Boulder Abortion Doc To Congress: Get Bent

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

As the Boulder Daily Camera’s Alex Burness reports:

Warren Hern, the abortion doctor currently being investigated by a congressional panel on “infant lives,” says he won’t comply with the panel’s request for medical documents from his Boulder clinic.

Hern wrote Wednesday in a response to the panel that he feels subjected to a “witch hunt” and called Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, who is chairing the investigation, a “shameless coward.”

Blackburn, a member of the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump, sent Hern — one of the country’s few late-term abortion providers — a letter Nov. 2 informing him that he is the subject of an investigation into “the practices of second and third trimester abortionists.”

Blackburn asked Hern to provide information on care for an “infant born alive” and whether that’s ever happened at his clinic, what happened to the infant afterward, and the names of any people who cared for the infant. She also sought any death certificates or referrals to funeral homes related to the infant.

Dr. Warren Hern is no stranger to the ugly side of abortion politics as the state’s only provider of late-term abortions. Late-term abortions are almost exclusively carried out for urgent medical reasons, related to the health of the mother or discovery of a serious birth defect–which doesn’t fit well into the GOP’s “anti-abortion porn,” as Hern calls it, but it’s the simple fact. As Burness reports, Dr. Hern was also a friend of Dr. George Tiller, the Kansas abortion provider who was shot to death in his church in 2009.

In 2014, Republicans across America and in Colorado spent most of the election season trying to convince voters that despite their records and rhetoric, it would be “impossible” to take away reproductive rights. Voters believed them, and grew to resent Democratic “fixation” on the issue with lots of encouragement from GOP-friendly talking heads.

Then the GOP-controlled Congress spent most of the next two years “investigating” Planned Parenthood, and Donald Trump won the presidency in part on a promise to overturn Roe v. Wade.

So hopefully we’re done denying that this is what Republicans want.

Patrick Neville, who equated a doctor who performed abortions to the Devil, is GOP state house minority leader

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Patrick Neville (R).

Rep. Patrick Neville (R).

State Rep. Patrick Neville (R-Castle Rock), whose voice is familiar to listeners of conservative talk radio, was elected state house minority leader Thursday.

Asked if he could see anything beyond gridlock coming out of next year’s legislative session, Neville said he had a “decent” and “productive” lunch with Gov. John Hickenlooper, leading him to think there is “common ground” to be found on some issues, like on regulatory reform.

On the radio, Neville talks frequently about guns, and he’s widely known as one of the most ardent opponents of gun safety laws in the state.

But his conservative positions go beyond firearms, and The Denver Post described him last week as a “conservative ideologue.”

The Women’s Lobby of Colorado scorecard rates Neville, an early Trump supporter, at or near the bottom among state legislators on votes related to women’s issues.

“I’m pro-life, and I don’t make any bones about it,” he told me last week.

In fact, Neville is a hero among anti-choice activists in Colorado for, among other things, his sponsorship this year of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would step up licensing requirements at clinics where abortions are performed.

Colorado Campaign for Life activist Christy Rodriquez cited this bill as a reason her organization gave Neville its 2016 Pro-Life Legislator of the Year Award in September.

“I’m truly humbled.… It doesn’t get better than this,” said Neville, after being introduced by Rodriquez.

During his speech (at 7 minutes) at the award ceremony, Neville described testimony on his bill by a doctor who performs abortions, saying that after he greeted her he felt like he’d “shaken the devil’s hand and smiled at him.”

Neville: This one person, I didn’t recognize her name, she comes up. And I went to shake her hand, and I’ve got to tell you, I’ve never had this feeling in my whole entire life. I had this crazy feeling of impending doom that came over the whole room. I came over me. And it was crazy. I don’t know how to explain it. But the best way to explain it is, I felt like I had just shaken the devil’s hand and smiled at him.  It was something else. And as testimony proceeded, we came to find out that that person was an abortionist… That feeling stuck with me for the longest time….

Let’s recognize what’s going on in this country. We’re supposed to be the most civilized nation in the history of the world. Yet, babies can be torn apart and their hearts sold for profit. We got to recognize that that’s wrong.

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Whitewashing Rep. Kit Roupe’s Record, Badly

Rep. Kit Roupe (R).

Rep. Kit Roupe (R).

