A sign of hope…in Kansas

Look at all the happy Kansans.

You know, conservative, flaming red, pro-Trump Kansas, which I’ve long felt was a lost cause? They just voted to protect abortion rights.

In a major victory for abortion rights, Kansas voters on Tuesday rejected an effort to strip away their state’s abortion protections, sending a decisive message about the issue’s popularity in the first political test since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.

And look at this!

With 90 percent of the vote counted, 60 percent of voters wanted to maintain those abortion protections compared with 40 percent who wanted to remove them from the state constitution. Turnout for Tuesday’s primary election far exceeded other contests in recent years, with around 900,000 Kansans voting, according to an Associated Press estimate. That is nearly twice as many as the 473,438 who turned out in the 2018 primary election.

November is going to be interesting. Republicans may have finally gone too far.

I guess I was too hasty in writing Kansas off.

Less than a day away from Minnesota, and I already miss it

I’m heading to Missouri, which is kind of the opposite of Minnesota. This is what’s happening in my home state:

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison Thursday announced that his office will not appeal the recent district court ruling that struck down most of Minnesota’s abortion restrictions.

On July 11, a Ramsey County judge ruled that Minnesota’s mandatory 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, and the two-parent notification requirement for girls under the age of 18 before an abortion, violated the state constitution.

Judge Thomas Gilligan — a Mark Dayton appointee — also lifted a state law that said only physicians can perform abortions.

We do rather stand out in the region.

Of its immediate neighbors, the state of Minnesota has by far the most liberal abortion laws. As a result, the state is set to become an abortion destination following the Supreme Court’s ruling.


Go away, Chad.

Remember how Biden was going to appoint an anti-choice fanatic to a federal judgeship in a deal with McConnell, and we were so disappointed in his surrender to the Republicans? Good news!

The White House dropped plans Friday to nominate an anti-abortion lawyer backed by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell for a federal judgeship in Kentucky.

I guess all those Democratic voters saying this was a really stupid deal, and that you can’t trust McConnell had an effect, right? Or maybe someone told him that the optics on this one were really bad.

Nope, neither.

The decision to back off the nomination of Chad Meredith came amid a split between McConnell and Republican Sen. Rand Paul, his fellow Kentuckian, over the selection.

Republicans are the only ones with any choice or agency in our government. I’m impressed at how Democrats can look bad even in victory.

Heart of the storm

Oh boy, Minneapolis-St Paul is bracing itself for a sudden surge.

Steps from an interstate and minutes from an airport sits a nondescript building with a tenant never more in demand.
Whole Woman’s Health is one of the nation’s largest independent abortion providers, and the location of its Minnesota clinic is no accident.
“Some patients may fly, some may prefer to drive. So being near the highways that we are and the airport in Bloomington gives patients the most options available,” said Sharon Lau, Midwest advocacy director for Whole Woman’s Health Alliance.
Lau says the clinic is bracing for an influx of patients from states with more restrictive abortion laws than Minnesota after the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade and enabled states to determine abortion access.
Planned Parenthood of Minnesota tells CNN that on Monday, the first business day after the Supreme Court decision, it received its highest call volume ever — an increase of 50% — with many of the calls coming from out-of-state.

This is hitting at a difficult time, when medical services are already strapped nationwide by a pandemic people have been trying to pretend doesn’t exist.

“I don’t know if we’re going to be able to handle the increase,” Stoesz said. “There is already a healthcare worker shortage and we’ve been struggling with that since the beginning of the pandemic. That hasn’t gone away.”
Stoesz expects an increase in the use of the abortion pill as an initial solution, “because appointments are going to be difficult to get,” she said.

Whenever I feel stressed about my occupation of teaching and the risks therein, I just have to remind myself that it could be worse — I could be working in healthcare. Yikes.

Next, rage

Next week, our monthly Podish Sortacast will tackle a hot-button issue: abortion. We’ve got a doctor, a biologist, and a whole swarm of people here who will happily defend the medical procedure and castigate the people who oppose it. Should be fun. I’ll be sure to take my blood pressure medicine beforehand.

