Sharpening My Pen
If this wasn't so serious for the women of Texas it would be funny. Unfortunately, it's not.
See, Rick Perry wants to defund Planned Parenthood. The Federal government has told him he can't do that and since 90% of funding for women's healthcare in Texas comes from the Fed, it's put Perry in the position of either shutting up about it or having the state fund it themselves. So, Perry says, "We'll go ahead and fund it ourselves. It'll only be temporary because after the ACA goes live, all of those women will be eligible for expanded medicaid coverage."
There's just one problem with that.
Perry has already said that, since SCOTUS said that states could REJECT expanded Medicaid coverage, Texas will be telling the US Government to take its money (and the strings attached to it) and shove it where the sun don't shine.
So where does that leave approximately 300,000 women in Texas? Up a creek without a paddle, apparently.
Excuse me while I go stuff my brains back in my skull from where my head exploded.
And it was the GOP that handed it to him.
Republicans in Congress messed around and messed around and refused to renew the Violence Against Women Act. So Obama waited until they all went on vacation and did it for them.
Their obstructionism finally bit them in their nether parts.
In 1969, on July 21st, man stepped onto the moon for the very first time. People around the world gathered around their TVs to watch the first step. It was a day of celebration that was global. People watched with bated breath until that first step was taken and then there were fireworks, barbecues and the linking of hands in prayers of thanksgiving.
Last night, forty three years and 16 days after the "Eagle" landed, "Curiosity", an incredibly complex spacecraft, landed on Mars. It made global news, nearly knocking the London Olympics off the map. I've been crying off and on since I first heard the news last night. For the first time in a long time, I am proud again to be an American. NASA was gutted under the Bush administration and there was some fear that this would never happen.
Congratulations to NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and CalTech. You've done this country proud.
This actually makes me wonder if the RNC will do something drastic at the convention and not nominate Romney. I recently read an article (can't remember where or I would link it, however, there are multiple articles online regarding it ) that there are mutterings that they want to draft Jeb Bush and give him the nod and not Romney. It will certainly be a most interesting convention.
Or has God found science?
Officials at the CERN particle accelerator (the largest nuclear reactor in the world) have announced that they have found and identified the Higgs boson. The boson was nicknamed "the God particle" because it is the particle that, quite literally, holds matter together. Without it there would be no planets, no stars, no galaxies. It is the very foundation of the entire universe.
The news raced around the world last night as physicists at CERN tweeted the discovery.
Let's update the scoreboard, shall we?
Science -1 Fundies -0
Once again the big city newspapers have trumped the LJ World.
Yesterday, it was reported in the Kansas City Star that, again, the state had been hit with a temporary injunction blocking it from defunding Planned Parenthood out of federal dollars. The injunction was sought and granted when the 2012 state legislature reenacted the same law. The case is now being fast tracked in the Federal courts.
To date, Sam Brownback has lost the citizens of Kansas millions of dollars in federal funding, both for the arts and the ACA insurance exchange. Depending on the outcome of this case, the state, like Texas, may lose millions more in federal dollars earmarked for women's reproductive health. This money doesn't just go for family planning but also for cancer screenings and treatment of PCOS and other conditions exclusive to women..
This puts the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of women in the state at risk. And I have to ask, is ideology really worth killing the women in your own state? http://www.kansascity.com/2012/06/29/3683766/judge-bars-kansas-from-cutting.html
A wave of domestic terrorism is sweeping the South.
In the past four weeks three womens healthcare clinics in Georgia and one in Alabama have been firebombed.
These incidents followed several burglaries and break ins at clinics in March where computer equipment was stolen or destroyed and offices vandalized.
On May 24th, a woman's advocacy group in New Orleans called Women with a Vision was targeted and firebombed. This group has nothing to do with "abortion", per se, but were instrumental in forcing the Louisiana government to repeal a law targeting women in the sex trade as "sex offenders" and branding them as such on their drivers licenses.
Although the FBI and ATF are investigating these incidents as "potential" acts of domestic terrorism, Homeland Security has not become involved and few news sources to date have branded it that. And that's a matter for concern. These acts are escalating and although, to date, no human life has been taken or harmed, if they continue on this path, that will be the next step.
Anti-abortion groups such as Operation Rescue state that they disavow this kind of action. However, it should be pointed out that Cheryl Sullenger, second in command behind Troy Newman at that organization, is, herself, a convicted felon for doing just that; attempting to fire bomb a clinic. It was also Sullenger's private cell phone number that was found on the dash of Scott Roeder's car when he was arrested. (Initially, Sullenger said she had no idea who Roeder was and had never had contatct with him. Confronted with the phone number, she stated that she "only" kept Roeder advised of Tiller's court dates. So obviously, the woman isn't above lying.)
The break ins tie into a new type of radical action by these groups; naming and shaming.
In early May, Operation Rescue announced they had the names of 86 women treated at a clinic in Kansas City.
Although they haven't announced those names to date, the threat is there; that they will "out" these women as having had abortions. (This is despite the fact that the clinic maintains the only records they could have obtained were appointment calendars and inter-office communications, none of which states why those women came to the clinic, whether for abortion services or other health care related issues such as contraception, etc. These documents were also shredded which means the people at OR put in a tremendous amount of work pasting those records back together.)
This is the new frontier in their anti-abortion fight. If they can't get women to stop any other way, the threat of invasion of privacy, whether real or imagined, may have an effect.
OR states that the records were "given" to them and they have handed over redacted copies (meaning they are keeping the most essential information for themselves) to the state. The clinic states that the shred was stolen from a locked dumpster right outside of the clinic (and has the security video footage to prove it). Doesn't this mean that OR is in possession of stolen property? And if so, why hasn't it been returned to it's rightful owner?
