NM: Let’s talk about the study that has probably had the greatest impact so far: the one looking at whether trained non-doctors — nurses, midwives, physicians assistants — can safely perform vacuum-aspiration abortions in the first trimester. That study included nearly 20,000 patients throughout California — one of the largest studies on abortion ever done in the United States. The study had two key findings. First, it found almost no difference in complication rates in abortions done by doctors versus non-doctors. Second, the overall rate of complications for both groups was very low — much lower than abortion opponents claim. Has the study shed light on other abortion-related issues as well?
TW: Yes. One has to do with hospital transfers [patients who require hospital care after having an abortion]. We were interested in this topic, of course, because it’s a category of complication, and you want to track it. But it wasn’t something we intended to focus on.
Then states [including Texas] started passing new laws that require physicians who offer abortion care to have admitting privileges to hospitals. And we realized that, thanks to [the non-doctor] study, we had very good data showing that complications requiring transfers to hospitals are actually exceedingly rare.
Of about 20,000 patients over several years, only four were directly transferred.
NM: Let’s start with why these two things — religious belief and civil rights — have come to seem so at odds.
KF: Part of the problem is the way we’re currently framing the issue. On the one hand, we have the free exercise of religion, which is largely based in an appeal to revelation, to the truths of religious texts and religious doctrine. And on the other hand we have rights of equality and liberty, which are based in rational arguments — what are people entitled to as a matter of their humanity because we should all be treated equally under law. It’s an incommensurable confrontation between revelation and rationality. What ends up happening is that religion ends up like a trump card — you throw it down, it’s a conversation stopper, and we don’t know how to get out of this impasse. Law is really ill equipped for adjudicating between the claims of revelation and the claims of rationality.
NM: How did we get to this point?
KF: In part it’s historical. Really since the late 19th century, when opponents of expanding notions of equality have lost in the public arena, their plan B has been to seek refuge in religion. We first saw it in racial equality cases, and more recently in the areas of reproductive rights and gay rights. When Congress or a state legislature or a federal court mandates the integration of public schools or upholds sex equality in the workplace or allows same-sex couples to marry, opponents of those efforts fall back on religion to say, “You can have those laws, they just don’t apply to me.”
Mississippi Tea Party leader Janis Lane thinks the women’s vote is bad for the country. And yes, Janis Lane is a woman herself, who benefits from the women’s vote. After being asked whether she thought there were too many male politicians deciding women’s issues back in 2012, she said:
“I’m really going to set you back here. Probably the biggest turn we ever made was when the women got the right to vote. Our country might have been better off if it was still just men voting. There is nothing worse than a bunch of mean, hateful women. They are diabolical in how than can skewer a person. I do not see that in men. The whole time I worked, I’d much rather have a male boss than a female boss. Double-minded, you never can trust them.
GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal: Racism Wouldn’t Exist if Minorities Would Just Act Like White People (VIDEO) -
It’s incredibly pathetic and sad when a politician with so much promise decides to pander to the most hateful elements in our society. In the aftermath of the 2012 election, Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal declared that the GOP needs to “stop being the stupid party.” However, that moment of sanity, and Jindal’s political career, went down in flames on Sunday after he blamed minorities for racism in America, claiming that racism wouldn’t exist if they would just forget about who they are and start acting more like white people.
In an op-ed published by Politico, Jindal lashed out at minorities to mark the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. Instead of standing up against the many acts of racism that have been perpetrated by his own party and by conservatives around the nation, Jindal declared that minorities are responsible for the racism in this country.
“We still place far too much emphasis on our ‘separateness,’ our heritage, ethnic background, skin color, etc. We live in the age of hyphenated Americans: Asian-Americans, Italian-Americans, African-Americans, Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Indian-Americans, and Native Americans, to name just a few. Here’s an idea: How about just ‘Americans?’ That has a nice ring to it, if you ask me. Placing undue emphasis on our ‘separateness’ is a step backward. Bring back the melting pot. There is nothing wrong with people being proud of their different heritages. We have a long tradition of folks from all different backgrounds incorporating their traditions into the American experience, but we must resist the politically correct trend of changing the melting pot into a salad bowl. E pluribus Unum.”
To translate, it appears Jindal is actually blaming minorities for causing white people to be racist towards them, and is calling on minorities to end racism by conforming to American life as white people see it. In short, minorities should be more like white people if they want racism to stop.
“How many people die from marijuana overdoses every year?” Connolly asked.
“I don’t know that I know. It is very rare,” Botticelli replied.
“Very rare. Now just contrast that with prescription drugs, unintentional deaths from prescription drugs, one American dies every 19 minutes,” Connolly said. “Nothing comparable to marijuana. Is that correct?”
Botticelli admitted that was true.
