In a bright pink, purple, and red-lit ballroom in downtown Washington, D.C., last Thursday, anti-choice activists gathered to listen to prominent activists in the anti-choice movement.
“For 49 years, our role has been to influence five people on the court,” said Maureen Ferguson, a senior fellow for The Catholic Association. “Now, we have to persuade 330 million.”
The comment marked a shift in focus for the anti-choice movement. With the dismantlement of Roe v. Wade last summer, the anti-choice movement’s focus has shifted from the Supreme Court to a bevy of other places: state legislatures, Congress, and the court of public opinion.
Of course, the movement has already been hard at work in all those arenas. Trigger laws were set in place to ban abortion in scores of states after Roe was overturned, the new Republican Congress immediately set about trying to pass national anti-abortion legislation, and the March for Life has always targeted young Catholic kids in their messaging about abortion to change public opinion for the future. But their biggest goal—getting five sympathetic justices to the high court to dismantle the right to abortion—had been completed.
The panel, dubbed “Capitol Hill 101,” was a kickoff to the March for Life being held the following day and started, of course, with celebration.
“All the justices deserve our praise,” said Robert P. George, a Princeton University professor, contributor to the Federalist Society, and the author of an amicus brief in support of anti-choice petitioners in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe.
But there were limitations, George said: Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion “only went part of the way to vindicate the Constitution. … The Supreme Court did not declare the right of the unborn, but it did declare that Roe took away the right to legislate.” He pointed to the fifth section of the 14th Amendment, arguing that that “the equal protection of the laws” applies to “any person,” including the “unborn.” In an amicus brief George had submitted in Dobbs, he argued that states should be required to treat abortion as homicide.
The next panelist, Maureen Ferguson, tackled what she called “disinformation” from abortion-rights activists. “The abortion moment has flooded the national debate with disinformation,” she said, focusing on 10 talking points.
“No. 1: Women will die,” Ferguson said. “False. Every pro-life law contains a life for the mother exception.”
This goes against what medical professionals say. Jen Villavicencio, a physician with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, told Forbes that “as the forced pregnancies now continue to term”—including those with life-threatening complications—“we will see more people die.” The New York Times recently reported that exceptions to abortion bans are rarely granted, even to women who qualify under state law.
And there are plenty in the pro-life movement—including representatives of organizations sitting in that ballroom—who are seeking to do away with the life of the mother exception. As The Atlantic’s Mary Zeigler reports:
Anti-abortion-rights groups, like Pro-Life Wisconsin, have described the “life of the mother” exception as unnecessary and wrong. The Idaho GOP just approved a platform with no lifesaving exception. Republican candidates like Matthew DePerno, the Republican running to be Michigan’s attorney general, oppose all exceptions to abortion bans, and that includes to save a mother’s life. Conservative states are rushing to eliminate or narrow existing exceptions to their laws. Powerful groups like Students for Life, Feminists for Life, and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) argue that “abortion is never medically necessary” and that doctors should always be punished for intentionally taking a fetal life.
Despite numerous outlets reporting that some women are being denied miscarriage treatment because hospitals are worried of running amok of new anti-abortion laws, Ferguson claimed that nothing of the sort was happening and that “every doctor knows the difference between miscarriage and abortion.”
She also said that women would not be thrown in jail with the end of Roe. But there are male lawmakers who are seeking to do just that. Throughout the country, a faction of self-proclaimed “abolitionists” are eager to punish women who receive an abortion with prison time. In Louisiana, one piece of legislation that would land women who have abortions “with the same criminal consequences as one who drowns her baby” made it one step closer to becoming a law, CNN reported.
Ferguson also claimed in vitro fertilization was not a target of the anti-choice movement, arguing that Roe’s decision was very narrow and only applied to abortion. But the following minute, she went on to claim that we know exactly when life begins—“at the fusion of sperm and egg.” Of course, by that definition, in vitro fertilization would be a target for the anti-choice movement, as it fuses sperms and eggs in a petri dish, picks the best embryo to implant and often discards the others.
