Roundup: Fireworks and Frivolity – Kimmel Catches Abortion Protestors on Tape

Robin Marty

It's not quite the dog days of summer yet, but some protestors are complaining that they can't take the heat from a talk show host's crew.

It’s been a hot weekend of festivities, fireworks and protests. 

Yes, I’m talking about the Jimmy Kimmel show!

Turns out that Friday a group of anti-choice protestors got into a filmed kerfuffle with a crew from the Jimmy Kimmel show.  According to Huffington Post:

Via Fishbowl LA comes this video capturing an altercation between Jimmy Kimmel’s production crew and pro-life group SurvivorsLA outside the Kodak Theater in Hollywood. The group describes itself as “a Christian, pro-life activism organization dedicated to educating and activating high school and college age individuals.”

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The group claims that Kimmel’s crew “turned high intensity spotlights onto a young teenager peacefully practicing his first amendment rights”, though it is difficult to make out from the video.

The Examiner thought the story sounded a little over the top.

A pro-life group called Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust were peacefully protesting outside of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood when a crew from the Jimmy Kimmel Show arrived to do some filming. The pro-life youth activists weren’t in the film crew’s way — whatever they were shooting was across the street — but then for no reason other than to be ideologically sadistic, the crew turned a hot spotlight on Ryan Bueler, one of the young protesters. Bueler refused to be intimidated and for 15 minutes stood under a light hot enough to partially melt a bracelet he was wearing.

Huh.  Melted a plastic bracelet, huh?  That seems like a bit much.

Most of the reports on the even were coming from the side of the protestors, so Examiner went a step further and managed to find someone on Kimmel’s crew who could give a little more detail on what may have happened.

Well, it just so happens that we’re pals with someone on that very crew of Jimmy Kimmel Live employees (who wishes to remain nameless, by the way, but I can assure you– they work for the show), so I contacted the worker and asked for a statement.  Here’s what they told me:

What happened that day was we were shooting a bit where Tom Cruise ziplines over Hollywood blvd from the Kimmel building to the sidewalk by Grauman’s. The protestors say we were shooting across the street, which was true, but we were ALSO shooting on the OTHER side of the street as well, where one of the oodles of protestors were, which was not a “peaceful” protest.

We obviously had a permit to put lights there and light the shoot location. Since the protestors however want to make it all about themselves, they thought (or figured they’d turn it into a story by thinking this) we were pointing the lights at them instead of what we were rehearsing/shooting, so a protestor took it upon himself to try and pull the light down. If the protestors were bothered by our lights, they could’ve moved away and the lights would not at all have followed them. We’re a professional crew, so to think we would bully them is absolutely outlandish.

Long story short, it’s pretty simple. We were lighting the action, the protestors wanted to stand in the light and say we were pointing it at them. Pretty stupid.

So, there you have it.  Of course this side of the story’s just as biased as the version told by protesters, but was anyone else sort of suspicious when the “Survivors of The Abortion Holocaust” (as they’re referring to themselves, clearly a group not prone to exaggeration) were claiming that they were just minding their own business, “peacefully” protesting, and that some random film crew from a latenight talk show attacked them for no good reason?  I think we were all kinda wary of this story yesterday, but after the report by our inside source above, I’m calling shenanigans on this whole thing.

Of course, no story is complete without the video itself, so here you go!

Mini Roundup: A majority of Australians support late-term abortion. Wait, no, half of them are against late-term abortion.  Well, at least pretty much everyone agrees that before 24 weeks abortion should be decriminalized in the country.

July 2, 2010

GOP Sens. Question Kagan About Role In Abortion Policy During Clinton …  – Medical News Today

The Signpost at the Crossroads – First Things

Spain court will study challenge to abortion law – Central Florida News 13

Pro- and anti-abortion rights groups look toward election – Politics in Minnesota

Prelate Protests Abortion in US Military Hospitals –

Jimmy Kimmel Production Crew Fights Abortion Protesters – Huffington Post

NOW Endorses Elena Kagan for Supreme Court, Ignores Abortion Distortions  –

Kagan’s Influential Medical Opinion – National Review Online

Oral Statement of Dr. Charmine Yoest of Americans United for Life During Kagan … – Christian News Wire

