Anti-choice activists have for decades been waging two simultaneous battles: to sway public opinion enough to recriminalize abortion across the country, and to work quietly behind the scenes to make legal abortion more difficult to access.
While the anti-choice movement still hasn’t convinced Americans to want to ban abortion outright, they have had more success with the second, quieter battle. Since 2010, state governments have enacted at least 282 new abortion restrictions since 2010. These restrictions often take the form of regulations billed as “protecting women’s health” but are, in reality, aimed at placing crushing burdens on abortion providers in the hopes of forcing them to close. The Supreme Court is currently deciding whether to consider the constitutionality of a set of such laws passed Texas, which, if it is allowed to stand, could close most of the abortion clinics in the state.
Today, People For the American Way released a report that reviews some of these quiet anti-choice tactics and the impacts that they have on women’s lives. The report updates our 2013 “ Chipping Away at Choice” report with new data and analysis. The tactics we examine are:
Ann Coulter has made no secret of her love for GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, gushing at a campaign rally in Iowa earlier this week that “President Trump” is proof that “God hasn’t given up on America yet.” Coulter took the Trump love-fest to Iowa talk radio host Simon Conway’s program yesterday, declaring that in Trump, the Republican Party finally has a candidate “who genuinely loves America.”
Coulter told Conway that she understands “why the Democratic Party wants to transform America into a third-world hellhole” through immigration reform, because Latinos “have been trained to memorize the symbol of the Democratic Party and will go and bloc vote for the Democrats,” but that she was baffled by “why the Republicans are going along with it.”
The answer, she said, was because of pressure from all their big corporate donors who do not care about America” or “American culture.” But thankfully, she said, “Trump is exposing them all.”
“We finally have someone who genuinely loves America and is not beholden to the donors,” she said. “He will be beholden to no one but regular Americans when he, well I hope, when he becomes president.”
RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
While it may be too late for Donald Trump to save us from stock market turmoil (he warned us!), he just might be the one who saves us from the even greater threat of refugees from war-torn nations, gay marriage and the “War on Christmas.”
5) Who Will End The War On Christmas?
Donald Trump, of course, and he’ll do it in a big way, very classy, and you’re going to love it. While speaking with an Alabama radio host, Trump declared that he is sick and tired of the “assault on anything having to do with Christianity” and promised that he “will assault that.”
“They don’t want to use the word Christmas anymore at department stores,” he said. “There’s always lawsuits and unfortunately a lot of those lawsuits are won by the other side. I will assault that. I will go so strongly against so many of the things, when they take away the word ‘Christmas.’ I go out of my way to use the word ‘Christmas.’ Some people say to me, some people do this very professionally, ‘Oh don’t mention the word Christmas.’ I said, ‘Like Hell I’m not going to mention it.’ I mention Christmas before I even start speaking. There’s a great assault on Christianity in so many ways.”
Then Trump moved on to the actual persecution of Christians under ISIS, before then falsely claiming that the U.S. refuses to accept Christian refugees.
@shanesgranny Thanks and Happy Holidays.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2012
4) Stock Market Is Down, So Buy Guns!
Glenn Beck knows the real reason behind the global stock market sell-off: “Progressive principles and Common Core math.”
The coming economic meltdown of course will lead to “fascism, communism, war, and hunger,” Beck explained, telling viewers that it is “not a matter of if” but when: “Are you prepared? Do you have food on hand? Do you have cash on hand? Do you have ammunition and guns and God, most importantly?”
3) Refugees Destroying America
The extremist Oath Keepers have discovered the latest attempt to “destroy the Republic”: refugees.
The group recently warned that refugees who may “harbor terrorist intentions” are coming to the U.S., egged on by Democratic politicians who want their votes and don’t care about committing “national suicide.”
Apparently, these refugees are assisted by churches, liberal organizations, George Soros and the United Nations, all in order to surreptitiously push their left-wing policies on America.
