Reproductive Health

FRC Laments 40 Year Old SCOTUS Decision Sanctioning 'Non-Procreative Sexual Intimacy'

In 1972, the Supreme Court decided Eisenstadt v. Baird, striking down a Massachusetts law prohibiting the distribution of contraceptives to unmarried people.

Next week, the Family Research Council will host a discussion explaining how this decision, which "sanctioned unmarried non-procreative sexual intimacy," set the stage for the Obama Administration's contraception mandate and marriage equality: 

On March 22nd, 1972, the Supreme Court undermined the boundaries and benefits of marriage. In the decision Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Court struck down a Massachusetts law prohibiting the distribution of contraceptives to unmarried people, and implicitly sanctioned unmarried non-procreative sexual intimacy.

While the decision may seem archaic and insignificant by modern sexual standards, Eisenstadt v. Baird dealt a decisive blow to the legal and cultural norm that marriage was the institution for the full expression of the sexual relationship between man and woman. The decision and its legal consequences affect us today. Forty years ago, the Court ruled that unmarried couples could not be denied their birth control. Today, the Federal government is forcing us to share the cost, for said contraception and some states are giving marital status to homosexual relationships.

Matt Barber Bemoans the 'Fornication Fandango' in his Pathetic Attack on Sandra Fluke

Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber has long been one of the most factually-challenged members of the Religious Right to the point of utter absurdity. Take for example Barber’s latest column where the “pro-family” activist defends Rush Limbaugh for calling Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” in his article, “Limbaugh and the, um, Lady,” and to attack Fluke and her “sexual anarchist worldview” with the same falsehoods and innuendos used by Limbaugh:

Still, liberal attempts to sidetrack aside, the cultural issues embedded within this Fluke flap are worthy of discussion. Only a dying culture lionizes a woman who publicly impugns – with pride – her own honor and virtue. Yet, to the left, she’s a hero.

It’s genuinely sad that, as a society, we are no longer appalled that a young, single woman – though very nice, I’m sure – would go on national television nonetheless, to proudly and publicly boast that, to her, while sex is cheap and casual, dealing with the potential consequences is so expensive that those of who disagree must subsidize her bad behavior.

Can someone please explain to me how and why a woman’s “right” to be promiscuous is my financial responsibility? If you refuse to buy your own “preventative medicine,” why not hit up the fellas? Last I heard it takes two to do the fornication Fandango.

This is by design. Secular-“progressives” have been working to deconstruct traditional sexual morality for generations. The goal is to impose – under penalty of law – their own moral relativist, sexual anarchist worldview. (Hence, the unconstitutional ObamaCare mandate requiring that Christian groups cast aside millennia-old church doctrine, and get with the postmodern program.)

But, beyond this assault on religious freedom and the moral implications surrounding the debate, Ms. Fluke has additionally set the true women’s movement back decades. Her public groveling for free contraception and abortifacients reinforces the sexist stereotype that single women can’t survive without welfare. Women’s empowerment? More like patriarchal government dependency.

Still, like so much in its propagandist bag of tricks, the left’s entire “denied access to contraception” premise is built upon a lie. Liberals would have you believe that, for decades, women seeking birth control – already cheap and often free – have been systemically tackled in front of Walgreens by a bevy of white, Republican Catholic Priests.

Name one woman who has been “denied access” to birth control – ever. Show me one Republican politico who wants to “ban contraception.”

There are none.

Actually, if Barber ever read Fluke’s testimony, he would have found examples of women denied access to birth control:

In sixty-five percent of cases, our female students were interrogated by insurance representatives and university medical staff about why they needed these prescriptions and whether they were lying about their symptoms. For my friend, and 20% of women in her situation, she never got the insurance company to cover her prescription, despite verification of her illness from her doctor. Her claim was denied repeatedly on the assumption that she really wanted the birth control to prevent pregnancy. She’s gay, so clearly polycystic ovarian syndrome was a much more urgent concern than accidental pregnancy. After months of paying over $100 out of pocket, she just couldn’t afford her medication anymore and had to stop taking it. I learned about all of this when I walked out of a test and got a message from her that in the middle of her final exam period she’d been in the emergency room all night in excruciating pain. She wrote, “It was so painful, I woke up thinking I’d been shot.” Without her taking the birth control, a massive cyst the size of a tennis ball had grown on her ovary. She had to have surgery to remove her entire ovary. On the morning I was originally scheduled to give this testimony, she sat in a doctor’s office. Since last year’s surgery, she’s been experiencing night sweats, weight gain, and other symptoms of early menopause as a result of the removal of her ovary. She’s 32 years old. As she put it: “If my body indeed does enter early menopause, no fertility specialist in the world will be able to help me have my own children. I will have no chance at giving my mother her desperately desired grandbabies, simply because the insurance policy that I paid for totally unsubsidized by my school wouldn’t cover my prescription for birth control when I needed it.” Now, in addition to potentially facing the health complications that come with having menopause at an early age-- increased risk of cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis, she may never be able to conceive a child.

