Jill Stanek Admits Mistake to Chicago Tribune on Obama’s Abortion Record


Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune deserves a Pulitzer Prize for this: Jill Stanek told him she was mistaken in her blog posts this earlier year about what Sen. Obama did in the Illinois Legislature on the "Born-Alive Infant Protection Act."

Jill Stanek’s direct quote in the Tribune was "A mistake."

I wrote Eric Zorn to make sure I was reading his article correctly and he confirms, she is acknowledging her mistake.

I respect Jill for that. But the mistake has created a firestorm in the anti-choice blogosphere, and may still be the subject of a major 527 campaign trying to distort Obama’s record. It is hard to put the facts back in perspective when the lies have spread so far, and once they are on TV, only a TV rebuttal can hope to effectively counter those lies. In this campaign we are also seeing amazing lies under the radar in email, and of course the widely discredited Jerome Corsi book, but we also see how this smear machine has impacted the polls.

Curiously, Jill Stanek has posted almost every other bit of recent media on the topic on her blog, continuing to push the story, but has not mentioned her admission to the Tribune that she is mistaken.

Sen. Obama said flat out the people promoting the misinformation were lying. For the past two days Jill and others have pushed back on that.

I’ll give Jill the benefit of the doubt on the mistake and say that the lies being spread came as a result of her mistake. She was a key witness at the hearings in question, so the anti-choice community has trusted her on the issue. They have spun it wildly from there, but even Jill couldn’t bring herself to fully quote the explanation the campaign recently gave on her blog, making it appear she had Obama in a "gotcha" moment. The Obama campaign has released a detailed explanation of events.

This is a classic example of the way the far-right spreads misinformation, and through its repetition by anti-choice zealots who believe everything they read on Jill’s blog, or Lifesite.com, or any of the other major anti-choice blogs, it becomes an accepted fact within their community. Even many in the mainstream media then buy into the anti-choice framing of issues, because it appears to be so widely accepted.

If you can’t trust Jill and others not to be mistaken or distort the facts of a political debate, how can anyone trust them not to be mistaken or distort the facts of abstinence-only policies, contraception, and the reasons women might choose to terminate a pregnancy, just to gain political advantage? As we watched this story unfold at RH Reality Check, we’ve been clear it was up to the Obama campaign to explain his position, and our role is to report the issue accurately so that the misinformation doesn’t reinforce stereotypes about reproductive health care that the far-right promotes.

One of our most aggressive anti-choice commenters, Rueben, was like a dog with a bone on my post about Obama calling anti-choice lobbyists out on these lies, and started by saying that I should admit when I’m wrong. Like so many anti-choicers, they just keep repeating their favorite phrases (i.e. "abortion on demand") and conjuring images of rampant late-term abortions, as though these were the norms. The reality is far from the mistaken and distorted notions promoted by anti-choicers, and Americans are starting to realize this.

We’ll be waiting for Jill Stanek to acknowledge her mistake on her blog, which should be easy since she did it already in the Chicago Tribune. Rueben, any comment?

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  • amanda-marcotte

    Any bill written by rabid anti-chiocers, like the BAIPA was, should be treated as toxic and beneath a "yes" vote  no matter how well-amended.  We wouldn’t kick around and amend legislation suggested by white supremacist organizations, but reject it out of hand.  So why not anti-woman organizations?

    • invalid-0

      You idiot! Anti-woman? How about anti-murder of babies, God help you, you poor ignorant soul.

  • invalid-0

    You have misunderstood the mistake.

    She thought he blocked the ammendment that turned the bill into virtually the same bill.

    It turns out that he actually supported this ammendment, but still voted against the bill.

    What this tells us is that in fact he knew, and was part of the creation of, that this bill was virtually identical to the Federal bill that he said he would have supported.

    Now, Im all for people making mistakes, but the issue is that he said that “folks” were lying, when pro-lifers claimed that he lied. The fact is that even his campagin admited this mistake.

    Either he has memory problems, or he misrepresented his vote. Either way he needs to issue an apology for calling “folks” liars.

  • invalid-0

    The mistake is about a separate matter (which apparently is why it is not even stated in Mr. Swenson’s above posting — a typical tactic of diversion and obfuscation).

    Here is the fact: Obama’s committee (including other extremist pro-aborts such as Jeffrey Schoenberg) voted in the very clause that protects precious baby killings in the womb:

    “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point prior to being ‘born alive’ as defined in this section.”

    Over the four years following, Obama said he would have voted for the Born Alive Bill if it had this, the same protection of abortion that exists in the federal bill. The fact is that he and his pro-abort extremist cohorts in this IL Senate committee voted against it.

    Personal Pac, abortionist money, and abortion extremism wields an iron scepter in Chicagoland’s politics (and in the Illinois State Medical Society).

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com invalid-0

    Scott,
    You honestly can’t think Stanek’s mistake “created a firestorm.” The only way to believe that is if you have done next to no research on this issue.

    The firestorm was created when National Right to Life revealed Obama had been misrepresenting the reasoning for his votes against the Born Alive legislation for years. For years, Obama claimed he voted against the legislation because it didn’t have a neutrality clause. National Right to Life revealed the 2003 state legislation did have the same neutrality clause the federal legislation had. Stanek, along with everyone else, believed Obama prevented the neutrality clause from being voted on. We now know he allowed the neutrality clause to be added but still voted against the legislation despite saying for years he would have voted for the legislation if it had a neutrality clause.

    If this is all you have to defend Obama’s votes, then you’re obviously grasping at straws.

