Tag Archives: “personhood”

Bigot of the Week Award: August 24, Republican Party Platform

24 Aug

Bigot of the Week

This week’s bigot is no big surprise, but it helps to underscore the importance of the November election. Just a few weeks ago we gave the Hero of the Week to the committee that drafted the Democratic Party Platform. Sadly, the Republicans sank below expectations and easily won this week’s BWA. Much of the platform is standard right-wing talking points, protecting the wealthy, undermining the middle class, and avoiding equality and reality with shocking vigor. Two sections, however, are particularly loathsome.

On the matter of gay rights, the 2012 platform is even more aggressive than in 2008. This owes a great deal to the fact that Tony Perkins of the certified hate group the Family Research Council helped to draft the plank. It supports the adoption of a federal “one man one woman” amendment and explicity calls out for reversal of the strides forward made by the Obama administration, noting “its handling of immigration cases, in federal personnel benefits, in allowing a same-sex marriage at a military base, and in refusing to defend DOMA in the courts.” Professional self-loathing groups GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans weep and rend their garments while the party they irrationally support rages and rends our rights.

The platform stakes out a clear campaign in the War on Women as well. Despite the hypocritical outcry by party leaders when Rep. Todd Akin made his famous “legitimate rape” comments, the platform squares up pretty well with that Senate hopeful’s positions. It calls for a personhood amendment and the prohibition of all abortions regardless of circumstance, no exceptions. The Romneybot can dither and deceive all he wants, but when he accepts the nomination next week he’ll be the standard bearer of a party that demands that women be stripped of rights to reproductive choice. The plank includes:

Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

This odious language is not just the party’s position; it has direct bearing on some key races as well. The connection to Akin’s effort to unseat Claire McCaskill (D – MO) is obvious. Akin also voted for a stalled House bill with similar intent; his colleague in the House, Rep. Paul Ryan, also voted for that bill. Whatever the official Romney – Ryan talking points may be, the VP hopeful’s position is clearly anti-woman. This year’s language is very similar to planks included since 2000. The anti-choice section from that year was written by Tommy Thompson, the man who hopes to be the next Senator from Wisconsin. He’s running against true progressive (and out lesbian) Tammy Baldwin. It’s clear that Thompson, Akin, and Ryan must be stopped.

GOP hacks talk a good game about jobs and the economy, but their elected officials have done less than nothing to solve those problems. In the meantime, the official position of the party and its leaders is to roll back rights, oppress minorities, and protect the privileged. The choice in November just keeps getting clearer…

Checks and Balances In Action: Two Reassuring Court Decisions

2 May

Oh, right, THAT'S how it works!

One of the pillars of the United States model of government is that of checks and balances. Each of the three branches of government has discrete, clear powers that complement and control the powers of the other branches. (Well…ideally, anyway.) Given the many attacks on individual rights pursued by far-right legislatures citizen groups — especially directed at women and other minorities — the role of the courts to restrict that over-reach is critical to a functioning democracy.

This week we have good news in two different cases, both related to the War on Women. Courts in Oklahoma and Texas — the bright red Southwest — have blocked two right-wing actions that were clearly unconstitutional or in violation of Federal law.

In Oklahoma, the issue was the so-called “personhood” movement that would give every fertilized egg all the rights of a person under state law. Even though this effort has so far failed everywhere it’s been tried (even in Mississippi), anti-choice forces still pursue it as a favorite tactic to restrict women’s choices. These misogynists were attempting to put a personhood amendment to the Oklahoma constitution before voters. On Monday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously shot down initiative, declaring the effort to be a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution. Referring to a twenty-year-old Supreme Court case, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the justices rejected this absurd effort in very clear language:

The mandate of Casey is as binding on this Court today as it was twenty years ago. Initiative Petition No. 395 conflicts with Casey and is void on its face and it is hereby ordered stricken.

