Tom Price: Precious Little to Recommend Him

UPDATE! Way back in November we warned you about the invasive vaginal irritant known as Rep. Tom Price, Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Further research has shown he’s even more toxic than originally thought.

Now it turns out that, even as he was burrowing into your ladyparts, Price was socking away large amounts of ill-gotten gains from possibly illegal but undoubtedly unethical stock transactions. Price would buy stock in companies just before introducing legislation that would drive the price of their stock up.

Great–he’s inside of you AND he’s conducting insider trading. Tell your Senator that it’s time to toss this vile concoction. Oh, and here is an update on all the OTHER reasons Price is wrong:

Part of our on-going series “Sauron’s Army” introducing the numerous creatures of darkness Trump surrounds himself with.  Every single one of these tools has demonstrated contempt for women and reproductive rights and we’re trudging our way to Mt. Doom to destroy (read: expose) them all.

Rep. Tom Price – Position in Sauron’s Army: Gollum

He’s a nasty, corrupted little creature who lives deep in the darkness where he dotes on his stolen “Precious.”

Trump’s pick for Secretary of Health and Human Services is obviously a disaster for anyone who cares about health. Or humans. He’s got a shit-list of plans to deny healthcare to millions of people by eviscerating the Affordable Care Act and gutting Medicare and Medicaid. But he’s also a very special kind of disaster for those 51% of Americans who happen to be women.

Price is a six-term Congressman from Georgia who has built a career attacking reproductive rights and saying insulting things about women. When asked about poor women who would be left behind without contraceptive coverage, he famously blustered  “Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one. The fact of the matter is this is a trampling on religious freedom and religious liberty in this country.” In other words, a woman’s right to control her own body pales before the right of religious zealots to force everyone to live in their fantasy world of religious purity.  

New York Magazine compiled a handy list of the specific ways that Tom Price wants to occupy your uterus, including his unwavering opposition to abortion rights, birth control, and to Planned Parenthood in particular. This is a man who has sponsored multiple personhood bills, voted for so-called “Pain Capable” abortion bans, wants to let employers deny contraceptive coverage based on their religious beliefs, and opposed laws that prevent a woman from being fired for using birth control(!).

There’s a reason that Planned Parenthood always gives Price a zero rating, while the National Right to Life Committee always gives him 100%. Both were probably being conservative.

Price has been a virtual stalker out to destroy the Affordable Care Act. And as head of the agency that oversees the FDA, he’ll also be in a position to derail new methods of medical abortion or birth control–or even rescind approvals that have already been issued.

Don’t put this nasty little creature in charge of HHS. Send Tom Price back into the shadows.

My Blue Haven

It can’t happen here. Right?

We used to think that about America as a whole — until it happened here. Now Republicans will soon control both houses of Congress and the White House, with a conservative majority on the Supreme Court seemingly inevitable. OK, it happened here. But it can’t happen RIGHT HERE. Right?

Even if those endless expanses of red America on the 2016 electoral maps go full-on Trump-nuts, those of us lucky enough to live in blue state refuges and urban oases may have the feeling that we can weather the shitstorm by hunkering down in our safe spaces. No matter how crazy middle America goes, it can’t drag the coasts down with it. Can it?

Actually, when it comes to abortion rights, conservative nutjobs are pretty well positioned to pull every state down into the hellhole that they’ve dug. An article in The Week outlines how Republicans in control in Washington could essentially put abortion out of reach for everyone, even in the bluest corners of this country.

There’s a feeling that even if a conservative Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade, that would put the question of whether to allow abortion back onto the states. Big problem if you’re a pregnant person without a lot of resources trying to stay afloat in that vast red ocean. But if you’re ensconced in a blue state, you might be tempted to think your rights are safe.

Wrong. As The Week article points out, nationwide versions of repressive TRAP laws designed to shutter clinics, mandatory waiting periods, or even lunacy like the mandatory fetal burial laws are all ways that conservative majorities in Washington can reach out to grab uteruses everywhere from Brooklyn to Berkeley.

It can happen anywhere. The bad news is that nobody’s reproductive rights are safe. The good news is that means that we’re all in this fight together. Everywhere.

