Holy fuck!

Apr. 30th, 2007 02:38 pm
ebonlock: (women's rights)
I'm sure this terrorist will be winging his way to Gitmo any second now...yep, any second...

A 27-year-old Austin man was arrested on Friday and charged with placing an unexploded bomb containing some 2,000 nails outside an abortion clinic in the state's capital.

The explosive device also included a propane tank and a mechanism "akin to a rocket," Austin Police Commander David Carter said.

The device was discovered on Wednesday in the parking lot of the Austin Women's Health Center, police said.

The Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force -- made up of federal, state and local law enforcement authorities -- arrested Paul Ross Evans, who authorities said was on parole for an unspecified crime.

If someone can explain to me how this isn't domestic terrorism I'd really like to hear it. I'd also like to know why this isn't getting any real coverage in the news.
ebonlock: (Brock pissed)
Yes, still more unrelentingly dumb commentary on the V Tech shootings:

Camille Paglia, professor of humanities and media studies at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and author of Sexual Personae, believes Cho is emblematic of the crisis of masculinity in America. “Women have difficulty understanding the mix of male sexual aggression with egotism and the ecstasy of self-immolation,” she says. Or to quote Martin Amis on that other killer, Fred West: he became “addicted to the moment where impotence becomes prepotence”. […]

Cho is a classic example of “someone who felt he was a loser in the cruel social rat race”, Paglia says. The pervasive hook-up culture at college, where girls are prepared to sleep with boys they barely know or fancy, can be a source of seething resentment and alienation for those who are left out.

“Young women now seem to want to behave like men and have sex without commitment. The signals they are giving are very confusing, and rage and humiliation build up in boys who are spurned again and again.”

Yeah, it's all the women's fault! If they'd only dated (but not slept with!) him everything would've been just fine. But wait, there's more:

“Young women now seem to want to behave like men and have sex without commitment. The signals they are giving are very confusing, and rage and humiliation build up in boys who are spurned again and again.”

So if I'm understanding this all correctly Cho went on a killing spree because the women around him were too promiscuous with most guys but not promiscuous enough with him which undermined his masculinity and created rage and humiliation. And as we all know the natural outcome for this kind of thing is to go buy a couple of semi-automatic weapons and shoot 'til you feel better. I have to imagine that these morons keep coming up with goofier and goofier theories on purpose, to keep the rest of us from actually talking about the real issues regarding gun control, the plight of the mentally ill, and the need for a higher level of legal response to the problem of stalking. I mean if the problem here is just liberalism or feminism then we don't have to have a serious discussion that actually, you know, makes some goddamn, positive change and saves lives. Much simpler to just spend our time coming up with even fruit-loopier explanations for why Cho snapped and went on his spree.
ebonlock: (Brock pissed)
The next person who says "Oh the Supreme Court ruling isn't a big deal, I mean it's just for that one icky procedure after all, don't get your panties in a twist", gets kicked right in the nads:

Elated and emboldened, anti-abortion activists in state after state are planning to push for stringent new limits on second- and third-trimester abortions in the hopes of building on their victory Wednesday at the Supreme Court.

By a 5-4 vote, the justices upheld a federal ban on a procedure critics call "partial-birth abortion," which involves partially delivering the fetus, then crushing its skull. The ruling included strong language asserting the state's "legitimate, substantial interest in preserving and promoting fetal life."

Advocates on both sides of the abortion debate predicted the ruling would spur a flood of legislation.

"We're moving beyond putting roadblocks in front of abortions to actually prohibiting them," said Troy Newman, president of Operation Rescue, a national anti-abortion group based in Wichita, Kan. "This swings the door wide open."

He and other strategists said they hope to introduce legislation in a number of states that would:

-- Ban all abortion of viable fetuses, unless the mother's life is endangered.

-- Ban mid- and late-term abortion for fetal abnormality, such as Down syndrome or a malformed brain.

-- Require doctors to tell patients in explicit detail what the abortion will involve, show them ultrasound images of the fetus and warn them that they might become suicidal after the procedure.

