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Tuesday
May012012

Republican Women Donors Support New Planned Parenthood Merger in Texas | Evangelicals on Abstinence 

Liquid-Plumr added a bit of handsome beefcake and housewifery imagination to this spring’s ad campaign, produced DDB, San Francisco and directed by Biscuit Filmworks’ Clay Weiner.

Bringing a big smile to the face of many viewers, One Million Moms — who protested JC Penney’s hiring of Ellen Degeneres at their spokesperson— swung into action, driving lots of visibility for the campaign and over one million video views in a week.

One Million Moms wrote:

Liquid-Plumr presents two sexy plumbers in their new commercial. The Clorox Company introduces the Liquid-Plumr Double Impact Snake and Gel System in this ad which is full of sexual innuendos as well. They are attempting to use sex to sell a product to unclog drains.

The commercial starts off with a woman in a supermarket daydreaming about what this new Liquid-Plumr product has to offer. She says, “Double impact,” twice as she reads the bottle. In her dream she is at home and answers the door to find a sexy plumber. The plumber is nice looking with huge biceps and a tight shirt. He says, “I’m here to snake your drain.” She says come on in and he walks upstairs. The doorbell rings again and it is a second sexy plumber. He says, “I’m here to flush your pipe.” She answers with an okay and while he walks on upstairs she lets out a squeal and moan while letting down her hair. Then she wakes up to reality to find the two men in the supermarket. She flirts by giving sexy eyes to the one man in the deli slicing meat and the other in produce holding two melons. These two men are the same as in her dream. It may be coincidence, but the man in produce is standing beside cucumbers with a price sign behind him reading 69 cents.

The new Liquid-Plumr ad is offensive and completely inappropriate for television.

We side with Libby Copeland, writing Bring On the Sexy Plumbers for Slate, who argues that this ad isn’t at all your typical stereotypical commercial because we have a nerdy female protagonist with a very playful delivery.

One again, the social conservatives doth scream too loudly. Smart people like AOC readers know that 1) social conservatives buy more pornography than any other group — and Sunday is the biggest day of the week for sales; 2) the classic good girl, stay-at-home mom is the most likely subscriber to Ashley Madison’s marital affair website and 3) what women say and what we do aren’t frequently not in alignment. A 2005 Internet search survey of 75 million users put to rest the truth of women’s online behavior, almost reinforcing point 2 made by Ashley Madison. Read on: Sexy Doublespeak | American Women & Sexual Honesty.

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Mary Green, Peg Armstrong and Jan Perrault hold up signs during Women’s Health Express, a bus event held in San Antonio to protest the attempt to cut Planned Parenthood from the state’s Medicaid Women’s Health Program. A federal judge in Austin issued an injunction Monday that stopped the state from banning the organization from receiving state funds, but that injunction was stayed by a federal appeals judge Tuesday. (Helen L. Montoya/San Antonio Express-News / May 1, 2012) Planned Parenthood of Texas won a brief victory yesterday when a federal judge in Austin issued an injunction that prevented the state of Texas from withdrawing all Medicare funding from 49 clinics serviced by the organization.

Today, Judge Jerry Smit of the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans stayed the injunction, giving Planned Parenthood until 5pm today to file an opposition brief pending the appeal filed by the state of Texas yesterday.

In a new development, Planned Parenthoods in Texas quietly completed a merger of three regional branches (North Texas, Austin and Waco) into one $29 million-per-year, 26-clinic mega-organization. This is not the first Planned Parenthood merger in Texas. “In 2006, Planned Parenthood of Houston and Southeast Texas teamed with Planned Parenthood Louisiana to form Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, which operates 13 health centers across two states,” writes the NY Times.

Tactically, the merger makes the new Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas monolithic in both geography and scope. In 2012 the group will have 26 clinics, with four providing abortions and an expected 180,000 annal patient visits. 

Perhaps most important, Planned Parenthood will directly connect wealthy donors in Dallas to poor women at the other end of the state. Key to the Texas plan to save Planned Parenthood are wealthy Republican women, the original sponsors and funders of the organization.

The merged organization has budgeted roughly $24.5 million in private donations, fund-raising events and client fees in 2013, is already rolling out the latest in electronic health records technology. “And it absorbs the fruits of the North Texas branch’s recent five-year capital campaign, including an Addison health center that tripled in size with a recent relocation and a new $6.5 million health care clinic, administrative facility and abortion clinic under construction in Fort Worth” writes the NYT.

DFR Women & Religion

New Admissions on Abstinence Education

On rare occasions a truly honest article about sex and abstinence hits the digital airwaves. When the National Association of Evangelicals admits in a video that eighty percent of young evangelicals have engaged in premarital sex and almost one-third of evangelicals’ unplanned pregnancies end in abortion, such an article as Huff Po’s With High Premarital Sex And Abortion Rates, Evangelicals Say It’s Time to Talk About Sex gets our attention.

At this month’s Q conference in Washington, as part of a session on ‘reducing abortion’, respondents were asked if churches should support the use of contraception among unmarried singles. 64 percent said ‘yes’.

