A quick note or two before I get underway. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I refer to these assholes as Repuglicans as opposed to Republicans. I do that mostly out of respect for the Republican Party (now deceased).
With the exception of some Eastern “moderate” Republicans, the party has been dominated by conservatives for decades. This may sound a bit surprising, but I have no problem with honest, thoughtful conservatives.
The problem is that in today’s tea potty dominated party, there aren’t a lot of “honest, thoughtful conservatives”. The few that are left, are considered “RINO’s” (even Bob Bennett?) and driven out of office. On top of that, the remaining retards don’t seem to have any real answers to any real problems. And because they’re “RIGHT!!!“, they will not brook any compromise. PERIOD!!
Now, I’m not enough of a left-wing nut to think that Progressives have all the answers. But for the last few years, they haven’t had very much help.
(pt 2: MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE STATES.)
There are waaaay too many heinous acts to discuss in a post like this, so I decided to shrink it down a bit and hit just a few of the lowlights.
At first, I decided that I would do a “Bottom 10”. However, after going through NARAL‘s state ratings, I found that 18 states had totally flunked and six more that came damn close. (That “F” on their grade doesn’t stand for “Fantastic”!) Thus, the origin of:
THE DIRTY DOZEN & 1/2 (Plus another six because they’re cheap)
Since the Tea Potty/Repuglican takeover of a number of states in 2010, there has been a vast upswing in anti-woman legislation. To put a number on it, there were over 1,100 rights and health related provisions introduced in 2011 alone. Over 2/3rds of the enacted legislation imposed restrictions on abortions in the form of:
- insurance restrictions in 3 states, bringing the total to 8;
- waiting periods in 3 states;
- clinic regulations in 4 states;
- ultrasound requirements in 5 states;
- bans in 6 states
- medication abortion restrictions in 7 states
For much more info, check out the NARAL links up above, or go here to Politicususa.com where I
stole found a lot of this info.
Before I start with our “winners”, let us salute those six states who gave it their best shot, but just couldn’t quite make the cut:
Governor: Demo. House: Repug. (68-52) Senate: Repug. (31-19)
A newly appointed Repuglican House member, a Pastor Larry Pittman by name, circulated an email to every General Assembly member advocating bringing back public hangings for abortion doctors. Pastor Pittman stated “If murderers (and I would include abortionists, rapists, and kidnappers, as well) are actually executed, it will at least have the deterrent effect upon them. For my money, we should go back to public hangings, which would be more of a deterrent to others, as well.” (Pastor Pittman, another poster child for the Religious Wrong!)
NARAL Grade: D+
Governor: Repug. House: Repug. (59-39, 1 Ind.) Senate: Repug. (17-15)
Ah, Wisconsin! The state that once epitomized progressive politics, now gives us the likes of Scott Walker and his knuckle-dragging ilk. (Not to mention “Lyin’ Paulie Ryan”.)
SHAME ON YOU!
Wisconsin was one of the seven states that enacted laws severely restricting RU-486. (But not viagra. phew!) The law was one example of a “TRAP” (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law. This resulted in Planned Parenthood suspending all non-surgical abortions. (If the federal government says you can’t outlaw abortion, go around the law and block it anyway.)
Wisconsin also came up with a unique solution to single parenthood: Label it “child abuse”. SB 507 states “In promoting those campaigns and materials, the [Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board] shall emphasize “nonmarital parenthood” as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.”
One of the
assholes…. co-sponsors….assholes who co-sponsored the bill was Don Pridemore. He says women in abusive relationships, instead of getting a divorce and becoming a single parent, should “refind those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help“. (You thought I was joking when I mentioned knuckle-draggers?)
NARAL Grade: D+
Governor: Repug. House: Repug. (50-10) Senate: Repug. (26-4)
How’s this for starters: 96% of Wyoming counties have no abortion provider. (That’s 22 out of 23 counties.)
On the plus side, they do have a strong women’s movement that has been successful in stopping anti-choice measures for 20 years. The list includes:
- Bans on abortions regardless of circumstances;
- Mandatory delays;
- Targeted regulation of abortion providers;
- Criminalizing pregnant women with substance abuse issues;
- Biased counseling;
- Promoting anti-choice clinics.