“I can say, without hyperbole,” writes Oath Keepers’ David Codrea, “this is a vital report addressing nothing less than the survival of the Founder’s Republic in the 21st Century, one that you ignore at your peril, and at the peril of everyone you love.”
2) Gays Coming To Recruit Your Kids
Conservative talk show host Tamara Scott, who also happens to be a member of the Republican National Committee and the Iowa leader of Concerned Women for America, said she is befuddled by people who think that gay people don’t choose to be gay.
She had this question for the “haters”: “If homosexuality is truly just something that happens, then why, one, do we have to recruit it in our kindergarten through college-level educational system and, if it’s just an everyday thing, why does it need all these special protections in the civil rights?”
1) Gay Marriage May Cost Lives
The small group of Kentucky county clerks who are refusing to let their offices issue marriage licenses following the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling are attempting to become the latest “Christian persecution” victims. While they haven’t found much luck in court, at least one of the defiant clerks, Casey Davis, said that he is prepared to die in the battle over gay marriage.
While speaking on a conservative radio show, Davis portrayed himself as a victim of the “war on Christianity” and lamented that “Christians just don’t have rights anymore” as a result of the Supreme Court’s “unconstitutional” gay marriage decision.
“Our law says ‘one man and one woman’ and that is what I held my hand up and took an oath to and that is what I expected,” he said. “If it takes it, I will go to jail over — if it takes my life, I will die for because I believe I owe that to the people that fought so I can have the freedom that I have, I owe that to them today, and you do, we all do. They fought and died so we could have this freedom and I’m going to fight and die for my kids and your kids can keep it.”
Televangelist Jim Bakker invited messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn onto his program yesterday to discuss Cahn’s assertion that a major disaster will (or possibly won’t) strike America in September, which also happened to be a great opportunity for Bakker to hawk his massive buckets of survival food.
“Something is happening,” Bakker said, “too many prophesies are coming together, too many warnings, too many signs in the heavens, too many dates, too much altogether. Have you ever studied any time where there’s any more pieces coming together in one time in history?”
Cahn replied that he had not, saying “it’s almost like every factor, everything pointing to judgment, pointing to shaking, is happening now,” including “America’s gigantic accelerating apostasy,” the Supreme Court’s ruling on gay marriage, the U.S. being “on the verge of abandoning Israel,” and the beginning of the “Shemitah” year in the Jewish calendar, which Cahn has linked to any number of events in world history.
The “last harbinger,” he said, is the completion of One World Trade Center at the site of the collapsed Twin Towers, which he called the “embodiment of defiance” against God, because the September 11 attacks were a divine warning that America ignored.
“It was like, we’re not going to listen to God, we’re going to be bigger, we’re going to be better, and we’re not going to listen to God’s warning,” Bakker agreed.
Bakker urged viewers to buy Cahn’s book, “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” because “something big is happening,” evidence of which he got during a stop in New York on the way to tour Israel with Cahn last year.
Bakker explained how he happened to get a hotel room in New Jersey with a direct view of One World Trade Center on the very day it opened for occupancy, which was a clear sign that “God had me there in destiny.”
Cahn agreed that there are “no accidents at all,” before sharing his theory that the fact that some of the offices in the tower had become infested with rats was a warning of God’s imminent judgment on America.
“I believe God always warns before he judges,” he said. “And the point of this is this was to get out before what is coming, before what is coming. God’s people can prepare and those who are not God’s people can look afterwards and say, ‘God is calling us, we need to get back to God.’”
Jerry Boykin, the retired Army general who now serves as a top official at the Family Research Council, joined FRC President Tony Perkins on his “Washington Watch” radio program last night to discuss a letter that he and other retired officers have sent to Congress urging them to reject the nuclear deal with Iran.
Boykin, of course, could not help discussing the issue in apocalyptic terms, telling Perkins that current military leaders are going along with the deal in order to save their jobs even though it will lead to the “destruction of this nation.”
