Republican war on women

Oklahoma Legislators pass bill outlawing abortion

The Republican war on women escalates:

The Oklahoma Legislature has passed a bill that would make performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

With no discussion or debate, the Senate voted 33-12 Thursday for the bill by Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm.

This is what's at stake, people. If you know someone who doesn't vote, please smack them on the back of the head for me.

Gun-loving anti-abortion zealot resigns from NC Legislature

A dash of good news in an otherwise depressing news cycle:

Republican N.C. Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer, who championed gun and social legislation during two terms in the state House, resigned Friday, citing business responsibilities. Republican Scott Stone, who won the GOP primary to replace her, said he wants to fill out her term.

Before being elected in 2012, Schaffer worked in Washington as counsel for government affairs with the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative legal group also founded by (Pat) Robertson. It specializes in constitutional law and promotes traditional values.

I was going to say, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out," but I've been trying to refine my approach to commentary, so I won't say that.

Wake County Commissioners tackle pay inequality for women

Hopefully other county governments are watching:

Members of the Wake County Board of Commissioners on Monday said they want to find a way that the government and community can help ensure that women achieve the same academic and professional success as their male counterparts. Their comments came after hearing a report that the income gap in Wake County is worse than the national average.

Wake women on average earn 69 percent of what men make, according to Jackie Terry Hughes, an attorney who helped author the report presented to commissioners. Nationally, women earn 79 percent of what men make.

Just a historical note: The Equal Rights Amendment was originally crafted back in 1923, but it finally made its way out of Congress in 1972. It fell just three states short of ratification (35 ratified, needed 38), and of course North Carolina was one of the holdouts. Opponents who didn't want people to see their misogynistic underwear have always claimed the ERA was not necessary, that society would solve the problem by itself without Constitutional force. But here we are in 2016, and the pay gap is still there, forcing women to struggle when their male counterparts don't have to. Or don't have to struggle as desperately. And if they dare to have children outside of the patriarchal formula, their struggles are made epic:

Advocates for womens' choice eyeing Supreme Court case

The struggle continues:

Legislators in this state in recent years have tried to enact the two provisions that are the legal issues in the Texas case: requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and requiring abortion clinics to meet the same building standards as same-day surgery centers.

Neither of those provisions survived in bills that became law in North Carolina, although a string of controversial new requirements limiting access to abortions have been enacted.

This may seem more like a "technical" issue than one of rights gained/lost, and that's exactly what the ant-abortion movement is counting on. The real-world impact of Texas' law caused the closure of over half of the geographically huge state's clinics, and it would have a similar effect here in NC. And the purely deceptive tactics of the anti-abortion zealots needs an airing, too:

Rampant sexual harassment in Mark Meadows' staff office

And he knew all about it:

According to a report in the Huffington Post on Monday, Meadows was told by multiple women about his chief of staff’s behavior in March. The report says Meadows barred West from his D.C. office but reassigned him to an office in the 11th congressional district, and continued paying him; West has since been released with a “sizable severance.”

The report says that payments made to West after the complaints were filed—a full of rate of $38,750 for the period of April 1 through June 30, and continued payment through August 15—could have violated House Ethics rules. The Foundation of Accountability and Civic Trust has asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate West’s severance payment.

Gee, thanks. Send him back home so he can harass a whole new set of women, all the while drawing a six-figure salary from taxpayers. Many of whom are also women, by the way, which adds one more layer of WTF to this story. And once all the threads from this debacle get unraveled, Meadows himself may be the subject of ridicule:

Scared little children pass bill attacking Planned Parenthood

Because they can't tell fiction from reality:

The bill’s sponsor, Wake County Republican Sen. Chad Barefoot, said the bill was prompted by hidden-camera videos suggesting that Planned Parenthood was selling body parts from abortions.

