war on women

Wisconsin Senator Who Introduced Anti-Single Parent Bill Says Women 'Trained' To Lie About Planned Pregnancies

Wisconsin state senator Glenn Grothman went on the Alan Colmes show on Friday to discuss a controversial new bill he authored that would require the state’s Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to officially label single parenthood as “a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.”

The bill was seen as a slap in the face to single parents in Wisconsin, who are raising 31 percent of children in the state.

Grothman told Colmes that the country’s out-of-wedlock birth rate is the “choice of the women,” who should be “educated that this is a mistake.” When Colmes countered with statistics about the high number of pregnancies that are unintended, Grothman said that many women are “trained” to lie and say that their planned pregnancies are actually unintended:


Grothman: There’s been a huge change over the last 30 years and a lot of that change has been the choice of the women. There’s a reason why in the 50s and the 60s you had less than ten percent of the births illegitimate, and now we’re over 40 percent. It’s not that there weren’t abusive men in the 40s or there was a problem with child support. It is the popular culture, led by the social service professions, who are saying…

Colmes: Well tell me what you would change.

Grothman: I think the first thing we do is that we should educate women that this is a mistake.

Colmes: You think women need to be educated, are they not smart enough on their own?

Grothman: They do have to be educated, because right now the culture encourages a single motherhood lifestyle.

Colmes: You think women choose to be single moms…

Grothman: Oh absolutely

Colmes: You think women want to have homes without fathers? You think women look to the opportunity to have to raise kids and not be able to get work because they have to stay home and take care of the kids. Women want to do this?

Grothman: I think a lot of women are adopting the single motherhood lifestyle because the government creates a situation in which it is almost preferred.

….

Colmes: According to data published in USA Today, at least four in ten pregnancies in every state are unwanted or mistimed. According to the analysis that was released last May, more than half of pregnancies in 29 states and the District of Columbia were unintended, 38 to 50 percent were unintended in the remaining states. This mitigates against the argument that women are purposefully wanting to have kids. Their unintended for the most part. They’re unintended pregnancies, which is the argument for health care services and birth control for women.

Grothman: I think you undersell these women.

Colmes: Undersell them?

Grothman: Undersell them. I think when you have an epidemic of this great proportion, people are not so dumb that it’s surprising when they get pregnant. I think people are trained to say that ‘this is a surprise to me,’ because there’s still enough of a stigma that they’re supposed to say this.

CWA’s Crouse: Violence Against Women Act Funds Feminist ‘Reeducating Programs for Judges’

Last month, the War on Women reached a new level when every single Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted against a reauthorization of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). VAWA has been reauthorized with broad bipartisan support twice since its original passage, but this year, Republicans objected to the inclusion of new provisions to protect LGBT people and immigrant women.

On her radio show last week, Janet Mefferd discussed the battle over VAWA reauthorization with Concerned Women for America’s Janice Crouse.

Crouse charged that VAWA – which grants funds to local communities to develop programs combatting domestic violence – mostly funds “reeducating programs for judges to try to train them in the principles of feminism and so-called ‘women’s rights.’”

Crouse and Mefferd were especially scornful of new provisions protecting immigrants and LGBT people and an eliminated provision making it easier to combat date rape on campuses, with Crouse warning that women would just abuse the system to get green cards and make false accusations of date rape.

Crouse: Quite frankly, much of the Violence Against Women funds reeducating programs for judges to try to train them in the principles of feminism and so-called ’women’s rights.’

Mefferd: Wow, that’s what we need, we need more indoctrination of judges, right?

Crouse: Right. [laughs]

...

Mefferd: So they’ve expanded this to cover more subgroups, but why can’t it just, if you’re going to have a domestic violence piece of legislation, why can’t it just cover anyone who’s affected by domestic violence? Is this just another one where they’re trotting out their typical liberal ways and, you know, ‘We’ve got to emphasize non-discrimination against sexual orientation, etc. etc.’ Is that just kind of the agenda here again?

Crouse: Exactly right. Plus, you have a number of women from other countries who marry Americans to come to this country, and then they want out of the marriage. Well, VAWA provides a way for them to get out, a very easy way for them to get out.

One of the things that I found particularly troubling, and thank goodness the Republicans stood up against this, was the effort to change dating rape to not require clear and convincing evidence, and that’s a legal term, clear and convincing evidence, but instead to require preponderance of evidence, which is a much lower standard and is not clear and convincing. So a girl the next morning could just say, ‘Well, I really made a mistake,’ and accuse a guy of date rape, or have any kind of regrets and accuse a guy of date rape.

Mefferd: Well, isn’t that unconstitutional, to lower the standard there on crime?

Crouse: Well, I’m not a constitutional specialist, but in terms of legal ramifications, it’s disastrous.

