No, NFL Players Do Not Have A Constitutional Right To Protest During The National Anthem

The_Star-Spangled_Banner_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_21566Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the calls for a constitutional challenge to the new NFL policy against protests during the National Anthem.  While many have  claimed that the policy violates free speech rights of the players, there is actually little support for such a challenge under constitutional law.  The best shot might be procedural in nature in arguing that the collective bargaining agreement requires conferral on such rules with the players. Putting aside the strong defenses to this claim, it would likely only require consultation and not a change in the ultimate policy.

Here is the column:

The new rule requiring NFL players to either stand for the national anthem or remain in the locker room has produced a firestorm of criticism. Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina called for resistance against the “racist owners” and NBC’s Chuck Todd joined in portraying the policy as “un-American.”Rolling Stone’s Jamil Smith cast it as an effort to conceal reminders of “white supremacy.” A Washington Post column called for a challenge and declared, “There would be no NFL without black players.”

But the fact is that the NFL has every right under the Constitution to do what it did. Absent state laws to the contrary, any constitutional challenge would be like a “Hail Mary” without a receiver. No court will rule that employees of a private company have a right under the First Amendment to conduct protests at work against the wishes of their employer.

More than 50 percent of Americans are opposed to protests during the national anthem and support the new policy. Many fans boycotted games and NFL purchases over what they viewed as disrespect for the country. Others view this as a time-honored form of athlete protests, and some 32 percent oppose the new policy.

Ultimately, it is unlikely that the new rule was motivated by simple patriotism among NFL owners and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Historically, the only thing unfailingly saluted by the NFL is profits, and these protests are cutting into profits. Even if much of the decline of viewership can be attributed to a variety factors, there is an obvious impact on sale and viewership.

In the end, it is actually a stronger case to argue the bottom line in defense of this policy than the patriotism of the owners. The NFL is a business dedicated to making money. It has determined that these protests are bad for business. Period. The First Amendment protects against government actions against free speech, not private companies like the NFL. Even if that were not the case, it is doubtful that a court would find the arguments of the critics particularly compelling.

If these critics are correct, employers could not determine how their businesses would operate vis-à-vis employees and customers. It would mean that a customer ordering a latte or a tire change might have to listen to a political diatribe or watch a protest for any cause of the employee’s choosing. If NFL players can protest police brutality, can they also conduct protests for “Blue Lives Matter” or pro-life causes? Could players carry out continual protests of different grievances, or would owners have to chose between worthy and unworthy protests?

The NFL rule still allows players to register their disapproval during the national anthem and the absence of players will not go unnoticed. There is no “compelled patriotism” since there is no compelled participation. Conversely, players could simply pay the fines. New York Jets owner Christopher Johnson has offered to pay the fines for his players.

In his Washington Post column, Shaun Harper, executive director of the Race and Equity Center at the University of Southern California, insists this is an abusive action by “a majority white group of overseers” targeting black athletes. He argues that those objecting to the protests are often hypocrites who express “the spurious outrage over alleged violations of freedom of expression on college campuses.”

Since I am one of those who have objected to the rapid decline of free speech on campuses, I would point out a rather obvious distinction omitted by Professor Harper: Students are not employees. If anything, they are closer to customers. They pay to go to colleges and universities to engage in intellectual pursuits that require free and open discourse.

A true education requires freedom of thought and expression, which are guarantees long defended by academics. That freedom is being heavily curtailed and often directed against conservative faculty and students. For public universities, the First Amendment applies, unlike within the NFL. In private institutions, there are contractual claims that can be pursued, unlike NFL players who agree to play by the rules set by the NFL.

While only “guidelines,” the NFL game operations manual states that the “national anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the national anthem. During the national anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking.”

The NFL rulebook itself directly bars political speech by players, such as “wearing, displaying, or otherwise conveying personal messages either in writing or illustration” which “relate to political activities or causes, other non-football events, causes or campaigns, or charitable causes or campaigns.” The new rule actually loosens that guideline.

The one contractual basis that could be raised would be the collective bargaining agreement between the players and owners requiring conferral on many issues. However, this is not a constitutional claim and the prospect of a successful contractual challenge is slim.