GOP incumbent Rep. Kit Roupe of Colorado Springs is in a tough rematch race against the man she narrowly defeated in 2014’s GOP “wave year,” former Rep. Tony Exum. Running in a swing district, Roupe is trying hard to minimize unsightly details from her record to appear moderate–responding with umbrage to an ad attacking her yesterday:

Do you check negative ads? I just came across one claiming I called for investigating Planned Parenthood and asked you to check the facts at CFA Foundation 2016 Voters Guide. That’s news to me! And, if you check the voter’s guide my name is followed by no answers…. why? Because I did not complete the survey. [Pols emphasis] CFA voter guide So, go ahead and check the facts…

Why do they do that? Because you may not look. Just take their word for it. Don’t. It’s just a smear because they don’t have any real facts…

So we decided to take a look like Rep. Roupe suggested. In her piece above, Roupe links to the Colorado Family Action 2016 Legislative Vote Record. That report doesn’t appear to contain survey responses, just a record of votes. We assume that Roupe wasn’t on the committees in which these bills died, so she simply didn’t take a vote.

But if you Google “CFA Foundation 2016 Voters Guide,” you’ll find a very different website–the one Roupe was actually describing, and the one the “negative ad” against Roupe cites. And here’s what it says about Rep. Kit Roupe investigating Planned Parenthood:

roupecfasurvey

Rep. Roupe did indeed tell Colorado Family Action that she wants to investigate Planned Parenthood. In fact, Roupe gave a supplemental answer to this question further explaining her reasoning:

roupeppinv

And she was specific about why! All of which presents very obvious questions about her strenuous denial that just happens to link to the wrong source material.

And unfortunately for Rep. Roupe, the deception doesn’t end there:

I invite you to check my Twitter account, my Facebook pages, Instagram and what you will find is shock, sadness, and deep concern for the victims at the clinic. But they have manufactured a fantasy, hoping you’ll believe what they say.

It’s true that if you search Rep. Kit Roupe’s social media presences today, you won’t find anything but expressions of sympathy for the victims of the Planned Parenthood shootings in Colorado Springs on November 27th of last year.

Because she deleted the ones she didn’t want you to see.

roupebankrobbery

To be honest, we don’t completely understand what Rep. Roupe is trying to accomplish by so demonstrably lying about her record where it concerns Planned Parenthood. It’s true that these are strong attacks on Roupe that she doesn’t need in a race likely to be decided by a few hundred votes, but lying about it when the truth is so easy to find helps nothing.

At the very least, you should let the 527s do the lying. It looks a lot worse when you do it yourself.

Campaign aims to take advantage of climate of “misogyny” to boot anti-choice state lawmakers

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

komen-planned-parenthood4-1The combination Trump’s “misogyny,” last year’s murders at a Colorado Springs clinic, and the popularity of Planned Parenthood is translating into votes for pro-choice candidates in Colorado, according to Planned Parenthood Votes Colorado (PPVC) Director Sarah Taylor-Nanista.

“Violent rhetoric across the country angers women, but there is a specific connection in Colorado, where we just saw how violent anti-choice language actually ended up hurting people,” said Taylor-Nanista. “And I think it’s hitting home among women voters in a profound way.”

Trying to take advantage of this election climate, PPVC is executing a multi-prong strategy to push pro-choice voters, particularly women, to the polls.

Under a $250,000 state-wide program, PPVC staff has knocked on over 6,000 doors, called over 13,000 voters, launched 10 mail pieces, and pushed earned and digital communications efforts focusing on reproductive health messages, including abortion access, according to Taylor-Nanista.

Taylor-Nanista said internal polling shows Planned Parenthood’s approval rating in Colorado to be over 65 percent.

(more…)

Mike Coffman ‘Doesn’t Know’ If Trump Is a Sexual Predator. Colorado Women Do.

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

coffmansmileDenver – Karen Middleton, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, today issued the following statement about Rep. Mike Coffman’s response that he “doesn’t know” if Donald Trump is a sexual  predator during the 9News debate Thursday night:

“Mike Coffman said he doesn’t know if Donald Trump is a sexual predator. Colorado women do. Grabbing a woman’s body without her consent is the definition of sexual assault. This is not difficult.

As the Aurora Sentinel put it in their editorial today, “What Trump did was perverse and criminal. It legally constitutes sexual assault, and it’s morally repulsive.”

…He can’t have it both ways on this issue. Trump’s blatant misogyny and admitted sexual assaults are not debatable political philosophies”

The fact that Mike Coffman seems unclear on this point could explain why he voted to redefine rape. We believe a woman has a right to control to her own body. Mike Coffman’s anti-choice record demonstrates he does not.

This is just one more reason why we support Senator Morgan Carroll for Congress.  She is a pro-choice champion with NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado, has a 100% rating on our 2016 Legislative Scorecard, and has been endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America. We know that Colorado women deserve someone who will take the time to listen to them, believe them, and take action.  Morgan Carroll will stand with the women of CD6.  She would never say “I don’t know” about sexual assault for political expedience.”