 

Conservative 'Pro-Family' Groups Silent on Rush Limbaugh's Sexist Outbursts

The Media Research Center criticized everyone from Perez Hilton and Gossip Girl to the cast of Jersey Shore for using the word “slut,” but after right-wing talk show host tagged law student and women’s rights advocate Sandra Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute,” the group that claims to stand up for “people and institutions that hold traditional values” has repeatedly come to Limbaugh’s defense. MRC’s Scott Whitlock said NBC’s depiction of Limbaugh’s sexist remarks as “ugly” represented “a left-wing attack” and Brent Baker dubbed coverage of Limbaugh’s rant a “left-wing effort to impugn and silence Rush Limbaugh.” The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer and Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber even tweeted in defense of Limbaugh, Barber even saying that Limbaugh “showed class.”

Apparently, the word “slut” is only acceptable when it is used by a right-wing ally.

Concerned Women for America, which describes itself as committed to promoting “decency” in the media, has been completely silent about Limbaugh’s tirade. But the group is happy to post a statement regarding the talk show host’s praise for CWA, along with claims about the supposedly sexist treatment of Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin by the media.

Focus on the Family considers the word “slut” a profanity and blamed “hip-hop/rap culture” for making it “become acceptable and even in vogue to be called a ‘slut,’” and urged people to stop buying music with words like “slut” that “objectify women.” But the organization still hasn’t commented on Limbaugh’s misogynist rants. In 2009 the group defended Limbaugh with a video, “When the liberals came for Rush.”

While these so-called “pro-family” organizations love to claim that they promote decency and values on the airwaves, they are either unwilling or uninterested in criticizing a prominent conservative who spent four days straight calling a student a “slut” on national radio

Mefferd Lashes Out at Sandra Fluke, 'If You Want to go out and Fornicate, You Need to Pay for it'

Yesterday Religious Right talk show host Janet Mefferd ranted against Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student who was barred from testifying at Darrell Issa’s hearing on the administration’s contraception policy and later spoke at a Democratic panel, for discussing how her university’s refusal to cover contraceptives is harmful to female students. Mefferd first joked about Fluke’s “whining” and then went on to say that Fluke was asking for taxpayers to cover her contraceptive costs, when she was actually just defending the administration’s plan to ensure that religiously-based universities cover contraception in their insurance plans. After twisting and poking fun at Fluke’s remarks, Mefferd told Fluke, “If you want to go out and fornicate, you need to pay for it.”

Democrats said the amendment, over at Politico, was too broad and would’ve been an attack on women’s health. Women’s health, women’s health…. It’s just like Sandra Fluke from yesterday when we were playing audio of that girl from Georgetown who was weeping, well I don’t know if she was weeping, but she was whining at least, you can say she was whining, to Nancy Pelosi and company.

‘Oh, all my friends are going broke at Georgetown Law School because we can’t afford birth control and we spent $3,000 over the course of our law school career on birth control’—$3,000?—‘We just can’t afford it and you need to pay for it, this is about women’s health.’ And of course everybody on the side of common sense is saying, you know what Sandra Fluke and company, nobody’s making you do it, nobody’s making you do it, you’re not asking for some sort of help with cancer drugs, you’re not asking for some sort of help with getting nitroglycerin pills for your heart condition, we would be moved, we would be very sympathetic, we would care, we would find some way to help if this were some dire emergency and you couldn’t afford it.

I got off the air yesterday as we were playing the clips of Sandra Fluke and her whining about needing taxpayers to cover her birth control and I thought; do you not have families? Whatever happened to the concept of a family? I guess that’s a broader issue we should tackle at another time in more detail, and we do talk about the family quite a bit as Christians as we ought to, but have you noticed increasingly the people on the left when they want someone or something to solve their problems it’s always the government, it’s always you, they always want to rob Peter to pay Paul, they always want to take the buck out of your pocket and apply it to whatever need they trump up.

Does anybody have a family anymore? Does anybody have anybody who they’re related to, who they could turn to in a moment of crisis and say ‘hey dad, I just can’t afford my contraception’? Of course not, I would think most people would never do that because it’s too embarrassing and it’s out of line or maybe they don’t have a father, I get all the objections, but why does the government always have to be the go-to-guy?

And it’s not even the government, that’s not even the right way of saying it, because we’re a government of the people, we the people are the people who are running this country, it’s not some king, we don’t live in a theocracy and we’re all going begging for bread from Obama, but that’s what these people are conditioned to do.

You have done a wonderful job Left in training the kids on how to be dependent on you and how to come to brother government and say, ‘please, give me another handout, I just don’t think I can do it on my own, I can’t afford my birth control, you need to pay for it.’ Wrong. Tough love baby, tough love. If you want to go out and fornicate, you need to pay for it.

