Tag Archives: abortion

Considering straight-ticket ballot

For as long as I’ve been voting, and that goes back to 1972, I have resisted the notion of voting for candidates of just one party.

I am rethinking that personal policy as the 2022 midterm election draws closer.

I want to be clear. I won’t punch the straight-ticket slot on my ballot. Hah! I can’t do it anyway, as we no longer have that option in Texas. However, the state of policy in the Republican Party makes it virtually impossible for me to support anyone who endorses the platform set forth by the GOP.

I refer to its hideous criminalization of abortion, its election denial based on The Big Lie fomented by the GOP’s titular head (the immediate past president of the U.S.A.), its refusal to consider legislative remedies to gun violence.

Democrats up and down the ballot are likely to get my vote in 2022. Not all of them, mind you. I might just pass over some of the statewide contests on the ballot; some of the races remain mysteries to me.

I went to a Princeton Independent School District candidate forum recently and heard from a spectator that one of the candidates is the “only suitable Republican” running for one of two seats on the PISD school board. I reminded the young man that the candidates run as non-partisans; they aren’t Democrats or Republicans. That candidate might get my vote, but it doesn’t count as a partisan decision.

The partisan ballot, though, is full of clear choices. My mind is pretty much made up as early voting is about to commence. Still — and this is important — I intend fully to vote on Election Day. I want to hold off on committing my ballot to any candidate early in case the candidate messes up and makes me regret my vote.

The contests for Congress, for key statewide offices appear likely to be one-sided for this voter … if you get my drift.


Cheapening of values

Americans of all stripes are witnessing in real time how our political values no longer hang on politicians’ stated views of key issues and their actions juxtaposed to their stated policies.

Consider what is occurring in Georgia, where the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate — Herschel Walker — has been revealed to be a stunning hypocrite on an issue that demands absolute sincerity.

In any other era, revelations that a staunch opponent of abortion would allegedly have demanded a girlfriend abort a pregnancy would spell the end of a candidacy. Herschel Walker would have resigned his candidacy and left the campaign for someone else to salvage.

These days? Georgia GOP voters are shrugging it off. Party leaders are backing Walker, doubling down on their support for this ignoramus who actually has said that “there is no shame” in demanding an abortion “if I had done it.”

Oh, there’s more. It has been revealed that Walker has four children with four women and has been estranged from at least one of his sons since the young man’s birth.

Remember, too, that Walker is campaigning as an evangelical Christian who opposes — he says — abortion in all cases; he makes no exception for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest or the health of the mother.

Despite all of that, Walker remains a potential spoiler in the race against Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, the incumbent who is seeking election to a full term.

Walker could still win this race! Why? Because it’s all about power! Republicans want to get control of the Senate. They are driven solely by the prospect of Herschel Walker — an individual with zero knowledge of any public policy — defeating a competent senator who, by the way, also serves as senior pastor of Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta … the same house of worship where the great Martin Luther King Jr. preached to the faithful.

Yes, we are witnessing a degradation of policy and the ascent of power as this hideous issue plays out.

It is a sickening turn of events.


#MeToo gets new champion?

Can it be that the #MeToo movement has gotten a new champion, someone around whom women everywhere can rally?

That woman, who has yet to be identified, has told The Daily Beast that Republican U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker paid for her abortion, a charge that Walker denies; he says he doesn’t know anyone for whom he paid such a procedure.

Except that now she says she is the mother of one of Walker’s children.

Oops, Herschel.

The Daily Beast stands behind the reporting of this story. Walker’s Democratic opponent in Georgia, Sen. Raphael Warnock, reportedly is getting a significant polling bump as a result of the allegation leveled against Walker.

Feminist groups are rallying behind this woman, just as they did when other women accused Donald Trump of sexual assault or other public figures of similar attacks on them.

So, yes, the #MeToo movement appears to be getting new life.

As it should.


Has Walker sunk himself?

Hershel “Georgia Dumbass” Walker finds himself denying an allegation that is beginning to look more credible by the hour.

Walker is the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, running against Sen. Raphael Warnock, the Democratic incumbent.

It turns out the Daily Beast is reporting that Walker paid for a former girlfriend’s abortion in 2009. It’s a big deal, man. Why? Because Walker has been proclaiming himself to be a devout pro-life advocate who opposes abortion at any level.

