Abortion Ban Attempt Dies in Conference | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Abortion Ban Attempt Dies in Conference

More details as they develop ...

Tonight, the 8 p.m. bill deadline came and went at the Mississippi Legislature without an agreement out of conference. Thus, the abortion ban bill died.

Previous Comments

ID
105481
Comment

I feel proud. Proud of all of us. Proud that at least we weren't silent.

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-03-28T00:56:16-06:00
ID
105482
Comment

Amen.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-28T01:52:48-06:00
ID
105483
Comment

At least they got to host their dog and pony show for the fundamentalists. The ones in favor can now use this as a voting ploy and those in disagreement will feel the brunt of the proposed bill not passing. Interestingly, who will be the ones to feel the brunt... Republicans? Democrats? All of the above?

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-28T08:22:10-06:00
ID
105484
Comment

From the strange but true file: As we were in the middle of a long deadline day, trying to file and pass conference reports on the budget Monday, Terri Herring of Pro-Life Mississippi stopped me and made this statement, "Rep. Fleming, someone told me that you were not really pro-life." Then she asked if that was true. "Really," I said. I proceeded to tell her that was interesting considering all that has happened. I told her to check the record for herself and come up with your own conclusion. Politics, ain't it grand?

Author
Rep. Erik Fleming
Date
2006-03-28T08:50:15-06:00
ID
105485
Comment

The coming together of pro-choice activists/activists statewide made this possible. We need to continue supporting one another; straight, gay, pro-choice, black, white, whatever, in order to be succesful in dismanteling the existing climate. I am so proud of the outreach and activisim. But let us not forget, we are not out of the woods yet. Please stay informed and active......remember the grocery tax vote is still hanging on....call the senators NOW!!!! One other thing...NO self-respecting pro-choice activist believes Fleming is on our side...he's been bought and paid for by the anit's.....

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-28T11:49:46-06:00
ID
105486
Comment

I may be half asleep, but what is an "anit"? Also, NOW, how can people join your organization? And does all this mean that the women's movement in Mississippi is going to be much more "out" these days? I'm in the camp that believes that much of all this idiocy is the fault of the closet progressives in the state who are afraid to speak out about their views. Thus, people who don't agree with the radical right feel alone, or they leave. That doesn't help the state.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-28T12:18:50-06:00
ID
105487
Comment

Ah, I bet I get it; you meant "antis," right?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-28T12:32:48-06:00
ID
105488
Comment

Opps...my bad. Its ANTI'S

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-28T12:57:19-06:00
ID
105489
Comment

donna, i'm not so sure it's that the "closet progressives" are afraid to speak out. what options are made readily and LOUDLY available for folks who want to be involved in the pro-choice movement? is there any way to get these projects more face time in the media and spread the word? i guess that, essentially, what i'm asking is: how do we make it easier for more people in MS to get involved before the hammer comes down?

Author
nyoung
Date
2006-03-28T13:28:17-06:00
ID
105490
Comment

Good question, nyoung. First, I think it starts in daily life. More people need to talk about "touchy" issues like gay marriage and abortion and other issues. Be willing to talk to the media, including national media. I remember when a writer for The Nation came down a year or so ago to write about abortion rights in Mississippi and had a hard time actually getting progressive, "pro-choice" people to go on the record. Organize groups, and have open Web sites (all of which I'm thrilled to see are happening). The other thing is to make sure that people, especially young people, aren't scared off by the propaganda the morons spread about progressivism. Make it fun. The last couple weeks (since Steve Holland's idiocy), I've been wearing my little "No More Nice Girls" button on my denim jacket. It make me think of the wonderful "Women's March on Washington" from the early '90s that five of us chicks went to as the "Babes for Chioces" with red lips all over our signs and such. We had a blast, and several of the women who went had never done a political thing in their lives. Anyway, I don't know what there is to glean from that -- except that the fight for rights in American should be patriotic and fun and dynamic. Most importantly, life is too short, and freedom too precious, to watch our lives slinking around afraid to speak up about what we believe in. Even if we live in Mississippi. And as we know well at the JFP, when you start doing that, and in a loving way, people will come out of the woodwork in support.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-28T13:34:57-06:00
ID
105491
Comment

That's "Babes for Choice," btw.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-28T13:35:12-06:00
ID
105492
Comment

One another thing, n. You wrote: what options are made readily and LOUDLY available for folks who want to be involved in the pro-choice movement? The problem in that question is your passive tense: "are made." Are made by whom? *We* create our own options. We can't afford to wait around for someone to do it for us. Do it, and trust me, the media opportunities will follow. Speak up. Be heard. Be loud. Be colorful. Be proud. It's the American way.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-28T13:37:04-06:00
ID
105493
Comment

Donna has a point. I've had several media outlets contact Unity Mississippi seeking potential gays or lesbians to interview for story ideas with little to no response from the community. THE PEOPLE HAVE TO BE WILLING TO STAND INDEPENDENTLY AS WELL AS A UNIFIED GROUP. Hopefully, the acts of a few brave and/or willing individuals and groups will serve as the catalyst for a much needed change in this state.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-28T13:55:18-06:00
ID
105494
Comment

Yep, you can't wait around for someone else to speak up for you. That's bullsh!t and gives power to those who would oppress you. Personally, I don't see anything "brave" about standing up for what you believe in -- but I certainly see much cowardice in not being willing to. Life's too short.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-28T14:19:04-06:00
ID
105495
Comment

WE make our movement. And until folks step up to the plate, issues such as choice, gay rights, economic justice and equality for ALL Mississippians, will not get the attention they so deeply deserve. Those feminists who want to 'get involved', JOIN MS NOW! Go to www.now.org and click chapters, than MS and join. Join the MS ACLU, join Unity MS-join these groups, become active, come to meetings, help us w/fundrasing, organizing. THis movement will not succeed with just a 'small few', we must make our presence known and be more vocal/visible in our efforts. Stop complaining and DO! This Snday, NOW's executive vp of action (Melody) and membership (Latifah) will be in Jackson to meet the pro-choice activists who worked on stoping the ban. (I am still working out a venue for lunch plans.) Come meet and greet, get involved...the movement won't move without YOU!

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-28T15:53:58-06:00
ID
105496
Comment

Can you send me details on the NOW meeting as soon as you get them? knol.aust AT unityms.org I'll get it out to our list.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-28T16:06:21-06:00
ID
105497
Comment

Thanks Knol. That's what I'am talking about. Supporting one another. I too attended the Unity picnic and had a wonderful time with my LGBT sisters and brothers. They have always supported Jackson Area NOW....and LGBT issues are one of NOW's core priciples....MS NOW will continue to support them.....Can I get a witness?!