“Is this another case where current military leaders are just kind of going along with the president’s dangerous policies because they don’t want to damage their career?” Perkins asked.
“I think it’s a clear case of that, Tony,” Boykin responded. “First of all, when 75 percent of America is against this, is it a stretch to say that the majority of the military leadership is as well? And they are closer to the issue than anybody else.”
“So what we see now is we see a bunch of senior leaders in our military that have put their careers first,” he said, “that have taken care of themselves before they do what’s really important to them, which is the Constitution of the United States and the future of this nation.”
“I’ll get a lot of criticism for this,” he added, “but that’s okay, you still love me and Jesus loves me so that’s all I really care about, but it’s incredible to me that we have leaders in our military that will go along with something that absolutely portends the destruction of this nation and an abysmal future for their grandchildren.”
WASHINGTON – As the Supreme Court decides whether to review a Texas law that would force more than half of the state’s abortion clinics to close and could have sweeping implications nationwide, a new report from People For the American Way provides a snapshot of the tactics anti-choice legislators and activists are using to erode reproductive health care access in Texas and across the country. The report, “Chipping Away at Choice: Growing Threats to Women’s Healthcare Access and Autonomy: 2015 Update,” notes that 51 new abortion restrictions were enacted in states in the first half of 2015 alone, from the extension of mandatory waiting periods to laws placing unnecessary burdens on abortion clinics with the goal of shutting them down.
“The Texas case serves as a major test of the right-wing strategy of incrementally chipping away at women’s access to reproductive health care,” said Miranda Blue, Senior Researcher for Special Projects at People For the American Way. “Anti-choice activists have been quietly working to erode all access to reproductive choice. As women face longer drives, higher price tags, and other unnecessary burdens when they seek reproductive health care, the right to safe and legal abortion becomes increasingly abstract.”
The report examines seven threats to choice:
The full report, which updates a 2013 report of the same name, can be found here: http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/chipping-away-choice-growing-threats-women-s-health-care-access-and-autonomy-2015-updat
PFAW Senior Researcher for Special Projects Miranda Blue is available for interviews. To arrange one, please contact Laura Epstein at email@example.com or call 202-467-4999.
Alveda King, a Fox News contributor and the director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life, managed to combine a dizzying number of anti-abortion conspiracy theories in an interview with Iowa religious right activist Tamara Scott last month, claiming that Planned Parenthood uses birth control to give African-American women breast cancer so that they will then donate to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which in turn provides breast-cancer screening grants to Planned Parenthood.
King, who has exploited her status as the niece of Planned Parenthood supporter Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in her effort to fight abortion rights, explained to Scott that Planned Parenthood “targets” black women in an elaborate money-making scheme.
“They entice these ladies into their facility knowing that once they get there, it’s a very lucrative experience,” she said. “Because they’re going to give her medicines and birth control shots and pills and things that will expose her to breast cancer. Then she’ll go to Susan Komen, because Susan Koman exchanges money with Planned Parenthood, the money goes back and forth between them. And if she gets pregnant, they’re going to give her an abortion and then they’re going to traffic the body parts of the baby. So they make a lot of money off of black women that are underserved, off of all women.”
“Now make no mistake about it,” she concluded, “Planned Parenthood’s agenda is about money — and eugenics.”
This piece by PFAW board member Dolores Huerta was originally published in the Huffington Post.
Despite all of the undeserved controversy and lies swirling around about Planned Parenthood, many -- but not all -- of us already know how essential the work of the organization is to our nation as a whole and the Latino community in particular: In 2013, millions of people visited Planned Parenthood for a wide variety of health services -- and 22% of those patients were Latino.
