The Stealth Attack on Abortion Access

Nov 18, 2015


A YEAR ago, a mother and self-described “God-fearing woman” called me after she had an abortion. She said that earlier, when she found herself unexpectedly pregnant, she drove straight to what she thought was a comprehensive health care provider near her home in Columbus, Ohio. When she asked about abortion, the staff told her she shouldn’t murder her child. Ohio requires an ultrasound before an abortion, so the woman listened to the staff’s condemnations, taking them to heart, crying. She told me later, “I didn’t know where else to go.”

She had landed at a crisis pregnancy center, a religious nonprofit organization that obstructs women’s access to abortion. In recent years, many more low-income women are finding themselves in her shoes.

Abortion foes are subsidizing these centers with public funds, while pushing to defund comprehensive health care providers. The Republicans who voted in September to block Planned Parenthood’s funding weren’t protesting covering abortion with federal dollars — that’s been restricted since 1977. Instead, they want to prevent Planned Parenthood from providing cancer screenings, ultrasounds, contraception and other services.

The question is not whether the federal government will defund Planned Parenthood — it won’t — but how many states will. Since July, legislators in at least 11 states have proposed bills designed to restrict Planned Parenthood from providing health care to low-income women. Some of those bills draw from a model written by Americans United for Life (A.U.L.), a legal organization that for decades has quietly drafted model anti-abortion legislation.

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9 comments on “The Stealth Attack on Abortion Access

  • Last month, California enacted a law that requires unlicensed centers to disclose that they are not licensed medical providers and requires licensed centers to tell women that the state has programs for affordable family planning, abortion services and prenatal care. A right-wing legal organization immediately sued to block the law, arguing that it infringed on the religious freedoms of the centers. Similar transparency laws elsewhere have been weakened or struck down.

    This is a push back that will be of some help in states that sanity rules. For others, exposure of these traps needs to be robust and ongoing.

    The suit to block the California law does not seem to be well crafted or address why the law impedes religious freedom as the law is not onerous as to these places staying in business. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Many states ( Texas comes to mind ) are putting onerous restrictions on abortion providers and running them out of business. The California law does not even intimate such an outcome.

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  • Not only is this appalling from a humanist standpoint, but from an entirely objective and even nationalist one as well.

    For one, pushing legal abortions out is going to lead to coathanger abortions gaining ground – I’m fairly sure that being compared to the ceausescuean Romania of the 1970s in maternal mortality and human rights aren’t amongst the wet dreams of any american patriot, but this would be the result if abortions would be criminalized.

    Also, children born to the poor have worse chances at getting a good education, contributing to society and breaking out of poverty, especially in the USA. On the other hand, they cost more to social services and healthcare, and are more likely to be pulled into crime. Compared to EU states with similar GDP per capita, the USA has way more poverty and worse outlook for those born into it – barely any access to education, healthcare, etc. As heartless as it sounds, the country doesn’t need even more poor children.

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  • @OP – Some of those bills draw from a model written by Americans United for Life (A.U.L.), a legal organization that for decades has quietly drafted model anti-abortion legislation.

    This is just another example of deception and stealth which religious organisations put in place of honest transparency!

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  • I see Pope (Dope?) Frankie is promoting Catholic pseudo-health advice in Kenya!
    Many thousands of people have been celebrating Mass with Pope Francis at a university campus in Kenya.

    Pope Francis made a plea for traditional values, saying “the health of any society depends on the health of its families”.

    Wearing a robe embroidered to look like beads worn by the Maasai, Pope Francis told them: “Our faith in God’s word calls us to support families in their mission in society, to accept children as a blessing for our world, and to defend the dignity of each man and woman, for all of us are brothers and sisters in the one human family.”

    He also spoke about abortion and the need for a caring society: “We are also called to resist practices which foster arrogance in men, hurt or demean women, and threaten the life of the innocent unborn.

    He said, with the utter arrogance of an ironic faith-head ignoramus, acting on the instructions of his god-delusion, regardless of the over population, disease, and consequential poverty conflict and distress!

    And he appealed to young Kenyans “to shape a society which is ever more just, inclusive and respectful of human dignity”.

    He said they “should reject everything that leads to prejudice and discrimination”.

    While filling gullible heads with destructive dogmas, which discriminating rational thinkers, would recognise as the double-talk irresponsible babblings of delusion!

    Christian population is 517 million (63% of total)
    Protestants make up more than half the number
    Catholics make up about a third
    Muslim population is 248 million (about 30% of total)
    1.1 billion Christians expected by 2050
    670 million Muslims expected by 2050

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  • Then there are the less stealthy attacks on Planned Parenthood!

    While not yet confirmed, this one looks like a combination of faith-deluded bigotry and gun-culture!
    Three officers have been injured in an “active shooter” incident in the US city of Colorado Springs, police say.

    An unknown number of civilians may also have been hurt, Police Lieutenant Catherine Buckley told local TV.

    The incident is taking place near a Planned Parenthood clinic, but it is not clear whether the building itself has been targeted.

    “The area is not secure,” Colorado Springs police said in a tweet.