  • amanda-marcotte

    By making this about who voted for what when, you guys think you can conceal the real story, which is:

     

    1) You exploit people in pain for ideological gains against women’s rights

    2) You lied about your intentions behind this bill in order to dismantle women’s rights and

    3) You’re paranoid, right wing freaks who are singularly obsessed with sex and dirtiness, with an anti-sex, anti-human, anti-woman agenda out of line with the beliefs of 98% of Americans.

     

    But I won’t let you distract me from the important facts.

  • brady-swenson

    The only fact that matters now is that we now know that Obama’s explanation of the vote on the 2003 bill, in contrast to NRLC’s conclusion, was indeed accurate. The 2003 committee version of the bill did not sufficiently address concerns among many Illinois dems, including all six on the HHS committee, that the bill still left concerns over the way Illinois abortion law would be enforced, as State Rep Schoenberg explained in Eric Zorn’s research:

    The feeling of the majority was that the bill (even as amended) still created great uncertainty about whether it would compromise abortion rights. It looked like yet another case of advocates trying to inject politics into the practice of medicine; we saw a desire to keep those those key questions (about abortion rights) unclear.

    And, in any case, no matter which way Obama voted — it was always absurd that Stanek,
    the National Right to Life Committee, and others even suggested that
    Obama would oppose a bill that would in any way improve the survival
    chances of infants.  "Born alive" bills have no medical validity.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com invalid-0

    I guess Marcotte is then mad at all the pro-choice legislators in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate who let the federal BAIPA sail through almost unanimously?

    Any reasonable person can realize legislation to provide basic legal protection to children who survive abortions isn’t “anti-choice.” Of course, Marcotte is far from a reasonable person.

    It should also probably be noted that someone who allowed rather racist images to be put in her book should be careful about throwing around white supremacist comparisons.

  • invalid-0

    That sure wasnt an extreme post…

    Amanda, have you ever thought that by saying things like “anti-human” and “anti-woman” that you are automaticaly positioning yourself in such a way that nobody takes you seriously other than the people who support your exact point of view?

    Even if you truly feel this strongly about the issue, wouldnt you be more interested in converting the other side to your thought process?

    It appears that you would rather offend others as much as possible.

    This line of thought and this approach is immature and hopefully you will one day grow out of it and realize that to present your ideas thoughtfully you cannot make extreme, thoughtless, and incoherent statements like that.

    98%…really. 98% of the population is against the Born Alive bill. Id love to see those statistics….especially given the fact that the US senate passed it with no disent.

  • invalid-0

    Just to clarify this — Jill admitted to me, though she didn’t have to admit it since it was there in plain English on her blog and WorldNet daily column, that she erred earlier this year in characterizing/describing Obama’s actions in a committee proceeding in 2003. In short, she said he refused to allow an amendment to be attached to the bill (when, in fact, he joined in the unanimous committee vote to accept the amendment) and that he refused to allow a vote on the bill (when, in fact, the bill was voted on and six Democrats voted no, beating out four Republicans).
    This particular error is NOT now part of the debate on this issue; I brought it up mostly to help illustrate how complex and convoluted this subject really is; how the foremost champion of “born alive” legislation in Illinois got so turned around in the thickets that she passed along significantly erroneous information to her readers at one point.

  • scott-swenson

    Eric: Thanks for the quick response and email, and the further clarification from our email exchange this morning. I should have included the word "earlier" before "this year" in that first sentence (now added), to make it clear that the mistake Jill was admitting was specific. She and others continue distorting this issue in so many ways it is no wonder there is confusion. That mistake earlier this year, however, does not explain why Jill would not fully quote the New York Sun story three days ago, truncating it to make it look like there was not a complete explanation. Jill only included the first part below, the second, which I’ve bolded, explains the motivation for the votes she refuses to acknowledge and continues to distort;

    His campaign yesterday acknowledged that he had voted against an
    identical bill in the state Senate, and a spokesman, Hari Sevugan, said
    the senator and other lawmakers had concerns that even as worded, the
    legislation could have undermined existing Illinois abortion law. Those
    concerns did not exist for the federal bill, because there is no
    federal abortion law.

    In 2005, the campaign noted, a "Born Alive" bill passed the Illinois
    Legislature after another clause had been added that explicitly stated
    that the legislation would have no effect on existing state abortion
    laws.

     

    This is a complex and convoluted subject, rife with potential for misunderstanding. It points out why private medical decisions are best made between doctors and patients, not lobbyists and legislatures, or courts. Jill’s mistake earlier this year, and the distortions of record that are now echoing throughout anti-choice circles are designed to distract attention from real issues. All of this attention on the intricacies of legislative process tie people up in knots while NLRC and others conjure distorted images to rally their base.

     


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com invalid-0

    Scott,
    You still don’t get it. Stanek’s mistake (thinking Obama didn’t allow a committee vote – a mistake the Obama campaign made as well) has nothing to do with why the issue is getting so much attention. The issue is getting attention because Obama claimed for years he would have voted for the BAIPA if it had the same neutrality clause as the federal BAIPA and National Right to Life recently revealed Obama voted against the 2003 Illinois BAIPA after it was amended to have the same neutrality clause as the federal BAIPA.

    This is a complex and convoluted subject, rife with potential for misunderstanding. It points out why private medical decisions are best made between doctors and patients, not lobbyists and legislatures, or courts.

    This is laughable. Abortion should be legal because Barack Obama misrepresented his reasons for opposing the Illinois Born Alive legislation and got caught doing it by National Right to Life but Scott Swenson is so pro-Obama he can’t take the time to actually understand this easily understandable issue.

    What distorted image has National conjured up??? Link to their web page on Obama’s born alive record and point it out.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com invalid-0

    It’s amazing how a complete lack of facts and an actual argument never keeps Marcotte from writing something.

