Coat Hangers At Dawn

Following the attempts by the fundamentalist extremist religious right in South Dakota to ban contraception, abortion, sex ed and their war on everyone who disagrees with them.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Ending AIDS Is A Moral Imperative

CNN Presents broadcast "The End Of AIDS: Global Summit with Bill Clinton" this weekend.
It was an interesting mix of religious, health and political leaders discussing the reality of AIDS and looking at real honest ways to end AIDS and save lives.

Former President Clinton called saving the lives of AIDS victims our moral imperative as more an more children die of AIDS every day. Through treatment and medication lives can be saved. Could ignoring their plight or refusing them care be considered murder?

What was most interesting of the discussion was the comment that the stigma does not come from the victims, it comes from those who are judgemental or fearful of the victim of the disease. What they have found that worked best was a combination of condoms, sex education that taught disease prevention and abstinence that didn't contradict or ignore the disease prevention or condom use aspects. Where programs fell apart where when abstinence was taught and proper disease prevention and condom use were not. The effect of abstinence only programs was to delay sexual activity only in those who had not already become sexually active, but when they did they were at higher risk because they didn't know proper disease prevention.

The core of the discussion was to throw aside the judgements and prejudices and to stop preaching at people. Its time to start having honest discussions and working at real solutions that will end AIDS.

Former GOP Senator & Priest Call Gay Marriage Bans "Silly"

Former Sen. John Danforth says a conservative push to ban gay marriage through a constitutional amendment is silly, calling it the latest example of how the political influence of evangelical Christians is hurting the GOP.

Danforth also called the gay marriage bans misguided and an attempt to regulate human behavior much like prohibition was. We all know how well that worked out.

"Once before, the Constitution was amended to try to deal with matters of human behavior; that was prohibition. That was such a flop that that was repealed 13 years later," Danforth said.

Friday, April 28, 2006

SD State Gag Order

So what is Gov. Rounds and the state offices trying to hide?
There has been a state employee gag order in place for over a week.
Nobody in the state govt. is allowed to talk to the Argus.
According to a couple of people who emailed us they are refusing to answer questions
from the citzens of the state also.
So is this selective to certain issues and the Argus that they are not talking?

This whole issue screams corruption and cover up.
So is it coincidence that this gag order happened days after the Argus printed the names of the
people who donated to the abortion ban legal fund?

Oxymoron: See Compassionate Conservatism

Clean Cut Kid posted this article today.
Its refreshing to see conservatives being honest about their agenda since they are so careful to spin it correctly most of the time. This article is much closer to what you hear out of the mouths of most ultra conservatives.

The ideal of all of this in the mind of many ultra conservatives boils down to this. They are pissed off that they every have to give a penny of their money away for anything. It goes against their self absorbed richeous state of being. God forbid you do anything to help the greater good, the country or your fellow man. Its this screw everybody else mentality that permeates many of the right wing. Don't believe it? Sit down and listen to a bunch of good old boy conservatives working class right wingers having a few drinks when their guard is down and they feel in their element.
They will tell you the whole thing. How they hate every parting with their money for anything, their distaste for any woman who has a brain or wants to do anything other than be a submissive stepford wife and their total disgust for minorities and homosexuals. They will spew the whole sordid tale freely. Just don't call them on any of this in polite company or the public square, they will deny it with great embarrasment. They really hate it when you point out that some of those social programs they hate so much could mean the difference between a small child having food or not, they hate having their hypocrisy exposed and the selfishness of their behavior.

But what about the article that really gets to the root of the issues with conservatives and all the morality laws? Look at #5 on the list. The funding of contraceptive services, especially for minors just totally ticks them off. From the greedy selfish conservative they see it as an insult to have their money spent on something other than themselves. For the religious reich they can't deal with having their tax dollars spent on something they don't approve of. Never mind that those tax dollars spent giving contraceptives to those who ask but need financial assistance is exactly what has helped reduce the abortion rate over the years. Their moral indignation and desire to control everyone else clouds reason and the real solutions. They would rather remove the solutions so they can feel morally superior. But make note of what else they want to get rid of. All the social programs those who end up in a bad situation then depend on to survive.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Have Some Bigot With Your Mac And Cheese

Bill Robinson blogs about Dr. Marcella Meyer. She's the shareholder that demanded Kraft foods withdraw their donation to the Chicago Gay Games event. The other Kraft shareholders told her to take a walk with a 99% vote shooting down her demand.

Here's a little tidbit into the twisted mind of Marcella:
"Because of the "gay games" sponsorship by our company, Kraft Foods may at some future date be found to be complicit and legally liable in a case in which a young attendee at the "gay games" decides to experiment with homosexual encounters and later develops a serious, even fatal, illness. -- Dr. Marcella Meyer"

She has also been told to sit down and shut up by the American College of Preventative Medicine.
"The group shot down her proposal, first in February, 2001, then again in October of that year. They even went so far as to question the integrity of her research and study results. Her proposal provided clever semantics, arguing all children should be taught that sex should only be permitted within a legally recognized marriage. And of course she opposes gay marriage, so, as the ACPM noted, where exactly does that leave the reality of gay people with sex lives? Perhaps reality isn't of that much concern to Doc Meyer and those of her ilk."

Read the official smack down here. Her "evidence" was lacking and found to be bigoted.

The Truth About The Right Wing Agenda

David at Northern Valley Beacon wrote the article below. It's worth a read in its entirety.
Because it is, not just about abortion, the larger agenda and true intentions of those pushing this ban while ignoring the root causes and real solutions.

It's not just abortion, stupid

As a couple of blogs point out today, the abortion ban has galvanized the Democratic Party in South Dakota. That is probably so. But abortion is not the main issue at stake.

I know of no one, including women who have had abortions, who approves of abortion as a routine method of handling unwanted pregnancies. While the right-wingdingbats can sit at their keyboards, drool running down their chins, calling pro-choice people baby-killers, murderers, zygote-squelchers, and whatever else they dream up in their hateful frenzies, the huge majority of people are concerned about abortion and the social issues of which it is a part. That huge majority knows that the abortion ban does not address the problem. They prefer to let individuals and their physicians address the problems that result in the consideration of abortion as an option.

The abortion ban is the most salient symptom of how democracy can fail. It came out of a legislature that is run like a Pierre politburo. While people find it a preposterous piece of legislation, they also have come to recognize how the hearings held on the bill and its drafting were a sham exercise in democracy through which people with tyrannical ambitions tried to dupe the electorate while it imposed its perverse will on the people.

The abortion ban is merely one way a totalitarian faction is trying to subvert democracy and criminalize those people who hold political viewpoints different from theirs. The script is right out of Orwell's 1984. While undergoing a brain-washing session, the protagonist is told by an indoctrinator:

"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power... We know that no one every seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end...The objection of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power."

Citizens who have informed themselves as to what the abortion ban will do, how it came about, and who is behind it realize that the humane claims behind it are a sham. If they were interested in saving lives, they would be addressing the grotesque and damaging inequities afflicting people in the state. They have found a way to impose power on people who might otherwise make individual decisions and try to live their lives on their own terms.

The propaganda coming out of the right-wingdingnut faction reflects another of their beliefs, often expressed on their blogs. In an afteword, Eric Fromm summarizes the underlying premise of the propaganda:

"'Reality exists in the human mind and nowhere else...whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth.' If this is so, then by controlling men's minds the Party controls truth...'the leaders of the Party do not even pretend that their system is intended to make man happier, because men being frail and
cowardly creatures, want to escape freedom and are unable to face the truth. The leaders are aware of the fact that they have only one aim, and that is power...And power means the capacity to inflict unlimited pain and suffering to another human being.' Power, then, for them creates reality, it creates truth."

If blogs serve any purpose in politics today, they allow people to examine the thought and expression of political factions. If you surf through some of the wingnut blogs, you will find Orwell's description of insidious totalitarian purpose expressed time and again.

Abortion is the cover issue. Look at other issues such as the secretizing of government, the closing of public records, the assaults against public broadcasting and public education--which might act as sources of information that the rightwingdings don't want you to hear. And look at the regressive and punitive tax system in South Dakota.

