Another Anti-Choicer Admits Real Purpose Of TRAP Laws

The latest issue of Rolling Stone has a great article by Janet Reitman about the anti-choice movement’s new embrace of incremental measures to “chip away at reproductive rights in a way that will render Roe's protections virtually irrelevant.” We also covered this strategy in depth last year in our report, “ Chipping Away at Choice.”

Reitman discusses how anti-choice groups, most prominently Americans United For Life, are pushing incremental state-level measures that are billed as “health and safety” protections for women, but are really meant to carve away at the legal foundations of Roe in the long term and close abortion clinics and reduce access in the short term. Just this week, AUL released its annual handbook for lawmakers, which is full of legislative proposals for “TRAP” -- targeted regulation of abortion providers -- laws that limit access to abortion without directly challenging Roe.

One flaw in this strategy is that it relies on the anti-choice movement to radically change its talking points on abortion. AUL, for instance, rarely talks about outright criminalizing abortion. Instead, they talk about “ protecting women” from the “abortion industry” by over-regulating abortion clinics and forcing women to jump through hoops before terminating a pregnancy.

But not everyone in the movement has such message discipline. Troy Newman of Operation Rescue, a radical anti-choice group, told Reitman that he had changed his tactics to embrace TRAP laws because “ I want to win.” Last year, Phil Burress, a main proponent of an Ohio bill that required abortion providers to have “admitting privileges” to a local hospital, admitted that the goal of the bill was to put abortion clinics “out of business.” Last month, a pastor who said he was behind a similar admitting privileges bill in South Carolina, said the purpose was to regulate clinics so much that it makes abortion unaffordable to the average woman.

Now we can count Phyllis Schlafly among the anti-choice activists who haven't fully digested AUL’s new talking points. Last week Schlafly discussed the anniversary of Roe v. Wade with AUL’s Clark Forsythe, who deftly deployed his group’s messaging about “helping women to understand the short-term and long-term risks of abortion.” But Schlafly was having none of it. Instead, she announced that she recommends states pass “admitting privileges” bills because such laws  had closed clinics in Missouri and Texas and are “one of the most effective means of reducing abortion."

Forsythe: I think the way forward is, it has to be multi-faceted. We have to continue to press in politics and elect the right Senate, elect the right president. We have to continue to work through public policy in the states. We have to continue to educate about the impact on the unborn child from abortion, but as well the impact on women. And I think moving forward, getting the public to understand, helping women to understand the short-term and long-term risks of abortion based upon a growing body of international data, international medical data, is key toward turning around public opinion and influencing the Supreme Court.

Schlafly: And we do recommend the state law that says nobody can do an abortion unless he has hospital privileges within 30 miles – that’s about an hour’s drive. And that’s closed the biggest abortion clinic in Missouri and it’s closed about 30 in Texas, and it’s one of the most effective means of reducing abortion.

The Glenn Beck Hypocrisy Hour Rolls On

With every passing day, it seems that Glenn Beck's radio and television programs are becoming nothing more than displays of Beck's own hypocrisy, as he mocks, attacks, and criticizes others for doing the exact things he does on a regular basis.

On last night's program, Beck played a clip Fox's Bob Beckel furiously ranting about Beck's statement comparing Gov. Andrew Cuomo to Alabama Governor George Wallace and, when the clip was over, Beck simply laughed and wondered why anyone would put someone like Beckel on television or even want to be around him.

"Bob," Beck said, "life does not have to be so angry all the time."

Good point, Glenn. After all, who wants to watch some madman screaming about nonsense day after day?

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/23/14

  • Dan Rafter @ HRC: Utah Special Attorney General Cites “Religious Duty” in Decision to Take Anti-Marriage Equality Case.
  • Andy Towle @ Towleroad: Virginia Attorney General Says He Won't Defend State's Gay Marriage Ban in Court.
  • Jeremy Hooper: Audio: Rep. Randy Weber says anti-gay groups came to him to draft State Marriage Defense Act.
  • Terry Firma @ Friendly Atheist: Illinois GOP Candidate Says God Put Autism and Dementia on Earth as Punishment for Marriage Equality and Abortion.
  • Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: ‘The wife is to voluntarily submit.’
  • Molly Redden @ Mother Jones: How Oil Drilling Is Like the "Civil Rights Revolution," and Other Gems From the Tea Party's Rising Star.