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-28T16:18:02-06:00
ID
105498
Comment

I'm a card-carrying NOW member myself. If the family health situation settles down a bit, I'll be there. Re Rep. Fleming: I don't see how anyone can really doubt that he's pro-life now. But I can understand, given the flip-flop of the House Democratic Leadership, why Ms. Herring--who is, by all accounts, a sincere pro-lifer--would be a little jumpy. I'm a little mystified by how things went myself; much as I like the outcome, it strikes me as weird that we had Steve Holland enthusiastically propose the ban, abruptly announce that he would kill it in conference, then enthusiastically present himself in conference as someone who is wholeheartedly committed to a "full" abortion ban (using wording that, naturally, endangers other anti-abortion laws in a rather clever but disingenuous bid to get the bill deep-sixed). I would much rather have more real progressives in the legislature who are willing to stand up for women's rights without living from technicality to technicality. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-28T16:22:21-06:00
ID
105499
Comment

I hear ya! I believe Holland's move was political. With that being said. we need to start holding our officials accountable-just like the anti's do. If they won't support our issues, than we take our support elsewhere. We should start a fund and promote a REAL progressive potential, who is not afraid to address the real issues-who won't sell us out. It has been done before, you know....

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-28T16:27:35-06:00
ID
105500
Comment

I like what I'm hearing. And, yes, Steve Holland's move was pure stupidity. But everyone knows already how I feel about it. ;-) I think the problem is deeply ingrained in the Democratic Party in the state. They are afraid of their damn shadows. They play games; they try to trick the voters, which in turn shows contempt for the very people who should be voting for them. And, the real sh!tkicker is that they are not winning as a result. Not in a statewide or national way. Meantime, they are turning off smart young voters and potential office-holders. And so many of the folks ingrained in the Dem party here, and speaking for it, are just defensive status-quo types, from where I sit. We need BIG change here, peeps. And I don't mean a shift to the radical left or such. I mean basic intellectual honesty and belief in the people's ability to make good decisions if they get honest, accurate information.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-28T16:34:03-06:00
ID
105501
Comment

Listen, I need to secure a venue for about 20 folks for lunch this Sunday. What's open that 's good and most importanly, deserving of our patronage????Suggusetions

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-28T16:35:43-06:00
ID
105502
Comment

You may be able to reserve High Noon (@ Rainbow) but I think their kitchen will already be closed. We've held a meeting there before on a Sunday afternoon.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-28T16:40:36-06:00
ID
105503
Comment

Aladdin's might be a good choice, if they've finished renovations. I'd recommend Mikhail's Northgate, but I'm not sure how late they're open. Donna...? If you ever need a non-lunch venue, BTW, please give me a shout. I know of a place that I'm sure would be honored to host NOW meetings. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-28T16:44:42-06:00
ID
105504
Comment

Knol, The National Organization for Women's VP's of Action & Membership will be visiting Jackson, MS Sunday, April 2, 2006. This is an opportunity for activists to meet with them and most importanly, they want to thank US for what WE are doing!!! I need to secure a venue for lunch. Then could you put it on your calendar????

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-28T16:46:32-06:00
ID
105505
Comment

One other question...who's invited?

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-03-28T16:49:28-06:00
ID
105506
Comment

Of course! Like I said, try High Noon if food is not necessarily important. You can often reserve a few tables in the side room at Que Sera Sera (State St.) also. Should easily sit 20. If you need help with QSS or High Noon, let me know... We've worked with both. (Feel free to email me directly)

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-28T16:49:41-06:00
ID
105507
Comment

It must be affordable for College Students/people on limited income.....making this opportunity more inclusive for ALL activists....

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-28T16:51:18-06:00
ID
105508
Comment

JaxNOW, I'll probably be there. Do you folks need a web site? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-28T16:51:26-06:00
ID
105509
Comment

JaxNOW, Aladdin's is fairly inexpensive. You can get a good meal and a drink for less than $8. My only concern is that they were closed for renovations for a while; not sure if they've reopened. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-28T16:52:33-06:00
ID
105510
Comment

They have reopened. (Alladin's)

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-03-28T16:54:33-06:00
ID
105511
Comment

QSS is a good venue (though I'm concerned about the price), but I reiterate Knol's thing about contacting them in advance. A group of friends and I tried to have a party there a few months back, there was some confusion, and we ended up having to travel en masse to another restaurant. We couldn't even get enough chairs set up! Very popular venue. Re price, I'd recommend Kiefer's if it weren't so doggone crowded. Anyone tried McAllister's? They're not usually too packed on Sunday afternoons, in my experience. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-28T16:55:53-06:00
ID
105512
Comment

Ali, awesome and a half. Thanks! JaxNOW, I don't know about reserving a venue at Aladdin's but they've always been pretty quiet on Sunday afternoons when I've gone with friends. And they're cheap. Might be a good option, though the drawback is that it wouldn't be very secluded. Then again, I once had a very animated five-hour conversation with a feminist religious studies professor from out of state over there, and other than a few strange looks when we started talking about racism in postcolonialist discourse, all was well. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-28T16:58:44-06:00
ID
105513
Comment

QSS and Keifers are about the same on pricing. You can easily eat a good, filling meal for less than $15. Sunday may be the biggest problem. The library is a good spot on weeknights and Saturdays but I'm not sure if they make their conference rooms available on Sundays. Another interesting option may be the rooftop of Fondren (though food and seating might be a problem). Golden State [Chinese] on State Street is always empty since it's mostly a take-out place. It's easy to find (Northside and State) and has PLENTY of seating. It's usually pretty quiet and also has an affordable (but weak) buffet. Cazuelas on a Sunday afternoon is usually pretty quiet as well... At least, it's not nearly as loud as last Saturday after the picnic. [Speaking of, tell DDs I said "Wassup?" ;-) ] Affordable drinks and varied menu.

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-28T17:03:04-06:00
ID
105514
Comment

But at Kiefer's you can get a good meal for $5.95 and a drink and you're done. At QSS, that's what the appetizers cost. You can definitely get out of there for less than $15, but you have to watch carefully to get out of there for less than $8. It's a good restaurant, don't get me wrong--I eat there myself. It's just that I wouldn't recommend it for an event that's specifically trying to budget modestly for low-income participants. I second Golden State; I had their buffet Sunday. Not as good as some Chinese buffets I've had, but a decent range of vegetarian options. Cazuela's kicks butt. In fact, if they're empty on Sunday afternoons, they might be perfect. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-28T17:19:00-06:00
ID
105515
Comment

Sorry I couldn't make the picnic, BTW--hospitalized family member. Nothing serious as it turns out (thank God), but we were worried for a while there. We'll cross paths one of these days! Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-28T17:24:58-06:00
ID
105516
Comment

Tom, we had a great time. It was almost like a progressive picnic with representatives from NOW, Unity Mississippi, and AIDS Action in Mississippi. All we need was Integrity (though I'm sure some members were there), a young Democrats rep (notice I didn't say Democrats since I don't consider MS Dem Party to be progressive), etc... Made a lot of new friends and connections. I'm with Tom on Cazuelas... But, those 2-for-1 margaritas could easily derail a serious conversation. ;-)

Author
kaust
Date
2006-03-28T17:43:33-06:00
ID
105517
Comment

Now I'm really sorry I missed it! I'll have to make an effort to drop by more of these networking events. And one of these days I'm going to have to meet you--we have such a huge network of mutual friends it isn't even funny, but somehow we never seem to end up in the same room. Agreed on the state Democratic Party. In fact, I'm going to take this opportunity to--rudely--call out Rep. Fleming. That post he sent above? He made the exact same post, word for word, on a local conservative blog I visit--but threw in an additional paragraph: For the record, I and several others legislators signed a letter asking Rep. Holland to bring a bill out of conference that would have protected the Abortion Consent Law while keeping the ban intact. Needless to say, at 8 pm Monday, the bill died in conference. Now, we've already given Rep. Fleming what for on another blog post, so I personally don't see a point to chewing him out again. But since he was posting for the record and all, it seems only fair to make sure that everyone is aware of his record on this issue. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-28T18:08:28-06:00
ID
105518
Comment

Sorry yall, I had to go to class. I am going to check Keifer's about reserving a spot. The other suggestion was the Indian Palace. I know a lot of folks who would enjoy it.....