Perhaps you think my friend’s tragic story is rare. It’s not. One woman told us doctors believe she has endometriosis, but it can’t be proven without surgery, so the insurance hasn’t been willing to cover her medication. Recently, another friend of mine told me that she also has polycystic ovarian syndrome. She’s struggling to pay for her medication and is terrified to not have access to it. Due to the barriers erected by Georgetown’s policy, she hasn’t been reimbursed for her medication since last August. I sincerely pray that we don’t have to wait until she loses an ovary or is diagnosed with cancer before her needs and the needs of all of these women are taken seriously.

As for finding a “Republican politico” who wants to ban birth control, we can list every Republican in states like Mississippi, Virginia, Alabama and elsewhere who support so-called personhood legislation, which bans common forms of birth control.

In fact, Liberty Counsel is a strong supporter of personhood legislation, so Barber can look no further than the mirror to find someone who wants to ban birth control.

Pat Robertson Weighs in on Sandra Fluke's 'Fornication'

Televangelist Pat Robertson on the 700 Club today attacked Sandra Fluke’s testimony at a Democratic hearing, after she was barred from speaking at a GOP-led committee, in support of making religiously-based institutions like universities cover contraception in their insurance plans. Robertson falsely claimed Fluke was asking for “$3,000 a year” for contraceptives, as Fluke actually said that without insurance “contraception can cost a woman over $3,000” over the course of law school, and noted that contraceptives are important not only to prevent unintended pregnancies but also matters such as ovarian cysts, hormonal disorders and early menopause. His guest Jeffrey Bell of the American Principles Project said that Fluke’s testimony was part of a larger left-wing plot from the 1790s, not the 1970s, of “imposing the values of the sexual revolution on everybody else” and trying to “attack organized religion and the traditional family.” Bell later told Robertson, a former presidential candidate and founder of the Christian Coalition who talks about social issues almost every day of his show, that social issues “keep coming up” in political debates “because it’s in the DNA of the left.”

Watch:

Robertson: You know there was a woman, the law student at Georgetown University who appeared before a congressional committee, and she said that students needed $3,000 a year for contraception and that they couldn’t afford it. As I understand, the Catholic school was supposed to pay for it. Now Catholics say that fornication, if you will, sex outside of marriage, is a sin. This woman is saying ‘I’m going to be committing sin but I want you to pay for my sin.’ Now am I overstating that? Rush Limbaugh got a little bit over the top on that thing but is that what it amounted to?

Bell: I honestly think that the left, their greatest achievement is the sexual revolution and they want to complete the job of imposing the values of the sexual revolution on everybody else, including those who have held out and disagree with some aspects of it. They’ve been this way since the 1790s, when the word ‘the left’ was invented, that was all about tearing down the existing social institutions and the political institutions, yes the royalty and nobility, but also the left from the beginning in the 1790s with the Jacobins and Robespierre wanted to attack organized religion and the traditional family and they have never changed in that regard. Every left movement has been about getting rid of traditional institutions.

Robertson: So Obama’s playing right down to that playbook, is that what you’re saying?

Bell: I think he’s being true to it, I don’t think he calculated the potential damage of doing this to the Catholic Church because it’s in the DNA of the left, that’s why the issues are unavoidable and why they’re going to keep coming up, because the left is going to insist on that.

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.

Coulter: 'I Love Randall Terry'

Last week we noted that Ann Coulter would be headlining a fundraiser for anti-abortion zealot Randall Terry when he brings his loophole-exploiting presidential campaign to Oklahoma.

Today, Coulter was interviewed by KRMG's Dan Potter about her upcoming appearance and asked whether she supported some of Terry's more outrageous stunts and statements, like his statements regarding the murder to Dr. George Tiller.

