Posts Tagged ‘Planned Parenthood’

Abortion rights and Planned Parenthood

May 29, 2016




Source: Ampersand.

The passing scene – October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015

From Donald Trump, Hints of a Campaign Exit Strategy by Maggie Haberman for The New York Times.

Donald Trump has not spent the money or done the organizing necessary for a serious presidential campaign.  He has made a stir and had a lot of fun precisely because he did care whether he won or lost.   Having gotten a lot of free publicity for the Trump businesses, I think he’ll step aside at some point and try to be the Republican kingmaker.

The Fight for $15 Is Raising Wages.  Now It’s Time for Step 2: Unions by David Moberg for In These Times.  (Hat tip to Bill Harvey)

Low-wage workers overwhelmingly want the right to organize unions.  A lot of them see the Fight for Fifteen movement as their union—a radically different kind than the historic AFL-CIO model.

GOP Probe Into Planned Parenthood Funding Comes Up Empty by Jennifer Bendery for the Huffington Post.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chair of the House Oversight and Governmental Reform Committee, has found no evidence of wrongdoing.  He said he’ll keep looking.

What We Lose With a Privatized Postal Service by Katherine McFate for Other Words.

Solar & Wind Reach a Big Renewables Turning Point by Bill Randall for Bloomberg Business.  (Hat tip to Bill Harvey)

El Niño could leave 4 million people in Pacific without food or drinking water by Ben Doherty for The Guardian.  (Hat tip to my expatriate e-mail pen pal Jack)

The truth about Planned Parenthood

October 3, 2015


It is not the case that abortion services are either a major part or a fast-growing part of the work of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

politifact_photos_mega-center-release-graphicAs the chart above shows and the chart at the side hides, the major activities of Planned Parenthood are providing knowledge and means of contraception, and screening and treatment for sexually-transmitted infections and diseases.

I understand that if you think abortion is equivalent to murder, not even one abortion should be allowed.  But it is up to you to make that case.  It does not justify distorting the facts about the work of Planned Parenthood.

According to my reading of the Constitution, the move to de-fund Planned Parenthood may be contrary to Article One, Section 9, which forbids bills of attainder.   A bill of attainder is a law to punish a particular individual or organization rather than a particular action—in this case, to de-fund Planned Parenthood rather than to de-fund abortion service providers in general.

I think that planned parenthood in its broad meaning—knowledge and use of contraception—is the best way to reduce the number of abortions.  I think a lot of those who want to de-fund Planned Parenthood object to planned parenthood in its broad meaning.

I think such people object to anything that would shield a woman from pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease or any other bad consequence of having sex outside marriage.  Or anything that would enable a married woman to prevent pregnancy.


Whatever you think of Planned Parenthood, this is a terrible and dishonest chart by Timothy B. Lee for Vox.

The continuing Republican war on gynecology by Amanda Marcotte for Pandagon.

The cruel logic of treating abortion as murder

September 1, 2015

For a long time the leaders of the Republican Party have said that “abortion is murder,” but, until now, they haven’t meant this literally.

130306_prolife_abortion_605_reutAll the Republican presidential candidates from George H.W. Bush to Mitt Romney have opposed abortion, but made exceptions, such as for women who are pregnant as the result of rape or incest.

No such exception would be allowed by Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Rand Paul or Mike Huckabee, according to a report by Thomas B. Edsall of the New York Times.

If you honestly believe that abortion is murder, it is logical to say, as Huckabee did, that friends of a 10-year-old girl in Paraguay who became pregnant after being raped by her step-father has no more right to commit murder than anybody else.

Edsall noted that the top 15 Republican candidates, including Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina, all agree that life begins at conception.  This sounds strict to me, but Edsall pointed out that, to some of the most powerful anti-abortion groups, it is not enough.  To these groups, life begins at fertilization.

The difference is that conception begins when the fertilized egg is implanted in the womb.  Most fertilized eggs fail to be implanted.

The importance of this difference is that the “morning after” birth control pill works by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg.   Experts disagree on whether IUDs prevent implantation of fertilized eggs.   Extremist anti-abortionists think such forms of birth control are the same as abortion.


The passing scene – August 21, 2015

August 21, 2015

Our infant mortality rate is a national embarrassment by Christopher Ingraham for the Washington Post.  Hat tip to the Mahablog.