Karen Handel Plays the Victim in Interview Attacking Planned Parenthood

Former Georgia Secretary of State and Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation vice president Karen Handel appeared on the 700 Club today where she blamed the controversy of Komen’s decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood’s clinical breast cancer screenings and mammogram referrals…on Planned Parenthood. Handel, who as an unsuccessful Republican gubernatorial candidate in Georgia pledged to defund Planned Parenthood, acknowledged her role in convincing the organization to break ties with the women’s health group, but claimed that she was not the sole authority behind the decision.

While speaking with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Handel tried to blame Planned Parenthood for the controversy, even though it was the Komen foundation which ended its partnership with Planned Parenthood following pressure campaigns from anti-choice organizations. She attacked Planned Parenthood for leading a “premeditated, orchestrated attack” on the Komen foundation “not for sake of women’s health but for the sake of politics and a political agenda.” Later in the interview, she said Planned Parenthood’s actions were “nothing short of a shakedown” and that the media was biased in the group’s favor.

Watch:

Colson Rails Against Gay and Reproductive Rights as Threats to Freedom

Another day, another tirade from Chuck Colson about the supposed destruction of freedom in America. On his Breakpoint radio bulletin, Colson warned that Secretary Hillary Clinton’s pledge to fight for gay rights around the world is a threat to religious liberty and, once again, falsely maintained that she and other administration officials never use the phrase “freedom of religion.” In fact, the State Department just over a week ago released a statement calling the “freedom of religion” a “universal human right.” He said that gay rights, along with the President’s support of funding for non-abortion related health care by Planned Parenthood clinics and the mandate for contraception coverage in health insurance plans, are putting freedom in jeopardy. “Whether it’s ‘gay rights’ or ‘reproductive rights,’ Colson said, “the forces of secular liberalism are choosing sexual license over our religious liberty regarding human sexuality.”

For some time I have been warning you that the Obama administration has elevated so-called “gay rights” at the expense of religious liberty.

That may sound like an extreme statement, until you remember that Secretary of State Clinton has said “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.” And she and other officials repeatedly use the term “freedom of worship” (a private act) versus “freedom of religion,” (which the Constitution protects, which is the freedom to live out one’s faith in public).

Administration officials have also said that in a contest “between religious liberty and sexual liberty,” sexual liberty triumphs. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, seeing this trend, is predicting “a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions and to the detriment of both institutions.”

Friends, I wish I could tell you that gay rights were the only front in this threat to religious liberty. But as you know, the second front was opened up by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who decreed that, under ObamaCare, Catholic institutions will have to violate their religious beliefs and pay for contraceptives, sterilizations, and abortion-inducing drugs for their employees.



In one of his first acts as president, he rescinded the Mexico City policy, allowing federal dollars to go to organizations that promote abortion overseas, like Planned Parenthood. In the budget showdown with Republicans last summer, the president warned House Speaker John Boehner that he would allow the government to shut down rather than cut Planned Parenthood’s funding. And now, of course, the right to a contraceptive is being advanced over religious liberty.

Again, the question is why? I think Catholic scholar George Weigel has put his finger on it: “What began as a movement to liberate sexuality from the constraints of moral reason, custom, and law,” Weigel says, “has become a movement determined to use the instruments of law to impose its deconstruction of human sexuality and its moral relativism on all of society.” I urge you to read Weigel’s piece.

Friends, this is a clash of worldviews. Whether it’s “gay rights” or “reproductive rights” the forces of secular liberalism are choosing sexual license over our religious liberty regarding human sexuality.

Andy Harris Compares Contraception Coverage Mandate to Communist 'Religious Persecution'

We have documented the extreme reactions to the Obama administration’s decision to ensure that women can receive coverage for contraception in their insurance plans, ranging from comparisons of President Obama to King George III, Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin to warnings that the United States is moving closer to Nazi Germany. Now, freshman Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD) in an interview with the right-wing group Concerned Women for America has likened the contraception mandate to the “religious persecution” found in “Communist countries.”

Harris: What we need is—we need civil action. We need people to be talking about it, really expressing outrage to their friends and neighbors at how this could be happening in America. You know, my parents came from Communist countries, they actually escaped religious persecution like this, only now to have it happen here, right here in America.

Religious Right Groups Enraged after Senate Rejects the Blunt Amendment

Yesterday the US Senate voted 51-48 to kill the Blunt Amendment to the transportation bill that would have given employers the right to deny insurance coverage for any treatment that they objected to for any reason, representing a major setback for Religious Right groups who urged passage of the extreme amendment.

Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink called the vote an affront to the First Amendment, although it is hard to see how anyone’s First Amendment right to free exercise of religion is being violated:

“Today the government, this time via Congress, again told Americans they must ‘conform or pay a price’ when it comes to their First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion,” he said. “Americans are speaking out because they understand that they should not be forced to fight to protect what the Constitution already grants them under the First Amendment.”