Other panelists representing the Susan B. Anthony List and the Senate Pro-Life Caucus spoke about the need to pass federal legislation to limit abortion and encouraged attendees to pester their lawmakers to pass anti-choice legislation.
As the panel wound down, George urged attendees to “keep the baby in view. And we’ll win.”
Ferguson followed his lead by encouraging attendees to download the sound of an embryo at six weeks, so they could play the sound to anyone they speak to who favors abortion rights. “Well, here’s what a baby’s heartbeat sounds like at six weeks,” she said, playing the audio for the ballroom from her phone.
As the panel closed, attendees, which included hundreds of high school students, funneled out of the ballroom to the March for Life Expo. At the entrance was a booth for Alliance Defending Freedom, a multimillion-dollar anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ litigation shop, handing out free swag to excited students. ADF was central to the overturning of Roe and represented Mississippi in the Supreme Court case; its lawyers have previously bragged that they helped write the Mississippi law as part of their strategy to ban all abortions in the country.
Across from them was the Heritage Foundation, which handed out a packet of flyers and advertised a raffle for a prize of $500. Concerned Women for America advertised their Young Women for America program. Focus on The Family—a platinum sponsor of the March for Life and whose activists worked behind the scenes to get right-wing judges nominated to the federal court—had another stand, while GiveSendGo, the Christian fundraising site, also had a booth featuring a cash grab, a handwritten prize wheel, and a timeline of its company that featured its decision to offer a crowdfunding platform for Kyle Rittenhouse.
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
Image: Drew Petrimoulx / Shutterstock
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‘Why So Much Hate From You?’: Mark Cuban Smacks Down Stephen Miller, Twice
A far-right wing pundit’s decision to go after a 29-year old woman’s TikTok video about her plans for a relaxing Saturday during a holiday weekend sparked a firestorm between billionaire businessman and TV personality Mark Cuban and former Trump White House aide Stephen Miller, with the woman revealing later some of the hate she received after being made a target.
It all started when “Theocratic fascist” Matt Walsh, as he calls himself, reposted a TikTok video on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, from a woman who says she’s “29 and single, and I don’t have kids yet.” The woman, identified by Mediaite as Julia Mazur, told her followers she slept in Saturday morning, woke up with a hangover and didn’t get up until 10:15 AM, after going to a Beyoncé concert the night before.
Mazur described her upcoming day, saying she enjoys not having plans, kids, a husband, or errands, and loves going wherever the day takes her. She was looking forward to watching some streaming shows on Netflix and Hulu, and possibly learning how to make shakshuka.
“I wouldn’t want to do anything else this Saturday,” she said happily.
Walsh responded to Mazur’s casual celebration of a joyous weekend by saying, “Her life doesn’t revolve around her family and kids so instead it revolves around TV shows and pop stars. Worst of all she’s too stupid to realize how depressing this is.”
“If you don’t have a family at least do something interesting with your time,” Walsh continued. “These people have absurd amounts of free time and they do absolutely nothing with it. Wasting their lives staring at little glowing boxes. Absolutely soul crushing.”
Her life doesn’t revolve around her family and kids so instead it revolves around TV shows and pop stars. Worst of all she’s too stupid to realize how depressing this is.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) September 3, 2023
Cuban stepped in, snarking on Walsh: “Says the guy who’s life revolves around Twitter/X.”
“How do you know she isnt trying to make it her job ? She has really good engagement and increasing numbers,” Cuban added.
That’s when Miller jumped in.
“You have a large following,” Miller, the architect of the Trump administration’s family separation policy, began. “People listen to your advice. What would you say is a more fulfilling path for adults: starting a family, or sleeping late and watching TV? What advice would you give to someone who suggests they wish to be childless so they can stream more shows?”
