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The New York Times: "The clear message is the need for a stepped-up effort to hold state officials electorally accountable for policies that harm women in states where right-wing Republicans control the machinery of government."

The abortion debate is heating up in states controlled by Republicans. (photo: AP)
The abortion debate is heating up in states controlled by Republicans. (photo: AP)

The Campaign to Outlaw Abortion

By The New York Times | Editorial

30 March 13


nti-abortion groups have been trying to re-impose restrictions on abortion rights for 40 years, but the Legislature and governor of North Dakota have taken this attack on women's reproductive health and freedom to a shocking new low by passing a bill that they must know perfectly well is unconstitutional by any reading of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and others since.

Under those rulings, full abortion bans are allowable only after fetal viability, which the medical community generally considers to be around 24 weeks into pregnancy. But North Dakota joins a growing list of states trying to set that limit earlier, including Arkansas and its unconstitutional ban after 12 weeks, enacted just three weeks ago.

North Dakota's Republican governor, Jack Dalrymple, signed extreme laws that went even further, centering on a brazenly unconstitutional ban on nearly all abortions once a fetal heartbeat is "detectable." That could be as early as six weeks into pregnancy, when some women do not even know they are pregnant, and requires testing with a transvaginal ultrasound.

The six-weeks ban stands little chance of surviving a court challenge. But bad ideas spread fast in this realm, and these kinds of actions show the rising influence of a formerly fringe element of the anti-abortion movement that is dissatisfied with its side's considerable progress in incrementally curbing abortions. It is anxious to speed a case to the conservative-dominated Supreme Court.

The campaign goes beyond abortion to the continuing Republican drive in Texas and other states to close down Planned Parenthood clinics that provide critical services like birth control counseling and cancer screenings. So far, nine states have acted to defund Planned Parenthood, threatening preventive care relied upon by hundreds of thousands of people. A pending bill in Arkansas takes the ultra-extreme approach of barring any company that contracts with a health center that provides abortions or gives women information about all their pregnancy options from receiving any state contracts or public funds.

In addition to the outright six-weeks ban, Mr. Dalrymple also approved a copy of a 2012 Mississippi statute (which is under federal court challenge) that requires doctors performing abortions to get admitting privileges at a local hospital. That medically unnecessary requirement could shut down North Dakota's sole abortion provider.

A third approved measure bars abortions for gender preference and also has the first bar on abortions based on genetic defects.

And this is on top of the North Dakota Legislature's decision to put on next year's ballot a so-called personhood measure that would give a fertilized egg the full range of individual rights, and could outlaw abortion and threaten access to fertility treatments as well as to widely used forms of birth control. Voters have defeated similar measures in Mississippi and Colorado.

The clear message is the need for a stepped-up effort to hold state officials electorally accountable for policies that harm women in states where right-wing Republicans control the machinery of government. your social media marketing partner


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+26 # ghostperson 2013-03-30 12:01
Being long in the tooth, I have a message for the wingnuts who "think" they are going to stamp out abortion.

It ain't going to happen. I grew up in an era when abortion was fully illegal. Guess what? It happened all the time.
It even happened all the time in my mother's generation and she was born in 1922.

It will always happen and no one will go to jail because no one talks about it.
There is no advertising, there are no clinics to target, no providers to identify.

If there is no contraception for women, there will be no blue pill for men. Don't piss off women. Women always get even and are very creative about it.

Next time a talk radio gas bag like Limbaugh blathers about women wanting contraception because they are sluts, let's ask the corpulent, no doubt diabetic with high blood pressure jackass, if he can get it up without the blue pill and whether he thinks we believe that he uses it only for procreation. Hey Limbaugh, how's that fourth divorce working out for ya?
+8 # Rain17 2013-03-30 18:51
Yeah indeed. And the other nasty fact is that, even among conservatives, the wealthy and well-to-do will always have access to abortion. Those in states like Mississippi or North Dakota can easily fly to a more liberal state, while those of lesser means lack the ability to do so.

Anyway I've seen stories posted on other boards where OB/GYNs have performed abortions on women protesting outside their clinics, only to have them go back out and protest the next day. Of course "their abortion is different" because they weren't "irresponsible sluts".

I am of the mindset that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. I also think that women should have easy access to birth control and that men should wear condoms. I think that teenagers should learn about proper birth control once they're of age.