National Right to Life Committee claimed that the mandate was part of an “abortion-expansionist agenda, even though neither abortions nor abortifacients are included in the new rule:

The Obama Administration has issued an initial mandate that requires nearly all employers to purchase plans that cover all FDA-approved methods of birth control. NRLC has pointed out that the same authority could be employed by the Administration in the future to order virtually all health plans to cover all abortions. The focus now shifts to the House, where the same legislation, introduced as H.R. 1179 by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-Ne.), currently has 220 cosponsors (more than half of all House members). In addition, numerous lawsuits have been filed by religiously affiliated employers, challenging the Obama mandate as a violation of constitutional rights and of the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

"National Right to Life will continue to challenge the Obama Administration's abortion-expansionist agenda on Capitol Hill, and we will encourage millions of like-minded Americans to remember this issue when they cast their ballots in November," said Carol Tobias, National Right to Life president.

Eagle Forum president Phyllis Schlafly said that contraceptives “are not really medical care”:

"The contraceptive mandate is an introduction to the real ObamaCare, whereby a handful of leftists in D.C. impose the views of their big-money donors on more than 300 million Americans," said Schlafly. "If the Obama Administration's contraceptive mandate remains intact, then liberals will continue to demand that Americans pay for objectionable items and services that are not really medical care."

Tony Perkins of FRCAction warned that the Constitution has been “sacrificed”:

"Today, 51 senators, led by Sen. Harry Reid, sacrificed the Constitutional right of religious liberty on the altar of the Obama administration's radical big-government agenda. They turned a deaf ear to the very real religious and moral objections of millions of Americans and the First Amendment rights of all.

Concerned Women for America’s Penny Nance maintained that the mandate was part of a growing “oppressive federal bureaucracy”:

"America's women refuse to accept this unconstitutional government order," said Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for America. The Obama Administration's HHS Mandate demolishes our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion and conscience rights."

"Churches, religious organizations, and people of faith and conscience must have the right to choose their own health care and make their own moral decisions without having to submit to the one size fits all policies of President Obama and Secretary Sebelius' oppressive federal bureaucracy," Nance said.

Gingrich Pledges to Fight Gay Rights 'Chaos' and Obama's 'Anti-Christian, Anti-Jewish' Views

Today on a conference call with the Gingrich Faith Leaders Coalition that included guest speakers Jim Garlow and J.C. Watts, Newt Gingrich claimed that he will push for not only a federal marriage amendment to outlaw marriage equality but also a federal law to prohibit states from legalizing same-sex marriage. He claimed that states with marriage equality are contributing to legal “chaos” and said that “if we are going to defend marriage in the end it will probably require a federal law.” After a questioner asked whether same-sex marriage would lead to people seeking to marry dogs and cows, Gingrich, who on an earlier conference call described same-sex marriage as “paganism,” didn’t push back against the offensive comparison to bestiality but instead blamed the country’s teachers for why people are more accepting of such beliefs.

Listen:

Question: I have a question regarding all the laws that people are trying to make for gay rights, I heard what you said about marriage being between a man and a woman and I agree, that’s what God said in the very beginning in the Book of Genesis, but the laws of our land are seeing more and more states allowing gay marriage. How can we stop this? It is so profoundly wrong.

Gingrich: I think ultimately we’re going to have to have a federal amendment because at the rate we’re going, you might be able to pass a federal law, but at the rate we’re going it’s going to be just chaos, you’re going to have some states that say it’s all right and other states that say it’s not all right, how are people going to travel, what are their legal rights, it is a mess. I think if we are going to defend marriage in the end it will probably require a federal law.

Question: What’s the difference, what they’re saying between a woman wants to be with a woman, when is it going to be ‘I want to marry a dog’ or ‘I want to marry a cow,’ that makes as much sense, what they are saying is doing something stupid like that.

Gingrich: I think that you have some people—remember we have now had a whole two generations of teachers who explained to us ‘you shouldn’t render moral judgment, after all it’s all situation ethics, who are we to decide,’ and that’s been a major problem.

Gingrich also maintained that he is “deeply offended” by President Obama’s apology over the burning of Qurans in Afghanistan while “he is attacking the Catholic Church,” and said that Obama’s statement is a clear definition of the “anti-Christian, anti-Jewish” ideology of the “modern secular left”:

Gingrich: I can’t tell you how deeply offended I am by Barack Obama who apologizes to Islam while he is attacking the Catholic Church, you couldn’t ask for a clearer definition of the modern secular left, which I think is anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, but always willing to be sympathetic to any organization which isn’t Christian or Jewish. I really think that is going to be a major theme of the campaign this Fall and it’s a debate I’m looking forward to because I don’t think Obama can defend himself.

