To Celebrate Roe v Wade Senate GOP Plans A Religious Attack On Women

While many Americans are either mesmerized over another wealthy celebrity entertainer contemplating a run for the presidency, or the current White House occupant’s racist pejoratives aimed at other countries’ citizens, the Senate is poised to attack women on behalf of the Vatican and evangelical personhood movement.

Of course another religious attack on women is the new normal since America was taken over by evangelical theocrats at the highest levels of government, but it doesn’t mean the media or the resistance should keep silent over another assault on 51 percent of the population. What it does mean is that the so-called “resistance” had better start confronting these evangelical machinations head on before Republicans deal a deathblow to women’s constitutional right to self-determination; a right religious Republicans are crusading to eliminate. And that deathblow starts with controlling women’s reproductive choices with theocratic legislation with no basis in reality – like “The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

It is noteworthy to state right away that this piece of legislation is based on a seriously bastardized and heretical interpretation of the Christian religion. It is, however, part and parcel of the Catholic faith founded on a 1968 Papal encyclical, but it is not “scriptural” to evangelicals by any stretch of the imagination. Evangelicals and Republicans embrace the Catholic  personhood movement’s biblical heresy because it originated in the mind of a powerful male tyrant who devised a simple means of controlling his Catholic adherents around the world. Religious Republicans and their evangelical masters are using “the fetus” in hopes of controlling American women and keeping them “in their place” as birth machines like god and the male clergy intended.

According to reports from women’s rights activists, while the public is waiting for Trump’s next Twitter tirade Senate Republicans are preparing to vote on a 20-week abortion ban next week. It looks as if the vote is going to be on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade as a nod to the fanatical personhood movement that the GOP is  repaying loyal evangelical voters by using religion to control women with a ban on their right to self-determination. Trump promised his extremist religious disciples that he would sign the Vatican-inspired ban when it reaches his desk.

The Republican dominated House already passed a 20-week ban based on radical Christian claims that a 20-week fetus is a child that feels pain. It is noteworthy to mention that the age of fetal viability is pegged at 28 weeks” when pathology shows there is enough  neurological development in a fetus to breathe oxygen and start feeling anything, even though at 28 weeks the survival rate is at about 50 percent.

The religious Republican ban is founded on the stunningly absurd notion that at 20 weeks of gestation a fetus has full neurological development more than sufficient to feel pain. The reality is that at 20 weeks there are no neurological structures in place for that organism to feel anything according to a clinical professor and OB-GYN at Stanford University. Jennifer Conti is also a fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health and she said:

Twenty weeks is just an arbitrary limit set in place by [religious Republican] politicians that has no medical or scientific backing. There’s actually conclusive evidence that shows that the neurologic structures in a fetus aren’t complete and working until much further along in pregnancy, we think the third trimester.”

Ms. Conti is right, of course, and the scientific medical community concur that the neurological structures are “probably in place at about 28-29 weeks,” not 20 weeks. In fact, according to a comprehensive review reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “the structures needed for fetuses to feel [anything] only begin to develop between 23 and 30 weeks of gestation.” That biological fact was verified by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists who reported that “premature babies cannot feel anything [much less pain] until 29 or 30 weeks.

For the ignoramus zealots among the evangelical sect, a “premature” baby is one that has left the mother’s womb and breathes oxygen; what the evangelical god of the bible calls “a living being.” It is not a zygote, not an embryo or a fetus that the anti-choice morons claim are “children” that feel pain. The point is that If a living, oxygen-breathing “premature baby”  cannot feel anything until 29 or 30 weeks, then it is biologically impossible for a 20-week old fetus to be “pain capable.

It is questionable whether the Senate version of the 20-week ban will pass due to requiring a supermajority vote (60) to advance to Trump’s desk, but that is not a completely unwanted result for the religious Republican movement. In fact, it is likely that anti-women’s rights groups, evangelical fanatics, Republicans, the Vatican, U.S. Catholic Bishops, the personhood movement, and all Christofascists want to see the ban fail for an obvious reason; to use the legislation’s defeat during an election year to focus attention on every candidates’s position on women’s reproductive rights.