“The videos are utterly gruesome and callous, and their contents represent a dark and depraved part of our culture,” Barefoot said. “We shouldn’t turn a blind eye. A marketplace for the sale of the remains of unborn children is growing in this country.”

Here's a little science for you, Chad: The development of a vaccine for Rubella (German Measles) was discovered using fetal tissue from an abortion, and that vaccine has since prevented about 5,000 unwanted spontaneous abortions per year since then. And there's treatment for Parkinson's, Ebola, Cancer, and AIDs resulting from fetal tissue research, as well. But possibly the most disheartening result of this bill is the fact only 3 Democrats voted against it. When you let fear of political ramifications overcome science and common sense, that too sends a message.

Anti-abortion professor invades Sandhills Community College

Which just happens to train hundreds of local nurses:

Life Care Pregnancy Center is hosting Mike Adams, a UNC-Wilmington Professor of Sociology and Criminology, on Thursday, Sept. 3, from 6:30-9 p.m. at Owens Auditorium at Sandhills Community College. Adams, a multiple winner of the Faculty Member of the Year award at UNC-W, will speak about the rights of the unborn, his transformation from atheism to faith, free speech in the university setting, and the current state of religious liberty in the United States.

At 8 p.m., the event will move to Kennedy Hall on the SCC campus for a “Meet the Author” reception, where Dr. Adams will be signing his books, which will be available for purchase. Light refreshments will be served.

Yes, this is the same professor who won the freedom of speech lawsuit against UNCW. Actually, it was the attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom who won the lawsuit, an exceptionally heinous group who (among other outrageous actions) ironically fought to keep a Belize law in place that recommended a 10 year prison sentence for homosexual acts. And this jackass professor has the audacity to opine about Liberty. Apparently he really means: Liberty for bigots, prison for the people those bigots complain about.

Long live the Suffragettes

Happy 95th Birthday to the 19th Amendment:

On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote, was ratified. The following week it was certified by Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby, officially enshrining the new law into the U.S. Constitution.

Although it was made law in 1920 with ratification by two-thirds of the states, it wasn't until 1984 that the final state, Mississippi, passed their ratification. The League of Women Voters was there from the beginning!

Really, Mississippi? Looking back, I'm thinking we should have given France $15 million *and* the territory that would become the State of Mississippi during the Louisiana Purchase, but that might have soured the deal.

More on Tillis' attack against Planned Parenthood

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Using female veterans to engage in right-wing kabuki theatre:

"I was disappointed yesterday to see my Republican colleagues try and manipulate a good veterans bill — a noble bill — for political purposes," the Democratic leader said, adding that Republicans "put Fox News ahead of the welfare of American veterans."

But Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), who lead the Republican push to change Murray's bill, quickly fired back, saying his amendments weren't "political attacks."
Three amendments he said were focused on improving government efficiency, while another would prevent the VA from working with organizations "that take human aborted babies' organs and sell them."

Pardon my French, but what a putain de idiot. In one sentence he says it isn't political, and the next he throws out the newest and stinkiest political meme. If Thommy boy is trying to style himself after Donald Trump, he's off to a good start.

6 NC GOP Representatives support the firing of unwed mothers

Welcome back to the 19th Century:

H.R. 2802 This Act may be cited as the “First Amendment Defense Act”.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Federal Government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.

Bolding mine. This is not a hypothetical. There are several civil cases of "wrongful termination" pending right now filed by women who were fired for getting pregnant out of wedlock. While most of these women were employed by religious institutions, their previous employers were already allowed some protections in making personnel decisions based on religious grounds. But this bill would broadly expand the exemptions to include contractors, sub-contractors, grant recipients, pretty much any corporation that does business with the Federal government. And Holding, Walker, Hudson, Rouzer, Pittenger, and Meadows all think this is a good idea. In any sane world, they would have their chairs pulled out from under them in the next election because of this. But the Magic 8-Ball sez, "Yeah, and I'd like for you to stop shaking me, but that's not going to happen."

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