Bernie & DNC Fail On Reproductive Rights

Unbelievable arrogance and mysogeny:

A furor erupted last week when Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), joined Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Nebraska Democratic Party chair Jane Kleeb at a large rally in Omaha, Nebraska, to publicly endorse Heath Mello, the Democratic candidate for mayor.

Because?

Although he is running as a Democrat and lauded for progressive positions on numerous issues, as a Nebraska state senator, Mello co-sponsored and helped pass some of the worst state-level restrictions on abortion care in the country.

Jesus Christ on a crutch, what is wrong with these idiots?

Criticisms of the party’s embrace of Mello by leaders such as NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue led to a cycle of mansplaining (“You’re blocking our agenda with your wedge issues!”), misinformation (“Mello’s record isn’t that bad!”), and defensiveness (“But Bernie is pro-choice!”). And Democratic Party leaders demonstrated that after all this time, they can’t seem to grasp that there is no justice without reproductive justice; that women can’t enjoy full citizenship if they can’t decide whether, when, and with whom to have children; that access to abortion is a public health imperative; and that childbearing and childrearing are fundamentally economic activities no matter what tent you are pitching or where you pitch it.

Instead of requiring mandatory child birth for women, how about mandatory vasectomies for all men over 50? Wasn't there an amendment like that a few years ago? Betrayal from Bernie and the DNC on this issue are unfortunately nothing new, but The Nation? Et tu The Nation?

But some of the loudest pushback to women’s rights advocates came from other self-proclaimed progressives, such as D.D. Guttenplan at the Nation, who, though he is not known as an abortion rights expert, decided that we were all complaining too much and that, by the way, we had our facts wrong.

Really Guttenplan? Would you be okay with mandated vasectomies? Wanna volunteer today and remove your defective DNA from the gene pool? This is how bad Mello is:

Mello’s record on abortion rights is very bad. Full stop. As a state senator in 2010, for example, Mello co-sponsored a 20-week abortion ban, one of the first in the nation and the first to rely on the false claims of “fetal pain” cooked up by anti-choice groups to shop this kind of model legislation.

In 2011, Mello voted for LB 22, which prohibited insurance coverage of abortion in the state by using a false claim that federal funds in state exchanges were being used to fund abortion. Before passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the majority of women with private insurance were covered for abortion care. Thanks in large part to the machinations of former Democratic Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson (for whom Mello previously worked) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, millions of women lost insurance coverage of abortion care as the states used Nelson’s amendment to justify eliminating it. Mello helped finish his one-time boss’ work.

Unfortunately, there are additional atrocious examples in the article of how bad this misanthrope really is. The article also provides a stirring defense of reproductive freedom:

This is not an abstract issue. Under the ACA and with the permission of Democratic leaders we have seen the greatest erosion in abortion rights in this country in over two decades, and that is not just a problem of Republicans. What is at stake here is the future of the party. What is at stake is whether the still largely white, largely male-dominated Democratic Party actually means to promote and protect women’s rights from here on after. What is at stake is what it actually means to be “pro-life,” if you are willing to pass legislation that stigmatizes, criminalizes, and makes inaccessible essential reproductive health care and harms women and families.

Conclusion:

It can no longer be OK to substitute anti-choice lies and “religious” beliefs for the fundamental rights and health of women. Moreover, anti-choice positions are not necessary to win elections, though that is the least of the issues right now. If the situation with Heath Mello shows anything, it is that this is a grossly overdue and long-avoided conversation that has only just begun.

Excellent article with more good stuff here:

https://rewire.news/article/2017/04/26/setting-record-straight-elevation...

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Comments

eyo's picture

Moreover, anti-choice positions are not necessary to win elections, though that is the least of the issues right now.

Keep talking like nothing is connected and you sound like idiots. "The most" of the issues right now are what? Fair wages? NOPE. Affordable housing? NOPE. Health Care not Insurance. NOPE. Sans souci.

Now say Ds don't even care about choice, "not necessary to win". Go Bernie.

peace

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On a blog.

are not necessary to win, then that only leaves traditional neoliberal policies as the distinction between a Democrat and a Republican to earn votes, amirite?
I do find it personally very hard to turn my back on Bernie, a man I have truly admired for many years.
Still, I am very tired of overlooking his repeated failings since he lost (?) the primary. How many betrayals of progressives does Bernie get before I put him in the category of "another empty suit out to do harm to me?"
This might be the one that forever turns me off to Bernie.

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Meteor Man's picture

@on the cusp I guess he's playing some inside baseball game or making inroads to "change the DNC system". Or something.
I don't know who this Guttenplan guy is at The Nation, but I'm hoping he's catching flack from some of the staff.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katrina_vanden_Heuvel

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Cali Kush: a bowl a day keeps the doctor away.

dkmich's picture

the whole enchilada in 2016. Now, I'm not so sure he could win in 2020 Since he quit, he destroys his credibility more and more every day.

I do think we need to get out of identity politics, but I'm no so sure identity politics includes choice. I totally agree that birth control and abortion both need another look. Technology is much different today. Perhaps a greater reliance on the morning after pill where feasible and greater access to free birth control for both sexes is a better approach. None of this, however, is to preclude a woman or man's right to choose.

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*donate *follow us on Twitter *like us on Facebook *dump Google

TheOtherMaven's picture

@dkmich
Don't be fooled, what they want is the return of women to the status of chattel - no rights, no freedoms, existing on the sufferance of MEN, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

And not only women, but everyone who isn't White Straight Christian Male Adult.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

SnappleBC's picture

@dkmich

When I use the term "identity politics" I'm referring to a specific strategy to divide the 99% against each other. That doesn't mean there aren't real issues underlying those politics and that those issues are something to be cast aside casually. The closest I'd come to that would be saying to a Republican ally, "How about we get control of our government back again then we'll resume our bickering over bathrooms and bedrooms?"

In the end, things like whether women should have control over their own bodies (actually, all humans not just women) and whether racially biased policing is a good thing are not really negotiable to me.

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Wink's picture

down for this guy? What's he running for next? City council? How any yahoo can be against reproductive rights and run as a Dem is why we are where we're at. And that our "Leadership" is endorsing this this crap again shows why we are where we're at.

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the little things you can do often are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. All about building progressive media. (-1.9) On Twitter @winkradio.

And that Mello - who was backed by the entire Democratic Party establishment - lost?

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@FutureNow To be fair, the DNC (and the GOS) retracted their endorsements after discovering Mello's anti-choice record.

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Meteor Man's picture

@FutureNow Not accustomed to sites that don't do quarterly updates of their front page and I don't follow off year mayoral elections.

Glad the loser lost. It was still after the Trump debacle and reaffirms the inability of Bernie and the DNC to come to grips with reality. This guy was a whack job by Republican standards. We

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Cali Kush: a bowl a day keeps the doctor away.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Meteor Man

…position by nominating Hillary for the presidency. She's been sneaking abortion into the "stigmatized" column like a dog nudging her food bowl across the room with her nose. She was just dying to compromise on the issue and move it toward the center.

As if another woman's reproductive organs were any of her business.

No one on the Left gave a shit that she wanted abortion to be a "rare" procedure. It was nothing but a friendly dog whistle to the Republicans and assorted religious whackjobs.

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@Pluto's Republic endorsed Hillary very early. Like before Iowa iirc.

It pissed off a lot of long time NARAL supporters like myself. Good organizations often have neoliberals at the top. Go figure. There is enough need that I can find those that don't for my $.

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