A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that Texas is now allowed to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood clinics that participate in Texas’ Women’s Health Program. Planned Parenthood performs abortions, which the state opposes, and therefore they are allowed to defund the clinics.
The program helps roughly 130,00 low-income women with health care; it aids women who would not qualify for Medicaid unless they are pregnant. The WHP has always funded Planned Parenthood clinics in the past; its mandate is not to fund “abortion-providing entities” and Planned Parenthood got around that by creating a separate legal entity to accept the funds to use for non-abortion health care. The state knew that and funded the clinics anyway. But then the state of Texas decided it was more de riguer and keeping with the times to defund Planned Parenthood over all this. It rewrote language saying WHP funding couldn’t even go to abortion-providing affiliates. Keep reading »
Poor anti-abortion Republicans. It must be so hard having the general public pay attention to your extremist views. Case in point: Mitt Romney’s vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is against legal abortion and joined Republicans — including Rep. Todd Akin! — last year to try to rewrite language in the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act (background here), saying government funding could only cover abortions in the case of “forcible rape.”
The language was rejected when more reasonable minds were horrified that a woman who had been roofied and raped would be told “no” if she asked for help terminating a pregnancy resulting from it. Because that’s rape, too. The implication was, of course, that if a woman wasn’t “forcibly” raped — as in, a man jumps out from the behind the bushes — she might be lying and really doesn’t deserve to get help ending her pregnancy. You might even say she was not the victim of a “legitimate rape.” Keep reading »
Rachel Maddow apparently tweeted this “Call Me Maybe” cover the other night and I’m loving it: it’s called “Hands Off, Crazy” and it’s all about the politicians trying to take away your reproductive rights. It’s by a bunch of Virginia ladies (and one gent) who’ve got their eye on anti-abortion politician Ken Cucinelli (“Cooch”), but sadly could just as well BE about this idiot or that one or this one right here. The lyrics go something like “I’ve never met you / and this shady / it’s my vagina / so hands off, crazy / you’re on the far right / and women are angry / it’s my vagina / so hands off crazy!” The lyrics are definitely NSFW, so put headphones on! [YouTube]
I am not even the teensiest bit surprised that Kirk Cameron, star of “Growing Pains” and well-known anti-choice/anti-gay marriage crusader, came to the defense of Rep. Todd Akin when he appeared on “The Today Show” this morning. They share the same values. Bros before hos who get raped and pregnant, right? Anyway, I am, however, intrigued that while Cameron noted Akin had apologized for “misspeaking” and lauded him for being a family man with six kids (emphasizing how many kids is odd to me — do children act as vouchers in heaven or something?), he never actually took a stance against anything Akin had said. Honestly, I think Kirk Cameron might still believe in the APRMT (Anti-Pregnancy Rape Mechanism Thingamajig), you guys. Eek.
“[Gospel singer] Ethel Waters, for example, was the result of a forcible rape. I used to work for James Robison back in the 1970s, he leads a large Christian organization. He, himself, was the result of a forcible rape. And so I know it happens, and yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things.”
– Sit down, Mike Huckabee. No, really, sit down. First, I’m relieved that you are, apparently, not from the Rep. Todd Akin School of Thought which says “legitimate rape victims” spew pregnancy-preventing venom. That’s something, I suppose. And I’m not questioning the loveliness of the two people you used as examples of rape babies who grew up to be upstanding citizens. I am, however, questioning your insistence on turning lemons into lemonade when it comes to the subject of rape. No matter how sweet you try to make it sound, you might as well just make a list of awesome people the world wouldn’t have had without rape. Thanks, rapists, for giving us these extraordinary people! I mean, Ethel Waters! Imagine if her mother hadn’t been raped. Would have been a total bummer, right? Phew! Keep reading »