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Austin ordinance suffers from the same legal defects it claimed in an earlier, broader ordinance that the City Council repealed.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
It’s a cold and stunning effort to use the Nazis’ systematic murder of millions of Jews before and during World War II to promote a political agenda today. We just saw a press release in which a Texas-based right-wing litigation group peddles the argument that the Holocaust, abortion and evolution are all connected. Check out this excerpt from the press release from The Justice Foundation in San Antonio and other anti-abortion groups:
Millions of innocent unborn children have died and women have been hurt throughout the world through abortion. Millions of men, woman and children died in the Holocaust. Is there a connection between these evils and evolution? … We will examine today the pictures, the stories, the evidence, and the horrors in the concentration camps and abortion clinics.
The release goes on to announce a Friday press conference in the nation’s capital to promote a DVD about “the relationship between Evolution — Auschwitz — Abortion.”… Read More
The right in 2011 continued to pursue a dangerous political agenda that undermines women’s health and reproductive rights. Even access to contraception has become a political battleground. Read more quotes from the far right in 2011 here.
“Of course it’s a war on birth control, abortion, everything — that’s what family planning is supposed to be about.””
– Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian, R-Center, discussing his support for a raft of legislation in Texas this year limiting access by women to reproductive health services. TFN Insider, May 29, 2011 (Video clip from Texas Tribune; full video here)
“We’ve had a lot of input from our constituents about the budget this time, about the number of cuts that we’re doing. So I’m going to have to draw the line at this point and say no more cuts.”
– Texas state Rep. Sid Miller, R-Stephenville, making a joke in his argument against an amendment to a bill requiring women seeking an abortion to undergo a sonogram and a doctor to describe the image of the fetus to the woman. The amendment would have allowed a woman who decided against an abortion, after getting the required sonogram,… Read More
Federal District Judge Sam Sparks has had just about enough of attorney Allen Parker’s attempts to grandstand on the pending sonogram lawsuit (courtesy of BurkaBlog):
However, the Court is forced to conclude that Allen E. Parker, Jr., the attorney whose signature appears on this motion, is anything but competent. A competent attorney would not have filed this motion in the first place; if he did, he certainly would not have attached exhibits that are both highly prejudicial and legally irrelevant; and if he foolishly did both things, he surely would not be so prejudicial as to file such exhibits unsealed. A competent attorney who did these things would be deliberately disrespecting this Court and knowingly shirking his professional responsibilities, offenses for which he would be lucky to retain his bar card, much less an intact bank balance.
For Mr. Parker’s sake, and because the Court has not time to hold a sanctions hearing–in part because it must take time out of deciding the actual legal issues in this case to address the self-serving entreaties of attention-seekers like Mr. Parker–the Court assumes Mr. Parker is as incompetent as he appears. Rather than sanction him, the Court simply does what… Read More