Tuesday, April 13, 2021
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Barbara Comstock, “Personhood” Supporter

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

It's not enough to tell people that Barbara Comstock is too extreme to be the 10th District's next US Representative. Better to cite some examples -- of which few are as devastating as her support for giving fertilized eggs the legal status of people.

This past legislative session, Comstock voted for Delegate Bob Marshall's fetal personhood bill -- giving it crucial cover as one of only 5 Republican women in the House of Delegates. But this was not just another bill about which reasonable people might disagree -- more like the legislative version of a hand grenade.

Waldo Jaquith describes the potential impact of this bill better than anyone:

Of the 30,826 laws in the Code of Virginia, 11,482 of them-37%-contain the word "person." And there are 118 different things that "person" means in those 11,482 laws, because there are very specific things that they need to mean. Under Virginia law, a business cannot be guilty of murder[...]

It is through this lens that I was alarmed to read Del. Bob Marshall's HB 1: [...] "A bill to construe the word 'person' under Virginia law, including but not limited to § 8.01-50 of the Code of Virginia, to include unborn children."

Wow. All 118 definitions of the word "person" would suddenly be amended to include "fetus." This bill would serve as a wrecking ball against the Code of Virginia. Dozens and dozens of carefully constructed definitions would suddenly be rendered syntactically and legally ridiculous.

Hobby Lobby talking points

Here's some ammo to use with your wackadoodle rightwing friends and family this Fourth of July weekend.

What's that??  You say you don't have any wackadoodle rightwing friends or family?  You don't know what you're missing.  Go find some.


Bon Secour Hospital System

First, read this:

Birth control access for women in Oklahoma and several other states will be cut short as part of a new directive by a Catholic-affiliated healthcare firm that recently acquired another company.

The Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise reported on Monday that as a result of St. Louis-based Ascension Health's acquisition of its parent company, gynecologists affiliated with Jane Phillips Medical Center in Bartlesville will no longer be allowed to issue birth control without diagnosing patients with a separate condition.

"I was told that my physician has been instructed that they can no longer write prescriptions for birth control as birth control," one woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Examiner-Enterprise. "This affects me because I take birth control as birth control. There are other ways to receive birth control, for example headaches, cramps, excessive bleeding - but I have none of those symptoms."

A representative of Jane Phillips refused to comment when contacted by The Raw Story Monday evening.

Jane Phillips' parent company, St. John Health System, was acquired by Ascension last year. A spokesperson for St. John released a statement saying, "Consistent with all Catholic health care organizations, St. John Health System operates in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Facilities."


Now, here's my question:  Does anyone know for certain if the Bon Secour Hospital System adheres to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Facilities ?  

Our local hospital -- Rappahannock General Hospital, Kilmarnock -- has now been incorporated into the Bon Secour system.  Several local folks have asked hospital staff and board members about the Bon Secour policy on women's health issues, specifically, birth control pills and devices, and, abortions.  The answers have been . . . well . . . let's be kind and say the answers have been uninformative.

The Bon Secour website is not helpful either.


Virginia is for Zygote Lovers: The Commonwealth’s Abortion of Common Sense

Cross posted at Daily Kos

While it is not uncommon for Republicans to do silly, stupid things, it is rare even for them to throw an entire state legal code into chaos.  Yet that is precisely what the personhood bill just passed by the House of Delegates is poised to do.

The key line of this bill states:

The laws of this Commonwealth shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the unborn child at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this Commonwealth...

Just. Unbelievably. Radical.  As Waldo Jaquith points out

Of the 30,826 laws in the Code of Virginia, 11,482 of them-37%-contain the word "person." And there are 118 different things that "person" means in those 11,482 laws, because there are very specific things that they need to mean. Under Virginia law, a business cannot be guilty of murder, so under title 18.2 (Crimes and Offenses Generally), "person" does not apply to businesses, companies, corporations, joint-stock companies, etc. But under title 38.2 (Insurance), the word "person" doesn't include people as you and I think of them, but applies only to associations, businesses, etc.

Much Ado About Nothing or Do Religious Groups Have a Point?

I've listened to many talking heads yesterday and this morning about the new rules the Feds are putting in place to require all religious entities like hospitals to provide both contraception and other forms of birth control as a part of their insurance coverage.

Are the churches with whom these entities are affiliated and right wing conservatives again making much ado about nothing or do they have a point about the federal government infringing upon our religious freedoms? The Feds have said churches are exempt. So anyone hired to work in the church itself is not required to receive these insurance options. But should the hospitals and other businesses which are affiliated with those churches also be exempt because they are extensions of the church? Or when religious organizations choose to branch out into business be treated like all other businesses?