Email from Ms Richards
Maybe you've seen the video, or at least the headlines -- but I want you to hear the truth directly from me.
Earlier this week, a group of extreme anti-abortion activists with a long record of deceiving the public released their latest attack on Planned Parenthood doctors and medical staff. They are hell-bent on misleading the public -- and now lawmakers are joining in to help do their dirty work. They're trying -- again -- to block women from getting the care they need at Planned Parenthood health centers.
The claims these anti-abortion activists are making are outrageous and untrue. I've recorded a video message so you can hear the truth as we keep fighting to defend the women who rely on Planned Parenthood health centers every day. Take a look, learn what's really going on, and then share this message far and wide to make sure your friends aren't fooled by these anti-abortion activists:
We're not alone in denouncing the false accusations being made against Planned Parenthood medical staff. In fact, a number of media outlets -- including Slate(1), Media Matters(2), and the Washington Post(3) -- have made it clear that this is just another smear campaign from activists who are willing to say anything, no matter how untrue, to pursue their dangerous agenda.
Don't be fooled, and don't let your friends be misinformed. Learn the facts, and spread the truth:
We're going to need you to be ready to stand with us in the weeks ahead. Already, lawmakers who have spent years trying to ban abortion and defund Planned Parenthood are seizing on these false accusations to push their dangerous agenda. House Speaker John Boehner has announced an investigation in Congress -- one more in a long series of orchestrated attacks with a single goal: to ban abortion, denying women the right to make their own medical decisions.
It's going to take all of us standing together to defend women's health and rights in the face of this latest attack. Your support is absolutely essential at times like these, and we're counting on you to stick with us. Thank you for standing with Planned Parenthood.
Cecile Richards, President
Planned Parenthood Federation of America
1. Slate, Live Action Puts Out Another Titillating but Misleading Video About Planned Parenthood, July 2015:
2. Media Matters for America, 3 Deceptive Edits in the Video Claiming Planned Parenthood is "Selling Aborted Baby Parts", July 2015:
3. Washington Post, Congressional, state investigations into Planned Parenthood underway after undercover video goes viral, July 2015:
Shady Anti-Choice Actors Behind The Deceptive Video Accusing Planned Parenthood Of "Selling Aborted Baby Parts"
Center for Medical Progress, the anti-choice group behind the deceptively edited video attacking Planned Parenthood, is run by an activist with ties to discredited conservative groups and a board member who believes killing abortion doctors is "legally justified."
Center For Medical Progress Has A Small And Recent Internet Footprint. CMP's presence online was nearly non-existent until several weeks ago. The group's Facebook page shows no posts before May 24 of this year and the organization didn't join Twitter until May 30. No videos other than the deceptively edited Planned Parenthood clips appear on the group's YouTube site. The website address listed on their Facebook page leads to a PostalAnnex+ in Irvine, CA instead of real organization. [Facebook.com, Accessed 7/15/15; Twitter.com, Accessed 7/15/15, YouTube.com, Accessed 7/15/15; Yelp.com, Accessed 7/15/15]
Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue, Serves On Board of Directors. "Operation Rescue President Troy Newman serves on the Board of Daleiden's Center for Medical Progress. During this investigation, Newman advised Daleiden, providing consultation services and material support." [Christian Newswire, 7/14/15]
Newman Called Murder Of Abortion Clinic Doctor A "Justifiable Defensive Action." In a 2003 press release, Newman defended Paul Jennings Hill, who was executed by lethal injection for murdering abortion doctor John Britton in Pensacola, FL. Newman argued that Hill should have been able to defend himself by classifying the murder as justifiable.
Snopes on the video:
No, Planned Parenthood Is Not Selling Aborted Fetal Body Parts
According to The Center for Medical Progress's accompanying release, The video is the ... He's taken the deeply flawed (not to mention false) attack and run with it, issuing an order for ...
Email from PP
Republicans in Congress are launching an investigation into Planned Parenthood following the release of a highly edited, completely misleading undercover sting video by a right-wing anti-choice group.(1)
Make no mistake -- anti-choice Republicans arent interested in the truth. Theyre exploiting this totally bogus attack to try to do something theyve wanted to do for a long time: completely defund Planned Parenthood.
The video in question, released by the radical anti-choice Center for Medical Progress, purports to show a Planned Parenthood physician admitting that the group illegally profits off the sale of fetal tissue after abortions. It is an outright lie an outrageous distortion of a wholly legal and ethical practice of donating tissue for research.
Eric Ferrero, vice president of communications at Planned Parenthood, sets the record straight:
Women and families who make the decision to donate fetal tissue for lifesaving scientific research should be honored, not attacked and demeaned. Our medical practices and guidelines in this area are clear, and we do this important work just like other high-quality health care providers -- with full, appropriate consent from patients, under the highest ethical and legal standards, and with no financial benefit for the patient or Planned Parenthood."
Planned Parenthood is a life-saving organization -- one of the largest providers of health care to low-income women, and the nations number one provider of sex education.