If the measure fails in the Senate, Americans can expect a very heavy dose of attacks by religious Republicans on any candidate who either voted against, or would have voted against, a theocratic fetus law. And that opposition would be heavily promoted as Democrats who “willfully refuse to protect the voiceless, the vulnerable, the marginalized children who science has proven can feel pain.”

As noted above, fetuses are “not children” and they are not living beings according to the evangelical Christian’s god of the bible. And, science has proven that a fetus at 20 weeks has no neurological structure to feel anything. Still, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said there are marginalized children in mothers’ wombs who are in pain and only Republicans can save them. Republicans will beat that dead horse mercilessly in the leadup to the 2018 midterms and the “resistance” will do what they typically do when confronted with “the fetus” by lying Republican theocrats, lose elections.

Republicans have had incredible electoral success with the fetus over the years and it was an important part in Trump garnering support from the evangelical extremists that make up the majority of his base. Besides bringing about the End Times, the religious right flocked to Trump on his pledge to put an end to women’s reproductive freedoms; and for the personhood evangelicals that means abolishing birth control according to the 1969 Papal document that bans abortion, the Humanae Vitae.

This ridiculous fetal pain nonsense has failed in the past but now that evangelicals co-own and co-control the federal government, their assault on women represents a clear and present danger.

Remember, one of the first acts of the evangelicals running the federal government was designating a eukaryotic cell (zygote) as a living human being worthy of federal government protection. Republicans followed suit in the House version of tax reform giving zygotes, embryos, and the fetus federal personhood status for the sake of evading taxation. Theocratic Republicans are setting a precedent to ban all forms of what the Vatican calls “artificial birth control” and every attack on women’s reproductive rights is setting up that ban; and all without the Catholic Pope ever having to utter one edict.

If there is a real “resistance” movement, they have been extraordinarily silent on the not-so-stealthy and sustained attack on women over the course of the past year. A monumental part of the problem is that no organization, or Democrat for that matter, is willing to cite the only source of these unrelenting attacks on women. Believe it or not, there are no laws forbidding anyone from condemning the Republican attacks on women as borne of religion. Oh some people will claim that mentioning religion will kill the message or alienate the faithful, but that kind of mindset is precisely what the religious right, Republicans indebted to the religious right, the religious right clergy, and the anti-women’s movement is counting on. They know that everyone in America is too terrified to say out loud that religion is the only basis for the misogyny and patriarchal attacks on American women and it is why they continue unabated.

Image: Eclectablog

Virginia’s Chief Homophobe Defeated By Transgender Heavy Metal Singer

At a juncture in American history when the concept of good news seems fantastical, there was a bit of encouraging news upon waking Wednesday morning. Most of the bad news over the past several months was not necessarily that the Trump administration still exists, it has been the raging religious attacks on women, LGBTQ people, and non-Christians that Trump plays a pivotal role in executing.

One of the nation’s worst religious right bigots after Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions, a nasty piece of work named Robert Marshall, expected to win another stint as a delegate to Virginia’s legislature so he could continue to intimidate and discriminate against women, the LGBTQ community, and anyone unwilling to toe the evangelical line. In a glorious win for the “good people” of Virginia, Marshall was not victorious. Instead, justice prevailed and he was soundly defeated by a Virginia resident who represents everything Marshall hates and has spent his political career tormenting – LGBTQ people.

Danica Roem is a former journalist and now the first openly transgender elected to a state legislature in America after she defeated “bigot Bob” Marshall.  She is also a singer in a “melodicheavy metal band that was almost certainly an extra irritant to Marshall’s “holier-than-thou” sensibilities.  Regardless what the defeat meant to Marshall, Ms. Roem’s victory was historic as a transgender woman; defeating a raging religious right homophobe and “real conservative” was “extra sweet.”

