Tag Archives: Abortion Rights

Democrats Filibustered Texas Abortion Bill to Death

Wendy Davis during her Texas Senate filibuster Abortion Bill

Texas Democrats managed to block an abortion bill that would shut most of the abortion clinics in the state all thanks to the magic of filibustering.

Democratic Senator Wendy Davis spoke for over 10 hours in attempt to delay the abortion bill that would ban the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy and require all abortions take place in surgical centres.

Davis was chosen to lead the filibuster because she was once a teen mom who went on to graduate from Harvard Law School. Speaking about Planned Parenthood, Senator Davis said, “I was a poor, uninsured woman, whose only care was provided through that facility. It was my medical home.”

Filibustering is not an easy task. The rules include:

  • No sitting
  • No bathroom breaks
  • No talking about anything unrelated to the bill

Decked out in pink running shoes and a supportive backbrace, Davis needed to talk for 13 hours in order to stop the bill before it could be voted on by the end of the legislative session.

“The leadership may not want to listen to Texas women, but they will have to listen to me. I intend to filibuster this bill.”

Unfortunately, just before midnight, Davis’s filibuster came to an end after Republicans accused her of violating one of the strict parliamentary rules: going off topic.

Abortion rights activists in the upstairs gallery did not like this. Fearing the abortion bill would pass before the midnight deadline, they erupted in outcry, managing to disrupt the Republican senators and further delay the vote. 

“Get them out!” Republican Senator Donna Campbell shouted to a security guard. “Time is running out!”

The Republican dominated Senate soon announced they had somehow managed to successfully pass the bill in the nick of time, but in a final twist it was later discovered that the Republicans’ final vote was taken too late to count, rendering the vote invalid.

Republicans blamed the Democratic victory on “all the ruckus and noise” and “an unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics”. Republican Governor Rick Perry was especially upset – he was itching to sign the bill into law and make abortion a “thing of the past”.

Via: The New York Times

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House Republicans Pass the Fetal Pain Bill

Fetal Pain Bill

House Republicans voted overwhelmingly in favour of Rep. Trent Franks’ Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act aka the Fetal Pain bill.

The Fetal Pain bill limits a woman’s ability to seek an abortion after 20 weeks of conception – or 22 weeks of pregnancy. This is the time when, according to the bill’s supporters and former quack OB/GYN Michael Burgess, a fetus can begin to feel pain. Under current regulations, women in most states can get an abortion up to the point when the fetus becomes viable, which is generally considered to be about 24 weeks of pregnancy. Enter the Fetal Pain bill.

The bill passed with 228 to 196 votes in the House, but sadly, Trent Franks’ suggestion to add an amendment barring any exceptions in cases of rape or incest was not included in the final version of the bill. Franks was really pushing for the no exceptions rule, especially considering “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy is very low.” So in the end the bill included an exemption for women who get pregnant through rape or incest providing they first report the sexual assault to legal authorities.

Also failing to make it was Rep. Michael Burgess’ idea to set the abortion limit to 15 weeks instead of 20 weeks. According to the “former OB/GYN”, fetuses can feel pain and pleasure at this point and he’s seen sonograms of masturbating fetuses so he would know.

Still, the Republicans were very much on board with the Fetal Pain bill. House Speaker John Boehner, justified the vote as a response to the recent murder conviction of Philadelphia physician Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell was famously convicted for conducting illegal late-term abortion procedures in his not-so-sanitary medical clinic.

“Listen, after this Kermit Gosnell trial and some of the horrific acts that were going on, the vast majority of the American people believe in the substance of this bill, and so do I,” Boehner said.

Nevertheless the Fetal Pain bill has very little chance of being passed in the Democratic-led Senate and no chance at all of being signed by President Obama. In fact Obama called the bill an “assault on a woman’s right to choose.” So basically that whole debate was a waste of time.

Via: USA Today

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Masturbating Fetuses and The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

Michael Burgess Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is capable of creating some painfully awkward Republican quotes.

Last week, we learned about droopy-eyed Arizona Representative Trent Franks’ passionate (if not semi-idiotic) defense of his proposal to ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy – regardless of cases involving rape or incest. The bill, entitled the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, directly challenges Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion up to the time a fetus is considered viable, at 24 weeks into pregnancy.

But in Texas they do things bigger! So Texas Representative Michael Burgess has suggested that the GOP’s abortion bill doesn’t go far enough. On Monday during a House Rules committee debate on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the Republican asserted that the abortion limit be set to 15 weeks. Why? Because he’s seen fetuses masturbate, obviously.

This is a subject that I do know something about,” Burgess said.

Fetus masturbation is a subject he’s familiar with? I suppose he is a former OB/GYN, but go on….

“There is no question in my mind that a baby at 20 weeks after conception can feel pain. The fact of the matter is, I argue with the chairman because I thought the date was far too late. We should be setting this at 15 weeks, 16 weeks.”

“Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful,” Burgess continued. “They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain?”

Wait a minute… if this guy watches sonograms of fetuses pleasuring themselves, does that qualify as child pornography?