Right Wing Leftovers - 1/23/14

  • NOM is calling for "the impeachment of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring for 'malfeasance' and 'neglect of duty' and violating his sworn oath of office to support the constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia" for not defending the state's anti-gay marriage amendment.
  • Peter LaBarbera continues his crusade against Fox News for being too "pro-gay."
  • You really have to feel for the people on Glenn Beck's staff who have to sit there and listen as he goes off on a rant about who knows what.
  • Jerry Newcombe is outraged by Lifetime's remake of "Flowers In The Attic."
  • Finally, FRC continues to pray against Obamacare: "May Americans dazzled by the false promise of lower cost or free healthcare realize that they have bought into a lie that will result in increased, taxpayer-funded abortion, but also substandard healthcare, greater cost, reduced innovation, diminished care for the elderly, fewer doctors to serve more people, longer waits for care and very soon, rationing, etc."

Stockman: GM Bailout Brought Fascism To America

Steve Stockman, the currently missing Republican congressman, gave a New Year’s Eve interview with “Let’s Talk Bitcoin” where he warned about growing fascism in America.

Stockman, who recently decided that his Senate campaign will accept Bitcoin contributions, said that “we do have some fascism” in America due to “government intervention” in the economy, such as the GM bailout. 

Watch The Chevy Ad That Was Too Racy For The American Family Association

The American Family Association put out an email alert this weekend announcing that the group’s members had successfully pressured Chevrolet to pull a Silverado commercial that had aired during a couple of NFL games. We were of course curious to view the ad that the AFA described as “profanity-laced” and including “gutter language.”

No, the AFA was not upset by the ad's reliance on tired gender stereotypes. Instead, the group explained in a previous alert, they objected that "the announcer forcefully declares some tailgating activities should 'be damned.'"

"Chevrolet's use of profanity is irresponsible and offensive. It is extremely destructive and damaging to impressionable children viewing the commercial," they added.

Because we all know that the AFA will not abide by irresponsible and offensive content on the airwaves!

 

Cuccinelli: Liberals Are 'The Most Intolerant People In America'

Former Virginia attorney general and failed gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who spent four years trying to make life miserable for gay people and climate scientists, among others, is now lashing out at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for saying “extreme conservatives” have “no place in the state of New York.”

Speaking yesterday with Tony Perkins of Family Research Council, an organization that has called for the exportation of gay people, Cuccinelli alleged that “most of the left” shared Cuomo’s sentiments.

“They do not view us as worthy of respect because we hold traditional, thousands of years of principle-based views; their radical, society twisting and altering and destroying views are the only ones that they accept,” Cuccinelli said. “Nobody should make any mistake, the most intolerant people in America are leftists, bar none, it isn’t even close.”

Huckabee: Democrats Believe Women 'Can't Control Their Libido' Without 'Uncle Sugar'

Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee claimed today that the GOP isn’t partaking in a “war on women,” and that it is actually Democrats who “insult the women of America” by making them believe they “can’t control their libido.”

Huckabee, who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, made the remarks at a Republican National Committee summit just as the party has been stressing greater “sensitivity” to women voters.

The Fox News pundit claimed, “Democrats think that women are nothing more than helpless and hopeless creatures whose only goal in life is to have the government provide for them birth control medication” and rely on “Uncle Sugar providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido.”

As Dave Weigel noted, Huckabee has used the line before and “it's a crowd-pleaser, if only to a select audience.” 

Barber and Staver Are Welcome To 'Get On The Winning Side Of History'

On yesterday's "Faith and Freedom" radio broadcast, Matt Barber and Mat Staver rejoiced that recent polls show that the majority of Americans now consider themselves to be "pro-life" and encouraged politicians to "get on the winning side of history" and start passing legislation to outlaw abortion.