J. Paul Brown’s Jedi Mind Trick

Over the last couple of years, the fight in the Colorado General Assembly over funding a highly successful program to provide long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) to low-income and young women in Colorado has been a major political flashpoint. Republicans in the legislature have proven highly resistant to funding the program despite an estimated 40% drop in unintended teen pregnancy–some citing fiscal concerns, others denouncing inter-uterine devices (IUDs) as some kind of “perpetual abortion machine.”

This week, Republican Rep. J. Paul Brown of Ignacio was asked about his stand on the LARC program during a candidate forum at Western State University in Gunnison. And here’s what Brown, running in a tough race for re-election against Barbara McLachlan, had to say:

I do support LARC. I went against my fellow–some Republicans–to vote in favor of LARC. [Pols emphasis] When we were debating the budget, I’ve been pounding really hard for K-12 education and transportation, uh education. There was an amendment that came up on LARC, and I voted in favor of that. I knew it was gonna be killed. But I do favor LARC, just so you know.

Unfortunately for Rep. Brown, as the Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus reported last spring, that’s not accurate. Although Brown had voted in favor of LARC funds in the past…in 2016, not so much:

Brown flipped, supporting the effort to strip funding.

Last year, Brown was persuaded by a fellow Republican, Rep. Don Coram of Montrose. Coram carried the legislation that would have provided $5 million to expand the Colorado Family Planning Initiative program.

Health officials say the program lowered the teen birth rate in Colorado by more than 40 percent, and Brown said at the time that he thought it would lead to fewer abortions.

After reversing course last week, he said he has “mixed emotions.”

“I still feel that it prevents abortions, but there’s a difference of opinion, and I just felt like I ought to stick with the caucus today with that amendment,” Brown said after the vote last week. [Pols emphasis]

The truth is, when Rep. Brown had the chance to “go against” his fellow Republicans and support LARC funding, he voted against the funding. Because he “just felt like” he needed to “stick with the caucus.” In other words, the exact opposite of what he claimed in this week’s debate! Obviously a story about standing up to one’s partisan colleagues sounds a lot better than caving to them, especially when Republicans are in the dregs of popularity.

With that said, it needs to be true.

Darryl Glenn’s Message: All Over The Map

Darryl Glenn.

Darryl Glenn.

Two stories in the last 24 hours help explain why GOP U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn faces an historic drubbing at the polls in November, likely faring much worse than Donald Trump at the top of Colorado’s ballot. As the Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus reports:

In a Dec. 12, 2015 talk show interview – which recently garnered attention after flying under the radar early in the campaign – Glenn said he generally supports a proposal by Republican Donald Trump to prohibit all Muslims from entering the United States…

Glenn is sticking to his comments, even as the Trump campaign seemed to walk the proposal back on Thursday, with running mate Mike Pence of Indiana saying that Trump no longer wanted to enact a ban on Muslim travel.

Asked on CNN about why he would not condemn the proposal, Pence said, “Because that’s not Donald Trump’s position now.”

That’s right, folks–even as Donald Trump runs away from his infamous call for a “shutdown” of Muslim travel to the United States, Darryl Glenn is doubling down. That’s pretty much the exact opposite of what candidates are supposed to do transitioning from the primary to the general election. But Darryl Glenn is not your average candidate. He’s much less than average, and weeks behind the “Etch-a-Sketch” curve.

“Islam and the Constitution are in clear conflict,” Glenn opined. [Pols emphasis]

Meanwhile, a Colorado Public Radio story follows up on another ugly sound bite from Glenn’s not-too-distant past that made national news this week–comments from Glenn last year suggesting that he considers pregnancies, no matter how they came about, a “gift from God.” In contrast to his views on Muslims, it does appear that Glenn wants to tone down the abortion rhetoric:

“I am 100 percent pro-life and believe life begins at conception. Women should have access to birth control. I would, however, be willing to support legal exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother,” Glenn said, in part.

The statement appears to be in conflict with Glenn’s past statements to conservative organizations.

In a June 2016 post on its website, Colorado Right to Life says based a candidate survey answered by Glenn, he “pledged to be 100% pro-life.” On the same page, Colorado Right to Life states, “no candidate who supports abortion for any reason is ‘pro-life.'”

In this case, it seems like Glenn is trying to take a cue from Cory Gardner’s 2014 U.S. Senate campaign, in which Gardner deliberately flip-flopped on the “Personhood” abortion ban amendments at the start of his campaign. The trouble is that Glenn has nowhere near the personal charisma that Gardner had to live that down, and is starting from a huge deficit instead of angling for leverage in a tight race. With abortion as an issue not factoring in this election as strongly as 2014, Glenn gains little by backing off his formerly hard-line stand–but still has plenty to lose from upsetting the religious right voters in his dwindling coalition.

