April 26, 2013

New abortion regulations "turn back the clock" on women's progress, Obama says

President Barack Obama told almost a thousand Planned Parenthood supporters Friday that efforts to restrict abortion access across the nation are just an effort to “turn back the clock” on women’s progress.

“When you read about some of these laws, you want to check the calendar, you want to make sure you’re still living in 2013,” Obama said.

In recent weeks, four states — Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas and North Dakota — have passed strict regulations on abortions.

Obama is the first sitting president to address the group in its nearly 100-year history. “You’ve also got a president who will be right there with you, fighting every step of the way,” he said.

He was originally scheduled to speak to the group Thursday night, but delayed his appearance so he could spend more time in West, Tex., where he attended at a memorial service for the 12 firefighters who died fighting last week’s fire and explosion at a fertilizer facility.

January 24, 2013

GOP legislator proposes making abortion a crime after rape

A Republican state legislator in New Mexico has introduced a bill that would make it a crime for a woman to have an abortion after a rape or case of incest.

Rep. Cathrynn Brown said that's tampering with evidence.

"Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime," says her proposed law.


January 21, 2013

Anti-abortion heckler tries to disrupt inauguration, climbs tree to avoid police

A man shouting anti-abortion slogans from his perch in a tree on the National Mall did his best to disrupt Monday's inauguration ceremony.

The white-haired man in a brown coat had scaled the evergreen tree on the southwest side of the Capitol building to avoid police. He yelled "Obama is a baby killer" and waved a two-sided poster with the words "Pray to end abortion" and "Defund Planned Parenthood" printed on it. His voice could be heard starting with the invocation and throughout most of the vows and speeches.

Police roped off the area under the tree and propped a ladder against the trunk, but the man just climbed higher.

Unsurprisingly, his actions earned the ire of those in the crowd nearby. After the ceremony, they booed and shouted for him to be quiet. "Bad boy," one child admonished him. "Take your hands off my uterus!" a woman shouted.

About 20 minutes after the ceremony ended, the man finally decended the ladder, preaching the whole way down. Police handcuffed him to boistrous cheers. "Hey, hey, hey, goodbye," the crowd sang, as they headed for the exits.

October 24, 2012

Obama on Mourdock comments: "Rape is rape. It's a crime"

From McClatchy's Bill Douglas, traveling with President Barack Obama:
The president taped "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" earlier Wednesday, and was asked about Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock's controversial remarks about rape and abortion.
"Rape is rape. It's a crime," Obama said. "I don't know how these come up with these ideas...rape is rape. It is a crime.
"These various distinctions about rape don't make too much sense to me, don't make any sense to me." and added that the remarks illustrate why it should not be left to only men to make decisions on women's issues.

Democratic Senate campaign chairman: Mourdock views "heinous"

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee slammed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney Wednesday for backing Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock.

Mourdock's under fire for comments he made during a Tuesday debate, where he explained his anti-abortion views.

"While Mitt Romney is rightly distancing himself from Richard Mourdock today, his ad endorsing Mourdock's extreme candidacy continues to air in Indiana," said DSCC Chair Patty Murray. Romney made an ad for Murdock which touts the Indiana treasurer's conservative views.

" If Mitt Romney is serious about repudiating these heinous views on rape, he will take down this ad immediately.  National Republicans cannot paper over Richard Mourdock's heinous views on rape.  Enough is enough.  The Republican Party needs to stop the coddling and take a stand against the horribly offensive and dangerous views of the Tea Party and their extreme candidates."

At the debate, Mourdock said of his anti-abortion views: "I just struggled with it myself for a long time but I came to realize: Life is that gift from God that I think even if life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

The Romney campaign distanced itself: “Gov. Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock’s comments, and they do not reflect his views,” spokeswoman Andrea Saul said.

Mourdock’s campaign clarified his view: "God creates life, and that was my point," a campaign statement said. "God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that He does. Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd 


GOP Senate campaign chairman offers Mourdock strong backing

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee, stands firmly behind embattled Indiana Republican Senate nominee Richard Mourdock.

Mourdock stirred controversy with his comment during a Tuesday debate:‘‘I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

Cornyn Wednesday offered his support for Mourdock.

“Richard and I, along with millions of Americans – including even Joe Donnelly (the Democratic nominee) – believe that life is a gift from God.  To try and construe his words as anything other than a restatement of that belief is irresponsible and ridiculous.  In fact, rather than condemning him for his position, as some in his party have when it’s come to Republicans, I commend Congressman Donnelly for his support of life. 

