Yes They Can’t: Right Wing Fundamentalists Taste Change


Apparently President-elect Barack Obama is inspiring everybody these
days, even right wing extremists. Take, for example, Gary Bauer of the
right wing group American Values, who recently explained,
"I found myself thinking, ‘My goodness, I can’t believe he’s (Obama)
going to make it this easy for us to rally our troops to get off the
mat and get back to work." Wendy Wright, president of
anti-contraception group Concerned Women for America, seems to relish
her loser status as much as Bauer. She waxes almost romantic,
"I knew, moments after the election results came in, that I was now
part of the resistance movement." Bill Donohue of the Catholic League
dispensed with resistance and quickly went on the offensive. "If Obama
signs the freedom of Choice Act or FOCA you will have a culture war the likes of which you have never seen before," he said. FOCA
would make abortion a right under federal law so that even if Roe v
Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court abortion will continue to be
legal.

Some in the anti-choice establishment have cautiously stuck a toe
onto the common ground that Obama has suggested is findable – ground
from which opponents can search for ways to make abortion less
necessary. The Old Guard, by contrast, is inspired in another way. It
insists on treating a potential turning point as another inning in an
unending grudge match.

Over the next weeks and months I’ll be monitoring the other side,
trying to discern where inspiration is taking them. From the
looks of it, they expect to dust off the same old playbook. Here are a
couple of plays to take note of:

Play #1, find something incendiary (even if fake) to rally
followers. As Michael Lindsay, a political sociologist at Rice
University in Houston told Reuters
in the wake of Obama’s landslide victory, "In order for the social
conservatives to succeed, they will need to have something to mobilize
against. It could be an issue or the congressional leadership." Without
the fictitious "partial birth abortion" issue that anti-choice groups
used artfully for over a decade, extremists will have to find a new
issue to quickly mischaracterize. Enter the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA).
"The challenge starting first thing … is raising "awareness" about
just how extreme his (Obama’s) agenda is, starting with (FOCA),"
said Charmaine Yoest, president of the anti-abortion group Americans
United for Life Action (quote marks mine). Likewise, Concerned Women
for America put out a press release detailing their first action after
the inauguration:

"Two days after Barack Obama’s inauguration, pro-lifers will be
doubling their impact during the March for Life, the annual pro-life
rally in Washington, D.C., held on January 22, the anniversary of Roe
v. Wade. As tens of thousands gather to oppose the deadly Supreme Court
decision that decriminalized abortion, Concerned Women for America
(CWA) will be handing out snacks with information on how to oppose the
Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), a bill supported by Obama. The next day, pro-lifers in Washington and around the country will be joining CWA’s FOCA Lobby Day by contacting their congressmen – in person or by phone – urging them to oppose this bill…"

Choosing FOCA as a target serves
extremists choice in several ways. One key advantage is that, though
Obama favors it, even pro-choice advocates do not expect it to pass
soon. This offers a protracted period to scare and misinform the
public. And so the antis are putting together their talking points. In
doing so they’re studying the strategies of Karl Rove, mastermind of
that recent unpleasantness a.k.a. the Bush presidency. Rove’s genius
was to identify emotionally charged wedge issues – abortion,
homosexuality, guns – which so roused targeted populations that they
voted against their own larger interests. Jack and Charmaine Yoest of
Americans United for Life would like to do the same. Yesterday they
posted a blog entitled, "How Would Karl Rove Fight FOCA?"
A large segment of "pro-life" sympathetizers voted for Obama this
election; still the Yoests posit that with the right Rovean wedge – or
wedge within a wedge – they can incite even pro-choice voters.

Which leads to Play #2: Cast FOCA as a
parent’s rights issue.  It’s a favorite gambit. Recast the debate in
not only false but inflammatory terms. They tried the same play with the HPV vaccine
when they tried to keep the cervical cancer prevention method from
becoming a state mandated vaccination. Expect a similar "parent’s
rights" line of argument to resurface with FOCA.

