Your morning jolt: Women, farm animals, a state lawmaker – and a video

Earlier this year, the state Legislature passed – and the governor signed – HB 954, which reduced the period during which a woman could seek an abortion to 20 weeks.

It was one of the most restrictive anti-abortion measures passed in years, and – while it was later softened somewhat – originally made no exception for women who were carrying stillborns and other fetuses that could not survive outside the womb.

Last March, during debate over this provision, House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn, cited his farming expertise. “Life gives us many experiences. I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive — delivering pigs, dead and alive. And I want to tell you… it breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it,” he said.

This was nature’s way, was the lawmaker’s apparent point. England voted for the bill.

Many people objected to England’s turn of phrase, especially on the Internet. And if you put the terms “farm animals” and “women” through the Google machine, England’s name pops up – ahead of many topics unfit for public discussion.

Bryan Long, whose group Better Georgia first highlighted England’s remarks, said the video posted on the abortion debate has been viewed 1.2 million times.

The result, for England, has been worldwide harassment and ridicule.

That is unfortunate, but unlikely to change. Hollywood’s finest – led by Kevin Bacon — are now weighing in on England’s comments, with a public service announcement devoted to women’s reproductive rights. England has gone where few Georgians have gone before. He’s made Meryl Streep angry:

The word from England, via email:

“Kevin Bacon is a great actor, despite his role in ‘Hollow Man,’ which just doesn’t compare to his performance in ‘A Few Good Men’ (in my humble opinion of course).

“It is unfortunate he has been misled by some on the far left trying to push an agenda of their own. Had he watched the full three + hour debate on the fetal pain bill, he would see my comments a bit differently. As a movie star and a director, I am sure he knows a thing or two about editing and manipulating video to present it in a certain context.

“It’s simply false to insinuate that I said anything like that.”

***
On a similar topic, remember last week’s video of U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, declaring – in front of a spooky wall of deer heads – that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are all “lies straight from the pit of hell”? It made Jon Stewart’s playlist on Thursday night.

How do Broun and other members of Congress get away with such comments? “Easy,” Stewart said. “They do it by being less crazy than guys on the state level.”

Now, honestly – most people in the state Capitol would tell you that this just isn’t so. Congress is awarded the politicians who are most able to survive a July primary. Which is not exactly a sanity test.

In fact, Georgia’s primary process can be — forgive us, Mr. Broun — more than slightly Darwinian. The birds with the brightest plumage are the ones most likely to thrive.

***
The Gallup organization this morning tells us that bipartisanship remains a foreign concept in the United States:

Thus far in October, an average of 90% of Democrats, and 8% of Republicans, approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president. That 82-percentage-point gap in approval ratings by party is on pace to be the largest Gallup has measured for a recent incumbent president in the final month before Americans vote on his re-election.

George W. Bush had an 80-point party gap in approval, while the October gaps for other presidents were less than 70 points.

***
Perhaps you remember that Lee Anderson, the GOP challenger to U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, recently declared that a debate with his opponent on statewide TV wasn’t worth a trip to the Big City.

But campaign contributions are always worth the risks of an urban dystopia, according to Walter Jones of Morris News Service:

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — House Republican Leader Eric Cantor campaigned Thursday with 12th District challenger Lee Anderson at a private fundraiser in an Atlanta suburb, saying incumbent John Barrow is out of touch with the district.

Meanwhile, Barrow blamed Cantor for holding up passage of legislation critical to the district’s farmers….

“This is an extremely important race for the House of Representatives and the Republicans there, and we’ve got a candidate who is in touch with the people of that district and reflects the common-sense, conservative vein that runs throughout this state,” Cantor said of Anderson. “Lee is a farmer. He’s someone who’s been in that community throughout his career, and he represents a stark contrast, really, to Mr. Barrow.”

***
If you are a supporter of the charter school measure on the November ballot, this is exactly, precisely, the news story you didn’t want to see in the four weeks before the vote. At least, not in Georgia:

Oct 12 (Reuters) – It’s been a turbulent period for charter schools in the United States, with financial analysts raising concerns about their stability and regulators in several states shutting down schools for poor performance.