He responded to the US Senate’s vote to table the Blunt Amendment and in doing so ensure that women have contraception coverage in their insurance plans by saying that the vote shows “how sick we’ve become” as a country and that the Democratic Party is “anti-religious” and “consolidating in its hostility to religion.” Gingrich accused Obama of trying to “wage war on every right to life organization in America” and intensify “how sick the country’s become.”

Garlow: Where is America, in our journey right now, in terms of radical secularism coming up, where are we as a nation right now? Where does it stand? And what can we do to turn this around?

Gingrich: You saw how sick we’ve become in a vote today in the U.S. Senate where on a party line vote 51 Democrats voted against allowing any exemptions for religious reasons for a government imposed-mandate on contraception and abortion. You couldn’t have a clearer statement. You now got this secular, anti-religious, leftwing party and it’s consolidating in its hostility to religion.



Gingrich: Now to have got a president who is pro-infanticide wage war on every right to life organization in America whether they are Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox Jew, Greek Orthodox, you name it, just tells you how sick the country’s become. I think this is the most important election of our lifetime. I think if we get four more years of Obama, four more years of him picking Supreme Court justices, four more years of these kind of radical rules, we won’t be the country we were in 2008 in terms of our core values.

Senate Rejects Blunt Amendment, Romney Disappointed?

In a 51-48 vote today, the Senate rejected an amendment to the transportation bill by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt that would have allowed employers to deny their employees health insurance coverage for any treatment for any reason.

“The Blunt amendment was not only astoundingly bad public policy, it represented a fundamental misreading of the First Amendment. If it became law, it would have put working Americans – regardless of their religious beliefs – at the mercy of the religious beliefs of their employers. That’s not religious liberty – in fact, it’s exactly the opposite,” said PFAW president Michael Keegan in a statement released earlier today.

The extremity of this amendment wasn’t lost on every member of the GOP. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) voted against the amendment, and even major presidential contender Mitt Romney opposed the bill:

“I’m not for the bill, but look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a woman, husband and wife, I’m not going there.”

But of course, after remembering that perpetuating the War on Women is one of the GOP’s primary tactics this year, he reversed course in record time:

“Of course I support the Blunt amendment. I thought he was talking about some state law that prevented people from getting contraception so I was simply — misunderstood the question and of course I support the Blunt amendment.”

The American people, and in particular the 20 million American Women whose reproductive health coverage would have been jeopardized by the Blunt Amendment, are quickly losing patience for the type of brazen politicking that puts pandering to the extreme right-wing over the legitimate needs of the country.

PFAW

In a Victory For Women’s Health, Senate Rejects Extreme Blunt Amendment

In a 51-48 vote today, the Senate rejected an amendment to the transportation bill by Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt that would have allowed employers to deny their employees health insurance coverage for any treatment for any reason.

Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way issued the following statement:

“The Blunt amendment was not only astoundingly bad public policy, it represented a fundamental misreading of the First Amendment. If it became law, it would have put working Americans – regardless of their religious beliefs – at the mercy of the religious beliefs of their employers. That’s not religious liberty – in fact, it’s exactly the opposite.

“Sen. Blunt’s plan would have caused chaos in our health care system by allowing each employer to decide which medications and procedures will be available to their employees. If this plan were to become law, no American who secures a job could be confident that that job would come with full health care benefits.

“The Blunt amendment was a desperate attempt by the GOP to appeal to a narrow and extreme base at the expense of the well-being of all Americans. Every senator who voted for this amendment can be assured that voters will notice and take note of their priorities.”

 

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PFAW: Romney Needs to Make Up His Mind About Birth Control

Yesterday afternoon, presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a reporter that he would not support the Senate’s Blunt amendment, which would endanger access to reproductive care for as many as 20 million American women, saying, “Look, the idea of presidential candidates getting into questions about contraception within a relationship between a man and a woman, husband and wife, I’m not going there." An hour later, his campaign told reporters that Romney does, in fact, support the Blunt amendment.

“It’s hardly a surprise to get a flip-flop from Mitt Romney, but such a quick turnabout on an issue critical to the lives of millions of women is staggering,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way.

“Romney is trying to have it both ways: saying he doesn’t want to get in the way of personal decisions about birth control, and then supporting a law that would do just that. The Blunt amendment would set American women back decades – and American women know that. In his lightning-fast flip-flop, Romney has shown once again that he’s more interested in catering to an extreme right-wing base than to the common-sense needs of the people he wants to lead.”
 

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Virginia Senate passes less terrible, but still terrible, mandatory ultrasound bill

Last week, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell buckled under nationwide pressure and forced his allies in the state’s legislature to revise a bill they had passed mandating forced, medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. That the bill was tweaked to no longer require women to be vaginally penetrated without their consent – a requirement that McDonnell, until he was met with a national outcry, was all set to sign into law -- was an important victory for pro-choice and common-decency activists.