-- Lengthen waiting periods so women must reflect on such counseling for several days before obtaining the abortion.

Scott at Lawyers, Guns, and Money adds this:

# Don't take assertions by the Court about whether they're overturning precedents or not at face value. What matters is the substance of the ruling, not how the Court characterizes past precedents. (The Court went out of its way to avoid saying that they were overturning Plessy in Brown, and then applied it as if it meant exactly that.) Moreover, the Roberts/Alito strategy of quietly gutting precedents--epitomized in this case--is much worse for those who oppose their legal goals than the Thomas/Scalia willingness to overturn precedents directly and honestly. The result of this type of case is a sharp restriction in the reproductive freedom of women without the political benefits of an outright reversal.

# Making it much harder to successfully strike an abortion statute on facial grounds, as the Court has just done, may seem like a mere technicality but is a big deal. I explain why here. Not only will this change in the standard applied by Casey make litigation to protect a woman's reproductive freedom much more expensive and difficult, but it will have the perverse effect of making the fact that abortion regulations almost invariably have much more impact on poor, rural women an argument in their favor.

# The next time someone claims that overturning Roe would "send the issue back to the states," make sure to point out that they don't have any idea what the hell they're talking about.

# And finally, let's also remember the underlying gender assumptions of those who support the power of the states and the federal government. Ann has already noted this powerful passage in Justice Ginsburg's brilliant dissent: "Revealing in this regard, the Court invokes an antiabortion shibboleth for which it concededly has no reliable evidence: Women who have abortions come to regret their choices, and consequently suffer from '[s]evere depression and loss of esteem.' Because of women's fragile emotional state and because of the bond of love the mother has for her child,' the Court worries, doctors may withhold information about the nature of the intact D&E procedure. The solution the Court approves, then, is not to require doctors to inform women, accurately and adequately, of the different procedures and their attendant risks. Instead, the Court deprives women of the right to make an autonomous choice, even at the expense of their safety. This way of thinking reflects ancient notions about women's place in the family and under the Constitution ideas that have long since been discredited." Given Alito's assumption that the state has the same interest in regulating married adult women as it has in regulating children, that he would vote to uphold this ban isn't exactly shocking.


Jul. 21st, 2006 08:08 am
ebonlock: (Flying Spaghetti Monster)
From yesterday's Jackson Clarion-Ledger:

...Activists from Operation Save America, formerly known as Operation Rescue, have been in Jackson since Saturday for eight days of protests against [Mississippi]'s only abortion clinic, the Jackson Women's Health Organization in the Fondren neighborhood.

During a demonstration at the Capitol on Tuesday, anti-abortion activists tore up pages from the Quran, the Muslim holy book, along with a gay pride flag and copies of six U.S. Supreme Court rulings related to religion in public schools, sodomy and abortion.

The group intended to burn the items at the Capitol but couldn't because it didn't have a permit, said Operation Save America volunteer Pat McEwen, a retired college professor from Palm Bay, Fla.

Instead, the activists burned the Quran and other items Tuesday evening in the parking lot outside Making Jesus Real Church in Pearl, McEwen said. Police confirmed the burning....

What is it with fundies and burning things? And what the hell do gay pride flags and the Quran have to do with abortions anyway?

via No More Mister Nice Blog
ebonlock: (wtf kara)
Louisiana, the rape and incest state!

Gov. Kathleen Blanco said Thursday that she'll sign a near-total ban on abortion - without exceptions for rape or incest victims - that is nearing final legislative passage.

The Louisiana House and Senate have approved the measure by Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa, but it awaits one final approval from the Senate of House changes before it reaches Blanco's desk. It only would allow abortion in cases where the woman's life is in danger or when childbirth would permanently harm her health.

The bill could only go into effect if the U.S. Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision is overturned.

"I anticipate signing that bill. It's got a safety measure for extreme situations for the life of the mother and some other health issues," Blanco said in an interview with The Associated Press.