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-28T21:32:16-06:00
ID
105519
Comment

Y'all don't start celebrating just yet. See the top of the site. I'm telling you: Tricks don't work. At least for Democrats.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-28T21:39:48-06:00
ID
105520
Comment

Yea, we have confirmation that the committee will meet tomorrow late afternoon, but Holland will not be attending....They have extending the deadline to discuss it...Please spread the word. We need folks to make some noise at the capitol....WE MUST LET THEM KNOW THAT WE ARE NOT PLAYING, THIS BAN IS NOT HAPPENING!!!!!

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-28T21:53:38-06:00
ID
105521
Comment

Tom, yes we need and want a website but don't have the resources to get one set up.....Please checkout www.prochoicemississippi.org for any developments...I am so pissed right now, I knew they weren't finished thought they would give it a few months...but thats ok. we are sooo ready!!!!!

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-28T21:56:58-06:00
ID
105522
Comment

Find out what time and let us know.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-28T21:57:06-06:00
ID
105523
Comment

JaxNOW, when you get this, please email me. Thanks. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-28T23:02:59-06:00
ID
105524
Comment

Re India Palace: Heard it's a great option, and not too expensive either. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-28T23:20:25-06:00
ID
105525
Comment

Tom, I need an address.....

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-28T23:23:13-06:00
ID
105526
Comment

Hrm; I thought clicking on the blue "email me" text would work. Let's try [email][email protected][/email] Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-28T23:32:17-06:00
ID
105527
Comment

TH: On the Mississippi Politics blog, you accuse me of being dishonest on my position. Amazing! On what grounds do you justify that? What exactly on my position has changed to make you say that?

Author
Rep. Erik Fleming
Date
2006-03-29T01:22:06-06:00
ID
105528
Comment

Rep. Fleming, here's the exact quote from me (with bolded text for emphasis): I firmly believe that Councilman Allen is honest. If he posted regularly on both forums, I'm sure he would have no problem posting everything here that he's posted over there--and anyone who knows him well would second me on that. I wish I could say the same of Rep. Fleming. But maybe if Councilman Allen were running for the U.S. Senate, he'd have to be just as duplicitous. Who knows. My point is not that you're dishonest on your position. I have no way of knowing that for certain. My point is that you're politicking--cut-and-pasting the same comment here as there, and then adding a paragraph of red meat over there to build up your pro-life bona fides. If you're honestly concerned about the lives of fetuses, and not just of sexual "consequences" for women who violate your idea of what a woman should do with her body, then I can certainly respect that. And I have a history of respecting that--the guy I unfavorably compared you to in this instance, Ben Allen, is almost certainly against abortion. But the rationale I heard from you in the other thread did not sound, to me, like an internally consistent pro-life rationale. The truth is that your argument kind of fell apart under scrutiny, and then you started making disparaging comments about how one of your female constituents lives her life in a "here's how it feels" bid. [continued]

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-29T01:41:18-06:00
ID
105529
Comment

I started off in that thread upset that you'd voted for the bill but willing to accept an honest "I can't give up any opportunity, however remote, to save the lives of the unborn" argument. That's what I expected to hear, to be honest, because lord knows I never had a bone to pick with Erik Fleming--I mean, who wrote Wayne Dowdy flame mail because he didn't do enough to support your candidacy? But what I got in return was some really discouraging vibes with broader implications vis-a-vis your views on women's rights. You took me seriously, and I appreciated that. But you didn't take the two women, who have far more credibility than I do on this issue, seriously--and that bothered me. A lot. Since that thread happened, I've had some conversations with local activists and done some research and I think I've uncovered a pattern to Rep. Fleming as a public figure that I don't like, a pattern that is very relevant to your support of this bill. I'm not going to drag all that out here, but suffice to say that I've lost some faith in you as my representative. I am not a "sensitive man." I am not out to score points with strong women. I am an honest-to-God feminist, and that means that I have moral commitments that run pretty deep. But this isn't really about me. This is about the women in this state that you're pointing a big judgmental finger at with this bill, with your willingness to fall into line on abstinence-only education, and with some other things. Am I misjudging you? Maybe. I misjudge a lot of people. I'm a judgmental fool. But as a voter, I have a responsibility to judge you. And right now, I'm not leaning towards a favorable verdict. Now, if you think the proper response is to make judgments about me (which is odd, since I'm not running for anything), you certainly don't need my permission--but you have it. Have at. Make all the personal criticisms you like. Some of them are no doubt warranted. But I can put my head on a pillow every night and know that I've made a serious effort that day, in my small, inconsequential life, to fight institutional sexism, to fight a society that pushes down and disenfranchises and batters women. And I sleep pretty damn well. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-29T01:44:27-06:00
ID
105530
Comment

Here's a nifty chart from Alas, #7 on my list of the Top 10 Blogs on Feminism and Women's Rights. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-29T03:23:48-06:00
ID
105531
Comment

TH: You know what, you can be judgmental all you like. It is typical for people in politics today when they want to drive home a point they try to destroy the other person's character that is opposite to them. All you have "uncovered" in your research is a perception, which unfortunately in the political world is all people have to go on. I have done my best to be as straightforward with everyone who has ever asked my position on any issue, whether they agree or not. I guess to a fault I have been spoiled in that when I am in the House chamber and members and I have debates about the issues of the day, it is a respectful dialogue. Whether it is about abortion or about the PHM, it is a point-counterpoint discussion, and we walk away, with no hard feelings but a better understanding. Some of the best debates in political discourse happen where I sit in the back of the chamber. So, at the end of the day, I have the blessing of sleeping on the softest pillow a man could ever have: a clear conscience. Another thing: you consistently make it a point to try to judge my argument as credible. That is not your call. You can't tell me how to make my argument, you can disagree with it, but not "coach" it. That is not your place. I define who I am and what I stand for and God will judge me for that, for His is the only judgment that matters. Elections will come and go, but I seek not a temporal reward, but an eternal one. I am running for the US Senate not to curry favor with one side or another, but to make Mississippi and America a better place. The beauty of this process we call democracy is that I don't have to be monolithic to attain that aforementioned lofty goal. I strive to strike a balance between individual rights and the general welfare on the issues of the day and I will always stand by that principle. Sometimes I will tip your way and sometimes I won't, that is how it works. So, TH, you can take that for what it is worth. I have taken a stance on an issue you don't like and you have made your decision about me based on that and I guess your research as well. I regret that, but that is how it is.