At an April 2012 ‘Sexuality and Covenant’ conference, co-sponsored by the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the agenda contained the statement that ‘marital sexual relationships’ are not available for many Christians.

If evangelicals are finally recognizing that comprehensive sex education and access to contraception has the most positive effect on reducing America’s abortion rate, there exists an opportunity for dialogue between currently opposed forces. There is absolutely no evidence that abstinence-only education works and it seems that the National Association of Evangelicals finally agrees.

Trendline

The XX Factor reports that a survey of 3,000 Gen Xers finds that men are making two-thirds of the meals that married women do, and 80% the meals of single women.

Pew Research shares a new survey that Supreme Court favorability ratings have reached a new low. Only 52% have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court, down from 58% in 2010 and the previous low of 57% in 2005 and 2007.

Also from Pew Research, young women now surpass young men on the importance of career in their lives. Two-thirds (66%) of young women ages 18 to 34 rate career high on their list of life priorities, against 59% of young men. In 1997, 56% of young women and 58% of rated career as a top priority.

Monday
Apr302012

Republican Sue Helm Circled PA Unite Against the War on Women, Says Sudanese Activist Watching Her Hummer

PA State Rep. Sue Helm, representing the 104th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, circling the April 28, 2012 Harrisburg Unite Against the War on Women rally “multiple times” according to the North African women’s rights activist caught in the lower right-hand corner of the image. He is well-known to one of the rally organisers Anne Enke. The duo has worked together to stop the flogging of an estimated 40,000 women a year in Sudan,. The WOW PA event was the first rally for women observed by Enke’s friend, who is dumfounded that the war on women is also being waged on American women and not only women in the Arab world and Sudan specifically. Image credit goes to Angela Dicks, partner of Democratic candidate Kelly Jean McEntee, running for PA State Representative in the 105th district, a speaker at the WOW PA rally and sponsor of Emma’s Revolution, a headline act of multiple entertainers providing music for rally goers.

Sue Helm Circling April 28 Harrisburg WOW Rally

Although PA State Rep Sue Helm told Harrisburg The Patriot-News reporter Sue Gleiter that she “didn’t participate in the rally”, she was observed circling the capitol in her Hummer multiple times by the man captured in the lower right corner, who is my dear friend from North Africa.

For the present, this man must remain nameless. Because of our ongoing work on behalf of the estimated 40,000 women flogged each year in Sudan, my friend would be jailed or killed if his identity is revealed.

Helm continued talking to Gleiter, saying “I think they have made too much of this honestly.” Helm thinks “women’s rights cross both parties.”

In talking with me about the event and my posting his image online, my friend expressed satisfaction that he was associated with the Sue Helm photo and the poignant, huddled together mother and daughter probably, seeming under surveillance by Helm and her Hummer.

Committed to changing the lives of women under assault by Islam in Sudan, my friend’s is the polar opposite of Helm’s ideology, which supports forcing women to have unnecessary medical procedures mandated by governments dominated by religious ideology that oppresses women.

As an organizer of the Harrisburg rally, bringing Republican pro-choice women to the rally was a top personal priority of mine. The party that funded Planned Parenthood from its beginning, whose judges passed both ‘Roe v Wade’ and ‘Griswold v Connecticut’ couldn’t find one of their own to speak at the Unite Against the War on Women Harrisburg Rally in favor of women’s right to choose.

Helm is one of many legislators of both parties who changed their minds regarding a provision in a bill that would require women to have an ultrasound before an abortion after a remark made last month by Gov. Tom Corbett.

The governor came under fire after saying “You just have to close your eyes as long as it’s on the exterior, not interior” in regards to women viewing the ultrasounds. His spokesman said the governor’s comments were taken out of context.

“When the governor opened his mouth and said ‘Look away,” I said I think our governor is a good governor, but in this case I need to jump off of this bill,” Helm said.

Sue Helm circled multiple times in her Hummer, says witness.

The photo was taken by Angela Dicks, partner of Democratic candidate Kelly Jean McEntee, running for PA State Representative in the 105th district, a speaker at the WOW PA rally and sponsor of Emma’s Revolution, a headline act among multiple entertainers providing music for the rally. Seeing the photo, my friend said:

I saw that woman in the Hummer making rounds and rounds in the area and her reactions appeared strange and suspicious. Now I know why. Yes, please go ahead publish my remarks that I texted you at the rally, but keep my name off for now.

The women’s rights activist had traveled all night from Washington DC to Harrisburg, was so flabbergasted at what he was hearing at the rally that he texted me a passionate series of statements that I summarized at the end of the rally.

In summary, he said:

Anne, please tell the people that I come from a place in the world where women have lost so many rights since the 1970s. The legislature tells them exactly how they must dress and punishes them violently with flogging when they are picked up for lack of modesty. You know that 40,000 women were flogged in 2008, the year before you became involved with Lubna and me.

I am so surprised to arrive in America and see women fighting for their rights to health care and contraception. Even in Saudi Arabia, where women can’t drive cars, their contraception is included in health care.

