TEXAS—–OMG

I’ve been out of touch the last couple of days due to network issues with wordpress but you’ll be happy to hear I’m back….hah.  And contrary to popular opinion Scott isn’t the one who’s always bringing up abortion……I am.  You might be asking yourself, why?  I’ll tell you why, because there are at least 10 states where the legal right to an abortion has been compromised to the point where they’re threatening the health of women who are in their reproductive years.

If what’s happening in Kansas is true I think it’s one of the most outrageous backwards slide in women’s healthcare that I’ve heard of recently and that’s balanced against the fact that I just found out we’re sterilizing female prisoners apparently against their will here in CA still.

Kansas

The first is a troubling provision to  redefine what constitutes a medical emergency so that pregnant women experiencing life-threatening complications — including hemorrhaging, infection and ruptured ectopic pregnancies – would be forced to wait at least 24 hours before obtaining an emergency abortion. After signing the legislation that would imperil the lives of pregnant women in medical emergencies, Republican Gov. Sam Brownback remarked: ”All human life is sacred. It’s beautiful. With this, we continue to build this culture of life in our state.”

And that brings me to Texas from the same link above:

And while Texas’ current battle over reproductive rights has grabbed unprecedented national attention, this isn’t the state’s first rodeo. During the 2011 legislative session, Texas lawmakers passed a two-year budget cutting $73 million from family planning programs. In 2012, Gov. Rick Perry dissolved the state’s partnership with the federal Women’s Health Program and forfeited millions in Medicaid funding for low-income women’s healthcare. Republican lawmakers were unabashed about the reasoning behind such extreme measures, which was, as state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, openly  acknowledged to “defund the ‘abortion industry.”

Perhaps, as many conservatives claim, there are more women out there who support these restrictive measures than I imagine there are, and so I guess we’ll see what happens now that the GOP has picked abortion as their social issue of the decade since they’ve lost the war on gay marriage.

The occupation of the Texas state capitol by angry women caught the national imagination, perhaps due to the drama of Davis’s “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” moment, which immediately went viral over the social networks. Similar mass protests by women have taken place elsewhere, too, including last week in Ohio — a pivotal presidential election state — where the Statehouse was crowded with women dissenters.

The importance of Davis’s stand, however, is the way it has inspired a nationwide discussion about the creeping encroachment on abortion rights that has been taking place without widespread media coverage in statehouses across the nation.

And I read somewhere yesterday that a pro-life protest in Austin with about 1,000 protesters bussed in from out of state was over run with over 5,000 local women and men protesting the upcoming abortion bill that’s sure to pass the TX legislature and be signed by the Governor.  I submit that this legislation is quite possibly happening not only against the will of the people but that the Texas GOP will pay a price.  Here’s a poem an abortion activist by the name of Katie Heim read yesterday which seems oddly appropriate for Texas.

If my vagina was a gun, you would stand for its rights,
You would ride on buses and fight all the fights.
If my vagina was a gun, you would treat it with care,
You wouldn’t spill all its secrets because, well, why go there.
If my vagina was a gun, you’d say what it holds is private
From cold dead hands we could pry, you surely would riot.
If my vagina was a gun, its rights would all be protected,
no matter the body count or the children affected.
If my vagina was a gun, I could bypass security,
concealed carry laws would ensure I’d have impunity.
If my vagina was a gun, I wouldn’t have to beg you,
I could hunt this great land and do all the things men do.
But my vagina is not a gun, it is a mightier thing,
With a voice that rings true making lawmakers’ ears ring.
Vaginas are not delicate, they are muscular and magic,
So stop messing with mine, with legislation that’s tragic.
My vagina’s here to demand from the source,
Listen to the voices of thousands or feel their full force.

And honestly, I keep thinking I’m done discussing the abortion issue, and then another state passes what I consider a life threatening restriction, or another Republican lawmaker makes a bone-headed statement and here I am again pointing it out.   I’m way beyond the point of caring about the issue personally, but as a woman, I think it’s important to keep the issue front and center as long as there are conservatives trying to undermine and reverse the right to abortion that women currently have to the extreme extent they’re doing it.

88 Responses

  1. I STAND WITH YOU IMSINCA… and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the poem !

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  2. I mentioned the CA sterilization report so here that is and just to prove it’s not only women with issues in the CA prison system here’s a second story re a hunger strike that 30,000 prisoners are participating in here. I don’t actually have a lot of sympathy for criminals or gang members but I think we ought to protect basic human rights and I also believe our prisons here are probably full of people who don’t necessarily belong there except that our legal system seems to want it that way.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/07/08/california_prisons_have_been_illegally_sterilizing_female_inmates.html

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/07/09/30000-california-inmates-launch-hunger-strike-against-state-sanctioned-torture/

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  3. Genie, the poem was interesting I thought considering the sexual connotation of guns. Hah

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  4. I read somewhere a pundit quoted as saying that abortion rights had their high-water mark at the Roe v. Wade decision and have been in retreat ever since.

