Angel Dillard

See: Kansas Free Press, “Judge Dismissive of Threatening Letter To Dr Means

On May 31st, 2009, Dr. Georges Tiller was shot in his church in Wichita by Scott Roeder, a self-proclaimed member of the ‘Army of God’, an anti-abortion movement stemming from the likes of Operation Rescue. Tiller, who not only faced trial for providing late-term abortions in a state where women’s health is strictly regulated, had already been shot in the arm in 1993 by Shelly Shannon, who was frequently visited by Roeder while in prison. If the murder of Dr. Tiller, the only provider of those services in the entire state of Kansas, came as a shock to the community, it was no surprise. Operation Rescue had always promoted violence against clinics and institutions such as Planned Parenthood. In the current political context, where the political will is so clearly to egg violence against women’s health and to rob them of federal protection, the decision of Judge Marten is, once again, predictable. What it is not is logical, or even in accordance with the legal common sense surrounding the protection of the individual against violence in the state.

The United States Justice Department (USJD) itself filed a claim against Dillard for already violating the FACE act, that guarantees women a safe access to clinics. FACE was a victory for Planned Parenthood and local women’s health practitioners who could request a protection, management and prevention from local law enforcement. Women and girls are often harassed and assaulted on their way to the clinic, intimidated and coerced into returning home or facing retaliation for whatever they were coming to the clinic for. FACE came too late in the legal system, and still takes time to be enforced. Clinics often have to resort to self-protection (the famous Planned Parenthood ‘escorts’) and women, who should feel protected, surrounded, and supported on their way to receiving health care, are instead isolated, threatened, and bewildered. The adoption of FACE was a legal response to the objective admission that anti-abortion groups represent a domestic threat to the well-being of american citizens, and should be kept at bay and under surveillance for violent activities. Groups such as Operation Rescue are not even shying away from admitting their commitment to violence; the Army of God, from its very name to its manifesto, believes it is at war and no longer recognizes the rule of law. This is the textbook definition of terrorism, regardless of the beliefs of current members of the House of Representatives.

In that, Judge Marten is painfully missing out on his role as a judge. The USJD and Dr. Means turned to him for protection regarding a matter that should not be taken lightly. In a country that has been on orange alert for terrorism since 2006, the irony is of a terrifyingly cynical nature. Let’s take a look at the letter Dillard sent to Dr. Means on January 15:

“Thousands of people are already looking into your background, not just in Wichita, but from all over the U.S. They will know your habits and routines. They will know where you shop, who your friends are, what you drive, where you live. You will be checking under your car everyday-because maybe today is the day someone places an explosive under it.”

Not only is the threat of bombing clearly expressed in the letter, but the use of plural pronouns shows that Dillard does not believe she is acting alone, and that the letter was condoned by the ‘thousands of people’ she believes she is working with. The reference to a group carrying out illegal investigations on Dr. Means and working out on ending her life is the way any terrorist group would work. What is even more important here is that, should Judge Marten not be familiar with the regular workings of terrorist groups, the law specifies that it is not necessarily the more or less clear content of a threat that can justify a restraining order, but “how the threat is perceived by the recipient”. The sole fact that Dr. Means could be terrified by the letter should have resulted in immediate action against Dillard. Instead, Judge Marten chose to undermine and underplay a massive, nationwide threat that has already cost the nation the life of many health practitioners. In his ruling, Judge Marten establishes the precedence of the First Amendment over national security.

“The First Amendment is the absolute bedrock of this country’s freedom, and I think the ability to express an opinion on a topic that is important to one — even if it is controversial — has to be protected so long as the line is not crossed and becomes a true threat. I don’t think this letter constitutes a true threat (…)”

Dr. Mila Means

Judge Marten hereby extends the realm of application of the First Amendment to the freedom of menacing another person’s life, an appalling and dangerous decision that unfortunately echoes a similar decision rendered in 2008 by a federal judge Lynn Andelman on the grounds that a neo-nazi online posting threatening a juror was “not contrary to the First Amendment“, and “I am convinced that no reasonable factfinder considering the posts and the context in which they were made could conclude, based on an objective standard, that they constitute a solicitation.” The release of said neo-nazi, the very same week Judge Marten made his ruling, was compared to the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords supposedly following a display on Sarah Palin’s website, on which the faces of Democrat representatives and senators were turned into targets with crosshairs. In that specific case, Sarah Palin was not charged of solicitation, but her website was quickly taken down.

