Archive for February, 2010

More from the protest at CBS…

Democracy Now! featured some footage from our protest at CBS HQ this past Thursday.

Here’s a few more photos, courtesy Bud Korotzer…

Shelby Knox

Shelby Knox

Sunsara Taylor

Sunsara Taylor

cbs protest crowd shot

cbs protest youth thinking

Engaging in discussion

Carrying petitions

Carrying petitions in

Heading inside

Heading inside

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New Film: Abortion, Morality and the Liberation of Women!

Stand Up for Women’s Right to Abortion and Birth Control!

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE
Abortion, Morality and the Liberation of Women with Dr. Susan Wicklund, author of This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor and Sunsara Taylor, writer for Revolution newspaper, is now available on YouTube. This video is divided into 15 short sections: presentations followed by questions and answers. Watch this clip to get a taste, then follow the links to watch the whole film! Here’s the entire playlist.

Dr. Wicklund and Sunsara Taylor

ABORTION IS NOT MURDER. FETUSES ARE NOT BABIES. WOMEN ARE NOT INCUBATORS!
A whole generation of women and men have been kept in the dark from these basic facts, and left disarmed in the face of this anti-women movement that will not stop nor find “common ground” with women’s right to control the most basic of decisions affecting their lives.

Bring this message to your community or campus!

Abortion, Morality and the Liberation of Women is also available on DVD, specially designed for use in classrooms and by school groups. Order a copy (or several) online today! Contact us about the possibility of bringing this sort of presentation to your classroom in person. World Can’t Wait can provide speakers with scientific and moral clarity on the topic of women’s right to abortion, answering the hard questions, and motivating students to stand up at this crucial moment for women’s rights. Read a report from a Cleveland high school.

CONTACT WORLD CAN’T WAIT

Bring this message to many more people!
Call or email Lina Thorne: lina@worldcantwait.org • 718.825.9119

Find out more here.

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Photos from today at CBS HQ (Christian Brainwashing Superbowl)

Today at CBS Headquarters. The NYPD came and threw us out of the lobby when we tried to deliver almost 200,000 letters protesting the Focus on the Family ad today.

Speaking out

What does CBS mean?

Debra Sweet

Cancel Broadcast Sexism

Christian Bigoted Super Bowl

Christian Broadcast System

And one photo from the San Francisco protest against CBS:

San Francisco

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From CBS to the Prayer Breakfast: Is Tebow the New Poster Boy for Theocracy?

Just got back from our lunch-time protest against CBS! It was very spirited – CBS freaked out and called the police on our relatively small gathering, but 6 of us managed to get in the doors and tried to deliver some of the messages that have been collected demanding the Super Bowl not feature Focus on the Family’s anti-abortion ad. Shelby Knox was there: especially moving was her story about the 14 year old girl living in Lubbock, TX who ends up in a Crisis Pregnancy Center and is lied to, manipulated and told she just has to give birth. Sunsara Taylor was there too, her usual fiery self. Some NYU students as well as others came out; and a few people stopped on the street and joined on the spot.

MEANWHILE, at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning, Obama, Clinton and… you guessed it: Tim Tebow spoke about “civility” and “faith.” Yep, Tebow’s really becoming the go-to poster boy when it comes to anti-women and anti-gay theocratic politics. Truly, Heisman-winning, straight, white, Christian fundamentalist college football players are the real experts on how women and gay people should live their lives. And Obama is still preaching Common Ground.

Little background for those who haven’t connected this seemingly harmless annual event to one of the most theocratic organizations in existence:

The NY Times reported yesterday:

The objections are focused on the sponsor of the breakfast, a secretive evangelical Christian network called The Fellowship, also known as The Family, and accusations that it has ties to legislation in Uganda that calls for the imprisonment and execution of homosexuals.

The piece goes on to quote Jeff Sharlet, author of the excellent book The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (Harper Perennial, 2009). I highly recommend it to all those who want to understand better the agenda of this shadowy right-wing group. They not only run the National Prayer Breakfast (that every President is expected to attend), operate the C-Street house that Governor Sanford and other high level right-wing politicians live in while in Washington, DC, but they have members around the world. Including the Ugandan politicians who introduced the “Kill the Gays” legislation.

Protesting against the National Prayer Breakfast

Protesting against the National Prayer Breakfast (NY Times)

Rachel Maddow had a good interview on the subject the other night. I’m glad The Family is finally getting some attention.

But we need to break open some real resistance!

