Conservative MP Suggests Stephen Harper Party Will Reopen Abortion Debate

by matttbastard

Oopsie–somebody’s slip is showing:

This is what happens when you don’t hand out enough muzzles to keep the pack from howling…

h/t A View from the Left

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McCain’s (Anti-Choice) Hail Mary

by matttbastard

Rounding up coverage of Biden reaction last week, I quoted former Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson, who thought that Obama going the old white political insider route “gives an opening to the McCain campaign to pick a woman or make an out-of-the-box selection.” Well, today the McCain campaign took that opening and charged through it:

(h/t Petulant for the vid)

Now, before you get all ZOMG glass ceiling shattered!!1 at the prospect of a female veep (which begs the question: why didn’t McCain vet Senator Clinton, hmm? No. Re. Spect.) keep in mind that Palin is, by and large, a Trojan hammer, as NARAL president Nancy Keenan outlines in the following press release:

Washington, D.C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said that Sen. John McCain’s selection today of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate is further evidence that a McCain presidency will be just another four years of the same old Bush-style anti-choice policies. Just like McCain, Palin opposes a woman’s right to choose. Palin has also stated her opposition to abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

“John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate proves just how rigid and extreme his administration would be when it comes to a woman’s right to choose,” Keenan said. “For 25 years, McCain has opposed a woman’s right to choose, and we know that he will continue to push anti-choice policies in the White House. McCain’s pick of anti-choice Sarah Palin is further evidence that his White House will be just another four years of Bush-style policies. Any remaining doubts about McCain’s extreme anti-choice position should be put to rest when voters learn about the combined anti-choice records of Sarah Palin and John McCain.”

Palin, a member of the anti-choice group Feminists for Life, said during her campaign for governor that she is opposed to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest. [Juneau Empire, “Abortion Draws Clear Divide in State Races,” accessed 8/29/08 and Anchorage Daily News, “Governor’s Race: Top contenders meet one last time to debate,” 11/03/06.]

“Americans are tired of the kind of divisive anti-choice policies that Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin have pledged to continue to support. The contrast between pro-choice Sen. Obama and anti-choice Sen. McCain is clear. Voters are looking for a leader who respects women’s freedom and privacy. Barack Obama is that leader.”

Sen. McCain’s selection of Palin as his vice-presidential running mate is especially troublesome for the unique audience of women voters NARAL Pro-Choice America is targeting: Independent and Republican pro-choice women in suburban and exurban swing districts. These women play a pivotal role in the presidential election. Recent polling confirms how, once these voters know McCain’s extreme opposition to a woman’s right to choose and family planning, they will switch parties to support Sen. Barack Obama.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, which tracks all choice-related votes in Congress and ranks all 50 states on the status of women’s reproductive rights, classifies Sarah Palin as anti-choice.

Information about the polling can be found here. Learn more about NARAL Pro-Choice America’s actions to educate voters on McCain’s anti-choice record at www.MeetTheRealMcCain.com.

This 2005 Nerve article by Lynn Harris gives some background on Feminists for Life:

According to its tastefully designed website, FFL — describing itself as a “nonsectarian, nonpartisan, grassroots organization … shaped by the core feminist values of justice, nondiscrimination, and nonviolence” — “recognizes that abortion is a reflection that our society has failed to meet the needs of women.” The goal of the group: “systematically eliminating the root causes that drive women to abortion — primarily lack of practical resources and support — through holistic, woman-centered solutions.”
Well, that’s refreshing. No railing against the ladies for making selfish choices, no little pictures of tiny feet. A commitment to non-violence, a focus on the “root causes” — they use the word ” holistic,” for God’s sake. It all sounds entirely reasonable, doesn’t it?
Try radical. The group believes abortion is an act of violence that is unacceptable under any circumstances. Unacceptable under any circumstances. Including rape, incest, major fetal defects, and danger to the mother’s life. This position — “holistic solutions” aside — puts [FFL] to the right of their sister organization, Attila the Hun for Life.

Not only that, but FFL is sketchy about birth control. “Preconception issues, including abstinence and contraception, are outside of our mission,” reads their website. “Some FFL members and supporters support the use of non-abortifacient contraception while
others oppose contraception for a variety of reasons.” So it’s not clear precisely how FFL would go about reducing unwanted pregnancies. Or, for that matter, rape and incest.

