Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kansas Governor signs act allowing pharmacists to refuse to dispense abortion drugs.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster /  May 19, 2012

Abortion ...

Brad Cooper | The Kansas City Star

Gov. Sam Brownback has signed into law a bill that will allow pharmacists to refuse to provide drugs they believe might cause an abortion.
Called the Health Care Rights of Conscience Act, the new law will bar anyone from being required to prescribe or administer a drug they "reasonably believe" might result in the termination of a pregnancy. The law was signed Monday.
Critics say the law will open the door for a pharmacist to refuse a request for something like the "morning-after" pill, which the Mayo Clinic says can prevent or delay ovulation, block fertilization or keep a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
They argued that the law puts pharmacists and physicians in a position to refuse birth control and that it will affect many women, especially those in small towns and rural communities since the health provider wouldn’t be required to provide a referral somewhere else.
Abortion opponents said the bill is a narrow upgrade of a 1969 Kansas law that said no one should be required to perform or participate in abortion procedures.
State Rep. Lance Kinzer, R-Olathe, was the bill’s sponsor. He said the law was intended to cover the abortion drug RU-486, not contraceptive medications. The morning-after pill is different from RU-486, which is used to chemically induce an abortion.
To be protected under the law, Kinzer said, a pharmacist would need "reasonable medical basis" to believe the drug would cause an abortion.
If someone were fired or sued for refusing to provide a drug, he said, he or she could then litigate whether there was a basis for believing the drug would cause an abortion.
He said the conscience protection would apply to any drug that would cause harm to an embryo after it is fertilized.
So-called conscience clauses have been around for more than 40 years following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1973 that legalized abortion.
Since 1970, Kansas has had a law that said no one should be required to perform or participate in an abortion procedure.
But in recent years across the country, the issue has moved to pharmaceuticals, particularly those given in an emergency to prevent a pregnancy.
Four states — Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and South Dakota — have laws that allow pharmacists to refuse to fill an emergency prescription for contraceptives, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Three others — Florida, Maine and Tennessee — have broad refusal measures that don’t specifically mention pharmacists.
This is the fifth bill restricting abortion that Brownback has signed since taking office.
Last year, the Republican governor signed bills requiring new licensing criteria for abortion clinics and requiring parental consent for juveniles to get an abortion.
Brownback also signed a bill banning insurance coverage of abortion and another one that tightened limits on late-term abortion.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Senator Richard Burr: Unanimous Rejection of President's Budget Proposal

May 18, 2012

Verne Strickland Blogmaster

Unanimous Rejection of the President’s Budget Proposal

Despite our troubled economy and our $15 trillion national debt, President Obama and Senate Democrats refuse to propose a responsible federal budget.  On Wednesday, the Senate voted unanimously against the President’s budget proposal which failed to rein in spending and reduce the national debt, imposed taxes that would have inhibited economic growth, ignored the pending insolvency of Medicare and Social Security, and used budget gimmicks to create the illusion of savings.

Merely voting down this destructive proposal is not enough, however.  We made a promise to the American people who elected us into the Senate to do our jobs, yet it has been over three years since the Democrat controlled Senate passed a budget.  This is inexcusable.  A responsible budget is a vital first step toward getting our economy back on track and reducing our massive debt.  American families understand that times are tough, and they are making sacrifices in order to make ends meet.  The federal government, on the other hand, continues to spend like there is no tomorrow.  We need a serious budget that will tackle our economic crisis, work towards job creation, and provide for the security of future generations, not more of the same inaction and lack of resolve.

I talked about this at length in an interview with Jerri Jameson on WWNC yesterday morning.  In case you missed it, you can listen it to it here or read the full transcript on my blog.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ilario Pantano. He'll be here because his ideas stick. You'll see

  Verne Strickland Blogmaster / May 15, 2012


  Ilario Pa...

Submitted by Peter Montgomery on Thu, 02/10/2011 

At the CPAC panel on “How Political Correctness is Harming America’s Military,” Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness continued her campaign against gay and lesbian members of the armed forces serving openly and honorably, but she was upstaged by GOP congressional candidate Ilario Pantano, who insisted that America is meant to be a Christian nation and that the military must reflect biblical values.
Donnelly’s remarks were a mostly unsurprising reprise of the arguments she used in her failed effort to prevent Congress from repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.   She slammed the Pentagon for advancing equal opportunity “to an extreme” and recycled arguments about living in close quarters and chaplains supposedly being forced to abandon their religious beliefs.
One of Donelly’s main arguments did not seem exactly respectful of our armed forces: she said repeatedly that servicemembers can’t be counted on – or trained – to control their sexual urges. That’s why, she said, we are losing so many ship captains due to sexual misconduct. Sexual mistreatment of women in the military is not their fault, she said, but it’s not surprising.
But Donnelly’s comments seemed thin gruel compared to the Religious Right red-meat hurled into the crowd by Ilario Pantano, a former and current GOP congressional candidate from North Carolina.   Pantano, a former Marine, didn’t dwell about the specifics of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell because he wanted to talk more broadly about the threat of moral relativism to the nation and the military.
He insisted that America is and was meant to be a Christian nation and that our problems come from denying the truth of Jesus:  “The ultimate founding document of the United States is the Bible.” The nation’s problems were unsurprising given that we have kicked God out of classrooms, courts, and foxholes. Pantano’s made attacks on the “Ground Zero Mosque” part of his 2010 campaign.
It’s time to start offending people, he said, and time to start talking about God’s truth. He said that America’s media, academic and cultural institutions have been infiltrated by agents of atheistic, socialist and communist regimes. (In Q&A with reporters afterward, he confirmed that he was not speaking only about our history but also about today.)
The divide between the east and the west, he said, boils down to Christian and non-Christian. America was “undeniably” founded as a Christian nation and to suggest otherwise “is simply untrue.” He argued that members of the military have to be grounded in biblical truths, and blamed the thousands of suicides among veterans on the “God-shaped hole in our hearts.”
Pantano, who said he and his children are learning Chinese, asked, “What are the Chinese afraid of?”
“It’s not capitalism, it’s not Google, it’s not Wal-mart, it’s not Boeing, it’s not Islam. They’re afraid of Jesus Christ."