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.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Abstinence Only Aids Head Resigns Amid Prostitution Scandal

Bush Administration Deputy Sec. of State Randall Tobias and head of AIDS programs in Africa administration has resigned after his name appeared on the phone logs in the DC prostitution scandal. Tobias was a pusher of abstinence-only programs in Africa that excluded condom use and derided sex wiorkers.

Tobias admitted using the escort service for massages and not for sex. Yea. Right. A $350 an hour prostitute rather than a $60 an hour certified massage therapist? His lie, he can tell it how he wants. This does sound a bit like Ted Haggard's claims that he only used a gay prostitute for massage.

Tobias also used to be the CEO of Eli-Lilly. He supported the Abstinence-only no condoms programs but at the same time was working hard to undermine attempts to establish generic versions of extremely expensive AIDS drugs. Tobias worked to put more people at risk of AIDS while assuring big profits for US drug companies when they fell ill.

Of course Tobias would see this as logical. His abstinence-only programs DOUBLED the AIDS infection rate in Uganda on his watch. Both the religious right and big pharma should be pleased.

"There's no evidence in generalized populations that a broad-based use of condoms as the backbone of prevention efforts has worked," Mr. Tobias said in a March 10 interview"

Leslee Unruh is a big fan of Tobias, read about her support of him here, here and here.
Of course Unruh is a big supporter of Tobias, he held the checkbook to potentially write big checks for her Abstinence Africa program that has helped create the disaster in Uganda.
Between the recent news that:
Abstinence-only clearly does not work.
Information on condoms used as the cornerstone for abstinence-only programs is outdated and incorrect. Actual statistics for condom use are far better than they are stating.
Now the head of the programs she saw as her cash cow to profit and punishment has fallen.

Clearly if the head promoter of abstinence-only can't keep it in his pants maybe it is time to admit the programs are a waste of money.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Solution To An Out Of Control SCOTUS

Even others on the high court find the recent ruling on late term abortion procedures bizzare and at odds with a number of constitutional rights and previous rulings. The radical right has been trying for years to establish a rubber stamp for their unconstitutional policies rather than an unbiased interpretation of the constitution.

There is a remedy and it has been discussed by many groups in the past.

Impeach the judges that are repeatedly acting in their own interests rather than upholding the constitution.

It would require a largely signed petition of the public to demand that Congress take up impeachment. There would also need to be a 2/3 majority in the Senate for this to pass. It may not be possible today but with another swing in the membership of Congress and the White House it could be possible.

Hunt Goes To Court Monday

Just a reminder. Roger "orange jumpsuit" Hunt goes to his first court hearing Monday at 1:30 at the Minnehaha County Courthouse. He will be asked to explain his laundering of $750,000 of illegal campaign contributions for Leslee Unruh's anti-abortion group.

A Response To The Scotus Decision

This is long and a cut and paste but these two commentaries say it better than we ever could.

By Wiscmass

"As a young child -- I guess I was about 3 years old, given that my youngest sister is two years younger than me -- my mother had a late-term abortion. Now, to be fair, I don't know if she had a D&E or some other procedure -- it's a very painful memory for her, understandably, and I'm not going to ask her about it. But the circumstances were as follow:

The baby was sick. I don't know exactly what was wrong, but the doctors told my parents that there was only about a 50/50 chance the baby would survive to term. They also said the chances my mother would survive childbirth -- I'm one of four kids, and apparently the only one whose labor was relatively easy -- were only infinitesimally better than the probability of finding the missing WMD in Iraq. Even if my parents didn't have four children aged five or younger at the time, the decision to have an abortion would have been a no-brainer -- as painful a decision as it was, my mother's life and health were, are, and forever will be far more important than the potential for the life and health of another human being not even born yet.

And so my mother had a late-term abortion that saved her life.

I love my sisters, now aged 30, 27, and 26. They are my favorite people in the world and there is nothing I wouldn't do for them. Our other sibling, the one who might have been born, would now be 25 had s/he survived, and given the nature of my relationship with my sisters, I have no doubt I would have had a similar dynamic with my little brother or sister. But we would have grown up without our mother, and our father would have had to take care of us without his wife. Our lives would have been very different in so many ways I cannot count, none of them good.