The Yoests write: "Conservative Pro-Lifers will be able to unify
and bring together even Pro-Choicers who are concerned about knowing if
their daughters are going to have an abortion…All parents want to know
if their children are playing with edged weapons and more so if they go
under the knife. Rove would suggest targeting this constituency who
would have a passionate position on knowing if their children are going
to have surgery by strangers.  And who would be paying for the
abortion.  No parent would allow a stranger to give candy to their
children; parents would not allow a stranger to operate on their child.
Rove would identify this group, persuade them and then prompt them to
action. The fear that mom and dad will lose control over their
healthcare decisions of their child is worrisome enough without Uncle
Sam stepping in."

Their claims against the HPV vaccine were hyped. Every state
but Mississippi had a generous opt-out provision for its vaccination
programs. Similarly, they will fan fears over FOCA even if not true. After all, Maryland and Maine both have active parental involvement laws and also passed the Freedom of Choice Act.

The truth has rarely gotten in the way of reproductive rights
opponents. Even in the age of evidence, which is what Obama says he will
rely on in making decisions, an energized, inspired right wing will try
to win with old-fashioned Rovean fear. Some things never change.

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  • invalid-0

    Let’s leave this Democratic vs. Republican charade aside for a moment. I marched against the War in Iraq and I also have also witnessed outside abortion clinics to encourage women to keep their babies. Seriously Cristina you are in serious denial about “ficticious” Partial Birth Abortions. Thousands of Partial Birth Abortions are performed every year in this country. Care to actually go into the field and do some research instead of repeating someone else’s falsehood?

    Don’t you see that the same power, the State is behind all the killing in this country? The State loves to kill it’s people whether it’s on the ground in Iraq or in a trash can in a Bronx abortion clinic. No country can kill the way this country is doing without destroying itself. By writing articles like the one you’ve written here you’re helping that process right along. Good work!

  • invalid-0

    Mr. McManus,

    People can’t just walk into a clinic 8 months pregnant and have an abortion. The procedure is actually called “intact dilation and extraction” and is only done when the monther’s health is at risk. This procedure constitutes less than 1% of abortions done, the majority of abortions are done during the 1st 12 weeks. The “Partial Birth Abortion Ban” bans the procedure with absolutely no exception for the life of the woman. So if a woman decides to terminate a pergnancy at the 32nd week because her life is at risk due to the pregnancy it should be the woman’s choice (along with consult from her doctor), not that of the government or anyone else.

    There are cases where the woman’s life is in grave danger from a pregnancy and the doctor recommends termination. Women do not take this lightly, they should be aloud to make this choice. Does anyone care about the life of a woman?

  • therealistmom

    … because there is no procedure known as that in any kind of medical literature. It is a made up, inflammatory term for a medical procedure that is performed in extremely rare circumstances when the life or health of the woman is endangered (this does NOT mean she can walk in and demand one because she feels "inconvienienced", nor do these women who would have a late term abortion just "because" exist anywhere but in the minds of rabid anti-choicers), or if the fetus is dead or so severely disabled it would not live beyond the womb.

     A dialation and extraction procedure is not pretty, and that is why the anti-choice police picked it as their poster procedure. Sadly there are circumstances where it is necessary, as the method least likely to cause harm to the woman. one example- a fetus with severe hydrocephaly that cannot be delivered vaginally because of the massive volume of fluid in the skull. The other option would be to put the woman through major surgery (hysterotomy, aka Cesearean) and let the fetus die on its own. There’s no good answers in such a circumstance, but allowing the woman to die shouldn’t be an option.

     

  • invalid-0

    Considering that ZERO federal dollars and an extremely small number of state dollars goes towards abortion services, I fail to see how the state is behind abortion. Secondly, I’m curious as to whether you’ve ever worked at a women’s health center or a Planned Parenthood? Because you seem to write as if you had. I have – and know many, many women who have and do – and know:

    1) There is NO such thing as “partial birth abortion” – it is a term created by political opponents to abortion. It’s a political term created by anti-choice leaders for political gain. There is not one, single, mainstream medical association that recognizes that term as a medical procdedure.