Clearly uncomfortable, Coulter hedged a bit before declaring that "violence will break out" when the Constitution is trampled upon and stated that the "current score" between murdered babies and murdered doctors was approximately fifty million to seven: 

Potter: Let's talk about your appearance in Broken Arrow on March 3, your speaking at a fundraiser for the founder of Operation Rescue, Randall Terry who is running for president on the Democratic ticket in Oklahoma. Why'd you take the gig?

Coulter: Well, for one thing, this is what I do for a living; I give speeches. But I love Randall Terry and I must say, if he beats President Obama in the Democratic primary, I'm going to be torn ... do I support Randall Terry or Mitt Romney, whom I've been pushing for the Republican Party? So it could end up being a very difficult choice for me.

Potter: You say you love Randall Terry, He's famous nationally for his efforts to shut down abortion clinics. He's used many graphic images in his protests. He even had words of support for the guy who gunned down that obstetrician in the Wichita church service back in 2009. You're cool with all that?

Coulter: Ummmmm .... well, I'm going to discuss the issue of the abortion clinic doctors being shot in my speech. But, by in large, the current score is, what, about fifty million to seven in terms of the number of people their side has killed and the number of people our side has killed. But I'll give you a brief preview, which is when you take democracy away from people, violence will break out. That is not, itself, an endorsement, but it is a suggesting that we go back to living under the Constitution.

Religious Right Groups to 'Encircle' Supreme Court, 'Praying that Obamacare is Declared Unconstitutional'

The Christian Defense Coalition, Faith and Action and Pro-Life Nation, which is a division of Operation Rescue and led by Troy Newman, is planning to “encircle” the Supreme Court in order to pray that the justices rule the health care reform law unconstitutional. The prayer rally, dubbed “Justice at the Court,” is set to be held on March 25, the day before oral arguments in the health care case begin.

Supreme Court officials expect the Obamacare case to be the biggest one at the Court since Bush v. Gore in 2000.

If the President's health care legislation is declared unconstitutional, it would end taxpayer subsidized abortions and unjust and immoral mandates forcing religious institutions to cover abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization in their health coverage for employees.

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition and one of the organizers of "Justice at the Court", states;

"We are calling people from all America to come to Supreme Court and 'encircle it with prayer' from March 25-28 as we cry out to God for justice, human rights and religious freedom.

"Sadly, the President's Health Care legislation crushes religious freedom and liberty with unjust mandates on faith institutions and forces taxpayers to pay for abortions.

"We will be praying that Obamacare is declared unconstitutional so Congress can put forward health care legislation that will respect religious freedom, protect human life and honor the principles of our Constitution.

"When Roe v. Wade was decided, the Christian community was detached and uninvolved. We want to make sure that is not the case this time as we challenge people of faith to publicly pray and speak out with boldness and passion."

Ann Coulter to Fundraise for Randall Terry

As we've noted before, anti-abortion zealot Randall Terry is currently running a Potemkin presidential campaign for the sole purpose of exploiting a loophole that allows him to air graphic anti-abortion ads on television under the guise that they are campaign ads.

Terry's quixotic campaign has been relegated to the fringes as he's constantly struggled to even raise the money needed to run many ads.  But perhaps his effort will be getting a boost, as he is reporting that none other than Mitt Romney supporter Ann Coulter will be headlining a fundraising rally for him:

Best Selling author and political pundit Ann Coulter will be the keynote speaker at a fundraising rally for Randall Terry for President in the Tulsa Oklahoma area on March 3rd.

Date: Saturday, March 3, 2012.

Time: 6:00 P.M. private fundraising reception; 7:00 P.M. Rally.

Location: Arrow Heights Baptist Church, 3201 South Elm Place, Broken Arrow (just outside Tulsa), Oklahoma.

...

"We are thrilled to have Miss Coulter's formidable talents and skills give us a boost in our efforts in Oklahoma. I'm certain the evening will be inspirational and motivational.

"If I -- the 'extremist candidate' -- receive 5% or 6% of the vote in the Oklahoma primary, it sends a serious rebuke to the Obama campaign. Moreover, it shows that a sizable percentage of voters are willing to defect from a sitting President in their own party, because of his attacks on human life and religious liberty. That would spell big trouble for the Obama camp in the swing states in the general election."

We wonder if Coulter realizes that Terry also had hopes for running similar ads targeting Romney.  Maybe if Coulter helps to raise enough money for him, Terry will finally be able to do so! 

