CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Democratic Party unveiled its formal 2012 platform on Monday night. And like its Republican counterpart, it is heavy on broad philosophical strokes about the direction in which the party wants to take the country, short on policy specifics and carefully worded on some of the more contentious issues.
Health Care: The party touts the achievements of the Affordable Care Act but pledges to keep building up reforms.We will continue to stand up to Republicans working to take away the benefits and protections that are already helping millions of Americans every day. We refuse to go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your health policy, deny you coverage, or charge women more than men.
At the same time, the Affordable Care Act is not the end of efforts to improve health care for all Americans. Democrats will continue to fight for a strong health care workforce with an emphasis on primary care.
Medicare: The party appears undeterred by fact-checkers who claim it’s unfair to say Republicans will end the program as it’s currently conceived.The Republican budget plan would end Medicare as we know it. Democrats adamantly oppose any efforts to privatize or voucherize Medicare…
Unions: The Democrats give a hug to Big Labor.Democrats believe that the right to organize and collectively bargain is a fundamental American value.
Immigration Reform: The party reaffirms its commitment to a comprehensive plan beyond the Dream Act.Democrats know there is broad consensus to repair that system and strengthen our economy, and that the country urgently needs comprehensive immigration reform that brings undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and requires them to get right with the law, learn English, and pay taxes in order to get on a path to earn citizenship.
Abortion: Democrats support both the right to choose and the funding of providers.Democrats will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers.
We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way
Gay Marriage: As expected, the party takes the plunge, offering its first formal support for same-sex marriage rights.We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.
Guns: The party supports “regulation” in theory, albeit in carefully worded terms.We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation. We understand the terrible consequences of gun violence; it serves as a reminder that life is fragile, and our time here is limited and precious. We believe in an honest, open national conversation about firearms.
h/t: Sam Stein at HuffPo
|—||Roseanne Conner, “Roseanne” (via robot-o-thoughts)|
In an interview with CBS News on Monday, Mitt Romney said he disagreed with his own party’s support for criminalizing abortion without exceptions: “My position has been clear throughout this campaign; I’m in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest, and the health and life of the mother.”Of course, Romney’s position on the legality of abortion has been anything but clear. Now his campaign denies that he supports allowing abortion when a woman’s health is in jeopardy, as he told reporter Scott Pelley. Instead, they say he only supports allowing abortion when a woman would die without one.
Marjorie Dannenfelser of Susan B. Anthony List, a major anti-choice group, in an interview with Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association insisted that the Romney campaign told her that Romney does not in fact believe in exceptions for the health of the mother, contradicting what he said in the Monday interview. If he did, Dannenfelser said, he would not have received the endorsement of her anti-choice organization.
Who else thinks they are purposely telling the public one thing while telling these people something else?
In working on my book, I went to Rwanda in 2004 to interview women who had borne children of rape conceived during the genocide. …At the end of my final interview, I asked the woman I was interviewing whether she had any questions. She paused shyly for a moment. “Well,” she said, a little hesitantly. “You work in this field of psychology.” I nodded. She took a deep breath. “Can you tell me how to love my daughter more?” she asked. “I want to love her so much, and I try my best, but when I look at her I see what happened to me and it interferes.” A tear rolled down her cheek, but her tone turned almost fierce, challenging. “Can you tell me how to love my daughter more?” she repeated.
Perhaps Todd Akin has an answer for her.
|—||“The Legitimate Children of Rape” - Andrew Solomon on the historical relationship between rape and pregnancy: http://nyr.kr/RsAKyQ (via newyorker)|
See if you are eligible to vote at http://www.canivote.org/
*these issues don’t just affect women*
Akin disgraced himself as a benighted zealot by blathering about “legitimate rape,” but it’s a mistake, I think, to focus one’s outrage on the trauma of rape and incest victims, on teen-age girls of severely limited mental capacity who are conned by predators, or on patients who have been told by their physicians that a full-term pregnancy may kill them. Forcing such women to bear a child violates their integrity in a barbaric fashion—it rapes them twice.
Judith Thurman on Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex,” Todd Akin, Paul Ryan, and the abortion debate: http://nyr.kr/SJtwrP
Grand idiocy on the right.
Defenders of senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) have come out of the woodwork in the week following his assertion that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape.” Among those who have rushed to Akin’s defense are former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, both using the conversation as a launching pad to argue that President Obama supports infanticide.
Both Gingrich and Huckabee have made misleading statements about President Obama’s abortion rights record, particularly on his votes in the Illinois state senate against the “Born-Alive Infants Protection Act,” to try to frame him as a supporter of killing viable fetuses. On Fox News, Huckabee claimed that President Obama believes “you can still take the life of a baby even after abortion”:
HUCKABEE: [Obama] voted three times against a bill that would say that you had to give medical treatment to a baby that was born as a result of a botched abortion but it was a living child outside of a mother’s womb. This is an after-birth abortion. He said no, you can still take the life of the baby even after abortion.”