The critical missing element in any constitutional challenge remains state action. Strangely, President Trump seemed to rush to fill that void in a highly disturbing Twitter suggestion that protesting could have bearing on whether players should remain in this country. Rather than simply celebrate the reversal of the prior policy allowing protests, as he long advocated, President Trump stated, “You have to stand proudly for the national anthem or you shouldn’t be playing. You shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”

Being a U.S. citizen means you have a right to protest. Just as critics often wrongly portray those objecting to protests during the national anthem as hostile or blind to racial inequality, it is equally wrong to suggest that protesting players are somehow lesser Americans. These players care about this country and are seeking to use their positions to raise awareness of an ongoing problem. That is what good citizens do in our national discourse. You simply do not have the right to protest anywhere at anytime in any way of your choosing.

In the end, it is not about good versus bad citizens, or even the meaning of our national anthem. The liberty is protected not only by constitutional inclusion but omission. Some questions are left by default to the state or the citizens. This is one of those cases. For better or worse, the ultimate resolution to this question will rest with the owners, players and fans.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

265 thoughts on “No, NFL Players Do Not Have A Constitutional Right To Protest During The National Anthem”

  1. Duckworth on NFL anthem policy: I fought to defend right to take a knee in protest

    BY MORGAN GSTALTER – 05/25/18 02:33 PM EDT

    http://thehill.com/homenews/news/389408-war-veteran-senator-i-fought-to-defend-peoples-right-to-take-a-knee-in-protest

    ““I will always stand on these legs for the flag and anthem, but it was ALSO my honor to defend people’s right to free speech including those who choose to #TakeAKnee to express outrage at the glaring disparity in how Americans of different races are treated.””

  2. In Classical Greek times a soldier wrote home to his wife instructing her that when the baby was born to expose it. In case it is not clear, that meant that the newborn fed the carrion eaters.

    1. David Benson still owes me a citation from the OED. Both the Ancient Greeks and Romans exposed malformed children at birth, nobody had to write home. And you would never write home to have a perfectly formed infant exposed.

        1. David Benson owes me two citations, one from the OED. Citation from an ancient author.

      1. All that survives is the letter. Which clearly states “when the infant is born …”

        Everything else is inference.

        1. David Benson owes me two citations, one from the OED. You still owe me a citation for the letter fragment so I can see it myself. BTW, wouldn’t the better inference be “if it is a boy name it X, if it is a girl you may name it. XOXO.” Yours is a very dark inference with no background and no reasoning behind the inference. Where did you get this inference?

          I need a lot more information about this supposed fragment.

          1. Sorry, it was decades ago.

            The part which most impressed me was that his wife could read…

            1. David Benson owes me two citations, one from the OED. You still owe me that citation. Lapse of memory is no excuse.

  3. Is there some right to require the playing of the national anthem prior to every sporting event? If there isn’t, then why do so, but also require professional athletes to stand like statues or hide in the locker room because some dumbell doesn’t understand what freedom of expression means? The American value of freedom of expression should trump pandering to phony patriots. Anyone who boycotts a sporting event because they object to the players , who have earned the right to the spotlight, expressing their opposition to police getting away with killing unarmed black men and other injustices is a phony patriot. The simple gesture of taking a knee to make a passive statement of protest is as American and peaceful as it gets.

    Patriotism means that even though you might strongly disagree with what someone says, you would defend to the death their right to speak. On the other hand they could just stop pretending that professional “sports” are anything other than entertainment.

      1. Well maybe if you want a quality piper, you have to take him as he is, on his terms, or settle for something less than the best

        1. That is a business decision.

          Who is the buyer? The public. Some of the public doesn’t give a damn about the US and some do.

          It’s simple. If the players are offensive to large groups of people likely revenues will fall. That will cause players salaries to fall and we might see talent moving to another type of sport. The NFL has some deep problems today for other reasons so I think we might see the NFL fade away and then players can kneel to empty stadiums.

