Reproductive Health

What If Hobby Lobby Wins?

David Barton, an influential conservative activist who helped write the Republican Party’s 2012 platform, argues that the Bible opposes the minimum wage, unions and collective bargaining, estate taxes, capital gains taxes, and progressive taxation in general. Should a company whose owners share Barton’s views be allowed to ignore laws that protect workers by claiming that those laws violate the company’s religious beliefs?

That’s a questions being asked as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether it will recognize for the first time ever that for-profit corporations can make religious freedom claims under federal law.

When an actual human being goes to court with a claim that the federal government is violating their freedom to practice their religion, judges consider several questions in applying the Religious Freedom Restoration Act: Does the law or policy in question place a substantial burden on the person’s religious exercise? If so, can it be justified because the law is advancing a compelling government interest and doing so in the least restrictive way?

That’s pretty straightforward, even if individual cases require tough judgment calls about what constitutes a substantial burden and a compelling government interest. But what happens when a for-profit corporation claims a law violates its exercise of religion? Can a business have a religious conscience?

That crucial question is being considered by the Supreme Court in two cases brought by for-profit corporations claiming their religious freedom is violated by a requirement that their insurance plans include comprehensive contraception coverage. In Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, business owners say their companies should not be required to provide their employees with insurance that covers kinds of contraception that violate the business owners’ religious beliefs or what they say are the religious beliefs of the corporation itself.

Legal scholars have weighed in on both sides of the claim. While federal courts have never recognized a for-profit corporation’s right to make a religious exercise claim, they have also never explicitly ruled that there is no such right. In the cases now before the Supreme Court, two appeals courts disagreed with each other. The Tenth Circuit sided with Hobby Lobby but the Third Circuit said, “[W]e simply cannot understand how a for-profit secular corporation—apart from its owners—can exercise religion.”

If the Supreme Court sets a new precedent granting for-profit corporations a soul, so to speak, where will it end? Law professors Ira Lupu and Robert Tuttle warn that it would produce “a massive redistribution of legal leverage away from employees and to their employers.” And, they write, “If Hobby Lobby’s claims prevail…other employer claims under RFRA will be very difficult to deny. Some current cases involve objections to coverage of all pregnancy prevention services. In the future, others may involve protection of employees with respect to different medical services, collective bargaining, family leave, or invidious discrimination.”

The Becket Fund, the conservative legal group representing Hobby Lobby, dismisses concerns about opening the floodgates to all kinds of religious objections, saying it hasn’t happened under RFRA to date. But of course, no Court has yet invited the flood of objections by giving business owners the right to claim corporate exemptions for religious belief.

Justice Elena Kagan raised this concern during oral argument, asking Hobby Lobby’s lawyer Paul Clement about employers who might have religious objections to sex discrimination laws, minimum wage laws, and child labor or family leave laws. Clement said he doubted the “parade of horribles” would happen. But Justice Kagan replied that if the Court were to adopt his argument, “then you would see religious objectors come out of the woodwork with respect to all of these laws." Solicitor General Paul Verrilli noted that if the Court grants corporations a right to make free exercise claims, judges will have to grapple with potential harm to employees and other third parties.

But it’s not just employees who could be hurt by such a ruling – it could be companies themselves. David Gans, writing for Slate, made an interesting observation: corporate America is staying out of this case almost completely, which is surprising given its eagerness to use federal courts to promote corporate interests. Gans says that not a single Fortune 500 company filed a brief in the case. Neither did the Chamber of Commerce or the National Federation of Independent Business. The corporate voices that did weigh in — the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce — oppose Hobby Lobby’s claims because recognizing a corporate right to the free exercise of religion would “wreak havoc in corporate boardrooms.”

Gans cites a brief from a group of corporate law scholars “who argued that Hobby Lobby’s argument would eviscerate the fabric of corporate law” because ascribing a business owner’s religious views to the corporation would treat the owner and company as one and the same. “Such an unprincipled, idiosyncratic exception from corporate law fundamentals, the scholars argued, would breed confusion in the law, lead to costly litigation, and undermine critical aspects of corporate law designed to spur creativity and innovation.”