However, Wyoming does earn their D+ because of a lot of anti-women legislation already on the books before ’92:
- TRAP law (Enacted 1977);
Restrictions on Low-Income Women’s Access to Abortion (Enacted 1985);
- Abortion Refusal Clause (Enacted 1977);
- Family Planning Refusal Clause (Enacted 1969, Amended 1988);
NARAL Grade: D+
Governor: Repug. House: Repug. (40-20) Senate: Repug. (21-9)
For the life of me, I don’t understand why Arizona didn’t get an F-. (Maybe NARAL still hasn’t graded their latest shenanigans.)
My high school and college years were spent in Mesa & Tempe. I’ve grown up a bit since then and I thought maybe AZ had done the same.
I was wrong!
Along with a number of other Repug dominated states, AZ passed a post 20 week abortion ban (House Bill 2036) [PDF]. But Arizona, being Arizona, did theirs one better. According to bill, the pregnancy’s 20 weeks begin at the woman’s last menstrual period. In other words, a woman is knocked-up before she’s even fucked. (On the other hand, you could argue that the legislature, aided and abetted by the Wicked Witch of the SW (aka Jan Brewer), did the fucking.)
I disclaim responsibility for any grotesque images that last sentence might conjure up. It’s your head. ;-P
There was House Bill 2625. This allows companies to opt out of contraception coverage in their insurance plans for “religious” reasons. Since the two largest religious groups in AZ are Catholics and Mormons, and since both those mythologies are pretty much anti-contraception, you can guess the effect on working women. (Doesn’t the constitution say something about keeping your damn mythologies out of my government?)
And then there was Senate Bill 1359, the “Wrongful Birth” legislation that would prevent lawsuits against doctors who withhold information on health problems of a fetus.
Here’s the problem wrapped up in a scenario:
Your obstetrician is a very religious man. He’s opposed to abortion based on his beliefs. You are having a troubled pregnancy and you ask him if there is a fetal problem. Since he feels that telling you the truth means that you would probably opt for an abortion, he can flat-out lie to you and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it. (One would hope that the state medical regulators would do something, but since this is Arizona………)
I looked her up and there’s not a lot there (figuratively, literally, intellectually or any “ly” you’d care to mention, except maybe stupidly). She’s a 1-term rep elected in the 2010 tea potty boomlet.
She did manage to grab national attention with an email she sent out to her fellow legislators: “Personally I’d like to make a law that mandates a woman watch an abortion being performed prior to having a “surgical procedure”. (The equivalency of that would be for her to watch a brain operation before she has one installed.
NARAL Grade: D
Governor: Repug. House: Repug. (116-63, 1 Ind.) Senate: Repug. (36-20)
I covered a bit of Joe-jah political weirdness in the The Peach Tea Potty (GA) section of “The Tea Potty (pt 7-The Local Locos)” but that wasn’t the only peach pit in the pie.
Bobby Franklin introduced the first bill of 2011 in the House (HB 1), It was a doozy! The bill said that if a woman has a miscarriage (“fetal death” in Repuglicanese) without having a doctor handy, the unauthorized vaginal bleeding must be considered a possible crime of prenatal murder and be investigated by authorities.
Bobby also introduced a bill that would dictate that victims of rape and domestic violence must be called “accusers”. He had more than his share of “interesting ideas”. Check out the above link and you’ll see what I mean. Unfortunately, Bobby won’t be entertaining us any more. He died July 26, 2011. One down, too damn many to go! (Just kidding……..sort of.)
Lest you think Bobby was an aberration, let me introduce you to Repuglican Rep. Terry England.
For reasons I won’t go into, this strikes damn close to home. Let me just say, that this man(?) is a prime example of why I consider Joe-jah one of the “stupid states”. To state that women should be forced to carry a dead fetus to term because cows and pigs do it? With the two or three brain cells of his that are spasmodically functioning, he has convinced himself that it’s “God’s will”. His god, maybe. I’m not sure which mythological deity he worships. But a god like that, I don’t want a damn thing to do with.
NARAL Grade: D
Joe-jah does not have an exclusive on weird obsessions with vaginal bleeding. Tennessee Repugs actually passed their “pre-natal murder” bill (House Bill 3517) [PDF]. And, since half of all fertilized eggs never reach full term, this could overwhelm “law” enforcement and the court system. Tennessee’s private prison manager (Corrections Corporation of America) probably loves laws like this.