    What all these states are doing is dangling Supreme Court bait in the water in hopes of becoming shiny enough to attract a decision either severely restricting or overthrowing Roe. It’s no secret that pro-life forces view the Roe decision akin to Plessy v. Ferguson in it’s incorrectness.

    What is less apparent is that some, Rick Santorum including, trace the real causus belli back to Griswold which allowed unrestricted marital contraception. That is where this current slippery slope ends.

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  5. Speaking of guns, Illinois legislators overrode a veto of a concealed carry bill.
    http://www.kmov.com/news/local/Illinois-enacts-nations-final-concealed-gun-law-214791381.html

    “The law as approved by the Legislature permits anyone with a Firearm Owner’s Identification card who has passed a background check and undergone gun-safety training of 16 hours—longest of any state—to obtain a concealed-carry permit for $150.”

    The $150 is poll tax. straight up keeping poor people from exercising a right.

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  6. Speaking of women, here’s another Texas heroine. She was finally escorted out.

    “It was destiny that you would discriminate against us and try to force your way inside the bodies of Texas women. Thank you! For finally working against women so publicly, and not in the shadows like you’re used to. Thank you for every single bad press conference with your bad information. Thank you for every hateful statement degrading women and girls to sex objects, and brood mares, and bald eagles, and leather wallets, like your eloquent pro-life supporters have done today.”

    Slamen warned the GOP that because of their actions against women, hundreds of thousands of women were becoming “radicalized” against Republicans and would be going after them when election time comes around. She then turned her attention to Republican Senator Donna Campbell and blasted her for claiming to be an expert on reproductive health when she is, in fact, an ophthalmologist, also known as an eye doctor, ”Thank you for being you, Texas legislature. You have radicalized hundreds of thousands of us. And no matter what you do for the next 22 days, women and their allies are coming for you. Let’s start down the line. Senator Campbell, you’re an ophthalmologist. So I won’t be making you the expert on reproductive health. We can give you all the children with chlamydia and herpes in their eyes, since we don’t have Sex Ed in this state.”

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/07/10/texas-republicans-take-verbal-beating-from-pro-choice-woman-during-abortion-bill-debate-video/

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  7. The safety lecture I think it fair. the fee is seems high. It’s no more than $50 in VA.

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  8. regarding TX, it’s nice to see anger at a overbearing regulatory state.

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  9. “So stop messing with mine”

    Works for me on both guns and abortion.

    The “high-water mark at the Roe v. Wade decision” was from the Time magazine post I put up on PL yesterday. Here it is again:

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2132761,00.html

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  10. lms:

    And contrary to popular opinion Scott isn’t the one who’s always bringing up abortion……I am.

    Thanks for pointing that out. Of course the real complaint is not so much when abortion is brought up, but rather when it is opposed. Hence the fact that I, being the one who doesn’t buy into pro-choice politics, am perpetually the bad guy.

    I read your link, and sorry, but I just have no more patience for the inability of pro-choicers to engage their opponents honestly. The pretense that women are being attacked (and hence they, of course, are defenders of “women”), or the rhetorical deceits about “women’s health” or “reproductive rights” just shows that they are more interested in demonizing their political opponents than in engaging the issue at hand in an honest manner.

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  11. lms:

    BTW…I think the poem is just ridiculous. First of all, the author conflates abortion with vaginas in order to pretend that legislation regarding abortion is actually legislation regarding vaginas. Another of those rhetorical deceits I mentioned earlier. Second, the difference between abortion rights and gun rights is so obvious it ought not need to be stated. Gun rights are explicitly mentioned and protected by the constitution, while abortion rights are not.

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  12. Gun rights are explicitly mentioned and protected by the constitution, while abortion rights are not.

    A rather disingenuous argument, don’t you think?

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  13. What’s disingenuous about it?

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  14. Scott, I don’t think it matters too much whether you actually approve of or have patience any longer with the fights some women are engaging in re the taking away of their rights to abortion. I’m going to continue to highlight the opposition to what the Republican controlled state houses are doing. I think it’s important and I’m glad some people are standing up to it. I also can’t help it if you don’t see the connection between health care and abortion and the clinics that are essentially being forced to close, including Planned Parenthood clinics.