Republicans like to talk about abortion as a right-to-life issue and as a family values issue. What of my mother's right not to die for the sake of a child that might not survive? What of the right of my father not to sacrifice his wife to the private religious agenda of male politicians in Washington? What of the right of my sisters and I to grow up with our mother? What of the right of God-only-knows how many other families not to be devastated by the unnecessary death of a loved one? What of the family value of not depriving children of their mother? What of the horrific long-term effects of such losses, not just on the family but on society as a whole?

I thank God every day that my parents had the good sense to do what was medically necessary to save Mom's life, and that Mom's doctors were capable of performing the necessary procedure. I mourn for all the families who will lose their mothers, sisters, daughters, and partners because of this insanity."

And this past testimony on the issue.

MRS. LINE: My name is Mary Dorothy Line. My husband,
Bill, and I are honored to be here today to speak for the many women
and families who have also come forward to tell their stories in
opposition to this terrible legislation.

Last April we were overjoyed to find out that I was
pregnant with our first child. Nineteen weeks into my pregnancy, an
ultrasound indicated that there was something wrong with our baby.
The doctor diagnosed a condition called hydrocephalus. Every
person's head contains fluid to protect and cushion the brain. But
if there is too much fluid, the brain cannot develop.

As practicing Catholics, when we have problems and
worries, we turn to prayer. As we waited to find our more from the
doctors, our whole family prayed together. My husband and I were
very scared, but we are strong people and believe that God would not
give us a problem if we couldn't handle it. This was our baby.
Everything would be fine. We never thought about abortion.

But the diagnosis was as bad as it could be. Our little
boy had a very advanced textbook case of hydrocephaly. All the
doctors told us there was no hope. We asked about in utero surgery,
about shunts to remove the fluid, but there was absolutely nothing we
could do. I cannot express the pain we still feel. This was our

precious little baby, and he was being taken from us before we even
had him.

This was not our choice, for not only was our son going
to die, but the complications of the pregnancy put my health in
danger, as well. If I carried to term, he might die in utero, and
the resulting toxins could cause a hemorrhage and possibly a
hysterectomy. The hydrocephaly also meant that a natural labor
risked rupturing my cervix and my uterus.

Several specialists recommended that we terminate the
pregnancy. I thank God every day that I had this safe medical option
available to me, especially now that I am pregnant again and
expecting a baby in September.

I pray every day, I really do, that this will never
happen to anyone else. But it will. Those of us unfortunate enough
to have to live this nightmare need a procedure that will give us
hope for the future.

And I thank God for President Clinton; we all do here.
the people who promoted this bill do not understand the real issues,
but he does. It is about women's health, it's not about abortion,
and certainly not choice. These decisions belong to families and
their doctors, not the government. President Clinton listened to us
and protected families like ours by vetoing legislation that would
hurt so many people.

Thank you, Mr. President.


I'd like to ask Coreen Costello to come up and speak a
little bit about her experience.

MRS. COSTELLO: My name is Coreen Costello, as you
heard. I found out when I was seven months pregnant that my daughter
was dying. She was dying inside my womb. The complications that she
had posed severe health risks to me. One of the conditions she had
was polyhydramnia, where the amniotic fluid puddles into the uterus.

I had over nine pounds of excess amniotic fluid. My
daughter's body was rigid and it was stuck in a position that was as
if she was doing a swan dive inside my womb. Her head and -- the
back of her feet were touching the back of her head at the top my
uterus. There was no way to deliver her.

My husband and I have always been extremely opposed to
abortion. We consider ourselves very, very much pro-life,
conservative Republicans. For us, terminating this pregnancy was not
an option. For three weeks we attempted to turn my daughter so that
I could deliver her vaginally and naturally. We had one hope, and
that was that we would be able to hold our daughter alive for
possibly an hour, maybe two.

Over the three weeks that we carried her we realized
that that was not a possibility. She was dying and she would likely
not survive any labor and there was no way I could deliver her. We
had her baptized in utero. We named her Katherine Grace. We then
realized that our only safe option was the procedure that is being
outlawed -- is being attempted to be outlawed.

