Baltimore, Mississippi, and the Ongoing Health Care Whine


Baltimore experiences a setback when it comes to regulating CPCs against lying. Mississippi’s last abortion clinic hangs in, and the right wing meltdown over health care reform continues.

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Sole abortion clinic in Mississippi fighting to stay open

Politicians admit the true purpose of Mississippi abortion regulation

Limbaugh melt down

Todd Starnes pulls the “mental unfitness” card

Threatening “predictions” of violence

Cheating on conservative God

On this episode of Reality Cast, a lawyer from the Center for Reproductive Rights will be on to explain the CPC disclosure ruling in Baltimore. Missisippi’s sole abortion clinic gets a short reprieve, and the right wing meltdown over health care reform gets even uglier.

The right wing push to make absolutely everything about naughty ladies using their vaginas for their own ends as if they owned them got even sillier in the Senate this month.

  • personhood *

Reid got his way, unsurprisingly, and Rand Paul failed in his attempt to ban abortion and open a criminal investigation of every miscarriage by taking it onto a flood insurance bill.

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Anti-choicers in the state of Mississippi have been trying to get abortion out of the state for years, probably longer than any other state, with B.S. regulations that are passed under the guise of being for the benefit of women’s health, but in fact are only there to take away women’s access to abortion by regulating the clinics out of existence. This summer, they have gotten extremely close to that goal, by coming up with ever more specific faux-safety regulations aimed at the only clinic in the state providing abortion.

  • Mississippi 1 *

This whole thing is a good example of how anti-choice politicians, instead of actually fighting anti-choice terrorism, are banking on it to make their policies work. One of the problems this clinic faces is that doctors who live in Mississippi and already have these admitting privileges are reluctant to provide abortions is they fear for their safety and the safety of their families. Knowing that the terrorists have their backs on this makes it easy for the politicians therefore to concentrate on passing laws that target doctors who come in from out of state to perform abortions. Needless to say, the regulations that are threatening to shut down this clinic are medically unnecessary; the clinic has operated fine for years without needing admitting privileges for the doctors specifically performing abortions. But despite the fact that it’s obviously not a necessary regulation for women’s health, the clinic is trying to be compliant with the new regulation. But they can’t be.

  • Mississippi 2 *

Again, understanding the power that anti-choice terrorism exerts in Mississippi is key to understanding what’s going on here. There’s immense political pressure on hospitals not to help these doctors out. Abortion providers find that they run up against this problem a lot. Even though the majority of doctors are pro-choice, the fear of anti-choice terrorism causes them to want nothing to do with abortion providers. I don’t know what the internal politics at these hospitals are like, but I’m going to bet something like that is going on, especially since one doctor already had privileges prior to this regulation being passed.

Usually in these situations, the anti-choicers who pass the regulations put on a big show of pretending that they’re looking out for women’s health, even though abortion is ten times safer than the childbirth they want to force on women. They do this for P.R. reasons, but they also do it because it’s legally tricky to pass laws trying to force women to give birth because you think women who have sex for pleasure are dirty sluts that should be punished. Or hell, even if you think fertilized eggs have teeny souls their daddies injected into them with magic sperm. But the politicians passing this law in Mississippi have grown emboldened by years of everyone seeing right through the ruse, and now they’re coming right out and making it clear that they don’t give a fig about women, and this is just about going around the Constitution to end legal abortion.

  • Mississippi 3 *

Note: There is no law that “ends abortion”. You can only end legal abortion. I’m sick of repeatedly pointing that out, but abortion bans can’t be understood as attempts to end abortion so much as to push abortion onto a black market to maximize the suffering and death that results from it. Anyway, while I applaud anti-choicers being more transparent about their goals, that transparency appears to be backfiring. U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan in Jackson stayed the law until July 11th on the grounds of likely constitutional violations, stating, “Plaintiffs have offered evidence — including quotes from significant legislative and executive officers — that the Act’s purpose is to eliminate abortions in Mississippi. They likewise submitted evidence that no safety or health concerns motivated its passage. This evidence has not yet been rebutted.” Ruh-roh, antis! Guess your initial instinct to lie all the time is the smart one. So stay tuned, folks, and hopefully this story will have a happy ending.

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insert interview

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Between the attacks on abortion and contraception and the attacks on health care reform, I wouldn’t be surprised if soon conservatives are going to start having conniption fits if they see any person who isn’t a member of their direct family entering a doctor’s office. Who do they think they are, sucking up health care like they were people? Last week, I chronicled the hysterical reaction of the right wing media to the Affordable Care Act decision from the Supreme Court. As is their custom, it’s only grown worse since then. There’s the self-pity maneuver, where you pretend that other people getting health care they couldn’t get before is somehow an attack on you.

  • health care 1 *

See what I mean? Having to endure other people—even poor people!—going to the doctor like you get to do is for Limbaugh like having someone break into his house. I suppose we should all be grateful that he avoided an offensive rape analogy, though knowing his long history, that’s probably what his initial urge was. And I wouldn’t say never; he’s working himself into a daily froth over this one. I will say that others have managed to find ways to take the already-offensive hostility towards universal health care to the next level, especially by indulging straight up bigoted attitudes towards disabled people. You see, it’s pretty well believed that Justice Roberts has epilepsy that he controls with drugs, though it hasn’t been confirmed, and well, this was used as a rhetorical device against him by Fox’s Todd Starnes.

  • health care 2 *

Actually, the likeliest explanation is that he had a moment of doubt about putting partisan politics over actual rule of law and decided to side with rule of law. Conservative media is just so up its own butt lately that they forget that there is a law besides “do what conservatives want no matter what the cost”. Roberts couldn’t have been more clear if he’d had Schoolyard Rocks write a song about it: Congress’s power to levy taxes includes the right to tax you for not having health insurance. Pretending otherwise is just nonsense, and accusing him of being mentally unfit for duty is way out of bounds.

But that’s nothing compared to what we got from  Mike Vanderbough, who is a right wing extremist who managed to convince congressional Republicans of his conspiracy theories involving the ATF and Mexican drug cartels. This guy, who clearly has access to the ears of mainstream politicians, was getting violent in his rhetoric, as Al Sharpton explained on MSNBC.

  • health care 3 *

As those of us in the pro-choice community know all too well, the distinction between “predicting” violence because you’re angry people are getting health care you don’t want them to have and actually calling for that violence is thin indeed. Let’s just hope that the terrorist anger over women accessing abortion isn’t something that can spill into generalized right wing terrorism resulting from anger that health care access has been expanded generally and not just with regards to reproductive rights.

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And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts, hot hot religious freedom edition. Talk show radio host Linda Harvey went on a truly awesome wingnutty rant recently, inspired as many are by gay pride parades.

  • adultery *

You may not have thought you were married to the right wing God, because you didn’t consent to it, but right wing evangelists are here to tell you, you have to be married to him whether you like it or not. And if you choose not to believe in him and believe that abortion and homosexuality are evil, well, you’re cheating on the God-husband you didn’t even choose. I’m sure in some way she thinks forcing you to be faithful to your unwanted God-husband qualifies as “freedom of religion”. One question: since her God we’re all forcibly married to is clearly a man, doesn’t that make all American men gay?

Follow Amanda Marcotte on twitter: @amandamarcotte

  • johann7

    The ruling in favor of deceptive anti-abortion propaganda centers is yet another example of the absurd notion that corporations have constitutional protections. They don’t. They’re not people. There is no First Amendment protection for anyone or anything except actual human people, whatever the Citizen’s United decision implies.