We are of course only talking about matters of degree here, since virtually no one expects Glenn to even come close to winning this race. But if it was ever Glenn’s intention to at least minimize his losses by not saying politically unwise things, he’s blown it.

Woods’ de-funding plan would force Planned Parenthood to turn away 1,000 Arvada patients

(Words mean things – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Laura Woods (R).

Sen. Laura Woods (R).

State Sen. Laura Woods (R-Arvada/Westminster) has, in part, focused her political career on trying to stop women from having access to an abortion, even if they were raped. Or even for a teen who was raped by her father.

Woods’ unabashed goal is to eliminate a woman’s right to choose, no matter what the circumstances that led to the pregnancy.

As part of her anti-abortion crusade, Woods wants to eliminate all government funding for Planned Parenthood, the women’s health organization that mostly provides basic family planning and health-care services, but also offers abortion services.

By law, Planned Parenthood cannot spend the money it gets from the federal government on abortions.

Instead, Planned Parenthood uses the tax money to provide low income Medicaid patients with basics like HIV and STD tests, birth control, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and such. None of the money goes for abortion.

So, to translate the political rhetoric into reality as we see it in Woods district, what would de-funding Planned Parenthood mean for Arvada?

If Planned Parenthood’s clinic in Arvada were to lose its government funding, as Woods wants, then about 1,000 low-income patients, covered by Medicaid and another federal health program, who rely on the clinic for cancer screenings, STD tests, women’s health care, and other basics, would have to be turned away, according to Whitney Phillips, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman.

“At Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains we believe that people should be able to get the care they need regardless of their zip code,” said Whitney Phillips in an e-mail. “Without access to Planned Parenthood in the Arvada community, nearly 1000 low-income residents would be forced to seek the care they need elsewhere. People come to PPRM for high-quality, non-judgmental, confidential care that patients may not be able to receive otherwise. Planned Parenthood serves a vital role in these communities and may be the first and only place patients can go for the care they need.”

Would these patients be able to get care elsewhere?

No one’s studied the full impact in Colorado if Planned Parenthood lost federal funding, leaving some 80,000 low-income people statewide in need of a new clinic.

(more…)

Healthcare Reforms Must Include Abortion Care To Be Called ‘Universal’

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Karen Middleton of NARAL Pro Choice Colorado.

Karen Middleton of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado.

NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado’s mission is to protect abortion access and to oppose any and all attempts to limit it. In Colorado there is a 2016 ballot measure, Amendment 69, that has the good intention of universal healthcare, but a serious policy flaw that it cannot fund abortion care as written. While Amendment 69 does not outlaw abortion, it places a financial burden on women currently covered for abortion care under private insurance; coverage lost if this measure were to pass.

It is our basic guiding principle that abortion is a central component of reproductive health care and this is why NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado opposes Amendment 69, also known as ColoradoCare.

Why would Amendment 69 restrict access to abortion care? Because in 1984, Colorado voters passed a constitutional ballot measure that explicitly bans any public funds to be used for abortion care. NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado has outlined the issues with the Colorado Constitution’s Article V, section 50 in our press statements.

ColoradoCare would be established as a “political subdivision” of the state, therefore prohibited from providing coverage for any abortion services to women except when continuing the pregnancy would endanger the life of the pregnant woman.

There is a lot of misinformation around abortion care, so let’s be clear. About 89 percent of all abortions in the US occur in the first trimester, but women who find they are unable to carry a pregnancy to term may need to access care beyond the first trimester. Those procedures, while relatively rare, are also very costly. Insurance currently covers most of these procedures in our state, but would NOT be able to if ColoradoCare was implemented in state law as drafted. More than 550,000 women of childbearing age in Colorado – who, today, have insurance coverage for abortion services as part of their contracted benefits, will lose access to abortion coverage benefits if Amendment 69 passes.

(more…)

Coffman and Carly? Yeah, That’s a Problem

coffmanfiorinaAP reports via CBS4 Denver, Rep. Mike Coffman is campaigning today with former Republican presidential candidate, briefly Ted Cruz’s vice-presidential candidate, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina:

Coffman and the former CEO of Hewlett Packard are among the speakers at the Working Women Event & Panel at CSU Global Campus in Greenwood Village…

Organizers say the Coffman and Fiorina event is by invitation only.

Now, beyond the superficial appeal of a high-profile female politician as a campaign surrogate, Fiorina boosting Coffman is consistent with her apparent desire to succeed Reince Preibus as chairman of the Republican National Committee. Fiorina has been spotted recently stumping for a number of Republican candidates around the nation.

