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Wednesday, June 02, 2004  

People are saying

Judge rules agains abortion ban

Mac, who is filling in for Ms. Lauren, along with with several other bloggers, at Feministe, has an opinion about the most recent ruling in the late-term abortion controversy. First, the news.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - In a ruling with coast-to-coast effect, a federal judge declared the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional Tuesday, saying it infringes on a woman's right to choose.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton's ruling came in one of three lawsuits challenging the legislation President Bush signed last year.

She agreed with abortion rights activists that a woman's right to choose is paramount, and that is therefore "irrelevant" whether a fetus suffers pain, as abortion foes contend.

I don't much care for the phrasing in that last graf. What the judge has done is follow the reasoning in Roe v. Wade, which does extend some protection to fetuses. Society has an interest in protecting fetuses because it needs citizens. Fetuses are potential citizens. However, there is no question that the scales are weighted toward actual citizens -- women. Hamilton's focus on the impact on pregnant women is appropriate. To recast the issue in terms of whether fetuses feel pain would ignore the presumption in favor of abortion embodied in Roe.

Mac says the matter seems to be one of common sense.

I occasionally have one of those days when I want to point to the current administration and yell "Ha ha!" in the style of Nelson Muntz. Today is one of those days.

So there's some good news for women.

I'm not excited by the idea of late term abortions [I refuse to use the term "partial birth abortion" since it's a misleading phrase created by abortion foes], but if it's my health or the health of the fetus [or both], well, I want late term abortions to be an option for me. For Congress to declare that a late term abortion is "never medically necessary" demonstrates just how far up their collective butts their heads are.

Sadly, George W. Bush and John Ashcroft don't credit women with having common sense. That is proven by their false claim that pregnant women will eagerly embrace late-term abortion if the option is available. In reality, there are few late-term abortions and the women who have them agonize over the decision.

Blog readers have balls

What is the unpredictable Brian Flemming up to now? I wondered, so I visited his weblog. The blogger and filmmaker is channeling Al Gore. He also has some interesting information about blog readers.

About you

The results of the Blogads survey of readers are in. In case you didn't know, here is the likelihood that you:

  • Donate online to causes or candidates: 50%

  • Are over 30: 61%

  • Earn more than $45K/year: 75%

  • Have a penis: 79%

  • Disdain television: 82%
  • It's my impression that BFW readers have fewer penises than the general blog readership, but maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part.

    Eighty-two percent of blog readers don't watch television? Some folks are pulling our legs. So, why would they lie about it? Image, perhaps? It sounds cool to be above the boob tube. I would be more willing to believe that blog readers, and people who read period, watch less television. Say, one or two hours per day instead of the national habit of having the damn thing on most of the time. If I were writing that survey question, I would ask how many hours of TV are watched per day or per week, giving ranges. The more open-ended the question, the more people are likely to give an all or nothing answer. That is probably why we see so many in denial.

    In regard to penises, I believe men generally tell the truth about having them, but not about their size.

    And, yes, both Brian and I know a survey by Blogads is not scientific.

    Heller has had enough

    When I last heard from Rick Heller, he was ambivalent about the publication of prisoner abuse photographs from Abu Ghraib. He appears to have accepted the necessity of looking the scandal in the face, and, that the revelations about the abuse are the straw that broke the camel's back. Rick tells us what he thinks now at the Swing Voter Weblog.

    Lift My Spirits, JFK

    The latest developments from Iraq are, frankly, depressing. With these photos of prisoner abuse circulating, I don't know how we're going to be able to leave a non-hostile Iraq behind when we eventually withdraw our troops. Even President Bush seems shaken.

    There's an expression, "When you're opponent is commiting suicide, don't get in the way." It's obvious to most Americans that the country is on the wrong track. What we need from John Kerry is a way forward.

    Jimmy Carter won in 1976 in part because of him famous smile, which faded after taking office. Reagan managed to keep his optimism throughout his term. Kerry's demeanor is funereal. I don't know if he can do it, but if someone could lift the nation's spirits at this distressing time, he would earn our gratitude. God knows President Bush can't do it.

    Rick started out as a true centrist about the presidential election. In my opinion, he was leaning toward Bush as recently as a couple months ago. Now that an honest to goodness centrist like Rick has left the GOP's 'big tent,' others are sure to follow.

    1:37 PM