Author
Rep. Erik Fleming
Date
2006-03-29T09:56:28-06:00
ID
105532
Comment

'God will judge me for that, for His is the only judgment that matters.' Yet the anti legislators such as yourself create policy that 'judges' women. Interesting....

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-29T10:29:42-06:00
ID
105533
Comment

It is typical for people in politics today when they want to drive home a point they try to destroy the other person's character that is opposite to them. Right, Rep. Fleming. But that isn't what Tom has done here, or any of the rest of us. In fact, on the other thread, you were the one going for the jugular basically against an entire gender of women, or at least the ones who don't get in line with what you think a woman should do, say or be like. You have set the tone for what you are reaping. Don't try to pass the buck. And as Tom said, *you* are the one running for office, not him, not me, not Ali. If we are not supposed to judge you on the positions you take in the Legislature (especially toward women), what the hell are we supposed to judge you on!?! You're sounding a bit whiny here for someone running for such a big ole office.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-29T13:52:52-06:00
ID
105534
Comment

ladd: Whiny? It was not a complaint, just an observation. FTR, I did not set the tone, I responded. If you truly and objectively re-read the whole thread, I started with my reason for voting for the bill. It went a different way once I responded. Besides, the issue was not my voting record, but an inference about my "attitude" towards women. Surely, a highly educated woman such as yourself can make such a distinction. NOW: What judgment did I specifically imposed? I voted for a measure that would ban abortion in Mississippi, which by your argument, would restrict a woman's reproductive freedom. That is opposite of your organization's stand, and I understand that. My vote did not characterize women in any certain way, it was an expression of promoting the general welfare, from my standpoint. That is not a pronouncement, but a public policy position.

Author
Rep. Erik Fleming
Date
2006-03-29T15:23:52-06:00
ID
105535
Comment

NOW: One more thing, what exactly was my price? If you are going to make that kind of accusation, then you had better be ready to back that up. If you go the Secretary of State's website, and the FEC website, you will see my financial records. I have never received an endorsement from the Pro-Life Mississippi organization, nor any contributions. To be honest, with TL running, I may not receive it this election either, but we will see. My votes are not for sale.

Author
Rep. Erik Fleming
Date
2006-03-29T15:38:41-06:00
ID
105536
Comment

Again, rep. you support the implementation of policy BECAUSE YOU don't agree with it and this is very dangerous. Laws should not be created based on positions, especially when they don't affect YOU!!!! Am I not mistaken, do you not receive money from the 'ignorance only' folks? Who'd rather breed ingnorance in young people than to teach them accurate comprhensive sex ed???? Please clarify...

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-29T16:01:06-06:00
ID
105537
Comment

Rep. Fleming, one doesn't need to be highly educated to see that the issue of your voting record is relevant to this thread. You say: I have taken a stance on an issue you don't like and you have made your decision about me based on that and I guess your research as well. You are talking about stances in the Legislature, votes as it were. Then you are whining—sorry, complaining—because people are judging you based on them, even though you are running for a very large office. You are trying to transfer criticism of your votes, and your behavior toward women on another thread here, into someone being mad at you because of one little vote. Several times, you have tried to shrug your abortion position off as just one of your many votes, so why be disenchanted with you over just that one little ole vote? So let me lay it out for you. I am disenchanted with you for numerous reasons: that one little ole vote; your treatment of women on this site; your attitude that only "loose" women might need/want abortions; your behavior toward women per news archives; and now your pandering to people who hate everything you stand for -- because you boys are now united in your hatred of us girls (and Tom) because we, er, dared to disagree with you and talk back to you when you treated us like dirt because WE disagreed with YOU about an issue vital to our basic human rights. Don't get me wrong: I'm not telling you how to act, how to run, how to pander, how to vote. What I am telling you is that you are showing me no reason to vote for you. And if you would like to somehow call that unfair judgment of a man running for office, that is your perogative. I will also reiterate something Tom said: I respected you immensely until you started playing the anti-woman game, and even was willing to believe that the LaRouche support was simply out of ignorance of the anti-Semitic implications. But you lost my respect over the abortion issue and how you framed your position for us. So go frame my reaction now however you like, but no one is responsible for my change off heart but you. Granted, you may not care, and that is fine. I simply don't care if you care. My suggestion is that you stop taking my (and Tom's, et al.) disenchantment with you personally and move on. You are still welcome to your blog here to expound on your views, as are others running for office this year. I don't have to agree with you to give you space to talk about your ideas.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-29T16:50:02-06:00
ID
105538
Comment

You know what, you can be judgmental all you like. You're damn right I can. That's my job as an informed constituent. It is typical for people in politics today when they want to drive home a point they try to destroy the other person's character that is opposite to them. Which I have a good history of not doing. All you have "uncovered" in your research is a perception, No, Rep. Fleming, I uncovered a little bit more than a perception. I think you know what I'm talking about. I uncovered a pattern. Another thing: you consistently make it a point to try to judge my argument as credible. That is not your call. Yes, it is. You are my representative in the Mississippi House of Representatives and a candidate for the U.S. Senate. It is not only my right, but my duty, to judge the credibility of your arguments on issues affecting my fellow constituents, especially those who are persecuted by this legislature. To do anything less, for someone as politically engaged as I am, would be morally irresponsible. I have taken a stance on an issue you don't like and you have made your decision about me based on that and I guess your research as well. I regret that, but that is how it is. I am consistently disturbed by the fact that when anyone brings up abortion, you put on a martyrdom act and invoke God and attack their character rather than putting out a consistent QED argument in favor of why you vote the way you do. This leads me to suspect that you're pandering for votes and don't really have a good reason to support abortion bans. If I'm wrong about you, great. You still leave that impression with pro-choicers, and if you're serious about your political future, that strikes me as useful information to have. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-29T16:53:47-06:00
ID
105539
Comment

Donna writes: because you boys are now united in your hatred of us girls (and Tom) Actually, what bugs me more than anything else is that they aren't united in their hatred of me. Rep. Fleming obviously would have been just fine with my pro-choice position if I didn't keep hammering it home; look at how much respect he gave me in that thread, how much respect he still gives me now, compared to the respect he gives you and Ali. Why do I have to be a raging asshole on this issue before I get treated as if I were a woman? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-29T17:12:26-06:00
ID
105540
Comment

Why do I have to be a raging a****** on this issue before I get treated as if I were a woman? Sigh. This is a fact of life for us loud chicks, Tom. Todd has long noted that he can say the very same thing, or do the very same thing, I do, and get treated completely differently. I'm rather used to it at this point, and long ago taught myself not to care when insecure men trying to trivialize me or trash me for having an opinion different than theirs. However, I am concerned about such sexism in a macro way, because it keeps my sisters from opening their mouths nearly enough. So, I do appreciate your willingness to speak out against the disparate treatment that you see.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-29T17:43:13-06:00
ID
105541
Comment