Oh no, I was biologist-splained!

Getting into an argument on Reddit might be worse than arguing on Twitter. Some day I’ll learn.

Anyway, here was someone trying to claim that sperm aren’t alive, and that human life begins at conception.

When I agreed with the second quote and also pointed out that that 95% number is a made-up statistic, I got this insightful comment.

Well human life certainly does begin at conception…

You’re not a biologist, btw.

No one argues that a human zygote is something other than a human zygote. Unfortunately, I engaged with the clown claiming I’m not a biologist, and pointed out that those are also human sperm and human oocytes.

They were having none of that.

The question I always ask people who raise the claim that human life begins at conception…are human zygotes not the product of the fusion of human gametes? I

Yes… That’s what we call fertilization. Before conception the egg isn’t fertilized and only contains half of a human’s dna and only 23 chromosomes…

Human reproductive cells aren’t whole human organisms/human beings like a zygote is.

In biology, the zygote is called the cell of life because it usually is the first cell of a new organism. (since it’s basically a fertilized ovum.)

gametes are just the haploid stage of the human life cycle.

Yes… they are reproductive cells. Ofc, they’re haploid… Lol.

Are you sure you’re a biologist ’cause you sure don’t sound like one. Lmao.

I think I just got biologist-splained.

I also think they tripped over themselves. The whole argument rests on how we define what whole human organisms/human beings are. I agree that a sperm cell isn’t a human being. Neither is a zygote, or a blastula, or a gastrula, and neither is a fetus with an undeveloped nervous system and non-functional lungs and an inability to survive without its placenta. “Human” is a modifier used to designate the ancestry of a cell, and is not synonymous with “human being.”

But what do I know? I’m not a biologist!

The Minnesota condition

Here’s what it’s like to live here when reproductive rights are being stripped everywhere around us: the governor sent out a bulk email.

Without Roe v. Wade as a safeguard, Minnesota could soon become the only state in the upper Midwest with safe and legal access to abortion.

We are a safe haven for reproductive freedom, and as long as I’m governor, it will stay that way. That’s why today, I signed an Executive Order to further protect people who get or provide legal abortions in Minnesota from possible legal repercussions in other states.

Lt. Governor Flanagan and I have been clear: We will not allow Donald Trump’s 6-3 conservative Supreme Court majority to set back our rights here in Minnesota.

Our Republican anti-choice extremist opponents, on the other hand, have pledged to ban abortion outright, with no exceptions even for rape or incest, the first chance they get.

That’s pretty good, and it’s true that the Republicans in this state are yowling about needing to prove they’re good ‘Muricans by imposing even more cruel and burdensome restrictions. It was marred, however, by the usual ‘give me money’ close. Sorry, you can ask for my vote, but not for donations. There are people who need them more. Like the Red River Women’s Clinic.

The only abortion clinic in North Dakota is now preparing to move across state lines following the recent Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade.

Red River Women’s Clinic, located in Fargo, has been the only provider in the state for 20 years.
They now await closure, which will leave many women in the state without care.
Clinic Director Tammi Kromenaker told CNN Saturday they are still open, for now. “The plan is to provide service as long as we legally can,” Kromenaker said.

Fargo, if you don’t know your midwestern geography, is on the far eastern side of the state, right on the border with Minnesota, and Moorhead is a short hop across the river, so this is a relatively easy move. It’s still inconvenient and expensive. I’d rather donate to the clinic than to Democrats.

Unfortunately, as easy as it is to move, these assholes can also easily drive for 15 minutes to torment women. Sickos.

The people in the blue vests are heroes, clinic escorts. The people with the obnoxious signs are scum. I notice that the scum are allowed to cluster right around the entrance for maximum viciousness. Maybe the Minnesota Democrats could get their act together to pass a law setting much larger restrictions on how close harassers can get to a women’s health clinic? Maybe then they could ask me for a few bucks.