Mary Ann Glendon, a law professor who serves on Becket’s board, has argued that if we want businesses to behave responsibly, “they must be treated as having some moral agency.” The Supreme Court, she says, “should take the opportunity to confirm that businesses can and should have consciences.” It’s a nice thought. But given right-wing efforts to merge the Tea Party and Religious Right, and foster a growing belief that far-right economics and anti-government ideology are grounded in religious dogma, it seems highly unlikely that the consequence of giving conservative business leaders a powerful new tool for undermining government regulation would be more socially responsible corporate behavior.

Gordon Klingenschmitt Reveals That Life Actually Begins Before Conception

On his "Pray In Jesus Name" program today, "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt quizzed his viewers on when life begins.

Does it begin, he asked, when a heartbeat can be detected? Or perhaps somewhere around 22-24 weeks when a fetus is able to survive outside of the womb? Or maybe it begins at the moment of conception?

But it was a trick question, Klingenschmitt revealed, and all of those answers were wrong because life actually begins before conception "in the mind and heart of God":

Klingenschmitt: 'How Dare President Obama Order Christians To Kill Children?'

Gordon Klingenschmitt is responding to the Hobby Lobby case at the Supreme Court by warning that President Obama is forcing Christians to kill children as part of “a spiritual war to save or destroy unborn babies and the elderly.”

“How dare President Obama order Christians to kill children? How dare any Justice consider ordering Christians to kill children?” the pastor asks in his weekend email to members of his Pray In Jesus Name Project, apparently referring to the contraceptive drugs at issue in Hobby Lobby, which are not actually abortifacients.

Klingenschmitt quotes from the Affordable Care Act to claim that the Obama administration is allowing “welfare-moms [to] kill their children.” But his email omits the passage from the law that directly precedes the excerpted quote: “Abortions for which public funding is prohibited,” which outlines that the Affordable Care Act preserves the current federal ban on abortion known as the Hyde Amendment.

As Rep. Ron Kind explains: “The Hyde Amendment specifically is not included in the bill though the language included in the bill accomplishes what the Hyde Amendment seeks to do - preventing federal funding for abortions except in the instances of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the mother. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act maintains current law regarding federal funding for abortion services.”

How dare President Obama order Christians to kill children? How dare any Justice consider ordering Christians to kill children? It's bad enough they kill children on their own without our help. But now they demand we pay for it too?



Democrats initiated a phony compromise with President Obama who signed a toothless Executive Order (which conflicts with the law, and is unenforceable in court) to give them top-cover to claim they're not funding abortion, when the law they all passed specifically stated on page 117:

"(ii) ABORTIONS FOR WHICH PUBLIC FUNDING IS ALLOWED.—The services described in this clause are abortions for which the expenditure of Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services is permitted, based on the law as in effect as of the date that is 6 months before the beginning of the plan year involved." [That's a direct quote from the law they passed.]

In other words, Democrats lied when they claimed to prevent public tax-payer funding of abortion, and mandated private funding of abortion (as if that should be allowed either). And Planned Parenthood clearly lied in their analysis of the law, when they claimed "forcing individuals to write two separate checks (both of which are out of private funds) and requiring health plans to administer two different payments of private funds is not necessary to insure public funds are not used for abortion care." No public funds? Really?

They lied, plain and simple, because the law quoted above now reads ABORTIONS FOR WHICH PUBLIC FUNDING IS ALLOWED through the Department of Health and Human Services, subsidizing child-killing of innocents with your tax-dollars, so welfare-moms can kill their child for a $12 co-pay, while Planned Parenthood gets rich charging YOU thousands of tax dollars against your will. No wonder both Stupak and Nelson were labeled traitors by every credible pro-life group in America.

Friends, our nation stands in the midst of a spiritual war to save or destroy unborn babies and the elderly. You and I stand in this battle together. We must stand strong!

Mike Huckabee's Hypocritical 'Hobby Lobby Day'

On Saturday, Mike Huckabee led a Hobby Lobby ‘buycott’ modeled on his campaign to support Chick-fil-A. Huckabee worked with the Family Research Council to promote the event, which coincided with Supreme Court arguments in Hobby Lobby’s suit to avoid the contraception coverage mandate, a case that Huckabee declared last week will determine “whether religious liberty still exists in America.”