“But this election is about big ideas and the reality that our country is going in the wrong direction.  If you support Obamacare, government bailouts, reckless spending and higher taxes than you should vote for Joe Donnelly.  But if you believe, as I do, that our government is too big, our taxes are too high, and we are passing an irresponsible debt onto future generations, than Richard Mourdock is your candidate to help get our country back on track.”   


October 12, 2012

Obama releases new TV ad on abortion rights

After some seemingly confusing statements on abortion by Mitt Romney this week, President Obama is trying to set the record about his Republican rival's record in a new TV ad.

"Women across the country are wondering what a Mitt Romney Presidency would mean for them, and last night (at the debate), they got another clear look at the Romney-Ryan ticket’s extreme views on women’s health,'' according to a release.

Obama accused Romney of trying to hide his "extreme" views on abortion when he told the Des Moines Register during a visit to Iowa that: "There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda." That was contradicted by his campaign hours later.

The ad will air in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.


October 10, 2012

Obama campaign accuses Romney of hiding 'extreme' abortion views

President Obama's campaign is accusing Republican Mitt Romney of trying to hide his "extreme" views on abortion in the final weeks before the Nov. 6 election.

Romney told the Des Moines Register during a visit to Iowa Tuesday that: "There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda."

But he did say he would ban federally-funded international nonprofits from providing abortions in other countries by executive order. And later, Romney's campaign sent a statement to the National Review saying "“Governor Romney would of course support legislation aimed at providing greater protections for life.”

"We know the real Mitt Romney will say anything to win,'' said Stephanie Cutter, Obama's deputy campaign manger. "Voters shouldn't be fooled...Women simply cannot trust Mitt Romney."

Continue reading "Obama campaign accuses Romney of hiding 'extreme' abortion views" »

October 09, 2012

Romney: Not familiar with abortion legislation "that would become part of my agenda"

Mitt Romney's position on abortion: Softening?

Here's what he told the Des Moines Register during a visit to Iowa Tuesday: "There’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda."

But, the Register reported, "by executive order, not by legislation, he would reinstate the so-called Mexico City policy that bans U.S. foreign aid dollars from being used to do abortions, he said." President Barack Obama ended the policy shortly after taking office.

Romney had been supportive of abortion rights when seeking the Massachusetts governorship in 2002, but by 2006 was saying he firmly anti-abortion.

To read more of the Register story: http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2012/10/09/romney-says-abortion-legislation-isnt-part-of-his-agenda/article

August 23, 2011

Biden ripped for signaling acceptance of China "one-child" policy

Vice President Joe Biden is facing a barrage of criticism for saying he understands and will not second guess China's "one child" policy, a policy that human rights groups say leads to forced abortions and sterilizations.

Biden was telling a Chinese audience about efforts to cut the federal budget in the United States when he introduced the idea of China's efforts to restrict population growth.

“Your policy has been one which I fully understand -- I’m not second-guessing -- of one child per family," Biden said during a speech Sunday at Sichuan University in Chengdu, China.

"The result being that you’re in a position where one wage earner will be taking care of four retired people.  Not sustainable," he added. "So hopefully we can act in a way on a problem that's much less severe than yours, and maybe we can learn together from how we can do that."

Christian conservatives and Republicans criticized Biden for signaling acceptance of the controversial policy.

"China’s one child policy has led to the great human tragedy of forced abortions throughout China, and Vice President Biden’s refusal to ‘second-guess’ this horrendous policy demonstrates great moral indifference on the part of the Obama Administration," said Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, a candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

"Americans value life, and we deserve leaders who will stand up against such inhumanity, not cast a blind eye.”

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he was "deeply troubled" by Biden's remarks. He said China's "reprehensible" one-child policy "has resulted in forced sterilizations and coerced abortions and should not be condoned by any American official."

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America, a conservative group. Said that Biden's "approval of China’s one-child policy, which uses forced abortion to enforce the law, crosses the lines of ignorant and wrong.

"Then to suggest that the United States should learn from China’s policy, like forcing its citizens to have only one child, to help manage debt, is an insult to the basic American values of life and liberty."

A spokeswoman for Biden said the critics have it backwards, that Biden was pointing out the Chinese policy is wrong.

"The Obama Administration strongly opposes all aspects of China’s coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization," said spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff.

"The Vice President believes such practices are repugnant.  He also pointed out, in China, that the policy is, as a practical matter, unsustainable.  He was arguing against the One Child Policy to a Chinese audience.”



"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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