          1. You realize that Natacha is an easy 85 out of 100 on the ‘Overbearing’ scale and operates under the illusion that that’s perfectly normal. That ordinary people are bored and repelled with the importation of Colin Kaepernick’s inane politics to the playing field is something she cannot and will never understand.

            1. Of course, you are right but do you think she understands the economics of running a business?

              Colin Kaepernick is a jackass. Policemen depicted as pigs on his socks. The man is an idiot and totally self-absorbed. This is the type of leadership Natacha follows.

        2. Natacha:

          If you really believe that players have the right to express their personal opinions during game time, would you feel the same way if you were the team owner, and they demonstrated against illegal immigration, in support of Trump, against the Democratic Party? What if the white players, hypothetically, wore white hoods in support of the Klan? Or what about them supporting bloodsports like cock or dog fighting? What if they all wore “Build the Wall” armbands? What if they wore a misogynistic slogan on their uniform? These are just some of the hypothetical positions with which you might disagree.

          All of the above would fall under the protection of the First Amendment. That is why the KKK still marches their sad little clown shows from time to time in full view of the police. Do you still think that employees have the right to proclaim absolutely anything they want in the workplace?

          Would that be OK, to bring personal opinions that may be anathema to you, onto the field, and the employers’ hands should be tied about it?

    1. Tradition and respect Dude. Stop picking side of debate that Trump is not on. Yours and others default setting sends you directly to other side of issue as Trump. Then you write a bunch of sentences trying to talk yourself into bad position. You and other folks of your ilk look silly when you pick a side only because it is opposite of Trump. Not unreasonable to set aside one minute out of 10,080 minutes in a week where we can all take a moment to reflect on what is good about this country. Tradition and respect.

    2. “because some dumbell doesn’t understand what freedom of expression means?” Natacha – I do not know where you work, or if you do, but do you think employees have freedom of expression in the workplace? How about if you went to the mall, and the employees and customers shrieked pro-Trump and anti-Trump at each other? What if you couldn’t get a cup of coffee without running into an employee who disagreed with your politics fervently, and demonstrated against you every time you went in. What if they said they wanted you dead, fried like bacon? What if they said you were a racist, but you weren’t? Would you patronize that establishment, the ones where the employees used their “freedom of expression” to turn you off?

      The First Amendment means you cannot be jailed for free speech. It does not mean that your employer can be forced to do nothing while his or her employees put on political, anti-patriotic demonstrations and chase your fans and sponsors away. Maybe the employer just doesn’t want to get into the business of politics. Maybe, just maybe, they just want to play football.

      I defend every one of those players right to free speech. I would vehemently object if the US government jailed them for their protest. They do not have the right to drive their team out of business because they want to demonstrate on TV during game time.

      When the NFL got into politics, it automatically divided fans. Some agree with the protest and think, absurdly, that the US is a racist country that owes reparations, and all cops are racist. Some disagree fervently, and think the whole thing is unpatriotic. Now, the NFL is going to lose fans either way.

      This is why they should never have allowed a political demonstration during work hours.

  4. Au contraire!

    The government has the full authority to nullify private property rights and order American businessmen and citizens to do whatever the governmental despots and Karl Marx desire – the liberal psychosis du jour. Just look at “Affirmative Action Privilege,” quotas, forced busing, dumbed-down matriculation, unfair “Fair Housing” laws, discriminatory “Non-Discrimination” laws, and a trillion (with an exponent) other totalitarian compulsory “regulations,” all of which are eminently unconstitutional, by the way.

  5. NFL did Trump/Reps a favor by getting squishy again on this issue in mid-term election year.

  6. TRUMP TWEETS THIS WEEKEND BEG FOR OBJECTIVE SCRUTINY

    In the tweet below, posted 20 hours ago, Trump dismisses Russian meddling as “so-called”. But, if indeed it occurred, Obama was negligent for letting it happen. Again, it didn’t really happen, but if it did, Obama was responsible. How utterly irrational!

    In a normal America this one tweet would be evidence that Trump is unfit for the presidency.

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 20 hours ago

    “Why didn’t President Obama do something about the so-called Russian Meddling when he was told about it by the FBI before the Election? Because he thought Crooked Hillary was going to win, and he didn’t want to upset the apple cart! He was in charge, not me, and did nothing”.

