Monday, July 6, 2009

Cristina Page


Roundup: Driehaus Sues for “Lack of Livelihood”

Robin Marty

The Ohio Congressman, after losing his reelection bid, is suing anti-choice groups for his "loss of livelihood."

He may have lost his reelection bid, but Ohio Democratic Representative Steve Driehaus isn’t done fighting.  Now, he’s suing anti-choice action groups for “loss of livelihood” for lying about him in campaign attack ads.

Via The Hill:

Driehaus (D-Ohio), who lost his reelection bid last month, announced Friday that he was suing the group for knowingly misleading voters about his position on public funding for abortion. The SBA List asserted that the reform law provided for taxpayer funding of abortion.

During the campaign, Driehaus had issued a complaint with Ohio’s election board against the SBA List to prevent the group from posting billboards that claimed the one-term congressman voted in favor of public abortion funding by supporting the reform law. However, the billboards never went up, and Driehaus dropped the complaint.

Susan B. Anthony Group has responded to his suit via press release:

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“Counter to his claims, the voters of Ohio’s First District are the ones that cost Steve Driehaus his livelihood. Congressman Steve Driehaus’ problem is not that the Susan B. Anthony List allegedly lied about his vote for taxpayer-funded abortion in the health care bill. It’s that he caved when it counted, took the wrong vote, and paid the price on Election Day.
Now he wants exclusive rights to describing that vote to his constituents and, in a democracy, that just isn’t possible. All major pro-life organizations along with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who speak on behalf of the Catholic Church, came to the same conclusion: that the health care bill Congressman Driehaus voted for allows taxpayer funding of abortion.
Despite his best efforts to criminalize the SBA List’s free speech, Driehaus’ constituents heard the truth about his pro-abortion vote and have already determined whose description of that vote is true. The SBA List will continue to defend that truth and the right to criticize our elected officials.”

The usual conservative groups are rallying together to state that even if SBA’s claims weren’t entirely true, they were…well, true enough.

Was the SBA’s criticism of abortion funding in ObamaCare “untrue?”  You may recall the infamous moment in the health-care debate when supposedly “pro-life” congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) cashed out his insistence on firm language against such funding.  The few paper-thin restrictions on abortion funding in the massive ObamaCare law are all tied to the Hyde Amendment, which must be re-authorized yearly, and could be repealed by executive order.  No Hyde-related restrictions are applied to the billions in funding directed to “community health centers,” many of which happen to be owned by Planned Parenthood.  High-risk insurance pools created by ObamaCare in Pennsylvania and New Mexico were caught red-handed funding abortions, to the great consternation of congressman John Boehner… who was the House minority leader at the time, but has since received a promotion to Speaker.

At the very least, the Susan B. Anthony List’s assertion is debatable.  A strong case could be made that insisting ObamaCare would not fund abortions is more like an outright lie.

Still, Driehaus isn’t backing down.

“A lie is a lie,” Driehaus’ lawyers wrote in his federal defamation lawsuit. “The First Amendment is not and never has been an invitation to concoct falsehoods aimed at depriving a person of his livelihood.”

Mini Roundup: As if they don’t already have enough problems, gay teens are apparently being punished more than straight teens, either by police or other authority.

December 6, 2010

Roundup: Colorado Personhood Sues State Voter Guide

Beth Saunders

The egg-as-person folks in Colorado are upset about a voter guide that describes how women will lose the rights to their own bodies if the amendment passes, and a rally will be held to protest the amendment.

Proponents of the Personhood Amendment in Colorado are suing the Colorado Legislative Council, which distributes the State Ballot Information Booklet, a neutral source of information on ballot measures in the state. They feel the booklet, also called the Blue Book,  is biased against Amendment 62. Although the Blue Book has already been mailed – and is available online – they are hoping for a correction to be mailed to voters.

According to the Denver Post:

(Gualberto) Garcia-Jones said that the Blue Book’s arguments against Amendment 62 are false because it could never, as the booklet states, cause women to be denied medical treatment for a miscarriage. The amendment could not, he said, put doctors and other health professionals at risk of legal action for providing medical care to women of childbearing age.

It is also demonstrably false, Mason said, that “the beginning of biological development” has no established legal meaning and is not an acceptable medical or scientific term, as the Blue Book states. Supporters said they provided statements by scientists and lawyers to the contrary.

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“This is a gross injustice” to 130,000 Coloradans who petitioned to get the initiative on the ballot, Mason said. “There is authority in the Blue Book. There’s trust in the process. This will have an effect” on the vote.

They are screeching “injustice!” because they say a woman would never be denied treatment for a miscarriage? What are some of the other things a woman could be denied if this amendment came to pass? According to the (allegedly bias) Blue Book:

1) Amendment 62 may limit the ability of individuals and families to make important health care decisions. The measure could be used to prohibit or limit access to medical care, including abortions for victims of rape or incest, and even when a woman’s life is in danger. Amendment 62 may also limit access to emergency contraception, commonly used forms of birth control, and treatment for miscarriages, tubal pregnancies, cancer, and infertility. The measure may restrict some stem cell research that could lead to life-saving therapies for a variety of disabilities and illnesses.

2) Amendment 62 allows government intrusion in the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship and could limit the exercise of independent medical judgment. The measure could restrict a doctor from using certain medical procedures and treatments. Further, “the beginning of biological development” cannot be easily and conclusively pinpointed. Therefore, the measure may subject doctors and nurses to legal action for providing medical care to a woman of child-bearing age if that care could affect a “person” other than the identified patient.

3) The effects of Amendment 62’s change to the constitution are unclear. The measure applies certain rights from “the beginning of biological development,” a term which is not defined within the measure, has no established legal meaning, and is not an accepted medical or scientific term. The legislature and the courts will have to decide how a wide variety of laws, including property rights and criminal laws, will apply from “the beginning of biological development.”

Notice they are not protesting that it’s a falsehood that women would be denied abortion, contraception, or treatment for ectopic pregnancies, cancer, or infertility. To advocates for the Personhood amendment, is it then a positive outcome if women are denied those health services?

So, how did the Personhood folks end up with a description they are unhappy with?

The Denver Daily News may have the answer.

The group of pro-lifers says none of more than 70 pages of notes that they submitted to Legislative Council was used in the Blue Book. They say that the final language was not sent to them, and they didn’t find out about the language until this week when they looked online. Proponents say had they been notified of the final language sooner, they could have filed objections without having to file a lawsuit in Denver District Court.

Seventy pages of notes!?! For a three-paragraph description? No wonder the Blue Book people wrote it themselves.

You can read the complete arguments for and against the Personhood amendment in the Blue Book, starting on page sixteen.

If you are in the Colorado Springs area, and wish to rally against the Personhood amendment, a “No on 62” rally will be held tomorrow, September 23. Speakers include Colorado Springs businessman and activist Richard Skorman; Rosemary Harris Lytle, 9-5 National Association of Working Women; Rev. Benjamin Broadbent, First Congregational Church; and Shelby Knox, National Youth Advocate.

Mini-Roundup: The anti-choicers are pre-protesting these days. The Family Research Council is telling its supporters to strong-arm pharmacists into not carrying the new, not-even-available-yet, emergency contraceptive ella. Because “women might inadvertently give themselves abortions.”  Meanwhile, the American Life League is protesting the creation of a 2-1-1 line that would refer people for social services and volunteer opportunities. Because women might be referred to Planned Parenthood.

Sep 21


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