Jeff Sessions: Witch-king of Angmar, Lord of the Nazgul

Lady Parts Justice League continues to explore The Building of Sauron’s Army as we examine the key players Donnie Trump has chosen to surround himself with, all of whom are extremely anti-choice.

Nazgul Leader Jeff Sessions (who you may recall was denied federal Judgeship in the 80s for being too racist) is Trump’s pick for Attorney General.

Jeff Sessions, who has been the Republican Senator from Alabama for two decades, is actively against women’s rights, voting rights, immigrants rights, racial equality. You know, human freedoms stuff, Jeff says no good.

A few things to know about Jeff Sessions and women (maybe pop a few Tums before reading)…

Sessions said of Trump’s pussy grabbing comments, Improper…But not sexual assault.

Sessions voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Woman Act which essentially was aimed to protect LGBT and Native American populations from domestic violence.

Sessions voted to cut funding to programs helping female and POC owned businesses.

In all instances possible Sessions has voted against abortion rights. If there was a vote out there that he could attend to put a stop to women having choices, Sessions showed up to make sure women would be having their rights taken away. Dedicated hate.

This includes but is not limited to: voted against plan to reduce teen pregnancy through education and contraception (which for sure seems smart if you are against abortions), voted in support of ban on abortions on military bases, voted to defund organizations that perform abortions, voted to prohibit federal funding for abortions, voting against support of Roe v. Wade resolution.

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! Trump’s army of evil is fortifying and gathering in the growing darkness!

*Jeff Sessions Graphic by Monica Mohan @MonicaMohanStudio

Class Warfare

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When are they going to learn? A man who literally punishes women for exercising their abortion rights was being considered for Secretary of Education in a Trump administration. While it was later announced that Michigan philanthropist and GOP/Crisis Pregnancy Center bank-roller Betsy DeVos was selected for the position, this is yet another example of the Trump camp floating the name of an absolute monster for a position before nominating a lesser-known, deep-cut deplorable.

Trump’s first rumored pick, Jerry Falwell Jr., is the president of Liberty University and one of the biggest proponents of pushing women’s rights back to the 19th century. Falwell met with Donald Trump to discuss education policy and a possible appointment as the head of the Department of Education–an agency that conservatives have long wanted to destroy. Putting Jerry Falwell Jr. or anyone of his ilk in charge of it would be a huge step in that direction.

The leaked “honor code” at Falwell’s Liberty University prohibits students from getting an abortion or helping anyone else access abortion services (specifically, “procuring/ financing/ facilitating/ obtaining an abortion.”) If they do they get “30 Points (+ $500.00 Fine, 30 Hours Disciplinary Community Service, & Possible Administrative Withdrawal).” Let’s assume the “Community Service” consists of standing outside a clinic screaming at other women trying to exercise their abortion rights.

After his audience with Der Trump, Falwell said he told Trump that he’s “be willing to serve in some capacity that sort of brings education back to some form of sanity.” Of course, what qualifies as “sanity” in Falwell’s universe looks pretty crazy in the real world.

In addition to punishing women for trying to control their own bodies, Falwell at Liberty has banned “sexual relations outside of a biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman.” They also sued over the Affordable Care Act, falsely claiming that IUDs and other forms of contraception constitute abortions. Oh, and you can be sure that any “sex education” under a Secretary of Education Jerry Falwell Jr. would consist of nothing but abstinence, guilt, and lies.

As far as the safety of school kids goes, Falwell told students at Liberty to get concealed weapons permits, saying “I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them.”

Just because Falwell didn’t get the job doesn’t mean that his name being floated, his chummy meeting with Trump or his god-awful record will go unnoticed.

Class dismissed.

 

Shit, Meet Fan

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We hope you’re over the initial shock of the election, because we all need to brace for the continuing shock of the consequences of the election. Welcome to four years of WTF. This is gonna get ugly. But the best way to get through it is to fight back. To do that, we need to have a good idea of what’s coming at us. It’s not a short list.