That bill, which Obama did vote against, would have required doctors to resuscitate an aborted fetus if legislators felt it had any chance of viability. But Obama’s reasoning for voting against the bill was nothing like how Gingrich and Huckabee represent it. In interviews with a range of media outlets, Obama expressed that he feared the bill would undermine Roe v Wade by defining any fetus as a human with human rights and claimed it could be used to take down any abortion rights legislation that anti-choice activists didn’t like.
Huckabee attacked the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee on a call to Southern Baptists to rally support for Todd Akin - then walked it back in an email:
There is a lot more (they even had David Barton on the phone call to add “historical perspective” - yeah, these guys really do live in their own made up world) so read it here: POLITICO.com
Earlier this month, A 16-year old pregnant girl in the Dominican Republic died after being denied an abortion under the country’s constitutional ban thereon. Turley reports:
The Dominican Republic’s church-inspired ban on all abortions has cost the life of a pregnant 16-year-old according to her mother, Rosa Hernandez. The teen, who suffered from leukemia, was unable to undergo life-saving chemotherapy until it was too late. The DR’s ban prevented a therapeutic abortion of the 13 week fetus as doctors were unwilling to make an exception.
To make matters worse, the girl miscarried days prior, but died from complications related to her untreated cancer.
The ban, under Article 37 of the Dominican Constitution, has of course been heavily criticized by the medical community:
In 2009,the Dominican Gynecology and Obstetrics Society warned that enacting Article 37 would lead to more maternal deaths.
And now, unfortunately, Ms. Hernandez’s daughter’s lifeless body is just another data point confirming the DGOS’s 2009 warning. And of course, as is usually the case for this sort of thing, the child died along with her, likely due to the immense physical stress that the cancer placed her body under, rendering her system incapable of nurturing the fetus.
None of this should be surprising to anyone who pays attention to data. There is a consistent correlation between maternal death rates and jurisdictional access to abortion. Earlier this year in Mississippi, a state legislator bragged that he and his colleagues had “literally stopped abortion” in the state. Unsurprisingly, Mississippi also has the highest maternal mortality rate in the country. The Nat’l Institute of Health’s journal of Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology noted in 2009 that unsafe abortions account for 13% of all maternal deaths. Furthermore, 97% of these unsafe abortions occur in countries where access to abortion is legally restricted. Dr. Lisa B. Haddad notes in the link above that “every 8 minutes a woman in a developing nation will die of complications arising from an unsafe abortion.” As I’ve said in the past: when access to abortion is restricted, women die.
Eleanor Cooney, in her excellent piece, “The Way It Was,” described the dramatic effect of expanded legal access to abortion after Roe v. Wade, recalling the remarks of a healthcare practitioner who cleaned up the human wreckage left behind by botched abortions:
[I]n The Worst of Times, a collection of interviews with women, cops, coroners, and practitioners from the illegal abortion era… a man who assisted in autopsies in a big urban hospital, starting in the mid-1950s, describes the many deaths from botched abortions that he saw. “The deaths stopped overnight in 1973.” He never saw another in the 18 years before he retired. “That,” he says, “ought to tell people something about keeping abortion legal.”
Yes. It ought to. But unfortunately for Rosa Hernandez’s daughter, the message didn’t get out in time. One can only hope that her death will motivate a change in the law in the Dominican Republic, and hope that the next person in her shoes does not face the same dilemma.
Secret from PostSecret.com
This is one of the main problems with pro-choice rhetoric for me.
This person shouldn’t feel guilty for not feeling guilty, but even pro-choice people claim that “no one wants an abortion” or “we need to work on making abortion less necessary” as though it’s some awful thing.
This feeds the pro-life idea that people shouldn’t get abortions because they’re immoral, if even pro-choicers believe it’s some awful thing you need to feel bad about.
ON DEMAND AND WITHOUT APOLOGY.
Yep. I never, ever felt a moments guilt. Simply relief that a safe option was there for me when it had not been for a friend who died from an illegal wire abortion when we were in our teens.
At public Romney events, citizens need to start asking Mitt how many more Ann Keenans he wants.
It wasn’t a coat hanger. It was a wire.
The theory was that by inserting the wire through the cervix, moving it around a bit and then removing it, an infection would result and the pregnancy would be aborted. It worked. It was March 1967.
Afterward, after I watched the ‘doctor’ wash his hands with one of those little soaps wrapped in white paper, after he tilted the bedside lamp just so and after he said, “That should do it,” I got dressed, left the motel with the flashing vacancy sign, made my way to the bus station in downtown Detroit, and rode in the dark in the eerie silence of a mostly empty Greyhound all the way back to Mt. Pleasant, the tiny Michigan town where I was a freshman in college. Curled up next to the window under my black pea coat, I wondered how long it would take, whether it would be on the bus or later. I worried that something a lot worse than being pregnant would happen to me because of what happened in the motel room, that I’d get sick or bleed to death. I wondered if I would ever feel right about what I had done and if there had been choices that I hadn’t considered. I remember feeling like a mouse that had found the tiniest hole for escape while a giant tomcat loomed. I was distraught, empty, and alone on that bus. Back in my dorm room, Jane, my roommate, held both of my hands in hers and said, “It will be ok. You’ll see. You’ll have lots of children when the time is right.” It was a gesture of kindness and compassion that even now brings tears to my eyes.
