The GOP War on Women Continues at Full Speed

More insanity from darling of the teahadist conservative movement:

Anti-choice Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) just filed an anti-choice amendment to a bill related to agriculture, transportation, housing, and other programs. The DeMint amendment could bar discussion of abortion over the Internet and through videoconferencing, even if a woman’s health is at risk and if this kind of communication with her doctor is her best option to receive care.

Under this amendment, women would need a separate, segregated Internet just for talking about abortion care with their doctors.

Putting aside the usual hypocrisy of conservatives allegedly being the party of smaller, less intrusive government, and putting aside the hypocrisy of DeMint and company spending the last three years falsely screaming that Obamacare puts government in between you and your doctor, how is this in anyway constitutional? How can government make a law telling you what you can talk about?

These fetus fetishists are just sick, evil people.






64 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    Utter assholishness aside, how is such a provision enforceable? Government snooping on every Skype connection made inside the US? Small government conservatism!

  2. 2
    Keith says:

    Isn’t he required by GOP-enacted rules to explain how his amendment is constitutional?

  3. 3
    burnspbesq says:

    The probability of this seeing a floor vote as long as Reid is Majority Leader is approximately equal to the probability of a Giants – Jets Super Bowl this season (i.e., teeny weeny).

    Still …

  4. 4
    Moonbatting Average says:

    Next up, a rider on an appropriations bill prohibiting gay people from communicating online.

  5. 5
    geg6 says:

    Well, I think in DeMented’s mind, women and their doctors are no different than terrorists, so they could easily see where domestic spying is perfectly fine. Women’s health care is, after all, a national security issue, right?

    Sounds crazy, but I wouldn’t put it past the panty sniffers.

  6. 6
    Sir Nose'D says:

    It makes a lot of sense–he gets his bonafides by pandering to the fetus worshipers and guarantees the amendment is another monkeywrench in the cogs. Win win, if you’re an asshole.

  7. 7
    burnspbesq says:

    @Keith:

    The GOP is permitted to ignore GOP-enacted rules whenever compliance would be inconvenient. Sez so in the Bible. And if’n you don’t believe me, just ask the nearest Republican.

  8. 8
    The Moar You Know says:

    Job creation!

  9. 9
    AT says:

    We all know that woman shouldn’t be on the internet anyway, what with all the time in the kitchen, looking after the babies and serving the menfolk, where would they have the time…

  10. 10
    Satanicpanic says:

    Is he trying to say that there is stuff on the internet that Christians don’t like?

  11. 11
    kindness says:

    Guillotine yet?

  12. 12
    soonergrunt says:

    I can’t get the share function to work with Firefox 7. It keeps directing me to download the “add to any” whateverthefuckitis.
    So I’m copy/pasting this whole thing into a facebook status update. I will credit you, though, John.
    KTHXBAI!

  13. 13
    AA+ Bonds says:

    I don’t even think abortion is going to be a good issue for them with their base.

    I think their base views abortion as boring and played out, compared to the new horrors of Latino-Kenyan Red thugs bearing down on their pure white homes to condemn Grandma to death.

    Anti-abortion scare-mongering is a way for neurotic male reactionaries to feel like they’re defending helpless people. But the Tea Party has allowed them to think that any day now, they will actually be defending their own wife and children from the New Black Panthers, with the guns that most of them don’t actually own.

    Abortion providers? Pfft, they’re nothing compared to the supervillains the Tea Partiers now see all around them.

    This isn’t to diminish how severely the right to choose has already been restricted in many states.

  14. 14
    Hungry Joe says:

    This is just DeMint phoning in his semi-regularly scheduled Two Minutes’ Hate. No need to get all in a lather.

    Which is not to say that he and other fetus fetishists aren’t sick, evil people, of course.

  15. 15
    Cliff in NH says:

    could bar discussion

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Yup, All for the Constitution those guys. Oh, Yeah All for it.

  16. 16
    cathyx says:

    We’re going to need a code word for abortion.