However, when it comes to Dr. Means, attacks have been made personal, and have already been extremely specific in that her name, address, and habits were released and publicly posted. Dillard made a clear reference to the murder of Dr. Means’ predecessor in the very same field in the very same city, and it is clear that Wichita, KS holds enough Army of God members to constitute a clear threat to Dr. Means’ life. In the case of counter terrorism, where do national laws stop protecting fellow citizens, and become an instrument of legal coercion? In a political context where the Times Square bomber could see his Miranda Rights revoked for having committed a terrorist act, how is the First Amendment used to protect Angel Dillard, who so clearly, in language, intention and expression, intends to end Dr. Means’ life? Is it turning a blind eye to what is domestic, white-based, and social-issued terrorism, as opposed to international, ethnic-based, and foreign policy-originated violence?

It took a murder, twelve arsons, one bombing, and sixty-six blockades carried out by anti-abortion extremists in the sole year of 1993 to give birth to FACE, signed into law by President Clinton in 1994. The murder of Dr. Tiller, following threats of violence for decades against his clinic, staff, and person should have given way to harsher and stricter legislation protecting doctors from violence. Instead, in 2011, 33 anti-abortion laws were enacted throughout the United States. In Missouri, doctors performing late-term abortions, like Dr. Tiller and Dr. Means, see a possible fine up to $50,000 and three years in prison.  In Indiana, a new law would force doctors to tell women, despite scientific evidence of the opposite, that the embryo can feel the pain of the abortion procedure and would force patients to undergo and view an ultrasound. In Montana, a similar bill wants doctors to inform their patients of an alleged link between abortion and breast cancer, despite, once again, scientific evidence.

When a nation is so evidently moving to the extreme right of social issues in a way that is politically enforced by state legislation, should security, law enforcement, and judicial powers support the political movement in a way that is detrimental to the well-being of citizens? Should domestic terrorism be downplayed to the point where social violence becomes just another way for ideological expression? Has democracy entirely run its course? The legal debate surrounding “protected speech” has, however, already been discussed by the Supreme Court, citing the direct link to be made between action and encouragement to action (see “direct incitement test” and Brandenburg vs Ohio): “speech is protected unless it is directed toward and likely to produce “imminent lawless action.”

The question now is, how far should said action be taken before we consider the threat of a bomb under one’s car an act of terrorism?

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We have seen our fair share of stupidity, racism, misogyny and homophobia the last three years. It seems the election of a young black man in the White House unleashed a series of right-wing radical group therapies. From Sarah Palin’s hand notes being “a poor man’s teleprompter“, to Sen. Al Franken having the hardest time making the Senate understand that raping women is actually not okay, everything peaked when Utah criminalized miscarriage – and criminalized women, by extension, no longer being victims of abuse or medical recklessness, but just of their own existence and the fact it is conditioned by creating and caring for fetuses. That was bad. That was really bad.

Trent Franks: a little confused.

It is so bad, in fact, that some Senators are starting to miss the good ol’ days, fondly remembering a productive, efficient, proficient past, when everyone lived happily as separate but equal, when women were tending to their duties without whining like overeducated feminists, when those who were not white and rich would simply know their place and tip their stray hats to whomever would come strollin’ on by. Trent Franks is one of them; and it is with the confidence of the man who knows he’s digging himself a watery grave that he stated that “black people were better off under slavery”. If you think I am paraphrasing, or adding my own personal bias, I hereby swear that I am only directly quoting from this interview (starting around 6’20”).

Here is the full quote, for the YouTubophobiacs:

In this country, we had slavery for God knows how long. [sic] And now we look back on it and we say “How brave were they? What was the matter with them? You know, I can’t believe, you know, four million slaves. This is incredible.” And we’re right, we’re right. We should look back on that with criticism. [re-sic] It is a crushing mark on America’s soul. And yet today, half of all black children are aborted. Half of all black children are aborted. Far more of the African-American community is being devastated by the policies of today than were being devastated by policies of slavery. And I think, What does it take to get us to wake up?