“Thanks for asking Stephen,” Cuban said in his lengthy response, which included him saying Mazur having a family or not is “none of my fucking business.”
He also asked Miller, “what happened that causes you to hate so much. Seriously Stephen. Why so much hate from you?”:
“1. I wouldn’t give her advice unless she asked. 2. After looking at the comments to her posts, I would thank her for offering a place for people who can relate to her, to engage and have a conversation. She replies to the comments and based on that, people seem to appreciate it 3. From a business perspective, I would tell her that the Wellness Space is crowded but if she does this in addition to her job, she might be able to build a nice business. 4. As far as a family. I would tell her to do whatever she thinks is best for her. It’s none of my fucking business 5. If I had you both in a room , I would point at her and thank her for trying to bring joy to others and I would point at you and ask what happened that causes you to hate so much. Seriously Stephen. Why so much hate from you?”
The exchange didn’t end there.
“In the interests of time I will respond with two points,” Miller replied. “1. No society can succeed where the constant message from our elites leaders is do whatever the hell you want and don’t worry about children. Children are simply the most important thing in the whole world and the foundation of civilization and all human flourishing. 2. Could you be more specific with your crass (and, I think you would acknowledge, unprovoked) smear on point 5? The issue/work with which I’m arguably most associated, stopping human smuggling and trafficking, is quite literally about saving human lives.”
Cuban replied, in an even lengthier response that included saying, “What any individual does in terms of having children or not is their choice. Full Stop.”
“Maybe I’m wrong , but if one of those children is born to an illegal immigrant, my understanding is that you do not want to help them and you want to deport them ?” he added, calling that “hateful.”
Ultimately, Mazur posted another video, detailing some of the hate messages she’s received since Walsh’s initial post.
Walsh’s platform often revolves around attacking the LGBTQ community, including especially transgender girls and women, He has been included in reporting on white Christian nationalism, and “far-right media instigators.” He also recently warned, “whites are trending towards extinction in the United States.”
Mazur said Walsh’s followers told her, “I should actually die and never leave my house. I should be sexually assaulted,” she said, adding she was told, “I’m a whore.”
“These people were really really really riled up about my choices,” she said.
But Mazur concluded, “life’s too short figuring out what Matt Walsh wants us to do.”
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) September 4, 2023
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Image of Mark Cuban via Shutterstock
Liberal Fox News Co-Host Destroys Conservatives’ Claims the Right Holds the Majority Opinion on Culture War Issues
Fox News co-host Jessica Tarlov, the lone liberal on the the right-wing cable channel’s very popular afternoon show “The Five,” destroyed her conservative co-hosts’ talking points on a wide variety of culture war issues.
Behind a chyron of “Tyranny of the Minority” – related to remark made by Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy – Tarlov on Wednesday fed facts to the conservatives who tried to claim the majority of Americans oppose the right to choose an abortion, and the majority of Americans do not support transgender people.
“On the trans issue, for instance,” Tarlov offered, “our own Fox polling shows that 57% of Americans think that trans kids and their families being the target of political attacks, as in these anti-trans bills, is a major problem.”
“When you look at the actual numbers of kids that are, for instance, they have gender dysphoria, and they’re getting top surgery. How many kids do you think got top surgery last year?” she asked, not receiving a response from any of her co-hosts.
“Under 300,” answered Tarlov, who “holds two Master’s degrees in political science and public policy, as well as a Ph.D. in Government from the London School of Economics and Political Science,” according to Variety.
“Then think about an issue that’s really important to Democrats –” she suggested, trying to continue before co-host Greg Gutfeld interjected, asking: “Children?”
“Minors,” she responded, referring to the question of top surgery.
“That’s an atrocity,” Gutfeld declared. “But continue,” he added, laughing.
“But over 5800 kids were victims of gun violence, for instance,” Tarlov pointed out. “I don’t hear Republicans talking about that. Tyranny of the minority –” she again tried to continue before Gutfeld interrupted.
