Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) opposed an exception to a so-called “partial birth abortion” ban when the procedure was necessary to save the mother’s life, according to a 2000 floor speech on the issue. Claiming the women’s health exception included in the bill was “wide enough to drive a mack truck through,” Ryan argued uncompromisingly for it to be removed:
This is not a political issue, this is a human issue. And let me just say this — to all of my colleagues who are about to vote on this issue, on the motion to recommit — the health exception is a loophole wide enough to drive a mack truck through it. The health exception would render this ban virtually meaningless. [...] [H]undreds of OB/GYNs have told us that this is not medically necessary.
Contra Ryan’s claim that the procedure (also known as “intact dilatation and extraction,” or D&E) could never be medically necessary, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists held that D&E reduced the risk of “catastrophic hemorrhage and life-threatening infection” and that “[t]hese safety advantages are widely recognized by experts in the field of women?s health, authoritative medical texts, peer-reviewed studies, and the nation?s leading medical schools.” As such, the American Medical Association, which believes D&E would be employed for health reasons in only a very small number of cases, said that “the physician must…retain the discretion” to use D&E if a particular woman’s health needs demand it.
Ryan’s position, by contrast, was most recently defended by former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), who called a provision designed to protect women from catastrophic hemorrhaging and infections “a phony exception which would make the ban ineffective.” This is all of a piece with Ryan’s long history of anti-choice zealotry, as he has cosponsored bills redefining rape and defining fetuses as persons with Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO). An absolutist position on abortion more broadly is enshrined in the GOP’s 2012 platform. Governor Romney has committed to exceptions for rape and incest, and Ryan defers to him in setting policy for the ticket.
Following Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) comments about “legitimate rape,” the Romney campaign issued a statement claiming that it will support abortion in cases of rape and incest. The policy undermined Paul Ryan’s longstanding opposition to abortion services and set Romney apart from the views of most Republican lawmakers.
Earlier this year, for instance, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) included an amendment to the Senate version of the 2013 defense authorization bill “to ensure that military insurance plans cover abortion services in cases of rape and incest, giving military women the same access to abortion care as civilians.” Currently, military insurance plans only offer abortion coverage if the woman’s life is in danger.
The amendment is critical — thousands of servicewomen were likely raped in 2010, potentially resulting in hundres of pregnancies — yet House Republicans this year opposed the measure, fearing that it would “be getting a foot in the door of taxpayer money being used for abortions.” Several Republicans in the Senate backed the Shaheen measure in committee, but the House version of the defense authorization bill didn’t include a similar provision. The Senate has yet to debate the amendment.
Yet given Romney’s articulated support for abortions in cases of rape and incest, the amendment offers him a unique opportunity to turn rhetoric into action and pressure his party to provide servicewomen with the same health care coverage as the civilian women who works in the Pentagon.
As a Shaheen spokesperson told ThinkProgress, ?If you support allowing exceptions for abortion in cases of rape, you should support the Shaheen amendment.? The Romney campaign did no respond to requests for comment.
A study by Loyola law Professor Carlos Berdejó and Berkeley business Professor Noam Yuchtman finds that elected judges in Washington state hand down demonstrably higher sentences during the lead up to their reelection bid, and that this spike in sentences drops shortly after the election is over:
According to the Wall Street Journal, “the authors identified a 10% increase in sentence length from the start of a judge?s term to the election (or, for judges who ran opposed, to the filing deadline for running, several months earlier).”
At a recent town hall, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) explained his concern over discovering that Iowa State University has multicultural groups. King characterized minority students as people “who feel sorry for themselves,” and worried about impressionable students being “brought into a group that have a grievance against society.”
I went to the Iowa State website and [...] I typed in “multicultural” and it came back to me, at the time, 59 different multicultural groups listed to operate on campus at Iowa State. It started with Asians and it ended with Zeitgeist, so from A to Z, and most of them were victims’ groups, victimology, people that feel sorry for themselves and they’re out there recruiting our young people to be part of the group that feels sorry for themselves. [...]
And then, you’re brought into a group of people that are–have a grievance against society rather than understand there’s a tremendous blessing in this society.
Watch the video from CREDO Action:
King has a long history of controversial remarks. The Iowa congressman has compared immigrants to dogs, sponsored legislation that designates English as the national language, and wanted to sue the government to deport children. Yesterday, he came to Rep Todd Akin’s (R-MO) defense over his “legitimate rape” comments.
As part of her effort to frame herself as a moderate, Hawaii’s Republican candidate for senate, former Gov. Linda Lingle, ran as far as possible from Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-MO) “legitimate rape” comments this weekend, calling his assertion that women can’t get pregnant from rape “deplorable.”