“Alcohol—hundreds of thousands of people die every year from alcohol-related deaths: automobile [accidents], liver disease, esophageal cancer, blood poisoning,” Connolly continued. “Is that incorrect?”
But the damage was done, and Sunrise Children’s Services was already facing a $7 million budget shortfall, according to WDRB.
The Kentucky Baptist Convention, which approves of the anti-LGBT policy, is now back in the Sunrise’s corner. The convention has launched a fundraising drive telling churches that it’s once again safe to donate.
“Now that our churches have confidence in the leadership of Sunrise and the direction of Sunrise, we’ll give them the opportunity to re-invest in this ministry to children,” Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director Paul Chitwood told WDRB.
However, the policy of discrimination puts Sunrise at risk of losing government funding, which provides 85 percent of its $27 million budget.
Hobby Lobby Contraception Case: Briefs Reveal What the Religious Right Really Thinks of Birth Control.
And so, as the AFLC argues, contraceptives of all kinds aren’t medical or related to health care at all. They are “procedures involving gravely immoral practices.” Protected sex demeans women by making men disrespect them. (Just as Pope Paul VI did decades ago, the AFLC presents this as true inside marriage as well as out.) By separating sex from childbearing, birth control is to blame for the erosion of marriage, for the economic difficulties of single motherhood, and even for the rotten behavior of men who beat their girlfriends and wives. Birth control is the original sin of modernity. Its widespread availability changed everything, for the worse.
Birth control is to blame for the erosion of marriage and even for the rotten behavior of men who beat their girlfriends and wives.”
If it sounds like I’m describing a 1960s enraged sermon about the pill, I guess that’s the point: I could be. The Hobby Lobby case has given the groups that want to go back to prepill days a chance to air their nostalgia. And they want the Supreme Court to know that all women don’t share the view that controlling one’s body, with regard to the deep, life-altering question of when to be pregnant, is helpful and freeing. There are plenty of women who don’t “value free abortion drugs above public goods such as religious freedom and limited government,” as the brief from conservative women’s groups, including Concerned Women for America and the Susan B. Anthony List, puts it. And they are on the straight-and-narrow conservative path to sanctified motherhood. “It is demeaning to women to suggest that women’s fertility and the bearing and rearing of children are ‘barriers,’ ” the group Women Speak for Themselves argues. “Most women aspire to and do bear and rear children.”
Most women who have abortions bear and rear children, too, actually. And it goes without saying that women who have used birth control have kids, too, since “women who use contraceptives” means practically every woman in the country. And yet there are still people willing to say that “well-woman preventive care visits” are about minimizing “the risk and consequence of a sexually licentious lifestyle,” as yet another brief insists.
The College of Charleston, a publicly-funded university in South Carolina and one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the US, has seen its budget cut by the state legislature in retaliation for selecting a gay person’s memoir for a freshman lit course:
Cory Doctorow (of Boing Boing fame) suggests giving to the College, in support of its “The College Reads!” program, as a form of protest:
Sometime before she is believed to have died, Pia Farrenkopf asked her mail carrier in Pontiac not to drop mail off at the home, saying she often traveled for work and did most of her correspondence online.
“There was a long-standing agreement with her carrier that her mail should be returned,” said Ed Moore, spokesman for the Detroit district of the U.S. Postal Service.
With no mail stacking up at Farrenkopf’s home on Savanna Drive where she lived alone, a neighbor mowing the lawn, bills automatically being paid from a bank account and neighbors thinking she moved or was traveling, there was nothing to raise suspicions that the garage of the ranch house for years held a secret — mummified remains, believed to be Farrenkopf.
“All these things kind of led to the perfect storm of no one saying, ‘What’s going on there?’ ” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said.
And Monday, a new mystery emerged about the woman thought to have died in 2008.
Voting records in Oakland County show Farrenkopf, who has not been positively identified by the Medical Examiner’s Office, is shown as voting in the November 2010 gubernatorial election.
Pontiac city records indicate Farrenkopf registered to vote in 2006 and had not voted until 2010, but officials point out that could have been an administrative error and she may not have actually cast a vote.
The city clerk, who was not in that job in 2010, said infrequent voters tend to vote in presidential elections, like 2008, over gubernatorial elections like the one in 2010.
“Everything to date points toward late 2008,” Bouchard said of the woman’s death. “This information, obviously, has to be run to its logical conclusion.”
Of course all the wingnuts on Teh Twitters are all HURR HURR!!!!! OBAMA VOTER!!!!! when 2010 was not a Presidential election year so at the very most, the person using Farrenkopf’s voter registration MIGHT have voted for the candidate who lost to Rick Snyder. But there is no way to tell because (1) the voter records have been destroyed (2) Michigan uses the secret ballot.