I am so grateful because today I am standing here before
you pregnant again with a healthy child. I have two children. I
have my health. I don't know how to tell you how important that is.
This was such a tragedy, such a personal family tragedy. Our
daughter will always be a part of our lives. There will always be
someone missing in our family, and that's Katherine Grace. But I am
so grateful for the ability to be able to go on and enjoy the two
children that I do have, to be with my husband, to be with my family,
and to be here today.

And that's what this is about. This is not about
choice. We made a very different choice than what we ended up having
to have. This is not about abortion, and it's not about choice.
It's a medical issue. And I am so grateful for President Clinton and
his ability to hear our stories, because we have been telling them
for a long time and a lot of people haven't listened. But this is
the truth, and this is what happened to us. And as painful as it is,
we are all here to share that with you.

Thank you.


I would also like to thank Jim and their children, and

Would you tell them what you told me in the office? Can
you do it? This is Tammy Watts.

MRS. WATTS: Hi, my name is Tammy Watts. I live in
Tempe, Arizona. I simply told our dear President that my story is
not so different from everyone else's. I have the heartache, I have
the same tragic story. I have the loss in my heart, as does my
husband and the rest of my family and friends.

The fact is this: I would have given my life and traded
placed with my daughter, Mackenzie. And in fact, with my pastor,
that is exactly what I prayed for for the three days we tried
desperately to find something that could cure her. You simply look
for a magic wand and it's not there.

I am so thankful to our doctors, who were able to
perform this very safe medical procedure, save our health, save our
families. And I am particularly thankful to our President, without
whom we would not be here. And he is a true blessing in all of our

Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mitchell -- and those are the
prints of your baby, right?

MS. WATTS: Yes, this is my daughter Mackenzie's
handprints and footprints. This is something that is very special to
us, and is something that we would not have if we did not have this
very safe procedure.

THE PRESIDENT: Vikki, do you want to say anything?

MRS. STELLA: My name is Vikki Stella, and I'm from
Chicago, Illinois. My story is basically the same thing. We're like
a family now. And at 32 weeks I found out that my son wasn't growing
properly, and when everything was all done and said and the
ultrasounds were in and I had the answer, I found out my son had nine
major anomalies, one including no brain. It did not show up on the
amnio because it was a closed neural tube defect, so those things
don't show up. That's for genetic research.

And I miss my son. But the one part I want to stress is
I needed this for health reasons. I'm a diabetic. Other procedures
would not have been what I needed. I don't heal as well as other
people, so other procedures just were not the answer. I could have
gone on and maybe tried to give birth to a child that would not live.

I didn't make the decision for my child to die; God made
the decision for my child to die. I had to make the decision to take
him off life support.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. And you have a baby here.

MRS. STELLA: Yes, I have a little boy here.

THE PRESIDENT: You have a three-month-old little boy

MRS. STELLA: Nicholas.

THE PRESIDENT: Claudia, would you like to talk?

MRS. ADES: Much like everyone else -- we've all had
similar circumstances -- I was six months pregnant, 26 weeks into my
pregnancy and happier than I had ever been in my entire life when, in
a routine ultrasound, we found out that there was something terribly
wrong with our son. He had fluid in his brain that was keeping his
brain from developing. He had a hole in his heart, a hole between
the chambers of his heart so that there was no normal blood flow.

He had -- I won't go on with the details, but horrible,
horrible anomalies, and he stood no chance of survival. It was
something -- it was a chromosomal abnormality, called Trisomy-13. It
was actually the same condition that Tammy Watts's baby had.

Again, like everyone else, we begged for a cardiologist
or a neurosurgeon or someone that could fix my baby's brain or the
hole in his heart. And when we got the news -- I say this for the
people that say that we don't care and for the people who say we
don't want our children, and for the people that say we have no
spirit or no soul or no religion.

My husband and I are Jewish and we got the news on Rosh
Hashana. And when we finally had the procedure, the third day of
this grueling procedure, it was Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the
Jewish year. And Yom Kippur is the day that you mourn those that
have passed, and it's the day that you pray that God will inscribe
them in the Book of Life.