…But an unlikely source of new capital has emerged to fill the gap: foreign investors.

Wealthy individuals from as far away as China, Nigeria, Russia and Australia are spending tens of millions of dollars to build classrooms, libraries, basketball courts and science labs for American charter schools….

The reason? Under a federal program known as EB-5, wealthy foreigners can in effect buy U.S. immigration visas for themselves and their families by investing at least $500,000 in certain development projects. In the past two decades, much of the investment has gone into commercial real-estate projects, like luxury hotels, ski resorts and even gas stations.

Lately, however, enterprising brokers have seen a golden opportunity to match cash-starved charter schools with cash-flush foreigners in investment deals that benefit both.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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89 comments Add your comment

Concerned Citizen

October 12th, 2012
9:42 am

This is a real shame that Hollywood has taken Rep England’s words totally our of context. I doubt very seriously that they watched his entire statement. If they did they would realize how untrue their comments. They say everyone is within 5 degrees of Kevin Bacon, I for one want to remove him and his wife along with Meryl Streep as far away as possible. Doubt I will see another movie or TV show they are in. Too bad, they did not take the time to get the real facts.

Spell Checker

October 12th, 2012
10:11 am

“dear heads”?

Kim

October 12th, 2012
10:11 am

Check out the video about Rep. Terry England.

jgalloway

October 12th, 2012
10:15 am

Spell Checker:

Whoops. It’s fixed. Thanks for the catch.

GaBlue

October 12th, 2012
10:22 am

Concerned Citizen,

How nice that you are concerned about “real facts.” Are you concerned that many of the tests that determine fetal abnormalities and conditions that endanger a woman’s life and future fertility are not done until the 19th week of gestation (if you can get an appointment by then), and that the number of doctors in Georgia is declining? And that the number of doctors that treat high-risk pregnancy situations are few, and that there are many counties in this state who don’t even have a single practicing physician in this specialty, and that even if a woman is healthy, it often takes weeks or months to get an appointment with a qualified obstetrician? Or that, if a woman does not have solid, employer-sponsored health insurance, or if she lives in rural areas where few or no such doctors are available to her, then getting quality prenatal care is “iffy” at best? Maybe you live in Metro Atlanta where you cannot swing a dead cat without hitting a doctor, but this is not the case throughout Georgia. The limits placed by this bill only add to the existing limits that make reproducing a perilous endeavor for many women in this state. But hey, if you listen to Rep. England, it’s just “nature’s way” if a woman and her family are traumatized by the worst possible news while trying to bring a child into this world. Make no mistake: THOSE are the people punished by this bill: women who are trying to become mothers. How nice that they can count on d-bag legislators to compare them to farm animals. Disgusting.

Vision and Values

October 12th, 2012
10:29 am

This is way over the top! Rep. England is a very honorable and respectable man. He loves people and believes in the sanctity of all human life. The left is always seeking to destroy anyone who would dare disagree with them. They are very intolerant!

PYork

October 12th, 2012
10:32 am

It is so easy to take words out of context and make them whatever you want. He was simply stating that being raised on a farm makes you appreciate the miracles of life and death every day. And how precious it is. Just the simple fact that the Hollywood lynch mob is involved should tell you something… As Ronald Reagan said,,,, Funny how all the people who are Pro-Choice have already been born……

AngryVoter

October 12th, 2012
10:32 am

Yes, GaBlue, parsing words and lobbing “facts” will win the argument. People who truly believe abortion is murder will suddenly come to your side and agree with you. You sure know how to win and influence…

Seriously, why can’t we find some common ground? Oh, yeah, because professional politicians and their professional parasites make money by keepign the two sides sniping. Abortion is bad. Very bad. But it may be necessary. Why can’t the two sides work together on educating young men and women on how to make abortion as rare as possible? Why can’t healthy women who become pregnant be given the opportunity to hear about objections to abortion and alternative, such as adoption without wigging out abortion supporters? Why can’t women be entrusted to make an informed decision, after hearing about all options, in the hopes that most women will realize that abortion is potentially murdering human life and make the decision wisely?

It seems that there is middle ground, there just aren’t leaders willing to work together to find it. Shame on all involved.

Concerned Citizen

October 12th, 2012
10:33 am

GA Blue
Do you consider Down Syndrome an abnormality? Currently 80 % of them do not make it to term. What a shame.

Aquagirl

October 12th, 2012
10:34 am

The left is always seeking to destroy anyone who would dare disagree with them.

And over a silly thing like being treated as farm animals. Darned intolerant leftists.

Lynn43

October 12th, 2012
10:34 am

My thanks to Hollywood or anyone who will step forward and shed light on the unforgivable rantings and beliefs of these “conservative, holier than thou” republican men. Have you ever noticed the typical republican wife-bleached blonde, blue eyes, and skinny. I think there was a movie made about them and the husbands a few years ago.

Jon Lester

October 12th, 2012
10:36 am

How many jobs has Rep. England helped create?

shoshanna

October 12th, 2012
10:38 am

Hollywood as a moral watchdog? Evil calling Good . . . evil = EVIL!

Hollywood vs.England?

Nuf said!

East Cobb RINO, Inc. (LLC)

October 12th, 2012
10:38 am

So in the 80’s & 90’s I lived in Clearwater, Florida and dated a girl (at the time of filming) who was an extra on the movie Coupe de Ville (filmed in St. Petersburg, Fla) and starred Daniel Stern. Daniel Stern was also in the movie Diner which also starred Kevin Bacon. I win.

GaBlue

October 12th, 2012
10:45 am

AngryVoter,

I agree. It’s a shame our lawmakers can’t focus on reducing the number of abortions through education and prevention, and increasing access to quality medical care that is necessary for people to (a) take responsibility for their own reproductive health and family planning, and (b) bear and raise children as best they can.

It would be dishonest to assert that there aren’t women who choose abortion who would honestly rather not, but they do so because they are pressured by their men to do so, or because they see no workable solutions to their predicament. If we would take better care of women and children, we’d see fewer abortions as well. Sadly, we hear little from our legislators about doing this very practical, child-loving thing.

East Cobb RINO, Inc. (LLC)

October 12th, 2012
10:51 am

Now back on topic. Over this past campaign season we have heard about vaginal ultrasound, “legitimate rape”, “some girls rape easy”, and now farm animals in the context of women rights and birth control. What do all these have in common? Uttered by members of the GOP. And they wonder why their poll numbers among women are down.

Look before I leap...

October 12th, 2012
11:00 am

So what exactly is the justification for legally requiring a woman to carry to term a non-viable fetus?

The Mirror

October 12th, 2012
11:01 am

Anything a democrat says is repeated forever and proof that they are stupid. “57 states indeed.”

Anything a republican says is taken out of context, wasn’t what they really meant or

Republicans are just stupid. I mean seriously. Not just ‘name calling stupid’ I mean actually, “You really think we’re going to fall for that?” stupid.

WE KNOW YOU REALLY BELIEVE THIS.

Even if YOU apparently on some double think cognizant level, do not.

One ‘out of context’ quote is understandable. Hundreds is not.

And no, this won’t change your minds, but it should be firm proof to democrats that MODERATION is pointless. Bipartisianship with this kind of stupidity is pointless. POINTLESS.

Play for keeps or don’t play at all. Politics might not be a game…but when one side of the argument is children, it might as well be.

WOW

October 12th, 2012
11:19 am

Angry Voter:

Your points are well taken, most people at least that I know all agree abortion is bad, they just disagree on whether or not to make it legal or not. The last statistics that I saw from the CDC showed that the number of abortions were down and have been going down over the past decade or so. The people are right on this one it is the extremist (politicians) that make accomplishing the true goal of reducing the total number more difficult.

the cat

October 12th, 2012
11:24 am

Abortions should be safe, legal and rare. If you are not the baby daddy of the fetus, you have no opinion.

jdl2

October 12th, 2012
11:25 am

England is a moron, as are you for supporting him.

Lynn43

October 12th, 2012
11:33 am

Does this guy have any opposition in November?

Dave

October 12th, 2012
11:35 am

Thanks to Rep Terry England for standing up for Life! I wish we had more legislators like him. Most are scared of the baseless attacks from those who do not value life, such as Rep England is now facing. They can’t debate the issues, so they twist the facts.

