Tag Archives: abortion

Schumer needs to settle down

“I want to tell you Gorsuch. I want to tell Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

So said U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer. He was directing his remarks to Supreme Court justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.

They were taking part in a Supreme Court hearing on a controversial abortion case out of Louisiana. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, of course, are two justices nominated by Donald John Trump and approved after bruising confirmation battles in the Senate; Schumer opposed them both.

Sen. Schumer is wrong to threaten these justices. Chief Justice John Roberts took the unusual approach in rebuking the Senate leader, calling the threats leveled by Schumer “inappropriate” and “dangerous.” Yes. They are.

Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh aren’t my favorite members of the nation’s highest court. I want them to rule the right way on this case and I want them to preserve a woman’s right to control her own body. However, Sen. Schumer has stepped way over the line that separates the legislative and judicial branches of government.

Schumer needs to pipe down and let these justices do their job without that kind of intimidation.

‘Pro-choice’ does not equal ‘pro-slavery,’ Mme. Education Secretary

Get an ever-lovin’ grip, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos!

The education boss who was confirmed by a tie-breaking vote in the U.S. Senate in 2017, has equated being “pro-choice” on abortion to being in favor of owning slaves.

To which I say … What the f***?

She spoke at a Washington, D.C. event for Colorado Christian University and made the absurd comparison, that a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy is akin to decide to put human beings in bondage.

This is one of the more apples-and-oranges comparisons I’ve seen in a good while.

You see, slave owners’ health was not an issue when they decided to purchase human beings and enslave them. A woman who decides she can no longer carry an unborn baby to full term quite often faces potentially mortal health issues. Yes, I get that some women make that decision for many more cavalier reasons than that. However, to equate these two matters — slave ownership and abortion — is irresponsible in the extreme.

The Hill reported: “(Lincoln) too contended with the pro-choice arguments of his day. They suggested that a state’s choice to be slave or to be free had no moral question in it,” DeVos said, the outlet reported. “Well, President Lincoln reminded those pro-choices (there) is a vast portion of the American people that do not look upon that matter as being this very little thing. They look upon it as a vast moral evil.”

I’m trying to wrap my head around her alleged logic. I can’t quite get there.

I’ll just have to conclude that she is equating one issue with another utterly unrelated one. I think Secretary DeVos is reaching way beyond her grasp.

Sanctuary cities for unborn? Oh, my … get ready for the fight

Three Texas communities — Big Spring, Colorado City and Rusk — have thumbed their collective noses at a legal activity that I acknowledge fully has its sworn enemies.

The cities all have created what they are calling “Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn.” They have declared that abortion is illegal in their cities and I will presume women who obtain them are subject to criminal prosecution.

Abortion-rights activists are furious, as they should be. Why? Well, it’s a simple notion, truth be told. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1973 that a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy was legally protected under federal law. Subsequent high court rulings have upheld the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

Thus, the activity remains legal. Does it produce a desirable outcome? Of course not. However, I am in no position — nor is anyone else, for that matter — to dictate to a woman how she must make such a gut-wrenching decision. That is her call in consultation with her partner, her physician … and her conscience.

The Texas Tribune reports: The American Civil Liberties Union has said it is seeking to strike them down. Three towns — Mineral Wells, Omaha and Jacksboro — have voted down similar ordinances or walked them back under advice from city attorneys.

Big Spring, Colorado City and Rusk haven’t yet made their decisions final.

I am all for local control. I dislike states telling cities and towns that they cannot, for example, install electronic devices to help police enforce traffic laws. However, the U.S. Constitution remains the law of the land and in the case of abortion, the Supreme Court already has stood behind the Constitution as the final arbiter on the inflammatory issue of whether a woman can choose to terminate a pregnancy.

Texas already has told cities they cannot create sanctuaries to shield undocumented immigrants from deportation. Yes, I am aware of the intense political differences between illegal immigration and abortion.

But the Texas cities that are seeking to create “sanctuaries for the unborn” need to prepare for a fight that they should not win.

‘Litmus test’ must not be a four-letter word

I have long wondered why the term “litmus test” has become a sort of plague to politicians running for offices that hold the power of appointment.

The U.S. Supreme Court, for instance, is going to become a key issue in the 2020 presidential campaign. Namely, the issue will revolve a potential appointment of the next justice on the nine-member court.

