February 21st, 2012

Kuzco: No Touchy!
  • calybe

Khader Adnan and normalized Western justice

Each year, the U.S. State Department, as required by law, issues a “Human Rights Report” which details abuses by other countries. To call it an exercise in hypocrisy is to understate the case: it is almost impossible to find any tyrannical power denounced by the State Department which the U.S. Government (and its closest allies) do not regularly exercise itself. Indeed, it’s often impossible to imagine how the authors of these reports can refrain from cackling mischievously over the glaring ironies of what they are denouncing (my all-time favorite example is discussed in the update here).

In 2010, the State Department included a long section on the oppressive detention practices of China. The “principal human rights problems” of the tyrannical Chinese government include “a lack of due process in judicial proceedings” and “the use of administrative detention.” Indeed, “arbitrary arrest and detention remained serious problems. The law grants police broad administrative detention powers and the ability to detain individuals for extended periods without formal arrest or criminal charges.” Can one even find the words to condemn these Chinese monsters?


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Source: Salon

misc01
  • xerox78

Student punched in the face for writing pro-gay marriage article

Bridgewater State University student allegedly attacked for stance on gay unions



BRIDGEWATER — Police at Bridgewater State University are looking for a woman who allegedly punched a student journalist in the face for her pro-gay marriage editorial.

Meanwhile, the school is rallying behind the writer, Destinie Mogg-Barkalow, and is planning a rally on campus on Tuesday.

Mogg-Barkalow has been writing for the student newspaper, The Comment, since September. She penned a piece for last week’s edition titled “Prop 8 generates more hate,” in which she called out supporters of a ban on gay marriage in California as intolerant and bigoted. On Feb. 8, a federal appeals court declared the ban unconstitutional, saying it was a violation of the civil rights of gay and lesbian couples.

Mogg-Barkalow told police that she was walking in a campus parking lot shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday when she was approached by a tall man and a shorter woman with red hair who appeared to be fellow students.

The two asked Mogg-Barkalow, who was wearing a Comment sweatshirt at the time, if she wrote for the newspaper and if she wrote the pro-gay marriage editorial, campus police said. When she said yes, the woman punched her in the face, leaving a bruise, university spokesman Bryan Baldwin said.

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Source

Prop 8 generates more hate by Destinie Mogg-Barkalow
Jesus Horses

Santorum's foreign relations

If this is an example of how Santorum's foreign relations will work, we're all fucked if he gets elected. >_>

Dutch Outraged Over Santorum's Euthanasia Claim
Rick Santorum's invocation of a nightmare of mass murder of the elderly in the Netherlands has provoked a storm of incredulity and criticism in the Western European country, where the local press say his statistics are wildly inflated.

"Rick Santorum Thinks He Knows the Netherlands: Murder of the Elderly on a Grand Scale" is Saturday's headline in the daily newspaper NRC Handelsblad.

"Rick Santorum is an arch conservative. The most conservative of all candidates in the Republican primaries. He loathes abortion and euthanasia. So now he loathes the Netherlands. Because in the Netherlands we kill the elderly like there's no tomorrow," reads the story, according to a translation provided by BuzzFeed's Low Country correspondent, and author of a Dutch blog on American politics, Bertine Moenaff. The story quotes Santorum, before concluding: "This man is really imaginative. It would be a laughing matter, if he weren't in the race for the Republican nomination to take on Barack Obama in the race for the presidency of the most powerful country in the world."

Santorum said in an interview with social conservative leader James Dobson earlier this month that euthanasia makes up "ten percent of all deaths, and half of those people are euthanized involuntarily, because they are old or sick. And so elderly people in the Netherlands don't go into a hospital. They go to other country."
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The 'codswallop' Tory NHS reforms, by Tony Parsons.

"Codswallop! she cried into the frightened face of Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, and with that one word a tiny lady measured the distance we have come in the 63 years of the National Health Service – from Nye Bevan’s dream to David Cameron’s betrayal.