    Look, I’ve already stated that I’m open to negotiation on the abortion issue but not as long as this is the strategy the right is engaging in.

    btw, I knew the poem was somewhat ridiculous but still effective in some ways and clever in other ways. I’m just glad people are beginning to really pay attention to what is going on and if it takes a lame poem, a filibuster or a woman being thrown out of a state house…………..so be it. I’m beginning to think that women in particular who were somewhat complacent about the issue are beginning to take notice, and they vote, so that’s a positive, imo.

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  15. “just shows that they are more interested in demonizing their political opponents than in engaging the issue at hand in an honest manner.”

    This cuts both ways. Anyone who argues that this legislation is only about clinic safety and not about banning or restricting abortion is also being dishonest.

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  16. yello:

    The Tenth Amendment? Perhaps the Fourth?

    Neither of those explicitly mention any rights to abortion.

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  17. jnc:

    Anyone who argues that this legislation is only about clinic safety and not about banning or restricting abortion is also being dishonest.

    I totally agree. That is why you will never see me promoting anyone who makes such arguments. And I certainly would never present them as anything but dishonest. Having said that, one can hardly blame those in the pro-life crowd for fighting fire with fire, especially given that SCOTUS has deprived them of the ability to win an honest political victory.

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  18. lms:

    Scott, I don’t think it matters too much whether you actually approve of or have patience any longer with the fights some women are engaging in re the taking away of their rights to abortion.

    That is not what I said. I said nothing about having no patience for the fight they are engaging in. I said I have no patience for the dishonest rhetoric they use while engaging in it.

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  19. McWing:

    What’s disingenuous about it?

    Nothing, of course. It is a straight up fact.

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    • If the jury was not present then this presents no issue, George. If the jury was present then it could be a comment on his decision not to testify and possible reversible error if he were convicted.

      The only times I ever saw a Judge do anything like this were in cases where a minor chose not to testify and there was no obvious reason why he would have made that choice and the Judge thought the defense counsel was inadequately representing the minor. These were in Juvy Ct, btw. Perhaps FL Judges regularly inquire.

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  20. It is a straight up fact.

    Of course it is, which is why your statement is disingenuous; it would never have occurred to the Founders to put anything in the Constitution about abortion any more than it would have occurred to them to write anything banning 30-round magazines.

    By invoking the second amendment to protest for gun rights while dismissing abortions rights as unconstitutional because nothing is written into the Constitution about it is just a typical Scott ploy.

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  21. Scott, if you’ve convinced yourself it’s dishonest I guess there’s not much else to say. I hope you’ll understand if I continue to fight fire with fire myself, or at least appreciate when others do on the behalf of women who would like to preserve their right to a safe abortion.

    Most political fights are not particularly fair, it’s the nature of the game. As soon as I find what you might perceive as an honest and fair fight I’ll let you know…………okay?

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  22. Here’s a fairly interesting piece on the state of play in the abortion issue and the courts.

    Now from a superficial point of view, the latest batch of state antichoice actions have focused on the relatively safe ground (politically and to a lesser extent constitutionally) of late-term abortions, where the Supreme Court has allowed some leeway in the past. But since most of the “fetal pain” laws have been accompanied by what Guttmacher calls “TRAP” measures—Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers—they are clearly intended to restrict access to all clinical abortions at any stage of pregnancy, and certainly have that effect.

    Since the current constitutional standard for abortion restrictions remains Casey v. Planned Parenthood’s ban on measures that place an “undue burden” on the right to choose, most of these new state laws are clearly in the “danger area” constitutionally. Just yesterday, a federal district court judge in Wisconsin temporarily blocked implementation of that state’s new regulations on abortion providers pending a showing that it did not violate Casey. Federal court challenges are likely in other states as well.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2013_07/the_inevitable_scotus_review_o045750.php

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  23. lms:

    I hope you’ll understand if I continue to fight fire with fire myself

    Well by fighting fire with fire I pretty clearly meant using disingenuous and dishonest rhetoric. So no, I will never understand if you do so, especially here at ATiM.

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  24. Imsinca – When Scott starts conflating absolute facts with his opinions, it’s best away to back away slowly.

    NoVa- There is no constitutional right to concealed carry. Hence, the poll tax analogy is weak. I won’t be so inflammatory as to call it disengenuous and dishonest rhetoric.

    BB

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  25. Imsinca – When Scott starts conflating absolute facts with his opinions, it’s best away to back away slowly.

    When FB starts pontificating on Scott’s rhetorical abilities its best to run away quickly.

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  26. FB:

    When Scott starts conflating absolute facts with his opinions…

    Of course I have done no such thing. That the right to bear arms is explicitly identified in the constitution is a matter of fact, not opinion. That the right to an abortion is not explicitly identified in the constitution is also a matter of fact, not opinion. Why do you feel it necessary to deny this?

