Reproductive Rights

Mat Staver: America Will Face a 'Day Of Reckoning' Over Legal Abortion

On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver ripped the Supreme Court for striking down a Texas law aimed at limiting access to legal abortion under the guise of protecting the health of women, declaring that America will soon face a "day of reckoning" from God over the sin of abortion.

Citing a passage from Jeremiah condemning kings who build their palaces through the injustice of slave labor, Staver said that abortion has done much the same in America, with the Supreme Court "mixing this injustice into the mortar" of this nation.

"There will be a time of reckoning," Staver said. "I think what this Supreme Court has done in 1973 [and] 1992, when they reaffirmed Roe v. Wade, and throughout the history and obviously with this decision is they have built this country with a policy of mixing the blood of children into the mortar of this country. And there will be a day of reckoning; God will not continue to allow his children to be slaughtered by any nation. It will come a time when this nation, or any nation, that ultimately takes the lives of their innocent children that will have a day of reckoning and I think we, as a church, have to wake up to this fact."

Staver went on the urge lawmakers in Texas to defy the ruling and "stop pretending that these people on the Supreme Court can divine anything they want to and then pass it off as though it is constitutional when it has nothing to do with the Constitution at all."

William Murray: 'We Still Sacrifice Babies To Moloch Today' Through Abortion

William Murray of the Religious Freedom Coalition appeared on The Dove TV's "Focus Today" program last week, where he declared that "we still sacrifice babies to Moloch today" through legal abortion.

Murray and host Perry Atkinson were discussing the fact that many people are, according to them, only nominal Christians who do not live and vote according to "proper" Christian values, which Murray noted was not necessarily a new problem.

"There was a period in Israel after King David," he explained, "where making sacrifices of infants and burying them at your doorstep in order to bring good financial luck to the family was an acceptable thing to do. I mean, there were actually some people worshiping Moloch. Just because society is doing it or society is approving it doesn't make it right."

"By the way," he continued, "we still sacrifice babies to Moloch today for the financial good of the family. We call it family planning and say, 'Well, if we abort this baby, the family will be better financially so it's okay.' It really is the same thing as the sacrifices that were done to Moloch several thousand years ago."

Bryan Fischer: Woman Who Have Abortions Should Not Be Punished Because They Don't Know Any Better

On his radio show yesterday, Bryan Fischer took a call from a listener who didn't understand the outcry over Donald Trump's assertion that abortion should be outlawed and any woman who has an abortion should be punished, pointing out that if you are going to equate abortion with murder, then it makes no sense to say that women should not be held criminally responsible for their actions.

Fischer did his best to explain that this is not a position that most anti-choice groups and activists publicly advocate on the grounds that women who have abortions simply do not know what they are doing and therefore should not be held culpable. 

Fischer hopes that once abortion is completely outlawed and we "get the culture to the place where everybody understands that it's a baby," then the government could begin to impose legal penalties upon women who have abortions. But as it stands now, Fischer declared, women simply "do not realize how morally culpable they are" when they have an abortion and so they should not be punished.

"They didn't know better," Fischer said. "Nobody told them, nobody tried to talk them out of it, nobody explained the humanity of the baby in the womb, so they did not know what they were doing."

"I realize from a purist standpoint, there should be legal culpability for a woman," he later admitted. "Maybe some day we can get to that place where that would be accepted and we would actually be able to enact legislation like that."

Theodore Shoebat: 'Sluts' Who Have Abortions Should Be Put To Death

Extremist right-wing activist and Donald Trump supporter Theodore Shoebat posted a video last night praising Trump's short-lived call to punish women who have abortions, declaring that "sluts" who have abortions should be put to death.

"You pro-life bastards!" Shoebat screamed at the anti-choice groups who criticized Trump's initial position. "You are useless scum. Bastards. Pigs. Swine. Lower than the devils that you claim to be fighting against because you do not follow the law of God."

Shoebat, who was recently featured in Janet Porter's anti-gay documentary "Light Wins" along with several Republican presidential candidates, members of Congress and leading anti-gay activists, then cited Leviticus as he declared that "all these sluts who kill their own children" should be put to death.

