Abortion Roll Call

Abortion Roll Call

Abortion Roll Call

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
March 3 2005 7:05 PM

Abortion Roll Call

Abortion roll call: Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline says he needs the medical records of women who have had late-term abortions for use in criminal trials. According to the New York Times, "Mr. Kline emphasized statutory rape … but also spoke obliquely of other crimes that …could include doctors' providing illegal late-term abortions and health professionals' failing to heed a state law that requires the reporting of suspected child sexual abuse."

Pandagon'sliberalS.L. Zoll mocks Kline's claim that the records will help him prosecute statutory rape. This "is a great example," Zoll writes, "of how the Right endeavors to paint themselves as the defendors of all that is decent and good, and to portray their opponents as depraved, immoral monsters who eat puppies and rape children." Hawaii-based Democrat Rob Schumacher asks, "Why not take the records without names? If the people involved are victims of abuse they will press charges ... or not ... as their feelings and desires dictate." A conservative libertarian, Kansas high school teacher predicts that Kline's attempt to subpoena the records will fail. "I'm not as ready to fit Kline for the red armband and jackboots. … I hope I'm wrong; I hope that Kline really does have other evidence and suspects in these cases, and that we'll be locking up some bad people very soon. I just don't think it's so." El Borak, however, defends the attorney general: "Kline is the state's top law enforcement officer. He has evidence of crime. He's looking for more and building a case, because that's his job." Under Kansas law, if "two 15 year olds screw, they're felons" notes Atrios, who asks why Kline's investigations have "only focused on the sexual activities of teen girls."

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Read more about the Kansas Attorney General's demand here.

Death to blogger-pundits: A member of the Federal Election Commission tells CNET that in a few months, "bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site." The commissionerargues that changes in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law will spell the end of "the freewheeling days of political blogging." In the Agora'sJoshua Claybourn suggests some implications: "[A] blog that praises a politician may be charged a fee based on the percentage of the computer cost and electricity that went to political advocacy." Democracy-Project worries that this "could turn much of what is published on the Net into a samizdat-style activity." Noting that a Democratic judge ruled in favor of these changes, super-Democratic blog MYDD admits, "The Republicans are on the right side of this issue." And uber-conservative Michelle Malkin urges, "This is something bloggers of all political stripes should unite against." RexBlog, however, scoffs at the fuss: "If CNET can produce one member of Congress who will go on record saying they support specific regulations by the FEC that crack down on bloggers who link to a campaign website, then, and only then, will this be more than another faux controversy."

Last year, Slate's Chris Suellentrop urged candidates to take advantage of McCain-Feingold's Internet loophole. Read what other bloggers are saying about the crackdown on blogs here.

Bowling forzombies: A Kentucky high school junior was arrested last week "for making terrorist threats." He told the local news that his grandparents turned him in to the cops after they read a short story he wrote about zombies taking over his high school. "Good luck re-establishing a speaking relationship, Grandma and Grandpa; way to go," razzes Chicago culture blog Farkleberries. Funnyman Neal Pollack says that he once wrote a story "about how the Russians invaded Scottsdale, Arizona, killing my grade-school principal, P.E. coach, and all the bullies who'd given me a hard time. … I guess the difference between 1980 and 2005 is that I didn't go to jail for writing fiction." One anonymous commenter on the blog Life of Brian doubts the innocence ofthe high-schooler's story, which "listed the sites where there are cameras at the school and timed what would be the minimum time it would take for police to arrive on campus once they were called."

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Bidisha Banerjee is the San Francisco-based co-author of a forthcoming Yale Climate and Energy Institute/Centre for International Governance Innovation report on scenario planning for solar radiation management. She is collaborating on a geoengineering game and has written about geoengineering governance for Slate and the Stanford Journal of Law, Science, and Policy.