Posts Tagged ‘abortion’

Cheeps and Chirps for Oct. 31, 2018

October 31, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 31, 2018

 

Chirping from the hip.

• Politics, Supreme Court edition

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Cheeps and Chirps for Oct. 1, 2018

October 1, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
Oct. 1, 2018

Chirp shots from the peanut gallery.

• Politics

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Man on the run: Contemplating the intent and the future of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign

April 5, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
April 5, 2016

Eight days ago, a hitherto obscure public relations expert and New York University adjunct professor named Stephanie Cegielski generated a great deal of attention when she wrote an open letter explaining why she would no longer support Donald Trump’s run for president. The most notable thing about the letter was its author — specifically, the fact that Cegielski had worked for several months for the Make America Great Again political organization, an unofficial adjunct to Trump’s campaign.

The next few days went poorly for Trump: He suggested breaching the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit torture, among other things; said he was for punishing women who illegally obtain abortions before changing his position on the matter several times; continued an aggressive defense of his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, even after Florida police charged him with manhandling a female reporter then associated with a conservative “news” outlet; and gave the latest in a string of interviews in which he seemed arrogant and disjointed. (Asked by The Washington Post’s Robert Costa what strategy he had for converting former Republican rivals into allies, Trump said, “I think that’s overrated, what you’re saying, about bringing them into the fold. At the same time, I think I would be successful with many of them. I don’t know that I’ll be successful with Jeb Bush.”)

Now several pundits are questioning whether Trump is sabotaging his own campaign, consciously or otherwise, because he doesn’t really want to be president. By way of example, today, we had Michael Brendan Dougherty writing for The Week; on Monday, there was Robert Becker writing for Salon and three editors writing for The Huffington Post; on Friday, Sean Illing in Salon and John Fund in the National Review. On Saturday, A Prairie Home Companion ran a “Guy Noir, Private Eye” skit in which a faux Donald Trump orders his staff to find a way for him to wreck his lead in the nomination campaign. On Sunday, Chris Wallace began an interview by asking Trump, “Are you in the process of blowing your campaign for president?”

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With Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court majority paves the way for minimal changes initially, great changes eventually

July 1, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
July 1, 2014

Author’s note: This post was updated on July 4 to correct the name of the author of a commentary on Supreme Court racial discrimination rulings that Reuters published in May.

With a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday morning that the government could not compel closely held for-profit corporations to provide contraception to its employees. The majority opinion, written by Associate Justice Samuel Alito, essentially prioritizes the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act over a contraception coverage mandate contained in 2010’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

One of Alito’s key arguments in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, beyond his assertion that for-profit businesses are entitled to religious beliefs, is that there is no legal basis in the 1993 law for distinguishing among nonprofit and for-profit corporations. While the justice concedes that providing widespread contraception coverage is in fact a compelling government interest, Alito asserts that the Obamacare law’s mandate is not the least restrictive means of furthering that interest, and thus should be stricken.

Defenders of the ruling note that it is narrow; indeed, the court’s summary includes a disclaimer that “[t]his decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to hold that all insurance-coverage mandates, e.g., for vaccinations or blood transfusions, must necessarily fall if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs.”

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The pro-life film critic who wasn’t: Reviewing Roger Ebert’s views on abortion

April 15, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
April 15, 2014

Roger Ebert died on April 4, 2013. It’s early going yet, but there is a bit of a tradition that seems to be developing among some conservative-leaning scribes: To mark his passing by publishing dubious claims that the beloved pioneering film critic was pro-life.

Here’s an item that First Things blogger Matthew Schultz posted on April 8, 2013, with the title “Roger Ebert, Pro-Life”:

In a column published a month before his death, the revered film critic stated his opposition to abortion:

My choice is to not support abortion, except in cases of a clear-cut choice between the lives of the mother and child.

A child conceived through incest or rape is innocent and deserves the right to be born.

That first sentence leaves something to be desired, but Ebert was a film critic, not an ethicist. May he rest in peace.

On April 8, 2014, Jill Stanek posted a very similar item over at LifeNews.com under the headline “Film Critic Roger Ebert Opposed Abortion, Including Rape, Incest”:

My choice is to not support abortion, except in cases of a clear-cut choice between the lives of the mother and child.

A child conceived through incest or rape is innocent and deserves the right to be born.

— Film critic Roger Ebert“How I am a Roman Catholic,” March 1, written a little over a month before he passed away on April 4

I find it curious that Stanek’s blog splits the quotation into two lines, just like Schultz’s. In fact, the sentences appeared consecutively as part of a longer paragraph in Ebert’s original article, which was titled “How I am a Roman-Catholic.”

But that’s not really what I find so objectionable here. The real issue is that Schultz and Stanek are presenting an incredibly cramped and skewed version of Ebert’s actual stance on abortion, which was fairly nuanced. The two sentences quoted above are in fact part of a nearly 1,300-word-long essay by the critic.

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Sex, death and abortion bans

March 25, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
March 25, 2014

Kevin D. Williamson posted an article Saturday morning at National Review about abortion. The piece is titled “The Symbol of a Lie” and subtitled “Wire-hanger abortions pre-Roe are pure myth.”

(Roe, of course, represents Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision which held that states had no right to regulate abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy — but you knew that.)

The headline to Williamson’s piece is a bit misleading. The thrust of his argument is not that abortions induced with wire hangers were rare prior to Roe; rather, it is that illegal abortions were not very dangerous.

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Abortion, pregnancy and guns: Looking at some relevant numbers and legislation in North Carolina

July 4, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
MEMwrites.wordpress.com
July 4, 2013

Legislation cracking down on abortions popped up suddenly in the North Carolina legislature Tuesday afternoon, much like one of the quick-striking storms that frequently punctuate the Tar Heel summers.

According to The News & Observer of Raleigh, state Sen. Warren Daniel argued that the legislation is needed for women’s safety. Women “deserve the right to walk into a clinic that’s clean and safe,” the Morganton Republican said in one article. Another article quoted Daniel as saying, “We’re taking away the rights of an industry to have substandard conditions.”

But opponents of the bill claim that it is intended to reduce women’s ability to terminate pregnancies, an activity that has been deemed constitutional ever since the Supreme Court’s controversial 1973 decision in Roe vs. Wade. House Bill 695, which is called the Family, Faith and Freedom Protection Act, would require any clinic that offers abortions to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. A Planned Parenthood representative told the N&O that none of its four facilities in the state currently comply with those regulations.

So how serious are safety concerns over abortion in North Carolina? As Daniel said, per the News & Observer, a Charlotte abortion clinic was shut down briefly this year because it improperly administered a drug. That’s one possible indication of problems.  Read the rest of this entry »

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