California congresswoman: a vendetta against Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with creating jobs or reducing the deficit

Eileen Gunn sez, "Rep. Jackie Speier (D, CA) spoke passionately in opposition to stripping Planned Parenthood of any US funding. Compare and contrast with smarmy Rep. Chris Smith (R, NJ)."

Speier's point is well-taken: using a budget debate as an excuse to pursue Planned Parenthood is obstructionist, divisive politics at its worst. Imagine if the Democratic House had refused to pass any budget unless it contained amendments blocking funding to every agency, institution, charity and contractor that the American left objected to. The fact that this particular amendment vilifies women who've had to make wrenching decisions and endure difficult and painful procedures, often for life-saving reasons, is all the more infuriating.

(Thanks, Eileen Gunn, via Submitterator!)


  1. I thought the republicans were going to have some tea party “constitutional scholars” review everything they passed but here they are writing what sounds exactly like an unconstitutional A bill of attainder.

    Why am I not surprised.

    1. A bill of attainder only applies to laws made to affect a single person or segment of people. Revising the budget to defund them is not such a thing.

      1. While I agree 100% with your constitutional interpretation of the US Constitution, the Republicans have accused some on the left of promoting their own unconstitutional bill of retainer for suggesting cuts to Halliburton as punishment for some of their crimes against America. It’s not as if the Republicans don’t play the constitutional card when it suits them.

  2. I would thank the congressman for voting so courageously to dispose of Planned Parenthood and for offering to take in all of the unwanted children.

    The problem with America is that nobody ever wants to deal with the externalities that their supposed solutions leave behind.

    In this case, its children unwanted for many many reasons.

    Oh wait, you’re not going to take them in?

    Then my statement about the problem with America still stands.

    1. Not even necessarily unwanted children. Some abortions are just medically necessary, no matter how much the mother desperately wants to keep her child.

      A lot of abortion opponents just flatly pretend those cases do no exist because they don’t want it to be obvious that they don’t have a problem endangering others’ lives to feel good about persecuting a minority of cases they feel are evil.

    2. Well put. One of the surprising conclusions of Freakonomics is that the decrease in crime rates resulted in part from the decrease in unwanted pregnancies–If abortion were outlawed, where would those children go? The book is more eloquent on this, naturally.

      Would an additional million children a year be adopted? We already have thousands of children in foster homes that are not taken in for long, that are never adopted…Undiscussed consequences.

      1. One of the surprising conclusions of Freakonomics is that the decrease in crime rates resulted in part from the decrease in unwanted pregnancies–If abortion were outlawed, where would those children go? The book is more eloquent on this, naturally.

        Preventive execution? I understand even preventive detention is regarded with disfavor.

        1. Forcing someone to devote two decades of their life to raising a child because a condom broke or they were raped isn’t exactly nice either. Aborting pre-sentient foeti will be the best option women have, out of an ugly set of choices, for pregnancies they simply aren’t ready for until the dickheads on the right step up and get ready to adopt all the crack babies.

          Oh, and have a read of mxjohnson’s story. His wife could have died because of anti-abortion laws obstructing a procedure to remove a dead foetus, and far too many women(i.e. more than none) do die because of that. This is a direct and unavoidable result of these laws, and I think there’s a better case to call those deaths executions than there is for abortions.

          mxjohnson, thank you, thank you for sharing that. Might I suggest you send it on to every Senate and Congress critter? I know the chances of them reading it are slim, but it could be the one thing that puts it all into perspective for one of them. I’d suggest anyone with a similar story do the same.

  3. I’m not from her district but I’m going to have to send her a letter thanking her for that speech.

    If anyone else wants to do the same, I believe this specific issue is the Pence Amendment to H.R. 1, but someone correct me if I’m wrong.

    This passed in the house by a fairly substantial margin, unfortunately. It may end up being passed into law as an extremely sudden and surprising stab in the back to the general populace and especially the nation’s poor.

    1. Believe it or not, the former Yugoslavian states look good to me. My wife and I have a house on the shore in Montenegro and an apartment in Belgrade. We plan to retire there.

      I’m going to a place that has already been burned down. I’m so tired of you, America.