I would be in on this more. But, I've been busy. I AM keeping up. Rest assured I shall return. ;)

Author
Lori G
Date
2006-03-29T19:02:53-06:00
ID
105542
Comment

Yeah, we know, you're off doing trivial things that don't matter a whole lot. ;-D We'll be here. One more thing I will reiterate for the record for Rep. Fleming: It is not your position on abortion per se that has turned me off toward you so strongly. As Tom has explained oh-so-well, it's the way you have expressed it, turning the issue into a weapon against women, or at least the ones you don't approve of. Like Tom says, you are coming across as political and disingenuous whether or not you mean to. And if you can't see how/why you've offended some (many?) of your potential supporters so through all this, then I really don't how to explain it to you. But, certainly, you're not the only male Democratic legislator who is suffering from a mighty case of don't-get-it-itus these days. But, hey, it's not like women in Mississippi have exactly commanded and demanded better from y'all, either. So it's not entirely your fault. But my vote is for the enabling of such B.S. to stop immediately. I'm not going to hold my nose and vote for sexists. Just not gonna.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-29T19:10:35-06:00
ID
105543
Comment

I second that. Really, I would have accepted your pro-life vote with respect if you had articulated a position that was pro-fetus instead of anti-woman, and then treated the women in the discussion with respect. You went above and beyond in making sure that you did neither, and I heard the message you were sending loud and clear. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-29T20:11:00-06:00
ID
105544
Comment

Really, I would have accepted your pro-life vote with respect if you had articulated a position that was pro-fetus instead of anti-woman, and then treated the women in the discussion with respect. Nice, Tom. Reminds me of what Heather, one of our new writers, said the other day elsewhere on the ChickBlog: that she is "pro-life," but she is also "pro-woman." Anybody who doesn't understand what that means needs to get some learnin'. I totally respect Heather's position, as I do others who do not believe in abortion. The discussion with Rep. Fleming -- and that bullsh!t bill -- has been about something else altogether. And those boys, including Rep. Holland, probably have no idea how they are disrespecting women with their methods. I can't tell you the phone calls I've gotten from power-women in the last couple weeks about it. One inspired me to write my editor's note last week, and one that came in response to it almost made me drop the phone. So many women are angry right now at the House Democrats who did this. Meantime, they think they're all politically savvy because they've pissed off Nunnelee et al. Not-get-it-itus. And do they really think that the radical-righters aren't going to return with their own chess moves??? Women can't win here until we are firmly involved and speaking for ourselves. No matter how nervous that makes some of them boyz.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-29T21:15:34-06:00
ID
105545
Comment

Sunday, April 2, 2006 join Jackson Area NOW members in welcoming national vp of membership Latifa Lyles and vp of action Melody Drnach. They will be here to meet and greet pro-choice feminsts/activists and thank those who are working so hard organizing around reproductive freedom. This is a great opportunity for activists to share their organizing stories and strategies. Let me know if you would like to join us for lunch at Keifer's @ 1:30, so I can increase the seating.

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-29T22:44:07-06:00
ID
105546
Comment

Many MS Christian women recognize the importance of a woman's right to choose. They don't necessary agree with abortion, but they respect choice and are pro-life. These women and men are truly pro-life. However, the majority of the zealots including those who continue to occupy state government aren't. They are simply anti-choice. It is bizarre, what 30-40 yrs ago, MS along with several other southern states, illegally sterilized poor black women. Today, they exhaust efforts in forcing women to have babies. BIZARRE…Is it our sole purpose as women, to be incubators? Are we prized breeding heifers??? I don't see women banning viagra or pharmacist taking the moral high road when men seek out a medical 'quick fix' to aid in maintaining an erection? This fall is the beginning of the revolution. Next year is an election year, OUR REVOLUTION!!! All 'progressives' need to come out of hiding and make your presence known...NOW! Be it racial equality, economic justice, women's equality, same-sex equality-as a citizen you have a role to play. And play to WIN!!!

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-03-29T23:10:18-06:00
ID
105547
Comment

Donna and TH: It is my First Amendment right to invoke God whenever I desire to do so. It is not a defense mechanism and it is insulting to suggest otherwise. You can disagree with my points, but you cannot "coach" them. As for the pattern, the term is used for repeated behavior and actions, therefore what you have "uncovered" is a perception. I find it interesting that you would even use the term pattern, considering you dismissed my argument that this vote was one as compared to others I have taken. It smacks of a double standard, but let me stop there, for fear of being patronized again for whining. As for pandering on another post, the members on that post lobbied for me to have a thread, and it was given to me. I know in your world using words like "dishonest" and "duplicitous" are not character attacks, but I take offense to them. Also try not using the shield of not running for public office when dropping bombs on folks, it is an utterly ridiclous argument, especially coming from a member of the "fourth estate of government." In public discourse, you are just as open to be criticized as I am.

Author
Rep. Erik Fleming
Date
2006-03-31T13:21:42-06:00
ID
105548
Comment

FTR, many of the other posters concerning the issue have had their points taken into consideration. I guess I was surprised by the venom in which certain folks I had respected came at me with. It is obvious that we did not patch things up at the conclusion of the thread in my blog. So when Donna says she is turned off by me, cool. The feeling is mutual. I am disappointed more with TH, but in a fight you stick with your friends, so he stuck with his. This has been a revelation for me. I will do my best to be more respectful to the opinions of others. I will be more realistic about building alliances, for all it takes is for one thing to shatter them. From now on, as people make negative personal comments on the blogs I write for, I'll just ignore them, for someone told me recently that they win when you bother to respond to them. Summary: Respect opinions; alliances are temporary; respond to legitimate issues, not personal attacks.

Author
Rep. Erik Fleming
Date
2006-03-31T13:37:51-06:00
ID
105549
Comment

Erik, you are being weirdly hyper-sensitive here for someone running for a big office. "Venom"? Do you truly think that people who disagree with you strongly are simply being venomous? I'm really surprised at how thin your skin is, considering what you do for a living. And I have a feeling that Tom will have quite a bit to say about the idea that he was simply "sticking with his (girl)friends" with his very eloquent postings on this topic. What an insult of him. Revelations are a good thing.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-31T13:56:14-06:00
ID
105550
Comment

As for "coach," I haven't tried to "coach" your views; I've simply disagreed with statements you've made, and ways that you have treated other people in justifying your vote at the Legislature. I suspect you're offended at my statement that your integrity is on trial, as far as I'm concerned, which includes your treatment of and attitudes toward women. Sadly, your response to my saying that rather proves my point. And, please, invoke God at will. No one owns, or can copyright, God. However, as Tom actually said, it is rather distasteful to invoke God while attacking the character of people who disagree with your viewpoints or your votes. I'm not quite sure how the First Amendment applies here; these private citizens haven't tried to stop you from saying anything on this privately owned Web site, much less in some sort of state-owned or regulated situation where the First Amendment actually would be relevant. Also, as you know, speech flows both ways: You have the "right" to invoke God while waging character battles against your critics, and your critics have the "right" to tell you how distasteful, and irrelevant, such a strategy is. And that's without ever having to bring the Constitution into a situation where it does not apply.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-03-31T13:58:37-06:00
ID
105551
Comment