    43,413 replies 30,023 retweets 109,601 likes

    1. Immediately after posting this, I noticed Paul Waldman of The Washington Post had commented on the absurdity.

      “This is like someone on trial for bank robbery saying, “That bank wasn’t even robbed! Somebody else robbed it! And what we should really be asking is why the cops didn’t stop the bank from being robbed!”

      1. That is exactly right, Peter. There is zero logical consistency in Trump’s tweet. But 100% of his followers either won’t grasp that or won’t care. It’s thru the mirror with Donald Trump, Our Bizarro President.

        1. Wildbill, one has to be able to understand context and significance. Peter drank way too much cool aide and can’t extract himself from the mindless talking heads. He bases fitness to serve on utter stupidity as demonstrated above. Do you want to go down the same road as him?

            1. Why don’t you write the sentences that cause you confusion and then state why you believe Peter is right.

              The main impetus is that if Obama thought the Russians were truly influencing the election then why didn’t he do something? That is a good question and one should be asking if under those circumstances Obama was fit to be President, though I think that is a pretty stupid comment either way. The second idea is so-called Russian… That can mean anything from no interference to relatively insignificant interference. The Russians didn’t influence the vote and spent a hundred or so thousand dollars on both sides of the aisle. That isn’t significant.

              Look at the tweets from these genius’s that Peter may or may not quote. They railed against Trump because of a picture of illegal children in jail and made all sorts of dumb comments against Trump just like Peter. Then they found out they were old pictures taken during the Obama administration and quickly erased their tweets. Is that a sign of intelligence or an indication they are fools trying to spin everything to meet their needs. Do you wish to be one of those fools?

        2. Trump should have kept his Tweet strictly to honoring the military today. He really does need a team of Tweet writers to vet his posts just like they would any other communication.

    2. It’s an “if, then” statement that’s not difficult to follow. You’re unfit to post on this blog.

  7. You have written this article saying NFL Players Do Not Have A Constitutional Right To Protest During The National Anthem. How about writing an article about Trump clearly violating U.S. Code 18 U.S.C. § 227 ‘Wrongfully influencing a private entity’s employment decisions by a Member of Congress or an officer or employee of the legislative or executive branch’

    1. And First Amendment protects all citizens, including the President: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    2. How about starting your own blog to write about ideas that make no sense? There you could demand prosecution for violations of the Logan act or the emoluments clause even though those make no sense at all as well.

    3. You do realize that your broad interpretation would completely preclude both free speach and legislation that even remotely touched on employement.

  8. PROFESSOR TURLEY MENTIONED BY TRUMP IN TWO TWEETS TODAY

    “We now find out that the Obama Administration put the opposing campaigns presidential candidate, or his campaign, under investigation. That raises legitimate questions. I just find this really odd…this goes to the heart of our electoral system.” Jonathan Turley on @FoxNews
    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 3h3 hours ago

    “Sally Yates is part of concerns people have raised about bias in the Justice Dept. I find her actions to be really quite unbelievable.” Jonathan Turley
    6,876 replies 7,556 retweets 28,849 likes

    1. Ever get a gut feeling that Trump is actually posting on JT’s blog incognito? I wonder what his handle name is?

    2. Well, yeah, when a legal scholar who has testified multiple times before Congress and has clearance posts an opinion that supports your case, you remark upon it.

  9. Rutherford Institute, Chris Long Weigh in on NFL Announcement on National Anthem

    http://www.nbc29.com/story/38272175/rutherford-institute-chris-long-weigh-in-on-nfl-announcement-on-national-anthem

    Posted: May 24, 2018 3:10 PM CDT

    The Rutherford Institute says the NFL’s decision violates the First Amendment

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) –

    The Charlottesville area-based Rutherford Institute is saying the NFL has got it wrong.

    Constitutional rights attorneys say the decision to force players to stand or stay in the locker room during the national anthem is unconstitutional.

    The Rutherford Institute says fining players who kneel on the field during the song would violate the First Amendment in regard to the right to protest.