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  27. I wish our threads wouldn’t devolve into personal comments about each other, it’s discouraging to me.

    One of the reasons I keep coming back to this debate, other than the obvious one of importance to me, is because the first and second and even subsequent times it was discussed were so awful that I’m trying to prove, to myself primarily, that those of us still here can do better than that. Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe I’ll give up on this subject now but I can’t promise………….. 🙂

    I did some research on the Kansas bill’s redefinition of the term “medical emergency” and my research seems to substantiate the claim the the definition may be so narrow as to actually force women and their doctors in possible life threatening situations to observe the 24 hour waiting period. I think that verifies the claim re Kansas, which I chose as an example of one of the 10 states passing restrictive and “harmful’ to women laws. The new definition is one of only two provisions in a very conservative bill, that also redefines life as beginning at fertilization, that are being temporarily halted by a Kansas judge.

    And so I don’t really think “women’s health” is a rhetorical deceit in this case nor is the $73 million budget cuts to family planning in Texas. I don’t have time to substantiate all the claims in the piece I linked but I also was selective in the quotes I chose.

    July 1, 2013 — A Kansas judge on Friday temporarily blocked provisions of a state law that require abortion providers to post certain information on their websites and redefine medical emergencies in a way that critics say could restrict abortion access, the AP/Washington Post reports (Hanna, AP/Washington Post, 6/29).

    The law takes effect July 1 (Hanna, AP/Kansas City Star, 6/30). Shawnee County District Judge Rebecca Crotty did not block other portions of the measure, including ones that ban abortions based on the sex of the fetus, block tax breaks for abortion providers and bar abortion providers’ involvement in school sex education courses. The bill also requires abortion providers to tell patients that the procedure ends the life of a “whole, separate, unique, living human being.”

    One blocked provision would mandate that abortion providers declare on their websites that the state health department’s online information about abortion and fetal development is “accurate and objective.” Among other claims, the state’s website says that a fetus can feel pain after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Abortion providers and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said there is no evidence that the statement is accurate.

    Crotty also blocked the medical emergencies provision, which attempts to align the law’s definition with the state’s policy of not allowing mental health as a reason a woman can obtain an emergency abortion. Critics said the new definition is so narrow that no woman would be exempt from the state’s 24-hour waiting period for an abortion in a medical emergency.

    http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=40751&security=3161&news_iv_ctrl=3164

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    • I wish our threads wouldn’t devolve into personal comments about each other, it’s discouraging to me.

      Understood. And agreed. It is unnecessary and uncivil and discourages open communication.

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  28. Yep, the game playing with “standing” continues:

    “Sources: PA attorney general won’t defend state’s gay marriage ban
    By Juliet Eilperin, Published: July 11 at 6:58 amE-mail the writer

    Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane will not defend the state in a federal lawsuit filed this week challenging the constitutionality of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, lawyers involved in the case said.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/07/11/sources-pa-attorney-general-wont-defend-states-gay-marriage-ban/?wprss=rss_election-2012&clsrd

    One day, this is going to come back to bite progressives and Democrats.

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    • Agree this is a bad practice, JNC. In this case, I expect the Gov’s office to defend the state ban.

      This is not the first time nor the first issue about which an AG has refused to defend. The practice is not new, and thus I think its political ramifications will not be notable. But like the holds in the Senate, this is a practice that is now being used more often and is not laudable when used generally.

      JNC, see Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926).

      Memorial of Captain Meigs, 9 Op. Att’y Gen. 462 (1860): In this opinion the Attorney General concluded that the President is permitted to disregard an unconstitutional statute. Specifically, Attorney General Black concluded that a statute purporting to appoint an officer should not be enforced: “Every law is to be carried out so far forth as is consistent with the Constitution, and no further. The sound part of it must be executed, and the vicious portion of it suffered to drop.” Id. at 469.

      The AG could determine that the Supremes of the State or SCOTUS would find the statute unconstitutional and would thus not breach an ethical duty by failing to defend the statute. But it could not be a political decision, ethically. I know this is an awful fine line for a political AG to walk.

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  29. “The AG could determine that the Supremes of the State or SCOTUS would find the statute unconstitutional and would thus not breach an ethical duty by failing to defend the statute. But it could not be a political decision, ethically. I know this is an awful fine line for a political AG to walk.”

    Given the explicit opinion that Kennedy wrote in the most recent decision, that’s not really a viable premise for the AG.

    “Unconstititional” now means “policy I disagree with”.

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    • What is the history of the PA law? Was the law ever changed to permit SSM? I think Kennedy’s due process analysis (Romer) only goes to taking away a right once granted by a state. So if PA has never recognized SSM the federal constitution (as read by the SCOTUS) does not force it to, now. So the PA AG’s position in that case would have to be based on her reading of the Court in Harrisburg.