If there is a regeneration of political interest in South Dakota, it is because people realize the issue is their freedom and power for power's sake.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Hawaii Approves Additional Laws Protecting Reproductive Rights

Lawmakers in Hawaii recently passed legislation expanding abortion protections, aiming to keep abortion legal in Hawaii no matter what happens nationally. Hawaii legalized abortion in 1970, before Roe v. Wade, and privacy regarding reproductive choice is protected under the Hawaii State Constitution. The current legislation updates the 1970 law in two ways: it removes the requirement that women obtaining abortions in the state be residents of at least 90 days; and further clarifies that abortions may be performed in clinics and doctors’ offices outside of hospitals. Health regulations regarding abortion procedures and licensing remain in effect, reports The Hawaii Channel.

The Hawaii House and Senate passed the measure earlier this month, and it was sent to Governor Linda Lingle. She has a history of pro-choice positions, and is not expected to veto the law.

Its good to know that at least the rich daughters of the abstinence movement will have somewhere to get an abortion no matter what happens.

"Pro-Life" Terrorist Wants To Be His Own Lawyer At Murder Trial

Anti-Abortion terrorist James Kopp wants to be his own lawyer in his federal trial over the murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian. Kopp had been on the run in the US and France for a number of years with the assistance of other anti-abortion activists.

Man Indicted For Attack On Women's Clinic

In Birmingham AL

Cover The Uninsured Week May 1-7

Medical bills are the leading cause of people filing for bankruptcy. Yet our compassionate conservative govt. has dismantled the bankruptcy laws that gave families relief.

Next week is cover the uninsured week. Every few months new numbers are released showing more people are uninsured. Young families and those with seriously sick children are hit the worst.

Take Off Them Shoes And Make Me A Sammich Bi-ach

Proud Lib has a detailed analysis of the underlying motivations of the far right, fundamentalist Christian and supposed pro life agenda.

He's spot on and every one of us has heard from the mouths of conservatives some of those knuckle dragging sexist thoughts and comments that Proud Lib noted on the conservative mindset.

Oh, and Keith Hernandez needs a swift kick in his godly fruit.

How SD Conservatives Care For Kids

From Haggard News
SD school districts are considering a lawsuit against the state for under funding the schools.

Maybe if the legislature spent a bit more time dealing with issues that actually impact children, rather than trying to legislate morality this might not be happening. Out of one side of their mouths the conservatives will say how the state has plenty of money to pay for another lawsuit over abortion laws. Out of the other side they whine that we don't have enough money to fund the schools.

Do we need to say it again? Conservatives don't care about the living.

Medical Professionals In SD Pushing A Fringe Agenda

One More Soul, a fringe group with a rather extreme view on reproduction and society has quite a few South Dakota members in the medical community and teachers.
From One More Soul's site explaining their agenda: " "The connection between contraception and abortion is primarily this: contraception facilitates the kind of relationship and even the kind of attitudes and moral characters that are likely to lead to abortion."

We feel people have a right to know if they are in the hands of a medical professional with severe out of the mainstream views that may impact how they deal with people in need of medical care. It would not be the first time someone from this group acted recklessly in their job role due to their extreme views. Dr. Glenn Ridder was involved in a malpractice suit where he refused to treat a seriously ill transgender patient at Sioux Valley a number of years back. He refused on "moral grounds" to treat someone with serious internal bleeding. Luckily the person found competent medical care in time and survived.

While natural family planning is an option some people choose and there is nothing wrong with that, the very outward crusader-esque agenda of this specific group raises serious questions about these medical professionals.

South Dakota medical professionals involved in this group:
Glenn Ridder MD
Sioux Falls, SD 57108

Tiffany Washechek MD
Oacoma, SD 57365

David Wachs MD Specialty: Family Practice
Aberdeen, SD 57401

Valerie Brown NFPP, NFPMC
Faith, SD 57626

Ann K Church MD Specialty: OB/GYN
Spearfish, SD 57783

Fake Clinics Intended To Confuse In Sioux Falls

Alpha Center moved into Planned Parenthood's old building a number of years ago. The signage then and still today gives the impression that the facility is some sort of women's health facility.
How many people accidentally went into that building by accident after the move? We would like to hear from anyone who had such a run-in. Where you harrassed, deceived?

Alpha Center tries to give the impression they are a medical facility. They clearly are not. They have one person on staff with certification to run an ultrasound machine and a handfull of staff with "MA" certificates. An MA certificate is basically an unskilled layperson with some classroom or online training allowed to do some basic lab test and office work. No one at Alpha Center has any real medical training that allows them to actually treat people. Though they purposely try to give the impression they are a medical facility.

Their signage and website state that they offer "abortion information" and "STD testing". Both are easily misunderstood statements that most people would assume they also provided services for those subjects. They don't, its the lure to get people in the door so they can harrass them and intimidate them into their point of view.

They also claim to make medical referrals in their literature. If you read the details they only give medical referrals to pregnant women considering abortion IF their staff thinks its needed and only then its to their pre-screened group of doctors. Were sure Dr. Ridder is one of them. Did we mention he is on their board of directors? He also refuses to prescribe contraception to women and belongs to a fringe group of lunatics?

What is more telling of the real motivations of Alpha Center is this from their website:
"Lady in Waiting and The Bride Wore White studies are available. These studies incorporate a Biblical perspective on the importance of purity. Group studies are offered periodically at The Alpha Center but one-on-one counseling is always available."

Yet people from this group have been allowed into public school classrooms for years to push their agenda. Maybe they forgot about that pesky separation of church and state.

Another similar clinic intended to confuse is "Planning Life", set up next door to Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls. No similarity there huh? Planning Life is supervised by Dr. Glenn Ridder. It also has language in its literature intended to confuse. It states to have "information" on abortion, STD, pregnancy tests etc. The literature mentions that pregnancy tests are "self administered" so they probably do not even have any medical staff and do not list anything about their staff or qualifications. One note of interest is that Pulizzi Engineering is listed as a corporate sponsor. That information is good though, its nice to know who is funding fake clinics in Sioux Falls.

We want to know. If you or someone you know has had a run-in with Alpha Center, Planning Life or any of their related organizations or doctors post in the comments or send us an email.

Fake Clinics And Harrassment


An Indiana mother recently accompanied her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend to one of Indiana's Planned Parenthood clinics, but they unwittingly walked into a so-called "crisis pregnancy center" run by an anti-abortion group, one that shared a parking lot with the real Planned Parenthood clinic and was designed expressly to lure Planned Parenthood patients and deceive them.

The group took down the girl's confidential personal information and told her to come back for her appointment, which they said would be in their "other office" (the real Planned Parenthood office nearby). When she arrived for her appointment, not only did the Planned Parenthood staff have no record of her, but the police were there. The "crisis pregnancy center" had called them, claiming that a minor was being forced to have an abortion against her will.

The "crisis pregnancy center" staff then proceeded to wage a campaign of intimidation and harassment over the following days, showing up at the girl's home and calling her father's workplace. Our clinic director reports that the girl was "scared to death to leave her house." They even went to her school and urged classmates to pressure her not to have an abortion.

The anti-choice movement is setting up these "crisis pregnancy centers" across the country. Some of them have neutral-sounding names and run ads that falsely promise the full range of reproductive health services, but they dispense anti-choice propaganda and intimidation instead. And according to a recent article in The New York Times, there are currently more of these centers in the U.S. than there are actual abortion providers. What's more, these centers have received $60 million in government grants. They're being funded by our tax dollars.

Original story

Congress is working on a bill to prevent this deceptive tactic and harassment.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

State Ban Litigation Fund Gains A Whopping $240

Still no "million dollar donation". Since the fund contributions have been made public the anti-choice movement has showed their groundswell of support with... $240.00

It seems that the interest in paying for a poorly thought out, weak law is waning.
So who will be left to foot the bill? Maybe the smart thing to do would be to just dump the
law now that people have had time to think about it and cooler heads can prevail?
Experts give it a snowballs chance of ever making it through the courts and many in the pro-life movement are questioning it.

Pope Approves Condom Use

This just hit the TV news. The pope has approved condom use.
The new context for approved use by the pope is according to the statement "use for married couples where one has AIDS".

This was brought about in the context of the issue of AIDS in Africa.
While its a limited papal approval, the fact that the Catholic Church is officially recognizing the importance of condoms in controlling AIDS as being more important that church dogma is promising. Possibly loosening this to include controlling AIDS all together is not far behind.

Most recent print story on this.