    2. Most of the good ones probably wouldn’t take many of us.

      Seriously, though. I realize it wouldn’t matter for a hill of beans (unlike in Wisconsin), but if I were Nancy Pelosi, I’d stage a strike. All Democrats leave the chamber and conducts operations on the House steps outside, or a nice, comfortable hotel meeting room somewhere in Maryland. No more debating with idiots, no more humoring the idiots by even so much as bothering to vote on their dumbassery. When they decide to get serious, the opposition can go back in, but until then, if they want to go full retard, let them do it by themselves.

  4. I propose an amendment to this bill banning out-of-wedlock erections, masturbation and nocturnal emissions. EVERY SPERM IS SACRED!!!

  5. You know, Planned Parenthood offers a full range of family planning, disease prevention, relationship counseling, sexual orientation counseling and general health care services – for men and women. Yes, you can even get your prostate and colon cancer screening there.

  6. What sickens me is that Rep Speier is not the first woman to be “self-outed” as the recipient of an abortion in an effort to bring the point home. It’s gotten to the point where our female politicians are being forced to disclose their medical histories to back their beliefs!

    The following information is from the linked Rachel Maddow show (Feb. 8, 2011): In Wyoming, when a very restrictive anti-abortion bill was introduced, two Republican representatives were the ones who had to step up to prevent it from passing as presented. Rep. Lisa Shepperson (“When I go to the doctor, it is the most private thing you can imagine. I want myself, I want my husband, and I want my doctor there, and I don’t want any government.”) and Rep. Sue Wallis (“What this bill does is, is to say, that as a woman, that I am mot smart enough to know the decision that I am making-that somehow the state is required in this particular decision, where they are required in no other medical decision.”) managed to prevent the bill from passing as written. During her time in front of the group, Sue Wallis disclosed that she herself had gone through the process of having an abortion, and explained the complexities of her decision.

    The following day (Feb. 9, 2011) the show ran a followup story where Rep. Shepperson, was quoted by Rep. Mary Throne (D) before a vote was taken on an amended version of the bill. Rep. Shepperson was not there because she was a mother-to-be. (Meaning that the two people who originally were brave enough to speak up were a woman who then felt she had to disclose her medical history to lend weight to her argument and a heavily pregnant woman. The first day, no one else spoke out against the bill.)

  7. Sounds a lot like the shenanigans in Wisconsin. Global warming? birth defects? gas shortage? Cut social spending!

  8. There are laws in place that already prevent Planned Parenthood from using federal funds for abortion services, which, it should noted, make up a mere 2% of PP office visits. So what is being proposed is a cut in funds that go towards well-woman services. That “going to Planned Parenthood” is synonymous with “getting an abortion” is part of the problem here, and one that the organization has done a poor job of dispelling for whatever reason. The best way to resolve this issue is to call upon the generations of women who have used PP’s health services when they needed them. Tell women’s real stories, about being underinsured in college and going to PP for annual check-ups, and learning about those services from their mothers who used PP to get on the pill when they first got married…These types of stories make up the actual PP legacy, but it’s all word-of-mouth folklore unless these women speak up.

    As an aside, I vaguely recall a similar story of political threats against PP that vanished due to the influence of the politician’s wives and their donor friends pointing out that when “problematic” pregnancies arise in affluent circles they don’t just whip out the Congressional Blue Cross/Blue Shield card and take care of it. It’s places like PP that afford the kind of privacy and professional medical services required.

  9. wmn tht “wrk” s hgh “clss” cll grls nd hv hd mr thn thr brtns s rslt f rrspnsbl sx gv ths prd, ndgnnt wmn bd nm.

    1. Elijah,

      Three out of your nine comments at BB bring up the subject of prostitution. Maybe it’s time to sort out whatever’s bothering you.

  10. Well, I normally don’t feed trolls but…um…Elijah…

    Got any actual examples of these hypothetical high-class 3-abortion hookers or are you just po’s that you can’t afford one?

  11. Why can’t the stupid people just go back to school? (and by stupid, I mean “not wanting to learn anything beyond what they already know.”) Things would get better real quick… Not just for us, but them too.