      But if PA recognized, then withdrew recognition of SSM without showing a state compelling purpose for withdrawing a right once granted, then the PA AG would be on firm ground ethically.

      I know: angels dancing on pinheads.

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  30. “So the PA AG’s position in that case would have to be based on her reading of the Court in Harrisburg.”

    That sounds more to me like judging instead of faithfully executing the law.

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    • That sounds more to me like judging instead of faithfully executing the law.
      It comes back to the Executive having a duty to not enforce unconstitutional laws and having limited discretion to make an independent determination from the legislature.

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  31. Imagine if the Republicans tried this with the PPACA.

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    • Imagine if the Republicans tried this with the PPACA.

      That would be analogous until the Supremes ruled.

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  32. JNC — thoughts on whether i’m off the reservation on my police records request.
    I see this is a transparent gov. issue.

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  33. lms:

    I did some research on the Kansas bill’s redefinition of the term “medical emergency” and my research seems to substantiate the claim the the definition may be so narrow as to actually force women and their doctors in possible life threatening situations to observe the 24 hour waiting period.

    Your link confirms that this is what critics of the bill are claiming, but it provides no evidence that it is true, and does not provide the bill’s language which would allow readers to make their own informed judgement. What the link does tell us is that the language was designed to match existing state policy which excludes mental health as a reason to allow an emergency abortion, which suggests to me that the claim is likely not true.

    If you have the bill’s actual language then I think that would be interesting to see, but short of that I am not willing to take the word of unspecified “critics”, especially in light of the general rhetorical dishonesty with which the abortion-rights lobby so often conducts itself.

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  34. “novahockey, on July 11, 2013 at 9:49 am said:

    JNC — thoughts on whether i’m off the reservation on my police records request.
    I see this is a transparent gov. issue.”

    In terms of being a libertarian or being cynical? I’d argue your first mistake was getting involved with the neighborhood association to begin with.

    The wisdom of Bunk Moreland may be appropriate here:

    “Det. William ‘Bunk’ Moreland: [to McNulty] There you go. Givin’ a fuck when it ain’t your turn to give a fuck. ”

    http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0020627/quotes

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  35. “markinaustin, on July 11, 2013 at 9:48 am said:

    and having limited discretion to make an independent determination from the legislature.”

    The discretion seems less and less limited. Combined with the courts refusal to recognize standing from other groups, this is a pure end run and nullification of existing laws.

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    • jnc:

      See chapter 2, section 204 a3 of the PA Commonwealth’s attorney act:

      (3) It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to uphold and defend the constitutionality of all statutes so as to prevent their suspension or abrogation in the absence of a controlling decision by a court of competent jurisdiction.

      This suggests to me that she has no discretion. She should be impeached.

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  36. ” I’d argue your first mistake was getting involved with the neighborhood association to begin with.”

    well that’s certainly true.

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  37. First I caught jnc being practically liberal over the Farm Bill on PL yesterday, now you being all community-minded and such, NoVA.

    Gonna make progressives out of you both! 🙂

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  38. maybe — I might be coming at this from a different angle.

    I want the report .. because i don’t trust them to be honest about what’s going on otherwise. also, i think its needed for accountability.

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  39. “First I caught jnc being practically liberal over the Farm Bill on PL yesterday”

    Not precisely. I want them debated separately and I’m happy to cut farm subsidies first before food stamps have to take a hit.

    There’s a reason that Obama and the Democrats oppose bifurcating the farm bill, in that they know the amount of log rolling need to keep things the way they are vs debating them individually on the merits.

    The one great provision of the new separate GOP farm bill is that it repeals the 1949 legislation so that if the next farm bill expires without being reauthorized, the whole subsidy system goes away, rather than reverting to the 1949 levels.

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  40. “novahockey, on July 11, 2013 at 12:12 pm said:

    maybe — I might be coming at this from a different angle.

    I want the report .. because i don’t trust them to be honest about what’s going on otherwise. also, i think its needed for accountability.”

    Assuming the government is lying is never wrong, especially if it could affect you personally. Memberships reinstated.

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  41. “ScottC, on July 11, 2013 at 11:28 am said:

    Mark:

    The prosecution in the Zimmerman case has sought to add charges to the court’s jury instructions after the trial has been completed. Is this possibly allowable?”

    The ruling seemed reasonable. The child abuse piece was laughable as a bootstrap to a third degree murder charge which required the commission of another felony related to the killing.

    “Prosecutor Richard Mantei argued that instructions for third-degree murder should be included on the premise that Zimmerman committed child abuse when he fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin because Martin was underage.