Anne, the war on women is everywhere from Sudan to Saudi Arabia and now America — the place I thought was the home of the free. It isn’t true if you are a woman, and I can’t believe my eyes at what I am seeing, hearing and reading in your great country.

It was my work with this activist on behalf of the women of Sudan that clarified my vision of the erosion of women’s rights here in America. Religion’s primary role in a determined assault of the rights of privacy and self-determination of all women worldwide became after 2009 a major focus of the AOC website. ~Anne Enke

Flogging of Sudanese Woman

In April of 2010 my friend delivered raw files of this flogging in Khartoum, taken by a bystander with a cell phone.

He came to me because YouTube kept taking down the video, when the right-wing social conservatives complained in mass that it was against religion.

My friend knew that I wouldn’t take it down, under any kind of pressure. It was also my job to contact the “big press” which I did. Bloomberg News has been very favorable to covering these kinds of global horror stories and so I reached out to them.

Within a few hours BBC News and CNN also picked up the story, and only then, did the videos stay up on YouTube.

You can read the entire description of the event sent to me from my friend pictured above in AOC World Women as Laughing Brutality in Woman’s Flogging Video Chills Sudan. 

This video clip depicts the scene of a Sudanese girl receiving blows whip all over her body at a police station in Khartoum this week. A wave of condemnation by the Sudanese on the Internet and newspapers concluded that what happened was exceeding the legal punishment and amounted to physical torture and severe humiliation.

The film shows the police carrying out the punishment of flogging with a whip on the Sudanese girl in front of a crowd of people. The Girl received blows whip all over her body from the legs, back, arms and head wildly and violently. The girl was crying and lying on the ground squirming in pain, begging the policeman to stop hitting her, before another officer assisted him and participated in the beating.

Sunday
Apr292012

Obama & The Clintons Cement Ties for 2012 Election | Senate Renews Violence Against Women Act

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Forging Political and Policy Ties

Bill Clinton may be President Obama’s most important ally in his re-election campaign, in a burying of the ax that formally leaves behind the bitter days of the 2008 Democratic primary between Obama and Hillary Clinton. Huff Po quotes Terry McAuliffe, “a close adviser to both Clintons and one of the most ardent protectors of their political brand”:

“It makes absolutely clear that, to the extent that there were different wings of the Democratic party, there is now one wing of the Democratic party,” said Chris Lehane, a Clinton backer. “And it’s the president’s party.”

 

Senate Renews Violence Against Women Act

Fifteen Senate Republicans joined 51 Democrats and two independents to approve the stalled Violence Against Women Act with amendments that now expand the law to explicitly provide protection to gays, illegal immigrants and Native Americans.

New York Sen. Charles Schumer called today on House Republicans to renew the bill. Republicans are working on their own version of the bill, without the added protections for new constituencies not covered under the expiring act.

“I want to say, to the small group in the House of Representatives moving to stop this bill. Stop it. Pass this bill,” Schumer said, calling the renewal a “no brainer.” Schumer added that the House version doesn’t even contain the word “women”, writes the NY Daily News.

Last month Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance urged support for New York State’s Aggravated Domestic Violence Bill, reports the NY Daily News.

“As a result of outdated New York State domestic violence laws, a serial abuser who hurts his victim for the 100th time can receive the same sentence he did for his first conviction — a maximum of one year in jail for an A misdemeanor, the same crime level as not paying a subway fare. That is not justice for victims.”

DFR on Religion

The Atlantic asks if Catholic Schools should be able to fire teachers over fertility treatments.

Emily Herx was a popular literature teacher at St. Vincent de Paul School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, until she used her medical leave for in vitro fertilization. Herx lost her job and says a church official called her a “grave, immoral sinner.” When she appealed to Fort Wayne Bishop Kevin Rhoades, he told her IVF was “an intrinsic evil, which means that no circumstances can justify it.” The federal government saw things a bit differently. Herx filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and won — paving the way for a civil lawsuit.

Reverend Richard Sparks argues that the confusing “minefield” of Catholic teaching is more about Church teachings than politics. Perhaps, but in either case, it’s about bishops’ power over women.

Pope BenedictFaith and Analytical Thinking Skills

Researchers Will Gervais and Ara Norenzayan publish research experiments designed to measure the relationship between individual with strong analytical thinking skills and a person’s faith.

Prior research has suggested that religious beliefs are rooted in intuitive processing. In this new research, published in Nature, the authors conclude that there is a significant positive correlation between faith and analytical thinking skills. via Chicago Tribune

Related articles:

Georgetown University President: We Will Continue Providing Birth Control To Our Employees ThinkProgress

With High Premarital Sex and Abortion Rates, Evangelicals Say It’s Time To Talk About Sex Huff Po

We Are All Nuns Nicholas D. Kristof for NYT

Bishops Play Church Queens as Pawns Maureen Dowd for NYT

Iowa View: U.S. nuns are under attack from the pope The DesMoinesRegister.com

The Politics of Faith and American Exceptionalism Mugambi Jouet for Huff Po