  12. actual 24 year old woman here:

    Elijah: puh-leaze. As someone who often considers doing escort work willingly and happily, I should tell you that while high class call girls exist (and my god they *are* classy– no scare quotes at all), there’s really no such thing as a highly paid escort with three abortions on her track record. If you’re gonna do that work, you kinda have to have your shit together.

    That said, I’ve been lucky enough in my life that I’ve never *needed* planned parenthood. I’ve always had insurance. Currently I have insurance through a MD state gov job– hey! What do you know! EVERY woman who works for the state of MD (including teachers which there are a ton of) *gets free birth control* through our health insurance.

    But for my many friends along the way– some much better off than me (but in need of privacy) and some with far less than me– Planned Parenthood has been a godsend.

    So I’m with Kastinator79… if the Senate+Obama can’t save Planned Parenthood then I vote all the Makers and Happy Mutants pick an island country somewhere and we’ll all go claim political asylum.

    1. “Pick an island country.” There’s a better way, and it’s called widespread secession.

      Even America is not too big to fail. I highly value many of the American ideas, but I would love to see the country broken into a thousand pieces.

      “Democracy is like going into a grocery store, and instead of choosing what products you want to buy, having a choice between two preselected shopping carts at the entrance. Except that you can’t even choose between them, you will get and pay for one of the carts, even if you want the other one, something completely different, or no groceries at all.”

  13. It’s so disingenuous, or perhaps it is pure ignorance, but probably statistically, abortions are on the lowest end of services provided by Planned Parenthood. They are true to their namesake. For a ‘song’, the poor, college aged women, and even the wealthy, can go to their locations, and in confidence, they and have STD screening, pap smears, blood tests and exams. They can be counseled on planning WHEN to have a child, based on health, diseases, psychological state, etc, ALL women are questioned about what they are using for BIRTH CONTROL if they are sexually active and not PLANNING on having children at the time. For little money, all of these groups can have access to birth control pills and other methods, so that there isn’t a terrible circumstance where an abortion would be necessary.

    They actually seek to LIMIT abortions and disease.

      1. Ha! Great minds, I’ll still post this, but I wrote it before I saw your response:

        Still ranting….

        The right doesn’t really approve of birth control in the end, though, does it?

        I mean, people (read: women) should really abstain from sex unless they want kids, right? And even if they do refrain from sexual urges, they could still be raped but they should have the child anyway because Jesus (?) owns the womb and all, even if it could kill her, or be detrimental to the actual development of the fetus and its future prospects in life (think STDs from the rapist), the lady parts SO critical in life.

        Never mind that it takes two to tango… it is quite the contrary when considering the penis; and alas, when nature (read: GOD) decides it’s done (erectile dysfunction), it’s still okay to alter things a bit with Viagra. I guess from the right’s perspective, all of those men just want to procreate? What if any are potential rapists? Should it be covered by insurance then?

  14. At the risk of sounding like an “elitist lefty”: Social conservative philosophy is vomit-inducing shit.

  15. I see modern conservatism as a choice to stand against theoretical foreigners who would bring us back to the 15th century so that we can slowly return to the 18th century. Or as William George elegantly put it, vomit inducing shit.

  16. I don’t think we need someone to stand up and say they will take the unwanted children…. We need them to stand up and say they will pay for the funerals this will cause. From the men and women who die from undiagnosed or untreated cancer, disease, and from not having access to a medically safe affordable abortion who then turn to the “back alley”

    1. Yes, but remember: every infection and polyp is sacred and alive. Who are we to pass the judgment of life and death on a defenseless culture rapidly multiplying in your urinary tract?

      Frankly, just like dinosaur bones and evolution, I think a fetus is put there by Satan to confuse us. What’s the chance that a living, thinking human could grow from 2 cells, especially from fluids generating from our naughty bits? That’s like two bullets hitting each other in a battle field and building a house over a small course of time, am I right? Absolutely ridiculous.

  17. We’re going to have to fight these people. And not symbolically. We’re going to have to turn far to the left to counteract the right wing extremists. You can’t compromise with these people. They are against freedom.

    1. More than anything else they’re just being irrational, and the best thing a person can probably do is be forcefully rational, rather than being forcefully reactive to their mistakes.

