Friday Night Fun and Culture

It is hard to sustain outrage and anger on such a perfectly gorgeous January day that is filled with sunshine and is in the lower 70 degrees F.  So before I head off to work I thought I’d put up the weekly fun post.

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Celebrating 37 Years of Roe v. Wade: NOW Asserts that Abortion Care is a Human Right

Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

January 22, 2010

Today we celebrate the 37th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which recognized a woman’s constitutional right to legal abortion. However, we recognize that in 2010 women’s ability to exercise this basic right is under attack as never before, not only by domestic terrorism but also in the halls of Congress. Just last summer, Wichita physician Dr. George Tiller was murdered as he attended church services, and today his admitted killer is being allowed to make the novel argument that his heinous act was not murder because he was driven by religious zeal. In Washington, after months of debate over health care reform, we find ourselves wondering whether the leadership in Congress and the president we worked so hard to elect in 2008 will ultimately stand up to the Catholic Bishops and other extremists bent on dismantling Roe and reject their demands for sweeping anti-abortion provisions in the reform bill. More than ever, we must fight for women’s fundamental human right to have access to safe and legal abortion.

The names Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts will forever be infamous for their closed-door collusion with the Catholic Bishops to push through an amendment to the House health care reform bill that would effectively choke off all private as well as public insurance coverage for abortion care. If enacted, this provision would deprive tens of millions of women of health insurance they currently have, as nearly 90 percent of today’s private health insurance policies cover abortion. NOW and its allies beat back an attempt to put a nearly identical provision into the Senate health reform bill, only to see a so-called “compromise” inserted at the insistence of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.). The Nelson language is better termed a capitulation, as it produces the same end result as Stupak-Pitts.

To those who tell us we should be willing to give up abortion rights in order to get other health care reforms, we respond with a resounding NO. We will not trade off the rights and needs of some women for the benefit of others. What kind of government has the temerity to even suggest that women do so?

On this anniversary, we mourn the beloved Dr. Tiller, who for 33 years courageously defended women’s constitutional right to access safe abortion care. And we express our profound gratitude to other abortion providers, like Dr. LeRoy Carhart, who has vowed to honor Dr. Tiller’s legacy by expanding the services available to women in his own practice and opening another clinic that will treat women in need of late-term abortions. NOW’s leaders and activists around the country will continue to support that mission.

Abortion has once again taken center stage in the current volatile political landscape. This year we pledge to fiercely resist every effort to negotiate, manipulate or hold up for sale our reproductive rights. Neither the bullying of the Catholic Bishops nor the threats of domestic terrorism will force us to turn back. As Dr. Tiller said, “Abortion is about women’s hopes and dreams. Abortion is a matter of survival for women.” Safe, legal and accessible abortion is a basic human right of every woman in this country. We claim it, and we will never give it up.

Posted in Feminist, Gender, Health Care, Human Rights, Questioning Authority, Religion, Social Justice, Uncategorized, Unequal Treatment. Comments Off on Celebrating 37 Years of Roe v. Wade: NOW Asserts that Abortion Care is a Human Right

Things That Make Me Sigh and Say, “I Don’t Fucking Think So.”

Today I received this story from Brenda Lana Smith’s news feed.
Canada – Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General off the hook in M2F gender-variant rapist convict Shauna Taylor (nee Vance Egglestone)’s sex change… [2010-01-22 Toronto Star]–ministry-off-the-hook-in-rapist-s-sex-change?bn=1

Ministry off the hook in rapist’s sex-change
Court rejects decision ordering attorney general to pick up cost of rapist’s psychiatric assessment

Tracey Tyler
Legal Affairs Reporter

Fri Jan 22 2010

Seven lawyers, four judges and two testicles. They’ve been at the centre of an important legal case and dispute over an Ontario psychiatric patient’s request for a sex change.

Now, Ontario’s highest court has ruled on who should pay for a pre-surgical psychiatric assessment of Vance Egglestone, a multiple rapist now known as Shauna Taylor.

Taylor, 53, who began attacking women in bars in the 1970s and has spent nearly 35 years locked up in psychiatric hospitals, has been trying to become a woman. The next step is an operation to remove both testicles, a procedure known as a double orchidectomy.

But what began as a patient’s request sparked broader legal issues that tested the scope of the Ontario Review Board’s power.

Although the board, which has jurisdiction over about 1,000 mentally disordered inmates, ordered the Ministry of the Attorney General to pick up the cost of having Taylor assessed by a Toronto gender identity clinic, the ministry objected. The board’s decision was reversed last year by a Superior Court judge.

When the case reached the Ontario Court of Appeal last week, a group known as the Empowerment Council, representing people with mental health issues, had joined the fray as an intervenor.

The council, along with Taylor, backed the review board in the dispute, arguing the board’s independence could be compromised if it were forced to pay for the psychiatric evaluations of patients. This is especially true when the board essentially controls a patient’s destiny, making decisions about whether he or she can be released, they argued.

There might even be a perception that if the board refused to send a patient for an assessment, it was because it did not have the money in its budget, the court was told.

In writing for the unanimous appeals court Thursday, however, Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler rejected these arguments.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has indicated it is prepared to pay for any assessment ordered by the Ontario Review Board, he said.

The review board’s powers are set out in the Criminal Code.

In Thursday’s decision, Winkler said Justice Clair Marchand, who heard the case last year, was correct in finding that since there was no provision specifically authorizing the board to order another branch of government to pay for psychiatric assessments, it had no power to do so.

The board had been told by forensic psychiatrist Ron Langevin in 2007 that Taylor suffers from “gender identity disorder” and surgery would not only improve his sense of well-being, but reduce his risk of reoffending.

However, some staff at the Oak Ridge division of the Penetanguishene Mental Health Centre have expressed doubts he has the condition.

© Copyright Toronto Star 1996-2009

My opinion is this:

There are few pieces of human feces lower than rapists.  As far as I am concerned they should confined forever with no medical care what so ever.  I say that as someone who has been the victim of one of these pieces of shit.  I barely escaped being murdered.

If this prick wants a sex change operation I say “Strap the rapist prick down and let me at him with a Bowie knife.  I’ll gladly cut his dick and balls off.”

If you think I am angry ask his victims if they think he should be rewarded with serious consideration for sex reassignment.

There are some crimes just so far beyond the pale that those committing them should be deemed as having forfeited the right to ask for favors.  It is favor enough that he is still treated as human.