This is not how one celebrates the achievements of Martin Luther King, Senator. Not knowing the duration of slavery? That was the first thing that tipped me off. I grew extremely uncomfortable as he then recalled the “bravery” of slaves and the “criticism” (sic) that must be thrown at the advocates of slavery. You know, in case there are elected members of Congress besides Senator Franks that still think slavery was the best thing that happened to the United States. It is indeed a very sad day when one realises an elected official is incapable of making the difference between institutional racism and the psychological, social and economic ramifications behind abortion in a given fringe of the population. After Rick Warren comparing abortion to the Holocaust, we now have Franks comparing it to another human disaster. The need to improve the American educational system is increasing every time one Republican senator speaks publicly. Do something.

Franks is not done, though. He emphasizes his point by stating it was not a temporary lapse of judgement. It is always better to highlight your stupidity by claiming it is actually intelligent and that your interlocutor can simply not decipher your thought process. Franks tells the bemused reporter,

“[S]ometimes we get angry and say things that we shouldn’t say, and I apologize…[for saying things] that are intemperate. But I don’t want to hide from the truth.”

Let’s not. ThinkProgress mentions that Franks’ comments are similar to that new (and slightly frightening) ad campaign targeting “urban black areas” and reading “black children are an endangered species”.  If this is the way Senator Franks is trying to emulate his spokesperson, Michael Steele, and win over the black vote, I call a fail.

One of the most infuriating events of 2009, the murder of abortion doctor Georges Tiller in Kansas, is still taking its course as the shooter finally confessed to the murder in court, supposedly rolling in an easy first degree murder conviction. Tiller, a hero to women, providing late-term abortions to those in precarious situations in and outside Kansas, who had already been shot in the arm, saw his life end violently and abruptly while attending his regular Sunday Church service.

Now a key event to the most radical fringe of the pro-life movement such as Operation Rescue, the murder of Dr. Tiller, which should have raised the question of the limits to which the government is going to restrict abortion rights and the infinite dangerosity floating around doctor’s lives, is carrying in its wake a dangerous miscarriage of justice: the soon-to-be-convicted shooter has been allowed by the defense to present his case as being « morally justified ». From RHrealitycheck.com’s Wendy Norris:

Sedgwick County District Judge Warren Wilbert ruled Tuesday that Kansas law does not recognize the “necessity defense” — a legal claim that a defendant is justified in breaking the law to thwart a greater imminent threat. Roeder admitted to news reporters last month that he killed Wichita physician George Tiller May 31in the foyer of a church to prevent him from performing abortions.

The judge said allowing the personal beliefs of defendants to justify unlawful actions would “not only lead to chaos but would be tantamount to sanctioning anarchy.”

For months, the Army of God, a militant anti-abortion group linked to murders, clinic arsons and domestic terrorism, has egged Roeder on to claim Tiller’s death was Biblically justified.

However, that ultimate aim has not been entirely lost.

Wilbert said he would “leave the door open” for Roeder’s defense team to argue to jurors that his religious beliefs about abortion compelled him to act.

Let’s be clear. There is such a thing as an absolute truth ; morals may be subjective, and conditioned by religious (or non-religious, for that matter) beliefs, but the role of the law is to rise above such subjectivity and provide an objective, stone-cold compass for the entirety of society to live by. The law is not a tool to be easily manipulated by successive governments, it is not meant to serve a specific personal, religious, or political ideology. The law is, in itself, the absolute ; and every society that proclaims order over chaos and humanity over disenfrenchisement is unequivocal regarding murder. Killing another human being is wrong on all possible levels, and will be subsequently punished. The fact that murder is also the first cardinal sin in all three monotheists religions is no coincidence. Murder is where one would draw the line on their soul, specifically when said murder was premeditated, such as Doctor Tiller’s case, where Scott Roeder was driven by ideology.

