The problem is that FFL doesn’t just oppose abortion. FFL wants abortion to be illegal. All abortions, period, including those for rape, incest, health, major fetal defects and, although Foster resisted admitting this, even some abortions most doctors would say were necessary to save the woman’s life. (Although FFL is not a Catholic organization, its rejection of therapeutic abortion follows Catholic doctrine.) FFL wants doctors who perform abortions to be punished, possibly with prison terms.
It was extremely difficult to get Foster to say what she thought would happen if abortion was banned. At one point she would not concede that women would continue to have abortions if it was recriminalized; at another she argued that criminalization was no big deal: Instructions on self-abortion were posted on the Internet. I had to work to get her to admit that illegal abortion was common before Roe, and that it was dangerous–numbers on abortion deaths were concocted by pre-Roe legalization advocates, she told me. Yet the FFL website prominently features gory stories of abortion mishaps and discredited claims that abortion causes breast cancer. (Challenged on the cancer connection, Foster says they just want women to have medical information. Asked why they don’t then link to the 2004 Lancet article debunking their cancer claims, she says they are not medical experts and have considered taking the cancer pages down.) So legal abortion is dangerous but illegal abortion would be safe? When I pointed out that in countries where the operation is banned, such as Brazil and Peru, rates are sky-high and abortion a major cause of injury and death, she professed ignorance.
I got similarly evasive answers when I asked why FFL didn’t promote birth control, and when I asked if FFL considered the pill an “abortifacient.” She did tell me that “birth control doesn’t work” for swing-shift nurses because they lose track of their body clock–interesting, if true–or for teenagers, which I know to be false.
Palin visits D.C., lobbies for Alaska issues Feb 25, 2008
“I told Congress `Thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere,’ ” Palin reported to the crowd in Dayton, Ohio. “If our state wanted a bridge, I said, we’d build it ourselves.”
But the state kept the bridge money. That’s because Alaskans pay federal gas taxes and they expect a good share to come back, just like people do in every other state. We build very little by ourselves, and any governor who would turn that tax money down likely would be turned out of office.
We’re not in Kansas anymore. We’re in Alaska.
The rise of Gov. Sarah Palin from the City of Wasilla Planning Commission, to City Council, to Mayor, to a high level position in the Frank Murkowski gubernatorial administration, to maverick outsider, to Governor, to Vice Presidential nominee, over the course of fourteen years, is meteoric. The first 20 months of her administration saw her approval ratings in the high 80s. But this summer, in a surprise move, she fired a highly respected chief of public safety. Then, the man Palin appointed to be the new top cop, lasted only a few days, as a sexual harassment charge against him surfaced. And her stated reasons for firing Walt Monegan in the first place, never made any sense.
The fallout from that move is still playing out. In July, the Alaska Legislature hired a well-respected retired prosecutor, Steve Branchflower, to handle the investigation. It was given a low budget, but its slow pace may now be hurried and harried forward. But it is still expected to take months.
Palin’s Attorney General, my longtime friend, Talis Colberg, was tasked by Palin to hold his own investigation. So far, that has resulted in the suspension of her boards and commissions director, Frank Bailey, for pressuring at least one state trooper, to act against another trooper, who is Palin’s sister’s ex-husband. The latter is involved in a child custody dispute with Palin’s sister. This is real Hatfield-McCoy stuff.
Having known Palin through most of her political career, I’ve seen her grow as a politician, and until recently viewed her as a person who could be described as a pragmatist. Over the course of 2008, though, she has made a series of moves that indicate she is as close-minded as most Alaska Republicans.
Resource development issues, particularly ANWR oil, offshore drilling and a series of projected mega-mines and coal-fired power plants are major here. Palin’s stance on resource development is totally pro-development. At the same time, she has rejected the earmark paradigm exemplified by the careers of Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young.
Her growing anti-science stance is the most disturbing development, in my eyes. Early this year, she took a position to refuse to release correspondence to a leading Alaska academic and environmentalist, Rick Steiner, between state-employed scientists, regarding the state’s support of the Bush administration’s decisions on Polar bear status. And as Siun has observed in an earlier firedoglake post, her backing of an anti-science position on a voter initiative, while sitting as governor, may be more than just unethical.
Her decision to fly from Texas back to Alaska after her water had broken this spring has been criticized, but nobody’s put it better than Anchorage progressive talk radio personality Shannyn Moore put it today: (quote in previous comment)
A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.
And your stand on abortion?
I’m pro-life. I’ll do all I can to see every baby is created with a future and potential. The legislature should do all it can to protect human life.
For most of her tenure as governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has enjoyed widespread popularity and a reputation as a maverick who refused to stand by fellow Alaska Republicans facing their own ethics scandals.
But the 44-year-old Palin, who was selected as Sen. John McCain’s running mate today, is now the focus of her own state ethics investigation as part of the so-called “Troopergate” scandal, a bizarre controversy involving the firing of a state police chief and his reluctance to fire an Alaska state trooper, Palin’s former brother-in-law who has been involved in a bitter custody fight with her younger sister.
Just two weeks ago, Palin revealed an audio recording of an aide pressuring the state’s Public Safety Department to fire trooper Mike Wooten, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Palin also acknowledged that her staff had contacted Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan about two dozen times about Wooten. Monegan himself was fired July 11 (the dismissal was “out of the blue,” he told reporters) and he later said that he was pressured by Palin’s staff and family to get rid of Wooten, a trooper based in Palmer, Alaska.
In July, Palin came under a state ethics investigation and critics have said Palin’s claim that she did not know of the political pressure being placed on Monegan was a “little too convenient.” One fellow lawmaker, state Sen. Hollis French, a Democrat, told The Wall Street Journal that Palin could face impeachment. After French’s comments, Palin ordered the investigation into Monegan’s firing and told CNBC last month that lawmakers were unfairly targeting her.
And here’s the CNBC interview including talking about the (at the time, not active) investigation over the firing of Walter Moneghan as well as the infamous “someone needs to tell me what the VP does” quote: