Despite claiming to be a Bible-believing Christian, David Barton seems to have no qualms about breaking the biblical commandment against bearing false witness. Today, for example, Barton tweeted the following nonsense:

“Apparently protecting life makes you a terrorist now: Obama Admin Calls Pro-Lifers Terrorists Again”

Barton’s tweet then links to an article on the anti-abortion website LifeNews.com that criticizes a January 31 report for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008.” The report explores where terrorist attacks tend to occur in the United States and the ideologies that appear to have motivated the terrorists. Among the ideological categories noted by the report are “extreme right-wing,” “extreme left-wing,” “religious,” “ethno-nationalist/separatist” and “single issue.” The latter category includes “groups or individuals that obsessively focus on very specific or narrowly-defined causes (e.g., anti-abortion, anti-Catholic, anti-nuclear, anti-Castro). This category includes groups from all sides of the political spectrum.”

The latter description about “single issue” terrorists appears to have been enough for LifeNews.com to declare that ” the Obama administration has called ‘terrorists’ the majority of Americans who support the pro-life view… Read More

Does the religious right want to limit pregnant women’s access to modern medical care? It’s beginning to look that way.

This past weekend Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum — endorsed by religious-right leaders meeting at a Texas ranch in January — came out in opposition to requiring that health insurance cover prenatal testing at no cost to the patient:

Earlier in the day on Saturday, Santorum had also said that health insurance plans shouldn’t be required to cover prenatal testing, because that testing results in more abortions….

“Free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and therefore less care that has to be done, because we cull the ranks of the disabled in our society,” Santorum told the Ohio Christian Alliance conference.

Asked by [CBS News’ Bob] Schieffer about his claims that prenatal testing leads to more abortions, Santorum insisted that this was “a fact.”

“We’re talking about specifically prenatal testing, and specifically amniocentesis, which is a procedure that actually creates a risk of having a miscarriage when you have it, and is done for the purposes of identifying maladies of a child in the womb. And in many cases — and in fact in most… Read More

UPDATE: A CBS News/New York Times poll released yesterday shows that a large majority of Americans — including 61 percent of Catholics — appear to support the new rule requiring insurance plans to cover contraception even for women working at religiously affiliated institutions.

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Some religious-right groups in Texas are eagerly entering the war on women’s access to contraception and reproductive health care. As usual, truth is an early casualty.

Liberty Institute, the Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family, goes so far as to claim that the Obama administration is “mandating that Catholic institutions and other religious organizations must provide abortifacents and birth control in violation of their own teachings and consciences.” Of course, that’s not true. The policy would require that insurance companies provide, if religious institutions do not, coverage for contraceptive services for women.

Texans for Life Coalition, an anti-abortion and anti-sex education group based in Irving near Dallas, is also denouncing the new federal policy. The organization’s blog even argues that birth control is bad for women’s health:

“I am so sick of people lumping abortion and birth control together and calling it ‘women’s health.’ Neither one of… Read More

The hypocrisy is pretty clear to see.

Last week religious-right groups expressed outrage that the Austin City Council passed an ordinance requiring so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” to post signs telling visitors if they have no licensed healthcare professionals on site. Such facilities are typically not medical clinics and exist primarily to persuade pregnant women not to have an abortion. The ordinance would let a pregnant woman know upfront that she will not receive medical care at the facility.

But such a requirement is government-mandated speech, religious-right groups say, and thus a violation of the First Amendment. Samuel B. Casey of the Law of Life Project said the First Amendment protects the right of free speech as well as the right not to speak:

The government cannot “make a private citizen speak the government’s message. It doesn’t matter what the message is. What matters is that it’s the government’s message.”

Liberty Institute, the Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family, similarly charged that the new Austin ordinance suffers from the same legal defects it claimed in an earlier, broader ordinance that the City Council repealed. The group said it opposes measures “requiring pregnancy centers, under… Read More

In language clearly calculated to inflame and offend, anti-abortion extremist Randall Terry has issued a provocative press release suggesting that Catholic voters are “the ‘new Negro’ of the Democratic Party.” Terry lays out various court cases — including the 1944 U.S. Supreme Court’s Smith v. Allwright case that struck down the Texas Democratic Party’s all-white primaries — in arguing that “reporters will understand the glaring comparison of ‘Negro’ voters and candidates in Democratic Primaries in the 1940s, and Catholic voters of today.”

What in the world is he talking about?

The issue involves Terry’s desire to air very graphic anti-abortion commercials during the Super Bowl. Terry, who has described himself as a “lifelong Republican,” says election law requires broadcasters to air his ads because he is a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination this year. The Democratic National Committee argues that Terry’s presidential “campaign” is just a stunt to get his ads aired, and broadcasters are refusing the ads. (And we can understand why they wouldn’t want to broadcast images of aborted fetuses to millions of viewers and their children watching a football game.)

So now Terry is suggesting that the refusal of the… Read More

Just Texas

To all who celebrate, we wish a very happy and sweet new year this Rosh Hashanah! We are incredibly grateful for the passionate Jewish leaders in our community working towards reproductive freedom, LGBTQ inclusion, and the empowerment of women. pic.twitter.com/jCcZ…