“If religious liberty and freedom of conscience doesn’t exist for Hobby Lobby, how long will it be before it’s taken from you?” Huckabee asked on his Fox News program. “Enough of government thinking its God and trying to act like it.”

In that case, Huckabee must think that he himself is God: When he was governor of Arkansas, he signed an even broader contraception coverage mandate into law.

Bill Scher reports that “in 2005, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee signed a law mandating Arkansas insurance plans provide contraception coverage, including church-affiliated organizations such as hospitals and universities.”

Corporations like Hobby Lobby and other secular for-profits were not exempt under the Huckabee-approved law [PDF], which only exempted entities “organized and operated for religious purposes 16 and has received a § 501(c)(3) designation from the Internal Revenue Service.”

As Laura Bassett of the Huffington Post notes, the Affordable Care Act actually goes farther in “carv[ing] out an exemption for religious schools, hospitals and nonprofits in addition to churches.”

Huckabee also falsely claimed that the federal mandate compels “business owners to pay for employees’ abortions”; the forms birth control covered by the mandate are neither abortions or abortifacients.

None of this, of course, is surprising coming from the politician who suggested that birth control is for women who “can’t control their libido.”

Traditional Values Coalition Links Contraception Mandate To 'Islamic Shariah Law,' 'Population Control'

Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition emailed members yesterday to inform them that Hobby Lobby’s challenge of the contraception coverage mandate is necessary to stop the Obama administration and Planned Parenthood’s supposed “agenda of population control” and attempts to diminish freedom in America.

She added that the HHS mandate is part of a larger attack on freedom coming through the “IRS scandal” and “Islamic shariah law both at home and abroad.”

We are just one breath away from freedom.

Today the oral arguments for the Hobby Lobby case was heard in Washington, and in the snow and rain hundreds of folks turned out in support of religious liberty.



The world is seeing it for what it is.

Even the media has started to turn on Obama.

Families faced with crippling increases have nowhere to turn.

...but the Obama administration is bent on pushing its agenda of population control.

Planned Parenthood and the Obama administration have been scheming for this for the last six years. This is their time – their only time – to cram it through.



Traditional Values Coalition remains the largest Christian organization in America fighting back against Obamacare and the HHS Mandate, with over 43,000 churches and ministeriums and millions of Christian, Bible-believing Americans supporting our work.

...and should it come down to a U.S. Supreme Court justice nomination fight, it will be TVC on the camera, TVC in the halls of power, TVC working the committee rooms – because few organizations in Washington have the access and confidence to make your voice heard on Capitol Hill.

Hobby Lobby is just the tip of the iceberg. Between the IRS scandal, the attacks on the religious liberties on military chaplains, the silencing and shaming of those standing up to the horrors of Islamic shariah law both at home and abroad, few voices have the courage to stand up and do what is right – even when it’s unpopular.

Todd Starnes Suggests God Opposes Obamacare

In a radio bulletin yesterday about today’s Supreme Court hearing on Hobby Lobby’s challenge to Obamacare’s contraception mandate, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes said that the case really presents a choice between Obamacare and God: “Obamacare takes on the Almighty tomorrow at the Supreme Court.”

Starnes said that the contraception mandate will “force” Christians to pay for “life-terminating drugs” and will let “Obamacare trump religious liberty.”

However, as Tiffany Stanely of The Daily Beast notes, “the contraceptives in question” are “not being used to terminate established pregnancies.”

Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Launches ‘It’s Time’ Campaign

At a standing-room-only event at the National Press Club today, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice launched a new campaign designed to shift the public conversation about religion and sexuality.

An underlying premise for the It’s Time campaign is that the Religious Right has dominated that conversation and as a result, “an unprecedented number of bills are being proposed – and far too many are passing – that attempt to write one narrow-minded, dangerous religious view of abortion and sexuality into law.”

The campaign seeks to enlist people of faith – the majority of whom support access to contraception, sexuality education, and reproductive healthcare including abortion – and give them tools for engaging in respectful conversation with friends, families, religious congregations, and communities.  Speakers at today’s launch included religious leaders, healthcare advisors, and advocates.

“We all need to be reminded that many, many people of deep faith across this country are pro-faith, pro-family and pro-choice,” said Rev. Alethea Smith-Withers, RCRC board chair. LaTasha Mayes, executive director of New Voices Pittsburgh, said polling indicates that 76 percent of African Americans who attend religious services weekly agree that abortion should be legal and safe.