The question for local consumption of course is, is Fiorina good for Mike Coffman? As you can imagine, NARAL Pro Choice Colorado doesn’t think so, slamming both Fiorina and Coffman in a strongly-worded statement this morning:

“It’s interesting that Mike Coffman is holding a “business” event with Carly Fiorina, since both of them believe it is government’s business to get between women and their health care decisions,” Middleton said. “Mike Coffman’s voting record clearly shows a pattern of trying to deprive Colorado women of the right to control their own bodies and make their own healthcare choices. He voted to ban abortion. He voted to defund Planned Parenthood. He even voted to redefine rape to make it harder for survivors to get an abortion. Mike Coffman stands with and behind Donald Trump when it comes to punishing women who have an abortion.

Carly Fiorina is not only anti-choice, she repeatedly lied about Planned Parenthood and then doubled down on the lie when she was called out on it. Neither of them can be trusted to tell the truth on women’s health care.

And as resident of CD 6 myself, I can say that women in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District deserve someone who represents our rights and respects our pro-choice Colorado values. That’s why NARAL Pro-Choice America has endorsed Senator Morgan Carroll to replace Mike Coffman. She is one of us, and we will let voters know who truly stands for them. Keep government out of ‘our business.’”

Still from Rep. Mike Coffman's 2014 ad using Planned Parenthood's logo.

Still from Rep. Mike Coffman’s 2014 ad using Planned Parenthood’s logo.

Fiorina’s controversial statements about Planned Parenthood during her presidential run, roundly condemned as fabrications which she refused at embarrassing length to disavow, aren’t the only reason why the choice of campaigning with her seems questionable to us. During Fiorina’s tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard, she presided over huge layoffs and other disruptive changes to that company, which historically employed thousands of workers in Colorado. A 2005 Northern Colorado Business Report story described some of the damage to HP in Colorado under Fiorina:

Fiorina, recruited in 1999 from Lucent Technologies Inc., disrupted the culture of HP, which for decades prided itself on the “HP Way,” a philosophy that promoted innovation, a collegial respect for employees and great value for customers.

Instead, Fiorina implemented the “Fiorina Way,” amassing power in her own hands, laying off tens of thousands of workers, muzzling employees and creating a general climate of angst within the company…

Fiorina proceeded to lay off thousands worldwide. More than that, she consolidated power in her own hands. Recently, when the board promoted a plan to disperse some of that power in three other executives, Fiorina battled back, leading to her departure.

…Layoffs have been plenty in Northern Colorado, but Fiorina’s desire to control everything makes it tough to gauge exactly how many workers have been eliminated. That’s because she has banned public-relations officials from revealing how many employees work at a particular plant. [Pols emphasis]

Fiorina’s tenure as HP’s CEO was frequently used against her as a presidential candidate, but the story was never fully revisited in Colorado largely because her campaign never really became viable. But there are literally thousands of current and former HP employees in Colorado, and among them we fully expect are folks with a particular dislike for their old boss. We wouldn’t be surprised to see them speaking out once they hear she’s in town campaigning for Coffman.

In the context of Coffman’s desire to present himself as a superficially re-invented candidate on a broad range of issues, bringing in Fiorina with all of her baggage is, any way you look at it, counterproductive.

Senate Republicans Set New Record for Obstruction

NARAL-GuinnessAccording to a press release from NARAL Pro-Choice America, the group has submitted an official petition nominating Senate Republicans for a Guinness World Record for “Longest Delay of a Supreme Court Nominee”:

NARAL Pro-Choice America today submitted an official petition for Sen. Chuck Grassley and his Republican Senate colleagues to be recognized as Guinness World Record-holders for the longest delay of Supreme Court confirmation process in history. The letter, which is available HERE, comes 125 days after President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland for confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This ties the previous record for the longest delay in a confirmation process, set back in 1916 during the confirmation of Justice Louis Brandeis. While Senate Republicans have claimed their record-breaking obstructionism has not been motivated by a political agenda, leaked audio from Senate Judiciary Chair Grassley confirms that their strategy has really been about limiting access to abortion all along…

…“The Colorado General Assembly can get the entire state’s work done, including a budget, in 120 days. Senator Gardner can’t even manage a meeting with Judge Garland in 125 days,” said Karen Middleton, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado. “Senator Gardner and his Republican Senate colleagues are setting a record, and not in a good way. Coloradans expect better of their public servants.”

Yes, this is political stunt, but it is a pretty damn good one on a very important issue.

Coffman Votes to Restrict Abortion Access, Women’s Health Care

(Of course he did — Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Still from Rep. Mike Coffman's 2014 ad using Planned Parenthood's logo.

Still from Rep. Mike Coffman’s 2014 ad using Planned Parenthood’s logo.

