Ryan on abortion exceptions: Rape is just another ‘method of conception’

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/24/ryan-on-abortion-exceptions-rape-is-just-another-method-of-conception/

By David Edwards
Friday, August 24, 2012

Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan says that he personally believes that rape is just another “method of conception” and not an excuse to allow abortions.

During an interview with WJHL this week, Ryan was asked his view about Rep. Todd Akin, who recently asserted that women could not get pregnant from “legitimate rape.”

“Specifically where you stand when it comes to rape, and when it comes to the issue of should it be legal for a woman to be able to get an abortion if she’s raped?” WJHL reporter Josh Smith wondered.

“I’m very proud of my pro-life record, and I’ve always adopted the idea that, the position that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life,” Ryan explained. “But let’s remember, I’m joining the Romney-Ryan ticket. And the president makes policy.”

“And the president, in this case the future President Mitt Romney, has exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother, which is a vast improvement of where we are right now.”

MSNBC’s Steve Benen noted that responses like this were probably the reason that Romney is refusing to take any questions about Akin or abortion.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/24/ryan-on-abortion-exceptions-rape-is-just-another-method-of-conception/

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GOP: A Party That Hates Women

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/gop-party-hates-women

Romney and Ryan envision an anti-woman economy and society, but women are increasingly key to winning elections.

By Marshall Auerback
August 24, 2012

Missouri GOP senatorial candidate Todd Akin’s absurd comment that women’s bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of “legitimate rape” is disgusting. It also points to a deeper problem within the GOP.

Plainly, this is a party that hates women. And given the huge gender gap opening up in favor of President Obama over the presumptive GOP candidate, Mitt Romney, this has important implications for economic and social policy going forward. Because if they win, the Democrats are less likely to embrace the draconian fiscal austerity proposals now advocated by Romney’s advisors, along with the party’s regressive social agenda.

The current Republican Party is a perverse coalition of the top 1 percent and the socially conservative right. The latter are not well off for the most part. The Koch brothers (and others of that ilk) have managed to convince the have-not religious fundamentalists to vote against their own economic interests and support their internal colonialism through economically regressive policies which are exacerbating the country’s mounting economic inequality.

This is untenable over the long run. Skewing income distributions by shoveling money to the top always ends in a big political upheaval. The social conservatives are older and aging and becoming less of the total electorate. Someday the GOP’s infernal combination will blow apart because the top 1 percent will be rejected by the masses and the numbers of the social conservatives will dwindle too much.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/gop-party-hates-women

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American Sociological Association Poised To Act Against Anti-Gay Regnerus Study

From The New Civil Rights Movement:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/american-sociological-association-poised-to-act-against-anti-gay-regnerus-study/discrimination/2012/08/24/47385

by Scott Rose
on August 24, 2012

Reposted with permission

The American Sociological Association says they “will do something like submit briefs” on the Regnerus study and issues surrounding it “to the relevant courts,” adding “This is a big deal, which happens rarely.”

Mark Regnerus is the University of Texas at Austin researcher who took $785,000 of National Organization for Marriage-linked money and then produced an invalid sociological study demonizing gay parents.

The demonizing study appears to have been commissioned on a political deadline for pernicious anti-gay-rights exploitation during the 2012 elections.

Eight major professional associations including the American Medical Association filed a brief in the Golinski-DOMA case analyzing the Regnerus “study” as scientifically invalid.

Yet, those concerned about the way the anti-gay study undermines the trust on which science is based have been concerned that until now, the American Sociological Association (ASA) had not taken action against Regnerus and his study.

There is precedent for the ASA taking action when one of its members distorts the scientific record to demonize a minority. For example:

“In 1985, the American Sociological Association (ASA) adopted a resolution which asserted that Dr. Paul Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism’ and noted that ‘Dr. Paul Cameron has repeatedly campaigned for the abrogation of the civil rights of lesbians and gay men, substantiating his call on the basis of his distorted interpretation of this research.’ The resolution formally charged an ASA committee with the task of ‘critically evaluating and publicly responding to the work of Dr. Paul Cameron.’ At its August, 1986 meeting, the ASA officially accepted the committee’s report and passed the following resolution: ‘The American Sociological Association officially and publicly states that Paul Cameron is not a sociologist, and condemns his consistent misrepresentation of sociological research’.”

Regnerus has been guilty of using his invalid “findings” to incite the public to misunderstandings about, and discrimination against gay parents. For example, writing in Slate, Regnerus said that his study:

“…may suggest that the household instability that the NFSS reveals is just too common among same-sex couples to take the social gamble of spending significant political and economic capital to esteem and support this new (but tiny) family form while Americans continue to flee the stable, two-parent biological married model, the far more common and accomplished workhorse of the American household, and still—according to the data, at least—the safest place for a kid.”

There are concerns that when NOM-linked leaders of the Witherspoon Institute gave Regnerus a $55,000 “planning grant,” Regnerus and those NOM-linked Witherspoon officials colluded on the Regnerus’s booby-trapped study design before Regnerus obtained his full $785,000 in study funding. Journalists have been thwarted in their efforts to evaluate the parties’ relationships, as the parties are refusing to cooperate with Freedom of Information Act Requests made for communications related to the study.

According to Philip N. Cohen, Council Member of the ASA’s Family Section:

“It now appears, I am glad to say, that the ASA will do something like submit briefs on this issue to the relevant courts (not just about this article but about the issue more broadly). This is a big deal, which happens rarely — and the suspicion is that it might become relevant in what history will judge as a landmark Supreme Court decision about civil rights.”

Earlier, Cohen had reported that the ASA was considering promulgating documents that would clarify “that the Regnerus study does not support the conclusions offered.”  (Bolding added).