The expected Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, will insist he would appoint justices with a record of favoring pro-life litigants who would come before his or her court. Indeed, he’s already got two judicial appointments on the SCOTUS and they certainly seem to fit the bill prescribed by what Trump has said.

The large field of Democratic Party candidates will argue to a person that they want judicial candidates who take a more expansive view of a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.

But no one says they will apply a “litmus test” to determine who they intend to nominate the highest court in the nation.

They dance all over and around the issue. Litmus tests exist on all sorts of issues. They involve capital punishment, sentencing guidelines, drug policy, firearm ownership and, yes, abortion.

We know the types of individuals that presidents would nominate. They telegraph that punch before they deliver it. However, we refuse to hold them accountable on whether they are applying litmus tests on the individuals they are considering for these appointments.

U.S. senators who have the right to confirm or deny these appointments often make their decisions on single issues. Yet they won’t ever acknowledge they have applied a litmus test to the nominee, indicating whether they pass or fail the exam.

This is a circuitous way of saying, I suppose, that we apply litmus tests at every turn.

Why not, then, just call them what we know them to be?

This conservative stands on principle … how about that?

Jeff Leach calls himself a true-blue political conservative, an avid pro-life politician who opposes abortion fervently.

The Plano, Texas, state representative, though, does see the wall that separates conviction from political fanaticism.

Such is the case when he withdrew his support for a piece of legislation that was considered in the 2017 Texas Legislature. Leach co-authored a bill two years ago that would have made abortion a crime, it would have made women who obtained them criminals and would have subjected them potentially to the death penalty for terminating a pregnancy.

He pulled his support for the bill in the just-concluded 2019 Legislature. As he told the Dallas Morning News:

“Very candidly, when I signed onto that bill … I did not understand the criminal implications on the woman and the possibility of that woman being convicted of homicide and subjecting her to the death penalty … I think it’s the wrong direction for the pro-life movement in Texas to be criminalizing women and I decided very strongly not to support it this session. And I’m pro-life through and through and will not apologize for that, but this is the wrong direction for the pro-life movement.”

Well. How about that?

The Morning News asked Leach this question: What would you say to purists or idealists who might call that kind of flexibility cowardice instead of compromise?

“It’s not cowardice or compromise, it’s conviction. I am a conservative through and through … My values are deeply rooted. It’s who I am and political strategy and legislation changes, but my core convictions, my core values do not.”

Read the DMN interview here.

I believe Rep. Leach represents one of the struggles occurring within the Republican Party and the conservative movement over this abortion matter.

Several states have enacted strict laws banning abortion. Some of them have criminalized the act, subjecting women who have to make the most difficult decision imaginable to prosecution. And, yes, the death penalty is in play in some of those instances.

Does a politician who proclaims himself to be fervently pro-life then stand by while a woman who — for whatever reason — cannot carry a pregnancy to full term? Does that politician then want to punish that woman by killing her in the name of the state where she ended the pregnancy?

This kind of legislation has drawn considerable reluctance among some GOP politicians who, like Leach, say they are reaching too far.

State Rep. Leach tilts too far to the right to suit my political tastes. On this matter, though, he is demonstrating a commitment to reason and to a higher principle than legislating punishment for women who face decisions that not a single male human being can ever imagine having to face.

‘Consensual rape’? No such thing, buster

A Republican state lawmaker has joined the ranks of politicians who “misspeak” when they discuss the rape of an individual.

The latest inductee into the Rhetorical Hall of Shame is Missouri state Rep. Barry Hovis, who declared that most rapes occur during dates or when a woman “consents” to it.

Yes, he called it “consensual rape.” The reason for the discussion in the first place is the Missouri Legislature’s action on a bill that outlaws abortion with only one exception: the health of the mother.

Rape or incest don’t qualify as exceptions, under the proposed Missouri law.

Rep. Hovis, of course, was dead wrong in calling an act of violence against a person to be a “consensual” event. Rape is rape. No one “consents” to being sexually assaulted against their will.

Of course, Hovis said he “misspoke”; he added that he doesn’t believe rape is “consensual.”

Too late, bub. The damage is done.