But we need to remember just how far anti-choice politicians are willing to go. Just a few years ago, before the War on Women kicked into full swing, we wouldn’t have known that we’d have to be fighting state-mandated vaginal probes. In fact, just a few years ago, the amended bill passed by the Virginia Senate today would have been seen as extreme in itself.

The bill that the Virginia Senate passed in a 21-19 vote today requires all women seeking an abortion to first undergo a medically unnecessary external ultrasound – unless they can prove they are pregnant as a result of rape or incest.

It’s important to remember just how extreme the bill still is. Virginia Republicans are mandating that doctors perform a medically unnecessary procedure whether or not their patient requests it, unless that patient can produce a police report to prevent it. It creates a situation that’s ethically difficult for doctors and absolutely demeaning for women.

If Gov. McDonnell signs the bill, which he is expected to do, Virginia will join seven other states that currently require pre-abortion ultrasounds.
 

PFAW

FRC’s Religious Freedom Expert would Force Raped Woman to Give Birth to Rapist’s Child

The Family Research Council bragged earlier this week that Jeanne Monahan, the head of its Center for Human Dignity, would be testifying today before Congress on how mandatory contraceptive coverage is an affront to Americans’ religious freedom.

However, FRC and allies like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have an odd of understanding of freedom. It’s really just the freedom for everyone to live according to their religion, and only a very narrow interpretation at that. Monahan, who holds a master’s degree in theology of marriage and family from the Pope John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, is no exception.
 
In a blog post from January entitled “A Pro-Life Hero: Minka Disbrow,” Monahan wrote the following (emphasis mine): 
In 1928, as a young and innocent teenager, Minka Disbrow lived in South Dakota and worked on a dairy farm. One day while enjoying a picnic, Minka and a friend were jumped by three men and raped. Innocent to the degree that she didn’t comprehend how babies were created, months later the 17-year-old Minka was confused and surprised to find her body changing and growing. Her parents soon found an adoption agency. […]
 
In a similar story, Ryan Bomberger, of the Radiance Foundation was conceived in an act rape. Like Minka, Ryan’s mother chose to carry her child to term. Ryan now dedicates his life to promoting and protecting the dignity of every person. For a recent lecture by Ryan on the hope and joy of adoption click here.
 
All can agree that rape is a horrific act of violence that no one should ever undergo. But abortion after a rape robs an innocent victim of a very beautiful life.
While it’s incredible that Monahan would suggest that Minka Disbrow “chose to carry her child to term,” given the description she provided, the bigger issue is that she would force a woman to give birth to her rapist’s child.
 
In a column from last November, Monahan spoke out against providing the full range of medical care to female victims of human trafficking. Her overriding concern was that women who had become pregnant after being raped might choose abortion (emphasis mine):
Evidence exists that shows women who seek an abortion after rape add to their suffering: they now struggle with the coupled pain of the rape and the abortion; the abortion can become what some have termed “a second rape.”
 
Additionally, a recent peer-reviewed meta-analysis published in the British Journal of Psychiatry revealed that women who choose abortion have a significant increase in mental health problems including depression, anxiety and suicidal behaviors. A situation where a woman is trafficked and becomes pregnant is extremely difficult, but such women deserve loving and honest care and attention, and abortion is not part of that.
Monahan’s writing makes it plainly clear that she is far less concerned about helping women and defending human dignity than she is with forcing all of us – women in particular – to live by the narrow religious views of herself and her employer. That’s what they really mean when they talk about religious freedom.
 
UPDATE: Here's a recent video of Monahan, who is testifying now, on her views on reproductive rights:
 

Religious Right Leaders Warn that Contraception Coverage Policy has 'Many Parallels' with Nazi Germany

Sunday on Breakpoint, Chuck Colson hosted fellow Manhattan Declaration co-founders Timothy George and Robert George to discuss the mandate for contraception coverage and the need for “disobedience” to resist the policy. During the interview, Timothy George repeated his claim that the Obama administration is turning the United States into Nazi Germany, comparing the Manhattan Declaration to the Barmen Declaration of German Christians who opposed the Nazi Party and telling Colson that “there are many parallels” today with Nazi Germany. Later in the interview, Colson maintained that while “we’re not going through the horrors the Nazis did,” the “issue is the same” as the German resistors.

