If it ain’t sellin’ in South Dakota, it ain’t sellin’.

I’m watching C-Span right now. They’re showing the recent “March for Life” on the Capitol Mall. Republican congressman after Republican congressman are declaring that the “pro-life” movement is gaining ground.

How can this be true?

South Dakota recently rejected an abortion ban. If you can’t pass an abortion ban in a conservative state, where can you? South Dakota doesn’t even have a full-time clinic, so what gives?

Maybe the anti-abortion movement will succeed somewhere else. Mississippi is basically without an abortion clinic. Perhaps Alabama should be next. Or South Carolina. When the rubber hits the road, lots of conservative are unable to ban abortion. Some ideas are great in theory, but pictures of doctors being put in jail (and women too, right?) isn’t something the GOP wants in the nightly news.

All those GOP congressfolk, elected to oppose abortion, must feel guilty. They promise a lot for the anti-abortion folks, but they deliver little. Vote for “pro-life” laws, receive a capital gains tax cut, as Thomas Frank said in his famous book.

As a Democrat, I hope these folks don’t come to their senses. As a someone who honors dignity, I hope the “pro-life” movement realizes that it has been taken advantage of for far too long.


  1. 1


    “taken advantage of”

    Those are good words Will. A lot of prolife folks I know are decent people who have been horn swaggled by the nut Publican fringies. There is no logic to the Publican coalition, patriotism cum right-to-life cum antiGay rights cum gun fetishism cum no taxes for the rich fit together about as well as Bush’s war plans.

    With all due respect to his briliant successes, the lack of clothes on Karl Rove’s pet protege is now all to apparent and it has become downright embarrassing to be a Republican.

    Lets try to imagine their 2008 candidate?

    John McCain .. with his pro native American and pro Gay stands?

    Giuliani who marches in gay aprades and can’t propperly pronounce “cow?”

    Romni of the millions of Gods and Jesus landed in North Carolina sect?

    Hard to imagine.

    About the only credible republican left may be Hillary.

  2. 2

    ausblog spews:

    The Unborn Victims of Violence Act is a United States law which defines violent assault committed against pregnant women as being a crime against two persons: the woman and the fetus she carries.

    This law was passed in 2004 after the murder of the then pregnant Laci Peterson and her fetus, Connor Peterson.

    If it is right for a man (or woman) to be charged for homicide and sentenced to prison ( or worse) for killing the unborn (and rightfully so) then the unborn should have equil consideration in relation to abortion..

    Is a fetus earmarked for abortion of any less value to a fetus killed by violence.
    Is not abortion a violent attack on an inocent life just the same.

    It’s just not ethical to protect one without the other…..they’re one and the same……..

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I share the belief of pro-lifers that abortion is a moral wrong. It also offends my religious belief. Where they lose compass is in concluding that, in a free society, some folks have a right to tell others what to believe and do.

  4. 5

    John Barelli spews:

    Ausblog asked:

    “Is a fetus earmarked for abortion of any less value to a fetus killed by violence.
    Is not abortion a violent attack on an inocent life just the same.

    It’s just not ethical to protect one without the other…..they’re one and the same……..”

    Ask three people about their opinions about abortion and you will get four answers. Still, you’ve made a good point and asked a reasonable question, so let me try to give a reasonable answer.

    For me, the question boils down to “do I have the right to force a woman to risk her life to protect another?”

    Even today, with modern medicine, women do die in childbirth. Rarely, yes, but it does happen. Even more often, serious health risks are involved, even with normal pregnancies.

    Do I think that abortions happen for trivial, even frivolous reasons? Tragically, yes. Do I think that there are far too many? Again, yes. Do I have the right to use the force of law to make that decision for another person? Emphatically, no.

    I am part of that half of the population that will never need to make that decision personally. I do not know where life “begins”, as this is a philosophical discussion that has been going on for most (if not all) of recorded history.

    I do know that the Bible defines different punishments for a person that causes a miscarriage than it does for murder, so it seems that God sees these as different things.

    Pro-choice groups have, on various occasions, reached out to pro-life groups to find common ground. Birth control options limit the need for abortion. Adoption programs and support programs give expectant mothers additional options.

    In the past, many of these groups worked together on these programs, but in recent years the most vocal parts of the pro-life movement have rejected anything that smacked of “working with the enemy”, and unfortunately, some of the most vocal parts of the pro-choice movement have taken the same position.

    Answers? I don’t have any big ones, but perhaps there are some small steps that most reasonable people can agree upon.

    Birth control. Part of me would prefer that my child remain a child forever. It isn’t going to happen, and he’ll be thinking about sex long before I’m ready for him to be sexually active.