Via: The Huffington Post

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Trent Franks is the New Todd Akin

Trent Franks

Some Republicans never learn…. Droopy eyed Arizona Representative Trent Franks announced that he too believes rape rarely results in pregnancy.

During a committee hearing Trent Franks defended his proposal to ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy — with no rape or incest exception — by insisting “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.” And besides, even if a woman could get pregnant by a rapist, she would have plenty of time after the rape to get an abortion before the ban kicked in, according to Franks.

“When you make that exception, there’s usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours and, in this case, that’s impossible because this is in the sixth month of gestation and that’s what completely negates and vitiates the purpose of such an amendment.”

Therefore, the Democratic amendment to the proposal that allows exceptions in cases of rape and incest makes no sense! The current limit for abortions is 24 weeks, but if Franks gets his way it will be limited to 20 weeks – with no exceptions!

No one knows where Franks is getting his info from but he definitely didn’t back it up with any scientific research. Democrats on the committee, including Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), responded not so favourably:

“I just find it astonishing to hear a phrase repeated that the incidence of pregnancy from rape is low,” Lofgren said. “There’s no scientific basis for that. And the idea that the Republican men on this committee can tell the women of America that they have to carry to term the product of a rape is outrageous.”

One thing’s for sure – someone should really tell Republicans to stop talking about rape so much. Within hours of his comments, Trent Franks began facing Democratic backlash, with many pointing out the similarities to Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” remarks. Akin, a failed Missouri Senate candidate said during the 2012 election that in a “legitimate rape” a woman’s body “shuts that whole thing down”.

Other examples of Republican rape “mishaps” include Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock who suggested a rape pregnancy was a gift from god and Wisconsin state senator Roger Rivard who said his daddy used to tell him, “Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.”

Via: ABC News

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One Step Closer to Plan B

Plan B

The Obama administration has decided to stop trying to block over-the-counter access to Plan B, the morning-after contraceptive pill for women and girls of all ages.

Until now, the Justice Department had been fighting a judge’s order to allow anyone to purchase the pill, Plan B One-Step, without a prescription. US government lawyers had appealed Judge Korman’s April ruling arguing that he had exceeded his authority. Also, Obama was a little squeamish about making the drugs more widely available. He said that as the father of two young girls, the idea of making the drug available to them without a prescription made him uncomfortable.

But now the administration has given up, fearing that they might lose the appeals case and have it wind up in Supreme Court. Why are they so afraid of taking it to the Supreme Court? Well that would drastically elevate the debate over the issue, which is already a politically sensitive topic for the Obama administration.

The government’s decision to back down means that once the FDA approves Plan B for nonprescription use, any woman or girl will soon be able to walk into a drugstore and buy the pill – sans prescription. Under current laws, only girls aged 15 and older (and 17+ before April) can purchase the morning-after pill without a prescription – but now, thanks to Judge Korman’s ruling, even 12-year-olds can!

Women’s reproductive rights groups said the limit unfairly kept women and girls from accessing the drug, which is most effective when taken within 72 hours after sex. The groups have hailed the new decision as a significant moment in the battle over reproductive rights.

But not everyone is happy about the government giving into the Plan B ruling – especially Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. On Fox News’ Fox & Friends, friend of Fox Laura Ingraham made a “compelling” case that Obama’s decision to comply with the court order is only beneficial to rapists and pedophiles.

“It’s a good deal for pedophiles, a good deal for people who commit statutory rape against young girls,” Ingraham told Fox News. “If mothers and fathers across this country hear this and they think, ‘Well, I guess my daughter or her boyfriend or her rapist can go out to a pharmacy and get a bunch of, you know, hormone pills to give a little girl.’ We don’t really know the effect of a spiking or dropping a little girl’s — in many cases a young woman’s or a little girl’s hormonal levels. It’s outrageous!”

Not sure if rapists and pedophiles are actually deterred by the possibility of pregnancy, but good effort Laura! If only Plan B were available without a prescription when your parents had you…

Via: The New York Times

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Rape Insurance in the New Car Insurance

Rape Insurance

Want your abortion covered by health insurance? Then you’d better buy some rape insurance.

Michigan’s Right to Life president Barbara Listing is facing some backlash after insinuating that women should purchase additional rape insurance if they want abortion coverage for rape assaults.

The Michigan chapter of Right to Life is backing a petition that would ban health insurance companies from covering abortions, even if a woman became pregnant from rape or incest. The new policy would prohibit insurance policies from covering elective abortions unless additional coverage is bought.

People do not want to pay for other people’s abortions,” said Barbara Listing.

Barbara defends the additional coverage by linking getting raped with getting in a car accident.

Nobody plans to have an accident in a car accident, nobody plans to have their homes flooded. You have to buy extra insurance for those,” she told reporters.

Well, that’s one way to get everyone on board. But Barbara only needs 258,088 valid voter signatures on the petition for it to be put to a legislative vote.

Supporters of Planned Parenthood were less than impressed with Barbara’s petition.  The group says the proposal puts “women’s health at risk” and that abortion insurance requirements would “result in separate and distinct costs for women, rendering coverage for comprehensive health care more expensive for women than men.”