      If the problem is that the scales keep swinging back and forth and causing collateral damage, the worst thing a person can do is forcefully throw their weight far onto one side of the balance or the other. That just adds more chaos. The entropy is probably a big part of the problem. Every person who decides not to contribute to it becomes part of the solution.

    2. Doesn’t work like that. People don’t respond well to anger from an outgroup, and if it’s “us vs. them”, we’re the outgroup, and our anger will just polarize them more.

      They’re not evil, just misguided (most of them). Seriously. It’s incredibly hard to convince people that they’re wrong if you yell at them.

    1. One in five women in America have used Planned Parenthood services? Shouldn’t be too hard to form a million woman march, then. This is ludicrous.

      Viewing all this from the UK, I am utterly horrified. Next time I have any cash, it’s going straight across the ocean to Planned Parenthood. I always thought the US would never need foreign aid, apparently I was wrong.

  18. The anti-abortion movement is all racially motivated. They don’t give two shits about ANY non-white woman having one. It’s all “the darkies are breedin’ us out!” bullshit.

  19. As with many people, I feel very conflicted about when life begins, and when an abortion is choice/vs murder. But this confusion inside myself means I would never try to tell someone else how to make a such difficult choice, and by law it is a woman’s choice.

    The simple fact is, it’s legal, if folks don’t like it, they should vote to change the law rather than do backdoor deals.

  20. In the end, you have to do the Ben Franklin list of pros and cons. (Listen right and left). Deleting the Planned Parenthood money from the budget will only create more unplanned children (with no birth control for the poor) some seriously disabled (as in: physically, mentally, emotionally and economically), and unfortunately, less committed mothers into society, as well as more untreated diseases for everyone, including those who choose to procreate. What goes around ‘comes’ around (pun intended)

    It makes no economic sense, nor moral sense to subject society to the costs, financial (in the criminal justice system, in hospitals, etc.) and morally, do we really need more sociopaths, psychopaths, chronically medically ill and perpetually unchecked communicable diseases released upon the public, at large?

    If you think that we can afford that, and you are willing to pay that price, then you are honest about wanting to dump the Planned Parenthood program. Remember, any of those societal problems will hit you in the pocketbook and maybe ‘in the face’.

    Pay me now, or pay me later, in other words.

    1. My reply to that is simple: If you think that Planned Parenthood is a valuable institution, don’t agitate your congresscritter to give them taxpayer money. Cut them a check, voluntarily, and organize other citizens to do the same.

      1. I have done that (written checks) for more than 15 years. I can’t do more now. And I think I am organizing here. If we can use taxes (breaks)for businesses and bail them out, then we can do that for the citizens, for society. You will have less crime, less diseases, less turmoil,and more people who are productive and can buy services and products from the free market, instead of taxes paying for death penalty cases, incarceration, and diseases, for example.

        This is a small place, but everyone here has reach beyond this site. If Egyptians and middle easterners can start their message on the on the internet, so can we in the US.

        Pass it on.

  21. On one level, I can understand the argument of conservatives who feel that abortion ends a human life, and don’t want to be forced to support it.

    If they would cut about $500B+ from the defense budget, and immediately end all the wars and stop killing children with indiscriminate aerial bombs, I then wouldn’t have a problem with them cutting of Planned Parenthood.

    Until that happens, the whole abortion vs war/supporting dictators/death penalty/prisons dichotomy will be near the top of the list of conservative hypocrisy.

  22. The mistake Republicans are making is to think that politics is a zero sum game. That can’t be true in a democracy.

    This profoundly anti-democratic (not just anti-Democratic) attitude has been growing within the GOP for a generation. It is an enormous threat to our Constitutional system and liberties.

    The good news is they’re coming out about this, and all non-Republicans are seeing this coming out, as people around the world are rising up for their freedom. And Republicans, while they’re a substantial number among us, are a minority.

    So they can be beaten. But only if the rest of us unite and act in concert against them. Until the extremists among them are beaten and the rest learn the art of compromise, we’re in for a bumpy night.

  23. As a one-time San Mateo resident, who now resides in New Jersey, I remain very proud of my one-time representative, Jackie Speier.