Rep. Fleming writes: Donna and TH: It is my First Amendment right to invoke God whenever I desire to do so. And I have a First Amendment right to recite dirty limericks, too. That doesn't mean that it's an effective way of explaining my position on abortion. You can disagree with my points, but you cannot "coach" them. Rep. Fleming, you are approaching this as if we are both just a couple of guys shooting the breeze over a cup of coffee. We're not. You're one of the 94 representatives who voted for an illegitimate abortion bill, then you justified your vote using a rather spurious and incoherent argument. I find it interesting that you would even use the term pattern, considering you dismissed my argument that this vote was one as compared to others I have taken. To be honest, I hadn't done much digging on your record until recently. I heard what you had to say here and at the MIRA and MESJ meetings and took you at your word. I'm also not just talking about your votes here, as you have no doubt guessed by now. It smacks of a double standard, but let me stop there, for fear of being patronized again for whining. There is a double standard, yes: I held you to a higher standard than I did Reps. Holland and Moak. That was clearly foolish of me. As for pandering on another post, the members on that post lobbied for me to have a thread, and it was given to me. I know in your world using words like "dishonest" and "duplicitous" are not character attacks, but I take offense to them. I don't recall calling you dishonest, but cut-and-pasting the same exact post to two forums, then adding an anti-abortion paragraph to the version you posted to an anti-abortion forum, is duplicitous. I really don't know what else you'd call it. Also try not using the shield of not running for public office when dropping bombs on folks, I'm not dropping bombs on you; I'm holding you accountable for your votes. Evidently your progressive constituents haven't been doing enough of that. [continued]

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-31T16:28:41-06:00
ID
105552
Comment

In public discourse, you are just as open to be criticized as I am. Yes, and I am grateful for honest and constructive criticism of my behavior as a member of the "fourth estate." You have an issue with my writing? Bring it on. I have made no criticisms of you that do not focus on your role as a legislator, being very careful not to bring any personal stuff I might have read about to the fore of this discussion. So when Donna says she is turned off by me, cool. The feeling is mutual. I am disappointed more with TH, but in a fight you stick with your friends, so he stuck with his. I'm sure you are disappointed in me, Rep. Fleming, but it's not abundantly clear to me what you expected me to do when you took the word of a man as a Gospel and dismissed the opinions of the women whose lives you'd just voted to regulate. No offense, but what kind of progressive do you think I am? If a white legislator voted for an ambiguously racist bill, I complained about it along with two black regulars, and the legislator treated me with respect (while providing a rather weak argument in favor of the bill) but dismissed the black regulars, what kind of wanker would I be if I let it go at that? If a legislator voted for an ambiguously homophobic bill, I complained about it along with two lesbigay regulars, and the legislator treated me with respect (while providing an equally weak argument in favor of the bill) but dismissed the lesibay regulars, what kind of wanker would I be if I let it go at that? Do you think I'm a fair weather progressive, a "good ol' boy" who has his opinions on sexism, racism, and heterosexism, but doesn't make any serious attempt to live into them? If so, I'm not really sure who's attacking whose character here. This has been a revelation for me. I will do my best to be more respectful to the opinions of others. I will be more realistic about building alliances, for all it takes is for one thing to shatter them. From now on, as people make negative personal comments on the blogs I write for, I'll just ignore them, for someone told me recently that they win when you bother to respond to them. Rep. Fleming, I'm a 27-year-old blogger and you're a seasoned politician. Why the hell am I responsible for your revelations? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-31T16:28:55-06:00
ID
105553
Comment

"lesibay" should be "lesbigay." My keyboard is obviously drunk. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-31T16:37:21-06:00
ID
105554
Comment

Donna writes: And I have a feeling that Tom will have quite a bit to say about the idea that he was simply "sticking with his (girl)friends" with his very eloquent postings on this topic. What an insult of him. Nah; that's okay. I could tell when I read Rep. Fleming's argument about abortion, which was pure rhetoric, that the odds of anything I said having any effect on him would be slim. But as the Parable of the Sower goes, you don't always plant your seeds carefully; sometimes you've got to just toss them into the air without really looking at where they're going, and hope one of them sprouts up. In this case, Rep. Fleming is Shocked and Appalled and some other folks are no doubt further convinced that I'm a self-absorbed weenie with lapdog tendencies. And that's a good thing. My job as a white, heterosexual male progressive is to combine the "credibility" of a woman with the "social standing" of a black man and the "moral character" of a lesbigay. I do not want, and cannot afford to have, the respect of people who don't respect women and/or minorities. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-31T16:47:23-06:00
ID
105555
Comment

"combine" --> "aspire to"; I wrote that last post in a hurry. As the previous thread demonstrated, there's no way a heterosexual white male can actually be attributed all of those qualities, no matter how much he might try to express solidarity. But consciously trying to get other people to "lump you in" is, I think, a moral obligation for progressives, particularly progressives who have white heterosexual male privilege. So from the bottom of my heart, Rep. Fleming, thanks for finally thinking as little of me as you think of Donna Ladd and Ali Greggs. That's the main thing I want from you. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-03-31T18:40:44-06:00
ID
105556
Comment

Good. I am glad to know that my position is mere rhetoric and yours isn't. Glad to know the double standard is still consistent. Anyway, so much for that. As for being hyper-sensitive, thanks for the therapy session. It is also interesting to continue to read about my treatment, when my apology to Ali has been conveniently ignored. But, I guess that would be in the category of whining as well. Now I know how NBA referees feel, because no NBA player ever commits a foul. Even when the ref explains the call, the offender still is in denial. I guess in your intellectual arrogance you did not follow my suggestion and re-read the abortion thread on my blog. So be it. You can pat your collective backs and say you stood up to the bad guy. Congratulations! I'm sorry, did that come across as hyper-sensitive again? Anyway, I have invaded this blog long enough. Back to writing about other issues that don't generate this kind of excitement.