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) is also skeptical about the proposal. Although Snyder is pro-life, the governor vetoed a similar anti-abortion proposal last year, saying, “I don’t believe it is appropriate to tell a woman who becomes pregnant due to a rape that she needed to select elective insurance coverage.”

However, if Barbara manages to get her 258,088 petition signatures, Snyder’s signature won’t be required for the bill to pass – only a legislative vote. Hopefully Barbara won’t get in a “car accident” when she’s out collecting those signatures. A rear end collision could do some serious damage.

Via: MLive

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Abortion Doctor To Be Aborted… And Other News

Abortion Doctor Kermit

Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell might be aborted.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the abortion doctor, who was found guilty on Monday of killing three babies born alive as well as involuntary manslaughter for the death of a female patient who died of an overdose. Some good news for Gosnell: he was acquitted on the fourth murder charge. Doesn’t really matter though if you’re getting the death penalty… The 72-year-old abortion doctor is accused of cutting the spines of infants after delivering them. Police first became aware of the late-term abortions and malpractice at his clinic following a 2010 raid that uncovered unsanitary conditions, untrained staff, jars of severed feet and aborted fetuses stored in plastic food containers alongside employees’ lunches. Yum! Still more appetizing than bugsAssociated Press

Hong Kong TranTranssexuals in Hong Kong can now marry! A Hong Kong court ruled on Monday that a transsexual woman, only known as “W”, could marry her boyfriend. Before the ruling, the city’s law prevented two people of the same sex at birth from marrying. The city’s Registrar of Marriages had argued that she could not wed her boyfriend because her birth certificate — which cannot be altered under Hong Kong law — said she was male. But “W” argued that since the law recognizes her post-operative gender (which was government-subsidized), it should also recognize her right to marry. The court agreed and now the government must re-write Hong Kong’s marriage laws. Well, now there’s another way around the gay marriage ban – a government funded sex change! BBC News

Hipster PabstAmericans are sick of hipsters. A new survey by Public Policy Polling has revealed what many already knew to be true: no one likes hipsters. Well, 16% of American voters like hipsters. The rest, not so much. In fact, 27% of voters said they thought hipsters should be subjected to a special tax for being so annoying. Just 10% of voters say they consider themselves to be hipsters – and almost all of those are younger voters. The survey does not define the term “hipster” but the third question reads: “Do you think Pabst Blue Ribbon, also known as 
PBR, is a good beer, or not?” I guess that sums it up. Public Policy Polling

Leila FowlerSomeone took sibling rivalry to the next level… A 12-year-old boy  was arrested today in California in connection with stabbing his sister, Leila Fowler, to death in April. The brother originally said an intruder had broken into their home while the two of them were home alone and stabbed his sister before taking off on foot. The boy described a tall gray-haired man with a muscular build, who then fled the scene, setting off a community manhunt. Police now suspect the 12-year-old did it and he is expected to be charged with homicide. ABC News

david-beckmannMan puts cock in his peacock. An Illinois pervert is facing criminal charges for sexually abusing his pet peacock. The peacock, named Phyl, was later found dead. 64-year-old David Beckmann was arrested on charges of misdemeanor animal cruelty and is also facing charges involving indecent solicitation of a child and misdemeanor battery. Sounds like a great guy. With a mugshot like that, you just know he’s sexually molested something. Raw Story

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“If Babies Had Guns They Wouldn’t Be Aborted”

Stockman Loves Babies with Guns

Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas asked himself ‘how can we combine the gun control debate with the abortion debate’. The answer? Giving guns to fetuses.

On Friday, the pro-gun, anti-abortion rights Republican unveiled his new campaign bumper sticker on Twitter:

“If babies had guns they wouldn’t be aborted. Vote Pro-Life!”

Stockmen Tweets About Guns and Babies

Logistics aside (such as, how do you stop the gun from firing while trying to deliver it to the baby?), great slogan. It pretty much sums up Rep Stockman’s position: more guns, more babies, and more babies with guns. 

The #gosnell refers to the trail of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, who was arrested last year on murder charges. He has been accused of running an abortion clinic that offered late term abortions. But that’s not all: the doctor has also been charged in the murder of a woman during a botched abortion, as well as the murder of seven babies born alive.

Stockman, like many other conservatives, wants the liberal media to focus more heavily on the trial. As some gruesome details of the trail have leaked out, conservatives have accused the media of ignoring a story that could start a whole new debate over abortion rights. The campaign slogan, however, is a little harder to ignore.

Stockman recently invited all gun owners and manufacturers who feel “unwanted” and “persecuted” by their states’ restrictive gun control policies to move to Texas. Perhaps he could invite all the unwanted babies too? Or, since Stockman believes in unrestricted access to guns to reduce violent crime, he could promote open and unrestricted access to reliable birth control methods to reduce the number of abortions. Just a thought… Although it makes for a less catchy bumper sticker. 

Via: The Christian Science Monitor

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