She said she believed an exception for rape and incest victims to get an abortion, a proposal rejected by both the House and Senate, would have "been reasonable," but she said she wouldn't reject the bill for that reason....

In honor of this I believe we should have a new state motto competition, please add yours in the comments.

Lousiana: Get your rape on!

Lousiana: All your wombs are belong to us

Lousiana: Barefoot and pregnant, it's the law

El Gilead

Apr. 10th, 2006 12:55 pm
ebonlock: (women's rights)
This piece on El Salvador's militant pro-life laws is just horrifying:

"El Salvador, however, has not only a total ban on abortion but also an active law-enforcement apparatus — the police, investigators, medical spies, forensic vagina inspectors and a special division of the prosecutor's office responsible for Crimes Against Minors and Women, a unit charged with capturing, trying and incarcerating an unusual kind of criminal.
...then the uterus is sent to the Forensic Institute, where the government's doctors analyze it and retain custody of her uterus as evidence against her."

The logical end to the pro-life perspective for all the world to see. The sad thing is there are far too many folks in this country who are probably applauding this article.
ebonlock: (women's rights)
This post on Plan B (full of facts, rather than truthiness), what it really does and why the wingnuts are really upset about it is a must read:

Put two pieces of the story together: a spike in LH levels triggers ovulation and progesterone suppresses LH. Hmmm. This suggests an idea. If you wanted to prevent ovulation, how would you do it?

(Consider this a test. Imagine that Jeopardy jingle playing right now.)

Time's up—I bet everyone came up with the right answer, though. Giving someone a large dose of progesterone would shut down LH production, so there would be no ovulation, so no egg would be released, and any sperm happening to be in the woman's reproductive tract would find nothing to fertilize.

You have just figured out what is called Plan B contraception. It is a form of birth control that tells the woman's ovaries to hold off on releasing any eggs for a short while. It's called emergency contraception, because it is used by a woman who has, for whatever reason (rape, a broken condom, misplaced enthusiasm, second thoughts, anything) had unwanted sperm in her reproductive tract, and she wants to make sure that this isn't the moment her ovaries happen to pop a follicle.

Plan B is not an abortion.

More behind the cut )
ebonlock: (Jesus Pony)
This is a must read:

I wasn't sure whether to use chorizo or bacon in my paella last weekend, so I called South Dakota state senator Bill Napoli and asked him to make my decision for me.

Stephanie McMillan inspired me to contact Bill -- one of the most vocal [opponents] of the new state ban on virtually all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. McMillan's brilliant cartoon, which has been making the rounds of the blogosphere, lampoons Napoli's conviction that women can't be trusted to make decisions about our own bodies -- and conveniently provides his work and home numbers.

Even if you don't recognize Bill Napoli's name, you've probably heard of him. He's the South Dakota state senator who created a big splash on the PBS NewsHour earlier this month with his detailed -- some might say prurient -- description of an "acceptable rape" that would merit an exemption from the state's abortion ban.

I'll say this for the senator: he returned the message I left on his home machine promptly, which would have been very useful except that he said he'd never heard of paella (or Google, when I suggested that he look up some recipes online). Even my description of the dish's primary ingredients didn't seem to help him with my chorizo/bacon quandry. So we shelved the paella dilemma and moved on to the abortion ban...

Do go read the rest. via Pandagon
ebonlock: (Callisto)
Many thanks to Aelf for forwarding me this:
Giago: Oglala Sioux president on state abortion law

"When Governor Mike Rounds signed HB 1215 into law it effectively banned all abortions in the state with the exception that it did allow saving the mother’s life. There were, however, no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. His actions, and the comments of State Senators like Bill Napoli of Rapid City, SD, set of a maelstrom of protests within the state.

Napoli suggested that if it was a case of “simple rape,” there should be no thoughts of ending a pregnancy. Letters by the hundreds appeared in local newspapers, mostly written by women, challenging Napoli’s description of rape as “simple.” He has yet to explain satisfactorily what he meant by “simple rape.”

