Forty years after the landmark Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion, the new documentary "After Tiller" follows the only four doctors left in the United States who are known to provide abortions in the third trimester. In 2009, their colleague, Dr. George Tiller, was assassinated while attending church in Wichita, Kansas. The four doctors depicted in the film have also braved threats, harassment and the emotional weight of the stories they hear to provide women with a desperately needed medical procedure.
Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman is joined by the directors of "After Tiller," Lana Wilson and Martha Shane.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America is out today with a new video illustrating how the pro-choice and pro-life labels don’t reflect the complexity of the conversation about abortion, and the way that Americans — especially young people — think and talk about abortion today. It highlights a disassociation with the black and white labels that “box in the conversation” and the fact that a growing number of Americans who might otherwise identify themselves as “pro-life” are in fact in favor of keeping abortion safe and legal.
The video, “NOT IN HER SHOES” comes as part of the organization’s effort to expand the national conversation about abortion beyond “pro-choice” and “pro-life” labels.
“NOT IN HER SHOES” comes in advance of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision confirming a woman’s constitutional right to access safe and legal abortion, if and when she needs it, and without interference of politicians.
“The way that Americans — especially young people — think and talk about abortion has changed over the last 40 years,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a press release on Wednesday. “A growing number of Americans no longer identify with the pro-choice and pro-life labels that they believe box them in. In fact, many people who say they are ’pro-life’ also believe that women should have access to safe and legal abortion. Americans agree that abortion is a deeply personal, complex decision that should be left to a woman and her doctor, without interference from politicians. Instead of putting people in one category or another, we should respect the decisions women and their families make.”
Praveen Halappanavar told the Irish Times that his wife, Savita, was suffering intense pain and had been told her baby would not survive. Upset but resigned to losing her child, she was denied an abortion despite repeated pleas with their Galway hospital as she suffered shakes and vomiting, Halappanavar told the newspaper.
“The consultant said it was the law, that this is a Catholic country. Savita said, ‘I am neither Irish nor Catholic,’ but they said there was nothing they could do,” Halappanavar told the newspaper from India.
The fetal heartbeat stopped on the third day, and the dead fetus was removed, but it was too late for Savita. Her condition worsened, and by Saturday she was in organ failure and died shortly after.
The hospital extended its sympathy to the Halappanavar family, but could not discuss any of the details of the case due to investigations underway by both the Health Service Executive, and an internal hospital investigation.
A few days after the 1993 assassination of Dr. David Gunn, a Florida abortion provider, Todd Akin's longtime anti-abortion and militia pal, Tim Dreste, stood in front of the health care clinic of abortion provider Dr. Yogrenda Shah with a sign that read: “Dr. Shah, are you feeling under the Gunn?” (See the video above.) Shortly afterwards, Akin contributed $200 to Dreste's dark horse race for state representative.
A new report has revealed that Missouri Republican Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin was arrested at least eight times in the 1980s at anti-abortion protests, according to newly obtained records.
That is four arrests in addition to four the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported last month based on a review of its archives. The arrests were missed in previous searches because the news stories had listed Akin by his given first name, William.The four additional arrests each occurred at a reproductive health clinic in Ballwin, Missouri in St. Louis County between 1985 and 1987.
The arrests reported by the Post-Dispatch came in the same period, between March 1985 and May 1987, but occurred at other clinics. Three were in St. Louis and one in Granite City, Illinois.
On one of those occasions, police had to physically carry Akin into an elevator when he refused to leave the premises, according to an article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
"Right Wing Watch," a project of People For the American Way, a nonprofit group critical of Akin's ties to radical elements of the pro-life movement, obtained incident reports on the arrests Friday from the St. Louis Country Police Department under Missouri's sunshine law, and provided them to news media.
Akin's views opposing abortion are well-known. In August of this year, he infamously said that women who are victims of "legitimate rape" are physically able to stop themselves from becoming pregnant, a remark that was ridiculed and rejected by medical professionals, women's advocates, and politicians on both sides of the aisle. Akin teamed up with Paul Ryan in 2011 to try to narrow the definition of rape, voted in 1991 for an anti-marital-rape law, called for an end to the school-lunch program and a total ban on the morning-after pill. In 1992, Akin even fought for a narrower definition of child abuse.
Most polls are showing Missouri's incumbent Senator Claire McCaskill with a strong lead over Akin, even though she missed a week worth of campaigning due to the recent passing of her mother, Betty Anne Ward McCaskill, 84.
A Republican congressional candidate says abortion should not be legal, even when it involves "the rape thing," according to audio obtained by activist working on behalf of the liberal group FUSE Washington.
John Koster was questioned about his views on abortion during a fundraiser Sunday, and said he does not oppose abortion when the life of the mother is in danger, but then explains he would oppose it when it involves rape or incest:
“Incest is so rare, I mean it’s so rare. But the rape thing, you know, I know a woman who was raped and kept the child, gave it up for adoption and doesn’t regret it. In fact, she’s a big pro-life proponent. But, on the rape thing it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s a consequence of this crime, how does that make it better?”
Let me get this out of the way first, no incest is not rare. Does it actually have to be "reported" on Fox News for Republicans to know it's happening?