Religious Right Hyperbole on Contraception Coverage Mandate goes into Overdrive

The extreme and hysterical arguments emanating from the Religious Right over the contraception mandate in insurance plans would continue to amuse if not for the fact that their pathetic arguments only trivialize actual cases of religious persecution. While speaking with American Family Association president Tim Wildmon, talk show host Janet Parshall claimed that the health care reform law shows that President Obama is “blinded by a doctrine of death” and is a “person whose heart is hardened.” She warned of an “erosion of free speech” and “an erosion of our practices” under the Obama administration:

Chuck Colson even told Jim Daly on Focus on the Family Radio that the contraception mandate may even lead government to dictate to churches on the doctrine of the Trinity:

Not to be outdone, Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council compared the contraception insurance coverage mandate to Nazi Germany, saying that churches should prepare to follow the example of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed by the Nazi government for his involvement in the resistance movement and the plot to kill Adolf Hitler:

In recent days, Jewish rabbis have joined all Catholic bishops in the United States in expressing alarm over the President's "healthcare" mandates and other violations of the Constitution. The National Clergy Council deliberated for the last week on what it would do, consulting pastors, moral theologians, organizational executives and activists from around the US. As a result, the Reverend Rob Schenck, president of the Washington, DC based group, will begin the holy season of Lent 2012 by appealing to President Obama for answers with a "State of Emergency and Time for Speaking" declaration to be hand-delivered to the White House on Ash Wednesday morning, February 22, 2012.



As Rev. Schenck explains in the document, the action he and his committee have taken is inspired by the Nazi-era hero Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "the German pastor and martyr, who is an exemplar of what it means to hold to and to exercise one's religious, moral, and ethical convictions, even to the surrender of every other right, including the right to one's life." Bonhoeffer wrote on the "status confessionis," a time when churches must speak out. Schenck says in his letter this is such a time, "during which we must take extraordinary action to respectfully resist your decrees, state our deeply held and felt reasons for doing so, and call our coreligionists, and all people of conscience to stand with us." President Obama was publicly given a copy of a recent biography on Bonhoeffer by the author, Eric Metaxas, when Mr. Metaxas and the President shared a podium at the February 2 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington.

Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel Action even likened the situation to the American Revolution:

Barack Obama is literally forcing insurance companies and self-insured religious organizations to provide contraceptives and abortifacients to Americans who want to pay for neither.

As I told you on Friday, President Obama has once again grossly overstepped the constitutional authority of his office. Thankfully, it appears that Americans have finally had enough.

Former Attorney General Edwin Meese, a leading member of President Ronald Reagan’s Cabinet, recently said the Obama administration is “…as close to a monarchy as there’s been since the days of George III.”

In reality, our situation today may be even worse than during the founding era since King George III merely TAXED the goods that inspired the Boston Tea Party. Even so great a despot as he did not imagine he could FORCE the colonials to BUY the stuff!

Dobson and Jeffress Lament the Imminent 'Implosion' of America

Robert Jeffress took his book tour to James Dobson’s Family Talk and the two Religious Right leaders bemoaned that America is doomed as a result of Supreme Court decisions in Engel v. Vitale, Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas. Jeffress falsely claimed that Engel “removed voluntary prayers from the school,” when it actually said it was unconstitutional for public schools to compose and organize prayers. He also claimed that Engel, along with Roe and Lawrence have “so destroyed the spiritual and moral structure of our nation that we are going to collapse on ourselves, we are going to implode, it’s only a question of when.”

Jeffress: I believe there have been three explosive decisions by the Supreme Court in the last fifty years that have so weakened our spiritual and social structure as a nation that our implosion is inevitable. In 1962, Engel v. Vitale which removed voluntary prayers from the school, all of the decisions that have cascaded down from that decision that have made government not neutral but hostile to Christianity. Then in 1973 of course Roe v. Wade that has resulted in 40 million unborn children at least being murdered in the womb.

Dobson: I think it’s closer to 50 [million].

Jeffress: That’s right. Listen, you can’t kill 20 percent almost of your population and not have economic repercussions for that. So that’s the second decision. The third decision in 2003, which our listeners may not be as familiar with, the Lawrence v. Texas decision, where the Supreme Court really paved the way for same-sex marriages.



Jeffress: Now think about it, when you first of all remove prayer and make government hostile toward Christianity, when you allow for the murder of the unborn and when you absolutely redefine the most basic institution of society, marriage and the home, you have so destroyed the spiritual and moral structure of our nation that we are going to collapse on ourselves, we are going to implode, it’s only a question of when.