The President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Reservation, Cecilia Fire Thunder, was incensed. A former nurse and healthcare giver she was very angry that a state body made up mostly of white males, would make such a stupid law against women.

“To me, it is now a question of sovereignty,” she said to me last week. “I will personally establish a Planned Parenthood clinic on my own land which is within the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation where the State of South Dakota has absolutely no jurisdiction.”

Strong words from a very strong lady. I hope Ms. Fire Thunder challenges Gov. Rounds and the state legislators on this law that is an affront to all independent women."

President Fire Thunder is my new hero.

Edit: Hat tip to the always well informed [livejournal.com profile] kirbyk

Want to help out? [livejournal.com profile] kathrynt has a post up with all the contact info: http://kathrynt.livejournal.com/366823.html

I'll be sending along good wishes and a check to help out the effort today!

For those playing the home game, here are the governor of SD's latest results in the polls:

I thought people would enjoy knowing that Mike Rounds, the South Dakota governor who signed the abortion ban, has seen his approval/disapproval numbers go from 72-23 in February to 58-38 in March. He doesn't have a challenger for 2006, though that could change soon. I was sort of guessing that this abortion ban would blow up in its proponents' faces -- pro-lifers outnumber pro-choicers in South Dakota only 49-47.

Let's hope that the birth-control-denying state legislators of Missouri are next.
ebonlock: (Callisto)
She Wanted It

The victim of the vicious, videotaped Orange County rapes made her statement to the judge during the rapists’ sentencing.

He proceeded to tell me a videotape was given to the police that unveiled myself being brutally gang-raped by three men, the three men that I gave all my trust to and thought were my friends.


The harassment and torture started immediately after the assault became known to the public. It started with private investigators sitting in front of our house day in and day out, watching our every move. Our family’s privacy was completely eliminated. The private investigators got worse when they began watching my parents at their places of work. One day I was driving home and a private investigator began following me. I panicked. I did not know what to do. I called my mom on her cell phone for help. All she could do was tell me to drive to the police station and try to calm down. In the parking of the police station the private investigator cornered me and began taking pictures of me…..

The next big event was when fliers were placed in all the mailboxes, local stores of my neighborhood. They asked for anyone with information on the Newport Beach assault that occurred on or about July Fourth to call a number. That flier said my last name. My family never sent out the fliers like they portrayed. It was the families of these three men. Now my entire neighborhood knew I was Jane Doe, the 16-year-old girl that was gang-raped…..

After everyone in my neighborhood found out my identity, my family and I thought it was best for me to transfer to a new high school and start off fresh where no one knew who I was. I was in such fear of the new kids in my new school finding out who I was. I registered at my new high school under a different name. These men had not only taken my life, but now they had taken my identity and who I was. The first few weeks of my junior year went as planned. No one knew about my past, but that quickly changed when people hired by these men came to my school and stood in the parking lot screaming out my real name as I was walking with my friends. I was stopped by a man who served me papers right in front of my new friends. Then he proceeded to tell them who I was. I wanted to curl up and die. So much for no one knowing.

But if you think that's bad, just read what the defense had to say:

“The things she wanted done were done,” said John Barnett, counsel for Nachreiner. “It’s disgusting and it’s awful. Who would consent to this? Jane Doe. Nobody is going to argue this isn’t morally outrageous. It is, but it was a choice. . . . This is exactly what she wanted. They believed her when she says she wanted to be a porn star.”

The videotape details behind the cut because they are quite explicit and deeply disturbing. )
I'm afraid I can't think of a punishment that could begin to equal what they did to this young girl. And six year prison sentences don't even begin to come close.
ebonlock: (Colbert Report)
All your uteruses belong to us:

Today the United States Senate is considering a bill that would have a serious and damaging impact on health coverage for women across the United States. The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (HIMMAA), introduced by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) would allow insurance companies to ignore nearly all state laws that require insurance coverage for certain treatments or conditions, such as laws that require them to include contraceptives in their prescription plans.