End Abortion Now

What? On This Blog? You bet.
If we told you that almost all abortions could be ended today would you be for it?
Here's how, and statistics prove it out.

How South Dakota can end abortion:
1. Provide comprehensive, factual sex-ed to all students starting when they begin to reach puberty. No exceptions, this is a public health issue.
2. Provide free, decent contraception to anyone who asks for it, regardless of age, income or marital status. Include long term contraceptive devices such as implants. Provide any medications in a full years dose direct at the medical provider so patients do not have to endure harrassment by pharmacists turned preachers, or risk not being able to afford or get to a pharmacy. Encourage use of better, longer term options such as implants over methods that incur more human error such as pills or condoms.
3. Develop more youth oriented opportunities in South Dakota to help teens look at and become involved in their future through diverse activities and opportunties. Kids with hope, goals and something productive they want to do are less likely to become involved in sex, drinking and drugs.
4. In the case of pregnancies that would occur. Assure a decent safety net system that treats women and children with respect and assures that they can have basic needs met in a humane fashion while helping them get on their feet and obtain realistic educational and occupational goals so they can provide a strong financial support for their families within 6 years of giving birth. Quit trying to shove uneducated single parents into minimum wage jobs or terminal welfare.

South Dakota's Culture Of Life Fails Its Children

Here are some interesting facts about how South Dakota cares for its children the anti-choice crusaders are demanding be born:

South Dakota is ranked 45 out of the 50 states in the money spent per child in the welfare system. South Dakota ranks 47 out of 50 on money spent per child below the poverty line for Medicaid and Food Vouchers.

So the "culture of life" stops at birth. Many within the pro-life movement will counter with their opinion that its the parents responsibility to pay for and raise said child, not societies or theirs.
They will usually also counter with that that person should not have had any sort of sex if they didn't plan on becoming a parent or could afford to do so. Then never once make any mention for the child in these discussions. Its all about punishing some adult they feel they need to judge. Never mind these same people who supposedly care so much for babies that they will do just about anything can turn their backs on these same babies the day after birth and not care one bit for any sort of human suffering, abuse, neglect they would endure. To refuse basic things like food and medical care hardly speaks "culture of life".

Conservatives Increased Abortion Rate

That's right. Read it and weep. Conservatives, "pro-life" conservative, under their watch, their moral crusade increased abortion.

During the Reagan era's "pro-life"policies abortions increased by 70,000. In contrast during the Clinton era they declined by 200,000. So who's policies work? The ones that supported comprehensive sex-ed (that includes abstinence by the way) and also made sure as many people as possible had access to decent contraception (not just condoms at the drug store).

Combine this with the statistics that the "abstinence til marriage" programs are a nightmarish failure. These programs have proven to do nothing and in many cases actually caused the sexual activity rate to go higher, increased risky behavior and studies are now showing an increased pregnancy rate. The "pro-life" crusade has created a larger problem than existed without their efforts.

So if the pro-life crusaders really did care about ending abortion, why are they hanging onto tactics and programs that are increasing the rates?

Read more at The Stanford Progressive
Clean Cut Kid originally posted this story along with some interesting commentary.

We would really like to see the news media stick a camera in Leslee Unruh's face and ask for her comments on these dismal facts....

Monday, April 24, 2006

No Easy Choices

Much of the reasoning over the new abortion ban claims that the choices involved in the issue are black and white, clear cut and easy to make. In reality that is hardly the case.

A recent issue in SD involves Diana Camfield and her terminally ill son Shawn. Even with a court order demanding that the school district comply with the "do not resuscitate" order the district is putting up roadblocks out of fear of legal complications. In todays "culture of life" you can't even die a natural death.

On the flip side is the case of a Chicago woman who was seriously injured in a car accident. She had already had x-rays and required more x-rays and surgery to repair her injuries. She was pregnant and left with a number of equally lousy choices to make. She could abort the fetus and have the surgery immediately. Wait 12 weeks, risk more complications to herself or the fetus and then have the surgery, this would require re-breaking bones. Have the surgery and run a very high risk of having a deformed baby as a result. None of these are great options to have to face.

Choices are never easy or black and white in such situations.

South Dakotans Against Discrimination Campaign Kick-Off

South Dakotans Against Discrimination Campaign Kick-Off!

Thursday, April 27, 2006 at 7:00pm
3 in 1 room in the Morrison Commons Building
Augustana College, 2001 S. Summit Ave.
Sioux Falls, SD 57197

At the kick-off learn how to:

**Talk about the dangers of Amendment C, the ban on civil unions, domestic partnerships, and marriage for gays and lesbians.
**Help the campaign raise money and spread the word
**Find out about the next steps to defeating Amendment C
**Learn about the ways People of Faith are being involved with the campaign and how can you can help

All are welcome!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Court Rules Against Gay-Bashing

The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that a California school district can ban gay-bashing t-shirts. The court determined that the demeaning language on the t-shirts collided with other students rights.

"Public school students who may be injured by verbal assaults on the basis of a core identifying characteristic such as race, religion, or sexual orientation have a right to be free from such attacks while on school campuses. As Tinker clearly states, students have the right to 'be secure and to be let alone,' '' Reinhardt said.

"Being secure involves not only the freedom from physical assaults but from psychological attacks that cause young people to question their self-worth and their rightful place in society. The 'right to be let alone' has been recognized by the Supreme Court … as the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men,'' Reinhardt said.

This may sound limited at first glance but could be the basis for larger future rulings. Verbal assaults on your core identifying characteristics could be extended to someone telling a student that being gay is wrong, as in the Abstinence til Marriage programs used in many schools.
What about groups allowed to prostelitize in public schools? Could these be viewed as hostile attacks on a students core beliefs if a speaker is telling students they have the only "right way" or that other ways are wrong? This could also be used as grounds to remove other religious fundamentalist based presentations from public schools, under the "let alone" idea.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Journal of Adolescent Health Announces Abstinence Only Programs Do Not Work

The Society of Adolescent Medicine
Journal of Adolescent Health
Abstinence and abstinence-only education: A review of U.S. policies and programs
Abstract - Full Report
Among the highlights of the report:

Abstinence-only Programs Undermine Medical Ethics and Basic Human Rights
"We believe that current federal abstinence-only-until-marriage policy is ethically problematic, as it excludes accurate information about contraception, misinforms by overemphasizing or misstating the risks of contraception, and fails to require the use of scientifically accurate information while promoting approaches of questionable value."

"Abstinence-only programs threaten fundamental human rights to health, information, and life."

Abstinence Only “Works Every Time” – Think Again
" Based on our review of the evaluations of specific abstinence-only curricula and research on virginity pledges, user failure with abstinence appears to be very high. Thus, although theoretically completely effective in preventing pregnancy, in actual practice the efficacy of abstinence-only interventions may approach zero."

Abstinence vs. Abstinence Only
"There is broad support for abstinence as a necessary and appropriate part of sexuality education. Controversy arises when abstinence is provided to adolescents as a sole choice and where health information on other choices is restricted or misrepresented."

Leslee Unruh's Worst Nightmare

She's a devout Christian who took an abstinence pledge in High School. Shelby Knox, who has seen the real result of abstinence only sex ed - rampant teen pregnancy in her High School has turned into an activist working to bring comprehensive sex-ed back to the schools.

" In the fall of 2001, Shelby, then a 15-year-old high school sophomore, budding opera singer and politically conservative Southern Baptist, joined the Lubbock Youth Commission, a group of high school students empowered by the mayor to give Lubbock's youth a voice in city government. "We get no [sex] education at all in school," says Shelby in "The Education of Shelby Knox." "Maybe twice a week, I see a girl walking down the hall pregnant... It's part of normal life at my school. If a student asks a teacher about sex, the teacher by policy is required to answer with 'Abstinence is the only way to prevent STD's and teen pregnancy.'... If they don't, they're in danger of losing their job.""

She has been featured in a PBS documentary "The Education of Shelby Knox".

In an update to the story Shelby comments on recent events in Lubbock:
"A fourteen year-old junior high school student tested positive for HIV and infected several other students with the virus. Lubbock news stations publicly blamed the district for its failure while teachers privately agreed."

This is what the abstinence-only, no contraception, no abortion options crusaders wish to bring to South Dakota.

You can find out more about Shelby Knox at this website.

Augie Professor Getting Her Words Manipulated.