I suppose "the rape thing" is just a trifling matter when you already don't have enough respect for women to allow them to make their own decisions about their health and bodies. But Republican politicians used to be much more subtle with their attitude towards women. First there was mandatory counseling, and waiting periods, then in 2011 Republican lawmakers went full tilt with a record number of abortion-related legislation including forced transvaginal ultrasounds. Now they seem pathological, and intent on essentially legalizing rape.
We've had to endure Todd Akin and his "legitimate rape," and come to discover his frightening militant anti-abortion background, and Richard Mourdock saying that pregnancy resulting from rape is God's will.
Rape is violence, and rape is a crime. Anyone who uses a woman's body against her will for any reason is a criminal, and that should include forcing a woman to jump through hoops to obtain an abortion, efforts to prevent a woman's access to birth control, or using an elected office to criminalize abortion.
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Indiana can’t cut off funding for Planned Parenthood just because the organization provides abortion, contrary to a 2011 law signed by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels. That law was the first time a state denied Planned Parenthood Medicaid funds for general health services, including cancer screenings.
Indiana stepped between women and their physicians when it enacted a law that blocked Medicaid funds for Planned Parenthood just because the organization provides abortions, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago effectively upheld decisions by a district judge and a Medicaid review panel that found the 2011 law denied patients the right to choose their own health care provider.
"This is not about an abortion case. This is a case about Medicaid services - non-abortion-related services - and the attempt by the state of Indiana to punish Planned Parenthood and its clients from receiving non-abortion health services merely because Planned Parenthood, without any sort of state or federal money or any Medicaid funds, also provides abortions," Ken Falk, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, said at a news conference in Indianapolis following Tuesday's decision. The ACLU argued the case on behalf of Planned Parenthood.
A federal judge in Phoenix last week blocked Arizona from applying a similar law to Planned Parenthood. A similar law in Texas also is the focus of a court fight.
Well, at least we know how Justice Antonin Scalia will be leaning as new cases arrive at the Supreme Court this year. He offered a glimpse into his decision-making process during an event at the American Enterprise Institute. RightWingWatch has an excellent run-down on AEI here.
Scalia calls himself a “textualist” and, as he related to a few hundred people who came to buy his new book and hear him speak, that means he applies the words in the Constitution as they were understood by the people who wrote and adopted them.
So Scalia parts company with colleagues who have come to believe capital punishment is unconstitutional.
“The death penalty? Give me a break. It’s easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state,” Scalia said at the American Enterprise Institute.
Scalia also took issue with justices who try to be true to the values of the Constitution as he applies them to a changing world. This imaginary justice goes home for dinner and tells his wife what a wonderful day he had, Scalia said.
This imaginary justice, Scalia continued, announces that it turns out “’the Constitution means exactly what I think it ought to mean.’ No kidding.”
According to the Washington Examiner, Scalia was asked by an audience member how he stays hopeful in the face of the Obama administration's "failure to leave lawmaking to Congress."
Scalia first responded, "Who says I'm hopeful?" before saying he soldiers on.
"I feel like I'm Frodo in 'Lord of the Rings,' " he said. "The evil eye will get us sooner or later, but it's worth the fight."
Personally, I think Scalia got into the wine for the wine and cheese receptionbefore his speech. His remarks are bolder than his usual partisan, pompous rhertoric. And my aren't we lucky with this windbag on the bench that we're not still burning witches, or any number of "crimes" and their punishments that been vanquished from the books in our changing world.
Justice Scalia's reference to the Obama administration as "the evil eye" is an exclamation point on his career of allowing his right-wing leanings to influence his rulings, and there have been multiple calls for his impeachment. It's well past time we got it done, then he can go peddle his books and criticize anyone he wants, and leave outdated laws in the past where they belong.
Dogs Against Romney gather in Tampa, Florida for the Republican National Convention.
The Code Pink "Vaginas" chant "Hey, Hey GOP! Women want equality!" at the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Sunday.
Part One: Fences, Fences, and More Fences from photographer Robert L. Beukema as he explores the sights and sounds of Tampa during the Republican National Convention.
Part Two: Photographer Robert L. Beukema exploring the sights and sounds of downtown Tampa during the Republican National Convention. Businesses boarded up in anticipation of protests, large heave metal fencing everywhere, and armed National Guard troops on patrol. Even the harbor is heavily patrolled by coast guard and sheriff's deputies on water patrol. It all looks like something out of a nightmare.
Part Three of Sights and Sounds from photographer Robert L. Beukema. Ho boy, wait until you get an eye and earful of a tiff between the Dogs Against Romney members, and a Romney supporter who talks the ears off of anyone who will listen to her. The mainstream media gives her time, and plenty of it, to ramble on about everything from Obama ate dog meat as a child (once), the Constitution, and something about how many slaves did you need to make one vote? She wraps her her diatribe telling people to "Look it up!" so, hopefully they will, but somewhere other than on Fox News.
This is the last video for this post, much more to come later. This is a new this morning ad from Moveon.org, showing Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan literally stepping on the middle class as they walk to the podium to accept their nomination as President and Vice President of the 1%. Ouch!
"Boy, these conservatives are really something, aren't they? They're all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you're born, you're on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that, they don't want to know about you. They don't want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no day care, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you're pre-born, you're fine; if you're preschool, you're f*cked."