That's a high number, and it underscores how critical Planned Parenthood's work is in our community. Latinos are disproportionately uninsured and more likely to have trouble affording contraception. We're at a higher risk of death from cervical cancer and breast cancer and of contracting HIV and other STDs. Sadly, the list could go on and on. But that's exactly why the sexual and reproductive health services that Planned Parenthood provides are absolutely vital to the health and wellbeing of our community. In particular, when Latinas most need health services but have nowhere else to turn, Planned Parenthood is there.
People who oppose women's access to health care have spent years attacking Planned Parenthood with too many smears and distortions to count. But the one that truly makes my blood boil is the claim that because so many women who turn to Planned Parenthood are people of color ... Planned Parenthood must be racist! A spokesperson for the right-wing Libre Initiative just made this attack, accusing Planned Parenthood of "target[ing] minority communities" and of working to diminish the "political power" of women of color.
That's as ridiculous as it is offensive.
When we say that Planned Parenthood does extensive work in communities of color, that's because women in those communities are deciding for themselves that they need the help Planned Parenthood offers. When a woman -- especially a low-income woman -- needs or desires access to contraception, a cancer screening, and yes, even an abortion, she can go to Planned Parenthood. Having that access means she has the ability to control her own health and her own future. That is not targeting or diminishing women. Instead, it's allowing them to have the dignity of making their own medical decisions, a right that so many people in the United States take for granted but that Latinas are too often denied.
Hundreds of thousands of Latinos turn to Planned Parenthood every year, but it's not just about the numbers. I've worked all of my life with members of our community, fighting for our rights, and I've seen far too many times the harm that lack of access to affordable, quality healthcare has done to our community. That's why I've worked so hard on grassroots efforts to promote health care access among low-income families and families of color during my time leading the Dolores Huerta Foundation. There's so much more we can and should be doing right now to better the health and wellness of Latinos across the country, but one step that would only make matters much worse would be to defund Planned Parenthood.
To put it simply: Attacking Planned Parenthood for providing Latinas with reproductive health services is another way of saying that Latinas shouldn't have access to reproductive health services at all.
If some people want to attack Planned Parenthood, that's their right. But they should be honest about what they're attacking. They're attacking our access to health care, birth control and abortion. Latinas have made clear that we want and need access to those services. And that's exactly why it's so important that we stand with Planned Parenthood.
Dolores Huerta is a civil rights leader and board member of People For the American Way.
Radio host Michael Savage is not pleased with how the cities of New York and San Francisco are handling the issue of homelessness, suggesting yesterday that the city simply throw all homeless people in prison or a mental institution so they stop peeing in his face.
“San Francisco has now become virtually uninhabitable because of the bums crapping in the street, because of the robbery and the crime that is being covered up, and I don’t blame the police, I blame liberalism,” Savage said. “Liberalism is a mental disorder and wherever super-liberals take over, the cities go to the toilet bowl. Look at New York, I was just there last week, you take your life in your hands walking around with the folks with the box cutters underneath with the shaking cup…. The word ‘homeless’ itself is a fabrication of the radical left.”
After declaring that the Bible and the U.S. Constitution do not require government to support housing homeless individuals other than in “a jail cell or a mental hospital,” Savage said, “The bums are now so brazen because the cops have been neutralized by the liberals that they are literally, openly defecating and peeing in the streets in front of people.”
“They urinate in your face now,” he added.
During a recent “Receiving A Prophet’s Reward” special, conservative televangelist Rod Parsley shared the story of a woman who was informed by her doctors that her baby would be born with “more tumors in its brain than the doctors could even count.”
However, by “sowing a seed” — giving an envelope of money to Parsley during a church service — Parsley reports that “she gave birth to a baby perfectly normal, not a single tumor anywhere to be found.”
In an interview with Religious Right broadcaster Jerry Newcombe earlier this month, Operation Rescue president Troy Newman declared that the series of videos smearing Planned Parenthood that he helped produce were God’s answer to the prayers of anti-abortion activists, sent in order to make “the abortion industry collapse in front of us under their own weight of sin.”