Jessica Nathanson, professor at Augustana college made some remarks at a recent Gay-Straight Alliance meeting. In her comments she discussed Christianity and the need for a tolerant path "She believes that if one is a Christian, then they must act like one. She expressed the idea of Jesus keeping the dignity of everyone around him, not singling anyone out."

She also addressed the Conservative view that their version of marriage is the only version of family and is what they wish to push on all around them. In this context she also stated that marriage is an oppressive institution. In the situation of a conservative ideal of marriage where the man is totally in charge and women are to be submissive, her words are quite correct. In a larger view of marriage it is always oppressive to some extent for the parties involved. The level that it is oppressive depends on the situation of that marriage. One where the woman has little say and no autonomy there is oppression. In a state where a woman is treated much like a used car in the process of a marriage license it does set the standard of women being objects to be traded. Everyone signs the marriage license except the woman. Ironically shouldn't the woman be the first one required to sign such a document since in many cases they are signing much of their freedom and autonomy away.

SD Abortion Case To Be Heard By Federal Appeals Court

The 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis was to hear a challenge Thursday to South Dakota's law requiring abortion doctors to warn patients about abortions.

Planned Parenthood is disputing the legality of forcing doctors to tell patients the medically inaccurate statement. Alpha Center and Black Hills Crisis Pregnancy center have teamed up with the State of SD to try to force the issue in the courts.

Attorney Harold Cassidy is the attorney for Alpha Center and Black Hills Crisis Pregnancy Center.
If you look at the site from Harold Cassidy, he is representing the state of South Dakota, Gov. Rounds, SD Atty. Gen Larry Long AND both crisis pregnancy centers in this Federal Appeals case. This means that OUR STATE has hired a career anti-choice lawyer to represent our state in federal court. The rather tight relationship between the two centers, an activist lawyer and our state representatives calls into question the objectivity and independence of our state government. Why does it appear that Alpha Center is calling the shots for our state government? Just remember your tax dollars are going to fund Leslee Unruh's crusade.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

AZ Gov. Vetos Abortion Bills

AZ Gov. Janet Napolitano has vetoed a number of bills intent on restricting abortion access in AZ. Napolitano wrote that lawmakers were attempting to "impose their own ideology on private and difficult medical decisions."

The vetoes rejected attempts to:

• Force doctors to tell women seeking abortions that their fetuses could experience pain even if the women received pain medication.

• Require that minors seeking an abortion obtain notarized parental consent, going a step further than the approval by a parent or guardian already mandated under state law.

• Bar state and local governments from using public dollars to fund health coverage that includes abortion, except when the life or health of the mother is at risk.

Incestious Porn Masters?

Were not the only people who have found the "Purity Balls" a tad bit creepy. For those who don't already know what these are, they are a cross between a prom and a wedding ceremony where pre-pubescent girls pledge their purity to their fathers until he marries them off. What gets truely creepy is the ritualistic language they use.

The pic to the left is from the "ceremony". More images can be found here including a wedding cake they had at the last ceremony.

Blogger PZ Meyers had this to say:
"So in the world of the real porn masters, they disregard all evidence, the gears of their mind are stripped and spinning like wobbly pie plates, and they promote dances where daddy plays the boyfriend surrogate and daughters promise to wrap their crotch in saran wrap until they are sold in bondage to some equally ignorant conservative farm boy."

Digby also has a interesting story on this whole kinky mess:
"Responding to the odd, disturbing nature of the Father-Daughter Purity Ball, about which I posted below, PZ Myers says:"Daddies of the world, keep your hands off your daughter's sexuality, OK? Raise them to be independent and thoughtful and informed and able to make their own decisions, and then just trust them."
That sounds like common sense to me. Girls pledging to their dads to stay virginal in ritualistic ceremonies just doesn't seem like a healthy thing to do."

"I can understand why the little girls would want to do this. It's a chance to dress up and spend time with their father. If it were for another purpose, it might be sweet. But this is what that little girl is reading to her father from that card:
I pledge to remain sexually pure...until the day I give myself as a wedding gift to my husband. ... I know that God requires this of me.. that he loves me. and that he will reward me for my faithfulness.
And this is what Daddy says in turn:
I, (daughter’s name)’s father, choose before God to cover my daughter as her authority and protection in the area of purity. I will be pure in my own life as a man, husband and father. I will be a man of integrity and accountability as I lead, guide and pray over my daughter and as the high priest in my home. This covering will be used by God to influence generations to come.
He's the "high priest" in his home. Are we getting the picture? "

Take a look at the picture in Digby's post. This poor girl looks way too young to be involved
is this whole thing anyway. Something about this whole ritual is slightly incentious and creepy.
Dressing up a girl who looks to be about 8 or 9 years old in formal wear so she can pledge a rather bizzare ritualistic sex pledge to her father in a pseudo marriage ceremony is not a mentally healthy thing to be doing. Has anyone contacted Social Services yet?

Kansas Panty Inspector Shot Down

Clean Cut Kid scooped this.
The Kansas Atty. General who wanted to enact a law requiring professionals to turn in any teenager having any sort contact from groping to sexual contact has been shot down.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Lying To The Legislature

This tidbit was in Randall Beck's opinion piece in today's Argus. Beck's piece talking about honesty and how news spreads had this incident that happened during the abortion ban debate in the Legislature:

"Supporters of the abortion ban distributed an e-mail claiming to be from a devastated and distraught mother in Sioux Falls. She said her daughter, along with other students at a public high school, had been forced to roll a condom on a replica of a life-sized penis.
When lawmakers tried to verify her story, they discovered her story was bogus."

This calls into question the honesty and motives of this group of people. They have been caught lying, distorting and manipulating information quite a few times in this debate. Everyone involved with the Task Farce with the exception of Unruh, Hunt and the couple of other hand picked friends of theirs has said it was a complete joke and all factual information that didn't fit their agenda was thrown out. There is no excuse for the fake email they gave to legislators, one would assume providing false information to the legislature might carry some sort of penalty. If anyone more versed knows, please let us know.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Fundamentalists Are Sex Obsessed

Spring is a time of reflection and renewal in many beliefs. With the war in Iraq, a pending execution, questions of neglect of the needy in our state, these moral issues seem to be rather ignored by the religious right.

More than a few people have mentioned in discussions about the current state of affairs in South Dakota that the religious right are sex obcessed. They want to talk about it in great detail at every opportunity. They talk about it more often and in more graphic detail than people one would assume to be "obsessed with sex". When the religious right in SD are more prolific and graphic in their conversations than people who work in various adult related industries something is out of whack. They live in fear of a teenager finding out any information about sex, yet they can't stop talking about it themselves.

Some related articles:
Sex Obsessed
by Michelle Cottle

What's sex got to do with it?

The Booming Christian Sex Advice Industry

PBS Story On SD Abortion Ban

Doug Wilkens at Dakota Today originally posted about this PBS show .
It ran last night on PBS NOW. They covered all the angles of the abortion ban and culture war in South Dakota. One thing that is interesting is that media from outside South Dakota seem to quickly pick up on the underlying agenda of the religious right pushing the abortion ban to control people's sex lives, contraception and sex-ed. Curiously our in state media are rather shy about exposing the connections. The PBS coverage had some interesting notes about the climate in the state. They also discussed the ban with well known legal experts who all gave it a snowballs chance in hell of making it through the court system. Could someone please explain why we are supposedly going to spend millions of state money on something that has no chance of passing?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Lunatic Whack-a-mole

In this recent article by Susie Bright she elaborates on the crusade against sex, sensibility and science. As many of the SD bloggers have been saying quite a bit lately. The goings on in South Dakota are larger in scope and about much more than the abortion debate.

Some of the other pet projects pointed out are:
The efforts to try to stop the cervical cancer virus from being approved by the FDA simply because the religious reich thinks it will encourage people to have sex they don't approve of. They would rather be able to try to scare people into not having sex than prevent cancer.

The efforts to bar access to contraception through pharmacies, funding cuts, removing contraceptive information and sex ed from the schools and other hurdles meant to prevent people from having sex. Their largest issue is trying to prevent those they consider unmarried from having access to contraception. Most sane people would see this as totally bizzare that one person would take their rigid view of marriage and sex and attempt to now force everyone in society to live by it. I guess if you don't join the morality crusade willingly they will force you to. Sort of sounds like the real good old days crusades.

