The Radical Notion

Encouraging women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians

Dr. George Tiller, 1941-2009 June 3, 2009

I know I’m kind of a day late and an hour short on this story, but it’s taken me a couple of days to process. For those of you who have been living under a rock with only sporadic Internet access, Dr. George Tiller, a doctor at the Women’s Health Care clinic in Wichita, Kansas, was murdered in his church on Sunday. As Cristina Page, author of one of my favorite books, writes in an editorial for the Huffington Post, this is the first casualty in the near-inevitable upsurge in domestic terrorism directed at abortion providers in the United States since Barack Obama’s election. Abortion clinics have already experienced huge increases in harassing phone calls (1401 in four months versus 396 in a year in the Bush administration), blockades, stalking, and other tried-and-true tactics that the anti-choice movement uses to intimidate women seeking abortions and those who would provide them.

When I first heard the news on Sunday, I was surprised but not shocked – coming as it does on the heels of the DHS report on the growing danger of right-wing extremism in the country, I had braced myself for the worst. I was angry, certainly, and sad in an abstract way, as one is whenever hearing about someone who’s died, but my attention was mostly focused on monitoring the maelstrom in the progressive blogosphere. I read lots of things I hadn’t known about abortion availability, and the extent to which anti-choice activists will go to get their way, and became increasingly outraged. As I think I have made clear, I feel very strongly that a woman’s right to bodily autonomy is paramount, and those that would campaign to remove it from her get on my shitlist right quick. I started collecting and bookmarking and compiling posts, planning one of my own on the matter. One thing that I noticed in several posts (such as this excellent one from Shakesville) was the mention of personal sorrow on the author’s part – something that I couldn’t really identify with. I mean, I was super-pissed, but heartbroken? Weeping? Not really. It’s not that I’m heartless – on the contrary, I’ve been known to bawl during Disney movies and Buffy season finales without reservation – but I just didn’t feel personally affected by the event. There were some vigils held across the country last night, and I could have gotten to one very easily, but I just didn’t think I’d fit in. I wanted statistics and scathing analysis, not some pseudoreligious sobfest. What would be the point? So I stayed home, and I read some more. (more…)

 

Obamadinistration, Day 3 January 23, 2009

Feministe has a good post up listing some of Obama’s executive orders since he’s started working. He clearly came out of the gate running; one of the most interesting is that he has frozen all pending policies and legislation passed by the Bush Administration, subject to review. Among the affected policies? Our old favorite, the HHS “conscience clause” rule! According to California NOW,

While the regulatory process had been completed and the final regulations reported in the Federal Registry, HHS had not yet developed guidelines for implementation. [A contact at HHS confirms] the Department believes the regs. fall under President Obama’s executive order “freezing all last minute Bush administration regulations for review prior to final implementation”.

Woohoo! In other reproductive health news, yesterday was the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. (more…)

 

Presidential Debatage 3.0 October 15, 2008

So tonight is the third (and last?) presidential debate, held at Hofstra University, in Some State Not Near Vaguely Near Me. Those In The Know say that McCain needs to unequivocally hit this one out of the park to have a snowball’s chance in Hell of a comeback. Those who are also In The Know say that such a resounding victory is unlikely, as expectations are high on both sides. McCain has said multiple times that he will “call Obama out” on the whole Ayers thingamajig, so if he doesn’t he will be viewed as weak and more talk-talking than walk-walking. However, if (when?) he does bring the matter up, he is almost positive to get trounced, as Obama will undoubtedly call McCain out on his racist and hate-filled speeches and movement within the Republican party, and also counter with the evidence that just surfaced about William Timmons, current member of his campaign team, having helped out Saddam Hussein. A valid criticism? Perhaps, perhaps not. But excellent for the whole “taste of his own medicine” idea.

Other things McCain is going to have to struggle to make look good: (more…)