"They had a choice to keep their legs closed," he stated. "They could have controlled themselves, and they got the abortions and they murdered their own children. Let me tell you something, I believe in the death penalty for these women and I believe that God himself agrees with me."

Anti-Choice Activist Dave Daubenmire Says 'Of Course A Woman Should Be Punished' For Having An Abortion

Right-wing activist "Coach" Dave Daubenmire posted a short video today praising Donald Trump for saying that abortion should be outlawed and that woman who have abortions should be punished.

Though Trump quickly backtracked on the latter point, Daubenmire, who regularly leads protests outside of Planned Parenthood facilities in his native Ohio, praised the billionaire mogul for being "the most pro-life candidate running for president."

"Donald Trump said a woman, if she kills her baby, ought to pay a price," Daubenmire said. "If the dad takes a gun and shoots the unborn child, don't they charge him with murder? [Ted] Cruz and [John] Kasich, they just want to charge the doctor. Well, the woman is the one most responsible! She's the one hiring the doctor to kill the baby! Friends, when we have laws without punishment, our laws are merely suggestions. Of course a woman should be punished when killing her baby! Of course she should. Donald Trump is the most pro-life candidate of them all."

Norman Lear: Why I'm a Man for Choice

Norman Lear

More than forty years ago, the writers and I on our TV show "Maude" did something which apparently no one had done before on television: We showed our main character making the decision to have an abortion.

This was 1972, the year before the Supreme Court affirmed the right for all women to make their own reproductive health-care decisions. Back then, abortion wasn't something that was being discussed on television. But, of course, millions of women, and men, and families were discussing it in their own homes. So, we wrote some episodes that included Maude's discovery that, at age 47, after her daughter was grown, she found herself pregnant. We explored her conversations with friends and family about that pregnancy, and her ultimate decision with her husband to end that pregnancy. To no one's surprise, the world continued to turn on its axis.

As with our character, Maude Findlay, the majority of women who have an abortion today are already mothers, and don't make the decision lightly. At that time, a woman's ability to make the decision to create or expand her family was dependent on the state she lived in and how much money was in her bank account.

I never would have thought that, more than 40 years later, we would still be waging these same fights over women's reproductive rights that we were facing in the 1970s.

Yet, in June, the Supreme Court will decide the most consequential abortion case in decades involving a Texas law that could force the closure of abortion clinics in the state.

As America celebrates Women's History Month this March, we recognize the incredible strides our country has been able to make because of the hard work, creativity and resolve of American women. Our country is stronger when all Americans are empowered to make their own decisions about their health, their bodies and whether to start and grow their families.

It is unfortunate that, in this heated political season, we are still debating whether women have the right to make decisions about their own bodies. Seven in 10 Americans support a woman's right to an abortion. Congress and state legislatures should be following the will of the people and get out of the way.

Instead, states from Texas to Mississippi to Ohio are leaving millions of women without access to health-care clinics that provide the reproductive healthcare services they deserve. Women – particularly poor women, women of color, and those living in red states – are losing access to their constitutional right to abortion at a frightening pace.

The very same politicians who are closing clinics in the name of protecting women and families are actively harming them by cutting off funding for preventative health care, cancer screenings and HIV prevention as part of an ideological war against abortion. Putting up barriers to accessing health care is not the way to support and empower women in this country.

But really, this is not about abortion for the anti-choice movement. Cutting off access to health care is one tool in their playbook that pushes a worldview where women are kept out of positions of power.

We know that one in three women in the United States will have an abortion in their lifetime. Most women who choose to have an abortion are in their twenties — the same decade in which their careers are just starting to take off. By depriving a woman of her right to an abortion, we're boxing her into a world where she cannot choose her own destiny, take advantage of the career opportunities she wants, or simply live the life that's best for her and her family.

f we trust women to run businesses, fight for our country, raise children, and hold the highest political offices (and we all should), we need to also trust that they are capable of making their own decisions about what is best for their own body, family and future. When the anti-choice movement doesn't trust women to make these personal decisions, we can only assume they don't trust women to lead either.