Author
Rep. Erik Fleming
Date
2006-04-01T09:50:13-06:00
ID
105557
Comment

I agree with you, Rep. Fleming. The public therapy session is getting tedious. Let's get back to issues, and expressing our disparate views about them, shall we?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2006-04-01T10:14:56-06:00
ID
105558
Comment

Okay, as the new Public Outreach Chair for the Jackson Area NOW, I have two things to say: - First, the sweet: I spent a wonderful afternoon with some FANTASTIC pro-choice activists and had a great time. Good to meet y'all. I am so happy to be working with such a wonderful, committed bunch of people on this, and you strike me as a cool bunch of folks to know in general. I have a feeling I'm going to make many wonderful friends through all this. - Now, the sour: Earlier this evening, I read this article on Mississippi's pro-life movement and got extremely angry. What made me angrier than anything else in the article was this: Casey is 15 and not actually called Casey ... She's scared and confused but at least she's there with her mother and father, having confessed to them both the day before. The three of them alternate between sounding worried and relieved ... Sex education at Casey's school, as it is across the state, is non-existent. 'Occasionally they talk to us about abstinence,' she says. 'But that's it.' Mississippi has >the third highest teenage pregnancy rate in the country, one of the highest rates of infant mortality, and 24 per cent of children live beneath the poverty line. 'Do you not think there might be a correlation between the teenage pregnancy rate and the lack of sex education?' I ask Terri Herring of the Pro-Life Mississippi. 'No,' she says. 'I do not. These kids don't need to be taught about promiscuity, they already know about sex. What I say is that they don't need birth control, they need self control.' So what Herring is basically saying is: Abortion is murder, "black genocide," Auschwitz, the senseless slaughter of "little itty-bitty babies" (her words, not mine), but she'd rather see more abortions than reduce the consequences for sex. Rep. Fleming, you claim to be extremely troubled by abortion because you are concerned about the sacredness of the fetus' life, not because you want to punish women for sex. Right? So are you prepared to go on the record during the 2006-2007 legislative session as supporting a bill, whether it passes or not, that will expand the state's abstinence education initiatives to include better data on contraception? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-04-03T02:48:21-06:00
ID
105559
Comment

And by "supporting" I mean actually authoring a bill and bringing it up for a vote as a piece of legislation designed to reduce the number of abortions--this time by giving women more choices, not by taking away the choices they already have. Now, that may seem like a lot of work--but if you're willing to restrict the rights of every woman and girl in this state to reduce the number of abortions, this strikes me as a far, far smaller price to pay. So how about it? Are you serious about reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies, furthering the part of Planned Parenthood's agenda that you should, in theory, be able to agree with? Or do you agree with Ms. Herring that as bad as abortion is, it's worth a few extra discarded fetuses and embryos if you can make sure that teenagers who get laid are punished for it? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-04-03T02:53:57-06:00
ID
105560
Comment

As a voter, I want to ask the rep this: in my experince with activism, I know there exists those pro-life folks who don't agree with abrotion but they respect women's right to choose and do not attempt to infringe upon her right. You have stated that you are pro-life, are you anti-choice? I am pro-chice yet I am NOT anti-life. That is the major concern that I have. I'll respect you either way. As a voter, I would appreciate if you could address this.

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-04-03T11:34:04-06:00
ID
105561
Comment

Sorry, my 'o' key is defective....pro-choice

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-04-03T11:37:30-06:00
ID
105562
Comment

Good question! I am becoming increasingly convinced that the pro-life movement involves a certain amount of subtle brainwashing. Here's an interview with Terri Herring from PBS' Frontline. I haven't read all of it yet, but look at this featured quote: "To me, [our] laws reflect our morals … It's not OK for a black person to drink at a different water fountain. It's not OK to go to the back of the bus. Well, it's not OK to kill unborn babies. It's just not OK." Actually, it's okay for anyone to drink from different water fountains and it it's okay for anyone to sit at the back of the bus. It's sometimes a really good idea to drink from a different water fountain if some drunk guy just used it as a latrine, or to sit in the back of the bus if the front of the bus is crowded and noisy. That's a choice. The morals of the civil rights movement were about laws and institutions that forced black folks to drink from different water fountains and sit at the back of the bus. That wasn't a choice. She can't quite bring herself to endorse the idea that the main moral value our laws are supposed to respect is freedom. Are Herring and other folks in the movement so locked in to their perspective that they can't even bring themselves to say the word "choice"? Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-04-03T15:12:59-06:00
ID
105563
Comment

Herring references the genocide of ethinic minorities when it's feasible to HER platform...How many AA/Jewish babies has she adopted? By white couples? How many AA pregnant women has she housed/helped? Hell, remember a few months ago, Catholics weren't fit to adopt babies. Her statements are insulting, weak attempts at garning support from communites of color. Again, this is the group who bombed clinics, murdered doctors, nurses and escorts. Does she or any other member of her organization foot the health care bills for these childre? I mean really, the govenor stated it plainly that accessablity to cigarettes is more important than the healthy lives of the state's citizens....

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-04-03T16:04:24-06:00
ID
105564
Comment

That's a DAMN good question. You'd think that since financial stress is one of the main contributing factors in a woman's decision to have an abortion, folks like Herring would be working their butts off trying to make it easier for single women to get by. Instead they do everything in their power to make sure that, once they've produced their government-mandated offspring, their lives and the lives of said offspring are a living hell. I apologize, BTW, for once again using the word "pro-life" to describe these people. They are pro-life in the same way that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is "Democratic": I have to use the word in my reference writing because that's how they describe themselves, but as an activist I should use a different term to refer to these folks. They aren't really "anti-abortion," either, since they prevent far fewer abortions than the so-called "pro-abortion" Planned Parenthood. "Anti-choice" does pretty much hit the nail on the head. Rep. Fleming, got another question for you. Clearly if the abortion ban had passed, and if (as you claim) there was a chance it could become law, then the next logical step would be to scrap the obsolete "Choose Life" license plates. Maybe you should go with "Report All Undocumented Miscarriages for Investigation by Law Enforcement." I know it's less catchy, but you know as well as I do that that would be the next logical step if your disgusting little bill ever became law. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-04-03T17:10:28-06:00
ID
105565
Comment

That's right...we must take the language back. This is why I refer to them as the 'anti's'--they are anti:choice, equality and anti-citizens making their own decisions. We must take back our power starting with the language and visability...

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-04-03T22:15:34-06:00
ID
105566
Comment

TH & NOW: Let me see if I can answer all those questions within my word limit. As far as legislation goes, if I am elected US Senator, I will be in a better position to do something about combining abstinence education with contraceptive education, since that is where the funding comes from. As a state legislator, if I was successful in pushing a bill through like the abstinence/ contraception combo, it would basically be saying to those groups that push abstinence and the State Health Dept., don't ask for the federal funds. So I probably would not sponsor that piece of legislation. Also we are not in the business of revoking tags. If anything, you would probably want to encourage more people to buy the tags since the funding goes to family resource centers that are suppose to help young women during that time in their lives. That is if the law passed. As earlier referenced in this blog, Ms. Herring does not believe I am pro-life and you have stated I am not pro-choice. TH knows my detailed position on the issue, as I wrote on his pro-choice blog, but for NOW's benefit: I do not support abortion as birth control. I think in the case of rape, incest, or the health of the mother is jeopardized, the choice should be there for a woman to terminate her pregnancy. If push came to shove, meaning compromise language, to include the physical health of the child, especially those exposed to HIV or a mother's chemotherapy, I could probably support that. As reprehensible as I believe abortion is, those would be circumstances in which I could understand. I don't believe in the notion of punishing women for having sex. That is not my goal. I am a believer that life is sacred, precious and awesome. I have devoted my public career to make sure that is so. My struggle with this issue, as with many in government and public policy, is weighing the balance between individual rights and general welfare. It is my belief that the general welfare outweighs individual rights in this case. I don't know how that labels me, and to be honest, at this point, it is not relevant. The public will make their own opinion about my stand and I have to accept that.