    I doubt that I’ll be consulted on the matter of when (I certainly didn’t consult my parents), so I’d better have already laid the groundwork about the risks and responsibilities. Those most vocal about not wanting schools involved here also seem to be the least likely to be willing to give solid information about birth control to their children. Sorry if that seems a bit paternalistic, but it is my perception.

    Adoption and support. Why the pro-life folks won’t work with us in this area just boggles the mind, but it probably has to do with the extreme polarization on both sides.

    While there are always a few out on the fringes of any topic, I know of nobody in the pro-choice movement that is in favor of abortions. The term “pro-abortion” is simply misleading. We simply insist that the decision must be made by the woman and her doctor, not the state.

    But we would also be the first to cheer if there was no need for anyone to ever get an abortion.

  5. 6

    ausblog spews:

    Roger Rabbit,

    With every new generation comes the realisation of the mistakes of the former………..

    Something to do with evolving I suspect……

    I am an Athiest way the by.

  6. 7

    RightEqualsStupid spews:

    Yes the pro-life ruse has worked well in the past for the righties, but no longer.

    Polls show that republicans (AND REPUBLICAN) issues are dead in the water.

    And the few republicans who are popular, are pro-choice.

    Too bad, sucks to be a rightie these days. HE HE!

  7. 8

    Libertarian spews:

    Having kids without a good family support system (that is, one where there are two parents, a mom and a dad)nearly guarantees poverty. I’d rather see abortions performed than risk kids being born into a life of poverty.

    And I could give a rip if the religious zealots agree with me or not.

  8. 9

    ausblog spews:

    World estimations of the number of terminations carried out each year is somewhere between 20 and 88 million.(likely 55 to 60)

    Over 3,500 per day / Over 1.3 million per year in America alone.

    50% of that 1.3 million claimed failed birth control was to blame.

    A further 48% had failed to use any birth control at all.

    And 2% had medical reasons.

    That means a staggering 98% of unwanted pregnancies may have been avoided had an effective birth control been used.

    People have to stop using abortion as birth control.

    People should be able to choose to use birth control,
    to avoid having to make another choice.

    I’d like to see effective birth control made available to all who can’t afford it.

  9. 10

    ausblog spews:

    I am a 98% pro-lifer, 2% Pro-choicer, who has no religious convictions at all . I didn’t need the fear of god or anything else to come to my decision, just a good sense of what is right and wrong.
    You see we were all once a fetus. Is it beyond the realm of possibilities that when your mother first learned she was carrying you, she may have considered her options? What if she had decided to terminate? Would that have been OK?
    You would not exist, if you have children they would not exist, and your (husband or wife) would be married to someone else. You would have been deprived of all your experiences and memories. In this day and age with terminations being so readily available and so many being carried out, if you make it to full term you can consider yourself lucky.
    Lucky you had a mother that made the choice of life for you.

    Don’t you think they all deserve the same basic human right, LIFE?

    At the point of conception is when life began for you. This was the start of your existence. Your own personal big bang. Three weeks after conception heart started to beat. First brain waves recorded at six weeks after conception. Seen sucking thumb at seven weeks after conception.

    Though it pains me to say it , there may always be a need for the 2% medical reasons and such, but that’s all.

    So how do we get the other 98% to be responsible……………….

    How do we get them to be honest with themselves, about when life begins.

    egg+sperm = human being

    Sadly many prefer an occasional abortion, over using birth control, they have all kinds of reasons, each of them selfish.

    Then there’s the christian impossition,and their men in high places.(all a bit talibanish, church and state should never entwine) their stance against birth control has only added to the numbers.

    People should be able to choose to use birth control, to avoid having to make another choice.

    I’d like to see effective birth control made available to all who can’t afford it.

    Sanity must provale, abortions should remain available and safe to the 2% and such, and the rest need to have a good look at themselves and get their act together.

    I’d also like to see a 4D ultrasound in every clinic to provide a more informed choice,
    before going through with something they may regret.

    If you think the point of conception is NOT when life begins, and all you have is a clump of cells and not a living human being.
    Then at least concider this –

    Soon after you were conceived you were no more than a clump of cells.
    This clump of cells was you at your earliest stage, you had plenty of growing to do but this clump of cells was you none the less.
    Think about it.
    Aren’t you glad you were left unhindered…. to develope further.
    Safe inside your mother’s womb until you were born.

    Want to know how to find humanity-?

    True humanity can only be achieved, by concidering others/ caring about others, as much as, if not more than yourself.

    Until we do we are no more than an uncivilisation,

    with all the uncivilised things that we do…

  10. 11

    rhp6033 spews:

    I, too, could be called a right-to-lifer. I believe that life begins at conception, and that as a society we should protect that life.

