Helping anti-choice terrorists, one name at a time.

Last week, I got all caught up in my anti-War on Women fury and tweeted an article that, it transpired, was three years old. Oopsie!

In my defense, though, it was about a law in Oklahoma that was really, really heinous and had actually passed, so my brain was a bit addled. This law (later struck down by the courts) would have required that the details of every abortion conducted in the state be posted on a public website:

The questionnaire doesn’t include the woman’s name or “any information specifically identifying the patient,” but it does ask for age, race, level of education, marital status, number of previous pregnancies, and the county in which the abortion was performed, information which opponents of the bill argue would be enough to identify a woman in a small town. The questionnaire also asks about the mother’s reason for the abortion, her method of payment, and even what type of insurance she has, as well as whether the fetus received anaesthetic and whether there was “an infant born alive as a result of the abortion.”

So, you know – phew! At least we dodged that one!

Except we didn’t.

It’s not happening in Oklahoma anymore – but it is on the cusp of happening in Tennessee (also sadly known as the “don’t say gay” state) — with this particular bill boasting the added bonus of distributing helpful information to those who might want to murder abortion providers:

A new bill moving through the Tennessee House of Representatives would require the state to publish the names of each doctor who performs an abortion and detailed statistics about the woman having the procedure, which opponents worry will spur anti-abortion violence in the state.

The Life Defense Act of 2012, sponsored by state Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesboro), mandates that the Tennessee Department of Health make detailed demographic information about every woman who has an abortion available to the public, including her age, race, county, marital status, education level, number of children, the location of the procedure and how many times she has been pregnant. Each report would also have to include the name of the doctor who performed the procedure.

In the words of Rep. Gary Odom (D-Nashville), this bill “puts a target on women’s and physicians’ backs. I think it’s a very dangerous piece of legislation and serves no purpose I can tell other than trying to intimidate women and physicians.”


And some people wonder why I’m so engulfed in rage these days.

Meanwhile, in Kentucky.

A quick antidote to yesterday’s dose of awful:

Apparently some church folk in Kentucky have decided that they will not be signing state marriage licenses unless and until Kentucky recognizes same-sex marriage, a decision that’s particularly significant (and, frankly, touching) as Kentucky is one of eleven states that voted to actually change their constitution in order to avoid giving civil rights to teh geyz.

More than 60 members at the Douglass Boulevard Christian Church voted unanimously in favor of the gesture on Sunday. Church leaders said they wouldn’t sign licenses until gay couples are able to enjoy the financial and other advantages of a legal marriage in Kentucky.

Pastors who sign the licenses bestow “a number of gifts and benefits” to married couples, said the Rev. Derek Penwell, the church’s senior pastor.

“It seems the system itself is unjust, and our position at this point is, we love people across the board here and we don’t want to be in a position that underwrites a system that discriminates against people we care about,” Penwell said.

Penwell said the church’s move is in line with “the teachings of Jesus that focus on the necessity of embracing the powerless, giving voice to the voiceless.”

Some other congregations in Ohio, New York, Virginia and Oregon have made similar stands in support of gay marriage, many in response to their state’s bans on gay marriage.

So I remain flummoxed as to what in hell the Tennessee state Senate might think they’re going to accomplish with their attempt to legislate homophobia in the Tennessee school system (by which I mean: to legislate it more than it already is legislated), BUT — the good people of Douglass Boulevard Christian Church of Louisville, Kentucky prove to me that what I said yesterday is true: Ultimately, the morally vacuous foolishness displayed in the halls of Tennessee’s legislative body is doomed to failure.

Thank you, Douglass Boulevard Christian Church. Very nice indeed to know that you’re out there.

(And when Shabbat is over, I’m going to actually thank the church, via email or letter, as I can only guess they’re getting some nasty blow-back on this decision. I encourage you to express your thanks, as well – click here for the contact page).

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