Because the Constitution clearly states that every man is innocent until proven otherwise, and that all citizens are entitled to a fair trial, when evidence is strongly held against the defendant, the defense usually seeks for circumstancial evidence that could have explained the desperate gesture that murder is, from self-defense to temporary insanity, from a difficult childhood and everything in-between. Even the very question surrounding the controversy of the death penalty circles around the belief that regardless of the situation, no matter how righteous one feels, killing someone is a display of social inadequacy. In order to provide nuances and allow space for difficult situations, second degree murder and manslaughter created a hierarchy in a crime resulting in the death of an individual, the classification resting on the responsibility and the intent of the defendant.

However, the court is creating what can only seem as a precedent – is there such a thing as « morally justified murder » ? Would it then be considered somewhat alright by legal standards to play God with people’s lives for as long as they do not follow the ideology we put our faith in ? Is this not how the current climate of terrorism presents itself, the coercion of an entire population into bending to another’s cultural and religious beliefs in the name of a set of morals we do not understand ? If murder can be justified, will it then cross into misdemeanour territory, a minor glitch into someone’s role in society, a try-out at rectifying and regulating the course of political and social action ? Is that a gateway into legalizing mob justice ? What is it, the Far West circa 1812 ? As Wendy Norris continues to explain, the “necessity defense” course of action is nothing new in the pro-life movement – a group called the Army of God (sic) once used it to justify their violent actions as being a “defensive force” as described in the Christian Dominionist version of the Bible.

As a woman, would I be morally justified into killing members of Operation Rescue as they are in direct infraction with my own human and civil rights, or are we backpedaling to the times when women are considered to be void of any soul? If citizens can not turn to the judicial branch of their nation to protect them from harm, is there such a thing as a legal state anymore, or should we just go ahead and assume that the Bible holds supraconstitutional value in the United States?

My morning headache had a name (as they always do), and beyond the nightmare that is swine flu, this one is named Stupak.

Stupak is also one of those Democrats belonging to the blue party for reasons that are beyond our comprehension (he’s fiercely pro-life, much in the likes of Sarah Palin currently hosting fearfully successful pro-life rallies in the South). The Stupak Amendment is an amendment to the current healthcare bill that considerably reduces the federal funds given to abortion. Basically, if you need an abortion, please pay out of your own pocket, thank you. Considering the fact that women in need of abortion are generally mostly of lower to poor working classes, this is not going to help women at all. But this is 2009 and Maine has already given us our federal quota of legal gay-bashing for November; so who else were we going to stump on this time? You’re right, the <i>other</i> second-class citizen: poor women.

The Stupak Amendment, which real name is Stupak-Ellsworth-Pitts-Smith-Kaptur-Dahlkemper Amendment, is already mirroring the Hyde Amendment asking for the complete refusal of federal funds for abortion under health care policies, and the removal of abortion from government-funded health care programs. Planned Parenthood was just about to shoot itself in the head before it heard the news, and is now considering committing itself to the nearest government-funded mental illness program created just for women who have no other choice in life but to turn to the 19th century literature already condemning the use of underground abortion. Guess that a teenage Austrian Jew knew more about women than Democrats do.

As per Republican custom – which once again makes me question Stupak’s allegiance to the Democrat Party – at the moment of voting, Stupak called to the “conscience” of Congressmen, in order to secure the place of his amendment on the bill. The proposed health-care reform, already the product of a severe compromise and the dismissal of anything that would be actually historical and life-changing in the history of healthcare in the United States, is now crowned with the title of the first health care program that completely ignores women’s rights and women’s health in it. I am talking about western countries obviously since we have already stated that the United States has a healthcare record placing them behind Cuba. According to Stupak,

“Passage of the Stupak Amendment does not impose a new federal abortion policy; it simply continues what has been the law of the land since 1977 and I am pleased that with the addition of this amendment the House health care reform bill will continue that policy.”

“I have long been an advocate of health care reform. My goal has always been to ensure that the voices of the majority of Americans who oppose federal funding for abortion were heard in this important debate. Now that those voices have been heard we must move forward and pass a bill that provides quality, affordable health care for all Americans.

“I thank Speaker Pelosi for allowing this important vote to occur and I appreciate the hard work and perseverance of my pro-life colleagues in Congress who held strong and stood with me over the past several months as we worked to find a way to allow this vote against all odds.”