But this is not the first time Republicans have gone after Planned Parenthood in this exact same way. House Republicans previously launched a similar investigation in 2011, after the anti-choice group Live Action released a heavily edited video that they said showed Planned Parenthood employees aiding sex traffickers.
Its actually becoming a very popular piece of the Rights playbook: obtain secret video of an organization they dont like, edit it to twist the words of the people filmed to create a completely false perception of what actually happened, and then have Republicans in Congress use the power of the federal government to go after that organization.
The same thing happened to ACORN -- a community organization that did tremendous good in increasing civic engagement in economically disadvantage communities. Now, ACORNs just a memory, after a smear campaign, by right-wing activists and congressional Republicans, that was based on lies and involved similar sting videos.
Thank you for taking a stand against right-wing extremism and the war on women.
Michael Keegan, President
1. Huffington Post: Congress Launches Planned Parenthood Investigation After Sting Video
Natl Partnership f/ Women & Families
The State of the States | July 1, 2015 Over the first half of this year, state legislators have increased the number and type of abortion restrictions they are considering. Abortion-rights supporters have fought back against these restrictions in the courts and through proposed proactive legislation.
Antiabortion-Rights Measures Add Up To Limit Access
State laws that have incrementally restricted access to abortion are accumulating, making the procedure nearly inaccessible in some states, the Los Angeles Times reports.
50-State Report Card on Reproductive Health and Rights
In this map, the Population Institute graded the states on their reproductive rights by considering each state's unintended pregnancy rate, access to abortion services and family planning funding, among other factors. The Institute gave the U.S. an overall grade of "C" for 2014 -- reflecting advances in curbing the teenage pregnancy rate and expanding contraceptive access -- but noted that many individual states saw their scores decline because of increased abortion restrictions and a failure to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148).
Featured Video: Abortion Providers Across the U.S. Continue To Face Harassment
MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry talks with authors David Cohen and Krysten Connon about their book, "Living in the Crosshairs," which details abortion-rights opponents' ongoing harassment of abortion providers. In the interview, Cohen notes that the harassment is "an ongoing problem for abortion providers across the country," adding that some providers "are living ... in fear of having people come to their home; ... their children being stalked at schools; death threats through the mail, on the phone; being followed to and from work."
Supreme Court Blocks HB 2, Allows Clinics To Remain Open While Appeal Pends
The Supreme Court voted 5-4 to temporarily block certain provisions in a Texas omnibus antiabortion-rights law (HB 2) from taking effect, allowing the remaining clinics in the state to stay open until the high court decides whether to review the case, the New York Times reports.
Op-Ed: Texas Bills Would Help 'Protect the Patient-Provider Relationship'
Two measures introduced in Texas "would protect the patient-provider relationship from inappropriate political interference in personal decisions that should be ma[d]e by women and their trained health care providers," family physician Bich-May Nguyen writes in a Houston Chronicle opinion piece.
Kan. Judge Delays Ban on Abortion Procedure While Legal Challenge Continues
A Kansas judge temporarily blocked a state law (SB 95) that would bar physicians from performing a certain type of abortion procedure, the New York Times reports.
"Supreme Court Lets Doctors Practice Medicine, Not Politics"
The Supreme Court announced it would not "review the Fourth Circuit's decision striking down a coercive North Carolina law [SL 2011-45] that inserted politicians' views where they don't belong," Rachel Easter writes for National Women's Law Center's "Womenstake," calling the decision "good ... for women's health and the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship."
Iowa Supreme Court Strikes Down State Rule Banning Telemedicine Abortion
The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled against a state rule banning the use of telemedicine in abortion services, the Des Moines Register reports.
Ark. AG Appeals Decision Overturning 12-Week Abortion Ban
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) asked the full 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear a ruling that struck down part of a state law (Act 301) prohibiting abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy if a fetal heartbeat is detectable, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The Republican Party, through its response to the Supreme Courts Obamacare, and then Marriage Equality rulings, has signaled its end of usefulness as an opposition party.
I have argued before based on their reaction to the Charleston shootings that they have disqualified themselves from running the country, and I still believe they have, but look, its time something was done.
Its one thing when they hurt themselves, but this is going to end up hurting all of us, because a healthy democracy calls for more than a single political party, and a religious hate group doesnt qualify.
Rather than debates on the relative merits of a position, what weve gotten, even from the politicians, is God vs. Government arguments. You cant tell the religious demagogues from the elected officials anymore. Some, like Gordon Klingenschmitt, are both.
Chief Justice Roberts' Marriage Equality Dissent Has A Hidden Message For Conservatives
Fridays landmark victory for marriage equality was handed down over the dissents of four justices, each of whom wrote their own dissenting opinion. Of these, by far the most thoughtful and the most significant was Chief Justice John Robertss dissent. Roberts rejected the Constitutions promise of marriage equality a view which The Onion quipped will someday lead to him being a villain in an Oscar-winning film about the fight for marriage equality. Yet, in the process of reaching his conclusion, Roberts also rejected a particularly aggressive brand of judicial conservatism that is rapidly becoming ascendant in conservative legal circles.