“We’re clearly winning on this issue because I think it’s the most preeminent issue that God wants us to be involved in,” Newman said. “The taking of innocent life is, I think, first and foremost on God’s heart.”
When Newcombe asked him about “real examples of spiritual warfare” going on in front of an abortion clinic in Rockford Illinois, Newman agreed that there was “satanic activity going on at that abortion clinic” but that God was taking notice.
“You know, God says that He cannot be mocked,” he said. “And whenever I see people in these abortion clinics boldly declaring they’re never going to close [and] blaspheming God’s name, I think it’s just a matter of time before you close.”
“God says that He will answer the prayers when they are prayed according to His will,” Newman continued, “and He does want abortion clinics to close, He wants babies to be saved, He wants moms to be spared the lifelong trauma and horror of the fact they killed their baby.
“And so when we pray, according to God’s will, that this abortion clinic will close or this abortion clinic will close, it will happen. Maybe not just instantaneously or overnight, but it will happen. And these videos are a product of these prayers. We’re seeing the abortion industry collapse in front of us under their own weight of sin because they’re killing children and there’s a strong, faithful community like you, Dr. Newcombe, that are opposing this evil.”
Rep. Trent Franks appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch” to discuss the GOP’s campaign to defund Planned Parenthood, telling host Tony Perkins that the debate represents a fight for the very survival of America.
Claiming that Americans have become “desensitized” to the “horror from Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry” to “a degree that I think threatens the survival or the necessity of the survival of America,” the Arizona Republican said Congress must defund Planned Parenthood in order to “honor the founding fathers’ dream.”
Perkins, the head of the Family Research Council, said he agreed with the congressman, saying that the Planned Parenthood fight has come at a pivotal moment in history as the discredited smear videos have exposed “the evil and immorality of the abortion industry.”
Right-wing pundit Alex Jones is not happy about Hillary Clinton’s call to combat gun violence following the fatal shooting of a Virginia journalist and cameraman during a live interview, calling her a “bitch” on his “InfoWars” program yesterday.
After repeatedly calling Clinton a “witch,” he finally broke down: “Hey Hillary, you got bodyguards. Are their guns bad too? Why can’t I have a gun to protect myself, you bitch?”
Jones also claimed that the shooter was inspired by the Obama administration, which he said has been “pushing race war and now blaming the Second Amendment.”
A Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue any marriage licenses since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in June lost an appeal of her case in the Sixth Circuit yesterday. The federal appeals court held that the clerk, Kim Davis, cannot cite her personal religious views as a reason to stop a government office from performing its duties.
Mat Staver, the Liberty Counsel head who is representing Davis and encouraging other officials to commit anti-gay civil disobedience, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he will now take Davis’ case to the Supreme Court:
"It is disappointing, certainly for our client, because the ramifications of the ruling is that there are no religious freedom rights for individuals if you can say a case is just against the office. The problem with that is, individuals who hold public office don't forfeit their constitutional rights," said Mat Staver, chairman of Liberty Counsel, the religious advocacy group representing Davis.
Davis will appeal one more rung up the ladder, to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who can intervene in 6th Circuit cases, Staver said.
While Staver claims that the clerk’s “constitutional rights” are being violated when she is required to perform her job duties, the appeals court points out that this is not a case of individual free speech: “[W]here a public employee’s speech is made pursuant to his duties, ‘the relevant speaker [is] the government entity, not the individual.’”
As the County Clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky, Davis’s official duties include the issuance of marriage licenses. In response to the Supreme Court’s holding in Obergefell v. Hodges, (2015), that a state is not permitted “to bar same -sex couples from marriage on the same terms as accorded to couples of the opposite sex,” Davis unilaterally decided that her office would no longer issue any marriage licenses.