Author
Rep. Erik Fleming
Date
2006-04-05T10:54:50-06:00
ID
105567
Comment

Rep. Fleming writes: TH & NOW: Let me see if I can answer all those questions within my word limit. As far as legislation goes, if I am elected US Senator, I will be in a better position to do something about combining abstinence education with contraceptive education, since that is where the funding comes from. As a state legislator, if I was successful in pushing a bill through like the abstinence/ contraception combo, it would basically be saying to those groups that push abstinence and the State Health Dept., don't ask for the federal funds. So I probably would not sponsor that piece of legislation. So the federal funds are earmarked for abstinence education, but only if you don't cover birth control? Unfrigginbelievable, but I don't know why it surprises me given the current administration. As earlier referenced in this blog, Ms. Herring does not believe I am pro-life and you have stated I am not pro-choice. Then Ms. Herring is delusional. You voted for an across-the-board ban; that is the ultimate and total goal of her movement as I understand it. She has been given her pound of flesh and then some. What else could she possibly want? [continued]

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-04-05T11:09:02-06:00
ID
105568
Comment

I do not support abortion as birth control. I think in the case of rape, incest, or the health of the mother is jeopardized, the choice should be there for a woman to terminate her pregnancy. If push came to shove, meaning compromise language, to include the physical health of the child, especially those exposed to HIV or a mother's chemotherapy, I could probably support that. As reprehensible as I believe abortion is, those would be circumstances in which I could understand. The major part of your view that doesn't make sense to me is that you're willing to concede that human personhood does not begin at conception, but still have an objection to even the earliest first-trimester abortions. I can't see legitimate grounds to ban abortion across the board unless you believe that all abortion kills a human person, and I don't see a way of coming to that belief unless you believe that personhood begins at conception--that "He hath eternal life / implanted in the soul...," as the old hymn goes. I also don't understand why you are not an extreme and radical supporter of any and all alternatives means of avoiding unplanned pregnancies. It seems to me that folks who want to get rid of abortion--and not just appease the nonsensical, Alice in Wonderland platform of Ms. Herring's movement--should recognize that Planned Parenthood and similar groups have very likely prevented the majority of abortions through their work, and that their approach is in fact the only one that has a documented history of working in the post-Roe era. [continued]

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-04-05T11:09:32-06:00
ID
105569
Comment

I don't believe in the notion of punishing women for having sex. That is not my goal. I am a believer that life is sacred, precious and awesome. I have devoted my public career to make sure that is so. My struggle with this issue, as with many in government and public policy, is weighing the balance between individual rights and general welfare. It is my belief that the general welfare outweighs individual rights in this case. This is the other thing that confuses me; I don't see how general welfare is helped by banning abortion. I can see how the personal welfare of the individual embryo or fetus might be helped, if you believe that it is a human person, but it seems to me that general, e.g. societal, welfare would be better served by not banning abortion. We need to realize that if abortion did manage to get banned in Mississippi, the 60 percent of abortion-seeking women who go out of state for the procedure would increase, and the rest would find themselves able to access a booming black market of illegal abortion drugs. If we can't keep marijuana off the streets, how do you suppose the state would prevent women from taking homemade abortificients? The ban would have little practical effect on reducing abortion, so its only real legacy would be that the rights of women would be restricted in a very dangerous way. Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head
Date
2006-04-05T11:09:45-06:00
ID
105570
Comment

Actually, in a spiritual sense, I believe our life began long before we were born, as God spells out in Jeremiah 1. But that is my spiritual belief. So, in essence, I do believe life begins at conception. I can see where you are going with the welfare argument, but I have to put on the utilitarian hat and say that 3,600 abortions a year in Mississippi is too many and the general welfare is diminished by the lives that were taken away by abortion. But in making my argument, I have to be ever mindful that if I am going to support a ban on abortion, then I have to fight for opportunities for people to have abundant lives tiredlessly. I have made my commitment to do that and I believe my record is clear about my commitment. I don't deny that PP has done a lot to stop abortions. This is one of those issues which the emotions, and politics, have taken the spirit of cooperation away. In a perfect world, people would abstain from sex until marriage, use birth control to effectively plan for a family, and only use abortion as an emergency medical procedure. Since that is not the case, we are where we are in the discussion. In my Pro-Life questionaire, the question is asked would I support not funding PP with Title X funds because PP operates abortion clinics. I said no. The reason being is that PP is doing good work for the world we live in, and as long as they state the Title X money is not used for abortions, through their audits, then they should not be denied the funding. So, I did not intend for my vote to be an indictment of PP, but in the dynamics of the debate, that could be how it is interpreted. When votes come before us, we have to vote our conscience, especially what is in the best interest for the people you represent. I did that, but now comes the consequences. That is part of the job, to make tough decisions and be able to live with them. You may not always agree with my logic or thought process, but it is a process. Even on issues that affect African-Americans along what some would call racial lines, I have done the best I could in the House to make rational arguments so that everyone could understand where I am coming from. That is what I am trying to do here. It hurts me to disappoint my friends, especially doing my job, but sometimes that happens. It is the hazard of the profession, because you cannot please everyone in the political process. Sorry for the digression.

Author
Rep. Erik Fleming
Date
2006-04-05T11:43:41-06:00
ID
105571
Comment

Rep. It is relevant to me. I appreciate you clearly stated your position and respect it. All pro-choice activist ask, is that people in positions of power to create legislation RESPECT our position. I would not promote having abortion to anywomen/girl. I would not 'force' your daughter, wife, sister to have an abortion if she is against it. Why, Sir is it so hard to understand OUR position, that women be allowed to have a choice whether or NOT to become a mother? Yet the anti-choice movement creates/supports policy that FORCES women to bear children. This is not an issue of the 'general welfare'. Please know that NOW's postion or any pro-choice organization/activist, does not support abortion as a form of birthcontrol. This mantra was cooked up by the anit's along with 'pro-abortion'. We do however, support responsible comprehensive sex educatiion, comprhensive sex education and safe legal acces to reproductive health care. As for the tags: the only reason why the pro-choice side does not have a tag which I may add, would fund programs to provide contraceptives to PREVENT UNWATED PREGNANCIES resulting in the decrease of abortions, is that no legislature will sign off on it...

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-04-05T11:44:26-06:00
ID
105572
Comment

Please excuse my spelling errors, Iam using a defult computer...

Author
Jackson Area NOW
Date
2006-04-05T13:41:13-06:00
ID
105573
Comment

NOW: Point taken. I respect your position. It seems we have the same goals, just different strategies of how to address them. Hopefully you will feel comfortable working with me on this issue whether I am in DC or here in Jackson.

Author
Rep. Erik Fleming
Date
2006-04-07T09:37:38-06:00

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

comments powered by Disqus