Here's a rather scary article. The part about the CDC being forced to remove accurate information about condoms in favor of some sketchy abstinence information is just twisted. From the article "Several years ago, the Centers for Disease Control removed a fact sheet about condoms from its Web site; the sheet disappeared for more than a year, and, when it was replaced, instructions on how to use condoms had been supplanted by a message denigrating them. The C.D.C. also removed a summary of studies that showed there was no increase in sexual activity among teenagers who had been taught about condoms. "They were the most horrific examples of manipulating science I have ever seen," a former senior official at the C.D.C. told me. "Abstinence is the only thing that matters to this crowd. They have even brought people to Washington from Atlanta"--where the C.D.C. is based--"just to lecture about the value of teaching abstinence. There were no scientific presentations, just speeches." He asked not to be identified because he is dependent upon receiving government funds in his current job." Oh and guess who rears her ugly over-painted head in this article? Leslee "Meatloaf" Unruh. I am really longing for South Dakota to again be remembered nationwide for the Zip Feed Mill mishap. Everything from the FDA to the CDC are being forced to ignore science and revise it with religious propaganda. Stalin would be proud.
There is also more on the efforts to bar access to Emergency Contraception. You know, the one thing the SD Taliban keeps claiming is the "saving grace" of the abortion ban?

But this is the one that made everyone who read it want to scream. From the article:
"Religious conservatives are unapologetic; not only do they believe that mass use of an HPV vaccine or the availability of emergency contraception will encourage adolescents to engage in unacceptable sexual behavior; some have even stated that they would feel similarly about an H.I.V. vaccine, if one became available. "We would have to look at that closely," Reginald Finger, an evangelical Christian and a former medical adviser to the conservative political organization Focus on the Family, said. "With any vaccine for H.I.V., disinhibition"--a medical term for the absence of fear--"would certainly be a factor, and it is something we will have to pay attention to with a great deal of care." Finger sits on the Centers for Disease Control's Immunization Committee, which makes those recommendations." They would be happy to turn down an AIDS vaccine! They are more interested in trying to control people according to their morality than they are about curing aids.

The article also gets into the efforts to force Intelligent Design into the schools, the Bush involvement in Terri Schaivo, stem cell research, sending abstinence til marriage advocates to a UN Aids Assembly, and trying to install unqualified political hacks into "expert" roles within the US govt. agencies.

Or the bizzare attempt at a Kansas law that would have made teenage kissing a crime that must be reported to the state.

This one takes the cake though. A 24 year old Bush admin. appointee to NASA who's only experience is his stint in the "war room" of the 04 Bush-Cheney campaign is forcing staff at NASA to add "theory" to all instances of the term "Big Bang" in NASA media or print. Here's the kicker from the story "The Big Bang is “not proven fact; it is opinion,” Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, “It is not NASA’s place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator.”

It continued: “This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most.”"
This is going on at NASA. I need a drink now...

Viagra Has A Higher Death Rate than RU486

Via Clean Cut Kid, the Washington Monthly wrote a brief article showing the death rate for RU486 and Viagra. The one remaining death possibly linked to RU486 is still under investigation. Even if that one does prove to be linked the rate would be under 1 to 100,000. Viagra has a 5 to 100,000 rate. Yet no one is crying to have Viagra yanked.

BTW: Viagra is prescribed to men far outside of reproductive age. Yet the "no sex outside of procreation" crew isn't speaking out about it or asking it be banned from use.

Sexual Morality Disguised as Medical Facts

Proud Lib has a insightful post about the SD Task Farce and the Religious Right.
He sights both a thread by Clean Cut Kid that dissects the Task Farce report and an article by Media Girl referring to the questionable goings on at the Task Farce.

Media Girl commented:
"[T]he Religious Right has an increasingly dangerous tendency to confuse medical mortality and morbidity with divine punishment for what they believe to be sexual impurity."

From the Proud Lib post referring to Leslee Unruh's claim that we should not allow women to get the HPV vaccine that can prevent cervical cancer:
That's right. Cervical Cancer is God's way of saying women shouldn't have pre-marital sex. Just like pregnancy that may not be terminated is God's way of telling women they shouldn't have pre-marital sex. I guess God is pretty OK with young men having pre-marital sex since he doesn't strike us down with testicular cancer or make us give birth if we have pre-marital sex. Who knew God was a sexist?

Experts State Fetuses Do Not Feel Pain

The British Medical Journal April 15th edition includes a UK based study that proved that fetuses do not feel pain. This has been a point used by anti-abortion groups to further restrict access to abortion through legislation.

The doctors cited in the article explained that pain is a complex set of stimuli that create the understanding and sensation of pain and before 26 weeks gestation the nerve connections are not even in place to make such a sensation possible.

Article from Forbes
Article from Bloomberg.

The BMJ site is currently down. As soon as we can located a direct copy of the BMJ article we will post it here.

Our Speaker For The Right, Lydia Underwood


By Lydia Underwood

The homersexual agenda is the number one problem in America. It is horribly persecuting true Christians. The intolerance is just so unfair. Now we can't call homersexuals fags, we can't throw them out of public college classes or do anything else horrible to them that we want. It is our right to do whatever we want to these people because our beliefs say we can. This whole darn homersexual agenda is just ruining our kids. Now we have to explain to them what a homersexual is. If I have to tell my kids why two guys are holding hands in public I am just gonna die I tell you!

This homersexual agenda is just awful, they are going to turn my kids gay I just know it. And they are taking over everything and and ...they want to remove the Gospel from the schools too! The whole thing just makes me sick. We might have to accept people, even allow them to have the same access to jobs and school as us true Christians have. We would lose or special status and I just can't have that. They going to ruin my marriage too. Their desire to be able to live as families will desicrate my marriage, next thing you know they will want to move into our neighborhoods too. Those damn coathangers women said that the only homosexual agenda is the one to redecorate my house and do my hair. They had the gall to tell me that I NEEDED a new hairdo. Vile vain evil women.

As for lesbians, they are just scared rabbits resisting their natural desire to be ruled by men as God intended. Women need protectors because of their deep vulnerability, resisting this is ungodly. They need to just relenquish control and let men make all their decisions for their fragile selves.

"Women have babies and men provide the support. If you don't
like the way we're made you've got to take it up with God."

Well that's all for this week. I'm off to give that Easter Bunny at the mall a stern talking to, we have got to stop those secular pagan symbols horning in our our holidays!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

College Coat Hangers For Rounds

Mills College in CA is sending Mikey Rounds some coathangers. Each one with the name of a woman who died from an illegal abortion.

State Expects Ban Donations To Slow Down

Paul Kinsman, commissioner of the state Bureau of Administration stated in a RCJ article that he expects donations to the abortion ban fund to slow down since a court challenge is unlikely anytime soon. Donations stand today at slightly over $11,000.00. An anticipated court battle is expected to be multi-million dollar.

South Dakotans Against Discrimination

This group is working to vote NO on Amendment C, the anti-marriage very discriminatory amendment.

From their site:
On November 7, 2006, South Dakota voters will make a historic choice. One of the items on the ballot is Amendment C, an anti-marriage amendment that changes South Dakota’s constitution not only to define marriage as between a man and a woman, but also to prohibit the state from recognizing domestic partnerships, civil unions, and "quasi-marital" relationships.

Caroll Hillard Former Lt. Gov. Denounces SD Abortion Ban

Via Dakota War College

Abortion activists speak to friendly crowd

By Cara Pallone, For the Camera
April 11, 2006

Participants on a panel concerning the South Dakota bill outlawing abortion said they were disheartened by the new law.

The four speakers for "Get Your Hands Off My Body" delivered emotional stances at the Conference on World Affairs on Monday. Carole Hillard, who served four years on the South Dakota state Legislature, focused on the question, "How far should lawmakers go in controlling people and their bodies?"

"The state Legislature is more conservative than they have ever been," she said. "The majority of us are appalled, but even so, it passed."

The Ban Donors

After reviewing the donors for the ban litigation a couple of things become clear. South Dakota didn't donate a huge amount so far, there are very few in state donations except for 3 very large donations. The bulk of the donations are from out of state and are coming from people with ties to groups like Repent America, Operation Rescue and various other anti-choice activist groups.

There were also quite a few donations coming from supporters of the more conservative factions of the Catholic church. The volume of out of state Catholic related donations is almost as concerning as the activists donations. Either way it shows the heavy religious involvement in this law.

