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Democrats Give Selves A Political Wedgey

Emma Green at The Atlantic says that Trump may have found a wedge issue: [1]

Trump and other Republicans are using divisions over late-term abortion to their political advantage. They have seized on the Democratic legislation to argue that Democrats are extreme and out of touch with American public opinion on this issue. Trump’s comments on abortion in the State of the Union received loud applause from Republican members of Congress. Ultimately, this may signal how the party will approach abortion in the long windup to the 2020 election: by using extreme cases as a powerful wedge issue.

Remember, though, that it’s the Democrats who are so wedded to abortion-rights fundamentalism that they are jamming through extraordinarily cruel legislation, and doing things like ordering skyscrapers lit up to celebrate it. Here’s Alexandra DeSanctis, also writing in The Atlantic: [2]

These bills represent some of the most lenient abortion policies in the country. [Virginia Del. Kathy] Tran said her bill would allow a woman to receive an abortion at term, while in labor, and she offered no explanation of what potential maternal or fetal health complications would necessitate it. Defending the bill in an interview, [Gov. Ralph] Northam appeared to suggest that it would permit a physician to deny medical care to a newborn infant: “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.” (Northam’s spokesperson later insisted that his remarks had been misconstrued, and that he had been describing only what might happen in the event of “a nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities.”)

In New York, Cuomo lit up the city’s Freedom Tower in pink after signing his bill, celebrating the legal right to abort fetuses that could survive outside the womb. This fits with the general tenor of high-profile abortion-rights groups, such as the Women’s March and Planned Parenthood, that not only seek to erase limits on abortion but also portray it as routine health care and glorify it as a social good.

Glorify it as a social good. Not a necessary evil, or even a tragedy that needs to be kept safe, legal, and rare. A social good.

This is how abortion-crazy the Democratic Party is: Last week, Sen. Ben Sasse proposed a bill that would require health-care providers who are present when a child is born during a failed abortion or attempted abortion to provide that child with the same care they would give a child born during normal gestation. The bill failed procedurally when Sen. Patty Murray of Washington registered opposition by saying: [3]

“We have laws against infanticide in this country,” Murray said. “This is a gross misinterpretation of the actual language of the bill that is being asked to be considered and therefore I object.”

Murray then walked off the floor without elaborating.

It’s not Donald Trump and the GOP that’s making abortion a wedge issue. It’s the Democrats, with their unhinged extremism.

The final stage of a partial-birth abortion

Protecting right to do stick scissors into a partially-born baby’s skull to kill her is why Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered Freedom Tower lit up in pink recently:

But see, it’s the Republicans who are out looking for wedge issues.

Know what’s going to be even more wedgey? The Democrats flooding the zone with identity politics. I really and truly can’t wait until Kamala Harris and the rest of them try to appease the SJWs of the party’s base without unnerving the massive middle who don’t appreciate being maligned as a Putinist fellow traveler because they won’t take their kids to Drag Queen Story Hour:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [5]

I bet Harris and her Democratic counterparts couldn’t find a bad word to say about her diversity-celebrating, coldnosing constituents. [6] To the media, though, it’s the Republicans who are driving the wedge. Meanwhile, If the Democrats can find a transgendered abortionist who never wrote a YA novel or, if white, never donned blackface, I’d say they’d have the perfect running mate for whichever wild-eyed progressive bashi-bazouk wins the nomination.

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78 Comments To "Democrats Give Selves A Political Wedgey"

#1 Comment By Kronsteen1963 On February 7, 2019 @ 12:47 pm

Emma Green & the Atlantic just gave us the “Republicans Pounce” spin. It’s such a common media tatic that it’s become a tired cliche. Reason #498 why I despise the MSM.

#2 Comment By Ms On February 7, 2019 @ 1:11 pm

Sue Sims, we are having our periodic convulsion. It is what we do, and have done since 1692, so even before we separated from Mother Britain.

#3 Comment By Another James On February 7, 2019 @ 1:32 pm

David J. White says:
February 7, 2019 at 2:47 am

Does the State of New York own the Freedom Tower?

It is owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which is under the shared governance of the governors of the two states.

So although it’s a bit complicated, the basic answer is “yes.”