    People in pain? Are you referring to infants who survived abortion and were left to die in a utility room?

    How does the BAIPA “dismantle” women’s rights? How has the federal legislation passed in 2002 done anything to dismantle women’s rights? If so, why did it pass the U.S. Senate 98-0?

    We’re paranoid?? This coming from someone who thinks prolifers are “singularly obsessed with sex and dirtiness?” Projection, anyone?

  • amanda-marcotte

    Is there a term you’d prefer for people who want to prolong the pain and perhaps kill women who have pregnancies that go seriously wrong besides "anti-human" and "anti-woman"?  "Monsters", "evil mofos", and "empty, immoral wingers" come to mind, but I thought those were a tad dramatic.

  • amanda-marcotte

    There is already a law banning murder and negligent homicide in Illinois.  Ergo, the only reason a bunch of anti-choice crazies would suggest legislation like this is to undermine women’s rights.  Anything that anti-woman nuts propose should be treated as toxic, and assumed to have consequences that might not be immediately evident.  It’s clear that the intention of this bill was to torture women who failed to produce perfect, living infants by drawing out their pain by putting on a show to "revive" dead fetuses.  Let them alone, you ghouls.

  • amanda-marcotte

    All other "mistakes", no matter how deliberate or not, tend to extrapolate from her sick, hostile worldview, her obsession with sexual purity, punishing women for having sex, and particularly her endless fascination with the bloody remains of later term abortions.

  • scott-swenson

    Jive — and you repeating comments about the neutrality clause and ignoring the fact that there was a state abortion law that was impacted, while no such thing existed at the federal level, doesn’t fly. My concern here is pointing out tactics used against Obama, in this case, and any and everyone else who would rather talk about education and prevention methods, and get in the way of the far-right’s obsession with prohibition and denying women’s rights to medical care based on their lives. I understand the issue and the political tactics involved. The Obama campaign has refuted and detailed the charges, I’m simply pointing out the politics here, hoping that readers will realize that this is part and parcel of how NLRC and the far-right does business. I’m curious, will NLRC be doing this detailed analysis of pro-choice potential veeps Ridge and/or Lieberman?


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    Scott,

    I must have gotten under your skin – but don’t get get to smug here, cause those wagons of yours are still circling…

    first, let me reply to your bumpter sticker statement “It points out why private medical decisions..”

    Abortions aren’t private – if it were, Jill would have never have found out about these abortions. They typically happen in public facilities, and more than one person is aware that they are occurring.

    Also, infants born alive are also patients AND CITIZENS, and when medical professionals *refuse* to care for them, the goverment has every right and obligation to make sure that care is provided.

    And when elected officials REFUSE to ensure that the care is provided by creating addition laws, they will have to answer to the public as to why – and this is the situation Obama is in.

    Now, onto the rest of your post – look we could go round and round all year on this, each of us highlighting paragraphs from the same or different news stories to help support our view.

    What do I think about Jill’s mistake? Read what Eric wrote:

    This particular error is NOT now part of the debate on this issue;

    Stop circling the wagon and deal with the bottom line, which is, that Jill and NRLC have ultimately shown demonstrated that the bill he voted against was virtually identical to the federal bill that he said he would have supported.

    >>”If you can’t trust Jill and others not to be mistaken or distort the facts of a political debate..”

    Throwing the infant born alive out with the bathwater are we? If making a mistake is the standard, than neither you or I can be trusted either, should we? The point is the ability to admit mistakes – which Jill did, which I have in the past, and I presume you might have as well.

    Look, Obama has a record – one he can access, one he had to previously defend against Keyes, and one he is intimately familiar with – and one he is trying to spin away.

    Why should he be afraid of his votes? Not because of what pro-lifers say, but because of what the average person thinks about babies born alive and left to die (abortion notwithstanding). His BS reasons about Roe don’t gel with a large percentage of his base.

    You see, most people are smart enough to realize that an unborn child born alive via induced labor abortion deserves medical care – abortion not withstanding.

    This is why his campaign is shaken – not because someone “lied” but because Americans don’t connect with his extreme record and refusal to reinforce the requirement that medical care be provided for these infants – who, by the way, are new citizens.

    People are not moving towards defending late term abortion – if anything, they are repulsed by it. They aren’t flocking to Obama because of his Naral rating – instead, many are discovering that he’s too extreme, his infants born alive problem notwithstanding.

    Finally, can you admit that even one late term birth control abortion is one too many, and that they actually happen here? And can you admit that there is something wrong with not providing care for infants born alive, even if it takes 100 additional laws to ensure their care?

  • invalid-0

    >>ignoring the fact that there was a state abortion law that was impacted, while no such thing existed at the federal level, doesn’t fly

    And? So denying medical care to newly born citizens is justified by impacting a State law?

    >>right’s obsession with prohibition and denying women’s rights to medical care based on their lives

    How about your obsession with circling the wagon on these issues? How about the obsession with protecing any smidgeon of abortion no matter if it costs infants their lives?

    Look, it’s ok to lose some ground on abortion if it means that infants are provided care. And what an insane world it is to think otherwise.

  • invalid-0

    I brought it up mostly to help illustrate how complex and convoluted this subject really is; how the foremost champion of “born alive” legislation in Illinois got so turned around in the thickets that she passed along significantly erroneous information to her readers at one point.
    Submitted by Eric Zorn on August 21, 2008 – 3:48pm.

    Another attempt at calling something as critical as life and death, and as fundamental as the ontological certainty of human life “complex,” “nuanced,” and “confusing.”

    “Confusing,” as in “be confused, oh please, please be confused.”

    Gotta protect the principle of using women for sex without consequence, after all.

