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Archive for the ‘Reproductive Rights’ Category

Can the TRAP laws be recinded?

December 5th, 2014 No comments

Washingtonpost.com:

The Virginia Board of Health decided Thursday to move forward with a review of rules for abortion clinics, the latest step in a lengthy process that could roll back controversial regulations finalized last year.

The move was a victory for Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who campaigned on a promise to reverse the rules, which regulate abortion clinics as if they were hospitals by dictating such details as hallway widths and the number of parking spots. Opponents of the regulations say they were intended to block access to abortion by closing down clinics that do not meet the requirements.

“These clinics provide essential preventive care and cancer screenings to many women and families and unfortunately were facing closure due to onerous regulations that were the result of politics being inserted into the regulatory process,” McAuliffe said in a statement.

However, groups opposed to abortion did not necessarily see Thursday’s action as a defeat; they said the review approved by the health board leaves open the possibility that restrictions on clinics could be strengthened. The restrictions, they said, are meant to protect women’s health and safety.

“We don’t know what will happen at the end of this process. This is simply a reopening and reviewing of the standards,” Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, told reporters after the meeting.

The biggest bullshit in the world is out of Victoria Cobb’s mouth.  TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) are for one reason and one reason alone–to stop abortion.  That’s the only reason.  Wide hallways and designer parking lots are just BS and help no one.  Let’s face it, people having medical procedures not related to abortion can run into emergency problems.  Can someone please explain to me why these laws aren’t in place for all medical facilities that provide out-patient services?  They can’t.  The requirements are bogus and help no one.

Good for Governor McAuliffe for prioritizing getting rid of these ridiculous laws.

Flip Benham harasses gay weddings in NC

October 20th, 2014 3 comments

flip benham

Rightwingwatch.org:

 

With gay marriage now legal in North Carolina, it was only a matter of time before Flip Benham of Operation Save America started crashing wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. The North Carolina-based pastor, who is the father of Religious Right activists David and Jason Benham, reportedly disrupted several weddings at the Mecklenburg County and Courts Office in Charlotte last week. Benham’s group, which in July disrupted a memorial service at a Unitarian Universalist congregation in New Orleans, “interrupted several couples’ weddings as supporters held up a large rainbow flag to block his view,” according to the North Carolina LGBT publication Q Notes. “Another protester waved a bible in the air as he screamed several profanities and vulgarities.”

 

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Supreme Court blocks Texas abortion law

October 15th, 2014 Comments off

TexasAbortionOctober

Washingtonpost.com:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday night blocked a Texas law that had drastically reduced the number of abortion clinics in the nation’s second most populous state.

The court’s order, staying a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit that the law could go into effect, will allow more than a dozen of the clinics to resume operation, according to the group that challenged the law, the Center for Reproductive Rights.

The court’s brief order did not say why it was disagreeing with the appeals court. Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. would have allowed the law to go into effect while abortion providers pursued their claims that it is unconstitutional.

The order was unsigned, but that apparently meant Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the other five justices — Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — were in agreement.

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Pro-Life: It’s not just fertilization to birth

July 16th, 2014 80 comments

Sperm-egg
Pro-life isn’t just from fertilization to birth. Life is a continuum that streams from generation to generation.

I find it astonishing that some of our biggest “pro-life” movers and shakers in the community were down at McCoart Building yesterday ready to hop all over the Board of County Supervisors for allowing refugee children to live at Joe Gibb’s private facility, Youth For Tomorrow.

Many “pro-lifers” who feel quite comfortable with legislation that would force a woman to give birth even in extreme cases of rape, incest and fetal anomaly, have no compunction about telling the “illegals” to go back where they came from, even if they are 5, 8 or 11 years old. These same people want to deny these children refuge, even on a temporary basis.

These people simply aren’t pro-life–not by my standards. Perhaps my standards are just a little too high for some of the movers and shakers. From here on out, if I heard you calling out children who are here, alive and kicking, and telling them to go home, I will be calling bullshit on you, regardless of who you are.

Sort of makes you wonder who the real pro-lifers are. Perhaps the very name pro-life has been high-jacked by many who are very short sighted.

Wheaton College: What next?

July 5th, 2014 6 comments

Washingtonpost.com:

With much of Washington already gone for the holiday, the Supreme Court issued a short legal ruling Thursday with the potential to deepen the political backlash among Democrats that was sparked by the court’s earlier Hobby Lobby decision.

The majority of the justices ruled that Wheaton College, a small evangelical school in Illinois, does not for now have to comply with the Obama administration’s requirement that it fill out a form to register religious objections to providing some types of contraceptive coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act.

The opinion said that until full arguments are heard by the court, Wheaton need only file a letter with the federal government stating the college’s religious objections.

Legal experts say the temporary decision is likely to embolSden religious groups and lead to a wave of lawsuits and objections to the required form.
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Categories: General, Reproductive Rights Tags:

Supremes strike down clinic buffer zones in Massachusetts

June 27th, 2014 7 comments

Washingtonpost.com:

The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down protest-free buffer zones around abortion clinics in Massachusetts as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech.

But Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s ruling was a narrow one, pointing out that other states and cities had found less-intrusive ways to both protect women entering clinics and accommodate the First Amendment rights of those opposed to abortion.

Massachusetts asserts “undeniably significant interests in maintaining public safety on [its] streets and sidewalks, as well as in preserving access to adjacent healthcare facilities,” Roberts wrote. “But here the commonwealth has pursued those interests by the extreme step of closing a substantial portion of a traditional public forum to all speakers.”
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Categories: Reproductive Rights, Women's Issues Tags:

McAuliffe: investigates TRAP laws

May 12th, 2014 15 comments

There is a new sheriff in town and his name is Terry McAuliffe.  From NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia:

 Gov. McAuliffe has just ordered a review of dangerous targeted regulations on Virginia’s women’s health centers! These burdensome regulations (also known as TRAP regulations) were designed to close the vast majority of  abortion providers – and were enacted only after former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli bullied the Board of Health. It is past time that these TRAP regulations get the evidence-based review they deserve – and Gov. McAuliffe has taken the first step!

At an event for National Women’s Health Week this morning, Gov. McAuliffe announced that his administration is:

  • Instructing Virginia’s Board of Health to conduct an immediate review of the medically-irrelevant, burdensome, targeted regulations on abortion providers that they approved last year under pressure from Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
  • Making five appointments to fill seats on the Board of Health
  • Approving Planned Parenthood health centers to participate in a cost-reduced medication purchasing program that will enable them to provide affordable care to more Virginians

It’s about time to put an end to laws that do not make women’s health safer.  The purpose of TRAP laws is to weave a web of regulations around abortion providers so that abortion simply becomes too expensive and too inaccessible.  Good for Terry McAuliffe.  He is doing what I voted for him to do.  Of course this fight isn’t over.  Not by a long shot!  But it has started and that is what is important.  Also, last I heard, there is a lawsuit filed by Rosemary and Wayne Codding.  Hopefully that will blast a few people out of the water.  I simply cannot stand disingenuous concern.  The Virginia TRAP laws are based on ignorance.

Categories: Reproductive Rights, Women's Issues Tags:

Supreme Court: Collision of rights?

March 25th, 2014 77 comments

boss supreme

 

Washingtonpost.com:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday prepared to hear a second challenge to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, this time to decide whether employers must provide their workers with insurance coverage for contraceptives even if the owners say it would violate their religious principles.

What is likely to be the signature ruling of the court’s term presents the justices with complicated questions about religious freedom and equality for female workers. It could have long-term implications for what other legal requirements companies could decline because of religious convictions. And it asks a question the court has never confronted: whether the Constitution or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that protects an individual’s exercise of religion extends to secular, for-profit corporations and their owners.

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Common Sense prevailed in Manassas

March 11th, 2014 14 comments

Despite a marathon sideshow of misinformation being paraded before the Manassas City Council, in the end, common sense ruled the day.  To make a very long story short, after enough discussion to sink a battle ship, Councilman Mark Wolfe offered up a motion that protected the process of good governance.  It was seconded by Councilman Harrover and supported by Councilmen Way and Randolph.  Clinics that offer abortion services will not have to jump through special hoops nor will those types of clinics be pushed ahead of others.

From insidenova.com:

Despite more than three hours of emotional testimony from about 85 speakers, two-thirds advocating against abortion, the Manassas City Council decided Monday against requiring special approval for new medical facilities – a zoning change some said could, in effect, limit access to abortion services.

Instead, the council voted 4-2 to proceed with a comprehensive review of the city’s zoning ordinance, which has not been substantially updated since the 1940s.

The decision will put to rest, for now, the question of whether Manassas would follow Fairfax city’s controversial decision to single out medical facilities with zoning rules that require a “special use permit” regardless of where they locate within the city.

Special use permits require a public hearing and separate approval by city or county officials, a process that can open applicants to public opposition. Abortion-rights advocates consider the process politically motivated and a means of “zoning out” women’s health clinics.

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Private school issues clarion call to swarm City Hall Chambers tonight

March 10th, 2014 25 comments

 

Nooo, we aren’t singling out abortion clinics for special treatment.  Noooooo, we aren’t blurring the lines between church and state.  Found on the front page of  Sentinel, a weekly newsletter from Elizabeth Anne Seton School for parents and students:

Citizen Time

On Monday, March 10th at some time after 5:30 pm in City Hall Council Chambers, the Manassas City Council will vote on Marc Aveni’s proposal to require new medical facilities (to include abortion clinics) come before Council and the public before locating in the City. Your prayers, attendance and possible speaking during citizen time in favor of this effort are needed again.

I suppose that once again there will be a sideshow over at City Chambers where everyone will be strutting out their most pious behavior. Marc Aveni is getting himself some free advertisement for his cause.  (Will I get a thank you note for providing some coverage for him?)  I don’t think those of us in the County can pick up City channels so we will miss the show but I expect it will be a rendition of Brother Love’s traveling Salvation Show of Neil Diamond Fame.

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