Today Gov. Perry gave religious-righters some of what they’ve been demanding by adding abortion to the list of items for Texas lawmakers to address during the current legislative special session.

A press release from the Governor’s Office noted that “legislation relating to the regulation of abortion procedures, providers and facilities” had been added to the call for the session. Gov. Perry has also asked legislators to deal with election redistricting, transportation and juvenile justice.

Most of the religious right’s legislative agenda failed to get much traction during the regular legislative session, which ended May 27. But culture warriors in and outside the Capitol have been pushing the governor to open the special session to bitterly divisive issues like abortion and private school vouchers.

The Texas Freedom Network is closely monitoring the special session. Stay tuned for updates and possible calls for action.… Read More

Oklahoma state Rep. Doug Cox, a physician who has delivered more than 800 babies, is frustrated with his Republican colleagues who want legislation limiting women’s access to both abortion and contraception. In a column in The Oklahoman newspaper, Cox asks with dismay:

“What happened to the Republican Party that I joined? The party where conservative presidential candidate Barry Goldwater felt women should have the right to control their own destiny? The party where President Ronald Reagan said a poor person showing up in the emergency room deserved needed treatment regardless of ability to pay? What happened to the Republican Party that felt government should not overregulate people until (as we say in Oklahoma) ‘you have walked a mile in their moccasins’?

What happened to the Republican Party that felt that the government has no business being in an exam room, standing between me and my patient? Where did the party go that felt some decisions in a woman’s life should be made not by legislators and government, but rather by the women, her conscience, her doctor and her God?”

We couldn’t agree more. We’ve watched politicians launch a war on women’s health and access to… Read More

One of the reasons abortion continues to be such a divisive issue is rhetoric like the following from Texas congressman Steve Stockman, R-Friendswood. In a press release on Monday, Stockman referred to Kermit Gosnell’s murder and involuntary manslaughter convictions in the deaths of three babies and a woman at a grisly abortion clinic in Philadelphia. People who support and those who oppose a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion have been horrified by what happened in Philadelphia. But Stockman shamefully suggests otherwise:

“Despite the blood-soaked horror of Gosnell’s clinic, Democrats refuse to loosen their embrace of unrestricted, unregulated, taxpayer-funded abortion on demand. Democrats do not want abortion to be safe or rare. Democrats oppose even the most basic of health and safety standards for abortion mills. Democrats don’t care how many women are maimed, infected with diseases or die on the routinely-filthy abortion mills. Democrats worship abortion with same fervor the Canaanites worshipped Molech.”

The man is vile.… Read More

With 2012 winding down, it’s  time for our annual review of what we heard from the far right over the past year. We’ll roll those out over the next week or so. Among the most outrageous quotes were those from politicians and activists who had some pretty outdated and incredibly offensive to say about rape — mostly bizarre justifications for draconian limits on access to abortion. That’s where we’ll start today. You can read quotes from previous years here.

“I just struggled with it myself for a long time but I came to realize: Life is that gift from God that I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

— Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, suggesting that pregnancies occurring from rape are the result of God’s will

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“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

— Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Missouri, attempting to justify his opposition to abortionRead More

At least 32 Republican candidates on the November 6 ballot for the Texas House of Representatives have suggested that they would not support a woman’s right to seek an abortion even if she became pregnant as a result of rape or incest. According to answers on a voter guide sponsored by several religious-right groups in Texas, 12 of those 32 GOP House candidates said abortion should not be permitted under any “extenuating” circumstances at all. This position is consistent with the Texas Republican Party platform, which includes no exceptions for abortion and declares: “All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death; therefore, the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”

Twenty of those 32 Republican House candidates said they would permit abortion only if the woman’s life or physical health were in danger. Three other GOP candidates said they would allow abortion only in cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the woman. Another would allow abortion in cases of rape or to save the life of the woman. Another opposed abortion except in cases of rape or incest but did not… Read More