Roundup: Key Races Show Republican Gameplan for 2010

Robin Marty

"Champion for the Unborn." "Struggle for the soul of the nation." Remember when elections used to be about taxes and education?

Everyone is talking about the World Cup today, it seems like, but as for me, I have a different kind of fever — election fever.  So, today’s roundup is a look at some of the hotter races across the country, and what those candidates will do to win.

In Nevada, it was supposed to be Sue Lowden taking on Democratic Senator Harry Reid in the fall, but somehow, Tea Party darling Sharron Angle stuck in and stole away the Republican nomination.  Now, Susan B. Anthony List is giving her their coveted endorsement, since they already committed the money to the race and lost their flagship candidate.  And other anti-choice groups are lining up right behind, prepared to make the race as much about abortion as possible.

“The State of Nevada is fortunate to have a champion of the unborn running for United States Senate against Harry Reid,” Jeremy McNeil, director of its PAC, told “While a state legislator, Sharron Angle consistently voted according to her pro-life convictions and sponsored significant pro-life legislation.”

“Sharron Angle and Harry Reid stand in stark contrast on the issue of abortion. While Harry Reid asserts he is pro-life, his actions belie his words,” McNeil said. “Reid has helped spearhead the Obama Administration’s radically pro-abortion agenda, including blocking an amendment to prevent the federal government from subsidizing health plans that cover abortion on demand and voting to fund the U.N. Population Fund, which has significant ties to government-coerced abortions in China.”

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Seems like a pretty ironic game plan, considering both candidates are actually anti-abortion.

But Nevada isn’t the only state playing the abortion card when it comes to the 2010 election.  Rhetoric in the California senate race has become heated as well now that Carly Fiorina has won the Republican nomination to run against Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.  And the anti-abortion defenses have definitely scaled up, such as this Town Hall columnist who chides pro-choicers for stating that women would be sent to jail if abortion were illegal.

Today, not one proposed abortion ban criminalizes the woman who has an abortion. In fact, measures like the infamous South Dakota abortion ban of 2006 made no mention of her–only of the person performing it. The doctor is the one subjected to jail time and fines. The doctor is the only person these laws aim to punish.

If pro-choice activists have faith in the movement, they need to do better than trotting out a scenario that never happened in this country and claiming it’s a historical reality on the verge of re-emerging. If they truly have the moral high ground, they have nothing to lose from being honest.

See, they have no intention of punishing women.  Only punishing doctors so abortion becomes completely inaccessible.  Then, when women have to self-abort because no doctor will help them for fear of jail or fines, the women will get what they deserve via complications, illness, blood loss, and potential death.

Hey women, you brought it on yourselves, right?

In Texas, Governor Rick Perry has continued his evolution to fire and brimstone, this time while courting the Eagle Forum, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Gov. Rick Perry painted the upcoming election as a religious crusade to take back the soul of the country during a Thursday night speech to the conservative Texas Eagle Forum.

While Perry has invoked God and country before, his 14-minute speech to the 500 gathered, most of them delegates to the Texas Republican state convention, was stronger and more strident than previously.

“We will raise our voices in defense of our values and in defiance of the hollow precepts and shameful self-interests that guide our opponents on the left,” Perry said to the receptive audience.

He said the November election is bigger than “red states and blue states, conservatives or liberals, stimulus or budget cuts.”

“We are in a struggle for the heart and soul of our nation,” Perry said.

“That’s the question: Who do you worship? Do you believe in the primacy of unrestrained federal government? Or do you worship the God of the universe, placing our trust in him?”

So, what about those of us who don’t believe that every race is a symbolic of the battle of the end times?  Those of us who just want strong education, quality healthcare and maybe some clean water when we turn 80?  Will we ever see politics as usual again?

Not if anti-choice conservative groups continue to convince all non-Democratic candidates that the only way to win is to follow their talking points in order to win their support.  One example of exactly how a candidate changes when such a group gets a hold of them is in the Washington Post.

“[Manchester, N.H. mayor Frank] Guinta came into the race with a libertarian streak,” acknowleged[sic] Connie Mackey, president of FRC [Family Research Council] Action PAC. “His intentions were good — he was focused on small government. But I don’t think he understood all of the issues at first, and he got mugged on them. It didn’t seem at first that gay marriage would be an issue he’d have to look at as a small government libertarian, but he saw what happened when it was forced to a vote in New Hampshire, and he realized that it was an issue.” What he saw, she explained, was the rough-and-tumble strategy liberals used to push it through.

