Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Supreme Court decision didn't "just happen"

As reported on Free Speech Radio News, today the Supreme Court did "the biggest reversal to abortion practices since Roe v Wade more than thirty years ago."  In a five to four vote, reproductive rights took a heavy hit.  And it didn't "just happen."  Something to remember as your inbox fills up with various action alerts -- including from some who took no action at all in 2005 when a new wave of nonsense started up: Dems selling out reproductive rights.
The anti-choice Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated, "I would only say that this isn't the only decision a lot of us with that Alito weren't there and O'Connor were there."  Whimper, whine.
Did someone say no spine?  NARAL, who busied themselves in 2005 with giving Hillary Clinton cover as she backed off reproductive rights has sent out two alerts.  They are up in arms.  They had a lot to do with what happened today.  Instead of sending out action alerts, they should be examing their own actions.  This community called out NARAL's crap in real time. (One example, Keesha's "NARAL advocates the rest cure.") Don't waste your money on them. They wouldn't fight in 2005, they rushed to give pull-quotes to the mainstream media justifying Hillary's statements. 
We'll note an action alert worth noting:
Today's devastating 5-4 decision by the Bush-stacked Supreme Court is a historical decision on abortion and women's rights and is a direct assault on Roe v. Wade. This decision greatly increases the challenges and work of the feminist movement, as it fundamentally undermines women's health protection and makes politicians -- not doctors -- the decision-makers and arbitrators of women's health and access to abortion and family planning services.
This is an open invitation for state legislatures and the U.S. Congress to further restrict abortion and to interfere with women's health decisions.
  • We must make this an election issue.
  • We must stop the stacking of the Supreme Court by President Bush.
  • We must increase the pro-choice votes in the U.S. House, U.S. Senate, and state legislatures.
  • And we must work to pass the Freedom of Choice Act, which will codify Roe so that it cannot be further assaulted.
Help us mobilize and expand our work to meet this direct assault on women's health and lives. Donate to the Feminist Majority today.
On this dark day for women's health, I issued a press statement. Please find it attached below, and consider donating to the Feminist Majority to help us protect women's health and lives.
For Women's Lives,
Ellie Smeal
Eleanor Smeal
Let's be really clear, the failure on the part of NARAL to hold politicians accountable, to rush to provide cover instead of pressure, helped us arrive at this point.
Who else helped us?  Senate Dems who picked an anti-choice Dems as their leader, a Democratic Party that has repeatedly sold out women, dumb ass Senators including Dianne Feinstein who played like the questioning of Supreme Court nominess was a Sunday social.  The NonAction Figure Miss Dianne, Girl Senator.  Spread the blame around to include Democrats on the Judiciary Committee who didn't have the guts to filibuster either of Bully Boy's nominees.
RadioNation with Laura Flanders's Laura Flanders addresses the backing off from reproductive rights in chapter six ("Not by Spin Alone") of her new book Blue Grit.  From pages 140-141:
Bamboozled by talk about values voters' having caused the Democrats' defeat, Democrats got busy after the 2004 election reframing their messages on abortion.  John Kerry came out of the gate calling on the Democratic Party to recruit and elect more prolife candidates.  Howard Dean pledged to make the party "more welcoming" to prolife voters.  Hillary Clinton dusted off her husband's phrase about keeping abotions "safe, legal, and rare" and took it one step further, calling abortion "sad, even tragic."  Chuck Schumer, chair of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, handpicked antichoice Democrats to run for the Senate in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.  (Bob Casey Jr. won, Jim Langevin withdrew in favor of a victorious pro-choice Democrat.)
Eight weeks before the 2006 election, which political party was touting its efforts to reduce abortion in the United States?  Democrats.  In September House Democrats put forward a proposal, the Reducing the Need for Abortions and Supporting Parents Act.  It promised to reduce the number of abortions by one million over the next decade by increasing funding for pregnancy, preventing and contraception, as well as funding for the infant nutrition program.  In a concession to the Right, the bill also required abortion providers to notify patients of procedure risks, a provision that prochoice groups had fought on the grounds that it opened a door to yet more policing of doctors and intimidation.  The bill's supporters included Representative Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat from Illinois and chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; Representative Harold Ford, a Democrat from Tennessee; Bob Casey Jr.; and Senator John Kerry.
That same week at Pepperdine University (one of the country's leading conservative colleges), Kerry emphasized his committment to making "abortion rare."
To Kerry's comments, a representative of Focus on the Family Action said, "Whenever you talk about making abortion rare you're really missing the moral point, that a wrong can never be right."  Where the Right's going next, I would argue, Democratic voters and the majority of Americans don't want to follow.
Having come out victorious in 2006, Democrats run the risk of misinterpreting the midterm election results as a vindication of their reach-out-to-the-Right-and-grieve abortion strategy.  The trouble is, the Right isn't going away.  As fast as Democrats reach to the Right, the Right drats farther still.  A step farther down this path, contraception is murder too.
The Democrats' narrow electoral strategy may win votes and power in the Congress, but it plays havoc with women's lives.  Prochoice politicians have made a lot of common ground with abortion foes already, and it's resulted in a tidal wave of laws policing not just pregnant women seeking abortion but all pregnant women, and conferring rights on fetuses.
[. . .]
Reaching out to the "prolife" movement, Democrats are weakening their own.
So let's be clear this didn't just happen.  And when you consider the retreat that the Dems went into following the (Adam Nagourney) created myth of the "value voters," their refusal to stand strong against Bully Boy's two Supereme Court nominees reads like part of the same campaign strategy and not just a case of being spineless.
Also, those e-mailing to state Noam Chomsky was not a guest on Democracy Now! today -- I listen on KPFA.  He was the guest for the full hour.  Listeners got reality not a lot of hand wringing.  If you missed it, you can utilize the KPFA archives to listen.  Click here and you can hear Noam Chomsky.
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