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/17/12

  • Sadly, Megadeath frontman Dave Mustaine did not endorse Rick Santorum, contrary to earlier reports.
     
  • But Santorum did manage to secure the endorsement of the anti-abortion activists over at the Susan B. Anthony List.
     
  • Anti-immigration zealot Virgil Goode is running for president.
     
  • Pat Buchanan says he has been "blacklisted" from appearing on MSNBC and his relationship with the channel has ended.
     
  • Bryan Fischer calls Jessica Ahlquist a "small-minded and vengeful brat" for getting a prayer banner removed from her high school.
     
  • Finally, a friendly tip for our friends at the American Family Association: it is "cloture," not "closure."

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

Issa Stacks Hearing to Attack Contraception Compromise

Rep. Darrell Issa, who has followed through on his threat to turn his Committee on Oversight and Government Reform into an attack dog on the Obama administration, today held a one-sided hearing attacking as a threat to religious liberty the administration’s recent compromise on health care regulations requiring insurers to cover contraception.

Not present at the hearing was a representative of the Catholic Health Association, which has embraced the administration’s compromise. When asked about the CHA’s position, Bishop William Lori, head of the Catholic bishops’ new “religious liberty” task force, said archly that the CHA doesn’t speak for the church as a whole – the bishops do. But polls show that the bishops actually speak for a small minority of American Catholics on these issues.
 
Issa – who had no concerns about separation of church and state when he was pushing for federal funding for religious school vouchers in the District of Columbia – labeled his stacked hearing “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” It was striking for some of us who are accustomed to hearing conservative politicians and Religious Right figures denouncing the separation of church and state, and dismissing the letter in which Thomas Jefferson used the phrase, to hear Issa and his colleagues vigorously endorsing the concept – or at least the rhetoric – and invoking Jefferson.
 
Issa and fellow Republicans used the “religious liberty” frame as an excuse to prevent testimony from women affected by the lack of insurance coverage of contraceptives, which also serve as treatment for a variety of medical conditions.  Rep. Rosa DeLauro (one of several Catholic Democrats who attended the heargin) and several members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, forcefully raised the issue of women’s health, only to be told that access to health care was not the topic of the hearing. DeLauro drew a distinction between religious organizations as service providers – Catholic hospitals are not required to perform abortions, for example – and as employers. Nothing in the First Amendment, she said, says that religiously affiliated employers aren’t subject to same rules as every other employer. Republicans on the committee embraced the goalpost-moving standard staked out recently by the bishops, which is that not only should religiously affiliated organizations be exempt, but that any business owner should be able to cite religious beliefs as reason not to provide his employees with coverage.
 
The hearing made it clear that the GOP has decided to aggressively pursue their election year strategy of portraying Obama as an enemy of religious liberty.  There was no rhetorical “bridge too far” at this hearing – it was suggested that the Obama administration was a few keystrokes away from completely eliminating religious freedom, and that it was using government coercion to force churches to change their religious doctrine. Even Joseph Stalin was invoked. GOP members of Congress encouraged panelists to portray themselves as willing martyrs to religious liberty – and panelists complied, with some saying they would be willing to go to jail rather than side with government over God. 
 
It’s worth remembering with all the rhetoric about the end of freedom in America that the compromise plan would not require religious groups to provide or pay for coverage: insurance companies would contact employees directly, offer coverage to those who want it, and pick up the tab.
 
Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly, also Catholic, said he had had concerns with the original rules and believes the compromise addressed religious liberty concerns. He denounced Issa’s hearing as a “sham” and a “shameful exercise.”  He scoffed at the going-to-jail rhetoric and told panelists they were being used, wittingly or not, as part of an anti-Obama political agenda.  

Issa Stacks Hearing to Attack Contraception Compromise

Rep. Darrell Issa, who has followed through on his threat to turn his Committee on Oversight and Government Reform into an attack dog on the Obama administration, today held a one-sided hearing attacking as a threat to religious liberty the administration’s recent compromise on health care regulations requiring insurers to cover contraception.

Not present at the hearing was a representative of the Catholic Health Association, which has embraced the administration’s compromise. When asked about the CHA’s position, Bishop William Lori, head of the Catholic bishops’ new “religious liberty” task force, said archly that the CHA doesn’t speak for the church as a whole – the bishops do. But polls show that the bishops actually speak for a small minority of American Catholics on these issues.
 