“Codswallop!” is not a word you hear very often these days, and yet it seemed perfect when this respectable-looking lady shoved it into the soft, frightened features of Andrew Lansley as he arrived in Downing Street to mutilate the NHS.

The NHS is safe with the Tories? Codswallop!

A national treasure that has stood for 63 years will not be transformed into a whorehouse by Lansley’s Health and Social Care Bill? Codswallop!

A Tory party led by the likes of Cameron and Osborne – these soft trust-fund boys whose families are protected by the feather beds and fluffy pillows of private health care, who have a thermometer warmed by their butler before it is shoved where the sun doesn’t shine – give a damn about the NHS? Codswallop! Codswallop! Codswallop!"

Source and for the rest of the article: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/tony-parsons-june-hautot-summed-692467

OP: I know all forward-thinking, smart and lovely Americans (I'm looking at YOU, ONTD Political people!) have a fascination for the NHS so here is a truly excellent opinion piece about the danger of privatisation by the author and Daily Mirror columnist Tony Parsons.
Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

Iain Duncan Smith says people who don't want to work for free are 'job snobs'



In a strongly worded defence of his department's policy of giving unemployed youngsters work experience placements in exchange for benefits, Mr Duncan Smith said supermarket shelf stackers are of greater value to society than the 'commentating elite'.
He claimed employers are hiring foreign workers because young Britons think being a reality television star is the only career worth having.

Under the programme, the young unemployed work for up to eight weeks for 30 hours a week, after which they may be interviewed for a job. Those that pull out after the first week face having their benefits withdrawn. The scheme is supported by major chains including Boots, McDonald's, Argos, Tesco and Primark.


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source
weaver girl [spin the dawn by elizabeth

Knicks' Jeremy Lin holds mirror up to America



As Lin captivates fans with basketball prowess, he also makes people confront their biases and reassess why Asian Americans have been publicly categorized in ways unacceptable for other minorities.

Of all the drives, dunks and dazzling shots Jeremy Lin is forcing upon the stars of the NBA, none of it compares with the moves he's putting on a larger collection of everyday people.

Jeremy Lin has dribbled America into the previously quiet corner of its casual prejudice and lazy stereotypes of Asian Americans.

The true beauty of his story is in awareness of the ugliness that has been found there.


It's been barely two weeks since the beginning of a tale that rocked the sports world with great basketball and bad puns, but so much already has changed. When America now looks at Lin, it should see more than an Asian American kid from Harvard who overcame ignorance at every level to become a star guard for the New York Knicks.

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Jeremy Lin's heritage is a wonderful part of this story and should not be ignored. But can't we do that without being ignorant?

Source

Couldn't agree more with this article and wanted to bold everything. I've been really upset by the bullshit comments the sports media has been spewing, especially because I'm an East Asian-American myself. Fuck those guys.
POUND

Danger Danger

Mitt Romney enters the danger zone

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Mitt Romney kicks off what may be the most fraught week of his political career today. In one week, Republican primary voters in Michigan (and perhaps less so here in Arizona) will make clear whether the presumptive frontrunner for the Republican nomination can continue to claim that mantle or if he has to adapt to an entirely upended and rejiggered contest.

Long before it became clear that Gov. Romney was not going to be able to wrap up the 2012 GOP presidential nomination in January, he and his campaign often pointed to a robust campaign war chest and political organization that was ready to carry him through the long march to the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Of course, back then such talk was employed against his opponents more as bluster and boasting. Today, it is offered up as evidence of Romney's professed ability to survive.

"The goal is to stay ahead in the delegate count. Mitt Romney is ahead in the delegate count. He's always been ahead in the delegate count. And I think he'll stay that way," said Virginia governor and Romney surrogate Bob McDonnell on a conference call with reporters on Monday.

The Romney campaign national finance chairman hammered the point home in a statement accompanying the announcement of a $6.5 million cash haul last month.

"We are the only campaign who has the organization and resources to go the distance of a long primary process. We know there is a long road ahead and we will remain steady," Spencer Zwick said.