    The issue has received a lot of attention over the past year with football players choosing to “take a knee” while the anthem plays. The institute says protesting during the anthem is not an insult.

    “This is within your rights,” says John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute. “The flag says and stands for the Constitution. It says you have a right to freedom. That’s what we fight for. We fight for freedom.”

    The institute also says that President Trump’s suggestion that those who refuse to stand should not be allowed in the United States is a misguided idea.

    University of Virginia alumnus and NFL player Chris Long also weighed in on this announcement via a tweet.

    He said in part, “this is fear of a diminished bottom line. It’s also fear of a president turning his base against a corporation. This is not patriotism. Don’t get it confused. These owners don’t love America more than the players demonstrating and taking real action to improve it.” – Reported by Taylor Gleason

  10. Re: standing in the sun…probably one of the few good things about Trump…it’s called Duty….once in a while you miss a photo op :-)Was surprised that bone spurs didn’t act up…better op was watching PBS Memeotial Day concert………….many vets & military endured rain..even the Brass..

  11. TRUMP REKINDLED WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A FADING THREND

    This informal protest in which certain players kneel during the national anthem would have fizzled early last season. But Trump galvanized the movement by aggressively denouncing the kneelers. Therefore this ‘taking the knee’ trend has essentially become a resistance gesture against the Trump presidency. Perhaps Trump wanted it that way. Perversely Trump seeks to divide the country for reasons Robert Mueller may uncover yet.

    1. It doesn’t matter what Trump does or doesn’t do. The stupid will always find fault even when they formerly may have agreed with him.

      “When you are dead, you do not know you are dead.
      It’s only painful & difficult for others.

      The same applies when you are stupid.”

      —Philippe Geluck

  12. Some wanted a more thorough physical exam of Trump. Here it is:

    Did you know that President Trump stood on concrete in the hot sun and shook the hand of every single Naval Academy graduate? By Thomas Lifs

    “… But Rick and I, and probably you, did not hear about the fact that the President of the United States, a 71 year old man, stood in the Maryland sun and heat, wearing a suit jacket, and took the time to shake the hand and thank every single one of the 1,191 graduates. I learned of this via Glenn Reynolds and The Newly Press. It was not exactly a secret, yet got little play in the media. You can see the entire process, speedy up, in this tweet:
    Josh Caplan @joshdcaplan

    Awesome video of Pres. Trump shaking hands of Naval Academy graduates for 90 minutes. Here’s every single one in under a minute.

    dagny @dukeblu85

    71 year old, stood straight backed in the sun on concrete and shook hands for 90 minutes. What an incredible tribute. Thank you President Trump. Meaningful. #MAGA

    These new Naval Officers and Marines will remember the gesture for the rest of their lives. I don’t recall President Obama doing anything similar.”

    Continued at the American Thinker

    1. The real heroes are the ones that has made the decision to protect this country, NOT a man wearing a suit made in China, giving up his golf outing.

      1. And if you note, he celebrated them by staying behind and shaking every one of their hands. That is quite a departure from the way our past President managed similar events.

          1. emw, You sound like a repressed sexual maniac that is trying to impress us with what you consider your normality.

          1. Fun fact: All the many multiple women and men who had sex or were compelled to have sex with FDR JFK, RFK, MLK, LBJ, WJC, BHO, et al. were definitively rebuffed in any effort to promulgate their stories. CNN, PMSNBC, CBS, NBC ABC, HLN, NPR and the rest of the communist propaganda platforms commanded by the indoctrination division simply DID NOT publish adverse and/or personal facts regarding their redistributionist communist heroes.

            To wit,

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V6SokexKqQ

            WITNESS DISCLOSURE. ORAL SEX AND CRACK COCAINE WITH OBAMA

            1. Natacha – I am not obsessed with having sex with Stormy Daniels, I wouldn’t touch her with Bill Clinton’s dick. You just don’t understand dry wit.

