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Entries in social conservatives (75)

Friday
Dec282012

Eve Ensler Appeals to Michigan Gov Snyder on New Abortion Laws As Texas Searches for Contraception Funding

Eve Ensler has sent an emergency video to Michigan women from the Philippines about the most anti-woman legislation passed during Michigan’s lame duck session. Click here to hear video on Facebook.

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Michigan state legislators have passed laws eliminating insurance coverage of abortions and imposing medically unnecessary regulations on providers of women’s reproductive health services.

The first measure bars insurance coverage for abortion services without the purchase of an additional “rider” at added expense. This legislation extends extends the restriction to health insurance exchanges created through the health insurance exchanges that are part of Obamacare, as well as private insurance plans sold outside the exchanges.

The Michigan legislation provides for a single exception for life of the mother, but not rape or incest.

In passing these lame duck session laws, Michigan legislators have shown clearly that they could care less about the voters of Michigan who made their views regarding the Republican War on Women loud and clear in November.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney failed to carry his original home state in November. Michigan Democrats picked up five seats in the state House in November, but the GOP will still have a 59-51 edge during the 2013-2014 session. There were no state Senate races in 2012, leaving the Michigan Senate in Republican hands with a wide margin of 26-12.

Michigan legislators also put new restrictions on reproductive health offices in an effort to close them. Facilities that provide 120 or more abortions a year will be regulated as “mini-hospitals”, even in the absence of established medical or safety needs.

Lastly, doctors are forbidden to counsel low-income and rural women online on matters of reproductive health. “Under such a regimen, patients are examined at a local health clinic by an on-site professional and then electronically consult with a doctor working at a different location who would review her health records, answer questions, and approve the pills,” writes the New York Times.

Texas vs Planned Parenthood

Texas’ request to force the US Health and Human Services to continue funding its Women’s Health Program even though the state has virtually eliminated Planned Parenthood as a service provider has failed in federal court.

The Texas decision affects an estimated 130,000 low-income women receiving a wide variety of basic health care services from Planned Parenthood. Texas had demanded that the federal government continue delivering funds to the state, a request denied by US District Court Judge Walter Smith.

Texas insists that it has found $40 million necessary to fund substitute services provided by Planned Parenthood, without any abortions. The funding is in place through September 2013, says the state, with $70 million of federal funds being cut off on December 31, 2012.

The state’s Health and Human Services Commission projects that without the federal funds, low-income women will deliver an estimated 23,760 additional babies during 2014 and 2015. The commission projects that state taxpayers will have to shoulder an additional $273 million in medical expenses and Medicaid coverage for those infants.

Their projection was previously on the table when the Texas nonpartisan Legislative Budget Board estimated that the proposed cuts would lead to 284,000 women losing their family planning services. Social conservative legislators insisted they were willing to pay the price — but of course, THEY DON’T pay the price.

Poor women pay the price, and the statistics on the downward spiral of unplanned pregnancy victims and their babies in the state of Texas is already at the bottom of the heap nationwide. Several media sources report that legislators are trying to reinstate family planning funding without Planned Parenthood — even though that organization is best equipped to meet the family planning needs of the poor women of Texas.

Texas 5* Unwed Pregnancy State

You Want to Defund Planned Parenthood & Title X? Look at Texas AOC Sensual Rebel

Texas As An Example of What’s Ahead for States March 2011

The state of Texas has some of the most restrictive policies in the US regarding minors’ access to prescription birth control without parental consent, according to the Dallas Morning News. Texas has the highest rate of teen pregnancy live births in America, according to a 2010 Guttmacher Institute report, while the state ranks 4th in overall pregnancy rate.

While we all celebrate the new survey results suggesting that sexual activity may be down among teens, Texas is a real-world look at what’s ahead for taxpayers. In terms of educational test scores, Texas is at the bottom.

  • Texas is #49 in verbal SAT scores in the nation (493) and #46 in average math SAT scores (502).
  • Texas is #36 in the nation in high school graduation rates (68%).

A Vicious Cycle

Only 40 percent of teen moms giving birth at age 17 or earlier finish high school. About 23 percent of young mothers earn a GED, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

The facts are that daughters of teen mothers are three times more likely to become teen parents than girls with older moms. Sons born to teen parents are more likely to be incarcerated. Note that the Texas Department of State Health Services quotes the Guttmacher Institute extensively.

Monday
Dec172012

Will Newtown Massacre Put Brakes on America's 'Patriot Movement' Drive to Power?

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Anne of Carversville is framing our approach to writing about the Newtown massacre of 20 American children by the son of one of Newtown’s highly-armed citizens. I have written about gun violence before and have pulled forward those articles. We will track gun violence and second amendment challenges in our new Facebook page Goddesses Not Guns.