There have been no external signs of cracking under pressure from the Romney high command in Boston thus far, but the campaign's composure should Romney suffer a severe blow in Michigan will be an important dynamic to watch.

The latest polls in Michigan show former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum leading Romney, a native Michigander.

For Romney, one of the most damaging aspects of Santorum's rise in the polls nationally and in many critical upcoming primary states is the lack of importance being assigned by voters to the ability to defeat Barack Obama in November as key candidate quality.

In a New York Times/CBS News national poll of Republican voters released last week, Romney was the candidate seen as having the best chance at defeating the president. More than half of Republican voters said so compared to the 14 or 15 percent who said the same of Santorum and Gingrich.

Unfortunately for Romney, far fewer voters said that was an important quality (19 percent) than had said so in the aftermath of Romney's New Hampshire victory. A combined 56 percent of Republican voters said being a true conservative or having a strong moral character were the most important qualities in a candidate, attributes that play directly into Rick Santorum's wheelhouse.

Nothing matters more for Romney than coming out on top after the votes are counted next Tuesday, but getting there will likely require a winning debate performance on Wednesday night in Arizona and a rousing economic speech in Detroit on Friday. Those two high profile occasions are an opportunity for Romney to assuage concerns about his candidacy among the most conservative voters in his party.

This is the kind of week for which Romney has been spending the better part of the last six years preparing. To regain the upper hand in this nomination battle, Romney will need to turn that preparation into flawless execution.


Source

I'm so conflicted on whether I want Romney or Santorum to win the nomination.

Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

Black HERstory: Black Women in the White House.

February 20, 2012 by Barbara McCaskill

To mark Black History Month, President Obama has been asked to recognize the role of black people in building the White House. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) requested that the president formally acknowledge the work of the enslaved carpenters, bricklayers, stonemasons, and other male laborers who erected the majestic building in the 1790s.

In keeping with this request, I ask, too, that we remember the enslaved and free black women who served within the White House walls as maids, nurses and cooks starting in the 19th century.

One prominent example was Elizabeth Keckley (1818-1907), the Lincoln family’s confidante and dress designer.
Before and after purchasing her freedom from Southern bondage, she stitched dresses and gowns for elite white women, including Confederate wives. Her renown for her wizardry with the needle spread rapidly by word of mouth, bringing her to the attention of the fashionable and image-conscious Mary Todd Lincoln. Keckley became the first lady’s dressmaker and saw the inner workings of the White House from a vantage point few Americans of her race and gender had experienced.

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Source

I wish this article were longer and more in-depth, but it's still wonderful.

I also wish I'd been there at the NASCAR event to punch some fools, cause it takes some classless, racist assholes to boo a magnificent women like Michelle O. Some people's children, I tell you.
Gryffindor corgi
  • jettakd

Blac HERstory: The Queen of Jazz Age Paris

February 18, 2012 by T Denean Sharpley-Whiting


The impressive box office haul of Woody Allen’s 2011 romantic comedy Midnight in Paris testifies to Americans’ ongoing love affair with a city known for high culture, grand architecture and romance. That fondness has been tested in recent years by a weak dollar, “freedom fries” and the unqualified French resistance to the ill-advised American invasion of Iraq. But Allen’s film tapped into a well of nostalgia surrounding the roaring 20s and the twilight years of the 1930s, the Jazz Age, when a much stronger dollar allowed a “lost generation” of artists and intellectuals to take refuge in the open arms of the City of Light.

What motivated me to attend an early afternoon screening of the film at a San Francisco movie theater was the hope of seeing Bricktop. The queen of 1920s and 30s café culture in Paris, Bricktop had recently become the irrepressible muse for my fiction and nonfiction writing. She was a Jazz Age figure with remarkable flair: a sassy, red-haired, freckle-faced African American saloon-keeper who was besties with Cole Porter and F. Scott Fitzgerald, was always elegantly attired in Elsa Schiaparelli or Lanvin, consorted with royalty, faced down gangsters in Chicago, New York and Paris, and eventually owned (and lost) a home in the upscale Paris suburb of Bougival.

