Sometimes, it’s hard to know who your friends are. That seems especially true if you are a politician, and your "friends" are anti-abortion activists.
Sen. Bob Casey (D – PA) was heckled by anti-abortion protestors as he attempted to speak at an event to raise awareness for hunger issues. Casey, a pro-life Democrat, is still under fire from his likewise anti-choice supporters for appearing "too pro-choice" during the great health care debate.
He had just thanked his wife, Terese, for introducing him to an
audience in the Capitol’s crowded Rotunda when three women and a man
stood up, one after another, to shout that he "voted to fund abortion."
During the five-minute disruption, Casey stood and listened as one of the protesters shouted, "You say you’re pro-life."
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"I am," the senator said.
Capitol police escorted the protesters out of the building. A spokesman
for the police said the four were not arrested but were asked to
refrain from interrupting Casey. They did not go back into the building
The protesters said they were affiliated with Insurrecta Nex, the
Washington antiabortion group formerly known as Operation Rescue.
Outside the Capitol, the four accused Casey of selling out his
constituents and his Roman Catholic faith for supporting the
health-care bill and appropriations bills that they contend fund
"He votes the proabortion agenda," said one of the four, Suzanne Doller of Carlisle. "He’s a disgrace to his church."
Despite helping to craft the compromise that brought Sen. Ben Nelson (D – NE) into the fold on health care, it seems poor Sen. Casey still gets no love from his supporters.
Perhaps their inflexibility should tell him something about their real agenda.
GOP candidate Scott Brown, vying for Ted Kennedy’s empty seat in MA, seems to have the loyal support of anti-abortion activists, despite claiming to be pro-choice:
"The pro-life movement is really excited," says John Rowe of
Massachusetts Citizens for Life. Yet Brown declares on his website that
abortion is a decision that should be made by a "woman in consultation
with her doctor, "i.e., he’s (moderately) pro-choice.
The anti-choice factions seem to have no issue here with supporting a candidate who hasn’t embraced their issues (at least, not publicly), but not everyone is that lucky. Should former Congressman Ron Paul decide to run for the Republican party nomination for president again, it looks like he’ll have some anti-abortion folks nipping at his heels.
If Paul runs for the presidency in 2012, "pro-lifers will
be alerted in advance to his pro-choice record," said Darrell Birkey,
ARTL research director. "In the last election voters thought Ron Paul
was pro-life. We want folks to know the truth."
"Ron Paul is pro-choice, state by state," says the
report. Paul claims that a state has the right to decide if abortion
will be legal, and his "pro-life profile" compares that unfavorably to
other pro-choice positions. Birkey asks, “Should a state have the right
to allow slavery? Pro-lifers will be shocked to see Paul’s actual
Looks like not all pro-life support is created equal.
Luckily, pro-choice advocates don’t have to worry about ambiguity when it comes to leaders like Sen. Al Franken (D- MN). In just a short time, my senator from Minnesota has made it clear that women’s health is a firm priority. And now, with yet another bill to support women serving our country, Franken has reminded us again what it truly means to be an advocate for women.
The bill would require that all military pharmacies stock emergency
contraception and offer it to servicewomen without a prescription, as
the Food and Drug Administration currently allows civilian woman to
obtain it. Currently, servicewomen face spotty access to emergency contraception coverage, particularly in facilities abroad, even as they were recently threatened with court martials
if their primary contraception failed, if they were sexually assaulted
or if they simply failed to use contraception and then became pregnant.
Military facilities are not allowed to provide abortion services under
federal laws covering Medicaid and Medicare recipients, soldiers and
In 2002, the Bush Administration interfered
in a Pentagon effort to add emergency contraception to its Basic
Formulary, which would have required that all military medical
facilities keep it in stock. Plan B was initially approved for sale in
1999 with a prescription, and its manufacturer fought for nearly the
entire Bush Administration to get approval to sell it over-the-counter.
The Bush Administration’s foot- and knuckle-dragging over the issue was spurred on by religious conservatives that oppose all birth control–and Plan B in particular– as "abortifacients" and a federal judge ruled last year that the Administration’s decisions on Plan B were strictly political and not based on sound science.
Mini Roundup: Allegedly many women are rethinking their relationship with hormonal birth control. Wisconsin is testing some new attempts at birth control using fertility awareness methods. Or, maybe it’s time for that breakthrough on the man pill.
January 12, 2010