What anti-abortion activists always fail to mention whenever they trumpet this claim is that polls consistently show that the vast majority of Americans believe abortion should remain legal and available, with generally no more than 20% of the population wanting it to be outlawed entirely.

But for Barber and Staver, these polls demonstrate that legal abortion will soon become a thing of the past:

Barber: Today, fifty percent of Americans identify themselves as pro-life and this is the first time in the forty years since Roe v Wade that a majority of Americans have joined in the defense of women and children. In the past twenty years, opinions have shifted; in 1995, 56% of Americans identified themselves as pro-choice but now that number is less than 42%. That's a 15% swing, Mat, in thirteen years. That's huge.

Staver: And for politicians who want to run from the issue of life - I don't think they ought to guide their decisions by polls, but if they did, this would be one that would say they need to stand on the side of life.

Barber: Yeah, get rid of that pro-choice albatross that you have around your neck. Get on the winning side of history and that is the pro-life side.

Since Barber and Staver are so impressed with shifts in poll numbers on this issue, we assume that they will both soon drop their opposition to gay marriage since, back in 1996, a whopping 65% of Americans opposed it while only 27% supported it. Today, recent polls show that 55% of Americans now support marriage equality, while opposition has dropped into the low 40s.

That is a twenty-five point swing and, as Barber said, "that's huge."

So simply based on the polling advice of Barber and Staver, if politicians want to "get on the winning side of history," they probably ought to make their public support for marriage equality loud and clear.

Tom DeLay's Latest Plan To Save America

Tom DeLay has been back in the news today, as many people are noticing the similarity between Justin Bieber’s beaming mug shot after his drag-racing and DUI arrest and the picture taken of the former GOP majority leader in 2005 after he was picked up on money laundering charges.

But it turns out that DeLay is also in the middle of a media comeback tour, in which he is framing himself as a Religious Right leader.

In a recent set of unintentionally-ironic interviews, DeLay has criticized what he sees as a lack of morality in politics and alleged abuses of power in the Obama administration. He even has his own David Barton-inspired shtick of pushing Christian Nationalism and calling for a moral revolution.

Based on a vision he had several years ago, DeLay has announced that he will be launching a new group which he says is committed to praying for political leaders and fighting back against the supposed effort to “push God out of public life.”

While DeLay claims that the group will only be focused on prayer, we are curious to see how long “The Hammer” will keep partisan politics out of it.

A national network to pray for and with the nation’s elected leaders is emerging in hopes of sparking a national revival, reaching from Capitol Hill to state and local governments. An initiative of the National Prayer Center, it’s called the Josiah Project, named for King Josiah of Israel who after finding the Book of the Law when rebuilding the temple led the nation to repent and pray.

“He tore his clothes and was convicted before the Lord and he saw the condition of the nation, the culture of Israel was in the toilet. They had pushed God out of the public square. Does all this remind you of something?” Tom DeLay, the former Republican House majority leader who is helping the National Prayer Center head up the effort, told TheBlaze.

“Josiah tore down the idols and brought God back into the nation or brought the nation to God. He was probably the most devout king of all the kings, including David,” DeLay said. “So that’s why we named it the Josiah Project. In the presence of where our nation is today.” The Josiah Project will not be involved in lobbying, DeLay said, but rather prayer intercessors approaching members of Congress and state legislatures offering to pray with them and for them. It will seek citizens to reach out in groups to their elected representatives. Chapters will be organized by congressional districts, he said.

“The Constitution is based upon a higher authority. This government cannot exist in the future if we give that up and put man as the higher authority,” DeLay said. “We need that higher authority and the truth that comes from that higher authority in order for us to survive. Otherwise we’ll find ourselves where we are where man gets to define what truth is and everything crumbles.”



“They give me a call and at the last minute in September and said DeLay, you’ve got to get up here. We’ve got some ideas that we want you to be part of it,” DeLay recalled of the center. “So I dropped everything and came up here. Got here on a Monday night. We spent two days planning the Josiah Project. Then on the third morning I get a call on my phone and it’s my lawyer, Sept. 19, I get the ruling that I’ve been exonerated and acquitted.”
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