Archive for May, 2010
Dr. George Tiller was killed almost a year ago, on May 31, 2009. His murder, for World Can’t Wait, and others, brought a renewed commitment to stand up for women, and build a movement to stop the spreading attacks on abortion & birth control.
Access to abortion is as limited now as it’s ever been since 1973, with new laws in 10 states being considered, and these passed:
* Nebraska has criminalized abortions after 20 weeks — that’s before viability! This law, which is in direct violation of Roe, is designed only to stop Dr. Leroy Carhart from working in Nebraka. It will be challenged in the courts — but it could also be the basis for the Roberts Supreme Court to overturn Roe.
* In Oklahoma, women seeking abortions will now be forced to undergo an intrusive vaginal-probe ultrasound while viewing the fetus and hearing it described in detail.
* Arizona now prohibits all private and public health insurance plans from covering abortion care — depriving thousands and thousands of women of the insurance coverage they currently have.
(thanks to Terry O’Neill, President of NOW, for this information)
It is not at all unlikely that Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision allowing abortion in 1973, will be overturned soon, leaving states to make their own laws. In about 40 states, that would mean no, or decreased, legal abortion.
Call to Action: Operation “Save America” in Charlotte NC, July 17-23
On July 17, a rabidly fundamentalist sect of anti-abortion fanatics called “Operation Save America” is calling on anti-abortion forces to “storm the gates of hell” at a women’s health clinic in Charlotte, NC. Operation Save America has a long and vicious history of opposing women’s right to choose, fighting against gay rights, and spreading vicious anti-Muslim hatred. They must be opposed.
World Can’t Wait is calling for people to converge on Charlotte to defend women’s reproductive rights, and oppose Operation Save America. No to fundamentalist fascists who want to impose their Dark Ages morality, their anti-gay hatred and religious bigotry on society! No to false and anti-scientific claims that abortion harms women! No to threats and violence intimidating those who heroically provide women with the right to control their bodies and their own lives. We seek to unite with a broad array of pro-women’s rights and human rights forces and individuals; that’s where we need to be seeking “common ground” and common cause-not with people who want to control women and promote violence against their healthcare providers!
Contact World Can’t Wait to find out more about this mobilization-and mark the week of July 17th on your calendar to be in Charlotte, NC to defend women’s rights, and defend clinic access! Abortion is not murder-a fetus is not a baby-women are not incubators!
Abortion, Morality and the Liberation of Women, featuring a discussion between Dr. Susan Wicklund, author of This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor and Sunsara Taylor, writer for Revolution newspaper will be screened at the Mid-Atlantic Women’s Studies Association Conference this June.
Women and the Politics of Possibilities: What Have We Made Possible, What Can We Dare to Do?
Friday, June 11, 2010, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Montgomery College – Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus
7600 Takoma Avenue, Takoma Park, MD 20912
Learn about and share the long history of abortion and birth control at artist Heather Ault’s website 4,000 Years for Choice. Designed to educate and inspire, Ault has sent hundreds of postcards to clinics around the country besieged by the anti-abortion movement, and collected an impressive historical timeline that properly places abortion into its context as a human practice found in every civilization. You can even buy poster versions of her beautiful postcards! Heather is also the editor of World Can’t Wait’s film Abortion, Morality and the Liberation of Women.
Some science: PZ Meyers, atheist blogger and biologist at the University of Minnesota, has this blunt and frank appraisal of all the talk of granting the “right of personhood” to embryos in An Embryo is Not a Person.
Abortion Empowers You! Anti-abortion ads appearing in NYC subways claiming “Abortion Changes You” are being corrected with these awesome stickers, setting things straight: Having a child against your will changes you!
“In the past few weeks, it has become common knowledge that Barack Obama has openly ordered the assassination of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, because he is suspected of participating in plots by Al Qaeda. Al-Awlaki denies these charges. No matter. Without trial or other judicial proceeding, the administration has simply put him on the to-be-killed list. ”
So begins the text of a paid ad in The New York Review of Books May 27 issue which arrives on newsstands Thursday. The statement, under the headline “Crimes Are Crimes – No Matter Who Does Them” poses the challenges:
What would we have done if President George Bush had publicly ordered the assassination of a citizen? And what should we do now as a fever pitch of media calls for the drones to “take out” Al Awlaki?
The New York Times went front page Sunday with a long profile titled “Imam’s Path From Condemning Terror to Preaching Jihad.” The article covers al-Awlaki’s speeches and advocacy of ideas, providing no evidence that he’s committed crimes. But this is the newspaper that front-paged Judith Miller’s reporting on Iraq having “weapons of mass destruction.” I’m not convinced that because something appears in the “paper of record” it’s either true, or that it should inform U.S. foreign policy.
