It’s called a “wrongful birth” bill and it’s all about preventing women from having an abortion, even if it kills them. The Arizona Senate passed a bill this week that gives doctors a free pass to not inform pregnant women of prenatal problems because such information could lead to an abortion.
In other words, doctors can intentionally keep critical health information from pregnant women and can’t be sued for it. According to the Arizona Capitol Times, “the bill’s sponsor is Republican Nancy Barto of Phoenix. She says allowing the medical malpractice lawsuits endorses the idea that if a child is born with a disability, someone is to blame.” So Republicans are banning lawsuits against doctors who keep information from pregnant women so as to prevent them from choosing to have an abortion.
I may actually throw up. This is how little a woman’s life is worth to the GOP.
“For Real, Dude?” A woman stares down a Virginia state policeman during a peaceful International Women’s Day demonstration. Photo: Style Weekly/Buzzfeed
This week in Occupy, International Women’s Day was #occupied, the bill for NYPD misbehavior came due, the CEO of B of A was mic-checked and New York City lined up for unemployment on Super Tuesday.
On March 8, International Women’s Day, more than a thousand demonstrators gathered at the Virginia State Capitol to protest a new amendment that passed the Virginia House requiring women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. 31 people were arrested by the State Police Tactical Team, which arrived fully armed and brandishing plastic shields at the behest of Governor Bob McDonnell.
Also on that day, CODEPINK protesters wearing superhero costumes rallied outside a Beverly Hills Bank of America branch in support of women and families who have lost their homes due to bank foreclosures. CODEPINK activists in New York, joined by members of the Church of Stop Shopping, protested inside a Bank of America branch near Zuccotti Park.
On Nov. 17, Kira Moyer-Sims was near the Manhattan Bridge, buying coffee while three friends waited nearby in a car. More than a dozen blocks away, protesters gathered for an Occupy Wall Street “day of action,” which organizers had described as an attempt to block the streets around the New York Stock Exchange.
Then, Ms. Moyer-Sims said, about 30 police officers surrounded her and the people in the car.
All four were arrested, said Vik Pawar, a lawyer for Ms. Moyer-Sims and two of the others, and taken to a police facility in the East Village. He said officers strip-searched them and ignored their requests for a lawyer. The fourth person could not be reached for comment.
Ms. Moyer-Sims, 20, said members of the Police Department’s intelligence division asked about her personal history, her relationship with other protesters, the nature of Occupy Wall Street and plans for upcoming protests.
“I felt like I had been arrested for a thought crime,” she said.
Mr. Pawar said that the police had charged his three clients, Ms. Moyer-Sims, Angela Richino and Matthew Vrvilo, with obstructing governmental administration, but that the Manhattan district attorney’s office had declined to prosecute them.
Now they are preparing to sue the city, Mr. Pawar said, adding that the arrests had violated their constitutional rights.
“Not only are the police disrupting people’s rights to free expression,” Mr. Pawar said. “They are taking pre-emptive steps by arresting people who might be just thinking about exercising their rights.”
A new bill, HR 347, the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011, also known as the “Trespassing Bill,” is soon to be signed into law by President Obama. This bill effectively criminalizes protest and will hurt protest groups and movements such as Occupy quite hard.
A conversation about marriage (with some classmates)
Classmate #1:Like, I'm okay with gay people wanting to be with each other. But marriage should be between a guy and a girl.
Classmate #2:I don't even want to see it. Like, it's nasty.
Me:Oh my god! I know! My neighbor was talking about how he and his Jewish girlfriend wanna get married and I was like "Why should you two be allowed to get married?" in my head. I mean, why would they think it was okay for a Christian and a Jew to get married. Disgusting.
Me:And let me tell you about this other couple I saw making out at the mall. It was nasty. The boy was white and the girl was black. Can you believe that? Two people of different races being together? That's just wrong.
Classmate #2:What the hell is wrong with you? So what if they want to be together?
Classmate #1:Yeah, there isn't anything wrong with it.