    But defense attorney Don West called the proposed instruction “a trick,” and he accused the prosecutor of springing it on the defense at the last minute.

    “Just when I didn’t think this case could get any more bizarre, the state is alleging child abuse?” West said. “This is outrageous. It’s outrageous the state would seek to do this at this time.”

    Judge Debra Nelson denied the third-degree murder instruction, saying she was exercising caution since she was unsure if prosecutors could prove intent.

    “I just don’t think the evidence supports that,” Nelson said.

    The judge, however, agreed with the prosecution that jurors could consider manslaughter as a lesser charge.”

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  42. The one great provision of the new separate GOP farm bill is that it repeals the 1949 legislation so that if the next farm bill expires without being reauthorized, the whole subsidy system goes away, rather than reverting to the 1949 levels.

    I could get behind that. You (or somebody else around here) has consistently argued for a retirement clause (as it were) on legislation so that it goes away. I’m all for that.

    Memberships reinstated.

    Does that mean I have to give the top hat back, or can I keep it for the rest of the day?

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  43. you keep it. once you go hat, you never go back.

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  44. After reading the Hill, it looks like I’m wrong. The subsidies wouldn’t go away if the bill expired, but rather 2013 ones would be permanent. In which case, the whole thing sucks.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/agriculture/310331-house-to-vote-on-split-farm-bill-

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  45. once you go hat, you never go back

    snerk. Much like boots.

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  46. jnc:

    The ruling seemed reasonable.

    I don’t understand how even the manslaughter charge can be added after the trial is over. The defense specifically made a case against what he was charged with. If they knew that manslaughter was to be charged, perhaps the defendent would have presented a different defense. I seriously don’t understand how adding a charge, especially a lesser one, can be allowed without giving the defense a chance to rebut it.

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    • Quotation apparently from the prosecution’s summation, talking about their “star” witness in an embarrassingly transparent effort to inject race into the jury’s decision making.

      I had a dream that today a witness would be judged not on the color of her personality but the content of her testimony,” de la Rionda said.

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      • The fourth circuit pretends for the sake of Obamacare that religious freedom is not protected by the constitution.

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        • Scott, the 4th C. case is very straightforward. What is the substance of your contention? I don’t understand the case to in any way deny the rights granted by the free exercise clause.

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        • Mark:

          What is the substance of your contention.

          A religious institution that falls under the employer mandate cannot refuse to offer insurance that includes coverage for religiously objectionable activity, ie abortion. My understanding is that the 4th ruled that individuals are allowed to choose coverage that does not cover abortion, but employers must make that choice available to them. According to my reading, a religious institution must as a matter of law offer to subsidize Certain activity even if it has a religious objection to that activity.

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        • Scott, I see your contention and will reply later, I am off to the gym.

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    • Scott – statutory lesser included offenses can always be added if the evidence taken, in one reasonable direction, supports it. The Judge refused “3rd degree murder” but permitted “manslaughter”, which was in her power to do.

      Brand new charges under a different statute cannot be added. Example: testimony comes in that D robbed the deceased. Theft is a wholly different crime. It would have to be charged in a new case. Part of the reasoning for lesser included being charged late in the game is that because it is included under the same statute it can never be charged again under double jeopardy.

      Some Ds will argue against the lesser included charge if they are confident the top line charge cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Some Ds will acquiesce to it as a safety valve, especially in a death penalty case. Here I would guess that the D would have preferred all-or-nothing, from what those two former prosecutors I heard had to say.

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      • Mark:

        Thanks. I suppose I can understand the additional charge being allowed if the defendant doesn’t object. But even if the additional charge is for a lesser offense under the same statute, presumably different elements are at issue than in the higher charge, and if the defendant hasn’t been afforded a chance to specifically challenge those elements with full knowledge of what the charge is, the after-the-fact charges seem unjust to me.

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        • As a practical matter, the defense counsel always knows lesser included could be on the table.

          Prosecutor charges felony theft but only proves that $[F-1] were taken. Defense will be ready to face the lesser included misdemeanor charge.

          Prosecutor charges drunk driver with second degree murder in the collision. Defense will be ready to face the lesser included manslaughter charge.

          Usually when D raises self-defense, the evidence will be in conflict as to what the D actually did was justifiable. But that almost always raises the possibility of manslaughter or negligent homicide. The Prosecutor has limited discovery from the D because of the 5th A. So the prosecutor cannot be bound to drop the case mid trial when a D says I did not intend these consequences and thus it was not murder [but only manslaughter, haha, I’m outta here].

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        • Sam Houston tonight on PBS.

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        • Mark:

          As a practical matter defense counsel always knows lesser included could be on the table.

          Thanks.

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  47. McWing: What’s disingenuous about it?