Also on Monday, a Federal judge in Texas blocked implementation of a recently signed rule that targeted funding for Planned Parenthood. The Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner implemented the rule which said that the Texas Women’s Health Program (which uses Federal Medicaid money), would not fund services at Planned Parenthood or any other “affiliates of abortion providers.” So, even though the services being funded are NOT abortions and are critical health services for low-income women (over 130,000 in Texas!), the Texas government wants to block service to punish one provider. Lovely. U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel was just as clear and succinct as his colleagues in Oklahoma:

Medicaid law is very clear; a state may not restrict patients’ choice of providers of services like mammograms and other cancer screenings, if those providers are qualified to deliver care covered by Medicaid.

Getting typically whiny, Texas officials are now threatening to cancel the entire health program rather than follow Federal law and support the health of the citizens they were elected to serve.

It should just be a few days before the Insupportable Rage Machine (TM) on the right starts screaming “activist judges!” The Oklahoma justices may even face an orchestrated attack like the one mounted against the Iowa Supreme Court for simply doing their jobs. We should thank all these officers of the court for doing what they were elected and appointed to do: uphold the law. Now let’s hope the Fecal Five can avoid making the wrong decision about the Affordable Care Act…

Policing Sperm as We Police Women’s Eggs

12 Feb

At Least One Smart Voice in Oklahoma

Oh, how I love Constance Johnson the state Senator from Oklahoma.  Sadly, she may be one of the only intelligent voices left in Oklahoma.  Sen. Johnson is proposing a “Spilled Semen” amendment to Oklahoma’s absurd and misogynistic “Personhood Bill.”  Johnson raises the important issue of palpable hypocrisy:

As a woman and a 31-year veteran of the legislative process in Oklahoma, I am increasingly offended by state law trends that solely focus on the female’s role in the reproductive process. With Oklahoma’s new, never-before-experienced Republican majority, we are seeing enactment of more and more measures that adversely affect women and their rights to access safe medical procedures when making reproductive healthcare decisions…

My amendment seeks to draw attention to the absurdity, duplicity and lack of balance inherent in the policies of this state in regard to women. Oklahoma already incarcerates more women than any other place in the world. Under the latest provisions, a woman in Oklahoma may now face additional criminal charges and potential incarceration for biological functions that produce or, in some cases, destroy eggs or embryos, such as a miscarriage. In vitro fertilization, involving the fertilization outside the womb for implantation into the womb, would also potentially represent a violation of the proposed Personhood statute.

Sen. Johnson does a marvelous job of pointing to the disgraceful way American culture punishes and polices women in ways we do not police men.

For that matter, any masturbatory emissions, where the sperm is clearly not seeking an egg, could be termed reckless abandonment. (Legally Blonde)

Yes, I actually just used a quote from Legally Blonde, but it makes perfect sense.  We, as a country, need to take a strong stand here and STOP misogynistic laws like the “Personhood Bill,” and STOP the hate coming from organizations like the Susan G. Komen Foundation. 

Bigot of the Week Award: November 4, Mitt Romney

4 Nov

Bigot of the Week

Just when I thought I could not dislike Mitt Romney anymore than I already did, he makes a pathetic misogynistic move to earn my utter contempt.  This week, Romney told Faux News that he would support a  “personhood” constitutional amendment, thus earning him this week’s BWA.

For those TSM readers that are not already aware of how dangerous and misogynistic the proposed “personhood” idea is, allow me to explain.  The anti-woman, anti-choice folks are trying to give a fertilized human egg the status of a legal person, calling the egg “personhood”.  “Personhood” would also effectively ban IUDs, the morning-after pill, in-vitro fertilization, and all abortions; there are no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest or in cases where the life of a woman is at stake.  Basically, “personhood” would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Let us not forget the connection between misogyny and homophobia.  Romney is on record stating he is against marriage equality, civil unions, domestic partnerships, the repeal of DADT, and wants to use tax dollars to defend DOMA.  These are not the qualities for the leader of the “free” world.

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