The Argus has also posted a list of donors without the details of our list.
There is also a more detailed article that where Rounds claims he has no idea who
the "mystery million dollar donor" is. Mikey needs to read the Village Voice once in a while and he would know that its Steve Kirby.

SD Ban Donors List With Details

SD Public Abortion Ban Donors List

We want to preface this with a quick note:
All of the information below is public record, accessible to anyone.
The people of South Dakota have a right to know who is bribing our state to push this law through the court system and what their motivations are.

Out of state donors 119
Undetermined donors 1
In state donors 29
Out of state dollars 3846.95
In state dollars $7335.00 (3 major donors in state)
In State dollars minus the 3 major donors $3335.00

Morgan Mary S.D. $10

Scott William & Shirley S.D. $20
Also members of fringe group trying to dismantle the public schools

Elster Gordon & Zora S.D. $10
East European Missions Network
Story about him

Bernard Marlys S.D. $10

Myers Bill & Carol S.D. $10

Debates Mary Lou S.D. $10

Byer Emery & Mary S.D. $25
Mother Of God Monastery - donors

Osmundson Nicole S.D. $250
Works for Alpha Center
Active anti-abortion protester

Nesdahl Charles & Melissa S.D. $50

Weinheimer Jerome, Inez S.D. $100
Involved in SD Pro Life

Van De Rostyne Joe S.D. $1,000
Brd. Of Directors for the SD State Library

Crew Grady & Bernice S.D. $500
Ins Agency in Phillip

RNC Donator

Van Scholack Chris & Mavis S.D. $25
Noted to be members of Old Apostolic Lutheran Church
Members beliefs:no birth control,makeup,curled hair,televisions,alcohol,dancing, card-playing, cinema, television, high-school sports, popular music, and the performing arts

Buehner K. S.D. $500

Nelson Kevin & Kelly S.D. $25

Holy Spirit Church S.D. $750
Catholic Church in Mitchell

Morgan Mary S.D. $20

McKeever Inc. S.D. $2,000
McKeever Vending Watertown SD

Nikolas Paul & Michelle S.D. $50

Hurney James & Donna S.D. $50

Mairose Steve & Mary S.D. $200

Murphy Mary S.D. $20

Fry Fields & Amy S.D. $200

Breck Cliff S.D. $100

Braddock Gwen S.D. $25
South Dakota Lutheran Women's Missionary League

Ehrhardt Rick & Nancy S.D. $50

Anderberg Jason & Jaime S.D. $300

Martin T.F. S.D. $25
Brookings Atty

Haugo Roger & Sandra S.D. $1,000
Also donated $10g to the state to build a sex offender database
Active in SD Right To Life
Former Legislator

Out of state donors:

Myers Ellen & Edwin Kan. $10

Brandt Thomas, Maureen Ill. $25

Neill Plumbing & Heating Wash. $20

Lahey Nathan & Ronda Fla. $10

Gerber George Kan. $20

York Barbara Minn. $10

Joerger John & Melissa Kan. $10

Mueller Sarah Wis. $10

Milburn Aimee Colo. $25
Colorado Right to life committee

Pampo Christine & Sidney Fla. $10

Staszak Louise Kan. $10

Santoro Mark Calif. $10

Widaski F.A. & Carolyn Texas $10

De Kroon Peter & Dolores Calif. $10

Ramey Tim & Julie Mass. $10

Clyde Bruce & Lauren Calif. $10

Peake Regina & Aric Nev. $20

Hopping Stephanie Calif. $25
Anti abortion protester

DeLa Cruz Mary Calif. $50

Delancey Donald & Janice Calif. $10

Doan Larry & Arleen Calif. $10

Wrobel Margaret & Christopher Ind. $10

Takach Jennifer Wis. $10

Sigler William Jr. & Leslie Ill. $10

Williams Richard S.C. $10

Mickle Matthew & Susan Ill. $40

Vogt Timothy Minn. $9.95

Smallback William & Michelle Kan. $50

Gregson Barry & Kelly Kan. $10

Talley Sr. R.J. Hawaii $10

Weddle Sarah Calif. $10

Nunan Matthew Jr. & Justine Calif. $10

Cham Roman & Mary Ann Calif. $50
Orthopedic Surgeon in La Mesa CA

Konopaski Ronald & Frigga Calif. $10
CA Republican Party Chair in San Francisco

Conover Diane & Joseph Ind. $10

Malley Theresa Calif. $10

Runco Edward N.J. $12

Jepson Ronald & Rosemary Wis. $10

Reynolds Robert & Lynn Marie Pa. $20

Cyphert Kathleen N.Y. $5

Madigan William III & Paula Va. $10

Kear Dennis Sr. & Barbara Kan. $20

Boddicker Dan Iowa $10

Hegarty Daniel & Karen N.J. $10

Truman Shirley Calif. $10

Marcavage Michael Pa. $10
Involved in Repent America

Warner Bird Steven Ill. $10

Weimer John & Amber Minn. $10

Street Karen Calif. $30

Kenney Donna N.J. $10

Manzo Joseph Calif. $20

Kovacevich Donald & Betty Wash. $10

Reilly Michael & Ann Marie Wis. $50

Cano Mary Ill. $10

Sanctafamilia Jeremiah & Victoria Fla. $10
Catholic Marriage Petition
Against No Fault Divorce - details

Pentis William S.C. $30
Priest Charleston SC

Kolodziej Henry Jr. & Rita Wis. $10

Donnelly Judith Wis. $10

Allen Bill, Joan Wis. $10

Hampton Ellen & Donald Ill. $10

Telesystems LLC Neb. $25

Wilson Allen Jon HM $25

Scipione Eileen & George Calif. $10
Westminster Seminary Professor

Hegenbart Vernal Wis. $50

McDavitt James & Mary Kan. $10

Ezzo Michael W.Va. $20

Smith Ramon, Linda Fla. $10

Ballinger Alvina Wash. $10

Gutman Timothy & Cathie Fla. $25

Chalupsky Mark Calif. $10

Summers William & Lisa La. $10

Kriegl George Wis. $10
Member of Pro Life Wi
Belongs to fringe group trying to dismantle the public schools

Landis Bonnie Kan. $25

Flynn Sean & Angela Fla. $25

Dedonatis PC Susan Ariz. $20

Placek Stephani Ill. $10

Peterson Craig & Sally Kan. $100

Guibault Marlene Calif. $15

Ward Brent & Cheri Calif. $10

Romero Juan Fla. $10

Brady Robert & Judy Anne Fla. $100

Habeck Kelly & Rhea Minn. $40

Shoobridge Jeannee N.J. $20

Humphrey Bungum Aiden Ore. $100

Hunter Richard Va. $10

Davis Michael & Michelle Va. $800

Bowles K.T. Ala. $25

Boyett Dorothy Texas $20
Operation Rescue Protester
More info on Ms. Boyett
from Operation Rescue

Graham Susan Texas $30

McGoff Gary Texas $30

Smith James & Carolyn Md. $20

Derrick Rita Tenn. $10

Morrissey Ann Va. $10

Mueller Alfred & Anne Ill. $10

Blake Andrew n/a $20

Reninger Illeen Va. $50
Ms. Reninger is the author of some religious books
She also seems to have some Political/Religious Opinions

Schneck Michael & Natalie Calif. $10

Manoochia Robert & Susanne Maine $10

Kearns Sharon Conn. $25

Brusven Larry & Shirley N.D. $200

Lanyon James Conn. $10

Belby Sean Ind. $10
Frassati Society of Young Catholics

Kubeck George Calif. $10

Otis John Texas $10

Hill Eric & Monica Calif. $20

Bunn Robert Jr. & Virginia Mass. $250

Arellanes Maria-Teresa Ind. $10

Pereira Carlos Calif. $150

Rodriguez Jose & Mary Fla. $25

Bohlman Kelly & Michael Va. $10

Zink Raymond & Aleta N.D. $10

Fisher Steven & Sadie Ark. $10

Carmelite Monastery Colo. $50

Klimer Norbert Ala. $50

Sirhall Thomas & Sylvia Colo. $10

Puryear John & Mary Texas $100

Heilman Mark & Ann N.C. $10

Schroepfer Dennis & Lori Minn. $200

Furth Cindy N.Y. $20

Monday, April 10, 2006

Miss. Ban Dies, LA Questions Theirs

The Mississippi ban died in the legislature. Now Louisiana is questioning the point of such a ban being debated in their legislature. With larger problems in Louisiana to deal with and the reality that their ban would most likely go nowhere in the legal channels many are questioning it as a waste of time.

