I have a lot of issues with the American obsession around political binaries. But it's hard to deny that it's an overwhelming force that maintains a maddening influence on our country. Both-side-isms are built on the assumption that the "political center" is the exact middle between two equal but opposite poles. Given the choice between killing 100 people, or killing none, this kind of radical centrist confidently strides forward with their "logical" assertion that killing 50 people is the only possible solution that would allow us to maintain what they see as the equilibrium of the status quo.
The latest example of this comes from an FBI briefing in front of the House Judiciary Committee in early February. The bureau has been working to fine-tune its language in order to better address the (very real!) threat of domestic terrorism, which has often gone overlooked in the past. As part of these linguistic changes, the FBI has broken down domestic terrorism into four broad categories, including "abortion violent extremism," which FBI Director Christopher Wray described as "people on either side of that issue who commit violence on behalf of different views on that topic."
Rep. Karen Bass of California rightly pointed out to Wray that there is no evidence of violence on "both sides" of the abortion issue. But Wray insisted that the threats must be balanced on both sides. Later, when pressed by the Daily Beast, the FBI could only cite a single instance of "pro-choice extremism," which involved a man who threatened anti-abortion activists online. 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
[UPDATE: Murder charges dropped. Jones still faces a misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous drug.]
Kenlissia Jones, 23, of Georgia has been charged with murder after a hospital social worker reported her to the police for taking cytotec pills she purchased online to terminate her pregnancy. She is being held on charges of malice murder and possession of a dangerous drug. Leaders in both pro-choice and anti-abortion groups said they were surprised by the charges.
"We don't believe there is any law in Georgia that allows for the arrest of a woman for the outcome of her pregnancy," said Lynn Paltrow [attorney and executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women], whose group is offering free legal aid to Jones.
Genevieve Wilson, a director of the anti-abortion group Georgia Right to Life, said this is the first time she has heard of a woman in Georgia facing a murder charge for ending her pregnancy. And Wilson agreed with Paltrow that feticide and abortion laws in the state have not been used to target women who end their own pregnancies.
"I am very surprised by the arrest," Wilson said. "And I'm thinking that perhaps whoever made the arrest may not have known what the laws really are."
District Attorney Greg Edwards said he's reviewing the case, but "as of right now she's still charged."
Cytotec is prescribed to reduce stomach ulcers. It can also be used to terminate a pregnancy. The Woman on Waves site says "Using Misoprostol (or Cytotec) alone to cause an abortion will be successful 90% of the time." Read the rest
As I write this, it is 1:17 am on Wednesday, June 20th, 2012.
I am lying awake in bed, trying to decide whether or not to have an abortion.
Of course, we don’t call it an abortion. We call it “a procedure” or a D&C. See, my potential abortion is one of the good abortions. I’m 31 years old. I’m married. These days, I’m pretty well off. I would very much like to stay pregnant right now. In fact, I have just spent the last year—following an earlier miscarriage—trying rather desperately to get pregnant.
Unfortunately, the doctors tell me that what I am now pregnant with is not going to survive. Last week, I had an ultrasound, I was almost 6 weeks along and looked okay. The only thing was that the heartbeat was slow. It wasn’t a huge deal. Heartbeats start slow, usually around the 6th week, and then they speed up. But my doctor asked me to come back in this week for a follow up, just to be sure. That was Tuesday, yesterday. Still my today. The heart hasn’t sped up. The fetus hasn’t grown. The egg yolk is now bigger than the fetus, which usually indicates a chromosomal abnormality. Basically, this fetus is going to die. I am going to have a miscarriage. It’s just a matter of when.
Because of these facts—all these facts—I get special privileges, compared to other women seeking abortion in the state of Minnesota. Read the rest