    “When officers arrived they did encounter active gunfire. We do have three officers that are injured. We do not know the extent of their injury. We have an unknown number of civilians that are injured,” Lt Buckley told KKTV.

    KKTV reported that three shooting victims were being taken to the city’s Penrose hospital and “an unknown amount of other victims” were being taken to Memorial hospital, also in Colorado Springs. The station said their condition was unknown.

    Planned Parenthood said it was monitoring the situation.

    “Our concern is for the safety of our patients, staff and law enforcement,” said its CEO Vicki Cowart.

    Further updates should be announced in the media soon.

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  • There are now more details:-

    Planned Parenthood: Three die in shooting at Colorado clinic

    .What is Planned Parenthood?

    A healthcare non-profit-making group with 59 affiliates and 700 clinics around the US
    The largest single provider of abortion in the US
    Its clinics provide many other healthcare services including cancer screening
    Dates back to 1916 when social activist and nurse Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control and family planning centre in Brooklyn, New York
    In the 1960s and 1970s, Planned Parenthood affiliates were at the fore of many court fights to make abortion legal

    Nine other people were injured during the standoff at the Planned Parenthood clinic, which lasted five hours before the suspect surrendered.

    A number of people were trapped inside the building as shots were exchanged.

    The motive remains unclear. The Planned Parenthood group has drawn anti-abortion protests in the past.

    A law enforcement source identified the suspect as Robert Lewis Dear, from North Carolina. No other details were given.

    Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey said five police officers were among the injured, who were being treated in local hospitals.

    Police had sealed off streets around the centre as officers tried to make contact with the suspect.

    “We did get officers inside the building,” police Lt Catherine Buckley said.

    Police said the suspect had been seen carrying “some bags” into the building and teams were combing the area for possible explosives.

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  • Woo-thinking and gun-culture, exact a price from the community, and make a farce of US claims to be actively fighting world-wide terrorism!
    The suspect in a deadly gun attack on a Colorado family planning clinic said “no more baby parts” during his arrest, US media report.

    Witnesses say Robert Lewis Dear was motivated by opposition to abortion, according to Planned Parenthood, which runs the clinic in Colorado Springs.

    Two civilians and a police officer died and nine other people were injured.

    US President Barack Obama has renewed his call for tighter gun control, saying “enough is enough”.

    Mr Obama’s gun control efforts have been opposed in Congress.

    Mr Dear has been described as a loner who lived in a mountain cabin in North Carolina.

    Police did not give details on the gun used but in a statement, President Obama described it as “an assault weapon” and talked of ending the “easy accessibility of weapons of war” on America’s streets.

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  • Here is yet another example of polarised theocratic politics passing meddling faith-thinking legislation! Catholics and protestants have been fighting each other for decades, but can apparently cooperate in using their shared delusions to obstruct the rights to the proper medical services available elsewhere in the UK.
    Abortion legislation in Northern Ireland is in breach of human rights law, the Belfast High Court has ruled.

    Currently, termination of pregnancy is only allowed if a woman’s life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health.

    The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) brought the case to extend abortion to cases of serious foetal malformation, rape or incest.

    The 1967 Abortion Act does not apply to Northern Ireland.

    A judicial review found the grounds for abortion should be extended in Northern Ireland.

    Northern Ireland’s Attorney General John Larkin said in a brief statement that he was “profoundly disappointed” by the decision and was “considering the grounds for appeal”.

    In his ruling on Monday, Mr Justice Horner said women who were the victims of sexual crime and cases of fatal foetal abnormality were entitled to exemptions in the law.

    He said given that the issue was unlikely to be addressed by the Northern Ireland Executive in the foreseeable future, and that Northern Ireland citizens were entitled to “have their [European Convention on Human] rights protected by the courts”, the current legislation was in breach of their human rights.

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  • I see woo-brained double think projection, is again being promoted by the Vatican!
    Pope Francis pushed opened the huge bronze Holy Door of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome to launch the Catholic Church’s “Year of Mercy”.

    Tens of thousands attended a Mass in St Peter’s Square for the start of the Pope’s “revolution of tenderness”.

    It took place place amid tight security with extra police and soldiers deployed, and a no-fly zone imposed.

    Under the year’s theme of mercy, the Pope has said priests can absolve women who have had abortions.

    But will not hold priests accountable for opposing and lying about condom use, to bring AIDS to millions!

    During the jubilee celebrations, one of the most important events in the Roman Catholic Church, pilgrims travel to Rome and religious sites around the world.

    Jubilee years are rooted in the Old Testament tradition of freeing slaves and prisoners once every 50 years, a concept that died out within Judaism but was taken up by Pope Boniface VIII for the Catholic Church in 1300.

    Pilgrimages to Rome were at the heart of the original jubilee years, and attracted hundreds of thousands of pilgrims to the city, many willing to pay for “indulgences” – the eradication by the Church of the spiritual debt arising from sin.

    It was a tradition that not only contributed copious cash to the Vatican’s coffers, but also contributed to the theological turmoil that led to the establishment of rival Protestant churches across much of northern Europe.

    All part of the business plan??

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