    2) If you are referring to a D&X procedure, there is a procedure in which physicians with NO political intent have deemed safest when no other options exist after reaching a certain point in pregnancy. They are performed on less than 1% of women who have abortions and are NO business of yours or anyone else not connected to the pregnant woman whose life or health must be, under Roe v. Wade, endangered in order for her to have the procedure after the fetus is viable.

    Please – if you want to lend your activism towards a good cause, help ensure that our best prevention efforts are put towards good use – that contraception, family planning, STI prevention tools, comprehensive sexual health education, preventative health care services are available to all who need them, no matter income level. Unfortunately, this means disassociating from the larger anti-choice movement which is unapologetically and wholly opposed to any and all of the above.

    Thanks for writing.

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • invalid-0

    8 months pregnant and have an abortion because “her life is in danger”???? I am sorry, but babies born as early as 24 weeks gestation have survived, and many have actually survived with very little deficits. Most babies born at 32 weeks do EXTREMELY well. There would never, under any circumstance be any reason to abort for the health of the mother at that gestation. A more appropriate term would be premature delivery via induction or c-section. I am a pediatrician and I see babies delivered prematurely all the time because of the health of the mother. At least then the baby has a fighting chance. So I disagree about the “need” for late abortions, the baby may need to be delivered early, but that is a totally different senario.

  • invalid-0

    In DC? I’ve been to several of the national mobilizations against the war there. If only we knew there were others in our midst :)

    (BTW you don’t happen to have been involved with the International Socialist Organization at Cornell University in 2004, have you? You sound quite a bit like the dude we met at the RNC protests in NYC…he also preached against the State, despite being involved with the ISO).

  • invalid-0

    “There would never, under any circumstance be any reason to abort for the health of the mother at that gestation.” -This statement is false, there are circumstances where the mother’s health is at risk at this gestation and terminating the pregnancy would save her life. These cases are rare but do occur and that is why this procedure needs to remain legal. As TheRealistMom stated, “There’s no good answers in such a circumstance, but allowing the woman to die shouldn’t be an option.” Amen to that.

  • cristina-page

    Thanks for the suggestion Brian. It’s always a little funny getting a suggestion from a "pro-lifer" to do some research. Research has never really been kind to the "pro-life" cause. As for research, I’ve done my share; including organizing a women’s stories amicus brief for the Supreme Court case Carhart v Gonzales. It consisted of women’s first-hand accounts of needing late term abortion procedures. I can’t imagine a more original source than the women who have actually had the procedure, can you? You sound like someone who could use a little enlightening on the subject yourself. I’d happily send you a copy of the amicus brief for your research if you’d like to send your mailing address. For your privacy, you can send it to my email at cristina@prochoicemovement.com. If I don’t hear from you I’ll assume its you who likes repeating someone else’s falsehood.

  • therealistmom

    I highly doubt you are a pediatrician, as you would know about such issues are severe hydrocephaly where a vaginal delivery is impossible, and a Cesearean would put the woman more at risk; or doomed fetuses such as those diagnosed with Edwards syndrome. Would you, as a "pediatrician", advocate forcing a woman to give birth to a fetus that has literally zero chance at survival? What of a woman who would die from labor induction or the major surgery involved in a hysterotomy? These circumstances are incredibly rare, but they DO exist, and no legitimate medical provider would ever deny they do.

  • http://www.billykess.com/blog invalid-0

    Just who the heck are you calling extremists? The people who want to save lives? Are the majority of Americans – many who even do consider themselves ‘pro-choice’ – that are still against PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION extremists?

    Even parents who consider themselves to be “pro-choice” still want to know if/when their own child is getting an abortion, I am sure. If they don’t care that their child can get an abortion without their knowledge, then they are terrible parents anyway.