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) joined House Republicans yesterday in approving a bill that would give federal cover to anyone who refuses to give, provide, or even facilitiate medical care.

Among other things, the bill would provide legal protection for Catholic hospitals not to peform abortions.  These and other medical services are forbidden by directives promulgated by the Catholic Church and are not offered at such hospitals.

A NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado news release stated:

The bill would give federal permission to any health-care company or individual that wants to refuse to cover or even “facilitate” medical care. It would even allow an administrative assistant to refuse to schedule you for an appointment if he disagreed with your choice to have an abortion…

Mike Coffman thinks health care providers should be allowed to refuse to provide reproductive health care to women in Colorado. That’s just wrong. Colorado needs someone who respects women, not insults them with what he says and does.

A news release from the Family Research Council, an anti-choice organization, states:

“Only one day after the Republican Party’s platform committee adopted a plank protecting conscience rights, the House of Representatives stepped in to do the same. I applaud the House for voting to codify longstanding federal conscience protections, and to give pro-life victims of government discrimination the right to sue in court. No person, organization or healthcare provider should ever be forced by the government to participate in the abhorrent act of abortion.

In Colorado, a Catholic hospital refused in March to allow a doctor to perform a tubal ligation, a sterilization procedure that runs counter to Catholic directives, after a C-section. The patient was told she’d have to go to a different hospital, and she elected not to have the tubal ligation.

Windholz implies pro-choice supporters care less about women than opponents of choice

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

GOP Rep. JoAnn Windholz (center).

GOP Rep. JoAnn Windholz (center).

Colorado State Rep. JoAnn Windholz, who called Planned Parenthood officials the “real culprits” in last year’s clinic massacre in Colorado Springs, took to Facebook yesterday to condemn the Supreme Court’s decision affirming a women’s right to choose.

“The liberal leaning US Supreme Court once again protected the made up right of abortion,” Windholz wrote on Facebook, adding that that it “isn’t enough that the child is killed, now the mother is in danger as well.”

“So who cares about women more?” she asked in the post.

In fact, the Supreme Court based its decision on the fact that the Texas abortion restrictions, which, among other things, required that abortion clinics be equipped like complete surgical units, were not medically necessary.

Windholz: Who could find fault with a law that improves health and safety standards in order to protect women inside abortion clinics? You would think that the pro-abortion side would want to have additional safety measures in place for women. That is not the case. The liberal leaning US Supreme Court once again protected the made up right of abortion in a 5-3 decision (against 2013 Texas law) to not make it a necessary for abortion doctors to have admitting privilege at a local hospital. Why – because it would mean something went seriously wrong with an abortion. It isn’t enough that the child is killed, now the mother is in danger as well. So who cares about women more?

The court found that real intent of the Texas legislature was, in fact, to unconstitutionally limit a women’s right to an abortion by requiring clinic doctors to have, for example, admitting privileges, when the health benefit of such privileges is minimal.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer  wrote in the majority opinion, “Nationwide, childbirth is 14 times more likely than abortion to result in death… but Texas law allows a midwife to oversee childbirth in the patient’s own home.”

It’s unclear what Windholz means when she wrote, “So who cares about women more?”

And Windholz did not immediately return a call seeking an explanation.

But it appears Windholz does not believe that people or even Supreme Court Justices care about women if they support a women’s right to choose.

Shortly after the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs last year, Windholz wrote on Facebook, as first reported by The Colorado Independent:

Windholz: Violence is never the answer, but we must start pointing out who is the real culprit. The true instigator of this violence and all violence at any Planned Parenthood facility is Planned Parenthood themselves. Violence begets violence. So Planned Parenthood: YOU STOP THE VIOLENCE INSIDE YOUR WALLS.”

NARAL Hits Brakes on ColoradoCare

Sen. Irene Aguilar (right) delivers petitions for Amendment 69.

Sen. Irene Aguilar (right) delivers petitions for Amendment 69.

A press release yesterday from NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado announces the decision by that organization’s board of directors to formally oppose Amendment 69, the ColoradoCare single-payer health care initiative headed for the November ballot:

As the political arm of the pro-choice movement, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado’s mission is to protect abortion access and to oppose any and all attempts to limit it. It is our basic principle that abortion is a critical part of reproductive health care and any measure that would diminish it from overall women’s health cannot be supported.

With Colorado’s state’s constitutional ban on public funding for abortion, Amendment 69 would expand access to common healthcare services, but it would be at the expense of access to abortion care.

Article V, section 50, of the Colorado Constitution – passed by initiative in 1984 – states that “No public funds shall be used by the State of Colorado, its agencies or political subdivisions, to pay or otherwise reimburse, either directly or indirectly, any person, agency or facility for the performance of any induced abortion [except when necessary to prevent the death of the woman or unborn child where every reasonable effort is made to preserve the life of each].”