Dr. Willie J. Parker, a Chicago physician who provides abortion care, said that he is “witness to the torment” of patients who are told when they make the decision to have an abortion “that doing so is mutually exclusive with the faith identity that they hold.” Said Parker, “I believe a compassionate, explicit and assertive voice within the faith community….sets at liberty those who are held captive by religious dogma.”

Another speaker, Aimee Thorne-Thompson of Advocates for Youth, described herself as a secular person who understands that religion has been used as a tool of oppression but can also be a tool for justice. “I want young people to know that they can bring their whole selves to these conversations and their activism, and that includes their sexuality and their faith, if they have it.”

RCRC President Harry Knox, said, “For us, the call to reproductive justice is a moral one, grounded in centuries of spiritual teachings and sacred texts.” Knox recently wrote:

“Religious leaders, in particular, must articulate the simple fact that while people of faith vary widely in their beliefs about when and whether ending a pregnancy is morally acceptable, a vast majority of the American people believe that decisions about pregnancy should be made by a woman, in consultation with her partner and physician, and perhaps her clergyperson – not by the government.”

According to Knox, the It’s Time campaign will be at the Supreme Court in March as the Hobby Lobby case is heard; in Texas in April to nurture a new clergy network committed to reproductive justice; in Tennessee in May to teach people how to “lead faithfully at the epicenter of a ballot initiative fight”; and around the country to help people shape public discourse and be heard at the voting booth.

PFAW

Barton: If Cuccinelli 'Had Been More Pro-Life,' He Would Have Won Election

During his time in office, Ken Cuccinelli worked to pass a personhood law which would have criminalized not only abortion but also several forms of contraception and fertility treatments. On top of that, he declared that God will punish America over abortion rights, which he compared to slavery, and routinely pressed to close clinics that provide abortions as well as to defund Planned Parenthood.

But to hear David Barton tell it, the only reason that Cuccinelli lost his bid to become governor of Virginia last year was because he was not anti-abortion enough!

Filling in for Glenn Beck over the holiday break, Barton brought on anti-abortion activist Michael New to discuss the state of the movement. New asserted that the "pro-life" position routinely beats the "pro-choice" position in public polling, which prompted Barton to declare that an analysis of Cuccinelli's lost found that "if he had been stronger on pro-life issues, he probably would have won the election in Virginia."

"That's fairly amazing," Barton added, "to say, for Virginia which - northern Virginia is so blue - that if he had been more pro-life he would have won, which means we must be picking up public opinion across the board on this kind of issue":

Anti-Choice Activist: Nelson Mandela 'Engaged In Mass Genocide'

Anti-choice activist Jill Stanek says she won’t be mourning the death of Nelson Mandela because, she claims, the late leader’s pro-choice record means he “engaged in mass genocide of his own innocent people” and “has the blood of preborn children on his hands.”

Even the Pope and Cardinal Dolan have been lauding South African leader Nelson Mandela following his death earlier this week of natural causes at age 95.

But I can’t.

Nelson Mandela has the blood of preborn children on his hands… lots of them.



I cannot get past this and cannot view Mandela as any other than a leader who engaged in mass genocide of his own innocent people.

Meanwhile, Alveda King of Priests for Life regrets that she didn’t try to persuade Mandela to drop his support for reproductive rights before he died in order to help fight the “three-headed hydra monster—racism, reproductive genocide and sexual perversion”:

While he sanctioned abortion during his presidency, he was perhaps like me and millions of others who were once deceived into believing that abortion and harmful contraceptives would help our people. I wish I had told him the truth. I didn’t know the truth when I met him in the early 1970s. So I failed him. I didn’t speak to him about our babies.

What is happening now in the battle to end human injustice, to stop man’s inhumanity to man, whether we are women, men or little children, is occurring on a divided battleground. Some battle against racism, based upon skin color or class or rank. Some battle against reproductive genocide, and that is certainly appropriate as well, wherein we fight for the lives of the little babies in the womb, their mothers, the sick and the elderly and demand that they be treated with equality, justice, mercy and agape love. And then some battle against sexual perversion. That in itself also is a very important fight.