  13. The Destiny of America By Calvin Coolidge-Memorial Day May 30, 1923

    Patriotism is easy to understand in America. It means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country. In no other nation on earth does this principle have such complete application. It comes most naturally from the fundamental doctrine of our land that the people are supreme. Lincoln stated the substance of the whole matter in his famous phrase, “government of the people; by the people, and for the people.”

    continued at https://amgreatness.com/2018/05/28/the-destiny-of-amer

  14. Money is speech, corporations are people. Some have more equal rights than others. Civil Rights are subject to review by money and corporations. The way it’s going, it’s only a matter of time before we all stand at work or play to the corporate song or the raising of the oligarchs family flag.

    1. Professor Turley says: “No court will rule that employees of a private company have a right under the First Amendment to conduct protests at work against the wishes of their employer.” While that may be the law, there are plenty of judges who are members of the “Resistance” who don’t care about the law if it conflicts with their views of correct social policy.

    2. “How important are our constitutional rights if an employer can fire us for exercising them?” -James Bhandary-Alexander, a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School

      From the Bloomberg article:

      “Another recourse for private sector employees exists in state employment law, where some legislatures have gone further than Congress in reigning in management prerogatives. Several states restrict companies from firing employees for things they do outside of work, or more narrowly for involvement in electoral politics.

      ““We’re talking about to what extent employees are able to maintain their constitutional rights in all spheres of their life,” said James Bhandary-Alexander, a visiting lecturer at Yale Law School who has brought cases under a Connecticut law that restricts companies from firing workers for exercising of First Amendment rights. “How important are our constitutional rights if an employer can fire us for exercising them?””

      1. The Social contract is that you cede a single right that of initiating violence against others, in return for government protecting you from others initiating violence against you.

        The only right you have with respect to private parties in their property – is to be free from violence so long as you do not tresspass. And they have the same very limited rights with respect on your property.

        If you do not like your terms of employment – do not work for that employer. If you do not like those of any employer – work for yourself.
        No one owes you a job. No one owes you anything beyond their duty not to initiate violence against you.

  15. “No court will rule that employees of a private company have a right under the First Amendment to conduct protests at work against the wishes of their employer.”

    Exactly. I support free speech. However, as an employer, our employees do not have the right to conduct protests at work that would impact our own reputation and bottom line. What if we didn’t agree with our employee’s political position? What if we had some on one side of an issue, and some on the other, and they were protesting and counter protesting at work, in our office and in clients’ locations? Absurd.

    1. The NFL made a fatal error in allowing players airtime to engage in political protests. Now, they have fans regardless. They lost fans who refused to watch an organization that showed blatant disrespect to our country and the police. Now they may lose slightly less than half, who engage in the typical lazy critical reasoning that if the league won’t allow protests, then it must be racist.

      The NFL inadvertently took a stand, pun intended, on this issue. Now they are paying the price for allowing a sport to become yet another arena for divisive political bloodsport.

      Current and future NFL players – do you want the chance to play professional football, become famous, and make millions of dollars playing the sport you love? Then play football and leave your personal opinions at home. You are not entitled to be paid millions of dollars while you cause damage to the sponsors and employers. If they fired every single one of them, there would be thousands of eager college ball grads waiting for their own chance.

      This is the problem with this generation – they feel they are entitled to everything that they want, with no personal responsibility or consequences for their actions.

      And one more thing, studies show that the US is one of the least racist nations in the world. This is just political machinations in a bid for relevance and a platform. What would the entire Democratic party do if they admitted that racism is rare nowadays, and there are systems in place to calmly and rationally deal with it when it occurs? Human nature being what it is, you will never be free of hatred or bigotry. Look at politics today for an example. But as a whole, we are nowhere near the days of the Jim Crow South.

      If you want real upward mobility for more African Americans, then put back together the nuclear family. The number one most significant action an African American woman can take to protect against a life of poverty is to wait to have babies until she gets married. Where are the protests, marches, and decorative socks celebrating the power they have over their own fate and urging the best decisions?

      https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2018/02/27/the-middle-class-is-becoming-race-plural-just-like-the-rest-of-america/ – The middle class is comprised of all races, and will become more so in coming years.

      1. “What would the entire Democratic party do if they admitted that racism is rare nowadays”

        That is why Obama stoked the racial fires.

