The Atlantic sparked anger by hiring columnist Kevin Williamson, who likened a black child to a primate and wrote that women who have abortions should be hanged. His hiring was defended by Atlantic chief Jeffrey Goldberg, and various conservative colleagues of his, who all agreed that it was just a bad tweet that didn't reflect his true beliefs. In a contemporaneous audio interview, however, Williamson reiterated and explained why he thinks women who have abortions should be hanged.
KEVIN WILLIAMSON (CO-HOST): And someone challenged me on my views on abortion, saying, “If you really thought it was a crime you would support things like life in prison, no parole, for treating it as a homicide.” And I do support that, in fact, as I wrote, what I had in mind was hanging....
Later in the same episode of the podcast, Williamson continued that when it came to punishment for those who had abortions, he “would totally go with treating it like any other crime up to and including hanging” -- going so far as to say that he had “a soft spot for hanging as a form of capital punishment” because “if the state is going to do violence, let’s make it violence. Let’s not pretend like we’re doing something else.”
Listening to him smack his lips, after saying that, it struck me that no U.S. state hangs its killers. It's a legal execution method in two or three, but no one's been hanged here in decades.
Critics have been making a mistake about Williamson's self-described "very serious animus" concerning women who have abortions. Read the rest
A Satanic Temple's "Mary Doe" says her religious beliefs were violated by Missouri's informed consent law that required her to wait 72 hours before having an abortion in May 2015. Read the rest
"Crisis Pregnancy Centers" are fake abortion clinics run by religious fanatics who use online fraud to get them to the top of the search results in order to lure women seeking abortions to visiting a place they believe to be an abortion clinic, but which is really a religious mission where the people pretending to be medical professionals dispense misinformation about the medical risks of abortion, then apply high-pressure sales tactics to bully and trick women into carrying unwanted pregnancies to term.
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The term "values voter" is taken to mean someone who votes for politicians on the basis of their personal integrity and values; in reality, polls and studies show that evangelicals who identify as "values voters" support candidates they know to be repugnant or even monstrous, if they believe that those politicians will promise to take away abortion rights and persecute queers.
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Today, a U.S. appeals court reversed a previous ruling that barred the state of Arkansas from halting Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, after the release of setup videos secretly recorded by anti-abortion, hard-right media provocateurs.
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Real Alternatives organizes and funds the notorious, deceptive anti-abortion centers ("crisis pregnancy centers") that pretend to be abortion clinics, luring in women who wish to terminate their pregnancies with deceptive advertising and then lying to them about abortion procedures in an effort to coerce them into carrying their fetuses to term; they got $30,000,000 from the state of Pennsylvania and are now suing the state over an audit that was triggered by nearly $1M worth of unaccounted-for state funding. Read the rest
Authorities in Texas who falsely claimed that Planned Parenthood sells fetal body parts are prohibited from withholding federal Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood, a federal judge ruled today. This is a significant legal victory for Planned Parenthood, which is under renewed conservative attack under President Donald Trump.
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Norway has committed to join an international initiative that plans to raise millions of dollars to replace funding shortfalls from Donald Trump's ban on American-funded global NGOs that offer information about abortion. Read the rest
Norma McCorvey, the anonymous "Jane Roe" in the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade, has died. Read the rest
Ireland's abortion laws are among the most barbaric in the world -- among its many deficits, it forces women to carry unviable fetuses to term, making them labor to deliver babies who live short hours in extreme pain before dying before them. Read the rest
Welcome to another edition of “Mystery No Science Theatre 3000.” In this episode, the Texas Department of State Health Services, (a place where medical evidence is given the same weight as the results of a Magic 8 ball) has approved a regulation that requires burials for ALL fetal tissue
that comes from a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or an abortion performed at a Texas healthcare facility.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is very sorry that his office cited the 1857 Dred Scott case, which established that the descendants of enslaved black people were not US citizens, in response to an ACLU brief in a case challenging a judge's ruling that Kansas's constitution doesn't guarantee the right to have an abortion. Read the rest
Poland's ultra-right government has passed an insane, incoherent ban on abortion that is so badly drafted that it potentially criminalizes miscarriage and surgeries to save the lives of fetuses. Read the rest
A federal judge ruled Thursday that the state lacks the authority to limit a woman's reasons for ending pregnancy.
Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted an injuction against an Indiana law that banned abortions sought because of fetal abnormalities, and which mandated funeral rituals for aborted fetuses.
Pratt said the Indiana law would go against U.S. Supreme Court rulings that have declared states may not prohibit a woman from seeking an abortion before a fetus is able to live outside the womb. She also said the state had not cited any exceptions to that standard.
"This is unsurprising given that it is a woman's right to choose an abortion that is protected, which, of course, leaves no room for the state to examine the basis or bases upon which a woman makes her choice," Pratt wrote. ... The lawsuit also challenges the law's provision requiring that aborted fetuses be buried or cremated. Planned Parenthood currently disposes of remains by incineration, as with other medical tissue. Pratt's ruling blocks the burial or cremation requirement from taking effect.
It's been a rough week for anti-abortion campaigners: the Supreme Court also struck down a Texas law requiring clinics to meet hospital criteria. Read the rest
Once pro-choice, the leading Republican presidential candidate now thinks that women who terminate pregnancies should be punished. Donald Trump's going to ban it, but is not sure yet just what he's going to have done to women who disobey him. But he's thinking about it.
[Chris] Matthews then pressed him for a straight answer on what a ban on abortion would entail.
“Well, you go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places but we have to ban it,” Trump answered.
The former reality television star later added that “there has to be some form of punishment,” for women who get abortions after a ban is implemented, acknowledging the punishment would “have to be determined.”
He's unsure about how racist to be, but in no two minds at all about the women. Expect to hear a lot more sexist nastiness as the campaign goes on.
Update: He's changed his mind.
There's something amazing about how Trump just blurts out the right-wing positions he's discerned without realizing some of that stuff is supposed to stay implicit. He's like an AI chatbot who boils down his audience to its most vulgar principles, leaving that audience half-delighted and half-terrified at how completely exposed they are by his performance. Read the rest
Because it’s the holiday season, Lady Parts Justice League is giving back by reminding us about the anti-choice forces responsible for creating these terrorists with a reinterpretation of a scene from the Christmas classic, “Love Actually”.
When trying to make sense of these horrifying killing sprees, it's easy to lump the attackers into neat little boxes that give us peace of mind. When we look into those boxes, we don't see ourselves.
There’s a box for the “religious extremist” (but only if it’s in the name of Islam) and one for the “delusional loner” (because if we keep pushing the “loner” idea then we don’t have to face the American epidemic of gun violence).
But there is one mass murderer who doesn’t easily fit into any box: the abortion clinic terrorist.
During his arraignment, Robert Dear said, “I am a warrior for the babies!” 17 times. There's no evidence presented that he had a psychotic episode, but we all hear the voices that dominate our airwaves and the national conversation. Certainly, the clinic terrorist may be a “religious extremist” or a “delusional loner.”
What’s different about the abortion clinic attacker is that the voices in their head are not self-created delusions. Rather, they are the voices of mainstream politicians, mainstream religious figures, and mainstream media. Read the rest
Hundreds of thousands of women in Texas women may have tried to self-induce abortions, according to a “first of its kind” study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP). Read the rest