Tag Archives: abortion

Demagogues are winning the argument

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

One word came to mind when I read this post that showed up on my Facebook news feed today.

Demagogue.

Yes, the demagogues among us are winning the argument over these matters. They have persuaded others that to be pro-choice on abortion means you favor abortion; that you favor “open borders” if you’re horrified at the treatment of refugees; that you want to dismantle the Second Amendment if you think legislative solutions to gun violence are an option.

The demagogues are winning this argument because they appeal to people’s lesser instincts, which are easier to bring to the surface than their better instincts.

You know how it goes. Someone who agrees with something you say cannot tell you precisely why they agree with you, or even exactly what it is that earns the high praise. If that someone disagrees with you, why they can recite to you every point you make word by word.

Thus, the demagogues among us are winning the argument.

Man, we gotta find a more effective way to respond to these simpletons.

No communion for POTUS?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The Bible is God’s infallible word, yes?

So, with that I want to venture briefly into some dangerous rhetorical territory. Some Catholic bishops want to deny President and Mrs. Biden communion because of their views on abortion.

Catholic Church doctrine opposes abortion. Period. It is not a debatable point. President Biden believes women deserve to have the right to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy, which is against church doctrine. Some bishops want to deny serving him communion at Mass. Given that the first couple attends church regularly, well … that’s a big deal.

My quandary is this: The Bible I have read since I was a little boy does not set any sin above all others. Thus, abortion is no more serious a sin than, say, coveting someone else’s property or engaging in sloth.

How, then, do bishops justify weaponizing a particular sin by denying a politician communion which in effect declares that abortion is more punishable than any other sin? Is that in keeping with Biblical teaching?

Abortion headed for scrap heap?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I am profoundly offended by the notion of politicians dictating to women how they can deal with emotional trauma that virtually no one else can comprehend.

Yet that is what is likely to happen if — or likely when — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs an anti-abortion bill into law.

The Legislature has enacted a bill that would make abortion illegal six weeks after conception, which is before many women even know they are pregnant.

Texas Senate advances bill to outlaw abortions if Roe. v. Wade overturned | The Texas Tribune

What’s more, these politicians — dominated in Texas by Republicans, of course — are poised to make all abortions illegal if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in this country.

As the Texas Tribune reported:

I am shaking my head in disgust and dismay at what these pols think they are doing.

As I have noted already on this blog, my distress at this draconian measure does not make me “pro-abortion.” I never could recommend an abortion for a woman who sought my counsel. I simply would stand back and tell that woman to do what her heart tells her to do.

If only our state’s smug political class — comprising a solid majority of men — would comprehend the notion that they are venturing into territory where they should never tread.

Anti-abortion bill nears reality

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

If I were to declare my opposition to a strict anti-abortion bill headed for approval in the Texas Legislature, would you consider me to be “pro-abortion”?

If you say “yes,” you would be wrong.

Still, I do oppose legislators’ effort to enact a strict law that makes it illegal for a woman to terminate a pregnancy just six weeks after conception.

Does that mean I favor abortion? That I would counsel a woman to get an abortion if she asked for my opinion on this intensely personal matter? That I oppose the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent rulings that have declared abortion to be perfectly legal in this country?

No on all three counts.

What troubles me about the Texas legislation is the idea that a woman cannot make this decision for herself. That she cannot consult with her spiritual counselor, her partner, other members of her family, that she cannot pray to God for strength and guidance as she ponders what to do.

No, that a group of equally fallible human beings are going to declare that any effort to end a pregnancy after six weeks — when, as I have understood, women often don’t even know they are pregnant — is just plain wrong.

Human beings should not be left to pass judgment on other humans’ most wrenching decision. To my way of thinking, a woman who chooses to end a pregnancy stands alone. There can be no other decision that comes to my mind that is more wrenching than that.

The Texas Tribune reports: Abortion rights advocates say the legislation is among the most “extreme” measures nationwide and does not exempt people pregnant because of rape or incest. Beyond the limitations on abortion access, the bill would let nearly anyone — including people with no connection to the doctor or the woman — sue abortion providers, and those who help others get an abortion in violation of the proposed law. People who support abortion funds and clinics could also be hit with lawsuits, and lawyers warn those sued would not be able to recover some of the money they spent on their legal defense.

Texas House passes fetal “heartbeat” bill banning abortion at six weeks | The Texas Tribune

If only government officials could adopt a concept uttered by President Bill Clinton who once declared his intention to make abortion “rare … but still legal.”

Foolishness too often dominates Legislature

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A proposal to make abortion a capital crime in Texas — allowing the state to administer a potential death sentence for a woman who terminates a pregnancy — brings to mind some of the idiocy that too often permeates the state’s legislative process.

State Rep. Bryan Slaton, a Royse City Republican, has pitched the legislative “remedy” to abortion. It shouldn’t, if reason holds up, have a chance in hell of being enacted and then signed into law.

Abortion happens to be legal in this country and for the Legislature to waste a moment of valuable time on this bill is, well, a disgrace.

So is this horrendous talk of secession, which once again has entered the public debate. Texas cannot legally secede from the Union. Period. End of discussion. Yet some Texas Republicans — starting with the party chairman, Allen West — think it’s OK to give Texans a vote on that matter.

Ridiculous.

Texas needs to devote its energy to issues that matter. We need to maintain our roads and highways. And, oh yes, we also have that energy issue to discuss and repair.

Texans went without power in February during that ice and snow storm. Some of us are still without potable water. The state has to fix the way it manages its electrical grid to avoid a repeat of what transpired during the Storm of 2021.

Still, the Legislature every other year spends too much valuable time dawdling and discussing matters that have no prayer of becoming law. I get that we don’t pay our legislators much money when they meet in Austin every odd-numbered year, but for crying out loud, I just wish they would take all the time they have available working for the general public good.

POTUS makes strange SCOTUS ploy

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I have been intrigued by Donald Trump’s decision to roll out the names of possible U.S. Supreme Court appointments should he win a second term as president of the United States.

I guess I come down to this notion: Trump is playing with fire by throwing out names while he is in the midst of a campaign that might rile the dickens out groups of voters who detest the philosophies of the prospective nominees.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has gotten the most buzz out of the list of 20 names tossed out there by Trump. You know this guy, whom I have labeled the Cruz Missile owing to his rather mercurial political trajectory.

He actually wants to be elected president one day, which to my way of thinking suggests he wouldn’t want to end up on the high court.

But back to the point. Trump’s tactic here puts his re-election effort in some jeopardy.

All of the names he has floated are, for example, likely to be avidly anti-reproductive rights advocates. They all would oppose a woman’s right to end a pregnancy. How do you suppose that’s going to play with suburban women, who already are tilting strongly away from Trump and toward the candidacy of Joseph Biden?

Yes, I know Trump has his support base that thinks the tactic is working out just fine. I just consider it a huge gamble at this juncture of a campaign that by all objective measure isn’t going well.

I suppose, therefore, I shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about any of this.

So … I won’t.

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?