  17. 17
    Tom Return of the Pretentious Art Douche Levenson says:

    If I read my Author’s Guild bulletin from yesterday correctly, not even this court would find such a restriction constitutional. From a piece by Jonathan Bloom, counsel to Weil Gotshal and Manges’ New York office, Chief Justice Roberts leads a solid majority of First Amendment libertarians, leading to lines in opinions like this one on US v. Stevens:

    [The First Amendment] does not extend only to categories o speech that survive an ad hoc balancing of relative social costs and benefits.

    And this one from Synder v. Phelps (the Westboro Baptist slug)

    [The First Amendment prevents the government from] prohibit[ing] the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea offensive or disagreeable.”

    In other words, though no lawyer, me, I don’t see how even the anti-abortion wing of this court could find the restriction of speech that DeMint seeks remotely acceptable under a fabric of legal reasoning that is very strongly woven in current court judgments.

    Any real lawyers out there to tell me why I’m full of it?

  18. 18
    John PM says:

    How does the First Amendment work again?

    BTW, I saw Scalia speak at my law school alma mater yesterday. Theoretically, the topic of his speech was Judicial Takings (i.e., whether the Takings Clause of the Constitution applies to the judicial branch), but it did not take him long to segue (sp?) into his disdain for substantive due process and the wrongness of Roe v. Wade, which he said was one of the few times a political decision of the Court was out of step with the wider public opinion (he also included Dred Scott and Kehlo as two other decisions in this category, but oddly enough not Plessy v. Ferguson, which I found to be a strange omission).

    Thinking about Scalia’s speech last night and this morning, I had what I consider an epiphany about why right-winger men are so concerned about abortion (but less concerned about the fetus once it is born). I think that these men internalize abortion and become personally insulted that any woman would presume to abort one of their babies. What woman in her right mind would dare to abort baby Scalia/Demint? They take abortion as a personal affront.

  19. 19
    ChrisNYC says:

    @Keith: Just for the record, Congress regularly does that. In any big statute that has any chance of flirting with unconstitutionality, there’s a list of precedent, a recitation of why the act was deemed to be constitutional by the Congress that voted on it, etc.

    The GOP’s rule is just another do-nothing smoke screen — “We’ll put in place a bullshit rule requiring something that is already done in the regular course and that will burnish our reputation as defenders of the Constitution.” They are freaking masters at busy work with big PR payoff.

  20. 20
    eataTREE says:

    Perhaps the Constitutional issue is skirted by phrasing the amendment as “No doctor who says the evil A-word on the Intertubes shall ever receive another federal dollar in Medic(are|aid) payments, etc.” so that technically, it doesn’t actually outlaw any kind of speech.

    Perhaps I shouldn’t give them ideas.

  21. 21
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @Tom Return of the Pretentious Art Douche Levenson:

    I think it’s likely you’re right but the willingness of certain current Justices to make shit up for purely political/policy reasons is pretty astounding. I mean, Iqbal is about the worst argument I’ve ever read in any forum, ever, and it barely pretends to care about the normal foundations of Court decisions and opinions.

  22. 22
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I’m assuming, and hoping, that ABL will take a mighty swing at this tempting piñata in due course. Because I desperately need to see someone (on the Internetz!) refer to Jim DeMint as an asshat.

  23. 23
    ChrisNYC says:

    For 2012, Dems really should do an ad showing all the nonsense the GOP has been busy with since they rode to victory under the TP banner in 2010 — maybe opposite a split screen with econ stats.

  24. 24
    Satanicpanic says:

    @cathyx: Oh that could be fun. Just to piss them off it should be as appalling as possible.

  25. 25
    smintheus says:

    @cathyx:

    We’re going to need a code word for abortion.

    Or we’re going to need a new Think-Method of communicating.

  26. 26
    Triassic Sands says:

    These fetus fetishists are just sick, evil people.