    You got to be kidding me with this leftwing, pro-abortion rhetorical garbage here. As if those against FOCA are the extremists! Wow. Now I have heard it all.

    True feminism is pro-life. True feminism has a regard and a respect for human life. REAL feminists take responsibility for their actions.

    Don’t try to say that pro-abortion is feminist and pro-life is anti-woman. These pro-abortion people are nothing but baby hating, feminiazis who hijacked the meaning of feminism to promote their sick, selfish, bloody, EVIL agenda.

    Let’s see if this post sticks. Let’s see how the leftwing champions freedom of speech and expression.

    Billy Kess
    billykess.com/blog

    PS I also notice it says that images can be added to this post. Would it be OK if I added a photo of a partial birth abortion victim? I didn’t think so.

    But after all, you support it. I don’t. I’m the “extremist” who’s against it.

  • therealistmom

    … you actually have something constructive to add to the conversation, instead of regurgitating hyper-conservative bile. The second you use the term "partial-birth abortion" any and all credibility you might have had in this discussion went out the window. Have a nice day.

  • invalid-0

    First of all, I’ll come back anytime I feel like it. What do you think of that? At least until the moderators of this website ban me because they dislike my opinions. That’s usually a common thing with left wingers. They resort to name calling, labelling, and then if all else fails – banning.

    Since you’re the expert, what exactly IS late term abortion? Do you know what the proceedure is? Probably not because IT IS INDEED partial birth. Look up how it’s done, dear.

    The head is crushed and the brains are sucked out by some demon-possessed “doctor” and the reason why the brains are sucked out while the head is still inside the woman is because that’s the fine line between a medcical proceedure and murder.

    I’ll assume you didn’t know that, either.

    If the baby was to be killed after it was totally extracted from the womb, it would be considered murder.

    I consider it murder either way.

    Look at the photo below this thread – take a good look at it before it’s removed. That’s reality. That’s a partial birth abortion.

    YOU are the extemist for supporting it. Those of us who are against it are not the extremists. YOU support it, so you should have no problem looking at it.

    I’ll pray for you.

    You need it, believe me.

  • http://www.billykess.com/blog invalid-0

    Oops – nevermind. The photo was removed. I knew it wouldn’t last and I won’t post another one. I understand the people here want to suppress the truth. How much more truthful can you get then an actual photo?

    That’s OK, the internet is a wonderful thing! And the government has no say over it, either. Anyone can go to google.com and find those photos. They’re out there – and they always will be.

    I doubt this bill will pass, anyway, but if it does. Always remember – the pendolum swings both ways. Sooner or later, Obama will be gone (probably after 4 years) and republicans will be back in control and we’ll set things straight again.

    And one day, abortion will be looked back upon with digust and shame – another piece of dark American history – the same way we look back on slavery.

    And Planned Parenthood will just despised as the Ku Klux Klan is today. If it’s even still in existance.

    Have a nice day :)

    Billy Kess

    • brady-swenson

      Two of your comments were removed for violating our commenting policy, particularly the uncivil name calling aspect.

      Please continue to use the “report comment” function to make us aware of any comments you feel violate this policy.

  • therealistmom

    THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PARTIAL BIRTH ABORTION.

     There is no medical procedure called this. It does not exist in any medical textbook. 

     There IS a procedure known as a an "Intact Dilation and Extraction", or D&X. It is performed when the fetus is dead, is so malformed it will not survive until birth or will die shortly thereafter, or the woman is in immediate danger of dying or being seriously injured. In some cases an induced labor or Cesearean might be indicate, but sometimes it is safer to deliver the fetus using this method. It has nothing to do with "partially delivering a baby, then killing it, because then it isn’t murder." It has to do with trying to make the delivery of the fetus as safe as possible so the woman’s health will not be impacted. Collapsing the skull, as morbid as it seems, allows passage through the cervix without extended labor. It also delivers an intact fetus so that the woman might say goodbye if she chooses- because most of the time these procedures are performed on women who actually want their pregnancies but are forced to it by dire circumstances.