  • invalid-0

    Any reasonable person can realize legislation to provide basic legal protection to children who survive abortions isn’t “anti-choice.”

    This bill had less to do with “protecting” infants than with selective targeting of a very rare late term abortion procedure. The title of the bill is very misleading once the language within is read Plus ithe broad terms mean it could be used to prosecute providers of early term abortions where the fetus is not viable.

  • http://www.addictedtohate.com/ invalid-0

    People in pain? Are you referring to infants who survived abortion and were left to die in a utility room?

    No, she’s not referring to a vanishingly small number of viable fetuses – if any, really – that survive a late-term abortion attempt only to die in some dingy utility room. Late-term abortions, which comprise less than one percent of all abortions, are usually reserved for fetuses that have conditions incompatible with life. Either they’ll die during an abortion, or they’ll die after induced labor, or they’ll die shortly after having been born full-term.

    They are going to die, period: They’re so deformed that almost none of them is capable of survival.

    Marcotte is referring to women as the people in pain: Almost all of them who have a later-term abortion were terminating a wanted pregnancy. They had to select among agonies, even while folks like you go on pontificating about the value of life.

  • invalid-0

    Born alive infants? You mean like Sun Hudson?

    Not because of what pro-lifers say, but because of what the average person thinks about babies born alive and left to die (abortion notwithstanding).

    And yet, George W. Bush was elected twice, despite signing into law a bill that left a born alive 5-month-old infant to die. How does that square with your theory?

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com invalid-0

    Amanda,
    It would be nice if you did a shred of research before posting on this subject outside of reading the Obama campaign’s talking points. The reason the legislation was introduced was because the prolife Illinois attorney general at the time ruled he couldn’t do anything to prevent Christ hospital from letting infants who survive abortion die because of how the Illinois law was worded.

    If the intention of the Born Alive bills was to torture women then why did 98 U.S. Senators vote for a bill which has (as the Obama campaign has acknowledged) virtually identical language to the 2003 Illinois bill?

    My guess is you haven’t even read the bill. Which is why your all bluster and can’t provide a hint of evidence for your numerous accusations.

    And one more thing – a born alive human being is an infant, not a fetus.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com invalid-0

    Scott,
    Stop parroting the Obama talking points without a shred of reasoning behind them. Please provide some insight into how the 2003 BAIPA with the neutrality clause would have effected Illinois’ 1975 law to change legal abortion in Illinois. You can’t just say (after Obama has been misrepresenting himself for 4 years) that the new excuse is suddenly valid without a hint of reasoning behind it. That’s just thoughtless. Obama’s campaign has refuted anything about the 2003 Illinois Born Alive law.

    You should also correct your post and apologize to Jill. Brady (who I believe is your son) quickly updated his post about Stanek’s “mistake” after I pointed out his error. In the comments he admitted he didn’t read Zorn’s piece well. You, even after comments correcting your post from Zorn, still don’t seem to get it or don’t have the integrity to admit your obvious mistake.

    I’m not sure what National Right to Life will do if McCain picks a pro-choice Veep. Why are you trying to change the subject????

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com invalid-0

    Margaret,
    Would you like to provide some evidence for your assertions that the legislation would have targeted a “very rare late term abortion procedure.” My guess is you’re parroting Dana Goldstein absolutely horrible piece which asserted the same thing without any evidence.

    What language in the bill would have targeted the procedure your speaking of and allowed prosecutors to charge early term abortionists? My guess is you haven’t read the legislation because if you have then you wouldn’t make such silly, unprovable claims.

  • invalid-0

    That Law was enjoined by a judge, so, NO, there wasn’t a law that protected these babies. Had there been Obama, in his capcity as a state sentaor and lawer, would have been obligated to take legal measures to ensure that laws were not broken when Jill Stanek testified.

    Nice spin, though.

  • scott-swenson

    Rueben,

    No, you did not get under my skin, I just find it fascinating that you encouraged me to admit I was wrong and you quoted Jill, who has yet to admit she was wrong on her blog. I clarified this piece proving that I can acknowledge a mistake on the timing, but Jill seems to have linked to every article about BAIPA except Eric Zorn’s. So I just thought you might find that amusing given our last exchange.

    I’ll also note you continue to ask for evidence from me while providing not a shred of credible evidence yourself. Finally, my concern here is not the Obama campaign, they’re doing just fine making sure the facts of these votes are available to people. My concern is pointing out the tactics that even your comments demonstrate so clearly: 1) Repeat loaded phrasing as often as possible, 2) Highlight fringe and extreme cases without evidence to distract debate about how best to improve reproductive health for all people, 3) Never address the fact that anti-choice dogma on abstinence-only and contraception actually contributes to, rather than prevents unintended pregnancies, 4) Ignore the fact that a woman has any right to make her own private health care decisions. And to your point about “public” vs. “private” medical decisions — by your definition EVERY medical decision then is public, and subject to legislative and court approval. Good luck pushing that idea Rueben, my bet is that Americans overwhelmingly believe that individuals and doctors are the best people to decide what each person needs since each and every case is unique. After a generation of misinformation from the far-right, most Americans still believe women should have the legal right to do that when it comes to her body too.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • scott-swenson