Against all odds, indeed, since Nancy Pelosi is herself a woman and should vote in her conscience with the hundreds of thousands of women she is now condemning by allowing Stupak to use all his manly force to restrict women’s rights a little bit further, in case we weren’t already worried with our situation. Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a teacher at Princeton University, twittered this morning: “So angry about Stupak last night that I had to practice meditation at 2:30AM to finally get to sleep.” Then: “It’s Sunday morning and I am seeking more balance, greater optimism, and the courage to move in a new direction.” We do, actually, and proponents of women’s rights such as Rachel Maddow and Planned Parenthood have already geared up their responses for the bill that passed with a bipartisan vote of 220 – 215 (thank you, Anthony Weiner!)

“Planned Parenthood serves three million women every year through its more than 850 affiliate health centers across the country and has worked tirelessly on behalf of those patients for affordable, quality health care. On behalf of the millions of women Planned Parenthood health centers serve, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America has no choice but to oppose HR 3962. The bill includes the Stupak/Pitts amendment that would leave women worse off after health care reform than they are today, violating President Obama’s promise to the American people that no one would be forced to lose her or his present coverage under health reform.

It is strange, a bit eerie, and terribly confusing that this health care reform, so long promised, so long talked about and so long decried by a Republican Party afraid to lose its homophobic, women-hating and gun-toting base, finally became exactly what the Republican Party expected it to be: expensive for sick people, unaffordable for minorities, reducing women’s rights, denouncing equality, and finally going back to square one, all of that without having mastered a single debate yet. We had been encouraged to look toward European countries and favor systems such as La Sécurité Sociale in France and the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, without ever using this said inspiration to anything progressive, productive in useful. In times of recession, only government-based means of social security are saving societies from decrepit downfalls of epic proportions. It is only because of health care and welfare that most European countries managed to keep their level of conumption to a degree that kept their economies somewhat afloat. What will happen to the United States now?

One question: what is the use of Congress – and most importantly, the use of a majority in Congress – if we are not using it to bring about the ideas and the reforms propulsed by said majority? It’s not as if the Republicans had ever hesitated to press with all their weight when they were in Office. Why, all of a sudden, must everything be bipartisan, to the point it’s not even a question of balance, but a question of pleasing the minority? Barack Hussein Obama wanted to bring the United States into the third millenium after George W. Bush had run it into the ground and hit reverse – now we are retreating further back into the Dark Ages of feodal rule, and I am not so happy about the future of women, of gay people, of minorities, and of low incomes anymore. If anything, brace yourselves, because this future is indeed a bleak one.

By the way, Stupak, please do leave your Democrat Party card at the door when you leave, thank you.

The land of the free and home of the braves has been fighting a long-lasting war no one knows if they’re ever going to win: no, this is not about Iraq (for once), it’s about a stranger in a strange land. It’s about our God-protected, world infamous and almost-imperialistic-again American being awash in evil. Wow, and here I was thinking that Amazon was simply being stupid.

Happy Easter, James! Love, educated people.

Happy Easter, James! Love, educated people.

Now, if you focus a little more on such strong religious rhetoric, you do not have such a long list of suspects. It’s either Rick Warren, the AFA, or George W. Bush trying to be awash in ennui and confusing different speeches in different locals. But as it often appears to be the case when absurdity is meeting medieval times at a political crossroads, Focus on the Family’ former chairman James Dobson is responsible for this insult to our collective intelligence. Resigning from the position, Dobson claims that his organization has lost the “culture war” against the internet. Yes, in 2009, this is a discourse that is accepted as normal and regular in some circles, which probably says a lot about the level of education in North America. Dobson is however realistic when he confesses that “humanly speaking”, whatever this is referring to, “we have lost”.

Lost what against whom, you might ask? The culture war against us godless heathens is what. Focus on the Family reckons that the internet has managed to campaign against their morals and values in a way they couldn’t possibly match.  Dobson explains: “[W]e made a lot of progress through the Eighties but then we turned into the Nineties and the internet came along and a new president came along and all of that went away and now we are absolutely awash in evil. And we are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost all those battles, but God is in control and we are not going to give up now, right?”