Walker denies the allegation. Except that the Daily Beast has obtained receipts with Walker’s signature on them, offering tangible evidence that the allegation actually is, um … true!

How does this clown Walker manage to keep within shoutin’ distance of Sen. Warnock in public opinion polling? National Republicans are doubling down on Walker’s behalf, declaring they’re sticking with their GOP guy.

I am not sure I can come up with a more hideous display of rank hypocrisy than what is being alleged in this instance. The Daily Beast is standing firmly behind its reporting; it has produced written documentation to back up what the ex-girlfriend has said happened.

To think this idiot Walker can possibly be elected to the U.S. Senate is utterly astounding beyond measure.


‘Three men’ ad sticks like glue

The ad is labeled simply “three men,” and focuses on three Texas politicians, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton. They’re all Republicans.

It is paid for by a PAC called Coulda Been Worse LLC, referencing the Uvalde school massacre in May that killed 19 children and two teachers.

What is most fascinating is the emphasis on the “men” aspect of the ad. It seems to dovetail off another TV spot that discusses how these “three men” forced the Legislature to ban abortion in all cases, except for the health of the mother. No exception for rape or incest. The “three men” made it happen.

Now we see that theme being carried over to the issue of the electrical grid, which Coulda Been Worse LLC notes still hasn’t been fixed.

I happen to like the ad. No surprise, given that I oppose the re-election of all three of the principals mentioned.

My request to Coulda Been Worse LLC? Keep ’em coming.


What would they do … ?

I am willing to wait for as long as it takes for a self-righteous, sanctimonious politician to answer a simple question that I believe needs asking.

What would they do, how would they react, if their daughter was raped and beaten half to death and then learned that she is carrying an unborn child as a result of that attack?

While we’re on the subject, how would they react if, say, a lecherous uncle impregnated them?

No one has asked the likes of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, or Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick that question. Nor has anyone asked any other politician who has enacted laws that all but eliminate abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

It’s a fair question. I admit it’s a bit of a “gotcha” inquiry. I can remember when then-GOP Sen. Dan Quayle was running for vice president in 1988 on a ticket led by VP George H.W. Bush. Quayle said he would “support” whatever decision his daughter made, even if she chose to have an abortion. Quayle was notably pro-life on the issue of abortion but didn’t flinch when someone asked him publicly about how he would react if a member of his own family faced that gut-wrenching decision.

Politicians simply must thrust themselves into the lives of those who must live by the laws enacted. They must be forced to answer the tough questions that some of those decisions require of them.


Abortion: state or national issue?

Lindsey Graham once thought and talked like a traditional Republican, such as the time he said that abortion laws needed to be settled by states.

Now, though, the South Carolina Republican is ratcheting up the argument, pitching for a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Which is it, Sen. Graham, state issue or national prerogative?

Politicians on both sides of the divide have criticized Graham’s about-face. Then, of course, are those of us who dislike the government dictating how a woman can govern her own body.

Public opinion polls suggest Graham is on the losing side of this debate. He isn’t dissuaded. Graham believes the nationwide ban will become law despite those polls and despite some election results that suggest Americans want to retain a woman’s right to choose whether to end a pregnancy.

I will give Graham some credit for recognizing the need for excepting cases involving rape and incest from the ban. Certain statewide bans, such as what’s been enacted in Texas, require girls impregnated by their lecherous uncles or fathers to carry their pregnancies to full term.

However, Graham is getting way ahead of himself if he believes most Americans will line up behind what he’s proposing. According to the Huffington Post: “I am confident the American people would accept a national ban on abortion at 15 weeks,” Graham told “Fox News Sunday.” “And to those who suggest that being pro-life is losing politics, I reject that.”

Graham ‘Confident’ Public Backs U.S. Abortion Ban Despite Elections Proving Otherwise (msn.com)

Instead, he has joined the wacky wing of the Republican Party that now wants to nationalize what used to be part of the GOP mantra: it is better to leave some things up to the states than to have the feds impose their iron will.


Land of the Free? Hah!

Didn’t this country found itself as the “Land of the Free,” a nation that prided itself on delivering freedom to all Americans, a land that honored our civil liberties?

I ask because of what has transpired in recent months with the U.S. Supreme Court rescinding one of our sacred civil liberties, the one that granted women the right to determine how to control their own bodies, as covered in the rights of privacy spelled out in the U.S. Constitution.