    They’re just a subset of the sick, evil Republican Party. They define life in terms of wars —

    The War on Women
    The War on the Poor
    The War on Drugs (with help from very stupid Democrats)
    The War on the Sick
    The War on the Middle Class
    The War on the Elderly

    and on and on…

  27. 27
    Zifnab says:

    Putting aside the usual hypocrisy of conservatives allegedly being the party of smaller, less intrusive government, and putting aside the hypocrisy of DeMint and company spending the last three years falsely screaming that Obamacare puts government in between you and your doctor, how is this in anyway constitutional? How can government make a law telling you what you can talk about?

    I think the logic goes like this.

    The internet is partially funded and managed by the government. We need to prohibit government money from being spent on abortions. Therefore, we need doctors to spend additional money out-of-pocket to set up a separate non-internet connection so that any abortion-related conversation is not performed on taxpayer funded cable lines. Or something.

    Basically, it’s the Hyde Amendment on LSD.

  28. 28
    BGinCHI says:

    DeMint read The Scarlet Letter in high school and thought it was a manual for how to run a society.

  29. 29
    Triassic Sands says:

    @dmsilev:

    …how is such a provision enforceable?

    And aren’t the Republicans required to explain how they will pay for the enforcement? Let’s see if they zero out the Defense budget they may have enough money to enforce this piece of insanity.

  30. 30
    WereBear says:

    Perhaps they are driven to idiotic extremes because they are driven by such people.

    If Freud didn’t exists, we would have to invent him. Just for the current Republican Base.

  31. 31
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I’ll take the opportunity to call him a shit-eating, soulless weasel who endorsed Romney in 2008 but can’t bring himself to do it now because his goose-stepping puppeteers think everyone who isn’t an evangelical should die in the camps.

  32. 32

    @John PM:

    but oddly enough not Plessy v. Ferguson, which I found to be a strange omission

    I don’t think Plessy v. Ferguson was out of step with public opinion at the time it was written. Racial discrimination was very popular in the 1890s, which is why so many Jim Crow laws date to that era.

  33. 33
    dedc79 says:

    I don’t know when it first hit them, but at some point the party realized that the more ridiculous and unlawful the proposal on abortion, the better. A significant portion of the anti-choice movement is content to be offered up this kind of fantasy legislation, and Republicans would rather do this than actually ban abortion. The moment abortion is actually banned, millions of Americans will have lost their last reason to vote GOP.

  34. 34
    piratedan says:

    and thus continues the laser-like focus on jobs, jobs, jobs

  35. 35
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @dedc79:

    I think you’re right, and this is compounded by their effective extralegal work to intimidate abortion providers out of states around the country.

    I place a lot of the blame for this at the feet of people who whine about how abortion is necessary but oh so harmful and terrible and everyone should hate it and etc.

  36. 36
    cathyx says:

    @dedc79: And that’s exactly why it will never be overturned. The republican party will see to it. And that is exactly why democrats should not fear a anti choice candidate.

  37. 37
    piratedan says:

    @Triassic Sands: i’m sure that there’s some faux medical research we can cut for this, y’know, cancer, alzheimers, parkinsons, multiple sclerosis to find the funding necessary.

  38. 38
    252man says:

    @cathyx: I suggest “DeMint” since he himself is an abortion.

  39. 39

    Please. Not only are very few doctors using the internet to discuss care with patients, when these assholes threatened to make performing an abortion a Capital Offense back in the 80’s doctors became loudly and alarmingly pissed. They’re going to pay attention to a law about emails?

    @ChrisNYC: Christ, the size of that list would make War & Peace look shorter than Rick Santorum’s “Gay People I’d Let Babysit My Kids.”

  40. 40
    cathyx says:

    @252man: I like that suggestion. Dr., I want to have a demint. When can we schedule it?

  41. 41
    Zifnab says:

    @dedc79:

    The moment abortion is actually banned, millions of Americans will have lost their last reason to vote GOP.

    Nonsense. That’s like saying the moment the Civil Rights Act gets passed, black people will stop voting Democrat. On one side, you’d have a “historic Republican victory” being crowed over by every pro-lifer with a functioning larynx. On the other hand, you know “Fight to defend the Abortion Ban from repeal!” would be a major Republican plank all of three seconds after an abortion ban was signed.