     So keep slinging your rhetoric; keep up with the juvenile foot-stomping and screams of "I’ll post here if I wanttttt!!!!" The rest of us will work to ensure that womens’ lives and health are not destroyed because of this idea that the fetus is the be-all end-all of humanity.

     If there was a Hell, I think it would be populated by people who judged the heartbreaking choices of others, and thought women should be allowed to die.

  • http://www.billykess.com/blog invalid-0

    Oh believe me. If there’s a hell, Margaret Sanger is there – along with abortion doctors and people who ran around with signs reading “Abortion on Demand”.

    You say there’s no such thing as Partial Birth Abortion just because there’s no medical term for it. Yet, the baby is partially delivered – and then killed while the head is still inside the womb.

    …to avoid extended labor, you say.

    You say pro-life is anti-women. Yet, you support a bill that will take away the requirements that the abortion mills must tell the woman all about the dangers and risks of abortion.

    And don’t tell me they don’t exist.

    Not just the majority, but the overwhelming majority of women who have had abortions regret it. Many develop pshycological problems including depression and suicidal tendencies. Just recently a woman in England committed suicide because of her abortion.

    There is also a high risk in developing breast cancer.

    I can post the links here to prove it, but what good would it do? You folks are so wrapped up in this killing spree that you pretend it doesn’t exist – or that it’s all a bunch of lies created by “women-haters” and “right wing nutjobs”.

    My God. Pro-abortion is not feminism. True feminism has regard for human life. True feminism wants women to know the real risks of abortion.

    feministsforlife.org is a real feminist site. The National Organization for Women is nothing more than another pro-abortion site hiding behind the cloak of feminism. Using feminism to promote their agenda.

    NOW can care less about the women in Islamic nations who are treated horribly. I never hear anything about NOW condemning this. All they ever talk about is abortion!

    NOW can care less for prolife women. If a women is prolife, she’s suddenly not worth it.

    So do the research instead of just blowing me off as another hot-headed, anti-woman, rightwing nut case. That’s easy to do. Doing the research and seeing that I am right is the hard part.

    Do you know that when you go to Google News and put in ‘FOCA’ this is the ONLY article that comes up in favor of the bill?

    LOL – could it be this article is right and the rest of them are ALL right wing nut jobs???

    I hardly think so.

    Go see what I mean. Google FOCA in Google News.

    The majority of Americans are against Partial Bi… oh, excuse me… Late Term Abortion. And most people who are not against it don’t know much about it. People who are informed about it and know what it is and know what the photos look like and are still for it – are possessed by the devil – plain and simple.

    If you want to sit here and play the word game and tell me there is no such thing as partial birth abortion, I can play the same game, too.

    It’s not pro-choice, it’s pro-abortion.

    Billy Kess

    • therealistmom

      You realize Margret Sanger was more about women being able to PREVENT unwanted pregnancies than anything, right?That doesn’t fit in to the whole "Planned Parenthood is teh evil!11!!" rant that rabid anti-choicers like to scream about. Just like the "profit" to be made from abortions… when PP is a non-profit agency.

       I’ve done plenty of research. Enough to know why a D&X procedure is performed, which you obviously have no clue about. The "majority of people" are NOT against late term abortions when they are medically necessary- which is the ONLY time they are performed. The majority of people would not want a woman to have to die because she is carrying a doomed or dead fetus that could compromise her health or bodily integrity.  Over 95% of abortions are performed within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, with the majority of those performed even well before the 12 week mark. The "partial birth abortion" debate is a scare tactic used by those who have nothing else in their arsenal. The pictures in general mean nothing, since about 99% of the time they are not of what the frothing obsessives claim they are of. (Much of the time they are stillbirths or spontaneous abortions from later in a pregnancy than what the people claim they are- I trust medical evidence in viewing the images a lot more than whatever anti-choice person posts them.)