Me:Are you kidding me? It's completely wrong.There is only one kind of marriage that is okay. And that is between a man and a woman of the same race, religious background, with the same income level and from the same place. We wouldn't want kids to think that diversity is okay. God wouldn't appreciate these people ruining the sanctity of marriage.
Classmate #1:Why are you even in this conversation? God loves everyone.
Me:What? So you're telling me that God doesn't care who you marry, because he loves everyone?
Me:Does he love animals, too?
Classmate #1:He loves human and animals and living creatures all around.
Me:Whoa. That just blew my mind. Well it is a good thing that gay people can't get married then. Because everyone knows that gay people aren't human, or living for that matter. Haha.
In a significant decision, the Punjab and Haryana High Court last week ruled that the right to abort a pregnancy in a marriage rests with the wife and not husband.
“A woman is not a machine in which raw material is put and a finished product comes out. She should be mentally prepared to conceive, continue the same and give birth to a child. The unwanted pregnancy would naturally affect the mental health of the pregnant woman…” said the court.
Stressing that marital intimacy between a couple does not automatically translate to the woman’s consent to child bearing, Justice Jitendra Chauhan said, “Mere consent to conjugal rights does not mean consent to give birth to a child for her husband.” Welcoming the judgement, Jagmati Sanwan, All India Democratic Women’s Association national vice-president said, “If the family conditions are unsuitable, no woman would like to give birth to a child because after all, she is the one who takes care of the children for all practical purposes. We see around us that fathers often desert their families after a couple of deliveries. But children become a part and parcel of the mother’s physical and emotional world. She invests much into their well being and she alone suffers. Hence, the rights of whether to give birth or not, should be with her.”
‘Early Friday, several websites owned and operated by the US government were defaced as part of latest protest against online censorship. Anonymous, the elusive hacktivist group known for masterminding similar assaults, is taking credit.’
The birth control skirmish is not the only regressive, anti-woman, anti-science battle being waged in this country.
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February 18, 2012 | It’s been an exhausting few weeks for reproductive rights supporters. Most recently, we’ve been treated to a new round of a battle over birth control, as the debate over whether employees at religiously affiliated institutions should be required to receive insurance that covers birth control without a co-payment — a right employees of all other U.S. companies will have under the Obama administration’s new healthcare law — rages on in Washington.
Many of us can’t believe we’re having a conversation, let alone a full-blown debate, about this issue in the year 2012, but here we are, watching women get shut out of this week’s hearing on the subject, listening to men wax poetic about the “good old days” when low-cost birth control meant holding an aspirin between one’s knees and enduring childish rants from a cabal of overly powerful Catholic bishops who, in the astute words of Jon Stewart, have “confused the war on…religion with not always getting everything [they] want.”
“We are forever told: “stay in your place, and do what the rich white folks tell you, and you won’t be hurt.” We are being hurt every day with unemployment, poverty, prison, police brutality, poisonous drugs, racist judges and politicians, corrupt businessmen, and so many other things. The question is when will we fight back, and hurl this capitalist system itself into the grave?”—Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin (via pieceinthepuzzlehumanity)
Hungary has taken a bold stand against biotech giant Monsanto and genetic modification by destroying 1000 acres of maize found to have been grown with genetically modified seeds, according to Hungary deputy state secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development Lajos Bognar. Unlike many European Union countries, Hungary is a nation where genetically modified (GM) seeds are banned. In a similar stance against GM ingredients, Peru has also passed a 10 year ban on GM foods.
“One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”—George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia, Ch. V (via theyoungradical)
It has been all over the news time after time, you all know, you have no excuses. If you’re going to show fawning support for labor and human rights abuses you will get the amount of respect that deserves.
Banned 500 Years of Chicano History offered free to AZ students by ABQ publisher
500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, edited by Elizabeth Martinez and published by the SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP), is included in a set of primarily Chicano and Native American books that have been banned by the Tucson Independent School District. The school district says it’s not a ban, but the books were removed from classrooms after the Mexican-American Studies program was eliminated, and teachers in that program have been instructed to not teach these books through the lens of ethnic studies. To us, this is a ban.