#4 Comment By treehugger On February 7, 2019 @ 1:58 pm

I don’t think the democrats realize what a pivotal week we just had.

I think they believe popular opinion on abortion is settled, and that they’ve largely won, by defining it as a feminist/women’s health issue. They probably are right: popular opinion seems to have been baked in for easily a decade or so, and IMO most envision abortion as a “medical procedure” that should be legal within “reasonable” limits. (“Reasonable” being that moral grey area normally kept far from the public eye ….)

Even the cheering in the NY legislative chamber could have slipped past popular consciousness, if not swept up with the abhorrent displays in Virginia. The attitude conveyed by Virginia’s governor and state rep in their casual advocacy for “late term abortion” was jarring and appalling. It reset the debate in a way nothing has in years. Those who accept the legality of abortion have separated it in their minds from infanticide — and what these public officials just did was obliterate that distinction, without so much as a blink or a glimmer of recognition of the huge moral implications of what they were saying. What made it even more ghoulish is that they spoke in such matter-of-fact terms.

We’re awake now. The democrat eye rolls and smug tweets about the prerogatives of women over their own health are altogether beside the point. But they don’t see that, and they are quickly losing the plot. Honestly Tran and Northam are game changers. We’ve been shown how extreme the pro-abortion faction has become. I believe the pendulum will now swing the other way.

I also believe the pro-life movement will give Trump considerable latitude to focus solely on late-term abortion, both because he’s won their loyalty with judges, and because they understand the potential to re-calibrate sensibilities about abortion, more broadly.

As with identity politics, democrat hubris prevents them from seeing the ground move beneath them.

#5 Comment By Kurt Gayle On February 7, 2019 @ 2:51 pm

RATMDC says (Feb 7, 12:45 pm): “Kurt Gayle: There’s some important context missing regarding that Ginsburg quote. At the time, there was a lot of talk around those lines, albeit mostly in an international context, and thus the ruling surprised her, as it ran counter to that.”

Please—by all means, RATMDC—give us the “missing…international context” that Justice Ginsburg failed to give us in her very lengthy (4,322-word) interview with the New York Times’s Emily Bazelon.

I had not previously thought that this landmark July, 2009 interview of Justice Ginsburg, a Columbia Law School graduate, by an entirely sympathetic Emily Bazelon, herself a Yale Law School graduate, would have produced a New York Times Magazine document that failed to provide any and every possibly extenuating “international context” for Justice Ginsburg’s very controversial statement.

So, again–by all means, RATMDC—please give us the “missing…international context” for Justice Ginsburg remarks.

And if you actually have such a “missing…international context”—a context that might put Justice Ginsburg’s remarks in a better light–perhaps the New York Times would like to run your story, RATMDC.

#6 Comment By Xenie On February 7, 2019 @ 3:41 pm

C.K. Dexter Haven says:
Even today, with all the advances in medicine, childbirth is more dangerous than abortion. Its in the later stages of pregnancy that risks from complications are the greatest. The anti-abortion fanatics would rather see women die to maintain their moral purity.

This is just rank ignorance. The cure for preeclampsia, et al, is immediate c-section. Not abortion. We have NICU technology now too, so there’s no call for the infant to be killed. Or do you need those needless deaths for YOUR rhetorical purity?

#7 Comment By Ken Zaretzke On February 7, 2019 @ 3:44 pm

“The bill failed procedurally when Sen. Patty Murray of Washington registered opposition by saying:”

Progressives here in Washington State are perfectly aware that Patty Murray is a big favorite of Wall Street donors. They don’t care.

Hypocrisy is their granola.

#8 Comment By Leftish On February 7, 2019 @ 3:47 pm

Rod, let me ask you a question. If pro-choice advocates were more comely and kept a lower profile, or were even more willing to place limits on late stage abortion, would your views on the matter change in any way? Because there have been pro-choice people who are/were like that, Dr. John Bayard Britton was one of them. He was a doctor who preformed abortions back in the 1990’s and even turned a couple of women away the first time they came to the clinic, telling them to come back in a week if they still thought they wanted an abortion. That reticence didn’t save him from being gunned down in front of the clinic along with the retired air force lieutenant colonel who was escorting him there. You might not agree with the methods and your free to correct me if I’m wrong but haven’t you stated before that you want the doctors to be executed? That you want living, breathing human beings to die, for harming fetuses?

