[identity profile] lynn82md.livejournal.com
n Nov. 27 last year, a vicious gunman opened fire on health care providers at a Planned Parenthood community clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., killing three people, including a local law enforcement officer. It was later learned that the assailant had been motivated in part by extreme anti-abortion rhetoric related to the false allegations that Planned Parenthood has been profiting from the sale of fetal tissue. In 2009, respected physician Dr. George Tiller was gunned down during a worship service at his church in Wichita, Kan., after he was publicly cited in the media and even on the Floor of the House of Representatives as a practitioner of late-term abortions. Since 1993, there have been 11 murders and 26 attempted murders resulting from extreme anti-abortion violence, not to mention more than 200 arson attacks since the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973.

Perhaps just as tragic as these crimes is the reality that they might have been prevented had politicians and commentators refrained from crossing a very dangerous line. By combining a relentless barrage of accusatory and dehumanizing rhetoric with the release of specific identification of individuals and organizations, they bear some culpability for creating the conditions that led to these crimes.

Yet, having failed to learn from the very real and very dangerous consequences of extreme rhetoric and the publication of names and personal information of those who provide reproductive care services, House Republicans are now placing other health care practitioners, researchers, patients and first responders in danger — this time in our home state of Maryland.


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[identity profile] lynn82md.livejournal.com
I got this snippet from the middle of the article. It's very long, but I think it's an interesting article even though some parts make me roll my eyes.

Last summer, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals upheld this expanded interpretation of the chemical-endangerment law, ruling that the dictionary definition of “child” includes “unborn child,” an interpretation that will be challenged when the state’s Supreme Court considers Kimbrough’s case in the coming months. But the implications of that ruling go far beyond Alabama. Critics like Ketteringham argue that Alabama’s chemical-endangerment law offers a back door into what has become known as the “fetal personhood” argument.

Personhood USA, an organization based in Colorado, was founded in 2008 by Keith Mason after he became frustrated by the mainstream anti-abortion movement’s incremental approach of restricting the availability of legal abortion. “From my perspective, I saw a movement that was largely dying or dead and had a lack of enthusiasm from younger people and from people who had been in the fight for so many years,” he told me. “Something had to change. Personhood is that rallying point, because it’s the crux of the issue.” His movement seeks to establish the fetus’s right to live as equal to that of the mother’s.

Personhood advocates regard fetal rights as a civil rights issue, and they often compare themselves to abolitionists. “I think it would be unequal protection to give the woman a pass when anyone else who injects drugs into a child would be prosecuted,” Ben DuPré, director of Personhood Alabama, said. “What it boils down to is, aren’t these little children persons?”

The goal of Personhood USA is to establish that a fully rights-endowed person is created when sperm meets egg. To that end, it has introduced initiatives and measures in legislatures in 22 states. Though none of these measures have become law, some, like Proposition 26 in Mississippi, have made it to a ballot referendum, and other measures have passed legislative chambers in North Dakota, Montana and Oklahoma. The problem with those measures, from a legal perspective, says Lynn Paltrow, executive director of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, is that “there is no way to treat fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses as separate constitutional persons without subtracting pregnant women from the community of constitutional persons.”


What is everyone's thoughts on this?

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