Health-care reform has pros, cons – Catholic Courier

Feminist Issues Addressed at Kagan Hearing – Ms. Magazine

No Truces on Abortion: Social and Economic Issues Must Go Together –

MP renews abortion debate – TVNZ

White House ties new pregnancy assistance fund to ‘common ground’ abortion plan – CNN

Abortions in Minnesota fell 4 percent in 2009, state reports –

Mixed response to call for abortion law change – TVNZ

Senate Republican Leader, Moderate GOPer to Oppose Pro-Abortion Kagan –

Male Birth Control Pill Coming, But Will He Remember to Take It? – The Stir

More Women in Need of Publicly Family Funded Planning Services – Docuticker

HIV Activists Pressure US Government over AIDS Funding – Voice of America

IVF: The uncomfortable truth – The Guardian

Should there be a limit on Caesareans? – BBC News

July 3, 2010

GOP targets antiabortion Democrats who backed health-care overhaul – Washington Post

Updated: ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ crew in hot water after confrontation with … –

Is Elena Kagan Morally Blind? – American Thinker

Family Life: Labour Abortion Bill “Disaster” For NZ – Voxy

Domestics Gain Rights; Iran to Stone Adulterer – Women’s eNews

New Antiabortion Plates Ignore Fact: Best Way to Choose Life Is Probably to … – Bostonist

Family First: Liberalised Abortion Laws Will Undermine Child Abuse Message – Voxy

Defense Bill Would Allow Abortions at Military Hospitals – AllGov

Demonstrators in Spain protest new abortion law – AFP

Protests over Spain abortion move – The Press Association

Abortions in county, state drop in 2009 – Austin Herald

Elena Kagan’s partial-birth abortion scandal. – William Saletan – Slate Magazine – Slate Magazine

Half of Australians against late-term abortions: study  – ABC Online

Spaniards protest new abortion law – USA Today

Exclusive: ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ crewmember speaks out on fight with abortion … –

Gender Auditing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy –

July 4, 2010

Anti-abortion law demonstration Five hundred people gathered outside the … – Barcelona Reporter

Abortion shouldn’t be a crime: poll – Sydney Morning Herald

Defending and redefending our civil liberties – The Times of Trenton –

Spain court will study challenge to abortion law – Las Vegas Sun

Majority of Australians Support Late Abortion – MedIndia

Obama Keeping Supreme Court Hard Left – The North Star National

Support growing for lawful abortions –

Frail teen’s first hours are focus of a fight over who has more respect for life – Palm Beach Post

Should abortion be legal on request for women up to 24 weeks into a pregnancy? – New Zealand Herald

Spain’s new abortion law goes into action in midst of protests – Buenos Aires Herald

Preventing Maternal Deaths in West Africa – World Press Review

Opinion: G8 nations need to stem the vast tide of deaths in childbirth – San Jose Mercury News

July 5, 2010

Abortion law reform needed, Greens say – Sydney Morning Herald

How Do We Prevent Abortion? Obama Thinks One Way Is To Help Pregnant Women –

Spain’s unrestricted abortion law takes effect – The Associated Press

Kenya: Lawyer Criticises Clerics Over Abortion –

Spain court will study challenge to abortion law – Jamaica Observer

More than 1000 HIV/AIDS patients throughout Ohio to lose benefits – Plain Dealer

White House Ties New Pregnancy Assistance Fund To ‘Common Ground’ Abortion Plan – WIBW

Speaking Truth On Behalf of Ethiopian Women – Huffington Post

News Sexual Health

State with Nation’s Highest Chlamydia Rate Enacts New Restrictions on Sex Ed

Nicole Knight Shine

By requiring sexual education instructors to be certified teachers, the Alaska legislature is targeting Planned Parenthood, which is the largest nonprofit provider of such educational services in the state.

Alaska is imposing a new hurdle on comprehensive sexual health education with a law restricting schools to only hiring certificated school teachers to teach or supervise sex ed classes.

The broad and controversial education bill, HB 156, became law Thursday night without the signature of Gov. Bill Walker, a former Republican who switched his party affiliation to Independent in 2014. HB 156 requires school boards to vet and approve sex ed materials and instructors, making sex ed the “most scrutinized subject in the state,” according to reproductive health advocates.

Republicans hold large majorities in both chambers of Alaska’s legislature.