According to Mackey, Guinta has assured social conservatives that he’s moved closer to their stances on the issues — Mackey has a letter from Guinta explaining his new views.

“Candidates evolve,” said Mackey, “and they tend to evolve toward us, not toward the libertarian streak that Guinta came in with. And when that happens, that tells us we won’t just have a good vote. We’ll have an advocate.”

And so it goes.

Mini Roundup: Seems like everyone is getting their metaphors mixed up.  So which is it?  Abortion by remote control, or abortion by vending machine?

June 10, 2010

‘Abortion by remote control’? – The Week Magazine

Anti-Abortion Language Dropped From Crist’s Website – Central Florida News 13

How the Family Research Council convinced a GOP candidate in NH to ‘evolve’ – Washington Post

John Seiler’s blog: Boxer abortion attack on Fiorina inaccurate – OCRegister

Sharron Angle Takes Double Digit Lead Over Pro-Abortion Harry Reid After Win –

Jesus Ultrasound Poster Fuels UK Abortion Uproar – Christian Post

Crist should veto ultrasound bill –

Mich Daniels Causes Pro-Life Uproar After Declaring “Truce” on Abortion –

UK Christmas ads criticized for perceived anti-abortion message – National Post

Anti-abortion group urges Crist to sign bill requiring ultrasounds – Tampa Tribune

Barbara Boxer’s Abortion Lie – Town Hall

Plan Would Allow Abortions at Military Hospitals – New York Times

Nation’s soul at stake in upcoming election, Perry tells Texas Eagle Forum – Dallas Morning News

How Canadian politics harms Africans – Ottawa Citizen

Author links abortion, contraception, and eugenics movement – Spero News

Charles for more active birth control measures – Press Trust of India

Women Deliver Conference Concludes – Kaiser Family Foundation

NJ Dems to ask Gov. Christie to restore $400M in funding for AIDS patients … – The Star-Ledger –

Ban on gay blood donors revisited –

John Kerry Leads In Call To End Gay Blood Ban – On Top Magazine

Study Confirms That Antiretroviral Therapy Significantly Cuts Risk Of HIV … – The AIDS Beacon

Should Gays Be Allowed to Donate Blood? – CBS News

To stop Aids, we must empower women to protect themselves – Daily Monitor

Denali KidCare veto a bad decision – Juneau Empire

‘Stunned’ by KidCare veto – Juneau Empire

Pregnancy may trigger or worsen OCD symptoms – Reuters

Amnesty Int’l urges African Union to tackle maternal health – African Press Agency

Keeping Maternal Mortality Rate Down Around the World – Medscape

Canada should show leadership on aid at summit, advocacy group says – Toronto Star

June 11, 2010

Christie is right to resist a usurping judiciary – The Times of Trenton –

Kagan’s Consistent Liberal Voice – Human Events

Abortion a matter of freedom – Green Bay Press Gazette

Abortions 2.0: Vending Machine Abortions – ChicagoNow

Most Americans support Kagan’s nomination to Supreme Court, poll finds – Washington Post

Women who have had abortions urge Crist to sign HB 1143 – Florida Baptist Witness

Opinion: California finds the way to reduce teen pregnancy – San Jose Mercury News

PHILIPPINES: Poor women pay for contraception –

Africa: ‘UK Cuts May Hit HIV/Aids Programmes in Africa’ –

News Law and Policy

California Lawmakers Take Action Against Rampant Wage Theft

Nicole Knight

A survey of people who work for low wages found that wage theft robbed workers of $26.2 million each week in Los Angeles, making the locale the "wage theft capital of the country."

Los Angeles has earned the distinction as the country’s wage theft capital, but a new California law is tackling the rampant problem of wage theft with new enforcement tools.

The law, SB 1342, signed last month by Gov. Jerry Brown (D), gives city and county authorities subpoena powers when investigating wage violations. Until now, the state Division of Labor Standards Enforcement was the primary agency charged with investigating wage theft cases.