    My representative is now Scott Garrett, who is, unfortunately, even further to the right than Chris Smith.

  24. I like what she said, I just wish she was a little better at it.

    Certainly, she was discussing an emotional issue, but she seemed REALLY flustered (in her head, if not outwardly)

    The baby moved from her VAGINA to her cervix? Wut?

  25. They always bring up the late term abortions for their examples, even though those are almost exclusively performed out of medical necessity.

  26. US politicians are mistaken to think that civil unrest is unique to the middle east. Protests are even popping up in China now and political strife is in the air.

    Constantly kicking the American public in the collective vagina is eventually going to piss enough people off to prompt action.

    1. We will have to begin to meet. Statewide and nationwide. Shall we? Peaceful statements.

      All in, say here, or hear.

  27. In a faltering economy, where the GOP has no solutions to offer, this is a way for them to rally their base. It is truly shameful.

  28. My wife was about about 16 weeks pregnant when our first baby, Oscar, died in utero. It was the day before Thanksgiving, 2001. There were two options: an intact dilation and extraction (which some call a partial birth abortion), or inducing labor and stillbirth. My wife preferred the first. Since she is an ob/gyn, she’s qualified to make that decision. But you see, the local hospital (CMH in Ventura, CA) doesn’t allow that procedure. They banned it when the pro-life movement focused on outlawing partial birth abortion. it didn’t matter that our baby was already dead — CMH doesn’t allow IDX, period. So that left the local clinic. But because it was the day before Thanksgiving, they didn’t have the staff. We had to go to CMH.

    It, uh, sucked. We were on the Labor & Delivery floor, where you have to walk past the grinning grandmas and bassinetted babies and new dads who want to shake your hand. We had a room to ourselves, but there’s still the nonstop sound of newborns crying, and, worse, quieting as they suckle. The nurse taped an obliquely sad little picture on the door, which was code for the hospital staff, so they’d know what’s up. Not everybody gets the memo, though. One candystriper came in to ask us about what kind of photos we wanted taken of our baby; an elderly volunteer asked if we had a car seat.

    The labor didn’t go well. It takes a while, inducing labor with drugs. That can be a problem if the baby’s been dead a a couple days, as you can imagine. They started the induction in the afternoon, and the idea was it’d be over by morning. But in the middle of the night they ran some lab tests, and my wife’s blood wasn’t clotting. I’m not an OB, but I am married to one, and even then I knew that DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulopathy) is an OB’s worst nightmare. When a woman is in DIC, she bleeds out on the table. There’s not much to do except say goodbye. So at 1:30am, I had a conversation with a rather nervous hospitalist, in which he suggested calling all our family in to say goodbye in case my wife didn’t live to see the dawn. We chose not to call anyone.

    Fortunately, the lab tests were wrong, and my wife didn’t die. Our first baby was stillborn, and it was a horrifying and squalid experience, being in that hospital. Imagine how it was for my wife when, a few weeks later, she had to go back to that same floor and deliver babies. Or how it was when we went back a year later, this time for Aaron, who came a month early but is now perfectly healthy. Today I have a hard time separating the memories of the two births. Both happened in the same delivery room. One was pink, and one was gray. Both were silent.

    Medical decisions shouldn’t be made by pundits or columnists or clergy. Politicians have no business outlawing procedures they find icky, or demonizing the souls forced to choose between two bad options. And it shouldn’t ever get to the point that those of us who have suffered these tragedies have to recount the heartbreaking details, or defend their accuracy, in hopes of saving other people the heartache. But here we are.

    1. Thank you for that sad story. I’m happy you have a child now after that horrible accident.

      Here’s my opinion on Planned parenthood. I love those people who work in there. They’re nice & have to deal with a lot of shit. I go in there to get a shot because I am diabetic & do not want to deal with having a child (nor should I medically have a kid at the moment my doctor says). I’m not wealthy. I can barely afford to pay most of my bills (& can’t even pay my student loans).

      I also know having a child is costly as well. Not to mention many people can’t afford the medical bills after having a kid. Then after having a child you need to pay for diapers, food, clothes, doctor visits, furniture for a growing kid (& toys), & I’m probably missing a few things on that list as well.