I am proud to stand with NARAL Pro-Choice America and call myself a "Man for Choice" because I believe it is time for men to stop pretending that we know better what women's health-care needs are. Women have proven that they are up to any task set before them and are more than capable of deciding their own futures. We can't afford to wait another 40 years before politicians figure this out.

This post originally appeared on CNBC.


The Cruel Irony Of The Anti-Choice Movement’s TRAP Strategy

The Supreme Court heard arguments today in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which could be the most influential abortion rights case in decades. Whole Woman’s Health, which addresses a Texas law that aims to close abortion clinics by saddling them with expensive and unnecessary regulations, puts to the test the anti-choice movement’s long-term strategy of passing targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws meant to squeeze abortion providers out of existence.

As early as 1990, attorney Walter Dellinger, who went on to serve in the Clinton administration, was warning that the emerging strategy of setting up obstacles to abortion access would push women to obtain abortions later in their pregnancies, a more expensive and less safe procedure. These supposed “compromise” measures, he noted, were at the same time sometimes coupled with calls to cut off legal abortion during the second trimester of pregnancy. Dellinger wrote in The American Prospect:

To enact in the United States laws that simply prohibit abortions after twelve or eighteen weeks would constitute a strange and cruel response to the issue of late abortions. In this country, legislative deadlines for abortion would co-exist with access regulations designed to prevent women from being able to meet the deadline. No state truly concerned about either the increased maternal health risks or the moral implications of late abortions should consider the coercive step of prohibiting second trimester abortions while simultaneously pursuing policies that cause abortion to be delayed. … Bans on funding for abortions, shutting off access to public hospitals, parental consent/ judicial bypass laws, and testing requirements all fall into this category. Legislators who are troubled in principle by late abortions should support instead measures ensuring that every woman who wants to terminate a pregnancy can do so as early and as safely as possible.

Fast forward to late last year, when a study showed that exactly that had happened after Texas implemented its restrictive new law:

A new report released by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project — a research group based at the University of Texas at Austin that’s been tracking the state’s reproductive health policy over the past four years — finds that recent clinic shutdowns have greatly limited access to timely abortions statewide. In some cases, women had to wait nearly a month to be seen. In others, clinics had to turn women away, since they had no available appointment slots open.

As wait time to get an abortion increases, the estimated proportion of abortions performed in the second trimester increases. These later surgical abortions, although safe, are associated with a higher risk of complications and are significantly more costly to women than an earlier medical abortion. And even staunch abortion opponents are more opposed to late-term abortions compared to earlier procedures, citing the scientifically disputed theory that fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks gestation.

At today’s arguments in Whole Women’s health, Justice Anthony Kennedy hinted at this issue, according to the Wall Street Journal’s early reports:

Justice Kennedy ends the string of questions from the women justices.

He notes that drug-induced abortions are up nationwide, but down in Texas, where the number of surgical abortions is up since the state enacted its law. He wondered whether such an impact was “medically wise.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg similarly called out Texas’ solicitor general for undermining his own claim that the state’s regulations were meant to protect women’s health:

Justice Ginsburg asks: How many women will be located more than 100 miles from a clinic? Mr. Keller makes reference to a 25% number, but says that number is high because it doesn’t take into account some women close to clinics in New Mexico.

That’s odd, Justice Ginsburg says. She wonders why Texas would consider those New Mexico clinics an option, given that they wouldn’t meet the standards set forth in the state law. If your argument is right, New Mexico is “not a way out” for Texas, the justice tells Mr. Keller.

Even as the anti-choice movement is pushing restrictive regulations that, as the Texas study showed, drive women to seek abortions later in their pregnancy, it is championing measures at the state and federal level that would cut off legal abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy, partway through the second trimester.

Of course, the anti-choice movement is focusing on these two strategies because they believe they can pass muster in the courts and in public opinion in a way that the ultimate goal — an outright ban on abortion — would not. But what is left is not a regime that protects women’s health, as proponents of Texas’ law claim, but one that makes it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for women to obtain an abortion, which has been their ultimate goal all along.