Now, if we can see that we are battling a three-headed hydra monster—racism, reproductive genocide and sexual perversion—and get to the heart of those matters and fight them all together with the understanding that we can overcome evil with good, then at the death of someone like a Nelson Mandela, some of us would not feel as though he should just be totally lambasted, ostracized, cast out of history and considered to be one of the most terrible people that ever lived.

And so I do acknowledge the work of President Nelson Mandela. He confronted apartheid, a serious evil during his lifetime. He did some things that were not good. And we pray that he had an opportunity to meet his Maker before he left the planet and that he was able to reconcile those differences.

Fischer: If America Doesn't Repent For Abortion, There Will Be A Second Civil War

On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer responded to a caller who sobbed over the issue of legal abortion by warning that if the United States does not collectively repent for the sin of abortion and beg God's forgiveness, it will result in a second civil war.

"What I'm saying," Fischer explained, "is that if we do not, as a nation, come to the place of national repentance over the sin of abortion, there's going to be civil war again in this country; there is going to be anarchy, there is going to be unrest, there will be growing violence":

Lila Rose Likens Her Anti-Abortion Activism To Malala Yousafzai

There are few Religious Right activists who can match anti-abortion activist Lila Rose when it comes to displaying unabashed egomania and smug self-satisfaction and her remarks at the Values Voter Summit once again did not disappoint as she compared her guerrilla video campaign against Planned Parenthood to those of young human rights and education activist Malala Yousafzai.

Just as Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for the rights of women and girls to receive an education, is fighting for the rights of everyone, so too is Live Action, said Rose ...  even President Obama and his unborn grandchildren:

Rosenberg: God Will Bring His Judgment Upon America For Abortion Just As He Judged Nazi Germany

End Times fanatic Joel Rosenberg spoke at the Values Voter Summit today where he compared legal abortion in America to the Holocaust in Nazi Germany and warned the audience to consider just "what kind of judgment is in store" for a nation that allows legal abortion to continue.

"I don't know that [God] still has a plan and purpose for this country," Rosenberg fretted, saying that God might not save this nation even if it does experience a revival and the people finally turn their hearts back to him.

"Above all, we need to be pleading to our savior to have mercy on our country":

Staver: God Will Not Bless America If Abortion Remains Legal

Outraged by a video of pro-choice activists and two Democratic candidates for governor in Iowa praying for continued access to safe and legal abortion facilities, Mat Staver and Matt Barber asserted that they were not praying to Jesus, but actually to Satan and warned that the participants were putting both this nation and their eternal souls at risk.

Staver compared the United States to Nazi Germany, declaring that "if we continue to go down this path, God will not continue to bless this nation.  How can God continue to bless this nation any more than God could have continued to bless Hitler when he was gassing and destroying and experimenting on all the millions of people and the Jews and others during his atrocities?"

For his part, Barber was not only "shocked" by such a prayer, but also has "a sense of fear for these individuals that they would dare take God's name in vain to pray for the blessings of abortion; we need to pray for their immortal souls"

Barton Cites Decade-Old Survey As Proof Abortion Will Be Illegal In Twenty Years

One of the great things about David Barton is that once he has adopted a talking point, he continues to repeat it regardless of how absurd or out of date it has become.

For example, earlier this week Barton appeared on "Praise the Lord" where he told hosts Matt and Laurie Crouch that legal abortion will not be an issue in twenty years because God has sent a new generation of teenagers who are overwhelmingly pro-life.

Claiming that polls show that 72% of teens oppose abortion, Barton said they were "an answer that God has sent with a new generation; we just gotta train these guys right and turn them loose to get this thing fixed":

If you actually bother to find the poll Barton cites, you discover that it is from 2003 and it found that 72% of teens thought that abortion was morally wrong.

If you trust Barton, then abortion should be illegal within the next decade, since the poll he is using it over ten years old.  The only problem is that the teens in that survey are now adults and according to a Gallup poll conducted in May of this year, 50% of adults ages 18-29 consider themselves to be pro-choice while 41% consider themselves to be pro-life.

Of course, as with so many of Barton's other talking points, he doesn't bother to mention any of that because doing so would completely undermine the very claim that he is making.