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Source
Jesus Horses

Romney's digging a deep grave in Michigan

Republicans disputing his criticism of the auto industry bailout? What's next? Cats and dogs living together? ;)

Romney Endorser Corrects Mitt On Auto Rescue: ‘No One Could Have’ Saved The Industry Except The Government
Mitt Romney’s renewed opposition to the rescue that saved the American auto industry, which came in the form of yet another editorial announcing his desire to “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” was immediately slammed by auto industry insiders, reporters who covered the rescue, and even publications that had once taken his same position.

Michigan Rep. Fred Upton (R), who endorsed Romney, has now joined that chorus, telling Western Michigan University’s WMUK radio that turning to the private sector to rescue Detroit as Romney advocated was never an option:

HOST: He wrote an op-ed for the Detroit News in which he said it is good news that U.S. auto companies are back but he questioned the manner in which it was done, the so-called auto bailout. This was a fight that you were knee deep in at the time it was happening. Do you agree with his characterization?

UPTON: I did not see the article that he wrote. I do know that all of the Michigan delegation worked very hard as related to the revival of the auto industry. There was really a choice between bankruptcy and liquidation. There was no one that was willing to come up not only with the cash to keep them afloat but also to serve the warranties of everyone, you and I that drive all these cars. There was no one that could have picked up those pieces other than the federal government.
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Jesus Horses

Arpaio's results

March 1, 2012. Mark that date on your calendars! ;)

Joe Arpaio: Birther Investigation Is 'A Favor' To Obama
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was rebuked in December by the Justice Department for alleged civil rights violations, said on Tuesday that he will release his findings on President Barack Obama's birth certificate on March 1.

Arpaio further implied that the president should be thanking him for looking into whether his Hawaii birth certificate is a fake.

"When I took this mission on, I took it on to possibly be able to clear the president," [OP note: *COUGHbullshitCOUGH*]Apraio said during a speech in Maricopa County, where he serves as sheriff. "I was doing him a favor. We'll see what happens."

He didn't give any hints as to what his birther "Cold Case posse" had found, but insisted his press conference was not driven by a desire to gain media attention. "I don't have press conferences just to get my name on television," he said. (Granted, he gets his name on TV plenty as it is, particularly for mishandling immigration enforcement authority until his office was banned from a federal partnership program.)

Arpaio insisted that he is investigating the racially-charged "birther" claims, which have been thoroughly debunked, because of demand from Tea Partiers. Obama released his long-form birth certificate in April 2011, but that was not enough for Arpaio, who said in November 2011 that he wants to see the microfiche of that document.
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How Expensive Is Birth Control?

To hear some conservative politicians tell it, you'd think birth control pills fall from the sky and IUDs grow on trees. During the recent controversy over President Barack Obama's rule requiring insurance companies to offer birth control free of charge, GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum claimed birth control "costs just a few dollars." Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) went even further, arguing that "not one woman" has ever been denied access to contraception because she could not afford it.

As the huge majority of American women who've used it know, birth control costs a lot more than a couple bucks. The typical American woman spends about 30 years trying to prevent pregnancy, so even relatively small monthly copays add up.

According to the Center for American Progress, even women with private health insurance often shoulder a significant portion of the cost for their prescription birth control needs. That's one of the reasons women of reproductive age spend 68 percent more on out-of-pocket health care expenses than their male counterparts do. And contrary to Rep. Price's claim, surveys show that women do indeed forgo contraception—or use it inconsistently—when they're in a financial crunch. According to a 2009 study from the Guttmacher Institute, 23 percent of middle- and low-income women said they had a harder time paying for birth control in the current economy and 24 percent put off a visit to the gynecologist in order to save money. A recent Hart Research Associates survey found that one in three women voters—including 55 percent of young women—have struggled to afford birth control. In fact, the high cost of birth control is exactly why the Institute of Medicine recommended that it be covered without a copay.

Birth control isn't just about pregnancy prevention—many women use it for other medical reasons too. A recent study found that only 42 percent of women using the pill in the United States are using it solely to prevent pregnancy.