The court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that made abortion legal in this country. Over the nearly five decades of its existence, legal scholars and other courts had determined that Roe was “settled law.” In other words, we couldn’t mess with what had become part of the nation’s legal fabric.

Not so, according to the current Supreme Court.

When the court rescinded Roe v. Wade it essentially determined that on this key issue, women are longer free to make critical, gut-wrenching and highly emotional decisions involving their own bodies.

There doesn’t appear to be any remedies available, given the current makeup of the U.S. Senate and certainly given the ideological bent of the court, with its six conservative justices. Senate Democrats want to “codify” legality of abortion legislatively, but they would have to overcome a certain Republican filibuster; they need 60 votes to end such an obstructionist act. A 50-50 Senate split isn’t likely to bend.

Oh, but wait. The midterm election could give Democrats an actual majority, enabling them perhaps to toss out the filibuster. We’ll have to see.

I just am baffled at the frontal attack that the GOP and their allies on the Supreme Court have leveled against a fundamental principle established by our nation’s founders. It is that American citizens enjoy the freedom to make decisions that only they can make for themselves.

I would say that a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy qualifies as a critical component of living in the Land of the Free.



Personhood debate enters absurdity level

A North Texas woman got pulled over by a police officer because she was the sole occupant in a vehicle that was traveling down a high-occupancy vehicle lane — which requires two or more passengers to qualify.

Except that the woman is pregnant, so she has contested the citation issued in Dallas County, contending that her unborn child is a person, which makes the HOV restriction moot.

Hmm. How do I say this? This incident goes beyond absurd. It is ridiculous in the extreme, but it surely opens the door to endless debate over the whole “personhood” issue brewing now that Texas has made abortion illegal.

The driver in question, Brandy Bottone, said she isn’t trying to make this a “political” issue. Yeah, sure thing. It’s like the pro athlete who holds out for more money who then says, “It’s not about the money.” Of course it is … about the money. Bottone’s bitching about the traffic ticket is most certainly a political issue.

The Texas Tribune reports: Bottone argued that under Texas’ abortion laws, which went into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion, a fetus is considered a living being. She argued the same should be true when it comes to the state’s traffic laws. “I’m not trying to make a political stance here,” Bottone said, “but in light of everything that is happening, this is a baby.”

Fetal personhood law is complex and Texas is only beginning to untangle it | The Texas Tribune

I have a fear that other would-be political activists are going to test this law and well could clog up municipal courts with ridiculous arguments that suggest that even though a woman is, say, six or seven weeks pregnant that she is therefore allowed to flout a reasonable law aimed at helping motorists who have actual passengers sitting next to them navigate their way through traffic congestion.

This whole matter appears to be taking an absurd turn.


Pro-life, pro-choice … or both?

Occasionally I have to grapple with my position on abortion. Am I pro-choice? Am I pro-life? Truly, this issue causes me some grief. To alleviate that grief, I have determined I am both.

I now shall explain myself.

If a woman were to ask me for advice on whether to abort a pregnancy, I could not counsel her to do so. Therefore, that resistance to pro-abortion counseling makes me — in my view — pro-life on the issue.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that strips the court’s Roe v. Wade ruling of its power spurs another emotion within. You see, I also believe that government should not govern how women can manage their own reproductive process. That is not a governmental call. Such heart-wrenching decisions belong only to the woman, her partner, her physician, her spiritual leader and, yes, the god she worships.

I have thought about a gentleman with whom I attended church in Amarillo. His name is Doug and he once told a crowd of fellow churchgoers in a voice loud enough for many of us to hear that he was both a “creationist and one who believes in evolution.”

I learned then that Doug, a fellow who is quite a bit older than I am (which is really saying something), takes the same expansive view of Scripture that I do. We believe that the biblical version of “six days” worth of work creating the universe doesn’t mean the same six calendar days we use to measure that length of time.

So it can be with abortion. I see myself as both pro-life and pro-choice on an issue that when all is said about it really is none of my business.

As a 70-something-year-old man I never have had to make that choice for myself, nor will ever have to make it for as long as I walk this good Earth. Nor do I ever expect a woman to ask me whether she should make that choice for herself.

That suits me fine, too … because I never could say “yes” for any woman to commit such an agonizing act.