As an aside, another transgender won a first-ever city council seat in Minneapolis; it informs that Americans are rejecting bigotry driven by religion and actually voting for a candidate based on their policies and qualifications, not on who they hate according to their religion.  Andrea Johnson was the “first ever” African American transgender woman to win an election in America.

Roem likely captured some national attention not so much because she is the first state-level transgender to win an election, but because she defeated an avowed malcontent Catholic that wears his religious bigotry proudly and refers to himself as “chief homophobe.”  Obviously in the 21st Century Virginia voters were no longer impressed that their representative was a religious bigot.

Marshall is so much more than just a nasty bigot; he is as religiously vicious an anti-women’s choice Catholic as the author of the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae. Marshall is one of those personhood freaks that, besides claiming contraceptives are abortion and a mortal sin, invents fantasy science as a means to control women. A few years ago he confidently asserted that abortion causes birth defects in subsequent pregnancies. He also made an attempt at fear-mongering and warned that repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell would reinstate the draft and force the unwilling to serve.

He preached  that “X-rated videos were a public health hazard” and authored an amendment to the state’s constitution banning same-sex marriage. His pride and joy, however, and a tool he should not have used in the campaign, was his legislation banning transgender people from using the correct restroom. Although his bill perished in committee, he embraced the “chief homophobe” role throughout the campaign as a badge of honor.

Marshall spent time during the campaign claiming that Ms. Roem’s identity was “against the laws of nature and nature’s god.” To belabor the point, Marshall always referred to “Ms. Roem” using a male pronoun to prove to voters that he’s right with “nature’s god.”  Marshall refused to debate Roem and instead resorted to typical Republican mudslinging and ugliness over Ms. Roem’s performance in an old music video. Apparently if X-rated videos are a “public health hazard,” then a heavy metal music video Ms. Roem sang in was  “lewd” according to Marshall.

Marshall and his supporters also produced disgusting hate campaign adsdisparaging Ms. Roem’s transgender identity.” It’s a tactic that likely backfired after the level of hate Virginians recently witnessed in Charlottesville.

In response to the attacks on her gender, Ms. Roem explained why Marshall had to resort to the only thing he knows; hate and bigotry borne of religion. She said: “This is what happens when he can’t defeat me [on] the core quality-of-life issues facing the people of the 13th District . . .”

 As it turns out, Ms. Roem had no difficulty convincing voters that Marshall is so consumed with hate inspired by his devotion to “nature’s god” that he had been woefully negligent to the needs of his constituents and their concerns about roads, education, equality and jobs.

After her victory, Ms. Roem said:

Discrimination is a disqualifier This is about the people of the 13th District disregarding fear tactics, disregarding phobias . . . where we celebrate you because of who you are, not despite it.”

In Ms. Roem’s case, the voters supporter her because she pledged to work towards alleviating their concerns over jobs, education and transportation. Her victory was a win for the LGBTQ community for sure, but it is also a telling sign that campaigning on hate, although the only thing Marshall knows, is not what voters are interested in.

Roem’s victory is also a signal that the evangelical hate groups are not representative of the entire population. It is true they run the government, something Trump has allowed with his blessings, but the people are growing weary of their tax dollars going to torture other Americans because of whom they love, what gender they identity with, or whether a woman chooses to give birth or not. It is an encouraging sign that despite the vocal minority making up the Republicans’ base, all Americans are not hateful bigots; fortunately Virginia residents will not have to put up with the self-proclaimed “chief homophobe” any longer.

Bob Marshall is not a nice man and the level of hate he dished out daily informs that he is not any kind of “real Christian.” This author has had a personal interest in seeing Marshall thrown out of office and the public’s consciousness for eight years. Marshall took exception to an op-Ed newspaper column condemning his attacks on gays and women and made a written response that was very personal and unrelated to the theme of the admittedly incendiary hit piece. That it was a transgender woman who defeated the dirty bigot is sweet justice indeed.