    And, as DOMA and anti-gay marriage laws have taught us, the Republicans are masters of re-passing the same legislation a thousand times over. I’m sure they could whip people into a tizzy over cracking down on illegal abortions, passing abortion bans at the state and local levels, outlawing immigrants who received abortions, defunding medical programs that teach the abortion procedure, etc, etc, etc.

    I have no doubt that as soon as Republicans have a clear shot at an abortion ban, they’ll take it.

  42. 42
    dedc79 says:

    And is at all surprising that the same republicans who mistakenly think the First Amendment applies expansively to private parties (think ESPN and Hank Williams) don’t see a First Amendment violation when its the federal government silencing speech?

  43. 43
    dedc79 says:

    @Zifnab: The difference (or at least one difference) is that the battle over civil rights wasn’t resolved with the addition of a single liberal Supreme Court Justice.

    A federal ban on abortion, upheld by a conservative Supreme Court, would be the end. The Republican party, despite the way it manages to maintain party unity in congress, is actually composed of a whole bunch of disparate interests. There are plenty of abortion-opponents out there who don’t care all that much about lowering taxes on the wealthy.

  44. 44
    soonergrunt says:

    @Zifnab: For the model for exactly what you are saying here, we have Prohibition.
    The Ken Burns documentary went pretty deeply into the politics of the multi-decade struggle to enact, enforce, and protect Probition.

  45. 45
    cathyx says:

    @Zifnab: There are enough single issue voters to make a difference. They would not take the chance.

  46. 46

    How can government make a law telling you what you can talk about?

    They can’t. At least until they somehow can find a way to invoke the War on Terror or the War on Drugs to circumvent the Constitution again.

  47. 47
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    South Carolina, too small for a republic, too large for an insane asylum. With this and admission by the South Carolina GOP that the voter supression efforts is aimed at African Americans, can we declare the GOP in South Carolina criminal organization, and charge them with RICO. I mean it beats dropping a nuke on the state.

  48. 48
    PurpleGirl says:

    There are times when I’m glad I’m not young (and fertile) any more.

    These creeps are really testing my philosophy of not actively wishing for bad things to happen to them. (I don’t need the ill fortune returning to me three times over.)

  49. 49
    TG Chicago says:

    Silver lining: If you can’t discuss abortion, you can’t discuss outlawing abortion.

  50. 50
    David Koch says:

    DeMint is running for president in 2016.

    So he’ll be pandering to the loons for the next 4 years.

  51. 51
    JWL says:

    “How can government make a law telling you what you can talk about”?

    Google John Quincy Adams, and congressional debate about American slavery.

    There’s nothing new under the sun.

  52. 52
    smintheus says:

    @Zifnab: Just a few years ago SCOTUS ruled that California could not by law prohibit companies that receive state funds from using them to pay for anti-union messaging. The right to speak freely, it argued, trumps the right of the government to control what it pays for. So obviously this amendment is presupposing that SCOTUS would turn around and say the opposite wrt abortion and the internet.

  53. 53
    Barry says:

    @Zifnab: “…defunding medical programs that teach the abortion procedure, etc, etc, etc.”

    Which means outlawing any and all birth control methods.

  54. 54
    Barry says:

    @dedc79: “The difference (or at least one difference) is that the battle over civil rights wasn’t resolved with the addition of a single liberal Supreme Court Justice.”

    No, but as I’ve said above, the battle to outlaw birth control would be just beginning. Also, the base of the GOP is strongly Gileadic; there’d be next steps in the oppression of women.

  55. 55
    ABL says:

    this is ridiculous. these people are fucked in the head.

  56. 56
    gelfling545 says:

    I think the Senator must be thinking of some other internet. I’m trying (and failing) to imagine exactly how this could be implemented.

  57. 57
    Barry says:

    The biggest reason to *not* overturn Roe v. Wade IMHO, isn’t abandonment by the base. It’s the fact that such an action would reach deeply and permanently into the lives of just about everybody in the USA – especially since this would include as much birth control and OB-GYN work as the right can do.

