Makeshift Bomb Thrown at Nebraska Planned Parenthood Clinic

100_0833Last week someone threw a Molotov cocktail into the parking lot of a Nebraska Planned Parenthood clinic. According to Action 3 News Omaha:

Lincoln police say someone attempted to throw a Molotov cocktail at the local Planned Parenthood clinic, but missed.

Instead, police say, the makeshift explosive fell just short of the building and burned pavement in the parking lot. It was reported about 11:20 p.m. Thursday.

The incident is under investigation. Police aren’t sure whether it’s linked to a recent string of crimes involving Molotov cocktails.

The Planned Parenthood fire came on the eve of a 2-day abortion protest at a clinic in Bellevue, which is about 45 miles northeast of Lincoln. [Read more...]

Birth Control Subsidies Are Back, Baby!

birth controlDuring the Bush administration, women’s rights were on the chopping block. Access to abortion was restricted, funding for birth control and other family planning services was eliminated, and fehttp://feministsforchoice.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=1940&message=1deral tax dollars where pumped into religiously-based abstinence-only programs. Thankfully, some of that is starting to change under the Obama administration. According to the Chicago Tribune:

A 2005 federal law, designed to save taxpayers money on Medicaid reimbursements for drugs, financially dissuaded pharmaceutical companies from selling their products to these pharmacies at slashed prices. College women were particularly affected. Many saw their favorite contraceptive brands’ cost rise from $5 to $10 a month to $30 to $50 a month. The new provision, allows drug companies to once again offer the discounts, at no cost to taxpayers.

“It’s a tremendous victory for women’s health,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards tells me. “It’s an indication we have a government now that’s really focused on prevention and expanding access to women’s health care.” During the Bush years, her nonprofit had organized a large petition drive among college students, as well as meetings with congressional leaders, in a futile attempt to change the policy. [Read more...]

More Coverage of Carhart Clinic Defense

clinic escortFound a lot of additional tweets when I got up this morning about the Carhart clinic defense, so you’re getting a two-fer on the click list today.

Local TV coverage of the clinic action – Action 3 News Omaha
Operation Rescue Lies – Where the Revolution Begins
Abortion Protests in Bellevue – Omaha World-Herald

On a related note, here is a piece about clinic defense in Kentucky from the Socialist Worker.

Washington Man Threatens Dr. Hern in Colorado

Dr. Warren HernDonald Hertz, a 70-year-old man from Spokane, Washington for allegedly making Donald Hertz, a 70-year-old man from Spokane, Washington for allegedly making threatening phone calls to the women’s health clinic in Boulder, Colorado where Dr. Warren Hern (pictured) performs late abortions. According to the New York Times:

Hertz, 70 . . . was arrested Wednesday in Spokane. He was charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce and violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.
Mr. Hertz’s indictment was the first in an abortion case since the killing of Dr. George R. Tiller, an abortion provider from Wichita, Kan., who was shot to death in May while attending church, a Department of Justice spokesman said.

Mr. Hertz’s lawyer, W. Russell Van Camp, said Mr. Hertz, a retired real-estate and insurance broker who was released without bail Wednesday after a court appearance, would plead not guilty . . . Mr. Hertz faces a maximum prison sentence of up to six years and a fine of up to $350,000 if convicted.

Hertz is just one of the wing nuts to get caught up in a long line of anti-choice extremism. It’s reassuring to see the feds acting so quickly to indict Mr. Hertz, before he had an opportunity to act on those threats. Here’s to hoping that a jury convicts him and sends him to prison, where he belongs.

Monday News Roundup – The Carhart Defense League Edition

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

For all of you who went to Nebraska this weekend to support Dr. Carhart, a big thank you from all of us who couldn’t be there! It was exciting to see on Twitter that ya’ll had a good turnout (200 pro-choicers on Saturday v. 65 antis according to the Twitter feeds), and that many locals seemed to be supportive.