Issa – who had no concerns about separation of church and state when he was pushing for federal funding for religious school vouchers in the District of Columbia – labeled his stacked hearing “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” It was striking for some of us who are accustomed to hearing conservative politicians and Religious Right figures denouncing the separation of church and state, and dismissing the letter in which Thomas Jefferson used the phrase, to hear Issa and his colleagues vigorously endorsing the concept – or at least the rhetoric – and invoking Jefferson.
 
Issa and fellow Republicans used the “religious liberty” frame as an excuse to prevent testimony from women affected by the lack of insurance coverage of contraceptives, which also serve as treatment for a variety of medical conditions.  Rep. Rosa DeLauro (one of several Catholic Democrats who attended the heargin) and several members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings, forcefully raised the issue of women’s health, only to be told that access to health care was not the topic of the hearing. DeLauro drew a distinction between religious organizations as service providers – Catholic hospitals are not required to perform abortions, for example – and as employers. Nothing in the First Amendment, she said, says that religiously affiliated employers aren’t subject to same rules as every other employer. Republicans on the committee embraced the goalpost-moving standard staked out recently by the bishops, which is that not only should religiously affiliated organizations be exempt, but that any business owner should be able to cite religious beliefs as reason not to provide his employees with coverage.
 
The hearing made it clear that the GOP has decided to aggressively pursue their election year strategy of portraying Obama as an enemy of religious liberty.  There was no rhetorical “bridge too far” at this hearing – it was suggested that the Obama administration was a few keystrokes away from completely eliminating religious freedom, and that it was using government coercion to force churches to change their religious doctrine. Even Joseph Stalin was invoked. GOP members of Congress encouraged panelists to portray themselves as willing martyrs to religious liberty – and panelists complied, with some saying they would be willing to go to jail rather than side with government over God. 
 
It’s worth remembering with all the rhetoric about the end of freedom in America that the compromise plan would not require religious groups to provide or pay for coverage: insurance companies would contact employees directly, offer coverage to those who want it, and pick up the tab.
 
Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly, also Catholic, said he had had concerns with the original rules and believes the compromise addressed religious liberty concerns. He denounced Issa’s hearing as a “sham” and a “shameful exercise.”  He scoffed at the going-to-jail rhetoric and told panelists they were being used, wittingly or not, as part of an anti-Obama political agenda.  

Trent Franks Admits Anti-Choice Bill is a Ruse to Criminalize All Abortions, Warns of America's Demise

During an appearance on Concerned Women for America’s radio program, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) admitted that his bill to ban abortions based on the race or sex of the fetus wasn’t so much about stopping race or sex-based abortions but a ploy to criminalize abortion overall. “The people on the pro-abortion side say, ‘Trent you have a much bigger issue and a much bigger agenda here than just sex-selection and race-selection abortion,’” Franks said, “and I think the honest thing for me to do is say yes that’s true.” Franks has long been a proponent of the discredited assertion that abortion providers are deliberately trying to abort black children in order to exterminate African Americans, even arguing that black women were better off under slavery than today when abortion is legal.

Later in the interview, Franks repeated his extreme and conspiratorial claims about President Obama, arguing that his reelection would lead to constitutional and security crises and even the emergence of “nuclear terrorism.”

The people on the pro-abortion side say, ‘Trent you have a much bigger issue and a much bigger agenda here than just sex-selection and race-selection abortion,’ and I think the honest thing for me to do is say yes that’s true. I want someday for children of all sexes and all races to be protected and that’s definitely an agenda for me and I think it should be for all people in the human family. But at least we can get together on this much, that it’s wrong to abort a little child because it’s the wrong sex or the wrong race, if we can’t come together on that then I’m afraid that any hope of commonalty and unity in this country is lost forever.



The greatest challenge we have, and I’m going to be partisan for a moment but its reality, we must change presidents. At all costs, we must change presidents. This is the most pro-abortion president in the history of the country and not only will the unborn suffer terribly, the Constitution itself will essentially be abrogated by his Supreme Court nominees, our national security will be fundamentally weakened, we will become a regional power and we will face potentially nuclear terrorism in our world and unfortunately we will step into the shadow of European socialism if this president is reelected and the Congress won’t have anything to do to stop that. The equation is very, very clear, Americans must change presidents and I pray we understand that for the sake of the unborn and essentially everything else that we care about in this country.