Katha Pollitt disputes FFL’s appropriation of the ‘feminist’ moniker:

It is indeed feminist to say no woman should have to abort a wanted child to stay in school or have a career–FFL’s line is thus an advance on the more typical antichoice position, which is that women have abortions to go to Europe or fit into their prom dress. You can see why their upbeat, rebellious slogans–“refuse to choose,” “question abortion,” “women deserve better”–appeal to students. (But what do those students think when they find that the postabortion resources links are all to Christian groups and that FFL’s sunny pregnancy-assistance advice includes going on food stamps or welfare?) Exposing the constraints on women’s choices, however, is only one side of feminism. The other is acknowledging women as moral agents, trusting women to decide what is best for themselves. For FFL there’s only one right decision: Have that baby. And since women’s moral judgment cannot be trusted, abortion must be outlawed, whatever the consequences for women’s lives and health–for rape victims and 12-year-olds and 50-year-olds, women carrying Tay-Sachs fetuses and women at risk of heart attack or stroke, women who have all the children they can handle and women who don’t want children at all. FFL argues that abortion harms women–that’s why it clings to the outdated cancer claims. But it would oppose abortion just as strongly if it prevented breast cancer, filled every woman’s heart with joy, lowered the national deficit and found Jimmy Hoffa. That’s because they aren’t really feminists–a feminist could not force another woman to bear a child, any more than she could turn a pregnant teenager out into a snowstorm. They are fetalists.

All of which makes me wonder if, by picking Palin as his running mate, McCain is actually making a play for pro-life Evangelicals and Catholics, rather than disaffected Clinton voters. By tapping a socially conservative abortion foe, the McCain campaign may be attempting to once again make the Christian Right vote a factor in November, after many believed religious conservatives didn’t trust McCain enough to wholeheartedly support him. David Waters of WapO’s On Faith points to a recent CBSNews.com interview with Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission:

CBSNews.com: Who’s on the list of people mentioned for VP that you think would most excite Southern Baptists and other members of the conservative faith community?

Richard Land: Probably Governor Palin of Alaska, because she’s a person of strong faith. She just had her fifth child, a Downs Syndrome child. And there’s a wonderful quote that she gave about her baby, and the fact that she would never, ever consider having an abortion just because her child had Downs Syndrome. She’s strongly pro-life.

She’s a virtual lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. She would ring so many bells. And I just think it would help with independents because she’s a woman. She’s a reform Governor. I think that, from what I hear, that would be the choice that would probably ring the most bells… .

And, true to Land’s prediction, (church) bells are ringing in exultation, as noted by Waters:

Evangelical leaders were elated Friday.

Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council:

“Sarah Palin clearly addresses the issues so many conservatives are concerned about. It balances out the ticket,” said Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council. “She’s also really a checkmate for the Democratic Party because folks who were looking to make history for Barack Obama can make history by voting for John McCain in seeing the first woman elected to the vice-presidency. It was a very strategic move by John McCain.”

Pro-life advocates and website were buzzing Friday about McCain’s choice.

“Sarah Palin is the whole package. There couldn’t be a better vice presidential pick,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an influential pro-life PAC. “By choosing the boldly pro-life Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has taken his stand as the one true, authentic pro-life ticket.”

“[T]he one true, authentic pro-life ticket.” I have a feeling McCain’s [deliberately ambiguous] latter day pro-life branding effort has completely answered any lingering doubts conservative Christian voters may have held regarding his commitment to key socon issues. Instead of an ‘out of the box’ decision, choosing Palin as his VP nominee amounts to more of the same from John McCain: “a classic, Rovian appease-the-base choice.”

Update: Ramesh Ponnuru believes the cons outweigh the pros with regards to Palin as VP. Interesting analysis, as Ponnuru is, theoretically, representative of the market being targeted.

Update 2: More on the conservative reaction to Palin @ The Great Orange Satan (h/t Chet).

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CMA Opposes Bill C-484

by matttbastard

The Canadian Medical Association voted Wednesday (“by a wide margin”, according to the Edmonton Sun) to come out against C-484, The Unborn Victims of Crime Act:

Dr. Robert Ouellet, who assumed the CMA presidency yesterday, said the physician group opposes the bill.

“It’s not about abortion, being for or against abortion,” Ouellet said. “It’s being against making doctors criminals.”

Ouellet said the CMA has a legal paper suggesting the bill, if passed, could make a doctor who performs an abortion vulnerable to charges.

h/t Fern Hill

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Well it’s about goddamn time (C-484 edition)

by matttbastard

crime scene!

The Canadian Press:

Stephane Dion vowed Thursday that Liberals will block passage of a Tory bill that some fear might re-open the dormant abortion debate.

“I want to give my word to all the women of Canada that the Liberal Party of Canada is against to reopen woman’s right to decide as a debate,” the Liberal leader pledged.