Alexandra DeSanctis talks about Democratic radicalism on the issue of abortion but her belief that oral contraceptives are equivalent to abortion are just as radical. You can check the numbers out here if you’d like.

[7]

I get that she’s on sold grounds with regards to Catholic theology, but as a writer she has a long track record of decrying Democratic attitudes towards abortion as being more extreme then what most Americans actual believe.

It would be great if the primary bone of contention was what limits should be placed on abortion but it’s not. I’m deeply uncomfortable with the idea of late-term abortion, especially given how many alternatives there are. But if the only choice is between two extremes, its a no-brainer

#9 Comment By Lee On February 7, 2019 @ 6:09 pm

JonF
“Lee, you say the GOP is against contraception. Please provide some backup for that claim- and something more than just Republicans being opposed to the contraception mandate of the ACA since they against the whole of that law period. But is there any GOP sponsored move to make condoms and the Pill illegal for everyone everywhere?”

I did not say they want to make it illegal but Trump tried to expand the ability of companies to not include it in insurance and was halted by the courts.

[8]

I don’t know your own feelings about contraception but women feel pretty strongly about it and the GOP stance on it is not helping them in the least.

#10 Comment By Lee On February 7, 2019 @ 6:31 pm

@ JonF
“something more than just Republicans being opposed to the contraception mandate of the ACA since they against the whole of that law period.”

Sorry but that doesn’t wash. Opposition to the ACA overall is not the same as opposition to the contraception mandate and does not subsume it.

You can claim that being against covering it as a medical procedure is not significant but it most certainly is significant to most of the women in the US.

#11 Comment By treehugger On February 7, 2019 @ 6:56 pm

@Elijah — I agree, even the insurgent dems with populist impulses can’t get past identity politics. Bernie tried, but sadly got beaten down and then swallowed up by the dems.

Then there’s AOC. She actually could be quite the Trump counterpoint, drawing a truly interesting contrast, given their similar intuitions that the status quo (and those who serve it) are scr*wing us and that Americans are hungry for something big. They’re both loud and unabashed and unafraid to be wrong, and clearly have tapped into strong sentiments among the country. They both get lambasted for things that sound cartoonish among the beltway, but which resonate among many Americans.

But AOC is so locked into identity politics, it stifles any chance she might have to be more than a fringe icon on the left. Frankly her extreme moralizing on immigration (e.g., open borders/abolish ICE) is offensive, and reveals someone swept up in the vanity of popular virtues rather than focused on fighting for her fellow citizens. It’s too bad. The left has become deranged and full of itself.

And (not unrelated) Trump started to hit more widely-appealing cords in the SOTU. Calling out immigration as a populist issue — a dividing line between the working class and the political class — may have just sealed the deal for 2020. It’s funny, politicians both left and right think trade and immigration are overall goods, and that the wonky details should be left to the technocrats (with maybe a few softeners for the hoi polloi). Trump won because he gave voice to what the working class knows and the political class ignores. If he gives it a rest with the “criminals, rapists and drug dealers” line, and instead lasers in on whom these policies help and whom they hurt — and especially if he manages to deliver on it — he will be unbeatable.

#12 Comment By RATMDC On February 7, 2019 @ 7:41 pm

Kurt Gayle: Here you are-
[9]

Ginsburg was referring to an era not long after this report came out. These were the “bad old days” with a great deal of heavily coercive and abusive targeted population control methods, and that mentality has always been around in the US. Thus, she had thought that the court ruling would go the other way, although the background reasons for this ruling would not exactly be positive.

(Note that I’m a big fan of voluntary population control based on persuasion and informed consent. In some countries, the abuses of the past have only made this more difficult.)

#13 Comment By MM On February 7, 2019 @ 10:24 pm

Lee: “I don’t know your own feelings about contraception but women feel pretty strongly about it and the GOP stance on it is not helping them in the least.”

GOP members of Congress have been pushing to make birth control cheap and available over-the-counter for 5 years, sir.