Barber & Staver: Remaining Silent On Abortion Is Just Like Staying Silent During The Holocaust

Likening legal abortion once again to the Nazi Holocaust, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver and Matt Barber said on the most recent "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast that those who remain silent on the issue today are no different than those who remained silent while the Nazis murdered millions of Jews, warning that they will be judged accordingly by history.

"This is our modern day holocaust," said Staver, before going on to assert that those who do not speak out in opposition to abortion are standing on the wrong side of history.

Barber then expanded on that point, saying there is "an exact comparison" between the two and declaring that "posterity will view those who stood in silence or who tacitly accepted this abortion holocaust just as history views those who silently stood by and allowed the Nazis to murder millions of Jews":

Staver: Legal Abortion Is An 'Absolutely Atrocious Holocaust,' Akin To Nazi Germany

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Mat Staver and Daniel Schmid of Liberty Counsel were discussing the investigation launched by the General Accounting Office into how organizations like Planned Parenthood spend public funds.

While Staver welcomed the investigation, he was dismayed that it didn't go nearly far enough, demanding to know when America "is going to wake up to this absolutely atrocious holocaust." Likening legal abortion to what happened in Nazi Germany, Staver demanded that politicians stand up and ask "how can humanity continue to condone this kind of barbaric behavior against our own human species!"

Schmid added that it was all rooted in "the wickedness of America and our need to repent and turn back to the Lord" because, just like in Nazi Germany, "those who hate God, love death."

Staver concluded by urging viewers not to "just get frustrated by this bloodthirsty administration," but rather to take a stand and get involved in the fight to outlaw abortion:

Klingenschmitt: Wendy Davis Is 'Ruled By A Demon Of Murder' And Should Be Prosecuted

As we noted just yesterday, "Dr. Chaps" Gordon Klingenschmitt tends to see demonic spirits behind just about everything, including Texas state Senator Wendy Davis' support for reproductive choice and her possible run for governor.

On today's "Pray In Jesus Name" show, "Dr. Chaps" said that Davis, an attorney, is not qualified to serve as Governor of Texas because she is "ruled by a demon of murder" and that she should, in fact, "be prosecuted herself, probably for having facilitated so many abortions in her own state":

Bound4Life Hosting Prayer Rally to Sway Eighth Circuit Court to Uphold Anti-Choice Laws

Judges have blocked two laws restricting abortion rights in Arkansas and North Dakota, but the anti-choice group Bound4Life says that through dreams they have received a “divine prayer assignment” to hold a “strategic prayer gathering” in St. Louis, Missouri. The organization’s Red Riders Tour will lead a “silent siege” on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which is based in St. Louis, to pray that the court will uphold the stringent new laws and “reverse the pollution in the land, which is the shedding of innocent blood.”

Cathie Adams: Texas Pro-Choice Protest 'What Evil Must Sound like Emanating from the Pit of Hell'

Texas Eagle Forum head Cathie Adams was no fan of State Sen. Wendy Davis’ filibuster, which initially blocked anti-choice legislation in the state, until a second special session called by Gov. Rick Perry revived the draconian bill.

In a newsletter sent to Eagle Forum members last week, Adams writes that the pandemonium in the Senate chambers that occurred after the GOP tried to end the filibuster was demonic: “They stood, applauded and yelled at the top of their lungs. Their excruciatingly piercing screams could only be compared to what evil must sound like emanating from the pit of hell.”

On June 25, the final day of the FIRST special session, pro-life leaders watched and waited in the Senate gallery surrounded by orange clad pro-abortion supporters. We’d already tolerated Sen. Wendy Davis’ 11-hour filibuster followed by more delaying tactics by several other Democrat Senators. Then near midnight, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte’s hostile comment about women not being recognized on the Senate floor, triggered a response from the pro-aborts. They stood, applauded and yelled at the top of their lungs. Their excruciatingly piercing screams could only be compared to what evil must sound like emanating from the pit of hell.

It didn’t matter that Lt. Gov. Dewhurst ordered Texas State troopers to clear the gallery, not once but twice, which would have prevented the chaos. A communication mix-up, woefully outnumbered troopers and the deceptive behavior of those in burnt orange before midnight caught everyone by surprise. Mob rule by gallery watchers had never happened before in Texas. Initially I saw troopers politely appeal and gently direct the pro-aborts, but their civil disobedience demanded a bolder directive.