The phony unprincipled war on Planned Parenthood by Mary Sanchez of the Kansas City Star (via the Baltimore Sun)

The American infant mortality rate is the highest among developed nations.  The infants of rich Americans have as good a chance of survival as children anywhere in the world, but in the United States, like in countries such as Austria and Finland, the survival rate of children of poor, uneducated parents is much less.

Also, the United States has the same maternal mortality rate as Hungary and Iran.  People who are pro-life and pro-choice ought to agree that something should be done about this.

President Jimmy Carter’s amazing last wish by Sarah Kliff and Dylan Matthews for Vice news.

The Carter Center has nearly eradicated a horrible disease called Guinea worm, which was prevalent in Africa, by promoting common-sense public health measures.  President Carter’s last wish, expressed in his press conference on his brain cancer, is to follow through to eradicate the Guinea worm entirely.

Finland considers basic income to reform welfare system by Maija Unkuri for BBC News.

Finland is experimenting with a pilot project to guarantee everyone a basic minimum income regardless of whether they are employed or not.  It will be very interesting to see how this works out.


The passing scene – August 8, 2015

August 8, 2015

Republican Assault on Trump May Only Make Him Stronger by Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone.

Trump’s Triumph: Billionaire Bloward Exposes Fake Political System by Mike Whitney for Counterpunch.

How Pathetic: Why Donald Trump May Be the Best Thing Going by Andrew Levine for Counterpunch.

The Republican Candidates Agree that the System Is Rigged for the Rich by William K. Black for New Economic Perspectives.

720x405-GettyImages-483208910I still can’t take Donald Trump seriously as a Presidential candidate, but he has said things that need to be said, especially about how he and other billionaires have the power to buy politicians.

Other Republican candidates also point out that the political system is rigged in favor of Wall Street and the large corporations.

Their answer appears to be lower taxes, less regulation and a minimal role for government, on the theory that the less government does, the less it matters whether corporations and wealthy individuals can manipulate government.

My problem with this is that some large corporations have grown so large and powerful that they are the next thing to governments themselves.

Hillary’s Libyan Torturers by Daniel McAdams for The Ron Paul Institute.

hillary-tortureThe achievement of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in foreign affairs was to find a way to find a way to continue the policies of George W. Bush without large numbers of American casualties.

The attack on Libya is an example of this.  The U.S. government supported an attack on a country that did not threaten the United States, based on lies, and reduced it to bloody chaos in which terrorists such as ISIS flourish.

The problem with Bernie Sanders by Joseph Cannon of Cannonfire.

Bernie Sanders is like many democratic socialists of the 1950s and 1960s—a defender of the interests of working people, a defender of civil rights, but also a cold warrior.

He thinks the United States should support Saudi Arabia and Turkey against ISIS, when these two governments are interested only in fighting the enemies of ISIS—Syria for Saudi Arabia and the Kurds for Turkey.   Likewise he favors confrontation of Vladimir Putin over Ukraine, which puts the United States at risk of nuclear war.


Donating fetal tissue for science is pro-life

August 4, 2015

tissue-gateI can understand being opposed to abortion under any circumstances, although I respectfully disagree.

But granted that abortion is legal, I don’t see any additional harm that is done by donating the fetal issue for use in scientific research.

Suppose somebody is the victim of a homicide.  Suppose the victim’s loved ones donate the victim’s organs for transplants or medical research.  Does that sanction homicide?

Suppose a convict on death row decided to become an organ donor.  Does honoring the convict’s wishes imply endorsement of the death penalty?

I’m an organ donor myself, and although the idea of my carcass being cut up by medical students has its gruesome side, I won’t be around to see it.

A friend of mine, also an organ donor, said she likes the idea of literally living on after death in someone’s heart.  In fact, most organ donations are used for research and medical education, but this, too, is a good contribution.

Likewise, I can see how a woman, having had an abortion, can take consolation in the thought that the tissue of the fetus can be used in scientific research.

If Planned Parenthood helps her do that, it is a good thing, not a bad thing.  Such research could save human lives.  It is pro-life.


Wing-nut conspiracy theorists have done it again: The truth about the Planned Parenthood hoax revealed by Bob Cesca for Salon.

The Memification of Planned Parenthood by Robert Tracinski for The Federalist.

Fetal-Tissue Research and the Long Fight to Defund Planned Parenthood by Julie Ravner for The Atlantic.

Fetal tissue research has been with us a long time — and it’s saved lives by “Hunter” for Daily Kos.  [Added later]