For years, many insurance plans covered prescription drugs, but refused to cover birth control pills and other prescription contraceptives for women. In the past decade lawmakers in 23 states have remedied this inequity and enacted contraceptive coverage laws. Under HIMMAA women will lose contraceptive-equity protections currently guaranteed by state law.

Ok, a little TMI here, apologies to the easily squicked. I take birth control pills. Is it because I'm a flaming slut whoring her way through the male population of the Bay Area? No, though you'll have to take my word on that. Why do I take them? Well see I've got this little problem, if I take them everything's fine and my body works like it should. If I don't I tend to start bleeding every two weeks and then become anemic. And you know what? I'm not the only woman with this problem.

So if this bill were to pass my insurance company and that of many other women too, could well decide that as the meds I'm taking are just contraceptives that they don't need to cover them any longer. Me and a whole helluva lot of other women would be seriously screwed...and not in a fun way either.

Here's your multiple choice question for today:

Was the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (HIMMAA) created to...

1) Screw consumers and rake in even bigger bucks for the insurance companies

2) Clamp down even further on female sexuality

3) All of the above!

Digby says 3:

They deliver for their primary masters, the insurance companies by "streamlining" the state laws that require the companies to cover certain health needs. This mandated coverage is often aimed at women's reproductive health. Insurance companies prefer not to be required to cover anything they can get away with not covering --- and the theocrats in the republican party want to make birth control more difficult to obtain if not against the law all together. This is one of those times when the interests of the big money boys and the bedroom police can work comfortably together.
But more than anything else we must accept the fact that these people are serious. They want to outlaw abortion and they want to curtail people's access to birth control. They aren't lying. And as they've shown with gun rights, they are in it for the long haul. We must be just a stubborn as they are and seek to wear them down rather than let them wear us down.

This is not an issue for tweaking. Let's tweak on the Ten Commandments or public funds for parochial schools or something else if it is necessary to adjust for this family values crap in order to win elections. State mandated forced childbirth and denial of access to birth control cannot be negotiated or finessed. This one's going to have to be fought out head to head, day to day to a final reckoning. That's what they are going to do and if we don't recognise that and act accordingly, we will lose.
ebonlock: (Jesus Pony)
This is an excellent idea, it's a message board for women concerned about losing their right to choice, sharing info and resources.

Hat tip to Pandagon.
ebonlock: (Flying Spaghetti Monster)
I have to say I found Lance Mannion's latest post on the abortion debate both interesting and decidedly frustrating. I was trying to put my own ideas together to respond, but then Rana in the comments said it far better than I ever could:

I hate to say it, but for me the personhood of the fetus is beside the point. Presumably one of the rights of human beings is the right to control their own bodies. This is why we do not legally require people with O-negative blood to donate blood, why we do not legally require parents to donate kidneys to their children, why we do not legally require children to donate marrow to their parents, why we do not legally require anyone to give up any of their body in order to support someone else's.

It is true that a fetus, especially one that is more pre-term than one that is nearly ready to be born, lacks the ability to live without the biological contribution of the woman in whose womb it exists. So why should its need for a woman's uterus trump the woman's right to control her own body, given that a need of this kind carries no legal compulsion for any other category of person?

Now, there may be moral or ethical obligations that devolve upon the mother -- or the blood donor, or the organ donor, et al. -- in a situation like this, but those are the purview of churches and individuals, not government. I especially do not approve of the legal imposition of the moral code of a belief system I find to be vicious, rigid, and anti-woman, as if my own moral code was not good enough.

I personally would be reluctant to have an abortion if I became pregnant, because I _do_ believe in that fetuses are more than just clusters of cells, but that decision to give over my body and health to the support of another human being should be MINE. Not my partner's, not the fetus's, and certainly not that of judgemental, self-righteous people who know nothing about me or my life and couldn't care less about what happens to me during the pregnancy or either me or the child after birth.