This has been repeatedly held not to apply to federal funds such as Medicaid. However, because Colorado Care would be subject to Section 50 as a political subdivision of the state, Colorado Care would be prohibited from providing any abortion services to women not eligible for Medicaid except when continuing the pregnancy would endanger the life of the pregnant woman.

This means that presently insured women who have access to abortion services as part of their contracted benefits today, other than when the pregnancy would endanger the life of the mother, would lose access to abortion coverage benefits under Amendment 69.

Speaking to the Colorado Independent, NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado director Karen Middleton explains further:

“I think everybody supports the goal of improved healthcare for all Coloradans. But because Amendment 69 can’t provide guarantees to affordable abortion access, it isn’t truly universal health care,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado’s director, Karen Middleton. [Pols emphasis]

Amendment 69 has become a bit of a political hot potato for Democrats, even many who share the general goal of a single-payer health care system. Passage of such a sweeping change to health care in the state is a huge political lift in the most favorable political climate. In 2016, with the “Overton Window” skewed heavily rightward, it verges on an exercise in futility. What’s more, conservative opponents are hard at work terrorizing the public with their low-information spin on the plan, and gleefully daring Democrats to take a stand on it one way or the other–either to divorce them from moderates or the progressive base depending on what they choose.

The conflict that NARAL has identified between Amendment 69 and a state constitutional prohibition on public funding for abortion is of course very problematic in unspun terms for ColoradoCare proponents, and may be just the out needed to extricate Democrats from this dicey political predicament in a highly unpredictable election year.

Hopefully that happens in a way that acknowledges the sincere, good-faith intentions of ColoradoCare’s proponents. After all, someday down the road, the rest of the state (and for that matter, the nation) may well be ready for them.

Bernie Sanders to Supporters: Run for Office, Keep Progressive Agenda Alive

On June 16, 2016, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders  spoke to  his supporters for 25 minutes. Since I have been and am a supporter, I signed up, and took notes on the speech, the important points of which are summarized below. A video link is also included at the bottom of the page.

Screenshot of Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders speech to supporters, screenshot 6/16/16

Most of Bernie’s speech was a list of what progressive Democrats want and fought for, what we want our country to be and to do. As such, there are few surprises in the list.These are not “demands”, as we used to say in the 70s. These are the prerequisites for social and economic justice.

I didn’t expect, but was delighted by, Bernie’s call for his supporters to run for local political office: school boards, county commissioners, entry-level offices, however we can get our feet in the door. I applaud this and agree strongly. That is what it will take for real change. From the bottom up -that’s how change happens. As expected, Sanders called for the party to unify to defeat Donald Trump. He has pledged to support this effort, and will do so.

UPDATE: 6700 people responded to Bernie’s call for public service. Per Berniesanders.com, “The 6,685 supporters who expressed interest in running cover 51 percent of state house districts, 69 percent of state senate districts and every congressional district in the country.”

He called for his 1900 delegates to come in to the convention to create the most progressive platform in Democratic history, and to act on it. He called for a 50 state strategy – decrying the lack of support for Democratic candidates,  allowing right wingers to take red state governments unopposed.

He called for the Democratic National Committee to open its doors, welcome young people and working people. He called for the DNC to embrace a $15 / hour wage. He called for a party which has “the guts” to take on the pharmaceutical and fossil fuel industries. He called for stopping the  Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) –  it should not come to a vote during a lame duck session of Congress, he said. These are positions which sharply differentiate his policies from those of Hillary Clinton.

What Bernie did not say was more surprising:

  • He did not “concede” defeat in the primary election, although that was implied.
  • He did not endorse Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, although he emphasized that they have much more in common than not.
  • He included very little on foreign policy – only in points 29 and 30 below did he allude to the Department of Defense and wars abroad, and only to emphasize cutting waste in the DoD, and not to spend young people’s lives in unnecessary wars. This was primarily a domestic policy speech.
  • He didn’t talk about the drug war or marijuana legalization, although he criticized the prison industry and school-to-prison pipeline in point 27.
  • He did not call for an end to superdelegates, lobbyist contributions to the DNC. He did not say what his negotiations with rules committee would be. He did not mention today’s big news that unpopular chairwomanDebbie Wasserman Schultz is stepping aside as party chair to allow Brandon Davis to take over operations.
  • He did not mention the numerous allegations of fraud and voter suppression in the Democratic primary.

