Imagine that title in scary-movie-narrator-voice. Via Pascal’s Bookie, a simply magnificent piece of propaganda from Personhood USA.
This two-minute ad is superbly done. It frames Colorado’s 1967 abortion law as the beginning of the end, and Amendment 62 in Colorado, which aims to declare that personhood begins at the moment of fertilisation, as the beginning of the battle to save America. Amendment 62 is up for the vote at the mid-term elections in November.
What we have here is clearly not the work of amateurs, nor of itinerant cranks in trailer parks, as many (including myself) have mocked the Tea Party movement. It draws together all the conventional Tea Party wisdom about what’s wrong with America into powerfully truthy narrative: start with a misappropriated Jefferson quote; follow up with Semitic “men in black robes” who hate truth, justice and the freedom and “legislate from the bench”; portray the fringe radical rump of conservative white folk as a valiant oppressed minority group; intolerant millennial-cult hypervigilance as the American Way; Obamacare as morality and human life being bought and sold as a commodity (oh, the irony!); and most crucially, Obama himself as the Grim Reaper, the lynchpin of it all, with the caption “Then the Angel of Death arrived, and Hell followed with him”. The whole thing is capped with fireworks and the Statue of Liberty, a Daisy-esque girl fading to black and a fist-pumping don’t-tread-on-me baby. And the soundtrack really just speaks for itself.
The whole thing is absolutely barking. In the cold light of day it’s nothing more than a Dan Brown plot. It’s fevered stuff, wound up to eleven to inflame passion and suppress reason. But that’s the whole point: this ad is basically the movie trailer for the upcoming battle for America’s soul, coming soon to a screen near you. Just sit back, let it wash over you, and marvel at what that country has become.
In the United States on SundayÂ George Tiller,Â a doctor, was shot and killed as he attended church. Tiller, who ran one of only three remaining clinics providing late term abortions in the US, had been shot in 1993, his name has been on anti-abortion assassination lists and his clinic was bombed in 1985.
In New Zealand we have never had an abortion doctor killed, but we have had doctors, nurses and clinic staff threatened, attacked and harassed. I pray that no further anti-abortion violence comes to New Zealand, and at the same time I pray that we will progress the issue to give women the right to control their own bodies and that we will find a social consensus for a woman’s right to choose.
But right now the cost seems very high, and all I can do is pray for the safety of everyone ensuring women continue to have access to the limited choices they are given. George Tiller was a great man whose personal actions gave more to women than I could ever hope to.
I try to not end too many posts with lyrics, but today I can’t help posting a section of Ani DiFranco’s Hello Birmingham. With an echo of Pablo’s recentposts, she is talking, at least in part, of the powerlessness of electors to make the changes that matter.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
now i’ve drawn closed the curtainÂ
in this little booth where the truth has no placeÂ
and i am feeling oh so powerlessÂ
in this stupid booth with this uselessÂ
little lever in my handÂ
and outside, my city is bracingÂ
for the next killing thingÂ
standing by the bridge and prayingÂ
for the next doctorÂ
kingÂ Â Â
it was just one shotÂ
through the kitchen windowÂ
it was just one or two miles from hereÂ
if you fly like a crowÂ
a bullet came to visit a doctorÂ
in his one safe placeÂ
a bullet insuring the right to lifeÂ
whizzed past his kid and his wifeÂ
and knocked his glassesÂ
right off of his faceÂ
and the blood poured off the pulpitÂ
the blood poured down the picket lineÂ
yeah, the hatred was immediateÂ
and the vengance was devineÂ
so they went and stuffed godÂ
down the barrel of a gunÂ
and after himÂ
they stuffed his only son
In 2007 14 members of the current National cabinet voted to support an amendment by Gordon Copeland which would have put an anti-abortion doctor onto the Abortion Supervisory Committee in an attempt to restrict access to abortion. Since early this decade National has been building its relationships with conservative and evangelical churches, trading policies and promises for votes even bring a minister from a conservative evangelical church into caucus.
At the same time the anti-anti-smacking lobby is regrouping around an anti-abortion campaign â€“ a lobby National owes a significant debt of gratitude. (Try about half way down this, search for “Andy Moore” if it’s quicker than scrolling)
Restricting our right to abortion is on the agenda for National’s first term.
 14 of the 19 who were able to vote at the time.