This morning, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed devastating anti-abortion bill HB2 into law behind closed doors in an auditorium at the Texas State Capitol. As Perry and his cronies congratulated each other on passing a piece of legislation that will undoubtedly result in the deaths of some of their constituents, protesters camped outside the doors shouted “Shame!”, chanted “The blood of Texas women is on your hands!”, and sang “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” Some protesters, like those pictured above, simply taped their mouths with duct tape and held signs in silent protest. Democratic superhero Wendy Davis, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, and a multitude of Texas activists have vowed to continue fighting the law. [Houston Chronicle] [Photo via NARAL Pro-Choice Texas]
This morning, North Carolina’s state senate advanced a bill to further restrict abortion rights in the state. The bill the Senate voted on was supposed to be about prohibiting Islamic sharia law in the state, but ended up having unrelated anti-abortion legislation tacked onto it on Tuesday. The bill would require that abortion providers be present for all abortions, regardless of whether the pregnancy termination is surgicial (a surgery) or medical (pill form). Additionally, the bill would require clinics that provide abortions to have the same engineering standards as ambulatory surgical centers, which would require additional, expensive updates. Anti-abortion activists have been pushing for such bills around the country because they know clinics will be out of commission while seeking to meet the new requirements.
The Senators approved House Bill 695 by 29 to 12, prompting abortion rights supporters to shout “shame, shame, shame!”; the bill now heads back to the state House of Representatives for the changes to be approved. It is not known whether NC Governor Pat McCrory will veto the bill. [WRAL]
The striking down of the Defense of Marriage Act is an enormous victory for same-sex marriage. Alas, there are always several assholes out there to remind us that ignorance and homophobia are still alive and well. On Wednesday, openly gay Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat from Philadelphia, was not permitted to speak about DOMA on the floor of the Pennsylvania House. Why? Because bigots wouldn’t let him. A procedural maneuver in the PA legislature requires just one legislator to shut down such impromptu remarks and Republican Rep. Daryl Metcalfe announced:
“I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God’s law,”
Yes, you read that correctly. Sims was not allowed to speak in a government building because he maybe was going to say something in violation of “God’s law.” Welcome to America! We have separation of church and state here, people. Later, Rep. Metcalfe told the AP, “For me to allow him to say things that I believe are open rebellion against God are for me to participate in his open rebellion. There’s no free speech on the floor.” Keep reading »
Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is currently in the process of filibustering SB5, the devastating anti-abortion bill that would decimate women’s access to reproductive healthcare. To stop the bill, Davis will need to speak continuously for 13 hours in order to run down the clock and prevent a vote. Texas law prevents her from drinking, eating, sitting down, or taking a bathroom break for the entirety of her filibuster. She’s already been at it for over 5 hours, and while her voice is a bit hoarse, she shows no signs of backing down. So far she has read heartbreaking personal stories from hundreds of Texas woman, and respectfully and eloquently responded to some painfully condescending questions from her Republican colleagues (by the way, thanks for helping to run down the clock, guys!). Check out the livestream of her heroic stand for women’s health above. Send Wendy a Tweet of support @WendyDavisTexas, tag Tweets with #standwithwendy, or contact her through her website to tell her to please, please, please run for president. [RH Reality Check]
“From the other side of the aisle I hear the conversation being about ‘free this is free, we need to take it and it’s free and we need to do it now’ and that’s sort of the fundamental message that my brain receives. Now, my brain being a man’s brain sort of thinks differently, because I say, well, it’s not if it’s free is it really free because I say in my brain there’s a cost to this.”
Maine’s Republican Party, aka the manly party of manly men, has a star amongst them: State Representative Ken Fredette, who thinks the Democratic party is comprised of girly-men and actual girls (EW!) who just don’t understand how health care costs work. We can’t just give things away for free, you dumb broads! How about don’t worry your pretty little heads about finances and leave that to the menfolk? [Talking Points Memo]
According to a Russian bill that passed by a unanimous vote, it would be illegal to tell children that gay people exist or that homosexuality is socially equal to heterosexuality. The bill has passed Russia’s lower house of parliament and now heads to its upper house, where it is expected to pass. President Vladimir Putin supports signing the bill into law.
Don’t worry, Russia! If you pretend things don’t exist, they just disappear on their own! Keep reading »
Even the prime minister of Australia is not immune of objectification and body-snarking: at a political fundraising dinner Julia Gillard was reduced to the significance of the quail served up for dinner with an absurdly offensive menu item listed “Julia Gillard Quail – small breasts, huge thighs, and a big red box” as the main entrée. Keep reading »
Choosing a baby name may be one of the hardest things a parent has to do. I’d say it’s harder than potty training — which has become my nemesis right now. Giving your kid a name, whatever name it is, is the one single word your kid is going to hear for the rest of their life. It’s a BIG deal. It also says a whole lot about you as a parent. It even reveals your political leanings.
Conservatives tend to choose a certain kind of name, and liberals prefer names with a certain kind of sound. Before I reveal, let’s take guesses. Let’s think about the kid names Leo and Kevin. If you had to choose who belongs to the liberal parent and who belongs to the conservative parent, what would you guess? Read more on The Stir…