It is a travesty that the 13th District voters gave Marshall 26 years in the legislature to spread hate and bigotry, but it is heartening to learn that the voters finally became decent citizens and rejected his hate. It cannot be overstated that for the LGBTQ community, beleaguered women in Virginia, and decent Americans everywhere there is justice that a person representing everything Marshall hates was the candidate to send him packing. Maybe there is hope for America after all.

Image: Patheos

GOP House Bill Bans Abortion Before Women Know They’re Pregnant

The horrendous saga known as the evangelical Republican war on women continues unabated with a simply horrific bill rapidly advancing in the theocratic House of Representatives. Every week there has been a new development informing the Vatican-influenced “Personhood” movement and evangelicals led by Mike “preacher” Pence have made their raison d’être banning all forms of birth control as well as bestow full constitutional rights on a single-celled organism that supersedes those of the impregnated woman. None of these vicious evangelical attacks on women are unexpected, and it is the primary reason a few journalists are heartsick after writing prolifically for years on the dangers of allowing theocratic-minded Republicans to take control of the government. It is with no satisfaction that those journalists can legitimately say “we told you so.”

The latest abomination is a bill banning abortion at six weeks, before most women know their egg was fertilized and they are pregnant. The religious zealots behind the bill are the “Personhoodmovement and their obscene claim that an embryonic heartbeat means an abortion is a federal crime and grounds for a fine and prison time.

It is noteworthy to reiterate for the ten-thousandth time that the Personhood movement bases its entire attack on women’s reproductive rights and self-determination on a 1968 papal encyclical, Humanae Vitae. In that Vatican document any attempt to prevent a male gamete (spermatozoa) from joining with a female gamete (oocyte) to produce a eukaryotic cell (zygote) is abortion and a mortal sin. It is precisely the stance taken by the evangelicals now running the United States government.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Steve King (R-IA), said his legislation is purposely in opposition to “national abortion protections” he claims are patently unconstitutional; passing an embryonic heartbeat bill is the first step in criminalizing abortion. King said:

Since Roe v. Wade was unconstitutionally decided in 1973, nearly 60 million innocent babies’ lives have been ended by the abortion industry, all with a rubber stamp by the federal government. If a heartbeat is detected, the baby is protected. We think this bill properly applied does eliminate a large, large share of the abortions—90 percent or better—of the abortions in America.”

There is so much wrong with King’s statement. The idea that a Supreme Court ruling is “unconstitutional” because it contradicts a Vatican document and King’s religion should preclude him from ever serving in any capacity in any government entity. He can be a preacher with that mindset, but not a member of Congress. He did, in fact, take a “so help me god” oath to support the Constitution that says the Supreme Court is the arbiter of what is and is not constitutional. A Republican theocrat does not determine what is constitutional. But that is precisely what King claims and he admitted that his legislation is correcting the “unconstitutionality” of Roe v Wade; that is the purpose of H.R 490, the so-called “Fetal Heartbeat Protection Act of 2017.”

If the bill becomes law, abortion will be banned “in cases where a fetal heartbeat is detectable” or in “situations where doctors intend to move forward without determining whether the fetus [embryo] has a detectable heartbeat.” The personhood zealots began the ‘fetal’ heartbeat assault on women’s reproductive rights when modern technology was capable of detecting an embryonic heartbeat at six weeks, before most women even know they are pregnant.

It is noteworthy that at six weeks, not only is there no baby and no “person,” there is no fetus; it is an embryo. King’s legislation can’t even get the biological terminology right due to his faith-driven stupidity.

There is also the issue of a zygote, an embryo or a fetus being “a baby.” For dog’s sake, even an imbecile understands what “a baby” is and they know it isn’t a stinking zygote, an embryo or a fetus. When the fetus leaves the womb and breathes air without medical intervention, then and only then is it “a baby;” or according to the god in Steve King’s holy bible “a living being.” That is his god’s determination and it was so important he made the remark several times in Steve King’s holy rule book and never once mentioned a zygote, embryo or a fetal heartbeat.