Proposed Kansas Law Would Allow Doctors to Withhold Information from Women to Prevent Abortion

The main argument that anti-abortion activists and legislators tend to give in justifying the increasingly strict requirements like ultrasounds and face-to-face visits with a doctor and waiting periods is that women should be given access to as much information as possible to allow them to make informed decisions. 

But that does not appear to be a motivation behind legislation in Kansas, which would protect doctors who refuse to provide women with information that, were they informed, might lead them to choose an abortion:

A Kansas House committee is scheduled to take up a bill Wednesday that would exempt doctors from malpractice suits if they withheld medical information to prevent an abortion. The measure would also take away tax credits for abortion providers, remove tax deductions for the purchase of abortion-related insurance coverage and require women to hear the fetal heartbeat. The bill includes several provisions, which passed in other states and now face federal lawsuits. The bill would also require women be told about potential breast cancer risks from abortions, even though medical experts discount such a connection.

...

Among the most contested provisions of the bill is the section that would exempt a doctor from a medical malpractice suit if a woman claims the physician withheld information about potential birth defects to prevent her from having an abortion. In addition, a woman would not be able to sue if she suffers health damage from a pregnancy as a result of information withheld from her to prevent an abortion. A wrongful death suit could still be filed, however, if the mother died.

Congressman who cited 'The Onion' to Attack Planned Parenthood promoted another Deceptive Planned Parenthood Smear

Following in the footsteps of Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Congressman John Fleming (R-LA) used bogus information to attack Planned Parenthood. On his Facebook page, the congressman cited an article from the satirical newspaper The Onion, ‘Planned Parenthood Opens $8 Billion Abortionplex,’ to criticize the women’s health group.

While the congressman has since scrubbed the post from his Facebook page, he still is promoting an article from the conspiratorial far-right site WorldNetDaily to claim that Planned Parenthood has abortion quotas. In the story, WND cited Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood staffer turned anti-choice activist who has made similar charges before that Planned Parenthood is trying to “coerce” and “encourage” women to have abortions. However, Johnson isn’t exactly a trustworthy source, as her stated story on why she left Planned Parenthood completely lacks credibility:

Johnson’s departure from Planned Parenthood turned out to be a more complex story than it first appeared. At a court hearing for an injunction sought by Planned Parenthood to prevent Johnson from divulging confidential information to her new allies, two of Johnson’s former co-workers testified that she told them in the days before she resigned that she was afraid she was about to be fired. At one time, Johnson, who was named the regional Planned Parenthood affiliate’s employee of the year in 2008, seemed to have a promising future with the organization. By mid-2009, however, her relationship with her employer had begun to deteriorate. Salon reported that on October 2, Johnson was summoned to Houston to meet with her supervisors to discuss problems with her job performance. She was placed on what Planned Parenthood calls a “performance improvement plan.” It was just three days later, on Monday, that Johnson made her tearful appearance at the Coalition for Life. The following day she faxed Planned Parenthood a resignation letter, which mentioned nothing about a crisis of conscience.

...

Other questions about Johnson’s credibility arose during our interview. She told me, for example, that there had never been any threats of violence against the Bryan clinic; however, Johnson herself received a series of threatening letters in 2007. “God will punish you for killing the innocent or we will,” read one. “You are not taking us seriously. You were at the clinic alone. Not very smart,” read another. In fact, the threats were taken so seriously that security cameras were installed at Johnson’s house, as she later acknowledged. Johnson also claimed that while most services at Planned Parenthood were provided by a nonprofit corporation, abortions were done by a for-profit corporation. Both she and Carney seemed to sincerely believe this was true, though all services at Planned Parenthood are, in fact, provided by a pair of separate nonprofit corporations.

As confounding as these inconsistencies are, there may be a much larger problem with Johnson’s story. Johnson has told the story of her journey from pro-choice activist to pro-life celebrity many times in many venues, and the crux of the tale is always the same: her moving description of what she saw on the ultrasound that September day in the Bryan clinic’s operating room ... Johnson’s account is so plausible and rich in detail that even Planned Parenthood seems not to have investigated whether this event ever took place. At my request, the staff at the Bryan clinic examined patient records from September 26, the day Johnson claims to have had her conversion experience, and spoke with the physician who performed abortions on that date. According to Planned Parenthood, there is no record of an ultrasound-guided abortion performed on September 26. The physician on duty told the organization that he did not use an ultrasound that day, nor did Johnson assist on any abortion procedure. “Planned Parenthood can assure you that no abortion patients underwent an ultrasound-guided abortion on September 26,” said a spokesperson. It’s difficult to imagine that Johnson simply got the date wrong; September 12 was the only other day that month that the clinic performed surgical abortions.

