Last week, the only abortion clinic in Mississippi got one step closer to closure. The reason? A new law requiring physicians to get hospital admitting privileges in order to work in the clinic. Now, this new requirement has nothing to do with actual medicine or trying to make patients safer. Instead, it has everything to do with the state's Republican governor, Phil Bryant, simply wanting to shut down the clinic. And no, I'm not some investigative expert who put this together after months in my bunker researching financial records. I know this because Bryant said so. “My goal, of course, is to shut it down.”
While it's understandable for people to think the battle for abortion rights is on its last few skirmishes before women are allowed the right without debate—Roe v. Wade has gone 40 years without being overturned, women were recently elected into office in record numbers, the votes of old hateful geezers will inevitably be replaced by statistically more-progressive youths—the opposite is actually true. Despite the law remaining right there in black-and-white, it's harder today to get an abortion than at any point in America history since the 70s. There are fewer clinics than ever due to laws like the one in Mississippi. Fewer doctors are willing to perform abortions because of continual labyrinthian legal ramifications and scare tactics from crazed “mission from God” pro-lifers. So many extra painful steps have been added to the process that women are choosing to take matters into their own hands.
The pro-life movement is slowly making America a pro-life country. They're not doing it by attacking legal cases. That kind of top-down dismantling is unnecessary, especially since the milestones are lightning rods for nationally-organized protest groups. Instead they're taking it down from the bottom-up. Remove the clinics, put insurmountable obstacles in the way, and Roe v. Wade will soon hold as much power as the now-hilariously-shortsighted Third Amendment. The fight for abortion is almost over, and pro-lifers are nearly the victors.
Onto the roundup!
- Asaram Bapu, a spiritual leader in India, pulled the ol' “well, let's be honest, the victim was sort of asking for it, wasn't she guys?” routine in response to the horrific gang rape/murder of a woman on a New Delhi bus.
- The Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles was ordered by a judge to release the names of any priests who've been accused of sexual abuse.
- In Saudi Arabia, a 70-year-old man married a 15-year-old after paying her parents a dowry of about $20,000. And, yes, that certainly sounds like sex slavery, but that's what happens when women are secondary citizens in the eyes of the Lord.
- Reverend Louie Giglio, who was supposed to be the minister presiding over President Obama's upcoming inauguration, backed out after a sermon he gave in the 90s, where he urged Christians to fight the gay-rights movement, was unearthed.
- Republican Senator Phil Gingrey, not entirely understanding the lessens of recent history, said that Todd Aiken's comments concerning “legitimate rape” were actually partially right. It should also be noted that Gingrey is a trained obstetrician but, thankfully, doesn't practice.
- A tribal chief in Yemen was killed by members of al Qaeda reportedly because he provided intel to foreigners.
- A Twitter user in Kuwait was sentenced to jail for two years after he wrote a few tweets insulting the Emir.
- The National Organization of Marriage—who are, yes, as terrible as their name suggests—decided to re-post a few videos from the French anti-gay movement Homovox, which feature a collection of French gay folks listing reasons why homosexuals should not be allowed to get married.
- The New York Times put together a pretty spectacular short documentary on the case of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay who died after 11 years of imprisonment without being charged with a crime.
- The trail of Mohamed Mohamud, the 19-year-old Muslim college student who tried to blow up a car during Portland's 2010 Christmas tree lighting ceremony, got underway last week. The big thing to look for in this one is just how much the FBI entrapped him.
- A San Franciscan judge rejected the Obama administration's attempt to block a former Stanford student's challenge to remove her from the “no-fly list” simply because they say they have “secret evidence.” (She's a Muslim, it should be pointed out.)
- In Pakistan, a pair of bomb blasts at a snooker hall killed 81 people and injured more than 120. Most of the victims were Shia Muslims. The extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, who are on the side of the Sunnis, planned their bombs to take out the most victims by waiting 10 minutes to detonate the second one, making sure the area would be crawling with rescue workers.
- Also in Pakistan, a US drone killed at least four militants and wounded four others. And hey, if you're in the mood for more information on drone attacks, ProPublica has a great primer, appropriately titled “Everything We Know So Far About Drone Strikes.”
- It's a day of the week, meaning it's time for another long-form investigative piece about Scientology. This comes in the form of an excerpt from the new book by Lawrence Wright, the excerpt focusing on the strange and confusing relationship between John Travolta and his “handler,” who is an adult that goes by the nickname of Spanky.
- In northern Mali, a group of al Qaeda-linked Islamist rebels seized control of the “strategic” town of Konna.
- And Our Person(s) of the Week: The folks behind the fundraising effort Talk Back to Hate, who are trying to collect money in order to put up ads throughout New York's metro system countering the anti-Muslim hate-filled smear campaign currently littering the area. If you got a few bucks to spare, there are certainly worse donations to make.
Previously - Too Much Jesus in the Locker Room