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What Does “C B S” Stand for?

If they air the Focus on the Family ad Sunday in the Super Bowl, CBS should change their name to “Christian Broadcast Syndicate”.

We’re taking signs tomorrow to CBS headquarters with creative uses of the acronym “CBS”.  Bring your own, or post your ideas here so we can make signs are represent you.  “Christian Broadcasting Syndicate?” “Cancel Sexist Broadcasting”? “Complete B– S–?” Be creative!   6th Avenue & 52nd Street in NYC or on Facebook here.

See the Women’s Media Center collection of signs and videos about why CBS should cancel the ad.  Here are some more:

The Raging Grannies of South Florida made a video

Planned Parenthood’s video: Sean James and Al Joyner respond to the Tebow Super Bowl ad

Sunsara Taylor (World Can’t Wait Advisory Board & Revolution writer) video

Yesterday’s blog post on this subject.

Press release for February 4 protest at CBS Headquarters, NYC

Press Alert

February 3, 2010

Contact: Lina Thorne  718 809 3803            wcwpressteam@gmail.com

Protest to Demand CBS Not Broadcast Anti-Abortion Super Bowl Ad

When: Thursday February 4   12:00 pm

Where: CBS TV Headquarters 51 West 52nd Street, New York City

Photo Op: What does “C B S” stand for?

Proponents of choice for women facing unplanned pregnancy will deliver more than 200,000 letters Thursday to CBS headquarters urging the network not to run an ad with an anti-abortion message in Sunday’s 2010 Super Bowl broadcast.

The 30 second ad purchased by Focus on the Family has generated controversy because CBS had previously refused to run ads deemed to have a political or controversial message, including a 2004 message from Moveon.org critical of President George W. Bush and a message from the United Church of Christ welcoming gays into their church.

The ad in question features Pam Tebow, mother of NFL star Tim Tebow, on her choice to continue her pregnancy in 1987 while a Christian missionary in the Philippines, despite being advised by physicians to consider termination to avoid potentially dangerous complications to her health and loss of her life.

Writer Sunsara Taylor said, “The problem with this ad is it promotes the idea that a woman’s fundamental role is to have babies, and if she risks her life to do so, she should be celebrated. Women are not breeders. CBS should change its name to the ‘Christian Broadcast Service’ or stop the ad.” Film of Sunsara Taylor

“Focus on the Family does not promote harmless ‘family values’ but Dark Ages ideology.  They actively oppose abortion, even to save the life of the woman, and birth control; say that gays are an ‘abomination,’ and that the earth was made 6,000 years ago.  They actively organize their millions of supporters to protest at abortion clinics and exclude gay and lesbian members of their churches.  That CBS is allowing them to breach a wall into the Super Bowl, and reach millions with their anti-abortion message is an outrage” said Debra Sweet, Director of the World Can’t Wait.

More than 200,000 protest messages were collected by Credo Action and the Women’s Media CenterWorld Can’t Wait is sponsoring the street protest.

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Why an Anti-Abortion Message at the Super Bowl?

Lots of people are outraged that CBS is allowing Focus on the Family to buy 30 seconds of airtime on the Super Bowl this Sunday to air an anti-abortion message.  It is outrageous that CBS, the mainstream network of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, who would likely have been horrified to see CBS selling religion, is taking the ad.  Is CBS becoming FOX?

Tim Tebow

Tim Tebow with Bible verse on his face worn during football games

From media reports, the ad tells the story of Tim Tebow’s mother, Pam, who, as a Christian missionary in the Philippines in 1987, rejected medical advice to terminate her fifth pregnancy because of a placental abruption caused by medication for a brief illness.   This could have killed her, but she “chose life” and Tim turned out to be a star college football quarterback who wears Bible verses on his face during games.  (I didn’t make this up.)

I’m not saying the Super Bowl is some hallowed institution that should never change.  It’s a quintessential American entertainment event, with all the dangers that implies, projected to the world. Jiggling cheerleaders, beer, car and National Guard commercials combined with the pervasive machismo of the NFL is part of what this country is, and the American media is skilled at promoting all that.

But CBS says “politics” doesn’t have a place at the Super Bowl.  In 2004, Moveon.org tried to buy a Super Bowl ad criticizing George Bush.  No deal then.  Lina Thorne brought together the network’s double standard:

“CBS’s former policy extended even to an ad from the United Church of Christ, which tried to buy airtime for an ad arguing gay people should be welcome in church in 2005. CBS has also turned down ads from PETA and Moveon.