Task Force Chairwoman Speaks Out

Dr. Marty Allison give a scathing account of what really went on in the Task Force in the Capital Journal. Dr. Allison, who is pro-life describes many questionable actions, a clearly biased report that has no author, ommitted evidence and
a parade of misbehavior.

Pro-Life Groups Skeptical About Funding SD Abortion Ban

In a recent article pro-life website Lifenews stated that financial support for the South Dakota abortion ban is lacking. Funding for both the November ballot issue and the legal fund are just not there as local ban supporters had hoped.

From the Lifenews article:
"But spending on the South Dakota abortion ban may be limited because some pro-life groups are skeptical of the ban's prospects. Some pro-life groups either opposed or took no position on the abortion ban because they say it will only be struck down by the Supreme Court. And winning the vote only puts the abortion ban back in the courts where it was expected to go in the first place.

That kind of thinking, combined with the limited resources of pro-life groups, may prompt some organizations to keep their limited funds in reserve and focus instead on Congressional battles in other states."

Ban Petition Gains Steam

The petition to bring the abortion ban to a public vote has gained considerable steam. In the first two weeks they have collected 1/3 of the needed signatures and have 400 volunteers. The LA Times did an interesting piece on the petition.

In an interesting flip-side Lifesite, a pro-life website attempted to claim that the 400 volunteers were "paid for" by out of state groups. I guess they don't understand what a VOLUNTEER is.
We can tell you that this allegation is completely false. We have spoken to many of the volunteers and attended some of the volunteer meetings. They are NOT being paid for their work, they are all local people donating their time.

Gonna Cut PP Some Slack

PP over at Dakota War College posted a note in the previous posting today. He thinks his RSS feed was acting up and that now were feeding along with everyone else. Again, it IS his perogative who he feeds on his site. But we appreciate him checking it out.

Abortion Ban Legal Fund Donations Will Be Public Record

This just in from the Argus:

The Abortion Ban Legal Fund will be public record.
All donations will be public record.
This was determined after reviewing legal statues of the state.

Dakota War College Biased

We know PP at Dakota War College IS a Republican but he has been fairly balanced in allowing a varied range of views on the site via news feeds and referral links.

After we first allowed Lydia Underwood on our blog he became rather upset, claiming we were "anti-religious". That is hardly the case and we even pointed that out on their blog. Lydia seems to get her opinions straight out of the mouths of many of the prominent conservatives including many well known conservatives and local bloggers like Sibby.

Ironically comments from the very people he still supports (like Sibby) were the very thing that set him off and seems to have caused us to now be blacklisted from the War College site. While it is the blog owners perogative to choose what to post or allow it seems curious that comments and ideas from the very people he supports are the reason for his anger at us. We noticed that Sibby's insane rantings and unsubstantiated propagana along with SD right to life are still included so its not a desire to just step away from the issue all together.

How Appropriate

Driving down Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls, heading north near 33rd street there is a new billboard. The billboard is of a high heeled foot stomping on a nazi armband. The Sioux Empire Community Theatre is doing Cabaret in May. It seemed like such a fitting show to be doing with the current climate in South Dakota. This probably was not a direct reaction to recent legislative events though, since most theatres determine their shows far in advance for the season.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Chilling Look At What Could Be South Dakota's Future

Doug over at Dakota Today posted two very disturbing looks at what life is really like under a total abortion ban and what kind of societal criminal system it creates. Overlay the stories on South Dakota. Is this what people really want here?

The NYT article Pro-Life Nation by Jack Hitt
Read the entire article, there is no real great "sound bite" to post. The entire thing is a must read. It explains how they got there, the harsh rule of the conservatives in El Salvador and the horrible reality for women living there.

There was also a link to a radio cast and text titled "Forensic Vagina Specialist". This is not a joke, hype or otherwise. This is a real job in El Salvador where they prosecute women if they think they have had an abortion.
From the article
"What you find is a nation in a near-Handmaid's Tale dystopia where a mother of three is imprisoned for 30 years, where a woman must wait until her ectopic pregnancy bursts in her fallopian tubes to get surgery, where the mother of a pregnant woman can be prosecuted for giving aid and comfort to her daughter before, during or after an illegal abortion.

The title of this post? The folks who check vaginas for evidence of an abortion procedure. It's real."

Friday, April 07, 2006

Religious Coalition For Reproductive Choice Speaks Out

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in a recent press release:
From Rev. Carlton Veazey

A new poll from the Pew Research Center of the People and the Press confirms what the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice has long known: most of people of faith want abortion to be legal and available when needed. A broad ban like South Dakota's is unacceptable to Americans-including more than one third of evangelicals who are the most adamantly anti- abortion.

If you've been a clinic escort or attended a pro-choice rally, you also can confirm another finding of the poll: that those who oppose abortion are more vocal than the moderate majority. This is especially true of young people who have been a target of extremist political organizations. That is why RCRC works every day to amplify your pro-choice voice and values.

As the moral mainstream of America, we must make it clear that state abortion bans are wrong. Bans will not end abortion-but they will cause women to obtain illegal, possibly unsafe procedures. With your support, that message is being heard.

Pew Research Center Report

Freedom Of Choice Act In The Senate

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) issued a press release that she and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) have introduced this new act, Nadler has introduced companion legislation in the House.

Boxer said, “The Freedom of Choice Act says that we will not turn back the clock on the health and rights of women. And it says that we will take steps—as a Congress and as a country—to safeguard the dignity, privacy, and health of women now and for generations to come.”

The Freedom of Choice Act would ensure that women have the fundamental right to bear a child. It would guarantee the right to choose before fetal viability or, if necessary to protect a woman’s life or health, after viability.

NARAL has also produced a page with a sample form letter and links to find your congresspeople to voice your support for this legislation.

Harry Reid recently proposed legislation that would have assured access to contraception in the US.

More SD Healthy Families Local Meetings

Tuesday, April 11th; 6:30pm
Lewis and Clark Room
Best Western Ramkota
920 W Sioux Avenue

Wednesday, April 12th at 6:30pm
Meeting Room, Madison Public Library
209 E Center St

Thursday, April 13th; 6:30pm
Meeting Room, Yankton Community Library
515 Walnut St

Friday, April 14th; 5:00pm
Hudon Hall
222 W Hudson St.

There is also info about where to pick up petitions or walk in to sign one.

Senate May See Prevention First Act Soon

Senator Harry Reid is sponsoring the Prevention First Act, Reid considers himself "anti-abortion".

The bill would prohibit group health plans from excluding contraceptive drugs, devices and outpatient services if they cover the cost of other prescription drugs and outpatient services. It would also require the secretary of health and human services to disseminate information on emergency contraception to healthcare providers and require hospitals receiving federal money to provide emergency contraception to victims of sexual assault.

The bill would also mandate that federally funded programs provide information about contraceptives that is medically accurate and includes data on health benefits and failure rates.

A Democratic leadership aide said that, while only a slim majority of voters favor abortion rights, an overwhelming majority support promoting the use of contraceptives and comprehensive sex education. Celinda Lake, a pollster with Lake Snell Perry Mermin and Associates said "It’s 3-to-1 in favor of it. Even pro-life voters support it,” Lake said. “It has the potential to be both a wedge and a turnout issue post-Alito. It shows how extreme a faction [within] the Republican Party is. “Lazy Democratic women who are very pro-choice are very concerned about the combination of Alito and South Dakota.”

Her polling last month in upstate New York, which has a heavy concentration of Republicans and socially conservative voters compared to the southern part of the state, showed that nearly 80 percent of voters supported comprehensive sex education, even when compared to programs emphasizing abstinence as the only truly effective form of birth control, Lake said.

Read the entire article at The Hill.