“Oh, what a false comparison,” he snarked.
“It absolutely isn’t,” responded Tarlov. “It’s a priority on the right to talk about trans issues, a priority on the left to talk about gun violence. Which affects more people?” she asked.
“Abortion is another instance of the tyranny of the minority,” Tarlov continued. “I get it, federalism – you send it back to the states where a group of elected officials have decided, for instance, in like Texas, Louisiana, that women should not be able to get abortions after six weeks. We have women that are bleeding out, going into sepsis. In Louisiana, a woman was forced to carry a baby that had no skull.”
Gutfeld, apparently outraged, screamed, “What does this have to do with this topic?”
“What are you talking about?” she replied. “This is, he says tyranny of the minority.”
“But that had to do with LGBTQ,” Jeanine Pirro interjected, “not with all of your favorite issues.”
“He’s running to be president of the United States of America,” Tarlov argued.
“But that’s not what we’re talking about, we’re talking about – I asked you specifically about pronouns,” Pirro complained.
“And I said he was wrong to act as if the GOP is the party of the majority opinion – they are not. They’re taking minority positions and running with them,” Tarlov explained.
An agitated Gutfeld again interjected, “Pro-life isn’t a minority position.”
“It is, actually,” she replied.
“What, are you gonna talk about the fact that it’s like 48%,” Gutfeld, hands raised, again snarked.
“No, I’m going to talk about the 69% – it’s the highest it’s ever been recorded – that now support abortion at least through the first trimester,” she replied. “And what’s happening then in Ohio and Kansas and Kentucky.”
“What’s the Democrat stance on abortion?” Gutfeld asked.
“That it’s between a woman and her doctor to make those decisions,” she said.
“No, what’s the what’s the cut off?” Gutfeld asked. “Is that what you call that tyranny of minority as well?”
Frustrated, Gutfeld added, “I think the logic here is that you’re slicing these issues –”
“Are you talking about, ‘we want to kill live babies’?” Tarlov asked, referring to conservative talking points.
“I didn’t say that,” Gutfeld replied.
“I’m just pointing out that this isn’t actually the right argument, but go ahead,” he offered, before Pirro took over and said, “I’d like to get back to the issue.”
Watch below or at this link.
You can tell Jessica Tarlov hit a nerve here by how Judge Jeanine and Gutfeld reacted — especially when she points out how out of step the GOP is on abortion and other issues while simultaneously railing about the “tyranny of the minority” regarding trans kids. pic.twitter.com/IY1tnmaGVP
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 16, 2023
‘That’s How Fascists Talk’: Matt Gaetz Slammed for Threat of Violence
According to an expert on authoritarianism, comments made by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Saturday while standing with former president Donald Trump should raise flags as he promised to use “force” to create change in Washington, D.C.
Considering the former president was recently indicted for conspiracy related to the Jan. 6 insurrection that led to lawmakers fleeing for their lives, historian and author Ruth Ben-Ghiat called Gaetz comments alarming.
Speaking before a crowd at the Iowa State Fair on Saturday, Gaetz stated, “Mr. President, I cannot stand these people that are destroying our country. They are opening our borders. They are weaponizing our federal law enforcement against patriotic Americans who love this nation as we should,” before adding, “But we know that only through force do we make any change in a corrupt town like Washington, D.C. And so to all my friends here in Iowa, when you see them come for this man, know that they are coming for our movement and they are coming for all of us.”
Reacting to Gaetz’s proclamations, Ben-Ghiat told MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin, “What he is saying is that they are not going to have change through elections or through legislation or through reform. They are going to have change through violence.”
“And that’s how fascists talk,” she added. “So, even if Trump is out of the picture, these are people who have adopted methods very familiar to me as a historian of fascism, that violence and corruption and lying that’s what the party is today.”
Watch below or at the link:
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