Religious Republicans have attempted these insane “heartbeat” bills at the state level only to see them either struck down as unconstitutional or shelved because the legal costs of losing in court was too great; and those unconstitutional ‘fetal heartbeat’ laws banned abortion at 12 weeks instead of six. The latest effort at the federal level is no less unconstitutional, but religious Republicans will go to insane lengths to impose a Vatican edict as American law. On Thursday NARAL Senior Vice President Sasha Bruce said:

The GOP’s crazy obsession with banning all abortions in this country knows no end, no boundary, and no common sense. Their latest crazy, and clearly unconstitutional, idea is a ban that applies to [people] who don’t even know they’re pregnant yet, intentionally preventing them from accessing care altogether.

Americans are clear: they want their elected officials addressing the crises our country faces instead of wasting time and taxpayer dollars attempting to ban abortion. The majority of Americans stand on the side of abortion access, and seven in 10 Americans believe abortion should remain legal and accessible.”

Although everything Ms. Bruce said is true, it is a monumental mystery why she still hesitates citing the “unconstitutional” source of all these “obsessive, crazy and unconstitutional” ideas is religion.

Of course it’s the GOP pushing the unconstitutional laws, but it is only because the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the personhood movement and the Vatican are forbidden from passing and enacting theocratic legislation; that’s the job of their evangelical Republican surrogates. And it doesn’t matter what the majority of American want. This country is being run by a minority of evangelical fanatics who have as little regard for what Americans want as they do the Constitution or women’s right to self-determination about anything, but particularly their reproductive health rights. And those rights are closer to being abridged in a big way if King and his religious cabal have their way.

King and his personhood cohort want the legislation to pass and immediately face legal challenges all the way to the Supreme Court. King told the press that he does hope the bill makes it to the High Court noting that Trump already appointed anti-choice malcontent Neil Gorsuch to the bench and “hopefully” will appoint a couple more:

By the time we march this thing down to the Supreme Court, the faces on the bench will be different, we just don’t know how much different but I am optimistic.”

 This is the third flagrant religious attack on women’s rights to self-determination in three weeks and it is obvious it is not going to be the last by any means. All the while, most Americans are transfixed on Trump’s latest tweet instead of the non-stop attacks on over half the population’s constitutional rights.

The ultimate goal, of course, with all these “lesser assaults” on women’s reproductive rights is banning abortion and contraceptives. Don’t believe it? Just wait; because it is in the Vatican’s Humanae Vitae and every assault on women’s reproductive health since Trump’s poorly-attended inauguration have their foundation in this one religious document; something nobody wants to talk about as America inches closer to being a theocracy.

Image: Eclectablog

Court Rules Against Kentucky’s Religious Abortion Law “With Prejudice”

As expected, women in Donald Trump’s America have already suffered assault after assault to their rights. There has been no good news for women since Trump’s poorly attended inauguration and it is likely there won’t be at the national level until the “pussy-grabbing” misogynist is out of the White House and Republicans lose control of both houses of Congress. However, there was a sliver of good news late this week at the state level when an evangelical extremist governor suffered a blow from a federal judge in Kentucky.

In the ruling handed down in an opinion that only required one page, Federal Judge David Hale told Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin that his cherished anti-woman law violated the Constitution. What that means for Kentucky women, and their healthcare providers is that they will no longer be forced into undergoing an ultrasound prior to terminating a pregnancy.

The law, H.B. 2, which was enacted in January, required doctors to perform an ultrasound and attempt to show an image of the fetus and play audio of its heartbeat to a pregnant woman before performing an abortion. Instead of being truthful and admitting that the barbaric law was the work of radical evangelical extremists, upon signing it Bevin hailed the law as “protect[ing] our most vulnerable, guaranteeing important freedoms for workers and setting our Commonwealth on a course for unparalleled opportunity and prosperity.”