Now, don’t get the idea that Repugnuts are totally humorless. For example, there was SB 3310 [PDF] (aka HB 3621). This measure dictates what can and can’t be said in K-8 sex education classes, but there’s a slight problem right off the bat: There are no K-8 sex education classes in Tennessee.
The main point of the bill seems to be the promotion of abstinence-only sex education. “Abstinence-only” is a favorite of the “Religious Wrong”, despite the fact that it doesn’t work. [PDF] States with “Abstinence-only” have much higher out-of-wedlock pregnancies.
And then there’s the section on discouraging “gateway sexual activity”. You know, things like holding hands and hugging and (gasp) kissing. (After all, every “right” thinking person knows that holding hands leads to doing the “nasty”. And, don’t even think about kissing your mother.)
NARAL Grade: D
Now, on to the “Big League Bozos”.
Governor: Repug. House: Repug. (65-40) Senate: Repug. (22-12, 1 Ind.)
‘Bama! (aka Troglodyte Central) may be “deep south”, but their views on women are about three “klicks” this side of Taliban territory. In fact, if you look closely, the ‘Bama fundies share a lot of commonalities with the Talibaners. I’ll explore that area very closely in an upcoming episode of “The Religious Wrong”. (Part 1 is currently available at your friendly, neighborhood “Grouchy” blog.)
For years, ‘Bama has had some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. Some of those laws predate Roe and are not only unenforceable, they’re unconstitutional.
They throw up roadblocks such as mandatory delays and biased-counseling requirements (Guess which side they’re biased toward.). They have gag rules. They target abortion providers with unique and unnecessary regulations. The list goes on and on.
Btw, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act had its origin in “Bama. Not the act itself, rather the discrimination that led to the act.
Ah yes, but what have they done to you lately?
Alabama SB 12: The Right To Know And See Act:
Alfred E. Newman……I mean Clay Scofield introduced a bill (SB 12) that would require the physician to perform an ultrasound, display the images and give a verbal explanation before performing an abortion. The woman would also have to submit to a transvaginal ultrasound. If you haven’t had the “pleasure”, let me explain: A probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced. (In other words – “Rape by dildo”.)
But shuckins, Sen. Clayfoot-in-mouth says he’s jist tryin’ to be helpful, ’cause wimen jist don’t understand these here sorts of things. “So she sees that this is not just a clump of cells as she is told,” he said. “She will see the shape of the infant. And hopefully, she will choose to keep the child.”
Phil Williams, 1st term Repugnut Senator from Madison (wherever the hell that is) introduced a perennial religious wrong favorite – “the personhood bill” (SB-5). Personhood bills are so onerous that even Mississippi voters turned one down. (MISSISSIPPI FOR CRAPS SAKE!)
Not only does it outlaw the most used forms of contraception, it would ban or severely limit in vitro fertilization. And, it would mean that every miscarriage would be a potential crime scene.
All-in-all, a win, win, win situation. (At least as far as the fundies are concerned.) For women? Lose, lose, lose.
In another attempt to inject a bit of that “ol’ time religion” into the law books, Senator Phil introduced a “Covenant Marriage” bill. Covenant marriage bills purport to strengthen marriages. What they really do, is make divorce a long and hard process. Oh yah, and pop a little deity into the mix. Also, it gets us a few steps closer to the christian version of Sheria Law.
NARAL Grade: F
Governor: Repug. House: Repug. (81-39) Senate: Repug. (28-12)
In 2010, Florida House Repugs amended an unrelated bill (H.B. 1143) with a provision that required a woman submit to, and pay for, a sonogram even when there was absolutely no medical reason to have one (Btw, a date with a sonogram is going ding you for about $300 – $400.) And, of course, no exceptions for rape, incest or the mother’s health. (Those are just petty little details, anyway.)
You could opt out (in writing) of viewing the sonogram or listening to the doc’s description. You still had to have, and pay for, the sonogram but you could ignore the results. (On what planet does that even make sense?)
