Roundup: Out With the Old, and In With the… Old

Robin Marty

Here comes the new year, same as the old year. It may be 2010 on the calendar, but it looks like a lot of legislators are still replaying 2009 in their sessions. Also, probably the only time you'll hear me say, "Go, Wisconsin!"

Happy 2010, one and all!

If you are like me, you have probably been pining for the symbolism of 2010 for a while: the new decade, the fresh start, the chance to once again look at the world with optimism and a new pair of eyes.

Well, hope you enjoyed your two days of "new," because I looked around the country for today’s round up, and a lot of it is the same old story.

Oklahoma legislators are planning to bring back the same anti-abortion legislation that they tried and failed to pass last year, proving that if at first you don’t succeed, you’re probably a politician:

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Two controversial abortion laws now in court might be revisited this
legislative session if supporters decide they can successfully
circumvent any legal rulings. One measure that would have required
women to undergo an ultrasound within an hour of obtaining an abortion
and hear a description of the findings was tossed out by an Oklahoma
County judge who ruled that it violated the state’s constitutional
one-subject requirement. The attorney general’s office is appealing
that decision.

In another case, an Oklahoma County judge has extended a
temporary restraining order blocking enforcement of a measure that
would require physicians to obtain extensive personal information from
abortion recipients and make it available for inclusion on a state Web
site. Opponents argue the measure, which has other provisions, is
intrusive and unnecessary and could make women who receive abortions

Plaintiffs challenging that bill contend it also violates the one-subject rule. The case is set to be heard beginning Feb. 19.

Look for Oklahoma lawmakers to continue to make national news on this front, whether we want them to or not.

Kansas is also poised to do a 2009 redux, with legislators adamant about passing laws to crack down on late term abortions in the state, despite the fact that after the death of Dr. Tiller, there is no longer anyone in the state that can even perform them.

Tiller’s clinic has been closed since he was shot to death in May
and no doctor or clinic elsewhere in Kansas is doing the same work.

But legislators who oppose abortion still expect to pass a bill
requiring doctors who perform late-term procedures to report more
information to the state and making it possible for them to face
lawsuits if patients or others come to believe their abortions violated
state law. Abortion opponents contend such issues are still compelling,
even if no doctor or clinic is performing abortions as late as Tiller

Peter Brownlie, president and chief executive officer of the Planned
Parenthood chapter, said he’s not surprised at abortion opponents’
plans. He sees the annual legislative disputes mainly as an effort to
help anti-abortion groups raise money.

“There’s nobody in the state of Kansas who’s doing abortions past 22
weeks of pregnancy. It’s a moot issue, from a practical standpoint,” he
said. “For the Legislature to continue to spend significant amounts of
its time on an issue that has no practical impact is waste of taxpayer
money and legislative time.”


Some states are bypassing 2009, and heading all the way back to the early 2000’s. In Alaska, where a parental notification law was taken off the books in 2007, an Anchorage Arch Bishop is making a push to get all Catholic registered voters to sign a petition to add a consent law to the ballot during the next election.

order for the Parental Notification Initiative to go before voters
in August, organizers need 44,000 signatures of registered Alaskan

this moment they are 4,500 signatures short with two weeks to go,”
Archbishop Schwietz wrote in a December 31 letter addressed to all
pastors and parish administrators in the archdiocese.

tragic it will be if this initiative fails because of a lack of attention
or indifference,” he added.

order for an initiative to be placed on a state election ballot in
Alaska, 32,734 signatures from registered voters are required and
while the minimum number of names has already been gathered, more
signatures are still needed to make-up for those signers who may be
disqualified because they are not registered voters. The deadline
is Jan. 15.

But there are some signs of progress out there.  In Wisconsin, 2010 means the implementing of a new rule requiring that all insurers cover birth control in their plans.

Mandating birth control coverage will dramatically increase its access,
Safar said. She cited a 2001 report by the state Office of the
Insurance Commissioner that showed about one in five of the most
popular insurance plans with prescription drug coverage in Wisconsin
did not cover contraceptives.

Wisconsin is joining 24 other
states that already require birth control to be covered, according to
the National Conference of State Legislatures. Two additional states
require insurance companies to offer contraceptive coverage as an
option to employees, but it can be declined.

Maybe it will be a happy new year after all!


Mini Roundup:  In lieu of a mini-roundup, a second dip into Oklahoma. apparently, when it comes to "til death do you part," Oklahoma really means it:

If Rep. Sally Kern,
R-Oklahoma City, gets her way, Oklahomans soon will have a harder time
getting divorced. In House Bill 2279, Kern seeks to tighten up the
incompatibility grounds for divorce. Under her proposal, judges could
not grant a divorce on the basis of incompatibility if there are living
minor children of the marriage, the parties have been married 10 years
or longer, or either party files a written objection to the granting of
the divorce.

Apparently forcing married people who hate either other’s guts
to stay married is better for everyone, including the children, than
letting everyone have the chance to start a new life, in Kern’s view.

I guess you can’t say they don’t take the sanctity of marriage seriously in the state.


January 3, 2010

Turn: Don’t make
abortion about ability to pay

lawmakers have in store for Oklahomans

Tulsa World

foes plan to renew debate
Lawrence Journal World

Rasmussen Poll Finds Majority Oppose
Abortion Funding in Health Care Bill

Ethics: When Might Makes Right
Gospel Coalition

Abortion Ban
in Health Care Bill

Simplot: A
view of capital punishment
La Crosse Tribune

News: Republicans, Health Care, Abortion, Mother Teresa, Ben Nelson

Spend Energy Helping Disadvantaged Children
Flathead Beacon

takes journey of
Greensboro News & Record

parents of Chinese children share joys, challenges after 2008
Columbus Dispatch

Lange-Kubick: Birthday bash to celebrate
Lincoln Journal Star

Hopes New Father Registry Could Speed


Yan’s bold leap forward
Global Times

ligation: Not always permanent
Boston Herald


January 2, 2010

the Health Insurance Bill
Bay Area Indymedia

in Mexico 2009

Abortions at
10-year high in Illinois
Chicago Sun-Times

foes plan to renew debate in Kansas

The Associated Press

Still Threatens Health Care Bill

Abortion and
Health Care: The Rotten Tree
Catholic Online

use of morning-after pills rises in India, health workers voice concerns
Washington Post

Rates of
Abortion in
Feminists for Choice

Exclusion in America

is called to consider
Spartanburg Herald Journal

population to reach 94 million
Philippine Star

laws kick in Friday
Daily Times

for sex ed are stuck in the ’80s


January 1, 2010

care vigil draws Ind. treasurer
Evansville Courier & Press

End war pregnancy policy
Concord Monitor

eNews Announces Its 21 Leaders 2010

Women’s eNews

America PAC Endorses Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy
NARAL Pro-Choice America

Contend for the Future by Setting Freedom Free

Truck Will Deliver New Year’s Message to Pro-life Traitor Sen. Ben Nelson
Christian News Wire

activist can’t use ‘necessity defense’ in slaying

Tebow might be focus of Super Bowl anti-
abortion ad

Bishop Urges Catholics to Support Petition for Parental Rights on

Abortion is
about health care, not power and politics
Boston Globe

agency faces lawsuit
Daily Item of Lynn

Parenthood Does More Than 1.1 Million Abortions Annually Worldwide

Family Planning
Clinics scheduled
Morning Sun

be shy on family planning
Boston Globe


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