It’s unclear exactly how forcing physicians to perform an ultrasound to demean the woman “guaranteed freedoms for workers” when it forced doctors to perform an unnecessary procedure, or set Kentucky “on a course for unparalleled opportunity and prosperity.” But it sounds more reasonable than Bevin explaining the real reason for the law; to control women, deny them their constitutional rights, and dictate to doctors how to practice medicine according to radical evangelical extremists.

Bevin was being honest when he saidIt is an honor for me to sign into law these historic pieces of legislation” because his evangelical bent informs his intent, and honor, to control women’s reproductive lives and force doctors to do the bidding of the radical evangelical extremists running Kentucky.

The Federal Judge’s ruling is just months after Bevin attempted to shutter EMW Women’s Surgical Center on “his claim” it didn’t meet state health requirements.  A lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of the woman’s clinic and said:

If EMW is forced to close its doors, there will be no licensed abortion facility in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Kentucky women would be left without access to a critical and constitutionally protected medical procedure.

Of course that was Bevin’s, and the Kentucky legislature’s, intent and it inspired the Judge to issue a tersely worded one-page decision slapping the evangelicals down like they deserved. The key part of the very short ruling said:

The defendants (Bevin et al) “are permanently enjoined from enforcing H.B. 2 by civil action, criminal proceeding … or any other means of penalizing any person for failure to comply with H.B. 2 by by civil actions criminal proceeding, administrative action or proceeding, or any other means; and applying, imposing, or requiring compliance with, implementing, or carrying out in any way any part of H.B. 2. This action is DISMISSED with prejudice and STRICKEN from the Court’s docket.” (Judge’s bold and caps)

In a statement the ACLU said the ruling was a “vindication of the rights of Kentuckians and their physicians.” A senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, Alexa Kolbi-Molinas also said in the statement:

We are pleased that Kentuckians will no longer be subjected to this demeaning and degrading invasion into their personal health care decisions. This ruling puts us one step closer to getting Kentucky politicians out of the exam room.”

If Ms. Kolbi-Molinas were more forthcoming and not terrified of butt-hurting the evangelical extremists behind H.B. 2, she would have said the ruling puts “us one step closer to getting Kentucky evangelical extremists out of women’s vaginas.” But she made her point. As anyone with a pulse comprehends,  although it was Kentucky’s Republicans “in the exam room” and physicians’ medical practices, they were driven by evangelical interlopers to impose their bastardized religion on women and their medical providers.

It is true that this victory is noteworthy, but Kentucky is just one of the many Republican-controlled states on a tear to criminalize a legal medical procedure on religious grounds. Kentucky’s other attack on women is a ban on abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy, but the lawsuit only focused on “forcing doctors to perform ultrasounds” and not the 20-week ban. The evangelicals running the House of Representatives are set to vote next week on a federal version of H.B. 2 and never one to pass up an opportunity to punish women, Trump pledged to sign that 20-week abortion ban. It is unclear if the federal attack on women’s rights will advance past the Senate, but this Federal Court ruling may inform religious Republican senators that passing laws targeting a legal medical procedure is unconstitutional.

As this column has complained about relentlessly, neither the Federal Judge nor the ACLU ever mentioned that these and other attacks on women’s reproductive rights are founded solely on a genuinely bizarre version of Christianity championed by the radical evangelical personhood movement, and the Vatican. It certainly leads one to believe there is a federal law or article in the Constitution prohibiting anyone from uttering an unkind or accusatory word against a specific religion. Conservatives have no issue defaming other religions.

Despite spending no small amount of time studying the U.S. Constitution, and the U.S. Code, this author can find no state or federal law, or statute, or article in the Constitution banning any American from uttering an untoward comment about religion. Kentucky’s H.B. 2, like the House’s ridiculous fetal pain legislation, is founded on an absurd religious belief and according to the First Amendment, religious beliefs cannot be legislated into law. It’s damned high time women’s advocacy groups and Democrats, and Federal judges acknowledge that it is patently unconstitutional to legislate the establishment of religion; particularly legislating religion to punishing non-compliant women.

Image: LeoWeekly