Bryan Fischer Says That Every Abortion Is 'Like Food For Demons'

Bryan Fischer kicked off his radio show today by declaring that "when a nation sacrifices innocent children in abortion or infanticide, that is a sacrifice to demons, it's like food for demons."

"What I mean by that," he continued, "is that act of the shedding of innocent blood, the most innocent among us, it empowers satanic forces, it energizes satanic forces, it gives them the legal right to be at work in our culture, it energizes them, it empowers them, it gives them legal ground, it gives them permission to operate. So every time an abortion is performed in the United States of America, a jolt of power is given to Satan and to satanic forces."

America will never free itself "from demonic oppression," the American Family Radio host warned, "until we stop the practice of abortion."

As Anti-Abortion Groups Gather in D.C., A New High Profile For A Radical Movement

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

This week, many of the various factions of the anti-abortion movement will gather in Washington for the March For Life, an annual event that marks the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade.

The wide array of events surrounding the march reflect many of the strands of the anti-choice movement. This morning, far-flung members of the “rescue” movement -- those who protest outside of clinics and sometimes harass providers and patients -- joined local activists who have been protesting at a new Planned Parenthood building, much to the dismay of the elementary school next door. On Wednesday, a group of demonstrators elsewhere in Washington mistakenly protested outside of a closed Planned Parenthood building. Over the next few days, young activists will have two rallies and a conference dedicated just to them. Lawyers and law students will meet about legal strategies for turning back abortion rights. For the first time, there will be a conference focused on evangelicals.

But many of these events will be connected by the presence of one familiar face: David Daleiden, the young activist whose “sting” operation against Planned Parenthood has shaken up the anti-abortion movement. Daleiden isn’t scheduled for a main-stage slot at the march, but he’ll be making appearances at the Planned Parenthood protest, the evangelical summit, the lawyers’ event and a Family Research council event, along with a related Students for Life event on the West Coast on Sunday.

Daleiden’s influence will likely be felt even at events where he isn’t present: The keynote speech at the march itself will be delivered by Carly Fiorina, the Republican presidential candidate who has routinely recited a false story of what she claims to have seen in one of Daleiden’s films.

The central role of Daleiden in this week’s events reflects the extent to which his project, which stemmed from one of the most radical strands of the anti-choice movement, has brought radical protest groups back to prominence and shifted the strategy and priorities of the more “mainstream” parts of the movement.

Last summer, Daleiden started releasing a series of videos, taken undercover in conversations with Planned Parenthood employees, which he claimed showed the women’s health organization illegally profiting off fetal tissue donated for research. Those claims didn’t hold up, but they opened up a new line of attack for the anti-choice movement -- along with a new wave of violence -- that culminated in the recent votes in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood, something that anti-choice leaders say they will now be able to do once and for all if a Planned Parenthood foe is elected president. Planned Parenthood is now suing Daleiden and his accomplices.

This renewed focus on Planned Parenthood has helped to elevate the rescue movement, which Daleiden’s project grew out of. Two of Daleiden’s closest advisors, Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman and Life Dynamics’ Mark Crutcher, helped to pioneer the strategy of cutting down access to abortion by making life miserable for abortion providers and patients. Crutcher has specialized in doing this through “sting” operations, including one that Daleiden’s was modeled after, and now hopes to train and “unleash a whole army of David Daleidens” on abortion providers.

Planned Parenthood has long been a target of these groups. After Daleiden started releasing his videos, anti-choice groups began directing their activists to protests in front of Planned Parenthood clinics led by some of the old guard of the rescue movement. This created what Newman described as “the largest coordinated protest of abortion clinics” since the prime of the rescue movement in the 1980s and 1990s.