      Most teenagers don’t know about Planned parenthood & end up having their own parents raise their kids & pay the bills. I’ve seen this happen many times. They themselves have not been taught ways to prevent pregnancies.

    2. A moving story: I am sorry you and your wife had to go through such thoughtlessness, and good luck to you and your family in the future.

      It is THAT tale that should be told on the floor of Congress.

    3. mx, thanks for sharing. I can imagine that story is hard to re-live every time you tell it but it’s exactly that kind of story that illustrates how their BS costs lives.

      We’re going to have to fight these people. And not symbolically. We’re going to have to turn far to the left to counteract the right wing extremists. You can’t compromise with these people.

      +1 for American Civil War 2! Oh, and I retract my comments from several weeks ago on packing heat in church. I’m all for it now because I’m convinced it’s the best way to thin out the religious knobs who vote for these assholes who campaign on limiting people’s free choice.

      Anti: Additional information, counselling/humiliation and gay marriage offers in the same thread.. Impressive!

      I always thought the US would never need foreign aid, apparently I was wrong.
      @51: Me too.

      We had such promise, and instead squandered it.
      Yup. With all the fear-mongering on the right about Sharia law of late I can’t believe they can turn around and do the same backwards shit they are accusing Sharia law of: controlling women and restricting freedom.

      Preventive execution?
      @Hertzlinger: Summarising someones comment with scary buzz-words is not constructive or clever.

    4. Thank you for sharing your and your wife’s story.

      I want to sit these ass politicians down and force them to read over it word by word. Heartbreaking to even read (though it comes with a heaping spoonful of “yay!” for Aaron and for incorrect blood tests!)

    5. Hey, mxjohnson. Something similar happened to me very recently, too recently for me to be eloquent about it. You said it well & I’m glad for it. Thanks.

    6. I’m so sorry for your loss.

      It’s disgusting that women are being forced to give birth when their babies have died, that their medical care is limited and compromised, to appease fundamentalists. No medical procedure when described in gory detail by a prurient, ignorant fanatic sounds attractive. That is not a reason for people to lose the choice to have it.

  29. The fact that this is even an issue illustrates that our far-right brethren are not only sociopathic, but are religiously-motivated sociopaths. Remember, kids, our holy sticks and stones tell us that we can’t kill tumor-like clusters of cells growing in a woman’s womb! That ball of snot is human, you know! :B

    This is why I dislike discussing political issues. It makes me furious at the completely oblivious, destructive nature of some people.

    1. Can we agree that if an embryo isn’t an independent human being, it also isn’t a tumor or snot? Let’s be precise: it’s a simple organism that could differentiate into a person someday, but only by relying on a great deal of fluids and support from a woman for several months.

  30. I strongly and fervently recommend getting out while the getting is good. We, the U.S., have become a bloated grotesque farce. We are on the fast-track to de-developing. The only question left is where to go. If you can take the cold, Canada ain’t too bad. Plus with climate change, it won’t be that cold for much longer. Other suggestions are welcome. We had such promise, and instead squandered it.

    1. I strongly and fervently recommend getting out while the getting is good.

      If you’re 53, like me, and not independently wealthy, getting out is not an option. Nobody accepts middle-aged immigrants unless they’ve got some super-special skill or have enough savings to live forever without working. Any Canadians want to gay marry me?

        1. Being an illegal immigrant is incredibly stressful. Doing basic things, like getting a bank account and using it to pay bills can be very difficult.

  31. What Republicans want:

    Constant decreasing of taxes on the richest Americans, increase subsidies for big business, while at the same time decreasing benefits for average income and poor Americans. This is moving towards feudalism. All the work is done by the middle class and poor, and the rich reap all the benefits while making no contribution to society. Soon there will only be a rich class and poor class. The middle class will disappear.

    1. Republican here.

      I have adopted a child – have you? There are four adopted children in my immediate family.

      I give money to Planned Parenthood – have you? I gave them my entire Bush tax refund, and sent the gift card to the White House (not my idea, but I liked it so I copied the gesture).

      I have marched against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – have you? My family gave money to orphanages in Afghanistan instead of giving me Christmas gifts.