On the state level, anti-abortion nutballs in the usual states are already lining up to take advantage of the coming Trump-sturm. In Texas (OF COURSE!), Republicans are readying two bills to decimate abortion rights there. One mandates that aborted fetuses be given burials or cremation, and another bans abortion for fetal anomalies after 20 weeks. Not to be outdone, Indiana, having given us the ticking anti-choice bomb that is Mike Pence, is planning a total abortion ban. Pennsylvania and other states are also ready to join the crazy train.

When abortion rights are destroyed in the states, women of means can still–as Der Trump so helpfully pointed out–go to “other states.” But poor women will be left with nothing but the back alleys and coat hangers that were part of the dim past that Trump is so psyched to resurrect.

On the national level, as we pointed out right after the election, the Groper-In-Chief is only too happy to sacrifice women’s reproductive rights to zealots like Mike Pence. Trump has already promised to sign a full nationwide ban on abortions after 20 weeks. One of his top priorities is to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which provides free access to birth control. That’s not to mention defunding Planned Parenthood, codifying the Hyde Amendment, and the whole conservative nutsack shitlist.

And Trump is virtually certain to put in place Supreme Court justices who would just be biding their time until they had a chance to gut or even overturn Roe v Wade. And if that happens, most women in this country would be crushed by falling dominoes–15 states have laws that automatically lock in abortion bans if Roe goes. Only 7 states have laws that would specifically protect abortion rights if Roe gets overturned.

OK, sorry for the crappy forecast, but if there’s gonna be a shitstorm, you’re gonna want to be prepared. And gloom doesn’t mean doom… if we fight to maintain the light. Roe v Wade has been settled law for 40 years now. Even crazy justices have an inclination to respect precedent, especially when it’s bolstered by public opinion. That’s where you come in: Stay involved, stay in touch, stay safe.

Pope & Change

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Big news from the Ministry of Silly Hats! Mr. Big Hat himself, AKA THE POPE has announced new rules concerning abortion rights… or as they call them at the Vatican, “Grave Sins.” It’s actually reasonably good news… at least as good as it gets from an organization whose ground rules were written when women were routinely stoned to death for adultery.

Pope Francis has ruled that from here on out, Catholic priests have the power to forgive women who have abortions. OK… right off the bat, we’d like to say we appreciate the gesture, but we’d like to think that forgiveness was unnecessary. But then we realize that 2,000-year-old institutions get to be a tad hidebound.

Prior to this, a woman who was excommunicated for the “grave sin” of abortion could only be forgiven and welcomed back into the church by a bishop (and bishops for some reason can only move diagonally–church law is complex.) Now, any priest can do the requisite paperwork and/or prayer-work, or whatever is involved. (Incidentally, those priests can only be male, but that’s a whole ‘nother kettle of Friday fish.)

As we said, ideally a woman’s control of her own uterus is a human right, not a “grave sin.” But then the Pope–as relatively forward thinking as this one may be–is the very definition of “old school.” That’s why he dresses like Lady Gaga. And abortion has been on the ecclesiastical shitlist for as long as sorcery, heresy, and homosexuality. John Paul II, generally regarded as one of the more cuddly popes, flat out called it “murder.” So we’re taking baby steps here, people.

The church ban on abortion goes back to the days when the Catholic Church was desperately trying to outbreed pagans, Jews, and heretics. And then in the following centuries they had to pop out babies faster than Muslims, Protestants, and modern secular types. And honestly, the whole “as many babies as possible” thing has been a winning strategy for them, as anyone who has ever been in the crowded slums of South America can attest.

Pope Francis wrote “there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father.” Well, there’s what’s holding you back, Francis! If you accepted the possibility that it might just be “the Mother,” then you might be a tad more progressive on women’s issues. But thanks for trying!

ANOTHER STATE OF AFFAIRS

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As America digs in to try and survive our coming Orange Night of the Soul, it’s important to take a long and sober look at what some 47 percent of us have gotten us into. Donald Trump is so wrong for so many reasons that, a week after his election, we’re just getting around to just how wrong he is on abortion… and we’re an abortion rights organization.

He dropped a few smelly hints during his post-election interview with 60 Minutes. Although he concedes that gay marriage is “already settled,” saying “It’s law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done,” after last year’s SCOTUS decision, he doesn’t seem to believe the same thing about Roe v Wade, which was settled in 1973.