The break ins and subsequent arson fires at the clinics in the South are following a precedent; obtain the information necessary to invade the privacy of these women and "out" them to their communities. To date, no one has come forward with the information taken from those clinics.
But the threat is there, along with the threat to the people that work for women's healthcare.
WARNING! Parts of this article may be triggering!
Technical language is involved in this article. Attempts will be made to simplify as necessary.
A number of state legislatures are passing legislation outlawing abortion after the twentieth week on the basis of "fetal pain". This is just one of many, unscientifically founded assertions regarding abortion that are being codified into our laws in different states; laws that are not only founded on mistruths and misunderstandings but, in the end, may actually run counter to their stated purpose. (I'll get into their actual purpose later in this article.)
Part of the misunderstanding of "fetal pain" has to do with the idea that a developing fetus feels pain the way an adult feels pain. This is an impossibility.
The ability to feel pain is dependent on a functioning neocortex in the brain. It is a part of the cerebrum, or "gray matter" of the brain. This part of the brain doesn't even begin to develop until midway through the third trimester of pregnancy (approximately 29-30 weeks gestation) and is still not complete at birth. In fact, the neocortex continues to develop after birth until well into adolescence. Because of this, it's an impossibility for a fetus to feel pain as we feel pain.
This doesn't mean that a fetus doesn't react to trauma. Hard coded into a part of the brain called the limbic system, one of the first parts of the brain to develop, are reflexes; crude reactions that are independent of actual sensory stimuli. This means if you poke a fetus in the womb, it will reflexively move away. But does it even "feel" the poke? No. Some of these reflexes stay with us all of our lives; others recede and eventually fade entirely away as the neocortex develops and assumes the jobs those reflexes used to do.
In an odd way, what these laws do is "anthropomorphize" a fetus. I use that term deliberately because, technically, a fetus isn't a human. It's a potential human and most fetuses have the ability to eventually become human but they lack all of the defining characteristics of an actual "human".
Because of these neurological FACTS, anesthesiologists (at least those trained at reputable medical schools) are taught that fetal anesthesia for surgeries and therapeutic abortions isn't needed prior to the thirtieth week of gestation. Indeed, these facts have often been used to comfort women who have had stillbirths or needed a late term abortion to save their own life or because their fetus had gross abnormalities. It means a great deal to a woman to know that her baby didn't suffer. Because here is a fact that most anti-abortionists don't want you to know; any woman that has a late term abortion does so because she has to, not because she wants to do so. Let me repeat that; any woman that has a late term abortion does so because she has to, not because she wants to do so. And the very fact that her fetus can't feel pain is one of the things that, frequently, keeps these women from suffering more than they have to.
Now, here's the thing; these laws, ostensibly to "save the fetus pain", forces a woman to carry to term a fetus that may very well have severe anomalies and gross congenital malformations and will die at birth. This may very well put that fetus into a position of suffering due to it's deformities. This runs directly counter to the law's stated "compassionate" purpose. Additionally, a handful of states are actually passing legislation to permit physicians to actively lie to and withhold information from women about the health of their fetus to prevent them from aborting. Other states are passing legislation that deny the right of a physician to declare a fetus nonviable.
So why do legislators pass these cruel and inhumane laws? Because they are cruel and they are inhumane. A handful of legislators just might be that naive. But I fully believe that the majority of them know exactly what they are doing. They pass these laws for one of two reasons; either they believe it's what their constituency wants and they are playing to the lowest common, ignorant denominator for the sake of getting elected; or else their own anti-abortion beliefs are so radically and deeply rooted in their religious beliefs that they will let any woman and any fetus go through incalculable suffering to satisfy that belief. Part of that belief is the need to subject women and to refuse them control of their bodies. They simply cannot trust women to make the "right decision" and they will wrest that control from her no matter the cost.
So what's the answer?
EDUCATION! The more women (and men too, for that matter) know what lies and mistruths, misconceptions and misinformation are being presented to them by their legislators, the more ammunition there is to fight back and challenge them. LEARN what these people are saying and LEARN whether or not it's the truth. Wrap yourself in the righteousness of fact as much as they wrap themselves in the righteousness of religion and emotion. You just might have a chance.
This is taking on metaphorical aspects of "Kill Bill(s)" (pun intended).
A national wave is sweeping the country in response to multiple bills being introduced in state houses across the country. The fiasco of an all male panel, over including contraception in preventative health insurance, didn't exactly help.
Women are rising up and they are NOT happy!
April 28th a concerted and coordinated march on Washington and every state capital in the country is being planned. In just one week, from the inception of the idea for this march, tens of thousands of women and their male supporters have pledged to march.
Here is a link to the Facebook page of the National committee of the march:
From there, you will be instructed on how to join your state page.
I hope to be in DC on the 28th. If not, I will be in the state capital. Please join me.
My head just exploded. The tl;dr on this is that doctors can deliberately lie and withhold information from pregnant women that could seriously impact their health, even killing them, to prevent them from aborting and be exempt from being sued for anything but wrongful death if the woman dies. This means a woman can have hidden from her that a fetus has serious birth defects or that she is open to having a stroke and suffering life long disability.
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE AND WHAT FANTASY NOVEL OF A "BIBLE" DO THEY READ FROM?
Welcome to the REAL "War on Women".
And why hasn't the LJW reported on this?
Edited for further information.
This is the bill in it's entirety followed by it's committee history. Please pay close attention to Page 3, Section 10 starting at line 25.
The LJWorld finally reported on this bill on 2/9/2012. However, nowhere in the article does it mention the provision that I reported here.