Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Truly a Sad Day in the Michigan Legislature"

How many times have we heard that uttered in the past year? Bowing to the pressure of special interests and their extremist agenda, House Democrats caved in and allowed a vote on the partial birth abortion legislation yesterday - handing the Republicans a campaign issue on a silver platter, dividing the Democratic caucus, and proving once again that they will allow themselves to be bullied into following the wishes of the radical right. Instead of working on jobs and the economy, you know, the things that people REALLY care about, they wasted all this time on legislation that faces veto. Again. The measure passed 74-32.

"We don't support this legislation and have vetoed similar legislation in the past," said Liz Boyd, Granholm's press secretary. "We continue to be concerned about the health of the mother."

The bill would only allow the practice if the childbirth threatens the mother's life.

Republicans act like this is the be-all, end-all issue facing our state, throwing terms like "brutal murder" around, distorting the facts on how often this procedure is used - here's DeRoche last week -

"Everyday that this partial birth abortion ban doesn't move is another threat to Michigan's future generations."

And here is the truth, Rep. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor -

"This is truly a sad day in the Michigan Legislature," she said. "We're interfering with a private decision between a woman and her doctor. And we're letting special interests dictate our legislative agenda."

She cited state records that indicated there were no partial-birth abortions performed in the state in 2006, 2007 and the first few months of this year.

For a list of the Democrats who voted for this exercise in "political manipulation" - check here. And this supposed "trade-off" on emergency contraception wasn't really a trade at all; look at the numbers on that vote-

In a possible tradeoff Tuesday, the House also voted on a measure that would give women who are sexually assaulted information about and access to emergency contraception. One of the measures passed by a 57-51 vote and now goes to the Senate.

Did Democrats really think the Republicans would suddenly find sanity and put up some votes on this issue? Never. Why? They don't bargain. You would think that Dillon would have learned that lesson last year. The excuses were already being spewed last week as the Republicans prove that they will continue to push this until choice is outlawed altogether - DeRoche again -

"I think they (pro-choice Democrats) want to move four or five pro-choice bills in exchange — but not call them pro-choice bills," DeRoche said. "We're supposed to call them contraceptive bills, but they're pro-choice bills. They're sort of saying that if the Catholic Church would just change its policy on birth control by Tuesday they'll move our bill."

Congratulations Speaker Dillon. We have to conclude that you were in Rivet's pocket all along, and that you will do his bidding whenever he threatens you. You will bow to extremists on the right. That's not what we want in a leader. The voters in your district will decide your return to the House, but perhaps the job of Speaker would be better suited for someone who can stand strong against the Republicans and point out the facts when they try to use wedge issues such as this in the future - because now that they know you will back down in the face of their threats, they will be sure to use them again and again.