That’s a very popular position to take, with 3/4 of women supporting it according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

However, these days it isn’t social conservatives who oppose that bit of progress, it’s Democrats. They prefer it to remain under the mandate and control of the federal government, through the ACA, and presumably any future health care regime they want to impose on everybody.

I recommend you educate yourself and read the whole article:

[10]

Cheers!

#14 Comment By letterpress On February 7, 2019 @ 10:42 pm

Why would a woman who was raped wait until the third trimester to have an abortion? How often does that ever happen? Someone needs to go into the poor, black neighborhoods (the folks on the receiving end of this country’s genocide) and find out, or take that off of the list of reasons for late-terms.

#15 Comment By Lamm2 On February 7, 2019 @ 10:58 pm

@Rob “Rod, Rod. That only happens a few hundred times a year! You have to look at the bigger picture!”

Aww Rob, Rob, the CDC figures show it was only 8,296 late term abortions in the US during 2015*. And that’s less than the CDC figures of 14,415 homicides by firearms in the US during 2015.

Heck late term abortion is only 57% the number of homicides by firearms in our great nation. And the total number of abortions is only over 44 times the number of homicides by firearms. No biggie indeed.

*In 2015, 638,169 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. The majority of abortions in 2015 took place early in gestation: 91.1% of abortions were performed at ≤13 weeks’ gestation; a smaller number of abortions (7.6%) were performed at 14–20 weeks’ gestation, and even fewer (1.3%) were performed at ≥21 weeks’ gestation.

#16 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On February 7, 2019 @ 11:13 pm

But AOC is so locked into identity politics, it stifles any chance she might have to be more than a fringe icon on the left.

I think the jury is out on this, and will be for some time. Every other newsbyte about her latest utterance is not going to be definitive. But it is worrisome, and she could well go that way in the end.

is not every major figure “on the left”: pretty much wedded to rather extreme identity politics?

I’m not aware that there IS a “major figure” on the left.

Compared with the likes of Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, and the fundamentally unserious Cory Booker, Trump & McConnell look like poster boys for psychiatric health.

Seriously Elijah, Trump really does not. He spouts all kinds of mutually contradictory things, has no coherent policy on much of anything, except a maudlin fixation on building a wall that is no substitute for a comprehensive in-depth policy. He’s a narcissist and utterly delusional.

Kamala Harris I have no trust in, and no use for. I don’t know that she is “unhinged,” but she’s very badly wrong, and lives in a very isolated bubble. Cory Booker, I don’t know much about — he seems to have made modest improvements in Newark, but its not at all clear what his real policies would be if elected president. He can talk rationally though.

That always bugged me too. After all, it was the South that took the line “If you don’t like slave-owning, don’t own one.”

That’s a really trite rejoinder. If slaves had inhabited the bodies of their masters, I would have seriously considered that maybe the master had the right to own the creatures living inside his own body. And if the pro-life movement had a feasible process for slipping fetuses out of the wombs they were growing in, transporting them to well-equipped neonatal intensive care units in Canada, you might have a serious analogy to the Underground Railroad.

In order to prevent Congressional legislation either way on abortion, the Supreme Court would have to prohibit explicitly either restriction or liberalization on the part of Congress vis-a-vis the states.

Simple federalism. The Supreme Court could well find that congress has no authority over abortion. Just as it found that state legislatures have no authority to ban it prior to viability. Constitutional cases are mostly about jurisdiction, not what is good public policy.

#17 Comment By Lamm2 On February 7, 2019 @ 11:38 pm

@Lee “Politico link”

The politico article is a misrepresentation of the Trump administration’s exemption rule for employers. It is for those with religious or moral objections, not for all employers. This rule protects groups like Little Sisters of the Poor (Nuns) who have been fighting the Obama administration’s mandated contraception and abortificant* rule since shortly after ACA went into effect. Please read the legal case summary link below.

In the US, we have freedom of conscience laws. It has a long history. For example we have laws to protect conscientious objectors (moral grounds) from being forced to serve in combat. There are moral and religious objections to abortificants*, and contraceptives. All orthodox Christians object to abortificants. The objection to contraception is mainly unique to Roman Catholics.

Little Sisters of the Poor v. Azar – Becket
[11]

*abortificants are pills like the morning-after pill and RU486 that can be used shortly after sex to cause an abortion.

#18 Comment By Lamm2 On February 7, 2019 @ 11:58 pm

@C.K. Dexter Haven “Even today, with all the advances in medicine, childbirth is more dangerous than abortion. Its in the later stages of pregnancy that risks from complications are the greatest.”

Xenie gave you an excellent answer. I would like to ask if you have considered the risks involved in abortion? It’s a given that the risk to the child is 100%. For the mother, there need to be honest answers about the emotional, physical, and spiritual risks. The later the stage of pregnancy that an abortion is performed, the greater the risks from complications become. Below is a link with basic facts:

Abortion Risks | Department of Health | State of Louisiana
[12]

#19 Comment By C. L. H. Daniels On February 8, 2019 @ 12:06 am

I hope you are right, but I see absolutely no evidence for this whatsoever. I am open to correction here, but is not every major figure “on the left”: pretty much wedded to rather extreme identity politics? Major figure meaning one with a platform?

Well, pretty much no one saw Trump coming either, and certainly no one with any clout took him seriously. He was just a buffoonish celebrity with garish tastes who peddled conspiracy theories. I guess you could say he had a platform of sorts, but I’d hardly have called him a major figure “on the right” prior to his upstart primary campaign.

And so shall it be with Bizarro leftist Trump, in all likelihood. It won’t be anyone you know right now, or if it is, it’ll be someone you’d never expect to try, let alone succeed, at running for President. That’s the whole point – if I’m right and it happens, it’s going to come out of left field (pun intended) and smack America right between the eyes.

#20 Comment By MM On February 8, 2019 @ 12:10 am

Lamm2: “The CDC figures show it was only 8,296 late term abortions in the US during 2015.”

I hate to shine the light of logic on this gruesome subject, but the CDC data is based on voluntary reporting by individual states. They do not survey every state, and there is no requirement to report abortion statistics to the CDC at all.

The Guttmacher Institute, no right-wing think tank, also keeps track of abortion statistics. Their most recent numbers are from 2014, and uses the same CDC data but adjusted for changes in states reporting data:

[13]

Out of 926,200 abortions performed, 1.3% or 12,000 were at 21 weeks or later. Another 3.8% or 35,000 were at 16-20 weeks.

Rare in percentage terms, but not in numbers if you want to compare that to homicides.

#21 Comment By Lamm2 On February 8, 2019 @ 12:21 am

@Lee @EngineerScotty

A lot of people misunderstand or don’t know what our federal abortion laws mean or how federal laws trump state laws.

#1 — Third-trimester abortions are already protected by federal law.

On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court issued rulings in the cases of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. Roe has become more famous, but Doe is equally significant. As Justice Harry Blackmun said at the time of the rulings, both Roe and Doe “are to be read together.”

The Court’s opinion in Doe stated that a woman may obtain an abortion even after viability (i.e., the period when the fetus could potentially survive outside the womb) if necessary to protect her health. The Court defined “health” as follows:

“Whether, in the words of the Georgia statute, “an abortion is necessary” is a professional judgment that the Georgia physician will be called upon to make routinely. We agree with the District Court, 319 F. Supp., at 1058, that the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors—physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.”

In 1992, the Supreme Court reaffirmed Roe in the case of Planned Parenthood of Southern Pennsylvania v. Casey. The ruling replaced the trimester formula in Roe with an emphasis on viability:

“Before viability, the State’s interests are not strong enough to support a prohibition of abortion or the imposition of a substantial obstacle to the woman’s effective right to elect the procedure. Second is a confirmation of the State’s power to restrict abortions after fetal viability, if the law contains exceptions for pregnancies which endanger the woman’s life or health.”

By claiming that the “essential holding of Roe v. Wade should be retained and once again reaffirmed,” the Court was claiming that the same standard of “health” applied as before.

As the Guttmacher Institute notes, in Roe, Doe, and Casey the Court has held that:

a. even after fetal viability, states may not prohibit abortions “necessary to preserve the life or health” of the woman;

b. “health” in this context includes physical and mental health;

c. only the physician, in the course of evaluating the specific circumstances of an individual case, can define what constitutes “health” and when a fetus is viable; and

d. states may not require additional physicians to confirm the attending physician’s judgment that the woman’s life or health is at risk in cases of medical emergency.

In other words, if a physician determines that the child is “non-viable” and/or the abortion is necessary for the physical or mental health of the mother, a woman can have an abortion from the moment of conception until the child’s natural birth.

The standard is so broad that the infamous abortionist George Tiller was able to assign a mental-health diagnosis to justify late-term abortions for spurious reasons, including for a woman who wanted to “go to prom” and another who wanted to “avoid hiring a babysitter while attending rock concerts.” Even the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute admits that “data suggest that most women seeking later terminations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.”

#2 — State laws restricting third trimester abortions are unconstitutional under the precedent of Doe.

Much of the confusion about this issue lies in the misunderstanding of how Casey affects abortion, and the fact that numerous states have laws that ban or restrict abortions in the third trimester. Because these statutes remain on the books or have not yet been contested in federal court, they may give the public the impression that they are allowed by federal law.

But because federal law trumps state law, no restrictions can be enacted that do not also allow the doctor to determine if abortion is necessary for the “health” of the mother. This is why abortion-rights supporters frequently say the decision to have an abortion must be left up to the “woman and her physician.” As long as a woman can find a doctor who says the abortion is necessary for her physical or mental health, her access to abortion—anytime from conception to birth—is currently protected by federal law.

#22 Comment By Rob G On February 8, 2019 @ 7:43 am

“No biggie indeed.”

I hope you realize I was being facetious. And I was speaking specifically of partial birth abortion. I remember a few years back the pro-abortion side was stating that the furor over that practice was uncalled for, as there were “only” about 600 of those done per year.

#23 Comment By Terry Benoit On February 8, 2019 @ 11:57 am

It is self-indulgent to describe people as “abortion fanatics.” Such a person, i presume, would attempt to get pregnant as many times as possible so as to be able to enjoy their fanaticism as often as possible. RD decries the uncivil tone of those who don’t believe like him, yet seemingly, he thinks of those adversaries as so despicable as to not deserve the civility he demands from them. Thus, when looking for “someone on the other side” to reason with, those of us who believe strongly that women and their uteruses should not be subject to the particular state power that RD would bring to bear upon them are, after reading RD, sadly forced to move on. Stay pure, RD.

#24 Comment By Lamm2 On February 8, 2019 @ 12:05 pm

Hi RD, several of my comments here appear to be trapped in the filter. Is it possible to release them from captivity? Thx.

[NFR: I’ll check. — RD]

#25 Comment By JamesP On February 8, 2019 @ 1:56 pm

Yes, the choice will be between pink police state socialists and predatory clepto-capitalists. Because that would suck the most. And it’s all about what sucks the most.

#26 Comment By Lamm2 On February 8, 2019 @ 8:59 pm

@MM “I hate to shine the light of logic on this gruesome subject…”

You have absolutely no arguments from me. I appreciate the link and am always open to correction. I will keep your admonishments in mind in the future. There is always much to learn. I am aware of Guttmacher, but only nominally understand some of the contentious arguments related to using their numbers, so it seemed better to offer noncontentious CDC numbers that are easily verified online. As you pointed out, they are horrifying numbers even though they are only partial numbers. I will never understand how pro-choice advocates can defend the practice of abortion on demand.

@Rob G “I hope you realize I was being facetious.”

Many apologies to you. It was shortly after I commented that I realized my mistake. I can only hope good will come of this mistake. I appreciate your patience correction for me.

#27 Comment By MM On February 8, 2019 @ 10:49 pm

Lamm,

No, I’ll apologize for assuming the wrong intent. I wasn’t sure which direction you were coming from, or if you were being satirical.

Online is so impersonal.

#28 Comment By Rob G On February 9, 2019 @ 11:19 am

“those of us who believe strongly that women and their uteruses should not be subject to the particular state power that RD would bring to bear upon them are, after reading RD, sadly forced to move on.”

Wonder what your opinion on New York’s womb-rental is? Now THAT’S empowering to women! (eyeroll)