Then, why suddenly is an overtly religious organization with an openly anti-gay, anti-abortion agenda buying into Super Bowl coverage?  What are they gaining with it?  That’s what we should focus on.

I agree with a letter writer to Revolution newspaper who said the “fundamental point” of opposing the ad

should not be “equality” for every view or not allowing athletes to have a political voice.  The point is that what is being put forward with this ad is wrong and is a horror for women all around the world and it’s being run in the U.S., where a woman is beaten by her partner every 15 seconds and three women are killed every day by possessive lovers and abusive husbands. Plain and simple, this ad is a continuation of the oppression and hatred of women that gets played out every minute in this country and throughout the world.  This ad is for all those who support the cold-blooded, calculated murder of abortion doctor George Tiller.  Fuck this ad and anyone who has anything to do with it!  We should drown this ad out with our demand for “Abortion on Demand Without Apology!”

Erin Matson, Vice President for Action of the National Organization for Women tied in the murderous anti-abortion activities of Focus on the Family in Scott Roeder, Focus on the Family and the Super Bowl:wrote

As far as its view on ending abortion rights is concerned, Focus on the Family is almost as extreme as it gets: going beyond legal strategies to endorse, even encourage, its followers to break the law in order to shut down women’s health clinics that offer abortion.

Sunsara Taylor on Youtube today says, “women are not lesser beings, breeders, or objects created for the pleasure of men, we are thinking beings.  The ideas on women from Focus on the Family have no place in our society.”

Sunsara Taylor on Focus on the Family ad on CBS

Dave Zirin, in the NY Daily News today goes into who Focus on the Family is

Focus on the Family’s guru is the infamous and recently retired James Dobson. Dobson is a frightening fellow, choosing the second night of Passover last year to say, “The biggest Holocaust in world history came out of the Supreme Court” with Roe vs. Wade. Dobson’s other pet project, the Family Research Council, has connections to white supremacist organizations like the Council of Conservative Citizens. In 1996, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,000 for his mailing list.

Zirin also nailed the contradiction, quoted in Alternet Sunday

“Super Bowl ads are routinely refused because they fall under the heading of ‘advocacy ads.’ (The rules are very clear on this: only beer, cars and the U.S. armed forces — all wrapped in a ribbon of sexism — can be advocated during the Super Bowl.) And yet Focus on the Family gets the ultimate platform to bash abortion rights. The United Church of Christ was rejected for an ad showing the church welcoming a gay couple with open arms. Other ads by PETA and MoveOn were shown the door. But Focus on the Family and its Trojan Horse of right-wing evangelicalism, Tim Tebow, get a pass.”

Focus on the Family says the ad is “an inspiring story of personal courage” of a “woman who risked her life for her baby.”

Abortion was illegal in the Philippines in 1987, meaning that Pam actually had no choice than to carry the fetus to term, unless her doctor argued that the pregnancy could have killed her.  Perhaps the doctors were ready to say that.  Pam’s writings indicate that she had prayed for another child, and would not have considered an abortion.  Her choice, to the extent that she had one.

But Focus on the Family works to make sure that no woman has any choice other than being forced into motherhood in that situation.  William Saletan, The Invisible Dead; The grisly truth about the Super Bowl abortion ad writes on Slate.com about what that choice often means:

Pam’s story certainly is moving. But as a guide to making abortion decisions, it’s misleading. Doctors are right to worry about continuing pregnancies like hers. Placental abruption has killed thousands of women and fetuses. No doubt some of these women trusted in God and said no to abortion, as she did. But they didn’t end up with Heisman-winning sons. They ended up dead.

Being dead is just the first problem with dying in pregnancy. Another problem is that the fetus you were trying to save dies with you. A third problem is that your existing kids lose their mother. A fourth problem is that if you had aborted the pregnancy, you might have gotten pregnant again and brought a new baby into the world, but now you can’t. And now the Tebows have exposed a fifth problem: You can’t make a TV ad.

Touche.

The ad implies that one woman’s choice is what every woman should do.  Wrong, but even so, the ad was not purchased by Tim Tebow his mom to give their personal story.  It was purchased, produced and promoted as part of a whole package delivered from a huge organization whose mission is to shape U.S. society as a “Bible-based,” “Christ-centered” society.  Meaning a theocracy.  Their theocracy, with their interpretation of what the Bible says.

And you really won’t have that much to say about it, if they have their way. Abortion will be outlawed in all circumstances.