The request for a stay pending appeal relates solely to an injunction against Davis in her official capacity. The injunction operates not against Davis personally, but against the holder of her office of Rowan County Clerk. In light of the binding holding of Obergefell, it cannot be defensibly argued that the holder of the Rowan County Clerk’s office, apart from who personally occupies that office, may decline to act in conformity with the United States Constitution as interpreted by a dispositive holding of the United States Supreme Court. There is thus little or no likelihood that the Clerk in her official capacity will prevail on appeal. (emphasis added)
A ProPublica investigation published in the Washington Post today looks at the sophisticated data collection methods used by abortion-clinic protesters to gather information about abortion providers, which has occasionally led to the identities of abortion patients being publicly exposed against their will.
“In recent years, abortion opponents have become experts at accessing public records such as recordings of 911 calls, autopsy reports, and documents from state health departments and medical boards, then publishing the information on their Web sites,” writes ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein. “Some activists have dug through clinics’ trash to find privacy violations by abortion providers — such as patient records tossed in dumpsters — and used them to file complaints with regulators.”
Aggressive data collection about abortion providers and patients, often by the same people serving as “sidewalk counselors” for anti-abortion groups, has become a hallmark of the anti-choice “rescue” movement since the advent of laws preventing activists from literally blocking the doors to clinics. The de facto leader of this movement is Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman, who has been in the news recently as the patron of a series of “sting” videos smearing Planned Parenthood.
Ornstein writes that these activists “appear to be drawing from an unofficial playbook: Some wait outside clinics, tracking or taking photos of patients’ and staffers’ license plates and ambulances, if called.”
A version of that “informal playbook” was put into writing last year by Newman and his Operation Rescue colleague Cheryl Sullenger in their book “Abortion Free: Your Manual for Building a Pro-Life America One Community at a Time,” published by the far-right outlet WorldNetDaily.
In it, Newman and Sullenger (who says she has embraced nonviolence after serving time in jail for conspiring to bomb a California abortion clinic in the 1980s) outline for anti-choice activists how they can collect information on abortion providers, make it public, and use it to try to drive providers out of business and convince legislators to try to do the same.
Newman and Sullenger review various tactics for anti-choice activists looking to gather information on abortion providers, including public records requests, sting operations like the one behind the recent Planned Parenthood videos, and collecting information on vendors who work with abortion providers in order to harass them into ending their association.
“Make a record of all the vendors you can, and photograph their vehicles, especially if they bear the company logos,” Sullenger and Newman counsel, adding that protesters should “keep a camera and a notepad” with them at all times.
Newman and Sullenger tell protesters to aggressively take photographs or video whenever they witness a patient being transferred to a hospital as a result of complications.
They proudly tell how once while standing outside the Wichita clinic of George Tiller — who was later murdered by an anti-abortion extremist — they saw Tiller escort a woman who had suffered a complication to the emergency room. The anti-abortion activists took pictures of the woman, which they then printed on postcards that they mailed to the neighbors of employees of Tiller’s clinic:
We enlarged the pictures of Tiller wheeling the injured woman into the emergency room, plastered them on the sides of our Truth Truck, and parked it out in front of his clinic driveway gate, where it aided in turning many women away from having abortions out of concern that they might be next. We put the photos on postcards and sent them to every legislator, asking for laws to protect women, which helped push forward pro-life legislation. We sent the images to the neighbors of abortion clinic workers, asking them to pray for their neighbor to leave the abortion industry, which prompted several workers to quit their jobs at Tiller’s clinic.
“Photos that show the victim on a gurney being taken from the abortion clinic are useful and dramatic,” the activists write in a list of tips for sidewalk counselors. “Submit a FOIA request for the 911 audio file and CAD transcript of the call as soon as possible,” they add.
“Don’t be worried about compromising a patient’s privacy when taking photos, because faces can be blurred using editing software before they are published,” they advise.
Newman and Sullenger tell of how, in an effort to find the identity of a new doctor Tiller had hired, they pieced together the pieces of a private medical form discarded by a patient:
A woman had tossed torn-up pieces of paper out her window before driving away from the abortion clinic. The sidewalk counselor had retrieved them and gave them to us. We pieced them together and discovered the initials S.R. on a line that required a physician’s signature.