[…]

Dion indicated that he shares the view that the bill would reopen the abortion debate and vowed: “We will not allow that to happen.”

More from JJ and fern.  H/t Impolitical.

Related: Via fern, Susan Delacourt reports that Rona Ambrose is apparently trying to atone for past sins against the party by using her uterine authority to sanctify unholy pro-C-484 talking points.

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Apparently God does hand out cookies

by sassywho

As a resident of Kansas, I can’t tell you how much I laughed my ass off reading this trademark lawsuit, which basically boils down to a pissing contest between 2 anti-abortion extremists. I’ll break it down for ya: one charismatic dude is pissed off because another charismatic dude stole his namesake. This happened largely because extremist dude #1 (aka Randall Terry) did not register/trademark his gravy-train organization, the infamous radical anti-choice activist group Operation Rescue, fearing monetary damages  as a result of decades of harassment directed towards abortion providers (and women exercising their right to choose). Extremist dude #2 (aka Troy Neman) apparently saw the $$ signs and capitalized on the namesake and bidnez of embryo-saving.

It’s a long statement from extremist dude #1, and it does choke you up a bit when you read the part of how the guy lost his family, spent time in jail and basically became a savior for unborn bayyybeees, yet he couldn’t even save his own family from such unchristian-like behaviors. Honestly though, what would a trademark lawsuit be without the discussion of monetary value? The stakes are high when using a brand that became famous by terrorizing women and health care providers, and Extremist dude # 2 can’t afford to lose his place in the anti-choice hierarchy.

The pdf file is a bit lengthy to give a brief synopsis. However, it is summer, and if you are looking for a trashy read that includes Jimmy Buffet, The Chronicles of Narnia, bullies, threats and good ol’ fashioned blackmail, go check it out. Or, you can always wait for that used-car salesman snake oil salesman Troy Newman to roll into town with his Truth Trucks; I’m sure he would be happy to tell you why using the name Operation Rescue is valuable necessary.

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Letting Random YouTube Commenters Do the Hard Goddamn Work For Me (OMGWTFBBQ ABORTIFACIENTS!!!1 Edition)

by matttbastard

Sez myspace.com/stopabortifacients

(“Male
34 years old
CHICAGO, Illinois
United States “):

Sez YouTube commenter lilsasami (in response to Mr. “I <3 pre bornz almost as much as I <3 JPII”):

Oh my god! I’ve been abortin’ my four celled babies!

Christ, just when I think the [lifers] can’t get any dumber they come out with this shit. Congratulations loons, you just took crazy to a whole new level.

lilsasami = EPIC WIN.

Related: Kathryn Joyce on the overwhelmingly insipid upcoming national anti-contraception action event, Protest the Pill Day ’08: The Pill Kills Babies (h/t Fern Hill).

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Why You Should Be Worried About Bill C-537

by matttbastard

Professor Connie Rudnick interviews Lynn M. Paltrow, Executive Director, National Advocates of Pregnant Women, on the hidden anti-contraception agenda of anti-choice activists.

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All I Really Needed to Know I Learned From Conservative Private Members Bills

by matttbastard

crime scene!

Via Fern Hill, JJ points out the following little educational tidbit contained in Bill C-537, the latest piece of stealth anti-choice legislation to be privately introduced by yet another one of those fetus-fetishizing MPs lurking in the Conservative backbench (hidden agenda wha?):

This enactment protects the right of health care practitioners and other persons to refuse, without fear of reprisal or other discriminatory coercion, to participate in medical procedures that offend a tenet of their religion, or their belief that human life is inviolable. …‘human life’ means the human organism at any stage of development, beginning at fertilization or creation.

Huh. And to think that all these years I was under the mistaken impression that life didn’t begin until 40. Well, that’s the last time I’ll ever internalize a pithy (if catchy) life lesson given by a lying so-and-so like Sophie Tucker (who quite obviously felt that the lives of anyone 39 and under held little-to-no value [insert hyperbolic Godwin violation here]).

Go read Alison, Fern, pale [edit: and Prole], the regina mom, Laura @ we move to canada, 900 ft Jesus, and my fellow genteel purveyor of bipartisan comity, Canadian Cynic, for more details on this latest incremental assault on reproductive freedom–and then commence to agitatin’.

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Read This Now

 by matttbastard

fetal-homicide-bill.jpg

Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada has an op-ed up at the National Post’s website that ably refutes right-wing spin on just who (or what) will be “protected” by Bill C-484 the proposed fetal homicide bill.