Daleiden’s videos have also prompted a shift in how major anti-choice groups are talking about their work. Americans United for Life, the influential anti-abortion legal group, has been a leader in the strategy of pushing abortion restrictions in the name of “women’s health,” offering legislators anti-choice model bills through what it calls its “Women’s Protection Program.” But since Daleiden started releasing his videos, AUL has sensed an opportunity and started shifting its rhetoric toward legal rights for fetuses, launching what it calls an “Infants’ Protection Project” that quietly aims to build on “personhood” protections for fetuses.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, the head of the anti-choice campaign powerhouse Susan B. Anthony List, told ProPublica that in Daleiden’s videos, her group “saw our opening -- and we jumped all in.”

That has certainly also been the case with Fiorina and her fellow Republican presidential candidates, nearly all of whom say they want to remove federal funding from Planned Parenthood’s services to low-income women (none of which goes towards abortions), and several of whom have vowed to attempt to ban all abortion, some through a radical “personhood” strategy.

The official theme of this year’s March for Life is “Pro-Life and Pro-Woman go Hand in Hand,” a nod to the strategy of portraying abortion restrictions as protections for women. But it seems likely that it will be hard to escape Daleiden’s attack on Planned Parenthood and its aftermath.


PFAW Releases Report on Center For Medical Progress’ Roots in the Radical Fringes of the Anti-Choice Movement

WASHINGTON – Today People For the American Way released a report on the anti-choice activists driving the attacks on Planned Parenthood, including in-depth background information on the history of Operation Rescue and its links with the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).

The report, “Operation Rescue’s Big Break: How an Organization Rooted in the Radical Fringes of the Anti-Choice Movement Is Threatening to Shut Down the Government,” situates the CMP video “sting” within the history of the anti-choice fringe.

“While David Daleiden is relatively young and unknown, his Center for Medical Progress is rooted in a long tradition of activists who have used sham ‘investigations’ to smear abortion providers and undermine access to legal care,” said Miranda Blue, senior researcher at People For the American Way and principal author of the report. “It is no coincidence that when he started his project, Daleiden turned to Operation Rescue and Life Dynamics, two organizations that have spent decades waging campaigns of intimidation and fear against abortion providers. The Center for Medical Progress’ smear on Planned Parenthood is simply an updated version of these tactics, meant not to uncover the truth but to harass and intimidate health care professionals.”

Last month PFAW released a report, “Chipping Away at Choice,” on seven tactics anti-choice legislators and activists are using to erode reproductive health care access across the country. PFAW’s Right Wing Watch blog also monitors and documents the ongoing activities of anti-choice right-wing activists. 

Miranda Blue is available for interviews with the press. To arrange one, please contact Layne Amerikaner at


The Quiet Battle To Undermine Abortion Rights In The States

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:

  • Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws , like Texas’s House Bill 2, which place unnecessary regulations on abortion providers with the aim of closing the clinics altogether.
  • Crisis pregnancy centers , which have been found to provide women with false or misleading information, and are often not staffed by medical professionals.
  • Mandatory waiting periods , which place an unnecessary burden on low-income women and those who live in one of the 90 percent of U.S. counties without an abortion clinic.
  • Genetic anomaly, race- or sex-selective abortion bans , cynical efforts to create new obstacles to women’s choice, which risk placing additional burdens on women of color.
  • Interference with medical providers , such as forcing doctors to read scripts written by politicians and requiring doctors to perform medically unnecessary procedures like early-term ultrasounds.
  • 20-week abortion bans , like the bill passed in the U.S. House and being considered by the Senate, which are aimed not only at diminishing abortion access but challenging the ban on pre-viability abortion prohibitions established by Roe v. Wade.
  • Defunding abortion providers , which result in cutting off access to cancer screenings, contraceptives, and basic health care, especially for low-income and rural women.

The full report, “Chipping Away at Choice: Growing Threats to Women’s Healthcare Access and Autonomy: 2015 Update,” is available here.