Although Newman and Sullenger never advocate deliberately exposing the identities of abortion patients, that is certainly not the case for providers, whose names, address and photographs they catalogue on their website AbortionDocs.com. In their book, they urge activists to dig up whatever dirt they can on providers, even when it’s completely irrelevant to their medical practice.
They tell, for instance, of finding a “ridiculous” photo of an abortion clinic administrator on social media that showed the “bleached blonde” with her “dark roots embarrassingly showing,” which they made a point of using “repeatedly” on their website:
Search social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Sometimes very interesting insight can be garnered from their social network profiles, including photos of the abortionists doing crazy things. For example, the administrator of an abortion chain in Texas left her social profile public, and we found a ridiculous photo of the bleached blonde — dark roots embarrassingly showing — making a silly face while peering through a curtain of plastic grass. That picture made her look like anything but the serious medical professional she purported herself to be. We have used the photo repeatedly on our own website.
Newman and Sullenger also provide guidance for “stings” such as that conducted by David Daleiden of the Center for Medical Progress, for whom Newman seems to have served as a mentor and funder. Starting the chapter of their book with a quote from Sun Tzu, “All warfare is based on deception,” they offer a biblical justification for using false identities to investigate a “godless enemy”:
Some have no problem whatsoever stretching the truth to a godless enemy who is bent on destroying innocent lives — especially if it can be used to save babies. One need only look at the story of Rahab in the Bible for an example of a woman who used misdirection to save the lives of the Jewish spies and was honored by God for it (See Joshua 2).
Groups like Operation Rescue serve as an important part of the anti-choice movement’s effort to chip away at abortion access by regulating providers out of existence. While large, politically influential groups like Americans United for Life advocate for laws that place unnecessary regulatory constraints on abortion providers, groups like Operation Rescue look for any small violation that they can use to attack the clinic.
Although activists often say they are seeking to find gross mismanagement and abuses like those at Philadelphia abortion provider Kermit Gosnell’s clinic in Philadelphia, Newman and Sullenger tell activists that no violation is too small to be used against a clinic. They urge protesters to look for minor violations of zoning codes, like insufficient parking or improper signage. If you look hard enough, they say, you’ll eventually find something:
In all our combined decades of experience, we have yet to find an abortion business that abides by all applicable laws. That means every abortion clinic is legally vulnerable and subject to closure. Our job is to find out what the abortionists are doing wrong and exploit their weaknesses.
They urge activists to simultaneously encourage their elected officials to “whittle away” at abortion access by implementing “regulations and laws that essentially make it impossible for abortion mills to operate”:
Some pro-life groups believe that an all-or-nothing approach is the way to go. They won’t support any legislation — and in some cases will block it — if it doesn’t ban abortions outright. We feel that there is plenty we can do right now to promote pro-life legislation that will save lives now while we continue to work toward full abolition. For instance, we can whittle away at the industry by supporting regulations and laws that essentially make it impossible for abortion mills to operate due to their proclivity to function well below accepted medical standards.
While introducing Donald Trump at his rally in Dubuque, Iowa, last night, Ann Coulter said she has “felt like she’s dreaming” ever “since Donald Trump announced that he’s running for president” because now the media is covering her criticisms of U.S. immigration policy.
Coulter, who once gushed about serving as Trump’s secretary of Homeland Security, has boasted that the GOP frontrunner read her latest anti-immigrant book, praising his plan to deport every single undocumented immigrant and undermine the 14th Amendment as “the greatest political document since the Magna Carta.”
“I love the idea of the ‘Great Wall of Trump,’” she said. “I want to have a two-drink minimum, make it a big worldwide tourist attraction and every day live drone shows when anyone tries to cross the border.”
She said that after nearly giving up hope for America after President Obama’s re-election, she now knows that all is not lost.