A sample:

Our justice system already allows for harsher penalties for aggravated crimes. The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada supports such remedies, and we’ve also called for better measures to reduce violence against pregnant women, who are at increased risk of domestic violence. Further, we’ve advocated the use of Canada’s hate crime legislation (which has a gender clause) and even suggested passing a specific law to mandate increased penalties for attackers of pregnant women.

Giving separate legal status to a fetus is an unnecessary approach that could endanger not only abortion rights, but the rights of all pregnant women. Fetal homicide laws are prevalent in the U.S., but have done nothing to reduce violence against pregnant women. Instead, they have been used to arrest and prosecute pregnant women for their behaviour, and to justify restrictions on abortion — even when such laws exclude abortion and pregnant women from criminal liability. Our fear that this bill will be used in a similar way in Canada is not unjustified.

As they say, read the whole damn thing.

Related: Fern can hear a dogwhistle–can you?

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PSA: Fight Back Against Anti-Choice Op-Eds and Articles

by matttbastard

from the ARCC-CDAC

Hi everyone, There’s been a steady stream of anti-choice op-eds and articles published in the media lately, regarding Bill C-484, which passed Second Reading in Parliament on March 5. This bill would create a separate offence for killing a fetus when a pregnant woman is attacked. It endangers abortion rights by creating fetal personhood, and would also interfere with the autonomy of all pregnant woman.

We’d like your help in countering the anti-choice misinformation around this bill. We’d also like to show support to the writers opposing the bill.

Could you please take a moment to write a letter or letters to the editor? Below are links to recently published pieces as well as how to send your letters. If you need the full text of an article, let us know (some papers require that you purchase online articles.)

Letters should be brief, forceful, and meaningful in expression – pithy.
Providing your unique or provocative perspective will increase the chance of publication.

The receipt and publication of many, many letters would certainly send a clear message of opposition to this bill to both the media and the public. Please also cc your letter to your MP.

For further information on the bill, visit our website at http://www.arcc-cdac.ca

From the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada info@arcc-cdac.ca

————–

Today’s bullies – yesterday’s feminists
Barbara Kay, National Post Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2008
http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/sto … ?id=368477
Letter to the editor:
http://www.nationalpost.com/contact/let … the+Editor

Layton keeping eye on Stoffer regarding unborn-child bill Stephen Maher, The Chronicle Herald, Published: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 http://thechronicleherald.ca/Canada/1042959.html
Letter to the editor: letters@herald.ca

Anti-abortion billboard branded ‘misleading, false’
Joe Matyas, London Free Press, Sun Media, Published: Tuesday, March 11 http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/CityandRegi … 1-sun.html
Letter to the editor:
http://lfpress.ca/cgi-bin/comments.cgi? … &s=letters

Epp elated to see bill head to committee Park MP vows to continue fight to make bill law in spite of NDP axe during second phase Michael Simpson, Sherwood Park / Strathcona County News, March 11, 2008 http://www.sherwoodparknews.com/News/383058.html
Letter to the editor:
http://cgi.bowesonline.com/pedro.php?id=22&x=contact

Canadian women need a fetal homicide law
Suzanne Fortin, National Post Published: Monday, March 10, 2008
http://www.nationalpost.com/todays_pape … ?id=364293
Letter to the editor:
http://www.nationalpost.com/contact/let … the+Editor

A killer of two; Fetus deserves legal status when mother is murdered Posted By Hoy, Claire
http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDi … x?e=939059
Letter to the editor:
http://www.thesudburystar.com/feedback1 … orialemail

IWD 2008: so many butts to kick, so little time Rabble staff, Rabble, Published: March 8, 2008 http://www.rabble.ca/news_full_story.sh … 328&rXn=1&
Join the online discussion at:
http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb. … 4&t=001355

Bill to protect ‘the unborn’ is the wrong approach Antonia Zerbisias, The Toronto Star, Published Friday, March 7, 2008
http://www.thestar.com/living/article/310182
Letter to the editor: lettertoed@thestar.ca

Unborn-rights bill passes new stage
Mia Rabson, Winnipeg Free Press, Published Friday, March 7, 2008 (also printed in Victoria Times Colonist) http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/ … 0088c.html
Letter to the editor:
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/info/l … index.html

Pro-choice radicals oppose ‘unborn victims’ crime bill Parliamentary vote stirs up abortion debate Mark Hasiuk, Vancouver Courier Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2008
http://www.canada.com/vancouvercourier/ … =15586&p=1
Letter to the editor:
http://www.canada.com/vancouvercourier/letters.html

Good reasons for all sides to support this unborn bill Lorna Duek, Globe and Mail, Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2008 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ … login=true
It appears you need to be a ‘Globe Insider’ to write online letters to the editor at the Globe and Mail. But, if any of you are…

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