Abortion-ban law blowback: a big surprise

I have to admit to being quite surprised at much of the response to the Alabama Legislature’s decision to ban virtually all abortion in that state.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill into law. Democratic/progressive response has been predictable: Alabama has launched an assault against women’s reproductive rights, the lefties are saying . . . correctly, in my view.

But then there’s been a negative response from the Republican/conservative movement.

Get a load of this from Tomi Lahren, a right-wing commentator and contributor to the Fox News Channel. Lahren calls herself a “pro-choice” conservative who favors limited government involvement in people’s lives. She wrote: “I’m . . . someone that loves the Constitution, I’m someone that’s for limited government. So I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say ‘I’m for limited government, but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies.'”

Televangelist Pat Robertson said the law is too harsh, too “extreme.” Lahren said it won’t save any lives because it “forces women into more dangerous methods, other states or countries.”

This debate is causing my head to spin. I used to think the abortion divide fell along certain partisan and ideological lines.

The Alabama law has just blurred those differences beyond my ability to recognize them.

Hell freezes over: I agree with Pat Robertson

Hell has frozen over and the sun is going to rise above the western horizon tomorrow morning.

How else to explain that televangelist Pat Robertson and yours truly are on the same page regarding arguably the most emotionally charged issue of our time . . . or any time, for that matter?

Robertson says the Alabama Legislature has “gone too far” in banning abortion in that state. Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill into law earlier today.

Robertson calls the Legislature’s move “extreme.” Indeed, he is right. Imagine that, if you can; he and I agree on something.

The law bans abortion except only when the mother’s health is in peril. Rape victims? Those who are impregnated by their, oh, fathers or uncles or older brothers? They’re out of luck. A doctor who terminates those pregnancies are going to face prison terms of as long as 99 years.

Well, I don’t know yet how to act this late in the day.

I know the sun will rise in the morning. I just hope it comes up on the correct side of the house.

Alabama pushes forward radical abortion bill

Oh, I do hate commenting on abortion or, to borrow the current euphemism, “women’s reproductive rights.”

However, the decision by the Alabama Legislature to make abortion a criminal act deserves a brief comment here.

Alabama’s legislators have made a serious mistake. They have sent to the governor’s desk a bill that would punish doctors with prison terms of as long as 99 years for performing an abortion at any stage of a woman’s pregnancy.

Here’s the worst part of it: The bill makes no exception for women who are impregnated in an act of rape or incest; the only exception is if the woman’s health is in danger.

If Gov. Kay Ivey, a Republican, signs the bill, it seems to set up a clear challenge eventually of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States.

Here is a potential consequence of this legislation: We well might see a spike in what is called “back-alley abortions,” where women who cannot carry a pregnancy to full term will seek illegal methods to end the pregnancy. Some of these processes are too gruesome for me to describe in this blog; you know what I’m talking about. The consequences of these hideous acts also are dire in the extreme.

So what does the president of the United States say about this Alabama law? He endorses it as a hedge against what he describes as procedures supported by Democrats who favor “ripping the baby from the mother’s womb” and essentially “executing” the child — which, of course, is a bald-faced lie.

This blog post is going to get some blowback from readers who endorse the Alabama decision. Fine. I’m willing to take the hits.

I am not willing to remain silent while one of our states criminalizes an act that the U.S. Supreme Court has determined to be legal. I would never counsel a woman to obtain an abortion. That is my point. It’s not my business. It is hers alone!

Trump takes demagoguery to shocking level … even for him!

Donald Trump’s shamelessness knows no bounds.

He exhibited it yet again this weekend in Green Bay, Wis., when he accused women and their doctors of committing criminal acts.

The president got all fired up and then told his adoring crowd of Trumpkins that women and their doctors deliver babies, talk about how to care for the baby, wrap the child up — and then decide how to “execute” that child.

Oh, the throng loved it. They cheered the president and booed the scenario. Except that he lied. What he described does not happen!

Yet for this president to continually demagogue the issue of abortion, of whether a woman should be able to choose whether to carry a child to full term simply astonishes many of us beyond our ability to declare our revulsion.

It’s illegal, Mr. POTUS.

The nation does not allow the “execution” of babies. Such a crime would be produce at minimum a life sentence in prison in most states. Yet there he was this weekend, spouting even more outrageous lies.

Donald Trump is the most indecent human being ever to occupy the nation’s highest office.