My understanding of Obama’s order is that Al Awlaki is to be killed by whatever means necessary, wherever he is found, on sight, or within the scope of a drone or sniper’s rifle. As in Eric Holder’s statement Sunday May 9 that the Obama administration’s effort to set aside Miranda rights in cases of interrogations of suspected terrorists is a “very big deal,” so is ordering the killing of someone suspected of a crime, but not convicted.
If the president is judge, jury, executioner, and there is no check, no appeal, what exactly protects people from being killed for any reason, speech, idea, or even un-uttered thought?
Glenn Greenwald wrote in February when this policy was first made public:
“it’s so dangerous — as well as both legally and Constitutionally dubious — to allow the President to kill American citizens not on an active battlefield during combat, but while they are sleeping, sitting with their families in their home, walking on the street, etc. That’s basically giving the President the power to impose death sentences on his own citizens without any charges or trial. Who could possibly support that?”
Post-colonial rebellions and uprisings around the world reached the U.S. in response to the American-backed, funded and organized assassinations of Patrice Lumumba; Salvador Allende; repeated attempts to kill Fidel Castro and countless abuses such that in 1976, after intense struggle in Congress on the Church Committee, Gerald Ford issued an executive order prohibiting such assassinations. Under the Bush regime, and justifications of the so-called “Global War on Terror” international law, and U.S. laws, were set aside, but not as openly as they have been by the Obama administration.
One of the signers of the NY Review ad, Bill Quigley, wrote May 10 on Common Dreams, “Assassination of US Muslim Cleric is Illegal, Immoral and Unwise,”
“A simple committee of unelected individuals from one branch of government, no matter their subject matter expertise, should not have the power to assassinate an American citizen.”
Even FOXNews.com ran a piece, by Mohamed Elibiary, against the assassination order, It’s a Mistake to Assasinate Anwar Al-Awlaki. Elibiary warns the U.S. not to become identified historically with the Nasser regime in Egypt, which in 1966 executed Syed Qutb, as Islamic scholar, merely for his speech.
“The public perceived injustice, witnessing a military execution without any recognized due process inflicted upon a man for simply speaking and writing his mind. It led to the violent radicalization of tens of thousands.”
A comment on Facebook about the assassination order said, “The ease with which Obama did that, and the easy acceptance by the US public, is quite frightening.” I agree. Jeremy Scahill,writing in February:
There has been almost universal silence among Congressional Democrats on the Obama administration’s recently revealed decision to authorize the assassination of a US citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki.
That hideous war criminal Ronald Reagan once “joked” when he didn’t realize he was on a live mike, “My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in 5 minutes.” There was international condemnation.
On May 1, President Obama made news — but was not widely condemned as far as I’ve seen — for this “joke:”
Obama declared a warning to the Jonas Brothers, who attended the affair. “Sasha and Malia are huge fans but, boys, don’t be getting any ideas. I have two words for you: predator drones.”
This is the president who launched more predator drones into Pakistan and Afghanistan in one year than George Bush did in 8 years. A week later, PressTV reported that 20 civilians had been killed in a drone bombing in Pakistan, saying,
A total of 300 people have so far lost their lives in 42 drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal belt this year.
I am proud of those who signed this ad, and all those who paid for it in advance of its publication. Sign it yourself, and send your donations so this message can spread! We should all be raising our voices to say “Crimes ARE crimes! No matter WHO does them!”
Hundreds have signed already. Here are the signers appearing in the New York Review of Books ad:
Rocky Anderson • Edward Asner • William Ayers • William Blum • Fr. Bob Bossie • Elaine Brower • Matthis Chiroux • Noam Chomsky • James Cromwell • Carl Dix • Daniel Ellsberg • Jodie Evans • Hester Eisenstein • Donald Freed • Ann Fagan Ginger • Mike Gravel • Stephen Hays • Chris Hedges • Dahr Jamail • Kathy Kelly • Uzma Khan • Joyce Kozloff • Emily Kunstler • Sarah Kunstler • Dennis Loo • Peter McLaren • Ray McGovern • Ann Messner • Tom Morello • Tomás Olmos • Bill Quigley • Michael Ratner • Rev. Dr. George F. Regas • Mark Ruffalo • Cindy Sheehan • Jed Stone • Frank Summers • David Swanson • Debra Sweet • Sunsara Taylor • Cornel West • Andy Worthington • Ann Wright