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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

North Dakota Legislature - Have You Thought This Through?

Category: Women's Issues
Posted: 04/04/13 04:28, Edited: 04/04/13 04:32

by Dave Mindeman

First point - Planned Parenthood does NOT do abortions in North Dakota. Let's be clear about that at the start of this discussion. There's an independent clinic in North Dakota that provides abortions....just the one. Yet, Planned Parenthood is a prime target of the Minnesota legislature....for sex education.

Here is an explanation (from Sarah Stoesz, Midwest CEO of Planned Parenthood) of an NDSU/Planned Parenthood partnered program that is meant to PREVENT unwanted pregnancies....

We applied with North Dakota State University (NDSU) for a grant, $1.2 million dollars from the feds, to provide sex education in Fargo to some of the most vulnerable kids in the state, kids who are homeless and in foster care. These are kids who have a 50 percent chance of becoming parents by the time they age out of the system and become adults.

They're kids who really aren't well-equipped to be parents. They don't come from intact families, they're homeless and we wanted to help them, at least with that part of their lives. And so the federal government made this grant. It went to NDSU, which is obviously a state entity, and then to us.

At the prodding of members of the Catholic Conference in North Dakota, some legislators questioned NDSU and pushed them, saying that the state should not be contracting with an organization that provided abortion, even though we don't provide abortions in North Dakota. But in any event, the president of the university went on conservative talk radio and announced to the university and the world that he was freezing this plan.

North Dakota legislators don't care that Planned Parenthood doesn't actually do abortions in North Dakota. They don't care that Planned Parenthood is a main source of women's health for the poor in North Dakota. They don't care that Planned Parenthood works hard to educate young women about unprotected sex and its consequences.

Nope. They don't care. To legislators in North Dakota, Planned Parenthood = Abortion. That's it.

So what do they do?

After all this outrage on the part of the (NDSU) faculty and on the part of the people of North Dakota around the attempted cutting of the (sex education) grant, and after the Attorney General told them they couldn't do it, the legislators in the house, without any hearing or public testimony, slipped an amendment into yet another anti-abortion bill, which is a 20-week ban.

That would create a law such that no state money could be passed through to entities that either perform or refer on abortion. Even though we don't perform abortions, we certainly do refer in North Dakota. So the legislature does not want to accept the current status, which is that the federal government has made a lot of money available to help the most vulnerable teens in the state avoid pregnancy.

Vulnerable teens having unwanted pregnancies....and probably ending up seeking an abortion....somewhere.

Mission accomplished North Dakota legislature? Really?

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Bachmann's Run Possible Because of Pro-Choice Democratic Women

Category: Women's Issues
Posted: 06/29/11 01:47, Edited: 06/29/11 01:48

by Dave Mindeman

In 2008, I supported Hillary Clinton for President. Her viability as a serious Presidential candidate was a breath of fresh air and a culmination of the women's movement in this country.

When a young and ambitious Barack Obama entered the scene, I had mixed feelings. My first reaction was please, not now..... patience, your time is coming.

Well, as we know now, Obama's time wasn't about to wait and although I was disappointed, it was still exciting to support a break through candidate like Obama.

Looking back with 20/20 hindsight, I think Hillary would have actually made a better President in the ways that Progressives have been disappointed with Obama policies. She would have used her considerable political skills to move health care in the right way...with that public option. She would be less apt to compromise with Republican on the important issues and I also believe she would have been bolder in fixing the economy.

But that is idle speculation and water under the bridge. What did happen is that Hillary Clinton ended any discomfort that may have remained about a woman as Commander in Chief.

That way was paved by pro-choice women. Women who fought the fight for equality and equal opportunity. A fight that became a core constituency of the Democratic Party.

The irony of a Michele Bachmann candidacy should be evident to all. She would not have supported the women of the 1970's and 1980's that made her candidacy for President even possible. Bachmann would have been in the Phyllis Schlafly belief system which insisted on women staying in the home and out of the workplace. On women being seen and not heard in the public forum. That is the roots of Republican women in politics.

Yet, here Bachmann is -- getting all the advantages of a new assumption that women can now have an equal chance at the Oval Office.

It is hard to think that Pat Schroeder, Shirley Chisholm, Geraldine Ferraro, and others....endured the obstacles and painful dismissal in their candidacies, only to have people like Michele Bachmann reap the fruits of their labors.

But that is how it works. The door is opened and who passes through it doesn't really matter and is not up to any particular preference.

The important thing is that the door is wide open.

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