PFAW Releases Report on Seven Tactics Aimed at Chipping Away at Reproductive Choice in the States

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:

  • Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, like Texas’s House Bill 2, which place unnecessary regulations on abortion providers with the aim of closing the clinics altogether.
  • Crisis pregnancy centers, which have been found to provide women with false or misleading information, and are often not staffed by medical professionals.
  • Mandatory waiting periods, which place an unnecessary burden on low-income women and those who live in one of the 90 percent of U.S. counties without an abortion clinic.
  • Genetic anomaly, race- or sex-selective abortion bans, cynical efforts to create new obstacles to women’s choice, which risk placing additional burdens on women of color.
  • Interference with medical providers, such as forcing doctors to read scripts written by politicians and requiring doctors to perform medically unnecessary procedures like early-term ultrasounds.
  • 20-week abortion bans, like the bill passed in the U.S. House and being considered by the Senate, which are aimed not only at diminishing abortion access but challenging the ban on pre-viability abortion prohibitions established by Roe v. Wade.
  • Defunding abortion providers, which result in cutting off access to cancer screenings, contraceptives, and basic health care, especially for low-income and rural women.

The full report, which updates a 2013 report of the same name, can be found here:

PFAW Senior Researcher for Special Projects Miranda Blue is available for interviews. To arrange one, please contact Laura Epstein at or call 202-467-4999.

The Activists And Ideology Behind The Latest Attacks On Planned Parenthood

The right-wing extremist group behind the recent Planned Parenthood smear has failed to prove any wrongdoing -- but has succeeded at reinforcing long-held myths within the anti-choice movement.

What the GOP Is Calling for When They Advocate Defunding Planned Parenthood

This piece originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

Today Senate Republicans are preparing to vote on legislation to defund Planned Parenthood. GOP presidential candidates including Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Rand Paul have jumped on the bandwagon, with Paul calling for a stop to "any penny of money" going to the organization. Jeb Bush called for a congressional investigation.

It's obvious that these attacks are the latest right-wing tactic aimed not only at destroying Planned Parenthood but also at a woman's right to control her own body. It's a campaign borrowing a page from a very old, very repetitive playbook.

But let's be clear about what it means when Republican politicians crusade, over and over, to defund Planned Parenthood. 

Calling to defund Planned Parenthood is calling to prevent low-income women from getting lifesaving cancer screenings. It's calling to prevent HIV testing, well-woman exams, and other basic medical services. No matter how you cut it, it's an attack on the health and well-being of women, especially on those least able to afford cuts in services.

Reproductive health advocate Clare Coleman, who formerly headed up a network of Planned Parenthood clinics in New York state, said that although their medical centers nationwide serve patients of all ages, races, genders, and incomes, she described their typical patient as "a working woman between 20 and 24, maybe in school, often with children." That patient, Coleman wrote, lives on an "edge" where "you know you're always one emergency away from everything falling apart."

Calling to defund Planned Parenthood is calling to take away medical care from women who are already struggling to make ends meet. 

I have dedicated decades of my life to the opposite work: the movement to make sure women can make our own medical decisions and shape our own futures in a system that respects our autonomy. The struggle to make sure all women, especially women of color and low-income women, have access to reproductive health and reproductive justice.

These GOP leaders, despite lip service to "rebranding" efforts aimed at reaching more women, seem dead-set on just the opposite.

If they are truly concerned about reaching women, maybe they should avoid making the most marginalized women the target of their regressive policy proposals. Maybe they should avoid attacking medical centers that one in five women has relied on. 

While GOP politicians repeat tired, dishonest talking points about defunding the "abortion industry," dedicated staff at Planned Parenthood health centers willcontinue to provide critical medical care to people across the country. Who's really fighting for women?

Read our new Right Wing Watch In Focus report on the right-wing activists behind the attacks on Planned Parenthood. 


PFAW Releases Report Detailing Activists and Ideology Behind Planned Parenthood Attacks

WASHINGTON – Center for Medical Progress creator David Daleiden, the activist responsible for the recent video attacks on Planned Parenthood, was able to tap into a network of experienced anti-choice figures dedicated to undermining health care for American women, as outlined in a report released by People For the American Way today.

