What I’m Reading, October 7, 2014

My day at the gun nuts’ confab: Blunt talk, high drama and mass paranoia, Alexander Zaitchik, Salon, October 7, 2014

Earlier that morning, a speaker had flattered the [Gun Rights Policy Conference] crowd by calling them “the most sophisticated gun-rights gathering in the country.” This is probably true. It’s also telling. All of the room’s combined political experience, intelligence and savvy still does not add up to the ability to grasp how America’s largely unregulated gun trade has become a public health crisis, or why background checks and other common-sense measures poll so well. The gun-rights movement continues to see background checks through the same paranoid prism it sees everything else: the threat of door-to-door gun confiscation.

Why I will no longer speak on all-male panels, Scott Gilmore, MacLean’s, October 4, 2014

There is no topic that cannot be discussed by women. There is no circumstance that would prevent one from inviting women. There is simply no rational excuse for excluding women. And, if you are invited to join a panel with no women, you must conclude it is being organized by fools.

A Look Inside the Fake Abortion Clinics That Are Greatly Outnumbering Real Ones, Alyssa Figueroa, AlterNet, October 3, 2014

CPCs [crisis pregnancy centers] are frequently religiously affiliated, often offer medically inaccurate services, and are focused on preventing women from accessing abortion services—all with the help of American tax dollars. CPCs are on the rise nationwide, but especially in Texas. Meanwhile, dozens of abortion clinics have been forced to close in the state. A Thursday ruling shut down 13 clinics overnight, leaving Texas with only eight.

Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, said this is indicative of the state of Texas’ disregard for women’s ability to control their own bodies.

“Texas has cut family planning funding and now cut down all but eight abortion clinics,” Busby said. “Clearly the state of Texas is not interested in women having reproductive health options. If it’s putting money into centers that push a religious agenda and feel that abstinence and adoption are the only options that people should have available to them, it really cuts off a lot of the decisions people may want to make. And it sends the message that your choices don’t matter, your life doesn’t matter.”


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