But Lingle’s own record is not dissimilar from Akin’s when it comes to helping rape victims prevent pregnancy. When she was Governor of Hawaii, Lingle vetoed a bill that would have required hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims who wanted it, citing hospitals with religious objections. She even boasts about the veto on her website.
At the time, there was only one Catholic hospital system in the state, St. Francis Medical Center, which would probably not have received any rape victims anyway, since it did not host an OB-GYN program. And since Lingle vetoed the bill, Catholic Bishops have come out in favor of supplying emergency contraception to rape victims. Lingle, on the other hand, has not shifted positions.
When Lingle vetoed the bill, many of the arguments against her decision echo those now being used against Akin. “Rape is a crime of violence,” the CEO of Planned Parenthood Hawaii wrote to the Honolulu Advertiser, “These women did not ask to have sex, they were forced to – and for the governor to force them to become pregnant by withholding emergency contraceptives is callous and appalling.”
The anticipated debate between “It Gets Better” Project founder Dan Savage and the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown, which came about after Savage made provocative statements noting that the Bible supports the practice of slavery, is now online for all to view. Savage and his family hosted Brown for dinner in their home, and afterward, Mark Oppenheimer of the New York Times hosted a dinner-table debate over the issue of same-sex marriage. Savage offered an articulate explanation of the many conflicts presented in the Bible, pointing out how it fails to align with the 21st Century Zeitgeist of morality and so serves no authority on the question of same-sex marriage. Brown, immediately citing the shooting at the Family Research Council (which happened the same day the debate was recorded), focused entirely on assuming the status of victim, claiming that the primary consequence of marriage equality is that individuals like him will be labeled as “bigots.” This passage seems to sum up Brown’s primary argument:
BROWN: What I see attempted here, and sometimes in other things that you’ve said that I think are much more colorful than what you’ve just laid out, is the notion that we are deserving ? that those of us who know that marriage is the union of a man and a woman ? that we are deserving of treatment less than others because we are bigots and we deserve what we get. And I don’t think that’s true. And I don’t think that that helps further the debate. And I think that the attack on Christianity, as I said earlier ? I don’t think people look at that and say, “Hey, you know, Dan Savage has a point.” If anything, it makes people say, “Why are you doing this? Why are you doing this? This doesn’t further your argument.”
Watch the full hour-long debate:
For Brown’s point to be valid, there would have to be an actual campaign against the rights of Christians, which of course there isn’t, though there is very much a fight against the rights of gays and lesbians. What is most compelling about the debate is that Brown never mentions the existence of same-sex couples or their children, despite having just dined with such a family and continuing to sit in their household. Instead, he resorts to self-victimization and blatant refutations without any supporting evidence, simply saying “Dan, You’re wrong” time and time again. The few examples Brown cited to defend his arguments, such as the flawed Mark Regnerus study or the Ocean Grove Pavilion in New Jersey, were skillfully debunked by Savage.
Toward the end of the debate, Oppenheimer cornered Brown on what the actual fallout of same-sex marriage would be for heterosexual couples beyond the fact that he would be called a bigot, to which he had no meaningful response. Brown then admitted that decades of nationwide same-sex marriage without consequence still would not convince him to change his position.
Unfortunately, Brown largely talks past Savage, sticking to his talking points and refusing to consider any of the arguments made. NOM seems to believe it can capitalize off of the debate, judging from the graphic-riddled website it dedicated to the matter. In reality, all Brown managed to demonstrate is his ability to ignore the very existence of same-sex families while emphasizing his own self-righteousness.
I haven’t read Joe Posnanski’s entire biography of Joe Paterno yet, but I was really struck by this section of the excerpt published in GQ:
On Monday, the family tried to persuade Paterno to read the presentment. He objected that he already knew what was in there, but they told him there was no room left for illusion. D’Elia would remember telling him, “You realize that the people out there think you knew about this? They think you had to know because you know about everything.”
“That’s their opinion!” Paterno shouted. “I’m not omniscient!”
“They think you are!” D’Elia roared back.
Later, D’Elia described watching Paterno read the presentment: “What did he know about perverted things like that? When he asked Scott, ‘What is sodomy, anyway?’ I thought my heart was going to break.”
One of the consensuses around Penn State seems to have been that, Sandusky or no Sandusky, Paterno stayed on as head coach longer than he should have. That quotation alone is a reminder that, for all that we praise old-fashioned values, there can be willful ignorance or dangerous squeamishness that goes along with being old school. If you want to lead, especially on a college campus, and maybe especially if you’re running an athletic program, you really can’t afford to be delicate about sex. The world changes, and you can’t hold it back or close your eyes to it.