    We’d have a new saying that a Democrat is a woman who just felt the cold hand of the GOP in her body.

  58. 58
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Tom Return of the Pretentious Art Douche Levenson:

    In other words, though no lawyer, me, I don’t see how even the anti-abortion wing of this court could find the restriction of speech that DeMint seeks remotely acceptable under a fabric of legal reasoning that is very strongly woven in current court judgments.

    Not a lawyer either, but from where I sit as a health care provider, a law like this could have a real impact on not only abortion, but potentially lots of health care activity. Two come to mind:

    1. “TELE-Health” Programs: more and more, especially in rural areas and states, access to health care consultation, diagnosis and treatment can take place by video/messaging/email. The VA and many big regional medical centers are using it to connect to primary care clinics in distant areas of their states for specialty consultations and referrals. Its a great way to get health care to places like schools or community health clinics in areas with uninsured and poor folks. For example, our community has School-based health clinics in outlying areas of the county that allow a school nurse and a student to video-chat with a doctor or NP. Say the kid says they have a sore throat, or it burns when they pee—they can give orders to the nurse to do a quick strep test or a UA, and then they can diagnose the student, call in a prescription, make a referral, etc.

    2. Thanks to the ACA, all health care is moving towards “paperless documentation” and e-prescribing as mandatory for reimbursement. Lots of PCP’s use Blackberry-type smart phones or tablets or mini-laptops routinely now to transmit orders, look at results, order scrips, even communicate with their patients. I personally know a CNM here in town that takes email and text messages from her patients because it is easier than making phone calls and they get quick answers that reassure them. How does he propose to read all that activity?

    I can’t imagine this dumb law would end up being either constitutional or enforceable. And just how does Dim DeMint get around the whole HIPPA thing, especially the fact that your conversation with your doctor is protected information in most cases?

    However, the “Handmaid” in me fears that his intent is not to actually get a Federal law in place. He knows it’d be blocked within 5 minutes of any possible passage (even with a Republican President), and subsequently thrown out by the courts.

    No, the evil bastard that he is, he’s just creating some nice boiler-plate language for the crazies in South Dakota and Kansas and Georgia to get passed in their statehouses. Given the rash of forced viewing of ultrasounds, week-long breaks between first appointments and abortions, and jailing of pregnant women who try to commit suicide–they all exist safe and sound right now due to the bigger hurdles of challenging state law.

  59. 59
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Thoughtful Black Co-Citizen:

    Please. Not only are very few doctors using the internet to discuss care with patients

    Like I said above, more, and in more ways, than you might realize. And it stands to get even more common.

  60. 60
    dslakter says:

    @Zifnab: The reason why it would hurt the GOP is that it would turn off moderate voters, especially women (a demographic the GOP already has trouble with). If every election gets turned into a dispute about abortion, and middle class women are being forced to carry pregnancies to term, or start dying from back-alley abortions, repeating that fight will get old real quick.

  61. 61
    dslak says:

    @Zifnab: The reason why it would hurt the GOP is that it would turn off moderate voters, especially women (a demographic the GOP already has trouble with). If every election gets turned into a dispute about abortion, and middle class women are being forced to carry pregnancies to term, or start dying from back-alley abortions, repeating that fight will get old real quick.

  62. 62
    Claessens1 says:

    I think that is a rule in the house. I am not sure it was even passed.

  63. 63
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ella in New Mexico:

    “TELE-Health” Programs: more and more, especially in rural areas and states, access to health care consultation, diagnosis and treatment can take place by video/messaging/email.

    That’s what immediately leapt to my mind, too. As usual, these abortion restrictions would disproportionately hurt women in rural (and mostly red) states who already have a hard time getting access to a specialist in person. To then also deny them access via teleconference is pretty much a death sentence for someone at a small rural hospital who, say, is presenting with HELLP syndrome but no one there has seen it before.

  64. 64
    El Cid says:

    The only parts of the Constitution which are valid are the 2nd and 10th Amendments. All the rest is librul dogma.

Comments are closed.