Please note that birth control costs can vary considerably depending on your insurance coverage, health care provider, and location. Our calculator is based on data from the Center for American Progress, which provided a range of prices for each contraceptive method. CAP's price estimates were based on info from Planned Parenthood and confirmed by surveys of other health care providers and pharmacies, academic studies, and consumer and advocate reports.
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Source has a lot more, including a calculator that estimates lifetime birth control costs and lot of links when I opted not to include because lol I hate html.
funny

Santorum's 'Satan targeting U.S.' speech resurfaces

Santorum's 'Satan targeting U.S.' speech resurfaces
A 2008 speech in which Rick Santorum declares "Satan is targeting" the United States has resurfaced on the campaign trail, even as the Republican presidential hopeful faces controversy over recent comments questioning President Barack Obama's "theology."
Santorum, an outspoken social conservative, made the speech during an August 2008 visit to a Catholic university in Florida, telling the audience that America was in the midst of a "spiritual war" because Satan was corroding the country's foundations.

"Satan has done so by attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that has so deeply rooted in the American tradition," he is heard saying in audio versions of the speech, which were posted online on Tuesday.

"This is a spiritual war, and the father of lies has his sights on what you would think the father of lies, Satan, would have his sights on: A good, decent, powerful, influential country — the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age? There is no one else to go after other than the United States."

The audio recording of the speech emerged on the website rightwingwatch.org and was widely dispersed on the Drudge Report news aggregator site, which last month revealed the existence of a scathing ABC News interview with the ex-wife of another Republican presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich.

Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator who won three Western state Republican ballots earlier this month, has seen his support in polls soar in recent weeks above the long-perceived front-runner Mitt Romney ahead of next Tuesday's key primaries in Michigan

Romney blasts Obama's 'secular agenda'

Over the weekend, Santorum drew fire for suggesting Obama's policies were drawn from a "phoney theology … not found in the Bible." The candidate later said he was only questioning the president's "world view," not his religion.

Republicans in Washington have stepped up their criticism of the Obama administration’s policy for contraceptive coverage, insisting it is part of a wider Democratic campaign against religion and religious freedoms.

Romney, who has largely stayed silent on faith-related issues during the campaign, criticized Obama's "secular agenda" at a town hall meeting in Michigan on Tuesday, saying he would protect religious freedom as president.

“And unfortunately, perhaps because of the people the president hangs around with and their agenda, their secular agenda, they have fought against religion," Romney said.

Source is CBC

Oh god, it just keeps getting better and better doesn't it? Do people actually believe this stuff?

Out of the spotlight, Mitt Romney shines

In terms of sizzle, Sen. Rob Portman makes Mitt Romney look like Lady Gaga. So when the two men shared a stage in suburban Cincinnati on Monday afternoon, the result was pure and unadulterated ennui — exactly the sentiment greeting Romney’s presidential aspirations in the Republican electorate.

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Source

I know the big takeaway from this piece is the fact that Romney's modus operandi is to attack silently and continuously using his well-funded and well-oiled ad machine, but I just can't with some of his weird campaign trail anecdotes. Nexium and trees that are the right height.
Beric

Palestinian detainee ends hunger strike

A Palestinian detained by Israel, Khader Adnan, has agreed to end his 66-day hunger strike as part of a deal under which he will be released without charge, sources tell Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera's Nisreen El-Shamayleh, reporting from Adnan's hometown of Jenin in the West Bank, quoted officials as saying on Tuesday that "Adnan has informed his lawyers that he has suspended his hunger strike and agreed to the offer to serve his sentence until April 17".

A spokesperson for the Israeli Supreme Court earlier told Al Jazeera that based on the deal reached between Adnan's lawyers and the Israeli justice ministry, he would end his fast in return for the court's decision to "erase" his file and release him on April 17, ending his "administrative detention".
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Insults with Feminists: "Douchebag"

I like to curse… a lot. And I like to be as creative with spellings as I am with uses (fuck can be used in a surprisingly diverse number of ways). As a feminist, though, I’m constantly considering linguistic histories of the words that I use. With regard to cursing, I think things like, “What’s the male equivalent of ‘bitch’? Is there one? Of ‘pussy’? Is it OK to use these words? In what context?” Sure, you have “dick,” but, let’s be honest, it doesn’t hold the same demeaning history.