    Jive,

    I made the clarification and correction as to the timing of Jill’s admission of her mistake, and acknowledged that above. If you don’t think that is sufficient, I’m sorry. Jill has yet to acknowledge any mistake on her blog, or post Zorn’s article. You should also not make assumptions about people with the same surnames, but then again, since you assume you should be able to make another person’s medical decisions for them, I guess that’s a challenge. The reasoning you refuse to acknowledge, and that Jill refused to post from the New York Sun article, is reasoning your side never acknowledges — that women have a right to make their own health care decisions and there were concerns, until they were addressed in 2005, that BAIPA would adversely impact state law assuring that right. No more detail or reasoning is required for most people, because most people believe individuals should be able to make their own health care decisions. As to the pro-choice veep for the GOP, I don’t view it as a change of subject, we’re talking about all these issues in the context of this election, and it sure seems like a pro-choice pick will be signal that end times are here for anti-choice control of the GOP. Your extremism and refusal to even discuss education and prevention efforts to reduce unintended pregnancies has left your movement far outside the mainstream — so far, that the GOP has nominated a Presidential candidate you cannot trust, who may well be about to pick a pro-choice running mate. Far from changing the subject, it indicates that America is fundamentally pro-choice, and that even within the anti-choice movement there is disagreement about what to do next, as witnessed in the split on the Colorado Initiative declaring fertilized eggs as having constitutional rights. While you may wish the topic could be only about one procedure that is on the fringe of the debate, the subject is that Americans are tired of your tactics and share fundamental values of choice.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    Scott,

    Even Eric Zorn said you misrepresented Jill’s statement

    “the mistake that Jill admitted: she was wrong about the bill being “held” (as in “held-up” in committee) when in fact the bill was actually amended and voted upon with the identical language of the federal BAIPA.”

    “Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune emailed me yesterday, “He not only misunderstood what I wrote in the first place, but he misunderstood my confirmation to him.” So Swenson’s denseness apparently knows no bounds. To his credit, Zorn attempted to correct Swenson’s gross misrepresentation of my comment.”

    http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2008/08/rh_reality_unch.html#trackbacks

  • invalid-0

    Scott,

    Jill has defended herself on this issue – I need not do so, and the bottom line is still the same – Obama allowed infanticide to continue with his votes. Spin away alll you like, but that’s the bottom line – and voters are getting wise to it.

    Also, Eric Zorn mentions that you “not only misunderstood what I wrote in the first place, but he misunderstood my confirmation to him”

    >>ll also note you continue to ask for evidence from me while providing not a shred of credible evidence yourself

    Well if crediblity is subjective, then you’ll never believe anything I present. (And CDC data is imperfect, BTW…)

    In that case, I invite you to go to Tiller’s mill in KS to interview the patients entering as to their condition – granted, many are there for fetal abnormalites, but you’ll find that some are not. But you’d probably discredit your own findings, because they would violate some tenent of the abortion rights dogma you belive in.

    Now, I can arrange for this to happen if you’d like, with a pro-life advocate as a witness to such an interview,
    but I suspect you won’t take me up on the offer.

    And once again, can you admit that even one late abortion on an healthy baby, who’s mother is healthy, is one unecessary abortion too many and should be prevented?

    Keep circling them wagons, and keep adding trip to this “unreality” site…

  • invalid-0

    >>Keep circling them wagons, and keep adding trip to this “unreality” site..

    I meant tripe…

  • invalid-0

    We’ll be waiting for Jill Stanek to acknowledge her mistake on her blog, which should be easy since she did it already in the Chicago Tribune.
    Although much of Jill’s post today is somewhat hostile to you, I do sense some contrition when reading between the lines. She does repeatedly acknowledge your accusation that she made a mistake, and doesn’t deny that it was a mistake, even if she claims it was about a different topic. She also calls you one of RH Reality Check’s “finest,” and I agree, even if Jill might have meant it sarcastically.
    Keep up the terrific work!!!!!!!!!!!

  • invalid-0

    Meritorious Brand,

    You’re clueless…..

  • invalid-0

    Unlike you, I don’t think most people are willing to harass others over the medical decisions they need to make regarding their own bodies. Most people find that sort of behavior crass, offensive, and harmful. Although, mocking and judging those who are suffering medical problems has become somewhat of a staple of the far-right extremists so I guess I’m not surprised to see you suggest it. Like Rush Limbaugh mocking people with Parkinson’s, Michael Savage mocking people with autism. I realize that appeals to a certain sick mindset, and it’s unfortunate it gets championed and encouraged by people like yourself.

    I didn’t see a response to the Sun Hudson case fitting in with your theory upthread. Is that because war-lover George Bush signed the bill into law that allowed for the asphyxiation of an infant, despite the objections of the child’s mother? It appears conservatives had no problem electing war-lover George Bush to office, twice, even though he left a legacy of letting born alive infants die (even when the mother wants to continue life support for her infant), and are poised to go and vote for yet another war-lover.

    As usual, the far-right extremists come across as confused, ignorant, or malevolent.

    • invalid-0

      My body has a human attached, so I think I’ll stab it in the night! No, I’m not pregnant, I have a siamese twin. They are a part of my body, so when they aren’t looking (that’s going to be tough) I’m going to stab them!

  • invalid-0

    I don’t think most people are willing to harass others over the medical decisions they need to make regarding their own bodies. Most people find that sort of behavior crass, offensive, and harmful.
    * * * * * *
    Good, neither do I. What I do is try, among other things, to stop abortion. Since abortion is the of a unique human being, abortion is wrong, and should be stopped.

  • invalid-0

    Japser,
    Different people express contrition in different ways. Because Jill is so emotionally invested in the topic of choice, it is very hard for her to admit when she has made an error.
    I fully realize that the main point of Jill’s post today was to criticize Mr. Swenson. However, she did post the headline from his column which reads “Jill Stanek Admits a Mistake.” I think that perhaps she was a little unsure of her position, so she wanted to invite others to investigate the accusation so that they could decide for themselves. That’s what CHOICE is all about!!!!