      2. xxx

        “What would the entire Democratic party do if they admitted that racism is rare nowadays”

        That is why Obama stoked the racial fires.

      3. Karen, Republicans are renewing their war against women’s reproductive rights; restricting access to abortion and contraception. How does that help Black women with family planning decisions?

        1. Karen, Republicans are renewing their war against women’s reproductive rights; restricting access to abortion and contraception.

          As would anyone of sense and decency. Only degenerates consider it a ‘right’ to dismember a child in the womb, or soak it in caustic brine.

            1. “Irish abortion referendum: yes wins with 66.4% – as it happened”

              https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/may/26/irish-abortion-referendum-result-count-begins-live

              “My colleague at Dublin Castle Emma Graham-Harrison tells me that as the results were announced, the crowds in the courtyard began chanting, “Savita, Savita!” – the name of the Indian dentist who died of sepsis in 2012 after being refused an abortion during a protracted miscarriage.”

              1. “The final tally was 1429981 Yes votes to 723632 No votes”

                “Irish abortion referendum result: Yes defeats pro-life campaign with …”

                https://www.independent.co.uk › News › World › Europe

                2 days ago –

                “The final tally was 1429981 Yes votes to 723632 No votes. … Irish abortion referendum result: Yes defeats pro-life campaign with double …”

              2. Ireland has finally cast off the yoke of Catholic Rule. Now if the U.S. could just throw off the yoke of Evangelical rule.

            1. No, we need to expand it to include women who hire perverted gynecologists as hit men.

              1. Again:

                “Irish abortion referendum: yes wins with 66.4% – as it happened”

                https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/may/26/irish-abortion-referendum-result-count-begins-live

                “My colleague at Dublin Castle Emma Graham-Harrison tells me that as the results were announced, the crowds in the courtyard began chanting, “Savita, Savita!” – the name of the Indian dentist who died of sepsis in 2012 after being refused an abortion during a protracted miscarriage.”

                  1. The Nutchab asks: “DIane, why not stick to one handle?”

                    S/he’s off base again, as s/he often is. (I’m not someone named Diane or DIane. And I always use “one handle.”)

            2. “We need to expand “Lock Her Up” to include all women.”

              This is why our country is not mature enough to calmly discuss the important issues like abortion. Right.

        2. #1, everyone knows how babies are made. It is disturbing how high STDs and unplanned pregnancies are. Abortion is not the proper first line of defense in family planning. People need to look out for their health and future, in their relationship decisions. Obviously, this does not apply to birth control failure or rape.

          “Republicans are renewing their war against women’s reproductive rights.” People have the right to their opinion about the legality of abortion. If you look into it, pro-life and pro-choice people have more in common than first meets the eye. For instance, the overwhelming majority of people agree that there should be some limit on abortion. Very few extremists would support killing a full term, healthy baby, by severing his spinal chord in the birth canal moments before he drew breath. Most people realize that “drawing breath” is a fine distinction between when it is OK to kill a fetus, compared with illegal infanticide. Dr. Gosnell’s house of horrors was traumatic for the majority of Americans to hear about.

          Therefore, almost all people believe that at some point, the fetus is a human being who has a right to live. At some point, both sides agree it’s no longer the woman’s right to choose. The question is, where is that point? Most people actually do believe this should be legislated, so you won’t have a continuation of Dr. Gosnell killing full-term infants as they are partially born.

          This is a very difficult conversation that the country must have. And it cannot have a fruitful discussion as long as people use rhetoric like “war on women’s reproductive rights” or “baby killer.” It is alienating.

          Restricting access to contraception? How many forms do you need? Birth control has been legal for years and many forms were covered by health insurance. Condoms are free in all 50 states, and you can even send away for them. Plus, they protect against STDs, such as the Super Gonorrhea that is resistant to every form of antibiotic on planet Earth. Obama forced insurance companies to carry 26 forms of birth control, and they were not allowed to charge a copay. Why not do that for life saving medications like diabetes and heart medication? Because it would jack up premiums to the stratosphere. In fact, people need to become more savvy about health care costs. You keep premiums down by adding copays. Therefore, you only pay more if you use more. Without copays, your premium goes way up regardless of whether you use a lot or a little medication. Plus, it treats all women like children who are unable to pay a copay like a grownup, regardless of their socioeconomic status. Seriously, our premiums went up because all women, including Kim Kardashian, needed access to 26 forms of birth control without a copay?