A more modern translation of this speech could go as follows: “we managed to rope modernity in throughout the 80s, but then we moved onto the 90s, the internet came along, people had access to information, a Democrat [Bill Clinton] came into office, and all of our hard work went away, and now we are buried deep under a foot-thick blanket of educated people trying to push us now. Humanly speaking, we are still the lowest of the low, but God is in control, so we can stick around for as long as our annual fundraisers allow us to, yes?”

Blaming their descent from respectable lobbying group into hardcore evangelistical doomsday preachers on Bill Clinton is a little far-fetched, but everyone will find a way to agree on the incredible role Google and political blogs have played in the downfall of right-wing fundamentalists. From a greater, easier and faster access to fact-checked information, to the role played by universities and schools into propagating their newfound knowledge on social networking sites, it becomes easily understandable that Dobson and his brethrens were outdone by a fair mile on that fight he believes is not over yet. Granted, we still have Disney and the Jonas Brothers to show us the right way, but at least, the current President in office has made sure we wouldn’t have to book a ticket to Romania in order to abort in peace. At least for the time being. Like any decimating pandemic in history, Focus on the Family might well rise again from its ashes, with another more internet-savvy leader, spreading creationist one-liners on Twitter and buying amazon.com stock.

Yes, humanly speaking, we may have pushed James Dobson out of his chair, but for as long as science, education and knowledge are on our side, we may have to continue fighting for our intelligence, rights, and open-mindedness to win this fight we had started a very long time ago – Enlightenement deserves its name. It’s time we claim it back.

Dr. George Tiller, a Kansas physician, has been brought to trial on nineteen criminal misdemeanor charges all related to terminating late-term abortions.  In a state heavily divided by the debate on abortion, and where passions run high on the topic, the “not guilty” verdict, pronounced by a jury of six men and six women, came as a victory of the law over religious morals.

Dr. George Tiller

Dr. George Tiller

Tiller’s patients were mostly teenagers or very young women; one of them was a ten-year-old starting her twenty-eighth week of pregnancy. Kansas law requires that once the pregnancy runs over 22 weeks, a physician is only allowed to perform an abortion if the pregnancy can cause “substantive and important harm to the mother” – this includes emotional and mental harm – and on on the second consultation of another physician. Tiller worked closely with Dr. Neuhaus, practising in Lawrence, the only one who ever accepted to be Tiller’s referral. In Kansas, like in many other states, the ethics surrounding abortion are more political than they are medical, and in such divided times, decision-making bears heavier consequences than it usually does.

Dr. Neuhaus provided the referrals for Dr. Tiller, and they both saw the patients as his own clinic, as both physicians testified that it was “too dangerous” for them to consult anywhere else. Both doctors experienced the pressure and intimidation techniques favored by anti-abortion lobbying groups, from harassing the prospective patients all the way to their hotel rooms to protesting in front of the clinic, distributing pamphlets with pictures of dead babies. Evidence proved that in the majority of Tiller’s patients, most fetuses proved to medically compromised. Tiller respected the law to the point of challenging it in court – once the second opinion bill was passed, the 67 years old doctor called over a hundred physicians, even retired ones, all refusing to help. He would have taken it to court if a public official hadn’t referred him to Neuhaus. The twist is that Tiller was stuck between a rock and a hard place – saving young mother’s lives and well-being, and respecting the law to keep his licence and his conscience clear, a situation in which no medical practitioner should ever find themselves in.

Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, present in court as former spokesperson for Operation Rescue, said he was “disappointed” of the not-guilty verdict, but felt “satisfied it even came to trial”. After assuring all of us freedom lovers we would certainly not be free of their aggressivity anytime soon, the Board of Healing Arts (sic) filed an eleven-charges count – the same ones the Kansas Court found him not guilty of –  against Dr. Tiller that they say is “completely independant” from the criminal trial.  If the Board finds Tiller guilty of these charges, it could result in the suspension or even revocation of his licence to practice. When healing arts  become political, absurdity prevails over formerly sacred oaths in a way that undermines the fabric of trust between patients and their curers. Let’s hope the Board will find it is necessary to uphold the rule of law.