So whether the fetus is a pre-baby or a clump of parasitic cells is not decisve to me. Either one believes that women have the same right as men, children, and fetuses to control their own bodies, in which case one must reject restrictions on abortion of any kind, or one is choosing to see women as legally inferior to the rest of humanity.

We may wish that adult female human beings behave in selfless ways, but I find it morally repugnant to single them out for legal coercion when they choose to exercise the same rights to bodily integrity that the rest of humanity can exercise unimpeded.

Yeah, that about sums it up for me.
ebonlock: (Jesus Pony)
So if you haven't heard of this yet, allow me to introduce you to the latest GOP book du jour:

Women Who Make the World Worse : and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports (Hardcover)
by Kate O'Beirne

Yes, it's just as openly self-loathing as you'd expect, one wonders that Kate has actually written a book at all as one would expect her to view such a profession as "man's work". I suppose she felt the message was important enough for her to foray into an area opened up to her by the very feminists she mocks. But as we've noted before, dear friends, somehow the wingers have built up such a resistance to hypocrisy that they don't even notice when they're soaking in it.

Fortunately thanks to the blog-o-sphere, Jesus' General has managed to get his review of the book into first place. I copy it here for your enjoyment:

Mrs. O'Beirne avoids the most dangerous feminist myth of all, January 10, 2006
Reviewer: Gen. JC Christian, patriot (Tremonton, UT United States)

I found many truths in Mrs. O'Beirne's book, truths so self-evident that I have to wonder why no one has stated them until now. For instance, how could anyone argue with her assertion that feminists exploit female war casualties to "advance the feminist agenda of androgyny and abortion." Even I have to admit that every time I hear that another woman has been sacrificed in our glorious Iraq adventure, I'm tempted to tell my wife, Ofjoshua, to throw on a pair of jeans, head for the nearest women's health clinic, and help them slaughter a whole passel of blastocyst-Americans.

But I think it's her frequent attacks against the television show, "Sex in the City," that I value most about this book. By promoting the myth that women should enjoy sex, that show has done more to destroy the institution of marriage than even homosexual unions. I think most men will agree with me when I say that there isn't a woman alive who isn't thoroughly repulsed by sex. Telling them that it should be a pleasant experience rather than a vomit-inducing one only serves to cause them to resent their husbands when the impossible isn't delivered. Hopefully, this book will help destroy that myth.

As much as I enjoyed this book, I can't give it more than a single star because it has a fatal flaw. It promotes the most destructive myth of all, the existence of lesbianism. Mrs. O'Beirne discusses it throughout the book as if it is something that is real. She doesn't seem to be able to understand that women can't have sex with each other. They don't have little soldiers.

But take a look at many of the top reviews as they shred the book, it's rather gratifying to note that there is still some sanity left in this world.
ebonlock: (Jesus Pony)
Well, not that I ever had any intention of moving there, but this is one more reason I never would:
Lawmaker's goal: Overturn Roe v. Wade
Bill would make abortion illegal in Indiana

Abortion would be illegal for most women in Indiana, including victims of rape and incest, under a bill filed this week in the Indiana House.

Indiana's legislators have chipped away at abortion for decades, imposing waiting periods and other restrictions, but the measure proposed by Rep. Troy A. Woodruff, R-Vincennes, is the first direct attempt in years to outlaw most abortions.

The only exception allowed under House Bill 1096 would be for women whose health or life would be permanently impaired if a pregnancy continued. The bill would define life as beginning at conception and make it a felony to perform all other abortions. Anyone convicted would face up to eight years in prison.

Woodruff said he expected the bill to easily pass the House. But Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Garton, R-Columbus, and Gov. Mitch Daniels questioned the prospects of the proposal.

In Indiana, 11,458 abortions were performed in 2003, the most recent year for which the Indiana State Department of Health has data. That's down from 12,109 in 1999.

Nationally, the number of abortions has dropped, too. In 2002, women had 1.29 million abortions, down from 1.36 million in 1996, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit group with offices in New York and Washington that researches reproductive health.