      I believe abortion kills unborn human beings… but I believe that a woman’s right to choose to end her pregnancy is absolute. It’s an issue of freedom versus forced servitude; the state has no right to force a woman to bear a child against her will. That’s no part of the social contract.

      You should try to remember that the Party is not the people who register under it. The Democratic party, with its monstrous “zero tolerance” laws, its tendency to harm art in the name of sponsoring it, and its love of overly broad solutions to localized problems, is a gross and inhuman destroyer of families and cultural values – but individual Democracts typically are not evil, and so too with Republicans.

      I am a Republican. I voted against George W. Bush more times than any Democrat, because I vote in every primary. If more people were Republicans, Bush might never have been President – think on that a while. Maybe you should be a Republican too… you sure as hell can’t exercise any control over the Republican lunatic fringe when you refuse to be involved in the process.

  32. Imagine if the Democratic House had refused to pass any budget unless it contained amendments blocking funding to every agency, institution, charity and contractor that the American left objected to.

    I suppose this means the military would have to raise money by bake sale.

    Ollie North tried that in the 1980s. Maybe people should not have objected.

  33. This is just the political equivalent of trolling; worse too because its objective is to stop any progress in government. 2012 is around the corner and no way is one side going to let the other have their day in the sun. Granted it’s only February of 2011, but like movie advertising the campaigning will start much earlier and since one party doesn’t control everything government will produce squat.

  34. OK, defund PP.

    And supply every teenager with proper sex education, a lifetime supply of free condoms and birth control pills, fix the foster care system, let gay couples adopt for god’s sake, stop killing jailed people, and stop dropping bombs on people you don’t know.

    I’m just asking for a little consistency, dig? Either life is sacred or it isn’t. JUST PICK ONE.

  35. @Mister44 ex-pats working as illegally immigrants in Europe? Where do I sign up? I’m at the end of my rope with the ridiculousness of everything from Glenn Beck to Sarah Palin in our popular culture. Help! I don’t know if I can stomach the 2012 elections!

    1. Last time I was there they worked around/in the tourist industry. Hostels, Laundromats, restaurants, etc. Or you can work on a cruise boat, call the whole Caribbean your home.

      As for some other comments:

      One can be against abortion with no religious reasons.

      I acknowledge abortion is necessary in some cases, and unnecessary in others. I also know protesting clinics won’t do shit. Working on the social ills that lead to abortion is the only way to reduce it.

      A few years ago I found this essay and found it very well written and summed up my feelings on the matter.

      It wasn’t coming up – but here is the google cache:

  36. The rich never have abortions… they have “medical procedures” from their private physicians… This is a jab at the poor to keep them poor….

    The simple truth of abortions is a last resort for a mistake, a crime, or needed life saving event… they are not “wanted” only needed!!!!

  37. To critique the clip I just watched: One can imagine the massive adrenaline outrage Ms. Speier must have felt: yet outwardly remained cool as a cucumber. And I am completely on her side. . .so I will forgive her the bad rhetoric.

    #45 is right: Jackie, you forgot the word uterus in an abortion debate? That’s. . .unfortunate.

    (also makes me wonder just how many times the word ‘vagina’ has been spoken in the hallowed halls of the house? It’s one of the few non-profane words that can still make eyes widen and postures straighten. . .)

    Also: comparing baby dismemberment to gross theft is a weak argument. Yes: Halliburton is scandalous: but what is more terrible in our modern society than killing a baby? (wait, don’t judge me yet. . .)

    Our whole culture is based (ALL cultures are based!) on the protection and rearing of infants into functioning adults. Anyone who would hurt, abuse or neglect a little, defenseless baby is Anathema to any normal thinking person.

    But when do babies earn the right to say ‘don’t abort me fool, I’m alive here!’ The first breath? Fingers? You have to admit it’s a tough question.

    For myself: I am 100% in favor of the womens right to choose her own fate (and the fate of her fetus). I am A: not a doctor. and B: not likely to ever get pregnant. The government needs to butt out of peoples medical decisions.

    BUT. The people that picket the abortion clinics will NEVER change their point of view. EVER.

    They think they are. . .protecting the species, I guess? But they just loooooooove babies.