Coulter offered a biblical analogy to explain Trump’s rise: “Now I think it’s like Joseph in the Bible. He had to be sold into slavery, imprisoned, betrayed so that eventually he could save the Jews. Maybe Mitt Romney had to lose and maybe we had to give Republicans one more chance in 2014 and maybe Mitch McConnell and John Boehner had to betray us once again to pave the way for President Donald Trump. God hasn’t given up on America yet.”
As we reported, local Kentucky official Casey Davis said in a radio interview earlier this week that he will defy a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples even “if it takes my life.”
The Casey County clerk also told West Virginia radio host Tom Roten on Monday that he believes that, as a Christian, he should be exempt from performing such job duties because his religion requires him to not only oppose same-sex marriage but also to tell gay people that they are going to Hell unless they repent and get washed in “the blood of Jesus Christ.”
“When you stand for what’s right and when you tell someone of the danger that they are in, and I think that when a person lives a lifestyle of sin whether it is homosexuality or drunkenness or drug addiction or adultery or thievery or any kind of sin that you continue in or live in, you are endangering yourself of spending eternity in Hell,” Davis said. “So in my view of what the Bible says, when you’re truly loving someone, you stand and you lovingly tell them, ‘This is not the way to Heaven, this is not the way of right.’”
Davis continued to claim that he is the victim of religious persecution: “I think that this is a war on Christianity, I think same-sex marriage just simply brought it to the surface, but it is a war on Christianity.”
Insisting that he should be allowed to defy the law because divine laws “supersede” American law, Davis said that “God’s placed me here so that I can tell people, ‘Hey there is a higher power that we need to answer to, and it’s not people who wear black robes, it’s the one that wears the white robe.’”
A small group of county clerks in Kentucky have said that they will defy the Supreme Court’s decision on marriage equality and refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. One of them, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, recently lost her case in federal court and is likely to lose on appeal.
On Monday, Casey County Clerk Casey Davis (no relation) appeared on Huntington, West Virginia’s “The Tom Roten Morning Show” to discuss how he similarly plans to defy the courts if ordered to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples … even to the point of death.
Davis railed against Gov. Steve Beshear for complying with the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, insisting that the governor should flout the Obergefell decision: “I think that’s a travesty to think that just because he don’t see it this way or his opinion is to let same-sex marriage go and it’s all right that us as Christians, we as Christians just don’t have rights anymore? That’s wrong sir. That’s not right.”
“It’s a war on Christianity,” he said. “There is a travesty taking place with that Supreme Court ruling was completely unconstitutional, completely unconstitutional. They have no right to tell us, the state of Kentucky, that our law that was voted with what was 70 percent of the people that it was wrong, they had no right.”
An emotional Davis went on to claim that he may lose his life in defiance of marriage equality: “Our law says ‘one man and one woman’ and that is what I held my hand up and took an oath to and that is what I expected. If it takes it, I will go to jail over — if it takes my life, I will die for because I believe I owe that to the people that fought so I can have the freedom that I have, I owe that to them today, and you do, we all do. They fought and died so we could have this freedom and I’m going to fight and die for my kids and your kids can keep it.”
Demanding that Beshear call a special session of the legislature to give him and other clerks a reprieve from doing their job duties, Davis said that the governor should “sit down with a man and a woman who sent their child off to war alive, hugged their neck, told them they loved them and brought them back in a pine box and get them to tell me what the price of freedom is.”
Davis said that the same-sex marriage isn’t real marriage because it violates the Bible: “Where is Adam and Eve’s marriage license recorded at and who did they go get them issued by? I’ll tell you, God issued them. God ordained it. Whether you believe in God or not, the Bible is where marriage came from and it is where it will continue to come from regardless of what man says that it is. It will never be anything but between one man and one woman in the eyes of God, that’s what marriage is and someone else may label it as something else but it can never be anything except between one man and one woman.”