George: The Barmen Declaration was a document that came of May of 1934, it was issued by a group of Protestant Christians in Germany just at the beginning of the Third Reich in which they drew a line in the sand and they said to everyone who would listen that Jesus Christ as he is attest in the Holy Scripture is the one Word of God whom we are to hear, whom we are to trust and whom we are to obey in life and in death. It was a way of saying we will not go along with the usurpation of human rights and Christian commitment that Hitler was calling for at that time, and so we felt that something like that needed to be said in our own time. There are many parallels, it’s not exactly analogous, but we want to call people to the kind of faithfulness and fidelity demonstrated in 1934 in that very important and precious document.



Colson: I think, led by the Holy Spirit, these two extraordinary scholars with me and I were simply led along to do this and I think it is a document for our times, there is not an analogy with the Barmen Declaration because we’re not going through the horrors the Nazis did, but the issue is the same.

Off the Deep End

Michael

A message to People For the American Way supporters from PFAW president Michael Keegan:

Fighting contraception. Stopping domestic violence protections. Extending tax cuts for the wealthy, while hiking taxes on the middle class. Welcoming white supremacists to a conference, but banning gay conservatives. The GOP has followed its extremist fringe off the deep end, leaving the rest of us back in the reality-based world befuddled. Their strategists warned them not to do this, but it appears that to the GOP, radical fringe issue positions are like catnip. In last night's Republican presidential debate in Arizona, the candidates even spent several minutes discussing which of them is least in favor of allowing rape victims to have access to emergency contraception.

Perhaps Bruce Bartlett, who was an economic policy official under Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush, said it best on last night's Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Discussing the obstacles to getting smart policies agreed upon and passed in government, he said, "the problem is purely political ... frankly, one of our political parties is insane, and we all know which one it is." (Hint: he was not talking about the Democrats.)

Standing Up for Women's Health -- We all heard about the War on Women's Health last year, when Tea Party-empowered state legislatures passed a record slew of anti-choice laws -- like Arizona's ban on "race-based abortions" and Virginia's attempt to shut down most abortion clinics in the state. These state legislatures were joined by an enthusiastic right-wing Congress that attempted to defund the entire $317 million federal family program, tried to redefine "rape" and eagerly promoted lies about their favorite bogeyman, Planned Parenthood. Well, the War on Women's Health is back, and it looks to be more an all-out War on Women. PFAW members spoke out when Susan G. Komen for the Cure threatened to cut off funds for Planned Parenthood because of internal influences from right-wing staff and board members. We're currently fighting an amendment in the U.S. Senate that would give employers the power to deny any health care to their employees that they take "moral" issue with personally. And we continue to track closely dangerous and extreme state legislation like the recent bill passed by Virginia’s right-wing Assembly that would force women considering abortions -- even rape victims -- to undergo invasive transvaginal ultrasounds.

Exposing the GOP Candidates' Extremism -- PFAW's Right Wing Watch last week uncovered the audio recording of a speech Rick Santorum gave to students at Ave Maria University in 2008 in which he said Satan, the "Father of Lies" was focusing all his attention on the United States of America. He said that academia had long ago fallen to this Satanic attack, derided mainline Protestant churches as no longer Christian and said that we are involved in a "spiritual war," as opposed to a political or cultural war -- a war in which we could only assume people with opposing views to Santorum's are on the side of Satan. The story took off like wildfire in both the blogosphere and the mainstream news media. It became the dominant storyline of the GOP debate for the two days leading up to the last debate and even had right-wing pundits like Laura Ingraham and Rush Limbaugh, and politicians like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, asserting that Santorum's religious extremism is too much for a majority of Americans.

Fighting Judicial Obstruction -- A new PFAW fact sheet shows the extremity and unprecedented nature of Senate Republicans obstruction of judicial nominees, as well as its impact on Americans' access to justice. While a vacancy crisis persists on many of the nation's federal courts, our persistence is paying off and we're finally making headway in getting some of the president's qualified nominees confirmed. This month, the Senate confirmed Cathy Ann Bencivengo and Jesse Furman to U.S. District Courts in California and New York respectively, and Adalberto Jose Jordan to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, all of whom had been waiting months on the Senate calendar for a vote despite the fact that they came out of the Senate Judiciary Committee without any opposition. But dozens of other qualified nominees, most of whom had little or no opposition in Committee, still await confirmation. We'll continue to hold Republicans accountable for their obstruction and keep the pressure on to confirm these judges as swiftly as possible, and one at a time if necessary.

Youth Spotlight: Young Elected Officials take on Citizens United v. FEC -- In state, city and municipal governing bodies in at least seven states, members of our affiliate PFAW Foundation's Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network have put forward resolutions that call for the end of corporate personhood and unlimited special interest money in politics. One of the first big victories in this coordinated national effort was that of Missoula, Montana Councilwoman Cynthia Wolken. After attending a session on Citizens United at the 2011 YEO National Convening, Councilwoman Wolken took a sample resolution and introduced a city-wide referendum calling for Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that made it clear that corporations are not people. The referendum passed overwhelmingly, with over 75% of the vote, bringing an abundance of media attention to the issue and forcing leaders in Montana's state government to weigh-in as well.