But fear not! I’ve done the heavy lifting. Today, I’d like to demonstrate why “douche” is the most feminist insult and appropriate for all occasions.

First, a brief history of douching. To douche is to use an instrument that has been claimed to “freshen up” a woman’s vagina by “rinsing” menstrual blood, semen, or odor (and, therefore, contribute to sexual desirability). As you’ll see from some advertisements below, the logic behind the douche is that vaginas are dirty and stinky, and that, if you are a Good Woman, you douche. You know, for your loved one. The argument is essentially that the vaginal opening is located in an area where waste and dangerous bacteria are discharged from the vagina and two other openings “down there.”

Douching has been thought to prevent pregnancies (it doesn’t) and to cure of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In reality, however, doctors have found that douching actually kills the good bacteria that live in your vagina. When you kill friendly bacteria, bad bacteria takes over, and the pH balance of your vagina is thrown off. So what was a perfectly healthy vagina is now a vagina that is at risk of an infection (which, if you’re following, is precisely why many are douching in the first place). Studies have shown that douching, in addition to increasing risk of infection, increases the odds of cervical cancer and ectopic pregnancies.

[my snip here - there are photos/videos of ads, etc...]

I’m calling for a reclaiming of “douche” to mean, as it should, “a useless, even dangerous, tool made to make women feel bad about themselves.” It should be said to people who, like the douche itself, have an over-inflated sense of worth despite having a low level of use and/or intelligence.

So go, my clever, bookish ones! Go out into the world and call that douche out for cat-calling or mansplaining! And know that, in using this wonderfully feminist insult, you’re fighting back against the suggestion that women are unclean and should be ashamed of their dirty vaginas.

It’s an insult that insults insulting women! Is it even possible to have so more linguistic, feminist fun with an insult? Oh? You think it is? Yeah, well, then you’re a douche.

Source seems to be exactly describing Frothy


Not political, exactly, but applies to a lot of current politicians.  :-)  Also, we've had a number of discussions about furthering various -isms with insults and other word choices, so I found this interesting...   Any tag suggestions are welcome as well.  Thanks!

Edited for formatting, tags

susan

Professional Racist, Homophobe Pat Buchanan Officially Axed By MSNBC

Four months after suspending him, MSNBC officially fired right-wing pundit Pat Buchanan on Thursday. (Oh that’s why we saw a rainbow and a flock of doves outside our office yesterday.)

In October Buchanan released his latest incendiary tome, Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025. It contained chapters titled “The End of White America” and “The Death of Christian America,” and bemoaned marriage equality and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

"Indoctrination of recruits, soldiers and officers into an acceptance of the gay lifestyle will transfer authority over the military, the most respected institution in America, to agents of a deeply resented and widely detested managerial state."


On Thursday, a network spokesman explained that “after ten years, we have decided to part ways with Pat Buchanan. We wish him well.” But in a column the same day, Buchanan, called efforts to silence him "un-American.” Collapse )

Democratic women seek a state ban on vasectomies for men



This afternoon, the House Judiciary (Non-Civil) Committee will take up HB 954, a measure that would prohibit abortions on women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant. Current law prohibits abortions after the second trimester, or about 24 weeks.

The bill sponsored by Doug McKillip, R-Athens, asserts that 20 weeks is the point at which a fetus can begin to feel pain. The measure also attempts to tighten “life of the mother” exceptions to abortion:

No such condition shall be deemed to exist if it is based on a diagnosis or claim of a mental or emotional condition of the pregnant woman or that the pregnant woman will purposefully engage in conduct which she intends to result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.


In response, House Democrats have scheduled a 3 p.m. Wednesday hearing at the state Capitol, to propose a bill that would ban Georgia males from seeking vasectomies. From the press release:


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