Lynn43

October 12th, 2012
11:35 am

Please continue to inform the public on the charter issue—especially how deceptive the ballot wording is. You are definitely not voting on better schools. Spread the word.

The Mirror

October 12th, 2012
11:36 am

Goo is not a human being unless your religion tells you it is.

Religion has no place in public debate on government policies.

And if you think it it does, then it is MY religion that gets to be in charge, not yours.

Chuck Jones

October 12th, 2012
11:37 am

Jim: Why did you lie in this column, in saying that HB 954 originally made no exceptions for women carrying stillborn babies?

GaBlue

October 12th, 2012
11:39 am

Chuck Jones,

Mr. Galloway did not lie.

Bilbo Baggins

October 12th, 2012
11:41 am

The right wing nuts always claim to be the party representing Christianity but are the most hateful, mean spirited, self-righteous, and judgmental bozos I have ever seen. They say they want smaller government but apparently want to add a police force to patrol people’s bodies and bedrooms.

Curious

October 12th, 2012
12:10 pm

I’m more concerned about Paul Broun.

He’s my representative and he’s a laughing stock among Republicans and Democrats.

honested

October 12th, 2012
12:16 pm

The Mirror,
I like to put it this way:

Control of another’s reproductive practices is essentially driven by religion.
Our Constitution guarantees freedom from religion.
My religion is to make sure that under no circumstances does your religion interfere with mine.
Ergo, opposition to reproductive choice is UnConstitutional.

Besides, england, broun, and anderson could only be considered ‘leaders’ in this potty little State.

Wondering

October 12th, 2012
12:16 pm

Funny how so many people ( read Republicans ) are so concerned about human life until it gets out of the womb.

honested

October 12th, 2012
12:18 pm

Curious,
Unless I am sadly mistaken, broun received the vaunted ‘Dimmest Bulb in Congress’ from the Progressive magazine again this year.

However, should anderson accidentally win in the 12th, there may be competition.

Chuck Jones

October 12th, 2012
12:20 pm

Perhaps Mr. Galloway simply did not read the comments yet. But to reiterate: The question is: Mr. Galloway, why did you lie when you said that the bill did not originally make exceptions for women carrying stillborn babies?

Q

October 12th, 2012
12:22 pm

@Curious.

His Republican status actually starts the laughing before he even speaks. Then, like Mark Wohlers, he just closes it out.

roughrider

October 12th, 2012
12:27 pm

If men could get pregnant, abortion would have always been legal and with no restrictions.

East Cobb RINO, Inc. (LLC)

October 12th, 2012
12:29 pm

And here is another republican joining in the abortion party………………………

By ERIK SCHELZIG

The Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. —

An endorsement from a Tennessee congressman who in a recorded phone conversation urged a mistress to get an abortion has vanished from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s website.

Freshman Rep. Scott DesJarlais, who opposes abortion rights, told a Nashville talk radio show Thursday that while there were many difficult elements to his 2001 divorce, “there was no pregnancy, and no abortion.”

But DesJarlais did not dispute the transcript of a recorded phone conversation in which he urges the woman to terminate a pregnancy.

While the Tennessee Republican Party appears to be standing behind DesJarlais, other GOP leaders in the state like Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Lamar Alexander have declined to get involved.

The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Copyright The Associated Press

Auntie Christ

October 12th, 2012
12:30 pm

AngryVoter
October 12th, 2012
10:32 am

Shorter version of angry voter’s comment: “Why can’t you all just agree with me so we can all just get along..”

Why can’t the two sides work together on educating young men and women on how to make abortion as rare as possible?
Oh, maybe it’s because the right wing will characterize young women seeking contraceptives as “sluts’ and “promiscuous.” Or maybe because the right wing thinks that you can teach “abstinence only” to teenagers in their sexual prime, with hormones raging off the charts, and because the ‘christians’ on the right think that even mentioning the word ‘condom’ will lead to after school orgies and debauchery by any teen hearing it.

Why can’t healthy women who become pregnant be given the opportunity to hear about objections to abortion and alternative, such as adoption without wigging out abortion supporters?