    Scott: Nothing, of course. It is a straight up fact.”

    And there we have it. Scott stated his opinion, i.e., that there is no constitutional basis for abortion rights (in spite of repeated decisions by the Supreme Court), as a straight up fact.

    There is no argument and there can be no argument. Hence, back away.

    BB

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  48. Careful, Paul. . . somebody is going to accuse you of making a personal attack.

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  49. Maybe you and FB should have butted out Michi, since you didn’t actually have anything substantial to contribute to the topic.

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  50. Except to call out Scott on his lack of anything substantial to contribute?

    Wow.

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  51. FB:

    Scott stated his opinion, i.e., that there is no constitutional basis for abortion rights (in spite of repeated decisions by the Supreme Court), as a straight up fact.

    Except that is not what I stated. You are making that up. I said, three different times, that abortion rights are not explicitly mentioned by the constitution. That is a fact, a fact that presumably you are aware of, otherwise you wouldn’t have bothered to change what I said in order to present it as something other than a fact. Even Mich acknowledged that what I said was indeed a fact.

    This is precisely the kind of rhetorical strategy that is so common in the abortion debates and which I find so distasteful and frustrating. Abortion opponents say or do one thing, and then abortion proponents pretend as if they have said or done something entirely different in order to make their opponents seem wholly unreasonable. For example, if abortion opponents object to the fact that PP provides abortion and they do something (pass a law, reduce funding for PP) to try to stop it, abortion proponents will, for example, pretend that their opponents are opposed to “women’s health” and are trying to make it harder for women to get breast cancer screening.

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    • Scott, do you see “abortion” as a “women’s health” issue or as sui generis?

      If PP does five times as much spending on non-abortion issues as on abortions because it is a women’s health clinic, and it sees abortion as a women’s health issue, then getting shut down over abortions seems from that perspective to be based on functional opposition to women’s health.

      I get what you are saying – I think – that abortion supporters are conflating the denial of funding with something other than abortion. But from their view they are not conflating or pretending. The broad panoply of women’s health services offered are being defunded because of opposition to a single lawful women’s health service being offered. Seen from that perspective, the supporters of PP in general are speaking honestly, I think.

      Talking past each other? Sure. Pretending? I don’t think so.

      In any case, the 20 week ban and the Ambulatory Surgical Center requirement for non-surgery will be struck down by either federal trial judge in Austin and that decision will be upheld by the 5th Circuit. Will the Supremes revisit abortion? That is the goal of these statutes.

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  52. Mark:

    Scott, do you see “abortion” as a “women’s health” issue or as sui generis?

    As a political matter, it is sui generis. Obviously an abortion can impact a woman’s health for better or for ill, and may sometimes even be performed for health reasons, but political opposition to abortion has nothing at all to do with opposition to women’s health in general.

    Talking past each other? Sure. Pretending? I don’t think so.

    Well, if not pretending, then being willfully blind. I know a lot of people, indeed, I know a lot of women, who are opposed to legal abortion. Not one of them, man or woman, is opposed to “women’s health”, or opposed to breast cancer screening, or opposed to PP providing generic health services to women. What they are opposed to is a single thing…abortion. In this I very much doubt my experience is unique.

    I honestly don’t think there can be any reasonable doubt that the abortion rights lobby has taken up a deliberate political strategy of tying abortion to the much less specific and much less objectionable “women’s health” (what kind of crazy person opposes “women’s health”????) in order to take the focus off of the specific procedure which is rightly far more controversial than all of the other things they are tying it to. They know that, on it’s own, there is significant popular support for greater restrictions on abortion. So fighting over abortion itself is much more difficult politically than fighting for “women’s health services”, which can then be presented as benign things breast cancer screening, and OBGYN exams, and birth control, which of course everyone supports. It is a classic PR strategy.

    BTW, I just have to mention this because it is another rhetorical tic often used by abortion rights advocates, and you did it in your comment above…referring to abortion as a “legal health service” or a “lawful procedure” as if the fact that it is legal itself makes objections to it somehow questionable or less valid. The fact that it is legal is precisely what opponents object to. So objecting to criticism of abortion or actions taken to stop abortion by pointing out that abortion is in fact legally allowed is somewhat begging the question.

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  53. Mark and Scott, thanks for adding to the debate in a way we can all appreciate, I hope.

    Scott, I’ve always understood your objection to the pro-choice rhetoric, and what you call deception, but in the same way you know men and women who object to abortion for reasons that have nothing to do with “women’s health” I know men and women who look at the results of closing many of these clinics the same way we look at the results of abstinence only education. They cause a decline in the health of women whether that’s their actual intention or not.

