May 23, 2008

Special interest group threatens to hold its breath if it doesn’t get its way

Right to Life of Michigan’s ban on so-called “partial birth abortions” failed to be taken up in the Michigan House Thursday, prompting a threat from RTF to throw themselves on the ground and throw a fit on the next session day on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 776 has been in the House since January when the Senate approved it by a vote of 24-12. RTF has been pushing it extremely hard, despite the fact here is already a federal ban on the rare procedure, and the unnecessary bill will not prevent one single abortion in the state of Michigan. It is also not a legislative issue or even a state issue. This is just one more “gottcha” issue that RTF plans to use to attack politicians in November who don’t vote their way, and RTF’s chief lobbyist said as much at a legislative lobby day in Lansing last month when he said they will use it to roast legislators.

Apparently, behind the scene negotiations to bring the vote to the floor are tied to moving a package of House bills – according to subscription only Gongwer - that would make more information about emergency contraceptives available to the public, and allow victims of sexual assault to receive the contraceptive if they request it as well as penalize pharmacists who refuse to do their job and fill a person's legitimate prescription. House Bills 6048-6050 were reported favorably out of the Judiciary Committee earlier this month.

I would have no problem supporting this bill in order to get some useful and commons sense family planning measures in place because SB 776 means nothing and will not stop one single abortion. However, the Democrats who vote their conscience and vote no will be targeted.

Subscription only MIRS reported RTF “will work to effectively shut down the House on Tuesday by telling members that casting votes (yes or no) on any legislation that's brought up that isn't the partial-birth abortion ban will be considered a vote against it.” Talk about selfish, one-issue voters.

Another far right group, Lansing-based so-called Citizens for Traditional Values, has joined the fray, and they are urging their members to blast lawmakers with phone calls and emails. When I hear the words “traditional values” I am wary. What so-called traditional values do they mean? Do they mean the traditional values of slave-holding, racial and religious discrimination, Jim Crow and when only male landowners could vote?

The obvious question is why one, single-issue special interest group has so much power? This, again, is not a legislative or a state issue, but they still wield so much power.

This fiasco comes on the heels of news that the Department of Community Health announced that the number of abortions declined again last year, a trend that has held true since 1987. DCH announced that there were 24,683 abortions in the state last year, down from 25,636 in 2006. We can thank groups like Planned Parenthood that provide family planning and birth control and contraceptives to all woman, including low income women, as well as providing preventive health care and gynecological medical services.

The simple fact is family planning prevents unintended pregnancies and reduces the number of abortions, as well as the rate of infant mortality, low birth weight babies and sexually transmitted infections. I am pro-choice, but anti-abortion and I would love to see that number of 24,683 abortions fall to zero. We are not, however, going to reach that number by outlawing abortions. Outlawing abortions will never happen because the Republicans would lose the political clout it has with RTL, and how would they whip up the troops. If we reach the goal of zero abortions we will see the demise of a powerful political group, and that’s even more good news.

They would have to fall back on the old reliable rallying causes of gays and guns.


Brett said...

This is hilarious. Family planning doesn't prevent unintended pregnancies. It ends a pregnancy with an abortion. It does reduce the rate of infant mortality by increasing the mortality of fetus'. It also ends low birthweight babies by ending the babies life before the child comes out of the mother.

Partial birth abortion kills a child that is about to be born by allowing a good part of the child to come out of the mother and inserting a needle in the back of the head and killing it.

Alas, arguments about abortions never accomplish anything. So I'll leave it at this. Abortion has never been voted on by the American people. It's only been in the courts (Roe v Wade) and the Congress.

The federal government should not be involved in abortion. It should be left up to each individual state and their citizens to decide.

As with everything, when government gets involved, things get screwed up.

I'd like to say that I'm in favor of liberals having abortions, but I really can't because a life, however dismal, is still a life. It's never the babies fault for their creation. It's always the mothers and/or fathers fault.

The majority of unwanted pregnancies are not due to rape or incest. It is due to two people wanting the fun, but not wanting to take responsibility for their actions.

If you want real family planning, you'd tell parents they should teach their daughters to keep their legs closed and their sons to not enter dark places without expecting some follow up responsibility to come.

Then you'd always be dealing with the issue of whether or not abortion is warranted when pregnancy is due to rape or incest.

I'll never understand how people don't have the time to go out and work their way out of poverty by getting a job but have so much time on their hands that they can screw around and create a tough life or end the life of a baby that had nothing to do with mom and dad's irresponsibility.

This is fun. All I have to do is see the topic of your writing and I know before reading it what you're going to say.

By the way, just a little constructive suggestion. Try spell check. It might amaze you.

Communications guru said...

Family planning doesn’t doesn't prevent unintended pregnancies? Are you serious? Family planning is birth control, and that is the only way to avid unintended pregnancies.

“Partial-birth" is not a medical term. It's a political one coined by Right to Life, and it does not kill a child. Of course it has never been “voted on by the American people,” nor should it ever. It’s not an elective or legislative issue; it’s a federal judicial issue. If you want to vote, vote not to have one, it’s a choice issue.

Well, I’m not in favor of any one having an abortion, but it’s not my choice to make. As I have said, before, I want to see zero abortions, and this political gotcha is not going to reduce a single abortion. Not one. Family planning will reduce the number of abortions and has.

I believe in abstinence, but it works until it doesn’t work, and providing information on contraceptives does not promote sexual activity. It takes much more than a job to work ones’ way out of poverty, especially when you consider how wages are falling.

If I’m so predictable then don’t bother commenting. It seems to me that if I’m so predictable then why can’t you every win a debate?

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll take it in the spirit it was given, and I would suggest you do the same. Spelling has been the weakest part of my writing and I am not perfect, so if you see a mistake do not hesitate to point it out. After all, unlike you and the other rightwing bloggers, I stand by what I write nor do I censor.

A mother said...


Are you for the killing of babies?

Communications guru said...

No, of course not. Are you?

A mother said...

Comm guru

Your comments sounds like you are very much for partial birth abortions.

You angry at people who are pro-life as opposed to pro-death is shown in your comments.

That is why I asked the question.

There are plenty of families who can not have children who would love to adopt the babies that these mothers are killing.

Communications guru said...

First, “partial birth abortions” is a political term, not a medical term, and I don’t know how you reached that conclusion. Like I said in the post, I want to see zero abortions, but the political move will not stop or slow down abortions. I know no one who is pro-death except people who support the death penalty.

CEW said...

News flash... another mother says, You can be completely against abortion, for birth control, sex ed. in the schools as early as possible and still be a faithful Christian, Muslim or Jew.

Either/or thinking gets you false dichotomies and the politicization of sexuality. It's an old technique. Unfortunately, still effective.

Pro-life versus pro-death.
Abstinence versus promiscuity.
This or that. Choose at your own peril, sinner, they bellow in love.

Communications guru said...

I agree 100 percent, and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Nice to hear from you gain. I hope things are going well for you over at Michigan Messenger.