Woodruff said the time is right for Indiana to confront this issue.
"It's something I've prayed about, and it's weighed on my heart," said Woodruff, who also is an aide to U.S. Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind.

"It's an emotional issue," Woodruff acknowledged, but he added that he thought most Hoosiers support a ban.

An Indiana law banning most abortions most likely would be challenged in the courts and could end up as a test case before the U.S. Supreme Court to possibly overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide.

Woodruff said the issue should have been left up to the states, and he's hoping a newly constituted Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts and with the possible addition of Samuel Alito, will decide the abortion issue differently than the 1973 court did.

But Garton asks, "Why would someone want to deliberately run up court costs?" He's also troubled that the bill has no exception for rape and incest.

Planed Parenthood President and CEO Betty Cockrum said that if lawmakers want to reduce the need for abortions, they should be supporting family planning groups.

"That's how they need to spend their time and energy, and not on passing unconstitutional laws," Cockrum said.

Daniels said he opposed abortion rights but questioned whether Indiana should devote time and money to overturning Roe.

"My sense is it would have a very limited prospect of ultimate success," he said. "Ultimately, for this to change, first the heart of the country -- and maybe ultimately the view the courts take of states' rights to place some limits on abortion -- would have to evolve."
ebonlock: (Flying Spaghetti Monster)
TBogg on Target's decision to allow its pharmacists to deny women access to Plan B prescriptions:

I mentioned to the lovely and frugal Mrs. tbogg what is going on with Target and her immediate response was that she was taking her business elsewhere, and she looooves Target (which I don't for reasons too snobbish to go into here). As a Penis-American I don't have a uterus in this fight, but I do have a litmus test for who I do business with and who I vote for, and number one on that list is the right of a woman to determine what goes on in her own body, and when Theo-Americans start putting their spiritual needs before the physical needs of a woman with a very real problem, I don't have to think twice.

It's easy for me to say "boycott Target" since I like them only slightly more than Wal-Mart, but I know a lot of women in Southern California that won't take to being treated like a slut just because some pecksniff in a white coat cares more for Deuteronomy than the Hippocratic oath.

Your conscience may vary.
ebonlock: (Monarch)
Activist judges?

Judges refusing to hear abortion petitions

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A pregnant teenager went to the county courthouse in Memphis early this summer, saying she wanted an abortion. The Circuit Court judge refused to hear the case and said he would recuse himself from any others like it.

"Taking the life of an innocent human being is contrary to the moral order," the judge, John McCarroll of Shelby County Circuit Court, wrote in June. "I could not in good conscience make a finding that would allow the minor to proceed with the abortion."

The teenager was in court because Tennessee, as with 18 other states, requires minors to get a parent's permission before they can have an abortion. But the state also allows another option: The teenagers can ask a judge for permission to decide for themselves.

Judges, however, are starting to opt out. Other judges of the Shelby Circuit Court have recused themselves like McCarroll, and now, according to one judge, only four of the nine judges on the court hear such abortion applications.

Judges in Alabama and Pennsylvania also have said they will not take such cases.

The actions, similar in some ways to pharmacists' refusal to dispense drugs related to contraception or abortion, have set off a debate about the responsibilities of judges and the consequences of such recusals, including political ones when judges are elected rather than appointed.

McCarroll's decision prompted 12 experts on judicial ethics to write to the Tennessee Supreme Court in late August. The experts called his action lawless and said they feared his approach could spread through the nation and to subjects such as the death penalty, medical marijuana, flag burning and divorce.

"Unwillingness to follow the law is not a legitimate ground for recusal," the letter said.


"I didn't swear to uphold all of the laws of Tennessee except for X, Y and Z," Bailey said. "You're sworn to uphold the law whether you agree with it or not."


Professor Susan Koniak, who teaches legal ethics at Boston University and signed the letter to the Tennessee Supreme Court, said judges were free to express moral disagreement with a law but were not free to decline to enforce it.

"I expect them to bring their moral sense to a case," Koniak said in an interview. "But the law comes first."


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