          Do they think we’re stupid and won’t figure out that we pay net more than if there was a small copay?

          What Black women, and all other women, need to do is to wait to have children until they are married. That is the single best preventer of a life of poverty. Women don’t have abortions every single month. In order to protect their physical health, they should use condoms. Otherwise, if they have multiple partners, and only use birth control, they will join the growing numbers with STDs. Being monogamous and waiting to sleep with someone until they are in a long term committed relationship also helps, such as dating someone they have known long enough to trust.

          Is this a question? Do you think Republicans are behind the high birthrate out of wedlock among African Americans that has gone on for decades, and in fact growing among other groups? What, do they empty out all the free condoms and block all birth control? Dastardly.

        3. Peter Hill – another point that I would like to raise in the tough abortion discussion is that many women change their minds about having an abortion if they get an ultrasound. That indicates that they did not understand gestation. Some are surprised to know there is a heart beat, movement, and a recognizable human in there pretty early on. I know when I got my first ultrasound, I was so moved. Later, I realized that many women abort their babies at that state. My baby was flipping around in there, very active. He was no “ball of cells”. Abortion supporters would have you believe the fetus remains in the blastula stage for 4 months.

          If a woman changes her mind when she gets an ultrasound, that means she was denied an informed decision. Some clinic decided she didn’t get to know anything that might sway her decision, rather than treating her like an adult and letting her decide with all the facts, if she wants them. Is that medically ethical, to let a woman go through with that, without making sure she understood what that entailed? When I had shoulder surgery, the surgeon went into great detail about what his plan was to fix my injury. What if I had gone in there, and he had told me not to worry my little head about what he was going to do? My pulmonologist has lots of posters in his offices about COPD, Asthma, Bronchitis, and the timeline of how your body recovers after quitting smoking. Patients are bombarded with information. Why is similar information not provided in abortion clinics, if they are just doing medical procedures for women’s health?

  16. This is your president’s tweet on Memorial Day. For those who voted for him and/or still support him, are you proud of this? Are you proud of what you have done? Is this why they fought and died?

    Happy Memorial Day! Those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today. Best economy in decades, lowest unemployment numbers for Blacks and Hispanics EVER (& women in 18years), rebuilding our Military and so much more. Nice!

    1. He upsets the frauds and the humbugs in this world. He does that when he’s gracious and when he’s vulgar.

    1. A day of remembering of the sacrifice others took to protect our rights should never be forgotten.

      1. True FW. We should also commit to not putting even more troops in harm’s way – conflicts that have nothing to do with our national security.

        1. @Autumn May 28, 2018 at 2:27 PM
          “True FW. We should also commit to not putting even more troops in harm’s way – conflicts that have nothing to do with our national security.”

          You need to watch CNN more. Wolf Blitzer has explained how good for the economy conflicts really are:

          “Senator Rand Paul’s expression of opposition to a $1.1 billion U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia — which has been brutally bombing civilian targets in Yemen using U.S.-made weapons for more than a year now — alarmed CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday afternoon.

          “Blitzer’s concern: That stopping the sale could result in fewer jobs for arms manufacturers

          “ ‘So for you this is a moral issue,’ he told Paul during the Kentucky Republican’s appearance on CNN. ‘Because you know, there’s a lot of jobs at stake. Certainly if a lot of these defense contractors stop selling war planes, other sophisticated equipment to Saudi Arabia, there’s gonna be a significant loss of jobs, of revenue here in the United States. That’s secondary from your standpoint?’ ”
          https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-09/war-economy-cnns-wolf-blitzer-warns-about-job-loss-if-us-stops-arming-saudi-arabia

          But the US Imperium can’t depend exclusively on the military endeavors of its allies, it has to generate revenue for the Military-Industrial Complex with military interventions of its own, which, regrettably, means putting its own troops in harm’s way in order to spread democracy, peace, and light.

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