The SouthWest Organizing Project, in response to the current ban and the overall climate of fear and scapegoating of people of color in Arizona, is offering the book at a 50% discount to Arizona residents, and will give it for FREE to any Arizona Student who requests the book by sending a letter describing why they think the teaching of Chicano and Native American history accurately to young people is essential. Many Arizona students have already shown their disapproval of the ban, as hundreds walked out of class and marched on the Tuscon Unified School District’s headquarters earlier this week.
Gary Friedrich, the creator of Marvel Comics’ demonic motorcyclist Ghost Rider, has been ordered by a judge to renounce his creator credit and pay $17,000 in damages to his former employer following a court battle that began in 2007 disputing legal ownership of the character. The news comes…
The toll of tar sands development has been largely hidden hundreds of miles to the North. Canadian forests once provided the last undisturbed refuge in North America for migrating songbirds, ducks and geese, and the vast stretches of wilderness in northern Alberta have been ideal for wild wolves and caribou that have thrived in balance with nations of native Canadians for countless generations. But that was all before oil companies moved in and took control of the Albertan government.
Alberta’s carefully constructed web of secrecy was pierced this week by news that Canada is planning to poison thousands of wolves in a desperate effort to save caribou decimated by oil development. Recent scientific studies have proved that Canada’s Woodland caribou herds are heading toward extinction due to habitat destruction from tar sands and other oil development.
I feel like I should put in an opinion here, but I really don’t know what to say. What should be done [or should have been done] to save the decimating caribou population? Do you agree with the Canadian Government’s decision to poison the wolves?
I think we don’t need oil, especially of such poor quality. We should have already moved away from it. I don’t agree with the stupid idea of decimating one species in hopes to save another that prior species poses no threat to naturally. Oil companies destroy the earth and life on it. Passing the buck to the wolves wont change that fact.
Seriously?!?!?! You have nothing better to do with your time and positions? How it is not clear to most citizens that Republicans care nothing - ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! - about average citizens, I just don’t get.
Rhode Island Cranston High School West student Jessica Ahlquist successfully sued her school to have a Christian prayer mural removed from the state-funded public establishment. Her argument, a textbook case of separation of church and state, was sufficient to win U.S. District Court Judge Ronald R. Lagueux over, who praised her for her courage in his decision:
“The Court refrains from second-guessing the expressed motives of the Committee members, but nonetheless must point out that tradition is a murky and dangerous bog. While all agree that some traditions should be honored, others must be put to rest as our national values and notions of tolerance and diversity evolve. At any rate, no amount of history and tradition can cure a constitutional infraction. The Court concludes that Cranston’s purposes in installing and, more recently, voting to retain the Prayer Mural are not clearly secular.”
Jessica Ahlquist may have won her legal battle to remove an unconstitutional prayer banner from her public school, but that doesn’t mean she can finally resume her everyday life. No, now she’s receiving horrible comments from fellow classmates, community members, and other angry Christians who are very, very offended that their religion no longer has the special status to be forced upon others:
“May that little, evil athiest teenage girl and that judge BURN IN HELL!” “yeah, well i want the immediate removal of all atheists from the school, how about that?” “Jessica Ahlquist may have won her case, but she’s going straight to hell. #Godovereverything” “I hope there’s lots of banners in hell when your rotting in there you atheist fuck #TeamJesus” “If this banner comes down, hell i hope the school burns down with it!” “U little brainless idiot, hope u will be punished, you have not win sh..t! Stupid little brainless skunk!” “Fuck Jessica alquist I’ll drop anchor on her face” “definetly laying it down on this athiest tommorow anyone else?” “Nothing bad better happen tomorrow #justsaying #fridaythe13th” “Let’s all jump that girl who did the banner #fuckthatho” “literally that bitch is insane. and the best part is she already transferred schools because shes knows someone will jump her #ahaha” “”But for real somebody should jump this girl” lmao let’s do it!” “Hmm jess is in my bio class, she’s gonna get some shit thrown at her” “hail Mary full of grace @jessicaahlquist is gonna get punched in the face” “When I take over the world I’m going to do a holocaust to all the atheists” “gods going to fuck your ass with that banner you scumbag” “if I wasn’t 18 and wouldn’t go to jail I’d beat the shit out of her idk how she got away with not getting beat up yet” “nail her to a cross” “We can make so many jokes about this dumb bitch, but who cares #thatbitchisgointohell and Satan is gonna rape her.”