We'll forever, and for the past four years and forever
we will mourn our son. We are very -- since that pregnancy,
unfortunately lost five more, but we are very blessed that in July
we're going to adopt a baby and we're going to be parents, and we're
going to have the child we so desperately wanted.

And we are all here, my husband, myself and all of the
other people standing behind me, we are all here as we have been for
months, fighting in Congress. I just actually came back with Mary
Dorothy from Sacramento, where we were testifying, where it is now in
the State of California. And we are all here for the women that
follow us, because all women deserve the finest medical care that
exists. And we are the blessed ones and we want that for them.

Link to the text.

A World After Banning Late Term Abortion

Many anti-choice fanatics long to ban all late term abortions even if the fetus is not viable or the women's health is at great risk. But if that were the reality many women would end up dying, being permanently damaged and it raises the question of what do we then do with the progeny of these pregnancies gone wrong.

This diary post tells exactly what will happen if late term abortions are fully banned. Before Roe was law pregnancies gone horribly wrong were required to be taken to term or the fetus or mother died. So what happened to these horribly disfigured fetuses, the ones that actually survived outside the womb? They were mostly abandoned to the state that then warehoused them in state hospitals.

Some quotes from the diary:

"I also learned the how and why many people get into thinking the preservation of these babies is a form of sainthood. I think that as usual, these decisions are being made without considering all the unintended consequences."

"There are children born who had some inutero problem that stopped their evolutionary process. They can be born looking like a fish or pig. I was told in the old days, they were deliberately suffocated. I would consider this humane. Otherwise, some take years to die."

"One of the patient's I had that I can never forget was a boy baby(I use this term generously) whose body was about 15 inches and head was about 24 inches in diameter not circumference. He was about two. They said he had an IQ of 2. He did not swallow correctly enough to take a bottle. His parents refused a feeding tube so he was kept alive by holding his nose which made him open his mouth and a special pablum was inserted with an eyedropper. This took place for three minutes every hour."

"I saw children born without legs or arms and a teenager whoses head was as big as a bushel basket. They could no longer get him up because his neck would break from the weight of his head. I can't imagine dooming a child to a life time of pain and suffering. I could except it if a child has a mentality to reach out to people and get love from those people. But these children just were not there. It is just not moral. I just wonder how many people know these hospitals and centers exsist. I also wonder if the supremes need to make a visit."

There is a large level of ignorance and wishful thinking of people who think they are solving some great moral dilemma by attempting to ban late term abortion without fully understanding how totally bizzare deformity can be. These are not simple deformities that make life hard for someone but things that would make most people seriously reconsider their stance on the issue. Babies born without brains. Maybe the lucky ones with such severe deformities die as this comment mentioned.

"I worked in a newborn nursery. I've seen some of the babies of which you speak. We had one born without much of a head. It's facial features were sorta embedded in the lump on its shoulders. Those poor parents. That sweet infant died, mercifully."

Today, if the culture warriors get their way and ban abortion on a larger scale who will care for the result of their actions. How many of the anti-abortion protestors are going to set up, run and staff hospital warehousing facilities we don't have them today for a reason.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Leslee Unruh Parody?

Well maybe just a general parody of the religious right and their obsession to make people feel guilty about sex and their sexuality.

Don't Tell My Parents, a project from the Volunteers of America has a spot airing on cable and local TV called Dr. Righteouson. It parodys the anti-sex education purposeful misinformation the religious right dumps on our kids. It makes one wonder if it is a direct swipe at Abstinence Clearinghouse and Truth4Youth. Both groups actively push misinformation and guilt at presentations allowed in the public schools.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Marriage Amendment Law Causes Womans Murder

Alicia Sears is dead, murdered by her ex-boyfriend. Alicia was denied access to the normal domestic violence protections due to the Defence of Marriage law in Ohio where she lived.

We said this would happen. These marriage amendements, like the one enacted in South Dakota strip the domestic violence protection rights of non-married women who face abuse or death at the hands of boyfriends or those they live with. It can and will happen here.

Via. Kos.

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