Here’s what he told 60 Minutes:

“If [Roe v. Wade] ever were overturned, it would go back to the states,” Trump said.

60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl followed up: “But then some women won’t be able to get an abortion?”

“Yeah, well, they’ll perhaps have to go — they’ll have to go to another state,” Trump said.

“And that’s okay?” Stahl asked.

“Well, we’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “It’s got a long way to go.”

Translation: WHO GIVES A F**K? Lift yourselves up by your pussies for all I care. I have a wall, er a fence to build.

So where does Donald Trump really stand on abortion rights? Over the years, he has been everything from “very pro-choice” to insisting that a woman should be punished for seeking an abortion. HERE’S THE TRUTH:

It’s obvious from Trump’s statements to 60 Minutes there that he has absolutely no idea–and absolutely no empathy–for what life is like for a vulnerable pregnant person, who can’t oh, hop on a private plane to have a destination abortion in Napa. in fact, many people can barely afford the procedure itself, never mind the daycare, time off of work and already burdensome travel costs that his anti choice advisers have put in place.  

What can you expect from Trump given the anti abortion zealots he has surrounded himself with to shape his abortion policies.  His own views about abortion may be shallow, but combine his own stupidity on this issue and willingness to spew gruesome lies in order to score votes from evangelicals, he yet again sold out women to zealots like Mike Pence–a man who has built a career on trying to deny reproductive rights, including state-mandated funerals for aborted fetuses, and “advisor”  Troy Newman, who has called for the execution of abortion providers, blamed 9/11 on abortion, and been banned from the country of Australia because his anti-abortion extremism put him on Australia’s terrorist watch list. Forget what Donald Trump believes–what’s important is what Trump will do, and the best indicator of that is the type of people he surrounds himself with.

Reproductive rights aren’t rights unless they’re accessible, for EVERYONE- including poor people and people of color who cannot surmount the economic barriers that abortion opponents put in their path.

The bottom line is that Donald Trump gives two shits about abortion. Unfortunately, the corollary to that is that he gives two shits about abortion rights. He long ago decided to throw women under the bus in order to curry favor with social conservatives… and because he probably likes the idea of women under a bus. If you don’t like the view from there, stick with Lady Parts Justice League as we begin the long hard fight to take the wheel of the bus back.

Abolish The Bullshit, Please

pablo-6Probably the only thing worse than anti-choicers co-opting the name “abolitionist” for their particular breed of fuckery is when they do their awful work outside schools. As Fox 4 News reports, a high school in Frisco Texas has been dealing with this exact issue lately.

If these types could manage to sprout a soul, they’d respect the wishes of parents who have complained about the graphic nature of the signs — and maybe even recognize that Regina George-ing a high school with horrifying, medically inaccurate propaganda in an effort to indoctrinate children is hardly a healthy way to spend their time.

However, instead they argue that exposing kids to graphic images — via their so-called “Wall of Death and Truth” — is a better way to terrorize them before they grow up to utilize legal healthcare. Emotionally scar them while their young, amirite?

According to Fox 4, “The abortion protest leader says they did not choose the school or the timing of the demonstration for political reasons. He says they go to different schools in the area as opposed to clinics because they feel by the time the teen is at the clinic it’s too late.”

Todd Bullis, of the Abolitionist Society of Little Elm, sanctimoniously adds that he and his garbage crew “hope that the children won’t grow up to be apathetic and complacent like their parents. When kids see this they absolutely disagree with abortion, they absolutely disagree with killing babies. Kids are on our side.”

Sure, Todd. Whatever you say.

We’re thinking of the kids and faculty at Frisco high today, and sincerely hope they can continue to go to work and access their educations without wading through a swamp of hate — a hope we also share for women throughout the country who want to go to the goddamn doctor.

Particularly today, as our team does our best to give back to the amazing abortion providers in North Carolina who devote their lives to improving the lives of women — through laughter, friendship, and support — we hope these people can find something more productive to do with their energy.

Like, sure, you absolutely can spend your time promoting misinformation and terrorizing school children, if that’s your thing — but you can also opt to do something that involves a great deal more compassion and empathy. You do you, though.