Obergefell v. Hodges, in other words, is a double defeat for conservatives. At the same moment that a majority of the Court declared the United States to be a marriage equality nation, Chief Justice Roberts announced to his fellow conservatives that their most ambitious legal cases are doomed to failure.
Robertss Obergefell dissent, moreover, needs to be read alongside the decision he handed down just one day earlier his remarkable majority opinion in King v. Burwell, which appeared to scold his fellow conservative lawyers for using the courts as a tool to fight political battles. In a democracy, Roberts wrote in that opinion, the power to make the law rests with those chosen by the people. He then added language that will render the Affordable Care Act unusually resistant to legal challenge.
Read together, Robertss King and Obergefell opinions may mark a turning point in American law. They suggest that the chief justice has grown tired of efforts to politicize the judiciary, and that he is particularly annoyed with his fellow conservatives for trying to achieve through litigation what they could not win in elections. If this interpretation of Robertss actions proves true, then the chief justices dissent from a decision bringing the blessings of equality to all 50 states may, ironically, be one of the most positive developments for liberals in the last several Supreme Court terms.
@DyjstraDame: To those claiming the Confederate Flag's sentimental, not racist, it's creator William Thompson disagrees. #FreeBree pic.twitter.com/KIDYQL4twS
8:50pm - 27 Jun 15
Want to tell us more about that 'heritage' argument?
Video: Brainy octopus and its coconut
Jun 26, 2015
by Eleanor Imster in Videos » Earth, Science Wire
We cant get enough of the coolness of octopuses here at Earthsky. Watch what this octopus does with coconut shells.
The footage, shot by a diver in Lembeh, Indonesia April 2015, shows the a small octopus, known as the coconut octopus because of its habit of using coconuts and shells to protect itself. Its found on sandy bottoms in bays or lagoons in tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean.
More and more research is revealing that humans arent the only animals that use tools chimpanzees, dolphins, and crows use tools as well. But what about an octopus? Is the coconut octopus using tools? Some scientists say yes.
Researchers from the Melbourne Museum in Australia claimed the coconut octopus uses tools for concealment and defense by gathering available debris to create a defensive fortress. The researchers filmed octopuses collecting coconut half-shells discarded by humans from the sea floor. The octopuses carried the shells for up to 20 meters (66 ft) and arranged them around the body to form a hiding place.
The vid wouldn't load in the article on my phone so I went to youtube. Found right one, plus more:
But the master of camouflage...
Natl Geographic doc:
Confederate officers like R E Lee & Stonewall Jackson were graduates of West Point. While that may enhance their crime of sedition, they were respected as brilliant military strategists even by Union officers.
On that, one may make a case for certain honors, at least in their home states. But for Confeds such as Davis and N B Forrest, no similar justiication can be made and I fully support erasing any hint of honor for them.
Justice Sotomayor Hides Good News For Abortion Clinics In An Obscure Case About Hotels
Los Angeles v Patel not a particularly closely watched decision this Supreme Court term, although Justice Sonia Sotomayors opinion for the Court may prove to be one of the seminal precedents civil libertarians cite to ward off government invasions of personal privacy. The most surprising aspect of Sotomayors opinion, however, is that it may also give a boost to abortion clinics that are fighting for their life in states such as Texas. Sotomayor in an opinion joined by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the one justice pro-choice groups typically must sway to win a case in the Supreme Court includes language in her Patel opinion that is inconsistent with a recent lower court opinion upholding Texass efforts to restrict access to abortion. (emphasis added)
Patel concerns a Los Angeles ordinance that requires hotel operators to keep certain records, such as the names and addresses of their guests, and which provides that those records shall be made available to any officer of the Los Angeles Police Department for inspection. Hotel operators who refuse to do so face up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. The Court, in a 5-4 decision that includes the four left-of-center justices plus Kennedy, holds that this ordinance violates the Fourth Amendments safeguards against unreasonable searches and seizures because it does not afford these hotel operators an opportunity to obtain precompliance review before a neutral decisionmaker.
The most significant aspect of Sotomayors opinion, however, is the Courts holding that the plaintiffs in this case may bring what is known as a facial challenge to the Los Angeles ordinance. Generally speaking, facial challenges seek to invalidate a law altogether, while less potent as-applied challenges merely seek a decision holding that a particular law cannot be applied to a particular plaintiff or plaintiffs. Prior to Patel, the Courts precedents were not especially clear regarding when facial challenges are appropriate, and one seminal case indicated that, to bring such a challenge, the challenger must establish that no set of circumstances exists under which the Act would be valid.
Patel clarifies this rule, and it relies on one of the Courts most important abortion decisions to do so. When assessing if a facial challenge is proper, Sotomayor explains, the Court has considered only applications of the statute in which it actually authorizes or prohibits conduct. Thus, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the only major abortion case where Justice Kennedy cast a pro choice vote,
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