But what I had to do was a dreadful thing. The lack of safe, legal, and affordable abortion put me in a dingy motel in downtown Detroit to undergo a risky, unsanitary procedure that could easily have maimed or killed me. That I lived to tell the tale, to write about it on this page, is a small miracle of my life.
Six years later, abortion became legal in the United States. Of any accomplishment of the women’s movement, this one was always at my core. It wasn’t right for women to risk so much in order to be in control of their own reproductive lives. It wasn’t right to punish women who have been cornered by circumstances - unplanned pregnancy, no job, no money, no options - by daring them to find the $250 illegal abortionist in their city or worse. It wasn’t right that women should have to pay for a mistake with their fear, risk their future health and their very lives while men could walk away and be free. I was happy, so happy about Roe v. Wade. At last, I thought, this one thing for women - at last.
And here we are again. Demonizing women. Limiting birth control. Shrinking access to legal and safe abortion. Daring women to go find the wire. All while men can walk away and be free.
It makes my 64-year old soul angrier than almost anything. The extreme hatred for women voiced by politicians, the talk of legitimate rape, the unbelievability of the idea of an ultrasound probe, the intent to demean me/us - it all puts me back on the bus in the dark, by myself, cornered and alone.
It’s so wrong to treat women this way. So wrong. We just can’t go back.
One of my friends did die from a ‘wire abortions’ done in Mexico after a quick drive from a small west Texas town - she was too afraid to try and do it on her own. Her boyfriend drove her and then helped her back into her house afterwards. She bled to death in her bed, afraid to call out to her parents for help.
That was when I became a feminist - at age 17 - and decided women had to stand together for safe and legal abortions. I was so lucky that we had gained that right by the time I needed my own abortion ten years later.
I sincerely hope that there are enough women - young women and their partners especially - that understand what is at stake with this election. Ad that they understand that their state and Congressional races are as important, if not more so, that the ticket at the top.
*TRIGGER WARNING FOR RAPE*
It was sickening. That’s the best way to describe how I felt about Akin’s comments. I was sick to my stomach. I am still sick to my stomach. But what makes it worse is that no one seems to have any regard for how these comments are actually impacting people who have already been victimized by rape. These comments are causing us to be triggered all over again.
Other survivors have been contacting me and telling me they feel like they are reliving their trauma.
I was raped when I was 19 by my best friend’s husband and another man I had known most of my life while away on a camping weekend. At the time, I was afraid for my safety and afraid of these men and wasn’t sure if it was legally rape because I knew them. I thought: “this wasn’t someone who jumped out of the woods at me – I know them – will anyone believe me?” The only thing I wanted to do was pretend none of this ever happened. Two months later I realized I had become pregnant from the rape.
This whole situation just wasn’t going to let me go. I had lost so much. I had so much taken from me. This was the only time during the experience that I was able to exercise some kind of control over my body and restore my sanity.
It was an excruciatingly difficult decision [to have an abortion], but I know I made the right choice, the best choice for me at the time. It’s something I live with every day and will never forget. As any rape survivor will tell you, this is a lifelong experience, but [having an abortion] should be my decision and no one should have the power to take that choice away.
You don’t have a choice when you are raped. You don’t have any power. You don’t have a choice. And for someone to be so casual about their comments is appalling and extremely offensive. There are situations in life that can bring you back to the rape like a soldier with PTSD.
A debate on whether it was the survivor’s fault that they got pregnant and insinuating that the victim could actually stop her body from getting pregnant can send someone right back to blaming themselves and believing, ‘It is my fault. I did something wrong.’
The state of Missouri has been in the national spotlight recently because of comments made by Republican Congressman Todd Akin who claimed that raped women rarely get pregnant. After his statements hit the Internet, immediate outrage burned across the country. Akin later apologized, but his statements have rekindled a nationwide debate. One that republicans desperately do not want to have, lest they alienate a wide majority of female voters.
Sharon Barnes, a high ranking state Republican, came to the defense of her conservative colleague who she believes only “phrased it (his statement) badly.”
Barnes was quoted by The New York Times saying, “abortion is never an option.” Barnes went on to biblically claim that, “If God has chosen to bless this person [the rape victim] with a life, you don’t kill it.”
Barnes did not elaborate on her views for post-pregnancy care, or costs.
Barnes has been a figure in conservative St. Louis politics for years, and currently holds all of the following titles according to her Linkedin profile:
- President of The 2nd Congressional District Republican Women
- President of The Republican Women’s Club of St. Louis
- Vice President, Membership Committee at National Federation Of Republican Women
- Vice President of The Missouri Federation of Republican Women
- Chairman of The St. Louis City Republican Central Committee
- State Committeewoman, 4th Senate District at Missouri Republican Party
- Committeewoman, 24th Ward at Missouri Republican Party
- Volunteer at GOP Missouri Republican Party
As her comments become more known the GOP will attempt to spin Barnes’ clout in the party as little, when in reality she is a big player behind the scenes.