For now, I am reading:

Mother of Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza ‘was a gun obsessive living in fear of society’s collapse’ Belfast Telegraph

NSSF Sats 2012 Firearms Sales Outlook Promising After Record-setting Year AmmoLand

Report: ‘Explosive’ Growth of ‘Patriot Movement’ and Militias Continues: The Two-Way NPR

Lovin’ Our Guns

Gun Love: Sobering Stats Reveal America As An Armed Fortress

View 2007 chart larger. We have updated info for a separate post. Gun sales have skyrocked since Obama became president.

Timothy Egan is a self-described third-generation Westerner who have lived in and around guns his entire life.  Writing “Myth of the Hero Gunslinger” for the NYT, Egan says that the argument that more guns will make people safer is flawed. This argument is front and center in the wake of the Tucson shootings.

Arizona is moving to legislate guns in the schools, and yes, packing a pistol in Congress will become law if Texas Republican Rep Louie Gohmert’s bill to allow firearms in the Capitol Building passes.

Are control control advocates just spineless, American whimps?

Americans & Gun Control

In July 2012 after the Aurora, Colo theater massacre, Pew Research made the point that these shootouts do little to change the public’s attitudes on gun control.

Looking at the same charts today, we see a major increase in support for gun rights from April 2007 to July 2012. These statistics jibe with a surge in gun ownership in America, a trend that skyrocketed under the Obama presidency.

Gallup presented similar results in their October, 2011 poll Record-Low 26% in U.S. Favor Handgun Ban. View graph larger.

America Is the Most Violent Country in the World

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec022012

Freedom From Religious Foundation Sues IRS Over Election Evangelicalism | Gay Marriage & Supreme Court Cases

French Roast News

Anne is reading …

Experts don’t agree on last week’s Supreme Court decision in which it ordered the 4th U.S Circuit of Appeals to rehear a case filed by Liberty University that argues the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act violates its religious freedom by legislating that the Christian University must provide health insurance for its employees. Note that the Supreme Court ruled the law constitutional in June.

“On one level, it’s routine,” said Sara Rosenbaum, professor of health law and policy at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. “This is not an unusual way for them to handle a case that’s in front of them that they want to take, because it hasn’t been fully developed yet.”

But Mathew Staver, the lawyer in the case and vice president of Liberty University is encouraged that the court is willing to look again at the employer mandate, certainly as it applies to religoius institutions.

Mark Graber, law and government professor at the University of Maryland disagrees, saying: “Based on the Supreme Court’s past decisions, Liberty University has no case because this is a neutral law that doesn’t single out religions.” via Southern Maryland Headline News.

Freedom of Religion

Lawsuit Challenges Tax-Exempt Status for Pulpit Electioneering

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit arguing that the Internal Revenue Service is violating the US Constitution by allowing tax-exempt churches and religious organizations to publicly endorse political candidates.

At the conclusion of an election season in which numerous religious figures including Catholic bishops told congregations how they should vote, the lawsuit argues that organizations have become increasingly more involved in political campaigns, “blatantly and deliberately flaunting the electioneering restrictions.”

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman is named in the lawsuit, which also asks that the IRS initiative legal action against churches and religious organizations that engage in electioneering.

The lawsuit cites full-page ads run this fall in the New York Times and other newspapers by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Renowned evangelist Billy Graham urged Americans to vote along biblical principles after pledging to do “all I can” to elect Mitt Romney. Also mentioned in the lawsuit are Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenkins of Peroria, Ill, requiring all the priests in his diocese to read an order that Catholics only vote for a pro-life candidate. The lawsuit refers to ‘Pulpit Freedom Sunday’ in which more than 1.500 pastors challenged the IRS ruling directly, seeking a court challenge.

US Abortion Politics

The Family Values Congressman and His Mistresses

Abortion politics in America hit a new low when details of the private life of recently re-elected, pro-life Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) became public. The Congressman says that God has forgiven him for his scandalous past, including pressuring a patient with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion.

Court papers revealed that DesJarlais’ former wife had two abortion by a “mutual” decision. The first abortion was because his wife was taking an experimental drug that carried risks during pregnancy; the second abortion came as the couple suffered from problems in their marriage.

The same divorce papers relating to the 2001 divorce of the family values Congressman DesJarlais revealed affairs with four women who were patients.

US Supreme Court & Gay Marriage

The Supreme Court has released a list of cases it will hear this term, and same-sex marriage is currently not on the docket.

On Friday the Supreme Court met behind closed doors with 10 appeals related to same-sex marriage on the agenda. It’s possible that the Court will announce this week plans to hear at least one of the cases. If the Court allows the federal appeals rulings to stand, it’s not the end of the gay marriage debate. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has predicted that the court will hear a gay marriage case this term.