As always, thank you for your support, without which none of our work would be possible.

Best,

Michael B. Keegan signature

Michael Keegan

 

PFAW

Republicans Debate Who is Least in Favor of Emergency Care for Rape Victims

In case we needed any more evidence that the former mainstream of the GOP has gone completely off the deep end, Republican presidential candidates spent several minutes at last night’s CNN debate discussing which of them is least in favor of allowing rape victims to have access to emergency contraception. Watch:

The exchange came at the heels of a week that was chock-full of shockingly regressive Republican attacks on women. PFAW’s Marge Baker summed last week up in the Huffington Post:

Just this week, we have seen not just the stunning spectacle of major presidential candidates coming out against birth control coverage, but Republicans in the Senate holding up domestic violence protections because they protect too many people; a potential vice presidential candidate pick poised to sign a law requiring women to receive medically unnecessary vaginal probes without their consent; a leading presidential candidate claiming that "emotions" will get in the way of women serving in combat; and a House committee holding a hearing on birth control access -- with a panel consisting entirely of men.

And that’s not to mention billionaire Santorum supporter Foster Friess’s saying he didn’t see why birth control was expensive because, “Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly."

The GOP candidates’ exchange over emergency contraception for rape victims took this tone-deafness to a new level of insensitivity. Does Mitt Romney really think he’ll appeal to female voters by attacking not just contraception but emergency care for rape victims?

It looks like not. TPM reports that since Romney started attacking birth control, he’s “suffered a precipitous drop in support among women voters.”

You don’t say.
 

PFAW

Is McDonnell Backing Off Invasive Ultrasound Bill?

Last week, we wondered if Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a possible GOP vice presidential contender, would reconsider his position on a shocking anti-choice bill passed by the state’s legislature after it provoked a national outcry. The bill would require women seeking abortions to first undergo a medically unnecessary, highly invasive trans-vaginal ultrasound without their consent – a process which, under any other circumstances, would be considered rape under state law.

Gov. McDonnell had spoken in support of the bill before it was passed, but once the outcry against it began, fell oddly silent. Now, the Washington Post reports, he may be backing away from his support for the bill and looking for a compromise that will allow him to keep his anti-choice cred, while disassociating himself from one of the most egregious instances of the War on Women to come out of last week:

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is backing off his unconditional support for a bill requiring women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, focusing new attention on one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in Virginia’s General Assembly this year.

Until this weekend, McDonnell (R) and his aides had said the governor would sign the measure if it made it to his desk. McDonnell, who strongly opposes abortion, will no longer make that commitment.

But delegates and governor’s staff were scheduled to meet Tuesday night to strike a compromise after learning that some ultrasounds could be more invasive than first thought, according to two officials who were aware of the meeting but not authorized to speak about it publicly. Many of the bill’s supporters were apparently unaware of how invasive the procedure could be, one of the officials added.

I doubt that McDonnell didn’t know the details of the bill before he spoke in favor of it. But after last week, he knows that signing it will hurt him among all but the most extreme anti-choice voters.
 

PFAW

Aspirin as the New Birth Control: The GOP War on Women Reaches New Lows

Last year, right-wing lawmakers attempted to defund the entire $317 million federal family program and tried to redefine "rape." Well, the War on Women's Health is back -- and now it's a flat-out, all-out War on Women.
PFAW

Virginia House Takes the War on Women to a New Level

The Virginia House yesterday passed two anti-choice measures that would be among the most extreme in the nation, including one that could put birth control at risk and another that requires that women seeking an abortion undergo an extremely invasive procedure without their consent.

The Republican-dominated House passed a “personhood” bill, similar to the one overwhelmingly rejected by Mississippi voters last year, that could put the most common types of birth control at risk. It also passed a requirement that all women seeking an abortion first be subjected to an ultrasound, even if medically unnecessary. Women who are too early in their term for an external ultrasound to be effective – roughly 88 percent of those seeking abortions -- would be required to undergo an invasive trans-vaginal ultrasound.

When a Democratic lawmaker proposed an amendment requiring a woman’s consent for these procedures, it was voted down.

The Virginia bills take the War on Women to a new level. Requiring women to undergo an unnecessary and invasive procedure to please politicians is oppressive and regressive. One Houston Chronicle columnist found that a similar bill in Texas meets the state’s definition of sexual assault: “an offense in which a person intentionally or knowingly causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person's consent.”

And Texas and Virginia aren’t the only ones – Iowa’s legislature is also considering a similar mandatory ultrasound bill.

These states aren’t just violating women’s rights – they’re violating women. The fact that this is happening in the U.S. in the 21st century is mind-boggling.


 

PFAW
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