  • invalid-0

    Actually, you just advocated harassing women going to the Tiller clinic upthread. Get this: you have no business harassing people entering a medical clinic, no matter how curious you might be as to their medical circumstances. That is crass, offensive behavior. Stop advocating it. Do you stand outside cancer clinics and harass patients? Do you stand outside organ transplant hospitals and harass patients? Why do you target your harassment at women and the doctors who treat their medical conditions?

    I notice you again avoid the case of Sun Hudson. I’m guessing the issue isn’t really born alive infants left to die, but rather something else. Why obfuscate?

    Abortion is not wrong. Do you have a problem with women preventing harm to their bodies? Do you have a problem with women deciding who gets to use their bodies, for what, and when? Do you have a problem with women protecting their life? Do you have a problem with women protecting their liberty?

    What’s wrong are pregnancies that go horribly awry and put a woman’s health or life in danger and fetuses developing with horrible defects, but that happens. Shit happens. It’s just rude and evil to harass women about it. They’re already suffering, there’s no need to pile on like a pack of ignorant animals.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com invalid-0

    Hi Scott,
    I don’t know if you know blog etiquette but you if you make a mistake like the huge mistake you made in one of your posts – you might want to consider making a correction by noting your mistake in your post and explaining it. I don’t believe you’ve done this. Your post still makes intentionally misleading statements about Jill’s “mistake.” Your post still claims her mistake created the “firestorm” when it had nothing to do with it. You wrote these words because you apparently didn’t even understand the basics of the controversy. If you want anyone to ‘fess up about their mistake it should be Obama who has been misrepresenting his reasons for voting against this legislation for 4 years.

    So are you and Brady not related then? If not, my mistake.

    Scott, your inability to be honest about basics facts (such as Obama’s admitted misrepresentation of his reasons) and Jill’s “mistake” and the fact that you don’t seem to have any reason (besides Obama campaign says so) to believe the 2003 state legislation which identically mirrored the 2002 federal law (which passed unanimously) tells me you’d parrot anything the Obama campaign told you about this. No “more details” are required for you because you’re a sheep who will follow and believe anything Obama and pro-choice organizations tell you without doing a shred of research to see if they’re telling you the truth or not. You’re so hungry to defend Obama, you’ll jump on a “mistake” everyone made and act like this “mistake” caused the firestorm.

    The BAIPA has nothing to do with women making their own health care decisions – it has to do with providing basic rights to infants who survive abortions. I’m guessing you (like most pro-choice writers on this blog) haven’t even read the legislation.

  • http://jivinjehoshaphat.blogspot.com invalid-0

    I wonder if Amanda thinks her old boss John Edwards is a misogynist ghoul since he (along with all his other U.S. Senate colleagues including Hillary Clinton) voted in favor of the federal Born Alive Infant Protection Act??

  • invalid-0

    You’re confusing me with someone else. This is the first time I commented on this particular article.

  • invalid-0

    >>Actually, you just advocated harassing women going to the Tiller clinic upthread. Get this: you have no business…Do you stand outside cancer clinics and harass patients? Do you stand outside organ transplant hospitals and harass patients?

    Yea, cause cancer and abortion are equally controversial? And treating cancer focuses on killing the unborn?

    My sister in law died of brain cancer, and I don’t think she would agree with the connection you try to make.

    And this “harassment” is no better or worse than being approached by someone who wants you to register to vote.

    But then again, I forgot the dogma that states “thou shalt talk to anyone entering and exiting any building, unless they are entering an choice clinic – then, thou shalt not talk to them.”

  • invalid-0

    Quite right, pwpl. I was addressing Ruben when you interjected a response. Not sure why you felt compelled to defend yourself, do you harass women who are going into medical clinics?

  • invalid-0

    Both cancer and pregnancy can harm women and threaten their health and lives. Treating cancer can require terminating a pregnancy, ever hear of a molar pregnancy? Radiation is a teratogen.

    Harassing people suffering with health problems is no better or worse than registering someone to vote? I guess when you’re trying to get them to vote for war lovers like George Bush and John McCain, it might seem on par, but I’m confident most people would consider harassing people who are ill and on their way to get medical treatment much worse.

    I realize harassing people who are ill and suffering is quite the sport for some far-rightwing extremists. You appear quite proud of it. Are you?

  • invalid-0

    I know you’re trying to prove a point, but can you seriously not grasp why we in the (pro-life/anti-abortion/anti-choice) movement view abortion as different from cancer and organ transplant procedures?

  • invalid-0

    Quite right, pwpl. I was addressing Ruben when you interjected a response. Not sure why you felt compelled to defend yourself, do you harass women who are going into medical clinics?
    ********
    I wasn’t defending myself. Just setting you straight on why exactly abortion is wrong and should be stopped, since you seemed to be confused on that point. :-)
    As for your question, no, I have never harassed a woman going into a medical clinic, particularly as I’m a young woman myself.

  • invalid-0

    Oops, I forgot to put my name in in the above post. Sorry about that.

  • scott-swenson

    Meritorious Brand, Thanks, but “somewhat hostile” is an understatement when it comes to Jill, and “contrition” may be a bit of an overstatement, but I like your optimism! There are several comments above yours demanding further apology or clarification, and I’ve acknowledged and corrected the content above to reflect the specific mistake that Jill admitted to Zorn.

    In Jill’s screaming screed, in which she acknowledges she has no respect for me and by extension the opinions of people who disagree with her, let alone the health and rights of women, she also quotes from Eric Zorn’s emails to her about our exchange. I was amused, and considered for a moment publishing the emails that Eric Zorn and I exchanged to shed more light on this tit-for-tat. Instead I wrote Eric first, asking his permission, and he asked that I not publish the text of our email exchange, but publish this instead “All the back and forth here was written, on my [Eric's] end anyway, in that rushed, telegraphic e-mail shorthand that can lead to misunderstandings. Any lack of clarity in my original work (which was written at greater leisure and with more care) may have been magnified, at first and in good faith, in these round robins. But it now seems as though everyone understands what everyone else was saying or trying to say, so it’s time to get back to the issue itself.”