The report, “The Activists And Ideology Behind The Latest Attacks On Planned Parenthood,” maps out far-right activists connected with Daleiden, such as Live Action founder Lila Rose, who has teamed up with James O’Keefe – creator of the deceptive videos that resulted in the collapse of ACORN – to orchestrate similar attacks on Planned Parenthood. Operation Rescue head Troy Newman, who runs a website listing personal information and photographs of abortion providers and once publicly celebrated the death of a provider, serves on the board of Daleiden’s Center for Medical Progress.

Released in advance of the Senate’s expected vote on legislation to “defund” Planned Parenthood today, the report situates these attacks within the long-running right wing campaign aimed at ending legal abortion in our country.

“Anyone who has passed an abortion clinic protest recently knows that these videos recycle a tired tactic: the use of graphic images and the vilification of abortion providers,” said Miranda Blue, Senior Researcher for Special Projects at People For the American Way. “It’s important to see the latest attacks for what they are: one piece of the larger far-right effort to not only shutter Planned Parenthood’s critical women’s health services but to end legal abortion entirely.”


Ohio GOPer: Fight Against ISIS 'Is No Different' Than Fight To Outlaw Abortion

Yesterday, Janet Porter hosted her "Appeal To Heaven" rally outside the Ohio statehouse, which is just the latest step in her years-long effort to get the state to pass her radical anti-choice legislation known as the "Heartbeat Bill," which would outlaw abortion within weeks of conception.

Prior to the rally, Porter was joined for a press conference by various state lawmakers who support her bill, at which State Representative Matt Lynch compared the fight to outlaw abortion in Ohio to the fight against ISIS in the Middle East.

In a video posted on YouTube by OhioCapitalBlog, Lynch declared that ISIS beheading journalists and civilians in Syria and Iraq is no different than the practice of legal abortion in Ohio.

The two issues "are not dissimilar," Lynch insisted. "As a nation, as we're aroused literally to move Heaven and earth to combat this evil on the other side of the world somehow we're blind and we're silent to the twenty thousand plus deaths that are occurring, seventy a day, right here in the state of Ohio."

"We have to have the courage," he said, "to understand that the moral right against evil in the mid-east is no different than the moral fight against evil right here in the state of Ohio and that evil is abortion":

Glenn Beck Endorses The 'Appeal To Heaven' To End Abortion In Ohio

A few weeks ago, we noted that Janet Porter was organizing "An Appeal To Heaven" rally to take place outside the Ohio Statehouse this month at which she and various anti-choice and Religious Right activists will ask God to help pass Porter's "Heartbeat Bill."

For four years, Porter has been working, unsuccessfully, to pass this legislation in Ohio which, if enacted, would prevent a woman from having an abortion from the moment a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be "as early as 18 to 24 days after conception."

The rally is scheduled for next Wednesday and somehow Porter has managed to get Glenn Beck to film a video encouraging people to attend and participate.

"I hope, by now, your aware the elected officials in Columbus haven't done the things that you've hired them to do," Beck says in the video. "They say they're pro-life, but they have held a pro-life Heartbeat Bill hostage for four years."

"You've called, you've rallied, but it's time to go over their heads," he said, "and I mean way over their heads and make an appeal, not to the courts - your're invited to join pastors and leaders from all around the state for an appeal to Heaven":

2014 Midterm Elections: PFAW Holds Member Telebriefing with Political Strategist Celinda Lake

People For The American Way hosted a telebriefing Thursday evening to update PFAW members on the electoral landscape for 2014.  The call, which was kicked off by PFAW President Michael Keegan and moderated by Director of Communications Drew Courtney, featured prominent pollster and political strategist and current President of Lake Research Partners Celinda Lake, as well as PFAW’s Political Director Randy Borntrager and Executive Vice President Marge Baker.

Lake discussed the political climate in Congress and the general frustration voters feel toward both political parties. She emphasized multiple times throughout the call that in this election “the key is voter turnout.” In Kentucky, for instance since most undecided voters are leaning towards Alison Lundergan Grimes, turnout will be critical to help unseat Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Political Director Randy Borntrager discussed the work PFAW is doing to make the biggest impact possible in the most pivotal races to help progressives win this election. Lake and Borntrager emphasized that increasing awareness to voters of what is truly at stake – from reproductive rights to potential Supreme Court vacancies – will help make a difference come November.