Our Guest Speaker For The Right, Lydia Underwood

Contraception And Sex-Ed

By Lydia Underwood

Nothing about contraception should be taught in schools. There is no question that it will encourage sexual activity. Frankly, the facts of life can be told in 15 minutes. I believe that the use of contraception is wrong, because that is what our Church teaches, and America should function as a Christian nation. The connection between contraception and abortion is primarily this: contraception facilitates the kind of relationship and even the kind of attitudes and moral characters that are likely to lead to abortion. I think this is teaching irresponsibility by passing out pills, powders and potions. The Comprehensive Sex radicals and their so-called sexual rights think your kids should know about sex, they make that up, just like they made up the reproductive rights myth. Sex is illegal and those kids should be properly punished. I personally object to vaccinating children against a disease that is 100 percent preventable with proper sexual behavior, if they ignore this they can just get cancer. We should be teaching students that touching another person's genitals "can result in pregnancy," that there's no such thing as 'safe' or 'safer' sex" and that loneliness, embarrassment, substance abuse and personal disappointment "can be eliminated by being abstinent until marriage. Sex education classes are like in-home sales parties for abortions. It’s very healthy for a young girl to be deterred from promiscuity by fear of contracting a painful, incurable disease, or cervical cancer, or sterility, or the likelihood of giving birth to a dead, blind, or brain-damaged baby (even 10 years later when she may be happily married). We should be demanding sexual purity of every female, after all, if you hate sexual purity so much, you should be proud of being a promiscuous slut, right? But the best "contraception" only costs a quarter. Stick in between your knees and keep it there. Well, I have to cut this short, my William needs to set up the new web cam some nice gentlemen he met online sent him to help him with his homework. Until next week Praise Jesus!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Illegal Abortion Increases Abortion Rate

Ruth Wood at the Aberdeen American News did some investigating that our legislature didn't bother to do in their lawmaking efforts. She points out the math of legal vs. illegal abortion. The abortion rate actually goes up in countries where it is illegal. Now you have an increased abortion rate AND more unsafe potentially deadly procedures.

From the Aberdeen American News:
From these statistics that are most often quoted on both pro-life and pro-choice Web sites, we find that the rate of abortions is actually higher in countries where abortion is illegal.

What is the correct question? Will this legislation passed by the South Dakota Legislature decrease abortions?

If we are to believe these statistics often quoted by the pro-life side, the answer is no. I don't know how accurate these statistics are, but since they are quoted by the pro-life people and were actually compiled by Alan Guttmacher from the research arm of Planned Parenthood, I will assume they are credible.

This seems to be the only point of agreement between the two sides. I cannot understand why no one stopped to do the math. To pass a law that (by statistics) would increase the number of abortions is not an event to be celebrated.

Read the entire story.

Is The SD Law Violating UN Crimes Against Humanity?

Could the SD abortion ban be in violation of UN Crimes Against Humanity? If you look at the view of the situation from the view of an outsider, consider the ongoing holy/cultural war that has been going on for years in the US. If you consider this to be an internal conflict that has yet to go "hot" as in becoming actively violent (its been low level violent for years) and armed conflict it might. We have no clause allowing abortion in the instance of rape. Could the combination of the extreme ban and the holy/culture war being waged be seen as forced pregnancy against other religious groups or cultural/race groups that don't hold the anti-reproductive freedom view that a handfull of fundamentalists do? Its interesting food for thought.

The court’s statutes treat as a crime against humanity acts of rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity, whether during war or peace, if of a widespread or systematic nature. These same acts of sexual violence also may constitute a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions if committed during an international conflict or a serious violation of Common Article 3 if committed during an internal conflict.

Article 7
Crimes against humanity

1. For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;

Read more about forced pregnancy in the Bosnian war.

SD Law Anti-Semitic?

Media Girl's blog points out a rather disturbing point about the new SD law.

From Media Girl:
" Why Does the South Dakota Legislature Hate Jews?

...The South Dakota forced childbirth law that means a Jewish woman (even one just passing through who needed medical care) would have to violate Jewish religious law.

Regarding abortion, there is no debate in Jewish law whatsoever on one point: if carrying a pregnancy to term would harm the physical welfare–not the life, the welfare–of the mother, or her ability to bear future children, the fetus is termed a "pursuer" (rodef). In other words, if a pregnancy were carried to term and would cause long-term damage to the woman, the fetus is the moral equivalent of a criminal chasing after her with the intent to do harm. It is not a blessed little 'snowflake.' Under these circumstances, the moral option is to terminate the pregnancy.... "

Read the entire article on Media Girl

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

USD Petition Meeting Thursday

Just got this in:

Thursday, April 6th; 6:30pm
Frankenfeld A, Coyote Student Center
University of South Dakota Vermillion

Planned Parenthood is working with the South Dakota Coalition for Healthy Families to gather 16,782 signatures and let South Dakota citizens vote their values. If you can help, please attend a meeting your area. There were also meetings in Watertown, Aberdeen, Brookings earlier in the week. We did not get notice or we would have advance posted those also.

Gov. Rounds Declares State Position on Pro Life

Robbinsdale Radical posted this morning a letter they received from Gov. Rounds that is quite insulting and claims the state position is "pro life". Now we have a state declaration? Does that mean we now are all default "pro life" because of our residency? The letter gets better yet as he tries to ramble through a poorly thought out comparision of constitutional law. Mikey needs to go back to selling insurance.

We all received this same form letter, even though we checked the box on the contact for that said we didn't require a reply. We have all sent Mikey our thoughts on his declaration and claims that South Dakota does so much for the women of South Dakota. Please read our post yesterday about the costs of childbirth and how little the state does to help. If you want to give Mikey a piece of your mind here's how to contact him.

Were so glad Mikey made this state decision for us that we are now pro life, maybe he will tell us what church we must switch to. But we will still defer to Bill Napoli on salad dressing choices.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Dems Rise To The Occasion

After this last legislative session left many people angry or just plain scratching their heads the Dems claimed they would actively do something about the republican insanity going on in Pierre.
It appears that they have taken the first step to do so. They have fielded candidates for 94 seats, a 14 year high. So it looks like the voters will have some options for change in November.

From the article:
Olson Duhamel pointed to several factors that contributed to the high turnout of Democratic candidates.

“Overall, there’s a general sense that this abusive, one-party rule in Pierre is not serving the interests of the people,” said Olson Duhamel. “Instead of focusing on common sense challenges, they concentrated their energy on sex legislation and fringe issues.”

Olson Duhamel continued. “South Dakotans are hungry for leadership. Democrats are promising a return to the meat and potatoes values of a good education for our kids, quality and affordable health care, economic development for our farmers and rural areas, better jobs and wages, and open and accountable government.”

Clergy, Religion And Pro Choice

"In the late 1960's, some 2,000 ministers and rabbis across the country banded together to give women information about abortion providers and to lobby for the repeal of anti-abortion laws."

""The clergy could open that door because the clergy had a certain moral authority," said Mr. Davis, who is chairman of Planned Parenthood's clergy advisory board but whose book is not sponsored by the group. "They balanced the moral authority of the critics."

The Rev. W. Stewart MacColl told the audience how a Presbyterian church in Houston that he had led and several others had worked with Planned Parenthood to start a family planning center. Protesters visited his church. Yet his 900 parishioners drove through picket lines every week to attend services. One Sunday, he and his wife, Jane, took refreshments to the protesters out of respect for their understanding of faith, he said."

Read the entire NY Times article here

NNAF Pledges to Ensure Right to Abortion for Women in South Dakota

The National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), an association of grassroots groups that raises funding for low-income women seeking abortions, announced the launch of the National Reproductive Justice Fund to help low-income women affected by the South Dakota and other state abortion bans. “We will not allow politicians in South Dakota to deny women the right to make decisions about their lives and their futures,” said NNAF Executive Director Stephanie Poggi. “Our new national fund will ensure that women have the resources and help they need to obtain abortions – no matter what the South Dakota legislature does.”

“Poor women, who already struggle to raise the money needed for abortion services, will now have to work harder than ever to raise money to travel out of state for an abortion,” noted NNAF’s Poggi.

Busy Day On The Blogs

Proud Liberal posted an interesting incident of a well known conservative radio hosts opinion of women and rape.

SD Progressive has some notes on a story that seems to be gaining momentum all over. The SD legislature robbed the Railroad Trust Fund to balance the budget. This is looking to have some severe impacts on the state ethanol industry.

Moderates From South Dakota posted a very interesting bit about the problems the harsh SD abortion ban is having within the "pro life" movement. Even the "pro life" groups and well known conservatives are worried the large rift may tear the movement apart.