Anti-Choicers prepare to make intiative drive in Oregon

Carla Axtman

If they couldn't pass this BS in Mississippi, I don't know why they think Oregon is an appealing target. But here it is.

Associated Press:

DENVER -- An anti-abortion group that sponsored an unsuccessful constitutional amendment in Mississippi said Monday it will try again next year in Colorado, Montana and Oregon.

Denver-based Personhood USA has campaigned for state constitutional amendments defining life as beginning at fertilization. The amendments sought to ban abortion. Many physicians have said they could make some birth control illegal and deter in vitro fertilization.

Personhood amendments have failed twice in Colorado, and Mississippi voters rejected an amendment this year.

A new version of the measure "will protect every child, no matter their size, level of development, gender, age or race," Jennifer Mason, spokeswoman for Personhood USA, told The Denver Post.

I guess they're going to test drive the "new version" on us.

Seems to me that all this will do is drive the get out the vote efforts for progressives. "Don't forget to vote 'no' on the anti-choice crap while you're voting for progressives..."...that sort of thing.

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    If they're planning on using Initiative #22, the ballot title doesn't seem too favorable:

    Amends Constitution: Recognizes personal "right to life" (undefined) that begins at fertilization; prohibits all abortions, certain contraceptives

    But yes, I think it will drive get out the vote efforts for people who feel passionate about this issue on both sides, and maybe they think it will move more unlikely voters on the anti-choice side (as the progressive side may decide the measure is destined to defeat).

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    It'll get the conservative base out to vote out here in the rural, conservative counties.

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      Aren't they coming out to vote anyway, tho? They're generally pretty liable voters. And in a Presidential year, it stands to reason they'd be more so.

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        er...that should say REliable voters...

        maybe that was a Freudian slip. LOL

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          I can't speak for other conservative counties, but there's a lot of apathy around here unless there is a compelling issue. Yes, the Presidential race will get a lot of people out, but abortion is Issue #1 for many folks here and will motivate lots of voters who otherwise can't be bothered.

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            Exactly right. The religious issues end up trumping everything. They'll vote against their economic interests in order to stop non-heterosexuals from getting married, women from controlling their own bodies, and stem-cells from being murdered A brand of lunacy impossible without faith.

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              Exactly wrong. Check your party registration numbers and turnout by precinct, comparing years with goofy right wing ballot measures against years without and you will see what Carla is getting at.

              @TTP & JW- Let's avoid making our assumptions into pronouncements.

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    These people want to get rid of birth control as well as abortion. They seem to have no clue about the actual biology of reproduction. About 2/3 of all fertilized ova ( to which they want to bestow legal personhood status) either don't implant in the uterus or are spontaneously aborted after implantation. In their cosmic reality about 2/3 of all human beings that come into existence end up being flushed down the toilet or something similar. That's a very strange universe they live in. If the bible-thumpers of Miss. know better, surely Oregonians will as well.

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    Organizations like Personhood USA are really more concerned with keeping the issue in the media and the MONEY COMING IN. They can't raise millions of dollars to pay their salaries and fund their private petition companies and their internally owned media buying operations unless they put measures on the ballot.

    Since the mid Eighties, the right wing (and the Republican party) has used abortion as a fund raiser and a base motivator. They have no interest in actually PASSING any of these measures! The cash cow would dry up!

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    One good outcome of measures like this, is they expose how extreme the right wing agenda really is. They don't just want to criminalize abortion. They want to criminalize contraception. The Catholic Church believes contraception is a damnable offense to God. The right wing evangelicals have a similar theological point of view. The nature of fundamentalism, whether it be institutional or biblical, is that it seeks a false certainty, a false simplicity, in moral issues. Hence their formulation about personhood- ensoulment happens at the moment of egg fertilization, and the infusion of an immortal soul is what makes a person. What happens after that to prevent that "person" from developing and living is murder. Hence contraception, especially any kind that prevents a fertilized egg from further development is evil and should be a criminal act. So you criminalize not just surgical abortion, you criminalize any biochemical interventions that either prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg or cause the uterus to expel the implanted egg. It's all murder, including an ectopic pregnancy. And for many of them, Roman Catholics included, the use of contraception of any sort to prevent fertilization of an egg is evil, perhaps not murder, but against natural law. And the RCC and their allies want to use the government to eliminate contraception of any sort. The "natural law" is that sex is only for procreation. That is the declaration of Pope Pius the Ninth, (who incidentally declared that all papal pronouncements on faith and morals are infallible.) This is the kind of thinking that is behind these measures. And it should be known and widely understood by the public.

    Secularists on the left just laugh at this, but this thinking drives these efforts and the people in the middle should know what this thinking really is, because not only are they trying to pass these idiotic initiatives but they are using political and legal means to make it possible for doctors and pharmacists and hospitals to deny medical reproductive help to women who need it, using the issue of "conscience" and freedom of religion to do so.

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      They don't just want to criminalize abortion. They want to criminalize contraception.

      They want to criminalize sexuality. Specifically, the want to criminalize female sexuality. At some point in their propaganda, you can count on reading "if she'd only kept her knees together". Only sluts have sex, unless they're married and reluctantly perform their wifely duties.

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        Jeff, that's not exactly true. In the Roman Catholic morality, sex that is not for procreation is wrong, and that includes male as well as female sex. And I have heard similar teachings from some fundamentalist evangelical sects.

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          I don't think this is coming from the Church, frankly, but rather from the fundamentalists you refer to. They've made it abundantly clear that they will tolerate philandering by men, while any woman enjoying (already this is disapproved of) sex outside marriage is a whore.

          The Roman Catholic Church, by contrast, is fine with people enjoying sex, as long as it has been blessed by the Holy Sacrament of Marriage, and as long as no one interferes with God's Will (aka birth control).

          Not that the Church doesn't have its extreme conservatives, like any religion, but like wine, sex is understood to be acceptable under the right circumstances. Evangelicals just think it's nasty.

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            As a former student in a Roman Catholic seminary I can tell you that the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is that the sole legitimate purpose of sex is procreation.

            As further evidence I have a good friend who is paraplegic. When he wanted to marry in the Catholic Church, (here in Oregon) he was denied the sacrament because he could not procreate in the natural way. That says about everything.

            I think you have a benevolent view of the Catholic Church. I have a benevolent view of most of the Catholic laity who seem to easily reject the Church's teaching on birth control, gays, and even abortion, and all the other inhumane nonsense the Vatican puts out, and find a way to still be Catholic.

            Growing up in an immigrant Catholic family, and steeped in the tradition, I have come to understand that all Catholics are "cafeteria" Catholics. They pick and choose. The liberal Catholics reject the things they don't like the anti-gay, anti-contraception teachings, and the conservative Catholics reject the things they don't like, like the social and economic justice teachings.

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    If the zygote does not take to the uterus wall then a proper burial will have to be performed, as the zygote will be having full human citizenship rights. A boon to the funeral industry (thank you, Joe Uris, for this take).

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    I'm always at a loss when we attempt to legislate scientific conclusions. To the best of my knowledge there were never any laws on the books expressly allowing the termination of pregnancy. The only laws I'm aware of are those preventing the termination of pregnancy. The sanctity of life is one of the cornerstones of our society, but it is not sacrosanct. After all, we do have the death penalty where the majority of society says it is OK to kill somebody under a specific set of circumstances. To the best of my knowledge there is no public benefit for the public killing anybody.

    What compels any of us to believe we have the moral high ground on this issue?

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