Questions from callers also focused on other critical races including gubernatorial races in Florida and Wisconsin, the Senate race in North Carolina, and contests in Alaska and Iowa, among others.

In closing, Drew Courtney noted that the telebriefing shows that “we have some challenges ahead, but we are going to fight hard and push forward, and we’re not going to go back to the way things were before.”

Listen to the full audio of the telebriefing for more information.


The Supreme Court’s Attack on Working Women

The following is a guest blog by Beth Huang, 2010 Fellow of People For the American Way Foundation’s Young People For program.

Last Monday, the Supreme Court ruled in two critical cases with major implications for working women. The Supreme Court ruled once again that corporations are people, this time conferring religious rights that trump workers’ rights to access full healthcare. In a dissent to the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby ruling, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg noted “that the cost of an IUD is nearly equivalent to a month's full-time pay for workers earning the minimum wage.” Justice Ginsberg’s dissent reveals the real impacts of denying coverage of contraception for low-wage working women -- something the slim five-justice, all-male majority fails to comprehend.

To compound the attack on working women, five male Justices severely undermined the ability of care workers – 95 percent of whom are women – to collectively bargain in the case Harris v. Quinn. This assault on working people stems from the Justices’ view that the care workers in the case are not “real” public employees and thus the union cannot charge the appropriate agency fee to all of them for its bargaining services. This ruling serves the interests of anti-worker extremists at the expense of these invaluable workers who care for our families and our children.

It’s clear: a majority of Justices are trampling over the rights of working women. In light of these attacks, it’s time to organize for gender equity and economic justice for working women.

Back in 2010 when I was a student, Young People For helped me develop organizing skills that have led me to effectively advocate for and with women and workers. Through my work in student labor organizing as an undergraduate and since graduation, I have seen that workers’ rights are women’s rights, from having access to comprehensive healthcare to having a voice on the job. To build an economy that works for today’s students and youth, we need to organize locally and train new leaders in the broad effort to advance our agenda for gender equity and economic justice.

At the Student Labor Action Project a joint project of Jobs with Justice and the United States Student Association, we’re doing just that by building student power to advance an agenda that protects the rights of current workers and promotes a more just economy for students to enter when they graduate. Our campaigns focus on demanding funding for public higher education, which we know is a major source of good jobs and upward mobility for women and people of color; pushing back on Wall Street profits that fuel the student debt crisis; and raising the working conditions for Walmart workers, 57 percent of whom are women.

The Supreme Court’s decisions last week underscored the urgency of organizing for these changes. Women’s access to equal rights, power in the workplace, and comprehensive healthcare depends on it.

PFAW Foundation

Hobby Lobby, Wheaton College, and the Importance of Women Justices

Days after the Supreme Court handed down its damaging 5-4 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, SCOTUS issued an order that underscored the danger that Hobby Lobby poses for women’s health.

In Wheaton College v. Burwell, SCOTUS temporarily granted relief to Wheaton College, a religious institution that is “categorically” opposed to providing contraceptive services, from the contraception coverage compromise solution that the  Court explicitly endorsed in Hobby Lobby. The order says that Wheaton may be exempt from submitting a form that would inform the government that they object to covering birth control. Wheaton College argued that submitting this form would make it “complicit in the provision of contraceptive coverage.” The temporary order indicates that the Court’s majority may accept this problematic argument.

In what Think Progress called a “blistering dissent” to the order, Justice Sonia Sotomayor — joined by the two other female Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — sharply criticized the order. Sotomayor wrote in the dissent:

“Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word. Not so today.”

While this order is temporary until the case may be heard in front of the Court, the female Justices’ strong dissent demonstrates not only the division within the Court, but also the importance of having diversity on our courts. Women on the bench provide a critically important perspective on all cases, but especially those that deal with women’s lives. It is more important than ever, when women’s rights are under assault, that women are more fairly represented at all levels of government.

PFAW Foundation
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