Abortion decisions are best left to the woman. She is the one facing the difficult choice.
+21 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-03-30 12:26
Abortion is a personal choice, not a governmental one. Vote out any politician that is against women controlling their own lives. Enough already.
-24 # Gere 2013-03-30 12:26
Science tells us that human life begins at the time of conception. From the moment fertilization takes place, the child's genetic makeup is already complete. Its gender has already been determined, along with its height and hair, eye and skin color. The only thing the embryo needs to become a fully-functioni ng being is the time to grow and develop.

There is a very long list of scientists that have proven life begins at conception. No credible scientist can dispute that - it's like those non-credible scientists that dispute the fact that rapid climate change is not caused by growing demand for fossil fuels. Examples of some of those doctors are listed on this site:

More importantly, God reveals to us in His Word that not only does life begin at conception, but He knows who we are even before then (Jeremiah 1:5). King David said this about God's role in our conception: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb . . . your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (Psalm 139:13, 16).

When is it all right to kill a baby or any human for that matter?

Abortion has nothing to do with women's rights. All women are faced with the greater responsibility to be good parents of our race. We're facing so much recreational sex not intended to conceive babies that abortion becomes very popular - despite being murder.
+12 # Regina 2013-03-30 14:37
You are right about the beginning of life. THAT'S WHY WE NEED CONTRACEPTION! You religious and otherwise doctrinaire morality-monger s need to learn a helluva lot more science than you presently absorb (hey, the earth is round!). No political hack belongs in our vaginas, with or without "probes." As for killing, apparently it's A-OK to kill a pregnant woman when her pregnancy threatens her life. A nun was excommunicated last year for authorizing such an abortion, too late to save the woman.
+9 # Rain17 2013-03-30 18:48
My issue with abortion is simply that many of those who advocate the "pro-life" position are also the same people who rant about "those people", welfare, Medicaid, head start, food stamps, and other social programs. They are the same people who want to abolish all public assistance for needy children.

The other factor is that each woman's situation is unique. She may not be in a financial or emotional position to be a mother. The father may be abusive or not around. She has to make the right decision for her, irrespective of what I or other people want.
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-04-07 16:48
So for you, the 'personhood' of a zygote that may or may not reach birth trumps the 'personhood' of a woman?? Life begins at the first 'breath' in the Bible , but you are so intent on controlling women and their bodies, I would recommend a good psychiatrist ... .
+3 # wullen 2013-03-31 04:39
I ask you....where are the women of N Dakota? Where are the young women everywhere in this country?
+2 # Regina 2013-03-31 12:58
Unfortunately, they're not in their state legislatures. And when they get to voting age, they will have only their votes to offer, not the do-re-mi of the corporations which the Supreme Court thinks are persons with constitutional rights and freedoms.
+3 # cokacoa2 2013-03-31 14:22
Indeed, where are they? North Dakota is full of mostly men working the oil and gas fields. This is a recipe ripe for disaster with women bearing the burdens disproportionat ely in a state that wants to outlaw birth control and abortion. Hope their social services are ready to give out lots of free health care, welfare and food stamps because their women and children are going to need it.
+1 # MylesJ 2013-04-01 12:04
Those states need to think about the cost of defending suits against zygotes. Take a victim of rape or incest who is denied abortion. Then she is denied her job and/or promotion because she is no longer seen as management material. All women who are pregnant by rape or incest should SUE THE BASTARD and let the state defend the case for loss of income and the expense of raising the state sponsored bastard.
-1 # Gere 2013-04-01 17:42
I find that those who read my post and responded do not disagree with me. That is, they have not been able to legitimize killing a human being by abortion. So therefore, they must agree that killing an innocent human being is not the better choice when there is an unwanted pregnancy. If that is not the reason for not addressing that point, then why was that not brought out instead of making speculative and irrelevant claims. Birth control is available for anyone who is making the choice to have recreational sex – the main reason for almost all abortions. True there may be cases where there must be a hard decision to raise a child rather than kill it in some instances. However, if the result has to be killing an innocent child, how could that be the right decision? If you choose to answer that, please try to refrain from wasting words making ad hominem attacks if you can. The only appropriate answer for allowing justified abortion is to show indisputable proof that a fetus is not a live human being. Because even if there were just a chance that the fetus being aborted is a live human being, the result would be to carry out a purposeful possible murder.

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