Championing the restrictions was state Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R-Wasilla), who called sexuality a “new concept” during a Senate Education Committee meeting in April. Dunleavy added the restrictions to HB 156 after the failure of an earlier measure that barred abortion providers—meaning Planned Parenthood—from teaching sex ed.

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Dunleavy has long targeted Planned Parenthood, the state’s largest nonprofit provider of sexual health education, calling its instruction “indoctrination.”

Meanwhile, advocates argue that evidence-based health education is sorely needed in a state that reported 787.5 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 people in 2014—the nation’s highest rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Surveillance Survey for that year.

Alaska’s teen pregnancy rate is higher than the national average.

The governor in a statement described his decision as a “very close call.”

“Given that this bill will have a broad and wide-ranging effect on education statewide, I have decided to allow HB 156 to become law without my signature,” Walker said.

Teachers, parents, and advocates had urged Walker to veto HB 156. Alaska’s 2016 Teacher of the Year, Amy Jo Meiners, took to Twitter following Walker’s announcement, writing, as reported by Juneau Empire, “This will cause such a burden on teachers [and] our partners in health education, including parents [and] health [professionals].”

An Anchorage parent and grandparent described her opposition to the bill in an op-ed, writing, “There is no doubt that HB 156 is designed to make it harder to access real sexual health education …. Although our state faces its largest budget crisis in history, certain members of the Legislature spent a lot of time worrying that teenagers are receiving information about their own bodies.”

Jessica Cler, Alaska public affairs manager with Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, called Walker’s decision a “crushing blow for comprehensive and medically accurate sexual health education” in a statement.

She added that Walker’s “lack of action today has put the education of thousands of teens in Alaska at risk. This is designed to do one thing: Block students from accessing the sex education they need on safe sex and healthy relationships.”

The law follows the 2016 Legislative Round-up released this week by advocacy group Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. The report found that 63 percent of bills this year sought to improve sex ed, but more than a quarter undermined student rights or the quality of instruction by various means, including “promoting misinformation and an anti-abortion agenda.”

News Politics

Tim Kaine Changes Position on Federal Funding for Abortion Care

Ally Boguhn

The Obama administration, however, has not signaled support for rolling back the Hyde Amendment's ban on federal funding for abortion care.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), the Democratic Party’s vice presidential candidate, has promised to stand with nominee Hillary Clinton in opposing the Hyde Amendment, a ban on federal funding for abortion care.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, told CNN’s State of the Union Sunday that Kaine “has said that he will stand with Secretary Clinton to defend a woman’s right to choose, to repeal the Hyde amendment,” according to the network’s transcript.

“Voters can be 100 percent confident that Tim Kaine is going to fight to protect a woman’s right to choose,” Mook said.

The commitment to opposing Hyde was “made privately,” Clinton spokesperson Jesse Ferguson later clarified to CNN’s Edward Mejia Davis.

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Kaine’s stated support for ending the federal ban on abortion funding is a reversal on the issue for the Virginia senator. Kaine this month told the Weekly Standard  that he had not “been informed” that this year’s Democratic Party platform included a call for repealing the Hyde Amendment. He said he has “traditionally been a supporter of the Hyde amendment.”

Repealing the Hyde Amendment has been an issue for Democrats on the campaign trail this election cycle. Speaking at a campaign rally in New Hampshire in January, Clinton denounced Hyde, noting that it made it “harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights.”

Clinton called the federal ban on abortion funding “hard to justify” when asked about it later that month at the Brown and Black Presidential Forum, adding that “the full range of reproductive health rights that women should have includes access to safe and legal abortion.”

Clinton’s campaign told Rewire during her 2008 run for president that she “does not support the Hyde amendment.”

The Democratic Party on Monday codified its commitment to opposing Hyde, as well as the Helms Amendment’s ban on foreign assistance funds being used for abortion care. 

The Obama administration, however, has not signaled support for rolling back Hyde’s ban on federal funding for abortion care.

When asked about whether the president supported the repeal of Hyde during the White House press briefing Tuesday, Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said he did not “believe we have changed our position on the Hyde Amendment.”

When pushed by a reporter to address if the administration is “not necessarily on board” with the Democratic platform’s call to repeal Hyde, Schultz said that the administration has “a longstanding view on this and I don’t have any changes in our position to announce today.”