New York City-based novelist and freelance writer Scott Rose’s LGBT-interest by-line has appeared on Advocate.com, PoliticusUSA.com, The New York Blade, Queerty.com, Girlfriends and in numerous additional venues. Among his other interests are the arts, boating and yachting, wine and food, travel, poker and dogs. His “Mr. David Cooper’s Happy Suicide” is about a New York City advertising executive assigned to a condom account.

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The Family Research Council’s Dangerous Direct Mail

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/todd-akin-on-gay-rights-n_b_1824604.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices


08/23/2012

The Family Research Council’s staff truly were victims when a gunman, Floyd Corkins, entered their headquarters and shot a security guard before being wrestled to the ground. Even hate groups have the right to be free of hate crimes. Those who work at such organizations should never have to fear for their safety, and their families should be able to leave them each morning without having to worry about their well-being.

Nonetheless, it was the zenith of chutzpah, and a tad unseemly, for FRC president Tony Perkins to hold a press conference the next day to portray his organization as victims of a liberal smear campaign: “Let me be clear that Floyd Corkins was responsible for firing the shot yesterday,” said Perkins. “But Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center that have been reckless in labeling organizations hate groups because they disagree with them on public policy.”

Who is Perkins kidding? By that reasoning, one could argue that Perkins has given out more licenses than the DMV, given his history of overheated rhetoric. After all, this is a man who started his political career by purchasing former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke’s mailing list.

Most worrisome most about Perkins’ reckless rhetoric is that he has repeatedly made the phony case that liberals and the gay and lesbian community are trying to take away the rights of Christian fundamentalists. If one examines FRC’s direct mail campaigns, it appears as if Perkins is deliberately trying to incite his followers.

For example, in an April 10, 2012, fundraising appeal, Perkins ends his rant against marriage equality by offering a specious “religious liberty” argument: “We can’t afford to lose. This is not just about marriage. This is about losing the freedom to raise our children in the faith — because the Left wants to drive our faith into hiding, in a dark and forgotten corner of our culture.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/todd-akin-on-gay-rights-n_b_1824604.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices

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Dana Milbank Mainstreams Hate

From DC Metro Weekly:  http://www.metroweekly.com/news/opinion/?ak=7671

The Washington Post columnist’s inside-the-Beltway support for the Family Research Council makes bigotry a value of the political class

By Sean Bugg
Published on August 22, 2012

It was only a few days ago that the world of Washington politics and punditry was in its most self-congratulatory mode: Politics was about to get serious again, with Mitt Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan as a running mate being the magical unicorn powder that would finally spur ”serious” discussion of the nation’s problems. But then, it being August in an election year, everything got really stupid, really fast (thanks, Missouri).

Actually, first things got really scary. No one can downplay the act of violence at the headquarters of the Family Research Council (FRC). A man connected to our community decided, for reasons as yet unknown, to take a gun and shoot people he disagreed with. The fact only one person was shot and no one died doesn’t lessen the impact. Our community understood that and came together quickly and decisively to denounce the shooting and offer sincere sympathy for the security guard who was wounded and the staff who were terrorized.

But when FRC president Tony Perkins chose the next day to aggressively attack the LGBT community, claiming that by labeling his organization as a ”hate group” — as the Southern Poverty Law Center has done — the shooter had been given a ”license to kill.” Later Perkins extended blame for the shooting to President Obama, as well.

Never one to shy away from a moment of self-aggrandizing opportunity, National Organization for Marriage (NOM) president Brian Brown immediately began fundraising off the shooting, and this past Tuesday sent a letter to supporters saying, ”We’re not going to allow gay activists to get away with attempted murder!”

This being FRC and NOM we’re talking about, it’s no surprise to us to see them taking advantage of a situation by bending truth, twisting facts and outright lying. They’ve engaged in this behavior for a long time. It’s not second nature to them, it is their nature.

So, into this wades Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who set off a firestorm with a column denouncing LGBT groups for calling FRC a ”hate group.” It’s not hard to compress Milbank’s argument, because it’s not much of one: Because FRC is a ”mainstream conservative think tank” it can’t be a hate group because it’s not the Ku Klux Klan. Apparently, only people who wear a white hood and brandish a swastika can be labeled ”hateful.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.metroweekly.com/news/opinion/?ak=7671

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President Obama Fires Up Las Vegas Crowd

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Jack Willke, National Right To Life Committee Founder, Perpetuates False Rape Pregnancy Ideas

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/jack-willke-rape-pregnancy_n_1828936.html

By JULIE CARR SMYTH
08/24/12

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The discredited notion that a woman’s body can resist conception in a sexual assault has persisted in anti-abortion circles for decades, largely because of the efforts of a Cincinnati obstetrician who is considered a godfather of the movement.

Dr. John C. “Jack” Willke founded the National Right to Life Committee and wrote the influential 1971 “Handbook on Abortion,” which has shaped the thinking of generations of anti-abortion activists.

Rep. Todd Akin’s comments this week on rape and pregnancy helped upend a Senate race and roiled the Republican Party in a tough election year. But they reflect ideas that the 87-year-old Willke began peddling years ago.

“There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape,” Willke wrote in 1999 in the journal Christian Life Resources. “This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation and even nurturing of a pregnancy.”

To anti-abortion activists, Willke is a revered figure. To abortion-rights activists, the onetime sex education lecturer perpetuates myths, eschews facts and ignores science. And to fellow physicians, his ideas are pure fiction.

After Akin’s remarks, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said a woman who is raped “has no control over ovulation, fertilization or implantation of a fertilized egg. … To suggest otherwise contradicts basic biological truths.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/jack-willke-rape-pregnancy_n_1828936.html

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