    I consider the potential results of these restrictions and clinic closures and if the political strategists frame it in a way that gets others to listen IMO that’s just politics. It’s not any different than what’s been done for generations and I hate to say it but “both sides do it”. It doesn’t mean any of us believe or even agree with everything we hear and read from our own side, it just means we have the same goals in most cases. And believe it or not, over the years I’ve tried to be more careful in how I frame an argument, and I have you and Mark to thank for that………….for what it’s worth.

    And now I’m going to go off and wander the internet for an idea for a new post….lol

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  54. BTW, I think for the most part we’re getting closer to my goal of undoing the damage our first couple of abortion debates created, so thanks everyone who contributed to that. I know it’s not a goal many of you share so thanks for putting up with me. 😉

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  55. lms:

    They cause a decline in the health of women whether that’s their actual intention or not.

    That may well be true. But if health is the primary concern, then it seems to me that the solution is to get these clinics out of the abortion business, or at least out of doing abortions for non-health related reasons. That is at least as plausible a solution as expecting or trying to get abortion opponents to stop opposing these clinics because they provide health services in addition to performing abortions.

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    • at least out of doing abortions for non-health related reasons.

      An abortion is always safer than a pregnancy and child birth. If health was the sole criteria, a woman would have to sign a waiver after getting a pregnancy test stating that she understood that she was putting her life at risk by NOT getting an abortion.

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      • yello:

        An abortion is always safer than a pregnancy and childbirth.

        I assume you mean a continued pregnancy, since an abortion is not an alternative to a pregnancy, but actually requires it. And though I am no doctor, I would imagine that whether or not an abortion is safer depends upon the stage of pregnancy at which the abortion is taking place. So I doubt it is true that it is always safer than carrying the baby to its natural term.

        In any event, I’m not sure if statistics on this are available, but I suspect that most abortions are performed for reasons of convenience, not for reasons of health.

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        • I assume you mean a continued pregnancy

          I’m very glad we finally got to the definition parsing portion of the discussion. It’s always what keeps ATiM lively.

          So I doubt it is true that it is ALWAYS (emphasis added) safer than carrying the baby to its natural term.

          As well as the illogical extremes. Another ATiM hallmark.

          So the whole ‘health of the mother’ thing is just a ruse? Yes, I am sure there is some extreme situation where having an abortion would endanger the mother’s life but not being a doctor either I’m having a hard time envisioning one. Not being a woman it’s good that there are men (and women) around to take that decision away.

          In any event, I’m not sure if statistics on this are available, but I suspect that most abortions are performed for reasons of convenience, not for reasons of health.

          Probably so. But many late term abortions are for just those reasons. That lady who died in Ireland is just one case in point.

          Is health of the mother a valid reason for an abortion? And if so, who decides?

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  56. But if health is the primary concern, then it seems to me that the solution is to get these clinics out of the abortion business, or at least out of doing abortions for non-health related reasons.

    That’s kind of the whole point: it’s not your business to decide.

    The right to abortion has been ruled on–it’s constitutional.

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  57. but I suspect that most abortions are performed for reasons of convenience, not for reasons of health.

    Why should you care? It’s a constitutional right.

    I don’t like it that many people carry concealed weapons simply because they feel a need to–but that doesn’t mean that I can declare that they’re wrong for doing so.

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  58. I don’t like it that many people carry concealed weapons simply because they feel a need to–but that doesn’t mean that I can declare that they’re wrong for doing so.

    Why not? If you don’t think it’s right, why ca t you say so/declare so? It’s a constitutional right and you have a costitutional right to complain a out it as well.

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  59. yello:

    So the whole ‘health of the mother’ thing is just a ruse?

    With regard to what? I don’t doubt that there can be circumstances in which a woman’s future health requires an abortion. In such a case, citing the health of the mother as justification for allowing an abortion would be a legitimate argument. But citing it as an all purpose justification for any abortion is not, just as citing self-defense is a legitimate justification for killing someone in certain circumstances, but citing it as an all-purpose defense to all killings is not.

    Is health of the mother a valid reason for an abortion?

    Well, as you should know by now, my preference would be that abortion would be allowed up until the point of viability for any reason, at which point it should be severely restricted. After that point, I think that if a woman wants to be rid of the child inside her, it should be removed without intentionally destroying its life, which after all is the point of an abortion. That being said, while I think that “health of the mother” is too broad and ill-defined to be a useful metric, I certainly think that if a circumstance arose in which the life of the mother was in danger without getting an abortion (I can’t think of one but, again, I am not a doctor) then she should be legally allowed to get one.

    And if so, who decides?

    Who decides that a claim of self-defense when killing someone is valid? Ultimately a jury does, just as a jury ultimately makes all such judgements in our legal system.

    Like

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