement succeeds in grabbing some real power, succeeds in acting on the pro-life propaganda just as car-bombing pro-life activists, then it's possible it might happen.

And then the only thing for those of us who support human rights for all is to hope that this horrible crisis in healthcare in the US would eventually lead to the US passing legislation that sets in place, firmly, a woman's right to choose abortion, based on her rights as a human being.

Nulono said...

"Legal under some circumstances" presumably includes the life of the mother exception, which is the mainstream position in the pro-life movement. As for the source of my statistics, it's here:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/137357/Four-Moral-Issues-Sharply-Divide-Americans.aspx

Tell me: If Person A rapes Person B, and contracts (and subsequently dies from) a STI, has his right to live been violated? Are his rights (the right to choose rape) taken away by anti-rape laws?

My point with the Planned Parenthood stats was to demonstrate that pro-lifers should not be expected to support such an organization.

Yonmei said...

presumably includes the life of the mother exception, which is the mainstream position in the pro-life movement.

It's mainstream because you can't legally come out in favor of just letting women die. In other countries you can and do campaign against any relaxation in the anti-women laws that let women die.

Tell me: If Person A rapes Person B, and contracts (and subsequently dies from) a STI, has his right to live been violated? Are his rights (the right to choose rape) taken away by anti-rape laws?

You think a man has a right to choose rape? Well, you're a typical pro-lifer, I guess.

My point with the Planned Parenthood stats was to demonstrate that pro-lifers should not be expected to support such an organization.

Well, quite. How could pro-rapists such as yourself be expected to support an organisation that provides support for rape victims? How could pro-lifers be expected to support an organisation that provides pre-natal care to pregnant women, contraception and sex education to prevent abortions? You don't want pregnant women to receive pre-natal care, you just want them to get free ultrasounds: you absolutely don't want women to get contraception and family planning advice, then the abortion rate goes down and what will you do for your misogynistic fun then? How could you support Planned Parenthood, when you hate women so much?