Could clinic staff and the physician be mistaken? The Texas Department of State Health Services requires abortion providers to fill out a form documenting basic information about each procedure performed at a clinic. This document is known as the Induced Abortion Report Form. The Bryan clinic reported performing fifteen surgical abortions on September 26. Johnson has consistently said that the patient in question was thirteen weeks pregnant, which is plausible, since thirteen weeks is right at the cusp of when physicians will consider using an ultrasound to assist with the procedure. Yet none of the patients listed on the report for that day were thirteen weeks pregnant; in fact, none were beyond ten weeks.

Komen Crisis Reveals Breathtaking Hypocrisy of Anti-Choice Activists

Komen Crisis Reveals Breathtaking Hypocrisy of Anti-Choice Activists On Friday, we reported on how Religious Right groups reacted furiously to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s move to roll back their decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood under the excuse that they won’t work with groups under federal investigation — as Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) opened a politically charged investigation into the women’s health organization.

Many Americans were perplexed by a move that would terminate potentially life-saving healthcare for tens of thousands of women in order to cater to the “pro-life” movement and few knew that for years the anti-choice community has campaigned and criticized the Komen foundation for its partnership with Planned Parenthood. So-called “pro-lifers” regularly attacked Komen for giving grants to Planned Parenthood to provide clinical breast cancer screenings and mammogram referrals for women who may otherwise not be able to obtain them since they are uninsured or underinsured and may not have a primary care provider.

However, while anti-choice activists congratulated themselves for pushing Komen to end their partnership with Planned Parenthood, they attacked people who criticized Komen’s decision for their “bullying,” “mafia shakedown” and “gangsterism.”

Two major groups that claimed credit for having Komen cut its ties with Planned Parenthood are now attacking supporters of Planned Parenthood for doing similar advocacy work.

Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Young Nance called Komen’s initial decision a “major victory for the pro-life movement” and boasted that “CWA helped usher in” the investigation which Komen used as an excuse to end its work with Planned Parenthood. But on Friday, Nance denounced the “mafia-style shakedown of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.”

Americans United for Life president Charmaine Yoest also released a blistering statement on the “ugly and disgraceful shakedown” of Komen and Planned Parenthood’s “scorched-earth strategy”:

As a breast cancer survivor, I am troubled that the Komen Foundation has come under such heavy fire for their recent decision to tighten and focus their funding guidelines. This week we have all been witness to highly partisan attacks from pro-abortion advocates and an ugly and disgraceful shakedown that highlights Planned Parenthood’s willingness to pursue a scorched-earth strategy to force compliance with their pro-abortion agenda.

Contrast that with what Yoest said in support of Komen’s initial decision to defund Planned Parenthood:

As a breast cancer survivor, I applaud the decision made by the Komen Foundation to discontinue their partnership with the billion-dollar, abortion mega-provider, Planned Parenthood. The work of the Komen Foundation has life-saving potential and should not be intertwined with an industry dealing in death. When I learned that the foundation was using donated funds to support abortion providers, I stopped running in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. In the future, I’ll be racing with them to support this courageous decision.

Komen says it is halting its funding of Planned Parenthood due to public pressure from pro-life groups and the impending Congressional investigation of the abortion giant. According to a report from the Associated Press, “Many of the allegations [which sparked the Congressional investigation of Planned Parenthood] were outlined in a report presented to Stearns last year by Americans United for Life, a national anti-abortion group, which urged him to investigate.” [emphasis mine]

See that? The “public pressure from pro-life groups” on Komen and the AUL-inspired Stearns investigation was a great achievement, but advocacy to convince Komen to reverse their decision is “scorched earth” politics.

For Yoest, dubbed “the woman who got Komen to defund Planned Parenthood,” and other anti-choice zealots, the only acceptable advocacy work allowed is their own. AUL has now shut down and scrubbed their Team Life group for an upcoming Komen-sponsored marathon. But when opponents of Komen’s move to cutoff Planned Parenthood dollars did the same, AUL derided their “ugly and disgraceful” tactics.

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