    But what have the Republicans done to advance the fight against abortion? Practically nothing. They have used it to their advantage as as hedge issue, rallying their Evangelical Protestants into making politics a “moral crusade”, and splitting the traditionally Democratic Roman Catholic Vote.

    If you ask Republicans why more progress hasn’t been made, you will here mutters of complaint against “liberal activist judges”, and they will say that they will need another four, eight, twelve, or sixteen years in power in both the Presidency and the Senate in order to replace those judges.

    But the Republicans have held the Presidency for all but twelve of the past 35 years since Roe vs. Wade was decided!
    And this was not enough time to make some progress on the issue? What about the much-vaunted Constitutional Amendment????

    The truth is that Republicans will never use their political capital to “solve” the abortion issue, for several reasons:

    1. They need it as a continued wedge issue, to rally Evangelical Protestants and split the Roman Catholic vote. If the abortion issue goes away, those interest groups might start voting on economic issues instead, which the Republicans want to avoid, considering that so many of the voters in those interest groups are middle-class or lower on the ecomomic ladder.

    2. Upon coming into power, Republicans priorities are apparant: tax cuts for the wealthy, elimination of the estate tax, disbursement of federal tax dollars to large corporations with strong Repblican ties, and (if they can get around to it) privatization of social security. Abortion comes dead last, if it was ever a priority at all.

    3. Republicans can read the polls, too. They realize that although this issues is strong with their base of Evangelical Protestants, most American voters, even in red states, want to see some form of abortion available. To really make progress on this issue would be to lose votes.

    4. On a personal level, even Republicans want the option of abortion available should their be an unplanned pregnancy in their own family. It’s one thing to oppose abortion as an abstract principle, its another thing when your daughter confides that her high school graduation pictures may show a lot more of her than you might otherwise have expected.

  11. 12

    Libertarian spews:

    I agree that better birth control could make most of the abortion debate a moot issue, theoretically. There are some groups out there (and you KNOW who you are!) that even shun birth control!

    If those who oppose abortion also oppose birth control, then they will be continually unhappy with American society. I advise them to get over their religious prejudices and join the rest of us in the 21st Century. We should advocate birth control primarily, but abortion should’t be illegal.

  12. 14

    RightEqualsStupid spews:

    The so-called right to life movement falls on its face when you present the facts that surround it. These same people are against spending public money to keep poor minority children from illness or to provide health care. These same people are all for spending public money to execute prisoners. These same people are all for spending public money to send our soldiers to die for oil.

    If life is so precious, why not protect ALL life?

    It’s obvious that this so-called right to life movement has been a tool used on “necessary idiots” who need to be reminded of a common enemy so that they have something to live their pathetic little lives for.

    Too bad we couldn’t go back in time and talk some of these republican mothers into aborting some of the GOP assholes who’ve decided to ruin our country!

  13. 15

    Tree Frog Farmer spews:

    Hmmmm. I was once told by a ‘man of the cloth’ that in the Catholic Church they had a “Technical Name” for those who practiced the Rhythm Method ofContraception, they were called “Parents”.
    Of course, in North America, this is just one more issue where the laity and the hierarchy diverge. . . . . .

  14. 16

    GBS spews:

    @ 9:

    I don’t agree with all of your numbers or reasoning, but the common ground here is funding birth control for those who can’t obtain it on their own.

    Under President Clinton the abortion rates actually dropped in the 90’s because he funded Planned Parenthood. Interestingly enough, when Bush took office he slashed the Planned Parenthood budget and the correlating effect was in increase abortions in the United States.

    That’s what happens when ideological thinking clashes with truth and science — things get screwed up.

    Like everything else this “Shit-Midas” president has touched.

  15. 17

    GBS spews:

    @ 13:

    And your point leads you right into the Global Warming debate. If life is so precious then why not err on the side of the entire human race?

    IF life is truly so precious!

  16. 18


    has it occured to anyone here that you can be “pro-choice” by saying that women should choose to use birth control? really! how utterly offensive for men to talk down to women as if we were idiots. we have the best birth control ever and yet irresponsible women are CHOOSING not to use it.
    don’t blame the 99.99% of women that ARE responsible, for the lame-ass liberals that USE abortion as birth control. and before you say they don’t exist….i call BS on you. they do…they are the ones having the abortions.
    i have a “friend”…rabid liberal[of course] and she has had 6 abortions…..all as birth control because she was too damn lazy to do the right thing.
    abortion is as outmoded, unnecessary, and illigitmate as foot binding for cripes sake!
    has it also occured to the liberals here that it is birth control for liberals only? talk about shrinking your voting pool……….