Pro-choice Supporters “Undaunted” -CNN
Physicians Praise Dr. Carhart’s Supporters – Youtube
Kansas NOW’s Response to the “Truth Truck” – Twitter
Pro-choice Defenders Holding the Line in Nebraska – Twitpic
Operation Rescue Protesters Raise $7000 For Choice on Day 1 Alone – Salon.com

Poverty and Choice

954858_no_money_1Last night I had the pleasure of reading Jamie Whyte’s Crimes Against Logic: Exposing the Bogus Arguments of Politicians, Priests, Journalists and Other Serial Offenders. It really only took me a couple of hours to finish it–despite such important content, it is very accessible and even made me laugh out loud. Its a great book. Everyone should read it. But I digress.

One of the topics covered in the book is British poverty rates and the ways that they are used by politicians and other groups to advance certain agendas. Basically, he is arguing that British social welfare programs ensure that even the poorest of the poor there aren’t destitute. I would have to know more about the British welfare system to argue with him on this.

But the discussion got me thinking about poverty here. I have said, both in my own posts and in comments to other posts that we will never have real choice unless women can choose to have their children and raise them without fear of a lifetime of poverty and struggle. This country, of course, is nowhere near that point.
[Read more...]

TGIF News Roundup

mouse-clickHow New Anti-Abortion Measures Threaten ALL Pregnant Women – National Advocates for Pregnant Women
Trans 101: Are There More Transwomen Than Transmen? – The Examiner
Black Hair Still Tangled in Politics – New York Times
Throw a Feminist Dinner Party! – Feminist Campus

The HPV Double Standard

1028452_syringes_and_vialWe all know the old feminist adage, “If men were the ones to get pregnant, choice wouldn’t be such an issue.” At least that’s the way I’ve seen it since I was 12 and realized I was a true feminist (after listening to a Backstreet Boys song and getting angry because it contained a sexist message). In any case, I still think most of us can agree on that “adage”. In a way, this is about to be put to the test.

I’m sure we have all heard of a little thing called the HPV vaccine and the controversy over it. Still, I’m going to give a bit of a refresher so humor me folks. The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has over 30 different strains that can be sexually transmitted. In recent years, it has been discovered that certain strains of this STD is the leading cause of cervical cancer in women. However, a ray of hope emerged in 2006 when the FDA approved the first of two vaccines (for women and girls only, it should be noted) that prevent two “high-risk” strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer. A truly great breakthrough in the fight to prevent STDs.

With this vaccine came a new wave of controversy in reproductive health. When the vaccine was first approved, it was only to be given to women and girls aged 12-26 and it was recommended to get vaccinated as early in life as possible. This meant that 12-year-old girls needed to get the vaccine to be protected against this disease. Many people, including parents, didn’t like this idea at all. [Read more...]

Adopt For Love, Not Politics

mother and childIn a recent article actor Jim Caviezel said “I always thought if I adopted that I wouldn’t have the same feeling [as I would] if they were genetically my own children. Nothing could be further from the truth.” He goes on to say the adoption of his children “challenged him to speak out more on pro-life issues.”  This makes me wonder what his original motivations for adopting were.

Before I go any further, I want to make sure that every reader understands that I am in no way attacking his ability or quality as a father, but I do question the politics behind for adoptions and more importantly using it to speak out against reproductive rights.

The abortion/adoption debate should be centered on pregnant women and birthmothers not fetuses and certainly not children. We see children’s presence in politics way too often. Seeing them or even hearing from them is not what I have a problem with, but it is the parents the use their children as examples for platform decisions. We saw this blatantly with Sarah Palin’s children during the campaign. Who can forget a pregnant Bristol with her then fiancé at the convention? [Read more...]

Thursday News Roundup

mouse2Good luck to all the Feminists in the Midwest who are descending upon Dr. Carhart’s clinic this weekend to show their support for his work. Positive vibes from this end, ya’ll!

Randall Terry Gets Kicked Out of Town Hall Meeting – Salon.com
Women & the Elections in Afghanistan – UN Radio
Will Health Care Reform Mean Easier Access to Abortion? – The American Prospect
Who Owns Operation Rescue? – Right Wing Watch
Sex for the First Time: Good Sex Takes Time – Gay Life Guide
Washington Man Threatens Dr. Warren Hern of CO – Seattle Times