As if any female old enough to ovulate has never heard of adoption. Are you that naive or just think we are. The groups ‘educating’ young women about abortion alternatives are religious fanatics who subject these young women to religious indoctrination and proselytizing at a time when they are most psychologically vulnerable. If we just tell them that aborting a mass of unformed tissue is ‘murder’ they will surely see things my way and not have an abortion.

Why can’t women be entrusted to make an informed decision, after hearing about all options, in the hopes that most women will realize that abortion is potentially murdering human life and make the decision wisely?

Good question, why can’t the right wing stay out of it and let women make their own decision. But good luck with that, the righties want to be ‘free’ to conduct their shady business affairs without regs, to pollute air and water without impediments of regulation, they don’t want the burden of paying their taxes, but they do want to keep tabs on YOUR bedroom activities, your doctor visits, and any other activities they deem ‘unchristian-like.’

honested

October 12th, 2012
12:30 pm

Chuck Jones,

As GA Blue has already accurately responded to you, HE DIDN’T LIE.

Maybe it’s time for GRTL to mind their own business.

Carol

October 12th, 2012
12:33 pm

Thanks for the video. Got an email and forgot to check it out. Will be signing the petition. I don’t want the same people who tell me that aspirins and forced rape can prevent pregnancy dictating a choice people (both men and women) make regarding the life of a child.

Shar

October 12th, 2012
12:34 pm

@Vision, Rep. England apparently believes that his experience delivering dead piglets provides suitable expertise to judge women’s health and to force those judgements on the women of this state – pronouncements for which he will never have to face the consequences.

THAT, in my opinion, is way over the top.

Weetamoe

October 12th, 2012
12:35 pm

In 1982 then Sen Joe Biden voted for a constitutional amendment to overturn Roe v Wade. You can look it up–Hatch Amendment

just sayin'

October 12th, 2012
12:36 pm

WAA, WAA, WAAA…go hug some trees, libs! If you don’t like the laws here, move to another state. At least that’s what you tell conservatives when they don’t like something on TV or whatever is going on…

Big Hat

October 12th, 2012
12:38 pm

I’m confused…are women sluts or farm animals? What’s the difference? Aren’t they the same? Which one is it? Can someone point out the difference? Many TIA.

atlpaddy

October 12th, 2012
12:40 pm

If fetuses are held in the same legal regard as humans outside the womb, then why don’t local police departments conduct investigations and autopsies when a woman miscarries? Why don’t churches provide funeral services for remains?

Also, if we are to take anti-abortionist arguments to their logical extreme, would anti-abortion lawmakers and voting citizens favor prosecution of pregnant women who smoke and drink alcohol? We would prosecute parents if they provided those things to their 2-year old. Why not for a three-month fetus?

honested

October 12th, 2012
12:42 pm

just sayin’

You’ve got it backwards.
We intend to prevent conserrrrrrrrrrvatives from imposing their religion (whether it be at church or ayn rand) upon us.
Roe vs. Wade is the law, whether Rep. england or any other bible thumper likes it or not.

Ooh La Lah

October 12th, 2012
12:42 pm

They don’t call it Gooberstan for nothing.

Ash

October 12th, 2012
12:43 pm

Thank you Mr. Galloway for trying to shed light on Rep. England’s stand. Thanks to Rep. England for taking a stand for life.

There’s a lot of need for compassion for any progress to be made. At the center of the debate is not so much the right to reproduce as the right to not reproduce; the best way to avoid reproducing humans is to not participate in the act of reproduction (sex) unless you are ready to welcome a new life into the world.

honested

October 12th, 2012
12:44 pm

atlpaddy,

Careful, you’re messin’ with the income of those who own rental trailer parks.

Faith

October 12th, 2012
1:02 pm

Thank you Jim, for putting England’s words is some context. Those who developed the video must not have consciences that work. Wouldn’t their own conscience condemn them for such deception?

Suzer

October 12th, 2012
1:05 pm

Once again, the pro-aborts of Hollywood take a comment out of context and use it to confuse the real issues at hand. I applaud Rep. England for his willingness to stand for life!