       Abortion has occured since time immemorial. Even the Christian church had no policies in regards to it for hundreds of years. The Bible is generally silent on the issue, except for enumerating what the cost is in shekels if you make a woman miscarry (female fetuses being less worthy than males in the accounting). "Aborton on demand" is not a new phenomenon- the US actually had no laws regarding it for many many years, and there were "menstrual induction" products for open sale in the newspaper. But that would take research wouldn’t it?

       Research also shows that the breast cancer link was thoroughly debunked by independent medical authorities, as was the existence of "Post-Abortion Syndrome". There most certainly have been suicidal women post abortion- their depression caused the problem, not the abortion. If a woman does NOT feel an abortion is appropriate for her, she should not have one, period. Nobody should be forced to abort or to give birth.  That’s the whole idea of choice.

      The idea that "all women regret their abortion" is patent bullshit, pardon my language for a moment. The most common feeling post-abortion for women having an early termination of their own free will? Relief. 

      I should know. I was incredibly relieved. If I had been forced to carry a pregnancy at age 15 I would have killed myself. Perhaps in the eyes of some rabid people that would have been for the best- but I wouldn’t have grown up to have the three beautiful children I have today if I had.

      I’m not exactly sure why I am even bothering to debate at this point; there isn’t anything rational in your postings. I guess I just have this "thing" when people can’t come up with any facts of their own and buy into whatever garbage is being spewed on biased sites instead of depending on actual medical research. Hint: OneNewsDaily, The Free Republic and the like are not legitimate news sources.

    • invalid-0

      So do the research instead of just blowing me off as another hot-headed, anti-woman, rightwing nut case. That’s easy to do

      The second you posted your first comment you made it so easy. I have never read such a frothing at the mouth mish-mash of nonsensical b.s., biases, misinformation and pure hated toward women on this site before.
      Wow a man lecturing us silly women about “feminism”!
      AND about obstetrics, gynecology and childbirth!

      Will wonders never cease! I guess we should thank your lucky stars we silly women who want to make our own decisions and have autonomy over our own bodies have YOU to make our decisions for us!

      Thanks for the laughs!

  • invalid-0

    You realize Margret Sanger was more about women being able to PREVENT unwanted pregnancies than anything,

    LIE #1

    Just like the “profit” to be made from abortions… when PP is a non-profit agency.

    Yet they still make a profit…
     
    The “majority of people” are NOT against late term abortions when they are medically necessary- which is the ONLY time they are performed.

    LIE #2

    Over 95% of abortions are performed within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, with the majority of those performed even well before the 12 week mark.

    Yet you purposely leave out WHY – for convenience.

    The “partial birth abortion” debate is a scare tactic used by those who have nothing else in their arsenal. The pictures in general mean nothing, since about 99% of the time they are not of what the frothing obsessives claim they are of. (Much of the time they are stillbirths or spontaneous abortions from later in a pregnancy than what the people claim they are- I trust medical evidence in viewing the images a lot more than whatever anti-choice person posts them.)

    LIE #3 – they ARE late term abortions. The end product of evil little demonized pro-abortion women in pantsuits who claim to be feminists.
     
    The Bible is generally silent on the issue,

    LIE #4 – do some research.
     
    The idea that “all women regret their abortion” is patent bullshit,

    Who said ALL? I said MOST – and it’s true. Most women regret it.

    pardon my language for a moment.

    Oh that’s OK, believe me – I am used to it. Most pro-abortion lib gals tend to talk like truck drivers. It’s in their blood.

    I should know. I was incredibly relieved. If I had been forced to carry a pregnancy at age 15 I would have killed myself. Perhaps in the eyes of some rabid people that would have been for the best- but I wouldn’t have grown up to have the three beautiful children I have today if I had.

    Yep… we’re the rabid ones for erring to the side of life. Not the ones who kill. No, they’re not rabid.

    I’m not exactly sure why I am even bothering to debate at this point; there isn’t anything rational in your postings.

    Nope. Nothing rational about wanting to save the lives of the innocent. But everything rational about killing for convenience.

    Good day!