    Having made the acknowledgment and correction above as soon as it was clarified, the “issue itself” for me is all about the tactics of Jill and the far right: Intimidating people (Zorn did acknowledge the NLRC was emailing him about my piece); posting everything but Zorn’s piece until this exchange forced her hand and then not to acknowledge it to her readers but only to attack others; truncating the New York Sun story to give only partial response and distort facts; and through all of this, keeping as much attention as possible on her role and this one vote as opposed to joining the conversation the rest of America is having about how to improve sex-ed, access to contraception and reproductive health so that unintended pregnancies are reduced. But that conversation isn’t about Jill, and it isn’t nearly extreme enough for her minions.

    Americans are ready for a conversation about how to improve health care for everyone, and recognize those decisions, especially when it comes to having children, should be made by individuals and doctors. I’m sure this will start another flurry of attack comments below, but hey, that’s good for traffic and rankings. The fringe will continue to scream about extremes and try to distract the larger conversation. We’ll keep highlighting those tactics, respecting other people’s beliefs and their rights to live them, insisting that in our democracy that same respect is extended to every man and woman.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    she acknowledges she has no respect for me
    Scott,
    People often say things they don’t really mean, particularly in the middle of a contentious election season in which so much is at stake. Perhaps when it’s over, she’ll officially try to make amends.
    What’s important is that now the whole world can see the headline “Jill Stanek Admits Mistake to Chicago Tribune on Obama’s Abortion Record” and recognize that the accusation that Obama failed to oppose infanticide is a smear. Maybe his campaign can post your rebuttal (or a paraphrase of it) on their Fight the Smears web site. I will definitely e-mail them the links!
    However, rather than immediately broadening the reproductive rights conversation, I think it would be a good strategy to dog the right-wing on the infanticide issue until they capitulate. They are making such a big deal of it on Fox and other cable networks, and the story has reached the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Associated Press. We should take advantage of the publicity to make sure the issue explodes in their face, which we can easily do since We have the truth on our side with respect to their outrageous lies about Obama’s voting record.

  • scott-swenson

    MeriBrand — I’d rather spend the rest of the campaign talking about health care that 98% of Americans can relate to, like the need for contraception and the fact that Jill and others want to limit even that choice. When people recognize the threat to a choice that they can relate to they understand the threat to any and every choice. What Jill and her ilk want to do is control everyone’s choices. That’s not America, that’s not democracy, those aren’t values. Dogma is dogma and this country was founded, and people came here, to escape dogma. We should dog the right wing for sure – expose their tactics, call them on their lies and misinformation, but the real way to expose them for the shrinking minority they are is not to take their bait, no matter how many different ways they dress it up. People are tired of extremist propaganda, and are ready to resolve challenging issues, not just scream about them as the far-right has done, and continues to do.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    I’d rather spend the rest of the campaign talking about health care that 98% of Americans can relate to
    I agree 100% with this. But since abortion is one of the most common medical procedures in America I figured it IS something that the overwhelming majority could relate to. Plus, with the Supreme Court at stake, abortion rights are the ones most at risk and the threat posed by McCain might galvanize people. I don’t think they’re really worried about losing their contraception (especially since Trojan condoms is even sponsoring a reception for Democratic convention goers!)
    I guess I just thought the born alive controversy presented a great opportunity to discredit Jill Stanek and her ilk once and for all. But you’re the professional so I’ll leave it up to you and all the wonderful people at RH Reality Check!!

  • scott-swenson

    We’re in complete agreement, and the problem is most people aren’t aware of the very real threat being posed to contraception in the waning days of the Bush Administration, and that goal is what lurks behind extreme agenda of Jill and her friends. And you are right that abortion is a medical procedure that, if made illegal, will only result in harm to women and families seeking unsafe procedures. It’s not about strategy for me, it’s about preserving an America where differences are respected, and individuals are allowed to make personal decisions without government interference. Defining those who use God, the flag, and our democracy in an attempt to define faith in their image, and undermine people’s patriotism and trust in the political system, is an important part of restoring a pro-prevention, pro-education, pro-choice majority.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    It’s not anti-choice. It’s anti-abortion. Make a choice before you have sex, but don’t take it out on an unborn baby when you don’t want to deal with the consequences of sex.

    No matter how you slice it, abortion is a barbaric act, one that a civilized society should do all it can to minimize.

  • scott-swenson

    So then you agree we should comprehensive sexuality education to better teach people about the responsibilities of sex, and provide access to contraception to prevent unintended pregnancies? Abortion is a medical procedure that if necessary should be handled by medical professionals and the people involved, not legislated. You gain nothing by prohibiting abortion other than making women criminals and causing them to harm themselves or be harmed in unsafe illegal abortions.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    Did you (the author) purposely set out to distort the issue.
    Apparently, you don’t read.

    Obama FOUGHT to deprive infants born of explusion abortion the right to minimal medical care, and left them to die a horrible death of which he was fully informed, lying on a cold soiled laundry counter,,,or, in some cases, trash bin or floor.
    These infants make up almost 25% of all abortions.
    They are left to die without even comfort measures.
    They are denied minimal medical care, unlike other live birth infants.

    OBAMA “apologized” for saying that he didn’t vote to oppose medical care for infants born of expulsion abortion.
    HE “apologized”.

    OBAMA was SO PROUD of fighting tooth and nail to deny infants this right to live after being born alive,,,and then he lied to try to cover that fact up.