    Yes, more than your freedom. And yes, it’s really more the Idea of babies vs. the actual multitude of unwanted lil’ ones. . .

    So I can see why some posters find themselves thinking ‘O no! It’s Amerikkka! RUN!’

    But it is the young and ignorant, the powerless and poor, the old and infirm: they are the ones that CAN’T run. That don’t have the skill-sets or the stock options to even THINK of running away. You would leave them to the fate of the political ruling class because ‘it’s scary!’?

    If you think the U.S. is ‘done’ and no changes can stop the coming crackdown of personal freedoms, then by all means: -see ya! hope your new foreign neighbors embrace you with open arms!-

    But if you leave, let it be known: you gave up. You fled. And let the devil take the hindmost. . .

    1. You make some good points. The Halliburton analogy was not the best, but I’ll give her a pass on that, and on the anatomical mix up, as she was speaking extemporaneously under provocation, on the floor of Congress. I don’t care how many times they’ve spoken there, it’s got to be flustering for most.
      I’ve got to say I was moved by her speech.

  38. What I find really ironic about the comments — the ones here and the ones made elsewhere — is that a lot of them have started focussing on the nature of abortion, which isn’t really the main point here. As a whole bunch of people stated above, abortions account for an incredibly low percentage of the costs that PP fields, yet many of the talks that the Republicans have given in defense of this budget cut are about it, not the fact that the country has a huge job shortage and is teetering on the edge of a huge fiscal deficit. And isn’t that what this is all about? Not a thinly veiled argument/attempt to lower the number of abortions performed yearly? Well, isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about, anyway?

  39. Until I saw this I had no idea that PP had anything to do with abortion than counselling. Of course I once again must state that the only men who have a right to an opinion on any given abortion are either the doctor or the (potential) father. Not one of those? stay out of it. This goes double for lawmakers attacking organisations when they can’t get the law changed.

  40. Bingo… the road to neo-feudalism is what we’re on.

    And why make abortion such a big deal

    1) To distract from the fact that the super-rich are getting super-richer while the rest of us can no longer afford our own houses.

    2)To increase the cheap and disposable labour pool. Keep them dum, uneducated, subservient, cheap, and breeding.

    At best abortion of fetuses as “children” is a metaphysical arguement. I for one do not appreciate the meaning (defination) of (a) life being dicated to me. A fertilized egg? A collection of cells? One abortion nut tried to tell me that a fetus is a baby because it will become a baby. I told her that’s like calling a rock a car because it’s got iron in it, or calling a cotton plant a shirt. Guess what: deaf ears.

  41. She was so composed and well spoken. This is something that personally affects her and she remained calm and logical. The other guy was more irrational and emotional than her. I applaud her!!

  42. Please spread the word about a new Facebook page designed to help people fight back against the GOP’s attack on women’s reproductive rights. We refocus the debate on the woman. Too often the debate centers on a zygote or fetus and leaves consideration of the health and welfare of the woman totally outside the discussion.

    Also tell us of similar efforts and we’ll promote them on our Facebook page. Every effort to overcome the GOP’s War on Women is welcomed and encouraged.

    The life you save may be your own!

  43. re: “It’s an issue of freedom versus forced servitude; ”

    I’m confused. How is having a kid ‘forced servitude’? First off that has to be the most vulgar description of being a parent that I have heard in a while. The woman has a whole host of ways to avoid ‘servitude’ before getting pregnant. You mentioned you have adopted, so you know there are other ways to avoid ‘servitude’ afterward as well.

    I acknowledge there are legit reasons for abortions, but birth control isn’t one of them.

    re: “Being an illegal immigrant is incredibly stressful. Doing basic things, like getting a bank account and using it to pay bills can be very difficult. ”

    And yet millions of them risk life and limb to get here. I guess you have to weigh how shitty America is against the advantages of living in the UK or Italy or where ever.

  44. “its tendency to harm art in the name of sponsoring it”?? Huh? Not sure how art is ever harmed by government support, and of course, what kind of support are we talking about here? Direct funding? Arms-length funding? Funding of institutions? The whole thing gets sticky when you start to hammer out the details. That “market-driven” art (whatever that is) is somehow better is utter bunk.

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