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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Jane is 100% correct
Posted by Jill | 8:16 AM
Yesterday Jane Hamsher declared war on one of the organizations standing in the way of retaining a woman's right to control her own body and her own medical care: NARAL.

Yes, NARAL -- the National Abortion Rights Action League.

Jane explains thusly:

I'm sure Nancy Keenan is licking her sweet chops over the latest SCOTUS decision.  It is, after all, probably going to be the biggest fundraising opportunity she's had during her tenure at NARAL.  Bigger even than Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement.  Remember that one?

"NARAL Pro-Choice America surpassed its fundraising goals in the hours following Justice O'Connor's announcement," said President Nancy Keenan. Donors "are deeply concerned that President Bush will choose to further divide this nation by nominating a radical right-wing conservative."

Moderation is not the tone of fundraising appeals in the nomination contest. "This is big, people. Huge," NARAL wrote to supporters. "It's true, there is no freedom without choice. Without choice, we are not free."

And what did they do with all that cash?  They sat it and didn't do a damn thing, didn't lift a finger to fight Samuel Alito.  Worse yet, when the Gang of 14 decided to vote in favor of cloture, they said that they did not consider cloture votes "significant" and would not be considering them in their scorecard. They then went on to add insult to injury by asking their membership to thank Lincoln Chafee and Joe Lieberman for the beatings they delivered with their "aye" cloture vote by pretending that their "nay" floor votes were significant.  They then poured salt into the wound by endorsing both "short ride" Lieberman and Chafee over their opponents who made it clear that they would not have voted for cloture for Alito, which gave us the 5-4 decision we have today.

Don't reward failure.  Tell your friends.  Don't give money to NARAL when they come knocking on your door to tell you that choice is going down the crapper unless you give them a lot of money, because what you'll be giving money for is Nancy Keenan's ability to point her little pinky over tea at Washington cocktail parties and tut-tut over the state of choice in this country at the hands of the fundamentalists.  She'll take no responsibility for the fact that NARAL will not fight, will not back those that fight, and worse yet, that NARAL sucks up all the pro-choice money so nobody else can mount a meaningful fight, either.

It's time to stop supporting Democrats that oppose a women's right to control her own body (*cough* Bob Casey *cough*) and those who vote for laws that result in yesterday's SCOTUS decision (and yes, I'm afraid that includes Patrick Leahy, who now has one hell of a lot to answer for). It's time to hold the feet of those Democrats who are squishy on the issue (like Hillary "reach out to the pro-lifers" Clinton) to the fire. It's time to demand that our leaders take a stand. Either you think American women are American citizens or you don't. Either you believe that we have the same right of bodily integrity as men do or you believe that when an egg becomes fertilized, the woman becomes just a vessel for "potential life" -- nothing more.

There is no middle ground on this. The pro-fetus position among right-wing activists is not about babies, it's about control and it's about punishing women who have sex for pleasure not procreation. Yes, there are pro-fetus people of conscience who also oppose the death penalty and war, but they are few and far between, and they do not represent the political activists. When you send people like Joe Lieberman or Joe Biden, who regard "collegiality" and the Washington consultants as being more important than the full citizenship of half of the American populations, you might as well join up with the Christofascist Zombie Brigade.

There is no middle ground. We know that now. It's time to choose up sides. Are women people, citizens, Americans -- or not?


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