Those comments are all verbatim, taken from Facebook, Twitter and comments threads. For the record, police are taking them very seriously. At least one student has been disciplined, and all of the students making threats are under investigation.
Alas, for the ignorance of the human mind, which can see a right in an imposition. Or is it not the most brutal imposition for one set of people to make laws that another set is coerced by force to obey? Yet woman clamors for that “golden opportunity” that has wrought so much misery in the world, and robbed man of his integrity and self-reliance; an imposition which has thoroughly corrupted the people, and made them absolute prey in the hands of unscrupulous politicians.
The poor, stupid, free American citizen! Free to starve, free to tramp the highways of this great country, he enjoys universal suffrage, and, by that right, he has forged chains about his limbs. The reward that he receives is stringent labor laws prohibiting the right of boycott, of picketing, in fact, of everything, except the right to be robbed of the fruits of his labor.
Moments before Josh Powell ignited a gas-fueled explosion at his home, killing himself and his two children, a locked-out child services worker pleaded with a 911 operator to get police to the home because she feared for the two boys’ lives.
1929: Monsanto began production of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in the United States. PCBs were considered an industrial wonder chemical - an oil that would not burn, was impervious to degradation and had almost limitless applications. Today PCBs are considered…
Imagine you’re a middle-school science teacher, and you get to the section of the course where you’re to talk about climate change. You mention the “C” words, and two students walk out of the class.
Or you mention global warming and a hand shoots up.
“Mrs. Brown! My dad says global warming is a hoax!”
Or you come to school one morning and the principal wants to see you because a parent of one of your students has accused you of political bias because you taught what scientists agree about: that the Earth is getting warmer, and human actions have had an important role in this warming.
Or you pick up the newspaper and see that your state legislature is considering a bill that declares that accepted sciences like global warming (and evolution, of course) are “controversial issues” that require “alternatives” to be taught.
Incidentslikethese have happened in one or more states, and they are likely to continue to happen. Teachers are encountering pushback from many directions as they try to teach global warming and other climate science topics.
As we’ve noted multiple times, it appears the entertainment industry still does not recognize what kind of beast it awoke with its efforts to shove through SOPA and PIPA. While it still believes it was the “tech community” that caused those bills to be shelved, it’s been ignoring that a very large segment of internet users have been activated on these issues… and they’re angry and willing to be proactive. We’ve pointed out that lots of attention has turned towards ACTA — and while it’s late in the process, don’t underestimate the power of an awful lot of pissed off people who recognize that their internet is being messed with in a way that may harm their ability to communicate.
A bunch of folks have been setting up February 11th as a global day of protest against ACTA, and if the entertainment industry thought that the anger would simmer down after the SOPA/PIPA fight, they may have miscalculated again. Just take a look at the live map showing the planned February 11th protests across Europe
“A document entitled ‘The SMS Holdings Way,’ available on the company’s website, reveals the Christian beliefs of its owners and executives: ‘From our company’s beginning, our business philosophy has been God-centered and faith-based. While we will always show tolerance and acceptance of the personal beliefs of others, we recognize that there is a higher order that provides a basis for all of our core values.’”
So when you’re walking downtown and find yourself being questioned rudely by some douche in a yellow vest, as happens to me regularly…say hello to the new Christian face of Oakland’s militarized police department.
I’m pretty sure that our safety is the last thing on their mind.