State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) authored the legislation to “ensure that our low-wage workers, who already face many challenges, receive the pay that they have earned,” Mendoza wrote in an Orange County Breeze op-ed.

Wage theft is the illegal practice of failing to pay overtime and minimum wages, denying lunch breaks, or forcing employees to work off the clock. A survey of people who work for low wages by the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment found that wage theft robbed workers of $26.2 million each week in Los Angeles, making the locale the “wage theft capital of the country.”

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Some 654,914 workers in L.A. County are subjected to at least one pay-based violation in any given week, researchers noted.

Most people who work low-wage jobs in L.A. were born outside the United States, and the majority are Latino (73.4 percent), Asian (17.9 percent), or Black (6.3 percent), researchers found.

Wage theft is not only illegal, it contributes to food insecurity and housing instability in low-income families, Mendoza noted.

“This bill protects hard-working Californians by clarifying the ability of cities and counties to investigate non-compliance with local wage laws,” Mendoza said.

A legislative analysis of SB 1342 cited research noting that minimum wage violations are rampant in industries such as garment manufacturing, domestic service, building services, and department stores, where wages are low.

The measure comes as states and cities are increasing minimum wages as lawmakers in Congress have refused to consider raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

Brown in April signed a law lifting the statewide minimum pay rate to $15 per hour by 2022. More than a dozen cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, have proposed or enacted $15 minimum wage rates, according to the National Employment Law Project.

News Abortion

Study: Telemedicine Abortion Care a Boon for Rural Patients

Nicole Knight

Despite the benefits of abortion care via telemedicine, 18 states have effectively banned the practice by requiring a doctor to be physically present.

Patients are seen sooner and closer to home in clinics where medication abortion is offered through a videoconferencing system, according to a new survey of Alaskan providers.

The results, which will be published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, suggest that the secure and private technology, known as telemedicine, gives patients—including those in rural areas with limited access—greater choices in abortion care.

The qualitative survey builds on research that found administering medication abortion via telemedicine was as safe and effective as when a doctor administers the abortion-inducing medicine in person, study researchers said.

“This study reinforces that medication abortion provided via telemedicine is an important option for women, particularly in rural areas,” said Dr. Daniel Grossman, one of the authors of the study and professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF). “In Iowa, its introduction was associated with a reduction in second-trimester abortion.”

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Maine and Minnesota also provide medication abortion via telemedicine. Clinics in four states—New York, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington—are running pilot studies, as the Guardian reported. Despite the benefits of abortion care via telemedicine, 18 states have effectively banned the practice by requiring a doctor to be physically present.

The researchers noted that even “greater gains could be made by providing [medication abortion] directly to women in their homes,” which U.S. product labeling doesn’t allow.

In late 2013, researchers with Ibis Reproductive Health and Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health interviewed providers, such as doctors, nurses, and counselors, in clinics run by Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands that were using telemedicine to provide medication abortion. Providers reported telemedicine’s greatest benefit was to pregnant people. Clinics could schedule more appointments and at better hours for patients, allowing more to be seen earlier in pregnancy.

Nearly twenty-one percent of patients nationwide end their pregnancies with medication abortion, a safe and effective two-pill regime, according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alaska began offering the abortion-inducing drugs through telemedicine in 2011. Patients arrive at a clinic, where they go through a health screening, have an ultrasound, and undergo informed consent procedures. A doctor then remotely reviews the patients records and answers questions via a videoconferencing link, before instructing the patient on how to take the medication.

Before 2011, patients wanting abortion care had to fly to Anchorage or Seattle, or wait for a doctor who flew into Fairbanks twice a month, according to the study’s authors.

Beyond a shortage of doctors, patients in Alaska must contend with vast geography and extreme weather, as one physician told researchers:

“It’s negative seven outside right now. So in a setting like that, [telemedicine is] just absolutely the best possible thing that you could do for a patient. … Access to providers is just so limited. And … just because you’re in a state like that doesn’t mean that women aren’t still as much needing access to these services.”

“Our results were in line with other research that has shown that this service can be easily integrated into other health care offered at a clinic, can help women access the services they want and need closer to home, and allows providers to offer high-level care to women from a distance,” Kate Grindlay, lead author on the study and associate at Ibis Reproductive Health, said in a statement.


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