Read Amanda Marcotte’s humorous and real “Let’s Read 101 Reasons Not to Have an Abortion” today on RH Reality Check.

Come out and protest at CBS Television headquarters Thursday February 4.  Bring your own sign for what “C B S” stands for.

“Christian Broadcasting Syndicate?” “Cancel Sexist Broadcasting”? “Complete B– S–?” Be creative!

World Can’t Wait is holding a protest Thursday February 4
Noon at CBS Headquarters, 52nd Street & 6th Avenue NYC.
Call World Can’t Wait (866) 973-4463 for more info.

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NE Abortion Opponents Trying to Stop Dr. Carhart: “Abortion Pain Prevention Act”

One thing we can be absolutely clear about: abortion opponents do not care about the pain of women.  Proof of that is the fact that they orchestrate a parade of women to take the stage, sometimes literally, and tell wrenching stories of how sad, guilty, or devastated they are because they had an abortion years ago.

Dr. Carhart is a Hero

The great majority of those women would have dealt with their feelings about abortion and done fine if they hadn’t run into the “abortion is murder” cabal.  They would have felt the main emotion most women feel after ending an unplanned pregnancy: relief, sometimes accompanied by regret that they couldn’t bear a child at that time.  But now they’ve become symbols of how women, allegedly, are not responsible enough to run our own lives, and make our own decisions.

The main mission of the anti-abortion movement is to cause women pain, keep us subservient and unable to control the one most basic aspect of our lives: when and if we will bear children, and under what terms.

Now that Scott Roeder has admitted he fantasized and planned for almost 20 years to kill George Tiller before he actually did it on May 31, and he’s become a martyr to their movement, it looks like he will do some long prison time.  But the anti-abortion movement is quickly moving on to another target, Dr. Leroy Carhart, who announced last month that he’s doing later term abortions in his Nebraska office.

Dr. Carhart’s clinic is picketed daily by up to several dozen protesters.  Troy Newman, who succeeded in creating a climate in Wichita in which Dr. Tiller was killed, then complained to the Nebraska Attorney General over non-existent violations in Dr. Carhart’s office.  World Can’t Wait and other pro-choice groups sent thousands of messages of protest to Jon Bruning, the Attorney General, telling him to protect Dr. Carhart, not harass him. Omaha.com reports that 5,000 participated in this year’s Walk for “Life” in Omaha.

Now comes the Abortion Pain Prevention Act introduced by Nebraska Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood on Jan. 21.

Jill Stanek, writing on WorldNetDaily.com — where life is great as long as you’re not actually born, or don’t live in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine — or you don’t have the view that American life is more important than other lives:

“The Abortion Pain Prevention Act takes us into a whole new world of abortion law, banning all abortions after 20 gestational weeks on the basis of a preborn baby’s capacity to feel the pain of it all. At this age a baby anatomically “has the physical structures necessary to experience pain,” states the bill, based on scientific evidence.

The only exception would be if a mother “has a condition which so complicates her medical condition as to necessitate the abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function,” states the bill.”

Stanek presents some photos of tiny babies, possibly alive, but with no indication of what they illustrate, with the comment that “if born, particularly at 23 weeks or older, wanted babies often live and thrive.”  True.  The operative word here is wanted and the woman in whom they reside will be the judge of that, not Stanek, Flood, Roeder, Newman or Randall Terry.

At least Flood is honest.  “I feel strongly that what Dr. Carhart wants to do is unacceptable,” Flood said. “I am introducing this to stop Dr. Carhart from performing late-term abortions.”

Dr. Carhart, for his part, said on KETV News in Omaha that he’s ready for the battle.  I have no doubt that he is, in that he’s weathered two Supreme Court cases, the total destruction of his home and barn in 1991, along with his horses, the loss of his best friend in Dr. Tiller, and he’s continuing to push forward even more strongly to care for women when they need abortion.

So, let’s back him up!

Many of you stood on the streets of Bellevue, NE this past summer with us, standing between “Operation Rescue” and his clinic, or signed a petition last month against the complaints filed by OR and their associates.

Dr. Carhart’s office has issued a request to all supporters, for a “flood” of messages against this harmful abortion ban to be sent to the legislator who introduced it. If you send a message, please cc Dr. Carhart’s office at info@abortionclinics.org so that he at least can keep track of the support, even if the Nebraska Legislature doesn’t.

Sen. Mike Flood
Speaker of the Legislature
Room #2103
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2929
Email: mflood@leg.ne.gov

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