See, North Carolina has decided to upgrade the level of social insanity and random persecution of women today. With each step forward the Obama Administration is taking towards democratizing familial planning and sex education, three steps back are taken with each Republican Senator willing to take the stand. North Carolina Senator Jim DeMint is stepping up to the plate and promises a 900% inflation on contraception for college students.

do not be fooled by Jim DeMints smile: hes probably drafting a Affordable Burqa Act as we speak.

do not be fooled by Jim DeMint's smile: he's probably drafting a Affordable Burqa Act as we speak.

Yes, nine hundred percent rise in the price of contraception.  DeMint is hoping to remove the Affordable Birth Control Act (such a thing existed, probably to protect this demographic to which I belong from having to regress to medieval techniques of birth control) in order to make contraception simply impossible to obtain. DeMint is therefore targeting a demographic that by definition has little or no income, is already in debt, and  relying from on-campus health centers, themselves depending on federal funding.  A 900% raise implies that abstinence should prevail, or else…! We do know that high fees act as a barrier to obtaining care. That is classically understood in campus health services,” said Claudia Covello, director at the University of California-Berkeley’s health center. If Jim DeMint wanted to significantly increase the number of unplanned pregnancies and unwanted abortions, he wouldn’t do it any other way. Although something tells me he is going to make sure abortion is not happening anywhere anytime soon.

Those intimidating techniques, worthy of any totalitarian regimes, have been countered in the past. In 2005, the Bush Administration – to which we all seem to go back to, like the dark days of the black plague – had attempted to cut down on federal funding to universities on their discount drug program, increasing the prices of the most prescribed drugs, contraceptives, by 10%. Most schools had tried to find the flaw in the system, directly appealing to the HHS to be back on the discount drug program roster. Operatives played deaf, ignored the requests, no matter how insistant. Jim DeMint is trying to justify his stalinian inflation on contraceptive drugs by campaigning against the very providers of care, the health centers themselves, claiming that upon their return on the drug discount program, they will keep on charging the same prices and keep the benefits in their pockets. Money laundering and Ponzi schemes are so frequent nowadays it is hardly a mistake on his part to believe some of us could actually buy this theory.

The Republicans would do anything to counter-attack Obama’s attempts at bi-partisanship, regardless of how deadly, fatal, and alienating their decisions are. North Dakota trying to overturn Roe vs Wade was supposed to be an isolated and badly thought-out incident, but violations of constitutional rights have become the only tool the GOP is willing to use in its irrational rejection of the newly elected President. It started with Sarah Palin criticizing mainstream media and accusing them of a mysogynistic conspiracy; it continued with Chris Buttars believing in a conspirational pro-gay nationwide agenda aimed at shutting any republican dissent; it’s now carrying on with the persecution and restriction of care for hundreds of thousands of women whose only mistake was to receive an education. There is no financial reasoning or even social upheaval in this decision. Refusing women the right to determine their own future is a deliberate attempt at shifting the Republican’s party movement to the extreme right, in a bid to gather the most aggressive neo-conservatives against a President they want so desperately to fail.

I will never say this enough: Jon Huntstman Jr was right. It is time for the GOP to breathe a new air into its derelict lungs, and believe in the possibility of social progress without necessarily having to auction the last remains of ideology the party has. Young people, and especially college educated men and women do have a voting ballot, and they’ve largely, collectively and wisely used it in favour of the Democrats last November. Always the last ones in line to learn a lesson, the Republicans have chosen to turn their backs on the only demographic susceptible to change their minds in the upcoming decades. By willingly creating a situation in which one has no choice but to break the law in order to have a not-too-mediocre quality of life, DeMint is widening the gap even further. This is not just a generational issue anymore – it’s a gender issue, a human rights issue, it’s an ethical issue, and it just so happens those three pillars are those missing from the Republican pantheon.

As added by lavenderfrost on ontd_political: this is a serious issue, one you do want people to care about. Be pro-active. Be involved. Call your Senator and ask him/her to make sure the Affordable Birth Control Act goes back on Obama’s desk. You want to make sure the President keeps educated women on his side.