    If he’s so proud of the fact that he fought to deny them care and dignity in the first place,,,,the only reason he would lie about it and deny now is because HE’S EMBARRASSED to be caught. OOOOOPS!

  • invalid-0

    do you get the figure of 25% of all abortions are “infants born of explusion abortion”? You must be pulling that number out of your nether regions. It makes anything else you have to say suspect to say the least.

  • scott-swenson

    JMiller — you seem to be the one distorting the facts, and without citing any links or evidence at all. You are making up these stats and making up the fact that Obama — or the other Democrats on the Committee who voted the same way — were doing anything other than working to preserve the abortion law in Illinois that would have been undermined (until amended in 2005) that protects women’s health care choices.

    Cite the 25 percent figure, or the quotes, or save the key strokes. You, Jill and all the other extremists are just trying to make far more out of this to rally the rabid right base – rather than working to support sex-ed, contraception and the reduction of unintended pregnancies, policies the vast majority of Americans support.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    FYI, folks, there are laws that govern this sort of thing. Pregnancy tissue is disposed of as regulated medical waste. I’d love to know where all of these clinics are that throw biohazardous waste in the trash can. Pure wackiness, this myth. Wackiness and delusion.

  • invalid-0

    A quick search found two interesting cases.

    Aborted fetal remains were found in the dumpster of a clinic in Michigan, along with patient medical records. However, it appears that the only crime committed (or at least, formally charged) was improper disposal of medical records.

    http://www.prolifesociety.com
    ————————————————–
    In Spain, a clinic found an gruesome way to dispose of fetal remains:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article2971379.ece

  • invalid-0

    25% is a very inaccurate figure. Where did you get it?

  • invalid-0

    The Michigan case, if you could find a nonbiased source for it, would be a violation of both federal law and local sanitation regulations. The Spanish case, while terrible, is an aberration.

    I assure you, dear atheist, that reputable clinics are quite aware of local regulations and adhere to them. Often, because of the extra degree of scrutiny that abortion providers face, we exceed them.

  • invalid-0

    Your sources:
    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080821/NEWS03/80821051/1005/NEWS

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-mi-abortionclinic-re,0,2087031.story

    http://www.clickondetroit.com/video/15562367/index.html

    http://detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080822/METRO02/808220347

    You’ll need that original link (for the biased/hateful/anti-woman/anti-choice organization in Michigan that filed the initial complaint with police) in order to understand the flow of how events unfolded.

    You asked where these clinics were, and I gave you recent examples of shoddy operations. While most are following the rules, you have to admit that not all abortion providers are honest folks. Recently the owner of a chain of abortion clinics in southern California was arrested on 10 felony charges.
    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jun/22/local/me-abortion22
    She had previously been arrested on 18 counts of practicing without a medical license. Her sister and one of the doctors was also charged.
    http://www.operationrescue.org/?p=978

  • invalid-0

    every comment i was going to make, you already said it far better.
    as far as anyone having a problem with the language you used, are they joking? what about “baby killers”, “infanticide”, “precious babies”, “unborn rights”, “preborn rights”, “holocaust”, etc. i’m so tired of anti-choice extremists using loaded words to evoke emotional, not logical, responses. just as i’m tired of their attempts to place a zygote’s supposed rights over mine or any other women’s.
    i think the term that offends me the most is “holocaust”. i can’t believe these extremists have gotten away with that term for so long. i dare any right-wing wacko to try explaining to a holocaust survivor that a pregnancy being terminated compares with the living hell that actual humans had to endure.
    and that utility room story – investigated with NO PROOF found that it ever happened.
    and partial birth abortions? again, you wackos ought to be ASHAMED of yourselves. you are exploiting TRAGEDIES for the sake of your anti-sex, anti-women, anti-any religious belief but mine arguments. the VERY small number of women who must go through with that terrible circumstance are NOT baby killers. they are women who were looking forward to the birth of a very wanted child, only to discover that the baby WOULD NOT, COULD NOT survive. how dare you take advantage of these women for your sick agenda?
    one more thing (i really didn’t intend to write so much, but have been so angry lately that so many ignorant anti-women wackos still exist): stop. just stop. you WILL NOT win this, you WILL NOT succeed in taking away mine, nor any women’s, right to do with my life/body what i need to do. you may think so. i know it seems that anti-choicers are many…but that’s only because you’re all so vocal about your ignorant agenda. but, push we pro-choicers another step further, and you will quickly learn that the majority is absolutely for a women’s right to choose, to privacy, to freedom, and to liberty.

  • invalid-0

    Everyone is against the murder of babies, you damned fool!

  • invalid-0

    Jill Staneck probably A racist as well as a McBush supporter that will lie and try to destroy any one that does not see eye to eye with her or her Republican veiws. This is why you Republicriers lost and will continue to loose.The Republican’s are so conservative that they have made their party the my way or highway bunch or the all or nothing Gang.I for one dont think that every word (lies)that spew from their holier than thou lips is the gospel,nor do disagree with them all of the time either. I do think that there is a in between on most issues and this is why I cant vote for your party. If the republican party is susposedly the evangelical party then they are the biggest bunch of hippocrites that has ever been. They claim abortion is a sin in the eyes of the lord. How about bearing false witness against thy neighbor. I am repulsed by these false statements by Jill and also the statements by Elizabeth Dole who accused Kay Hagen of being un Godly in her senate race in North Carolina. (Kay is a Sunday School Teacher For Christ Sake.) So who in the Republican congregation gets to rank sins. Abortion vs Bearing false witness? Lets see? I think that they are both sins in the eyes of the lord. Shame on you Rebublicans!