Back in March, the federal government cut Texas’ Medicaid funding for the state’s Women’s Health Program (WHP) after Texas officials barred any “abortion affiliates” from the health program for low-income women. Because WHP is a joint federal-state program, states cannot to block any specific provider. By trying to force Planned Parenthood out of the system, Texas forfeited its right to receive such funding. And the state even has gone so far as to stop doctors from talking about abortion.
In response, Planned Parenthood sued the state of Texas, saying that Texas’s decision violated the first and 14th amendments, and a Texas judge issued an injunction to stop the law from taking affect.
But last night, the Fifth Circuit appeals court lifted the injunction, siding with the state of Texas and ensuring that Texas will receive no federal funds for its WHP, which services low-income women who cannot afford care. Though the state’s Gov. Rick Perry (R) has vowed to keep the program going, his math on how to do that is fuzzy at best.
Here are some of the ways Texans will suffer from the decision defund anyone associated with abortion:
– Doctors won’t be able to tell patients all of their options. Because of the wording of Texas’s directive, doctors who receive Texas’s WHP funding are banned from “promoting” abortion, which could include even bringing up the option of termination in conversation with a patient — even if it’s the patient herself who brings it up.
– About 52,000 women who rely on Planned Parenthood will lose service. Tens of thousands of Texas women rely on public funding to get regular preventative checkups, cancer screenings, and gynecological care, and 52,000 of those rely on Planned Parenthood specifically. Following the court’s decision, those women will lose their care providers.
– Remaining providers will have to take five times the number of patients. To keep up with the increased demand of women who will lose their providers, clinics that are still eligible for WHP funding will have to take about five times the number of low-income patients.
– Planned Parenthood isn’t the only clinic that’s feeling the effects. Fifty other unaffiliated women’s health clinics have been forced to shutter because of a lack of state funding. Other clinics have managed to stay open but, with limited funding available, are confining their services, covering smaller swaths of the state and providing care to fewer women.
Planned Parenthood may appeal the fifth circuit’s decision, but have not yet moved to do so publicly. In a press release, the organization’s president Cecile Richards said, ?We are evaluating every possible option to protect women?s health in Texas.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom ? a group that’s just as anti-gay as it was before changing its name from the Alliance Defense Fund ? has released a new video defending the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, which of course the National Organization for Marriage is promoting as “excellent.” In it, ADF attempts to rewrite history, comparing LGBT activists to polygamists and racists who tried to “redefine” marriage in the past. Of course, it has always been progressives who have challenged religion’s stronghold on culture and advocated for fairness in society, be it the women harmed by the sexist class structure of polygamy, people of color, or gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Still, ADF believes itself to be the hero for refusing to acknowledge the public benefit of same-sex families receiving legal protection. Watch the clip:
The Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project has a tool that provides hurricane landfall probabilities. The probability of a named storm affecting the Tampa area in any given hurricane season is 20 percent. Chances of a direct hit near Tampa is three percent. Jeff Masters of wunderground, who has written extensively of the chances a a storm will strike Tampa during the convention, puts the risk of something that would force evacuationsthat at "probably around 0.2%.?
The entire incident was a misjudgment on my part. It was never my intent to lend support to Rep. Akin's inexcusable remarks.
My only aim was to evoke a discussion?from the neutral vantage point of a reporter?about whether there were different ways of interpreting what Akin meant with his words.
The effort failed badly, because of my own imprecise wording.
I would never intentionally impugn a woman who has been the victim of the horrific crime of rape. My commentary on Rep. Akin's repugnant rhetoric failed to make this clear.
?I emphatically denounce Paul Ryan?s use of my band Twisted Sister?s song, ?We?re Not Gonna Take It,? in any capacity,? Snider told TPM in a statement relayed by his manager Tuesday. ?There is almost nothing he stands for that I agree with except the use of the P90X.?
Jethro Eisenstein, an attorney involved in a precedent-setting 1971 lawsuit that forced the federal government to limit spying by domestic police agencies, spoke to the heart of the NYPD project:
"This is a terribly pernicious set of policies," Eisenstein said. "No other group since the Japanese Americans in World War II has been subjected to this kind of widespread public policy."
Not only does this mean that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but the waste also consumes 25 percent of all freshwater and huge amounts of unnecessary chemicals, energy and land. Most of that uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills. There generates almost 25 percent of U.S. methane emissions.