Surrounded by angry anarchists, some tweeting violence, I became fearful until I saw Rep. Bill Zedler and Sen. Kelly Hancock hastily ascend into the Senate gallery to escort us to the Senator’s private office where we stayed until Texas troopers cleared the Capitol. It was after 3 a.m. when I finally checked into my hotel. Later we learned that the pro-aborts’ unruly behavior had delayed the final Senate vote until minutes past midnight, thus killing the pro-LIFE bill.

Buoyed by your prayers and encouragement, I joined other pro-LIFE leaders in calling pro-LIFE Texans to the Capitol. Sacrificially taking time away from summer activities, thousands traveled to the Capitol, wearing blue and eager to stand for life.

But colors weren’t our only contrast. As Christians prayerfully sang the hymn “Amazing Grace,” the pro-aborts chanted “Hail Satan!” While Christians gently witnessed, lesbians kissed in the rotunda, and orange-shirted children held up immoral and obscenity-laced signs that hopefully they did not understand.

Beyond Personhood: Five Ways Conservative State Legislatures Are Impeding Women's Access to Healthcare

Here at Right Wing Watch, we write a lot about the fringe efforts, now increasingly embraced by mainstream conservatives, to challenge Roe v. Wade in the courts by  passing radical “personhood” and “heartbeat” bills. But there is a parallel effort, embraced by major conservative groups and the mainstream GOP, to gradually chip away at Roe by passing incremental state-level bills that cut down on access to abortion services.

Today, People For the American Way released a report outlining five increasingly common ways state governments are undermining women’s right to choose, including implementing TRAP laws, funding crisis pregnancy centers, imposing mandatory waiting periods, banning “race- and sex-selective” abortions, and interfering with the doctor-patient relationship.

But while extreme attacks on reproductive rights – such as radical “personhood” bills that threaten to criminalize even some forms of birth control – rightly receive significant attention and opposition, more incremental anti-choice proposals frequently escape wide notice and face minimal resistance as they become law. Often presented as “common-sense” or “women’s health” measures, these laws are in fact meant to gradually chip away at reproductive health access, undermining the foundation of long-standing rights.

By passing mandatory ultrasound and waiting period laws, or requiring doctors to provide inaccurate medical information, anti-choice politicians create a culture in which women’s rights are up for grabs. As conservatives call for smaller government, they pass laws that intrude into our most private and significant decisions, put a script in our doctors’ hands, and tell us we do not know our own minds. In addition, these laws are meant to chip away at women’s constitutionally protected right to autonomy over our own bodies in a deliberate attempt to undermine Roe v. Wade.

The report also looks at the impact of the movement to pass “personhood” and “heartbeat” bills, which even as it is rejected by voters and courts, presents a real threat to women’s rights.

Since the Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s right to choose an abortion in 1973’s Roe v. Wade, anti-choice activists have been split on how to go about restricting abortion rights. Several major anti-choice groups, including Americans United for Life, argue for taking incremental measures in legislatures and in the courts to chip away at Roe’s protections. AUL’s general counsel once compared his group’s approach to carving a Christmas ham: “Each slice makes it smaller and smaller until it is no more.”

While this “slice-by-slice” approach still dominates the anti-choice movement, more extreme attacks on choice have begun to enjoy some success in states and in the U.S. Congress. These blatantly unconstitutional head-on attacks on Roe – including “personhood,” “heartbeat” and “fetal pain” measures – are frequently blocked by voters, legislatures and the courts. But even if these measures never become law, they present a real threat to women’s health: By spreading these extreme views, anti-choice activists create a culture in which established rights are questioned, abortion providers live in fear and women’s health access continues to be up for debate.

While incremental measures such as those outlined above provide the greatest immediate threat to women’s healthcare access, it is important to also understand the risks posed by extreme broadsides on Roe v. Wade. In fact, anti-choice advocates see even these extremist laws as incremental steps in chipping away at abortion rights: Even if personhood and heartbeat bills are overturned upon challenge, they have succeeded in calling abortion rights into question, and forcing pro-choice groups to spend time and money fighting these unconstitutional bans.

Read the full report here.
 

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