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.
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.
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: