Planned Parenthood Hits Former Director in Texas With Restraining Order

200px-Logo_plannedparenthood180px-Embryo_at_14_weeks_profile.JPGThere is an interesting fight between Planned Parenthood and its former director in Bryan, Texas. (Yes, it appears the same town where the Virgin Mary was recently discovered in bird droppings, here). Abby Johnson worked for Planned Parenthood for eight years, but decided to leave after watching an ultrasound of an abortion procedure. This has led to the filing of a restraining order against her by her former employer after she joined forces with the Coalition For Life.

Abortion opponents have often litigated and legislated to try to force prospective mothers to watch ultrasound images before having an abortion. This case is likely to reinforce such efforts.

Johnson stated that, after seeing the images, she decided to quit: “I just thought I can’t do this anymore, and it was just like a flash that hit me and I thought that’s it.” She resigned on Oct. 6th.

She has claimed that the organization has changed its policies in the bad economy to push for abortions.

Last Friday, she and the Coalition for Life were hit with temporary restraining orders filed by Planned Parenthood, which seeks to prevent her from disclosing information about the organization.

Rochelle Tafolla, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson stated “We regret being forced to turn to the courts to protect the safety and confidentiality of our clients and staff, however, in this instance it is absolutely necessary.”

The parties are expected to square off in court on November 10th.

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51 thoughts on “Planned Parenthood Hits Former Director in Texas With Restraining Order”

  1. Jake,

    I hope you realize that what you just said argues as much for Mike’s refusal to change his language as it does yours. Which, is what Mike was saying in the first place.

    You seem to be saying “you’re in the wrong for suggesting that I make the same change that I suggested you make.”

    Mike actually use the term you suggested. It’s right there in his first response to you “I don’t believe that this is a moral issue. I see it as an issue of freedom. My own religion believes that life starts with the first breath.” See he addressed the issue of life, what’s missing is his insistence that his view of life is the only valid one. Implicate in his (and my own) stance is that a woman’s own beliefs should determine her actions.

    As an aside: that is a simplified version of our current laws. Since you seem to be advocating (in a rather dishonest manner, refusing to state your side isn’t the same as not taking a side), the burden is on YOU to provide proof that an action should be restricted by the Government, not us to prove that it should be allowed.

    If you’re sincere in wanting an honest dialogue I suggest you try and abide by Orwell’s rules for writing about politics. It’s a great way to clarify your thinking and make sure your point is accessible to the other side:

    (i) Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
    (ii) Never use a long word where a short one will do.
    (iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
    (iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.
    (v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
    (vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything barbarous.

    Here’s a link to the entire essay:

    http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks03/0300011h.html#part42

  2. As you said, “your choice”.

    Keep it to yourself. The people who want an abortion are not trying to tell you that you have to have one (although limiting your breeding would be a good thing for society as a whole). Why do you feel compelled to tell them they CAN’T have one? It’s NOT YOUR DECISION.

    You don’t want an abortion, don’t get one, but as to others and how they manage their life, how about you minding your own business? Oh, that’s right, you think your God wants you to tell everyone else how to live instead of tending your own chickens. That’s perhaps the most offensive thing about you pro-life weasels: You’re arrogant self-important nosey busybodies who think they have the market cornered on ‘morals’ not realizing that your version of morals is perfectly unethical because you are willing to use force and coercion to ensure compliance with what YOU want instead of convincing others that your “code” is better through demonstration and persuasive dialog. Morals are a human dictate created by institutions to control others through fear and intimidation. Ethics are based on logic. This is why your morals always fail in logical analysis. If you think abortion is a sin, well then it’s someone else’s problem then, isn’t it? Unless you get one. Then AND ONLY then is it your problem. Until then? You keep wanting to take the women’s shoes without first having walked a mile in them. You’re just trying to impose your morals on others which, in the long run, always gets you the finger but especially when it concerns an individuals health. Or would you like it you had cancer and a Christian Scientist told your oncologist he couldn’t treat you because by their religion only prayer is the acceptable treatment even if you are not a Christian Scientist?

    Enjoy your hypocrisy and illogic. You’ve got it in abundance.

  3. Also, I should clarify what I meant by “your circular and hypocritical logic.”

    “I choose my words carefully and with purpose. I never use “pro=[choice]” which is a slogan developed by an ad agency to give the “[]abortion” movement a sense of being on the moral high ground. By framing the issue as “pro-[choice]” it automatically characterizes opponents as anti-[choice]. Why would i in a discussion want to cede such a position to you? What you are in essence asking me to do is address the issue from your terms using your morally loaded propaganda.”

    “Respecting [life], but denying it because of your particular set of moral beliefs is indistinguishable from rejecting [life]. Same outcome.”

    Just because you state a conclusion doesn’t make it true. You see how those arguing life can claim the exact same thing as you do and it contributes nothing to the dialogue? And where are we now? We’ve gotten no further. See above for my addressing choice.

  4. Mike,

    Ahh, there’s the rub. You feel that anyone that opposes abortion is automatically in line with any anti-abortion policy. This was the reason I posted in the first place: you feel you understand “our side” by forcing a mass label on anyone who considers life before birth. Aside from the circular and hypocritical logic (called by logicians “begging the question”) of your “tear-down” (high five, Buddha), it’s sad that you refuse to see someone you’re speaking with as autonomous of some party. You don’t know me. Please don’t speak for me. This is why I called what you say patriarchial in the first place. At the very least, you sure have a lot of hatred for such a relaxed participant in the hippie movement.

    You should see that my “refusal to consider from your viewpoint” was not a refusal. It was an invitation to be reasonable and consider the subject on equal grounds (see Ancient Rhetoric by Crowley). And now that I understand you are not willing to consider others’ viewpoints, let’s discuss yours. Let’s begin a dialogue.

    I feel that women can be mistreated by a straight anti-abortion law. Rape, danger to the lives of the mothers, and other possibilities make strict anti-abortion unfair to mothers.

    Also, women are already discriminated against in so many ways. This includes the common romantic relationship. This makes the equality in a sexual relationship of the average couple difficult to assess. However, I feel that the imbalance is not so great as to remove all liability from a woman’s actions.

    Further, a mother incapable of or unwilling to raise a child is certainly not good for anybody. If a mother does not want children, forcing children on her is cruel to both her and the child. I wonder if this requires abortion, though.

    To me, choice begins with conception. Sure, sex is a right. But it’s also a choice. Women are just as responsible for the circumstances of a birth, in most instances, than anybody else. For those where they are not, abortion may be a reasonable solution. Though, this solution should not apply to most births.

    So many are upset that women have to bear the child while men do not. Women experience the trauma of carrying the child to term and then giving it up for adoption. I think this is mitigated by the idea that men who hit and quit should be severely punished.

    With that being said, I think we have a duty to provide a good home for all children, if possible. Adoption should be streamlined. This is where the choice question gets difficult because there are thorough arguments of adoptions with enough children, not enough children, etc. The adoption solution, however, will likely resolve the vast majority of unwanted births. http://www.ithaca.edu/faculty/cduncan/230/adoption.htm. What do you think?

  5. Respecting choice, but denying it because of your particular set of moral beliefs is indistinguishable from rejecting choice. Same outcome.– Mike Spindell

    Thanks Mike, live to be 110 and keep teaching. I feel like a gonif sneaking into your classroom, who and where should I pay admission?

  6. “The very fact that you approach the topic as “anti-choice” is proof that you are not willing to state your viewpoint from the “pro-life” frame of mind.”

    Jake,
    I choose my words carefully and with purpose. I never use “pro=life” which is a slogan developed by an ad agency to give the “anti-abortion” movement a sense of being on the moral high ground. By framing the issue as “pro-life” it automatically characterizes opponents as anti-life. Why would i in a discussion want to cede such a position to you? What you are in essence asking me to do is address the issue from your terms using your morally loaded propaganda.

    “Mike, if you don’t want to do that, I don’t know what to tell you.”

    That’s the problem you have here Jake, you are unable to discuss this issue except on your narrow terms. The other problem you have is that your post, besides being insulting and smug, was dishonest. Although one could connote your pro-choice leanings you tried to approach the topic as if you were a disinterested observer and not a partisan as proven by:

    “I don’t want women to suffer, although I am anti-abortion.”

    Your first post then was dishonest in intent, persiflaged with what you thoughtwas a clever starting point. It wasn’t and your intent was obvious. I actually allowed you the benefit of the doubt in my reply, although certain that i read you correctly and I did. Thats is why:

    “Gotta speak the same language. Otherwise, you’ll never understand the other party and they will never understand you. Oh, but you claim you know everything about the other party.”

    I do fully understand the anti-choice position because it is laid out in the statements of its leaders and supporters and I’m able to determine beliefs and motivations through these statements. Why you think that odd is beyond me? “By their words shall you know them” laid that proposition out a few thousand years ago.

    “What? Are you really suggesting that because pro-lifers haven’t addressed choice, they are against it? Silence on the subject does not mean opposition to it.”

    This part of your post is purely sophistry. You go on to state that anti-choice people prioritize their morality and so while you support choice, that must be subsumed because of the higher morality involved. Respecting choice, but denying it because of your particular set of moral beliefs is indistinguishable from rejecting choice. Same outcome. Verbal distinctions are as I said merely sophistry and downright silly.

    “I suggested you talk about “life” instead of “choice” so…well, a useful dialogue could begin.”

    I understand you don’t realize how really insulting this is so I won’t address that aspect of this specious statement. To talk about “life” already gives you an advantage in this discussion because to do so assumes you are on a moral high ground. If you are so interested in “discussing” this issue then why not come around to my common ground by getting off your “high horse” and frame the dialogue in terms of choice? You and I know why you won’t, but what I think you miss is that you are so immersed in the “life” propaganda that you are unaware of the dishonesty of your debating position.

    “I don’t want women to suffer, although I am anti-abortion. Not all of us can be classified as hardcore conservatives who love war and hate criminals.”

    It is heartening to think that you don’t want women to suffer, but unfortunately your side had caused millions of women to suffer through the years. I understand this far greater than you because I worked with these women and with their children for 32 years. I saw the suffering that unwanted pregnancy inflicted on the mothers, many in their teens and I dealt with the abuse and neglect suffered by the unwanted children, most with no chance of a future because of the situation.

    All the while your side, the hypocrites, backed politicians who cut assistance to these young women in need and to their babies. Your side helped elect a senile mediocre actor to President who talked about “Welfare Queens” and your side has consistently backedpoliticians that have made war and arms a priority, while cutting spending for those in need.

    It is lovely that you have a higher sensibility than that and claim to have greater compassion, but you hang with the people that are responsible for this egregious behavior and so you get no moral pass. By the way your side has also blocked the dissemination of birth control information and instrumentation not only to the US but to Africa where they need it to control rampant AIDS. Your side, with its phony morality has also replaced sex education in the schools with “abstinence” education and curiously it is the states where your side has the highest support that has the highest rate of out of wedlock births, STD’s and divorce. Your side are really moral hypocrites who care little for the infant in the womb, but use the pretense as a path to political power. you may have more tender sensibilities, but you hang with a bunch of immoral apes.

    “I just thought a forum that speaks a big game of understanding and equality could be the bigger people.’

    I’ll take you at your word in this, but must assert that what you really seek is not understanding but to proselytize. your version of higher understanding is a discussion grounded in your terms. That would be no discussion at all.

    “Last, I want to apologize for anything offensive you feel I said.”

    “Anyway, I was clearly wrong if you got so offended. Sorry about that.”

    Apologies that use the “if” format are not sincere apologies, though I wonder if you understand that. In neither instance did you apologize for your behavior, but only for my being annoyed by it. You are probably considered a skilled arguer among your set, but here frankly you so far haven’t cut it. I like to welcome people aboard, not shunt them away, but heretofore you’ve shown me little in the way of interesting content, have behaved insultingly and in the end dishonestly. A disordered beginning to be sure.

  7. Mike,

    I assumed you were familiar with the whole of the Fertility Goddess concept (I seem to remember discussing “The Golden Bough” with you), so I didn’t elaborate about how she’s viewed with fear and love. My point was if even in the most positively viewed role of woman as the giver of life there are some negative connotations, how much worse will she be viewed when humanity itself isn’t a good thing.

  8. Mike,

    You’ve proved my point. See below

    Me: “And for those who argue a “pro-choice” stance, you should realize that you will never come to terms with those who argue a “pro-life” stance.”

    You: Why would you think that I want to “come to terms” with anti-choice people?

    The very fact that you approach the topic as “anti-choice” is proof that you are not willing to state your viewpoint from the “pro-life” frame of mind. First, you need to WANT to understand other people. Mike, if you don’t want to do that, I don’t know what to tell you. If you do, then you could, for example, address the (in)validity of life beginning in the womb, not the possible infringement of women’s rights. Gotta speak the same language. Otherwise, you’ll never understand the other party and they will never understand you. Oh, but you claim you know everything about the other party.

    “[Women’s plight] is not on the minds of the anti-choice movement. That is why to my mind the logical assumption is that they want to punish women.”

    What? Are you really suggesting that because pro-lifers haven’t addressed choice, they are against it? Silence on the subject does not mean opposition to it. This isn’t the congress! Some people simply prioritize their values, viewing “life” higher on the list than “choice.” (And despite what you think, this is a “moral” discussion. Freedom is also a morality.) I don’t want women to suffer, although I am anti-abortion. Not all of us can be classified as hardcore conservatives who love war and hate criminals. I doubt I’m alone. Please don’t speak for me.

    I suggested you talk about “life” instead of “choice” so…well, a useful dialogue could begin. But it doesn’t matter who comes off their high horse. Shoot, it doesn’t matter to me if pro-lifers start arguing about choice. I just thought a forum that speaks a big game of understanding and equality could be the bigger people. Was I wrong?

    Oh, and Buddha-Is-Laughing, you’re a regular poster here, right? Please at least show some decency if you’re going to criticize others. Being outspoken is one thing; being malicious is another. (by the way, we are all delusional).

    Last, I want to apologize for anything offensive you feel I said. I certainly should have edited my last comment. I didn’t think I was being offensive at all–I thought I was just presenting my thoughts. It’s hard to know how you sound. Anyway, I was clearly wrong if you got so offended. Sorry about that.

  9. chris–

    You wrote:

    If you don’t mind Id like you to consider the following scenario:

    If my girlfriend became pregnant and she wanted to have an abortion, but I wanted to keep the child, I would have no say so in the final decision. I would then have to pay child support for the rest of the child’s adolescence.

    But if she wanted to keep the child and I wanted her to have an abortion, I would still have no say so in the final decision but would have to pay child support.

    How is this fair?

    ***************

    Addressing your first point. I would hope that you and your girlfriend would have a serious discussion about whether both of you wanted children before you got her pregnant.

    Addressing your second point: If you don’t want your girlfriend to get pregnant, there are ways to prevent that.

    Common sense should be the key in issues such as these.

  10. “Then shouldn’t she have to take responsibility for her part in it as well.”

    Chris,
    You’re absolutely right and there are no doubt some women who have entrapped men by omitting birth control. My point though is that as much as I love women, I’ve been to bed with a few, very few, wackos. I saw it as always my responsibility to ensure there were no accidents. Secondly, I knew men and women who contracted herpes and other std’s, some friends are dead of AIDS and so I always opted for safe, even though those hormones raged. It worked for me.

  11. Mike,

    In your response to my earlier scenario you said that I had to take responsibility for my part in my girlfriend becoming pregnant. Then shouldn’t she have to take responsibility for her part in it as well. I think if two consenting adults have sex, then they have to take responsibility for the outcome, both of them.

    I do agree with you about the readiness of birth control for everyone, even teenagers, as well as sex education. I also believe there should be harsh punishments for men who “drop their semen, and drop out of site”. But men and women have plenty of choices that they make well before the option for an abortion.

  12. Confused,
    I feel you are. Your assumption that myself and others writing here are unfamiliar with the many permutations of life:

    “It is all very simple and cut and dried on a blog, there are many permutations in real life.”

    Is unfounded. Most of us here have experienced the gamut of good and bad things that life has in store for everyone. Many like myself have lived a long time and have seen much tragedy and experienced much sadness.

  13. “Take the concept of a fertility goddess, who’s praised as the giver of a great gift. Now consider that same concept,”

    Gyges,
    E. M. Frazier in “The Golden Bough” extensively goes into the fact that fertility Goddesses were objects of terror as well as bounty. Also Joseph Campbell in his “Masks of God” series. Men are innately frightened of women and have been throughout history at the same time they are attracted to them. The nature of our youthful hormonal surges make rational treatment of woman difficult and I suspect it makes many men angry at the power that women have over them. I’ve always thought women were smarter and more interesting than men so I’ve rarely felt threatened.

  14. “I find it funny that you speak of freedom of choice and enlightened decisions to only contradict yourself by asserting the intentions and motivations of other people.”

    Jake,
    Beyond a patronizing tone your assertions doesn’t even make sense. I am stating my opinion as to what is on the minds of the anti-choice movement. That has nothing to do with whether or not a woman has the right to choose what she does with her own body. In my opinion the government does not have the right to tell her she has to carry a baby to term. The only possible justification would if the Government guarantees to support the child. This is not on the minds of the anti-choice movement. That is why to my mind the logical assumption is that they want to punish women. The only contradiction is in your own mind, certainly not in the logic of my statements. You may disagree with my opinions, that does not make them illogical per se.

    “And for those who argue a “pro-choice” stance, you should realize that you will never come to terms with those who argue a “pro-life” stance.”

    Why would you think that I want to “come to terms” with anti-choice people? I don’t believe they can be reasoned with, because I do believe that they are hiding their true agenda. That so many are for the Death Penalty, the wars and have no interest in babies after they are born shows me that they are not pro-life, but anti-women.

    “The very fact that you are not arguing the same moral foundation is proof that you will always pass each other in the hall before realizing what is being said.”

    I don’t believe that this is a moral issue. I see it as an issue of freedom. My own religion believes that life starts with the first breath. I yiedl no moral ground to the anti-choice crew, from my perspective they are themselves immoral. You seem to think that I’m interested in establishing a dialogue with the anti-choice. I’m not. I am seeking to counter their malign influence on the body politic.

    “A valid, useful discussion on the topic means you need to address anti-abortionist stances on life, not on choice.’

    Anti-abortionist stances on life ends at the womb. In all other factors they really are pro-death and pro-oppression. Why should I have to make an effort to dialogue with them, when they make none to address my issues?

    “This is because you will find that most pro-lifers will agree with you about the freedom of choice, sanctity of sexes, prevention as key, etc. Similarly, pro-lifers ought to consider the moral foundations for choice before going into some tirade about destroying life.”

    Not only is this a ridiculous, unproven statement, but I’ve already made clear I don’t see this as an issue of morality.

    “Forums like this always crack me up because people are just flaming one another, not listening. I’m interested in a discussion about the merits and pitfalls of abortion, not mudslinging.”

    Your entire post was a flame in content so I find it absurd that you accuse me of this. You started out mudslinging and then you say you are looking for a reasonable debate, pointedly on your own terms. Your post is patronizing, confused and makes assumption that my words don’t merity, something that you accuse me of doing.

  15. It is very easy to be pro-life or even pro-choice with nothing on the “table”. I consider myself pro-life but would not want my views imposed on another and would certainly not want them imposed by force of law.

    What about people that have genetic diseases that want to have children? With today’s technology you can do in vitro fertilization and test the embryos to see which ones have it and which ones don’t, implant the ones that don’t and save the ones that do for a future time when there might be a cure.

    How do you deprive someone of a basic human need/desire when the technology is available? Is it evil to want to create life in such a manor? Or is it evil to prevent an actual person from experiencing having children of their own?

    It is all very simple and cut and dried on a blog, there are many permutations in real life.

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