 

Here’s what the man did say:
1.    The revolution continues – like every movement for social change, civil rights, etc.
2.    In every state, we won the overwhelming majority of those under 45.
3.    We are mainstream, not a fringe movement.  Numbers. 12 million votes, 22 states, Stats on contributions, 75 million phone calls, 5 million doors, 740,000 meetings, etc. Showed that we could run a national campaign without big money contributions. Bulk of contributions came from low income and working people.
4.    In every state, we took on the entire political establishment. Senators, Reps, Governors, elected officials.
5.   6:35  This campaign has never been about any single candidate .
6.    It’s about ending income inequality. It’s about ending corrupt campaign finance by corporations. Creating an economy for all of us, not just the 1%.
7.    Ending status quo: Native American reservation low life expectancy, lower than 3rd world countries. Millions of Americans dying at a younger age than their parents: suicide, drugs, alcohol, highest rate of childhood poverty of any industrialized country on earth. Ending the disgrace, undocumented people exploited on their jobs.
8.    Tens of thousands of Americans dying every year from preventable diseases, because lack health insurance, high deductibles, costly drugs.
9.    Young single mom in Nevada in tears, asking on $10/hr, How can we make it ? Millions like her.
10.    Mom in Flint, Mich. Excessive lead in water, stunted intellectual development of her child. Thousands of CA homes can’t drink tap water.
11.    Homelessness is increasing.  veterans in streets – lack of affordable housing.
12.    Corporations avoid paying a nickel in Federal taxes, stash in tax havens.
13.    6:40 Priority this year is defeating Donald Trump. Makes bigotry the cornerstone of his campaign.  Trump wants to give hundreds of B of $ in tax breaks to very rich, is a climate change denier.
14.    Major political task: Defeat Trump, badly. My role in that process will begin soon. But can’t be our only goal. Must continue grassroots  movement.
15.    Must take our energy in to the Dem convention in Philly with >1900 delegates. I met with Sec. Clinton.
16.    No secret HRC and I have strong disagreements, on important issues but agree on others.
17.    I will make sure that your voices are heard. Democrats will pass the most progressive platform in its history and that we actually fight for that agenda.
18.    I look forward to working with Sec. Clinton to form aparty that has the guts to take on the Pharma, Fossil Fuel industries, others.
19.    Dem party must support raising Fed. minimum wage to $15 / hr.  women .79 / vs men $1. Women must have right to control own bodies. Protect right to gay marriage.
20.    As Orlando has made clear, Ban sale and distribution of assault weapons, gun show loophole, and have instant background checks.
21.    Stop the TPP, must not come to the floor in a lame duck session.
22.    Expand Social security, not cut it.
23.    Greed, recklessness of Wall st must end. Pass a modern Glass Steagal. No more “too big to fail”.
24.    Aggressively combat climate change, impose a tax on carbon. Must protect our water supply by banning fracking.
25.    To compete effectively globally, Make public colleges tuition free reduce student debt.
26.    Join rest of industrialized world – Health care a right, not a privilege
27.    Stop incarcerating more people than any other country – Rein in prison industry, criminal justice reform.
28.    Comprehensive immigration reform for 11 M undocumented people.
29.    Cut waste in every department including Department of Defense.
30.    Can’t keep throwing young people into perpetual unnecessary wars.
31.    6:47 Revolution means more than Fight for our ideals, defeat D Trump. At every level continue to fight for our nation to be just. Current DNC leadership has turned its back on dozens of states, like red states, allowed right wing to run unopposed, we need a 50 state strategy. Must provide resources to ignored and poor states.
32.    Leadership, DNC must open its doors, welcome working people and young people. That is the energy we need to transform the Democratic party and our country. Cold hard fact. Since 2009, some 900 legislative seats have been lost to Republicans.  We must Start engaging at local and state level in unprecedented way.
33.    Young people deeply concerned about country and community. Start running for office! School boards, commissioners, whatever! Be prepared to engage at that level.
34.    6:50 With energy and enthusiasm our campaign has shown, we can win significant numbers of offices at down ticket level. We need new blood. You are that new blood.
35.    Government is not the enemy.(what Republicans say). I disagree. Government must protect us and our planet. But we need to attract dedicated people from all walks of life to run for office.
36.    Tens of thousands of new Dr.s, medical personnel, where people lack care.
37.    We need child care workers, teachers.
38.    We need scientists, engineers, entrepeneurs to work for renewables, efficient and cost effective as possible. Construction.
39.    Business people who respect employees and environment.
40.    Conclude: we have begun the long and arduous process of transforming America. My hope is that when historians look back and find when we began reversing the trend towards oligarchy. They see that the political revolution began in 2016. 6:53. Dark screen.

Version 1 of this diary posted at caucus99percent.com

Video available here and here

Full transcript of Sanders’ speech from Burlington Free Press

To recruit candidates, go to berniesanders.com/win