The Repugs also slapped another amendment that would have outlawed any private insurers funding abortions under the new federal health care plan. Most of those insurers were already covering elective abortion so they would have to stop the practice even if businesses and women wanted it. (But, according to Repugs themselves, government should not in any way interfere with business.)
The bill passed both houses and ended up on the governor’s desk.
Fortunately Rick Scott hadn’t bought the election yet, so Charlie Crist was still in charge. And, even though Crist is very anti-choice, he vetoed the bill, expressing concerns about making sonograms mandatory. (A contributing factor to his loss in the Repuglican Senatorial Primary, no doubt.)
The state also passed a “Choose Life License Plates“ bill (HB 501) This bill provides for annual use fees to be distributed to Choose Life, Inc., rather than counties. It allows Choose Life, Inc., to redistribute portion of such funds to nongovernmental, not-for-profit agencies that assist certain pregnant women. According to the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates says will “result in more funds being given to ‘crisis pregnancy centers,’ anti-abortion organizations that falsely market themselves as professional health facilities.”
Oh yah, and Personhood Florida is working to get a personhood measure on the ballot for 2014. Of course they tried to get on the 2012 ballot and failed, and before that, they tried to get on the 2010 ballot and failed. (You know the old saying: “If at first you don’t succeed, make an ass out of yourself.”)
NARAL Grade: F
Governor: Repug. House: Repug. (57-13) Senate: Repug. (28-7)
Ah yes, Idaho-ho. My next door reminder that all of the “stupid states” ain’t south of the Mason-Dixon. (Must be the Mormon influence (aka “Utah wannabe”))
They too passed a law (SB 1165) that bans abortion after 20 weeks with no exception for rape. The bill’s house sponsor, Brent Crane (Repugnut-Nampa) said this about that: “the hand of the Almighty” was at work. “His ways are higher than our ways”. (Shades of Sharron Angle. see “Tea Potty (pt 9: Clowns & Commodians)“)
Let me get this straight.This strange mythological “god”. that people like Brent and Sharron and that dipshit in Joe-jah worship, is a sex obsessed sadist who gets his rocks off watching women get raped and impregnated or forever emotionally scarred by carrying a dead or tragically deformed fetus to term. And, not only do we let these people walk free, some of us are dumb enough to elect them to office? Damn! We’re shit deep in sheep dip! (I dare you to say that three times fast.)
Idaho Right-to-Life tried to get a mandatory ultrasound for abortion seeker bill (SB 1387) passed. In his sumation Senate Majority Leader Chuck Winder, Repugnut-Boise said “Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on.” (Translation: Abortion seekers lie about being raped.)
NARAL Grade: F
Governor: Repug. House: Repug. (60-40) Senate: Repug. (37-13)
Remember that “Wrongful Birth” legislation in Arizona? Well, Indiana has one of their very own (HB 1210). Indiana’s bill contains a lot more goodies than just that though:
- It also effectively cuts off funding for Planned Parenthood;
- It requires a mandatory ultrasound;
- It sets up unique restrictions for abortion doctors;
- It prohibits insurance companies under the federal health care plans from covering abortions.
What is it with some men and their uniform fetish? Never understood that. Now, whipped cream, I could understand.
Anyway, back to Booby….I mean Bobby. One day he read something on the internet. And, since it was on the internet (and, nobody on the internet would ever lie) it had to be true.
What he read caused him to oppose “extend[ing] legitimacy to a radicalized organization” (Girl Scouts) because they “promote homosexual lifestyles” and study “feminists, lesbians, or Communists” as role models while ignoring those with a religious background.”
(Where do they find these people(?))
NARAL Grade: F
That’s going to wrap it up for this episode. Once again, what I originally thought was going to be a 2-parter has grown into what looks more like a 4-parter. There’s just so much Rupuglican insanity in so many states, and I’m not even covering a fraction of the offenses.
Next time, we’ll continue tripping down the alphabet of NARAL’s flunking states. (Kansas is next.) Until then, don’t forget – You Can’t Spell ‘Grope’ Without G-O-P! (Of course, you also need an R and an E.)
p.s.: If my ramblings don’t revolt you, check out my FaceBook page (“Grouchy’s Grumbles”) you might just enjoy it. Better yet, you might “like” it. I’d love it if you did.It’s free (and worth every cent) and almost completely painless (other than the usual bad jokes).