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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Abortion opponents want end to telemedicine

In an effort to address the shortage of doctors available to provide abortion services in Iowa, a program to dispense abortion-inducing medication remotely via video conference called telemedicine, has been developed.  Abortion opponents want it stopped.
Abortion foes pleaded with the Iowa Board of Medicine on Friday to immediately halt Planned Parenthood's use of telemedicine to dispense abortion pills to women in rural communities, but the board said it needs more time to study the issue.

The first-in-the-nation system allows a Planned Parenthood physician in Des Moines to visit with each patient by video conference, then press a computer button to open a drawer in front of the patient, who could be at a clinic many miles from the doctor. The patient reaches into the drawer and withdraws the pills, taking the first dose as the doctor watches.
 Read more at the Des Moines Register

Monday, October 25, 2010

JAC In The News -- More fear and loathing on the campaign trail

JAC in the news -- JACPAC is mentioned in this article from the Jerusalem Post highlighting the Congressional race in IL-9th district between Representative Jan Schakowsky and her challenger Joel Pollack.
Nowhere are Republican efforts to transform support for Israel from a long-standing bipartisan national consensus into a divisive partisan wedge issue more on display than in Illinois’s Ninth Congressional District race.

Since both candidates are Jewish and pro-Israel, Republican challenger Joel Pollak can’t call the incumbent, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat, an anti-Semite or an enemy of Israel, so he accuses her of cavorting with them.

Read more at the Jerusalem Post

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rachel Maddow Examines Anti-Abortion Candidates

On last night's show, Rachel Maddow reviewed the current crop of anti-abortion candidates running for office and offered a preview of the upcoming documentary on the murder of Dr. George Tiller.  From candidates who believe that abortion should never be legal, even in the case of rape, incest, or health of the mother, to a group called Personhood USA who is now equating President Obama with the Angel of Death, abortion is starting to take a much more visible role this election season.  Despite popular opinion that this election is only about the economy and jobs, culture wars are very much making a come back.

View the video at MaddowBlog

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Unifying factor in 2010 election: Never before

JAC's Director of Research is quoted in this excellent article about the upcoming mid-term elections.
Talk to veteran campaign watchers about this year’s congressional races, and within seconds they will tell you that they've never before seen elections quite like these.
“We've never seen a cycle where there's been this many races this close to an election and you don’t know how it's going to come out,” said Joy Malkus, the research director at the Chicago-based Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs, or JACPAC, a group that directs funding to candidates who are pro-Israel and moderate on social issues. “And I’ve been doing this since 1982.”
Read more at JTA

Friday, October 15, 2010

States Eye Nebraska Abortion Ban

New abortion restrictions are now in effect in Nebraska. The state law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy took effect Friday.  The Legislature passed the ban this year.
Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns now hopes to pass a federal law, similar to the Nebraska ban.  It would require women seeking abortions after twenty weeks to be told the fetus could feel pain and allow them to request anesthesia for the fetus. 
Read more at action3news.com

First look: Inside 'The Assassination of Dr. Tiller'

On Monday night, October 18, MSNBC will air a documentary called "The Assassination of Dr. Tiller," narrated by Rachel Maddow.  The show will be aired at 9:00 EDT (8:00 pm CDT). Below is a link to the preview.  

In light of the increased rhetoric against abortion, and the passage of laws aimed at restricting or outright eliminating access to abortion and reproductive health across this country (especially since the murder of Dr. Tiller), this looks to be a very stirring, informational, and needed documentary. 

Read more at Maddow Blog

Thursday, October 14, 2010

An End to Israel’s Invisibility - by Michael Oren

Ambassador Michael Oren has written an Op-Ed in the New York Times in response to comment by Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
NEARLY 63 years after the United Nations recognized the right of the Jewish people to independence in their homeland — and more than 62 years since Israel’s creation — the Palestinians are still denying the Jewish nature of the state. “Israel can name itself whatever it wants,” said the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, while, according to the newspaper Haaretz, his chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said that the Palestinian Authority will never recognize Israel as the Jewish state. Back in 1948, opposition to the legitimacy of a Jewish state ignited a war. Today it threatens peace.
Read more at The New York Times

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ahmadinejad in Lebanon speaks of ‘Zionist enemy’

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, met by cheering crowds in Lebanon, said his country and Israel's northern neighbor "endorse a bitter struggle against Zionist aggression."

Ahmadinejad arrived in Lebanon on Wednesday and immediately met with Lebanese President Michael Suleiman at the presidential palace.

During a joint news conference, Ahmadinejad said he felt "as though I am at home, in my homeland among my brothers."
Read more at JTA

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Netanyahu offers freeze for recognition

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would reinstate a West Bank construction freeze if the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Netanyahu made the offer Monday in a wide-ranging speech at the opening of the Knesset's winter session.

"If the Palestinian leadership will say unequivocally to its people that it recognizes Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, I will be ready to convene my government and request a further suspension," Netanyahu said. "Just as the Palestinians expect us to recognize their state, we expect reciprocal treatment."

The Palestinian Authority issued a statement rejecting Netanyahu's offer immediately following the speech.

Netanyahu called the deal a "trust-building step." He said that such recognition was not a precondition to talks for Israel.
Read more at JTA

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Two ex-roommates of abortion doctor’s killer tell of grand jury appearances

Two former roommates of the man who killed Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller say they have testified before a federal grand jury investigating whether Scott Roeder acted alone.

Tiller was shot to death in the foyer of his Wichita church while serving as an usher on May 31, 2009. Roeder, of Kansas City, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced in April to life in prison with no chance of parole for 50 years.

After Tiller’s death, the Department of Justice announced that it was looking into whether anyone else played a role.
Read more at the Kansas City Star

Friday, October 08, 2010

What Israel Wants - Ambassador Michael Oren

In an interview with the Washington Post, Ambassador Michael Oren discusses what Israel looks for in the newly restarted peace talks.

View interview at The Washington Post

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Lebanon set to allow Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Israeli border

Lebanon looks set to allow the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to make a highly controversial visit to its border with Israel next week.

The US has been leading diplomatic efforts to persuade the Beirut government that Ahmadinejad's presence in strongholds of the Shia movement Hezbollah in south Lebanon will pose a security risk that could provoke serious violence. But the signs are that the trip will go ahead, diplomats said today.
Read more at The Guardian

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Westboro case poses dilemma for Jewish groups

The US Supreme Court is opening its new session hearing a case regarding free speech.  This case has the potential to have significant ramifications in the interpretation of the First Amendment.
Jewish defense organizations long -- and proudly -- have upheld a delicate principle in defending the First Amendment: Hate the speech, defend the speaker.

But a Supreme Court case whose arguments were scheduled for Wednesday have put that precept to the test: A Maryland family is suing the Westboro Baptist Church for picketing the funeral of its scion, Matthew Snyder, a soldier killed in a noncombat accident in Iraq.

Jewish organizations that routinely have defended free speech that others might find abusive are sitting this one out. The American Jewish Committee has not filed a brief; the Anti-Defamation League filed a brief arguing that the case has no merit.
Read more at JTA

Monday, October 04, 2010

Mitchell: Neither side wants to stop direct talks

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected Monday at the weekly cabinet meeting to make his first public comments on the diplomatic negotiations since the process went into a tailspin following his decision not to renew the 10-month settlement moratorium that expired last week.

Netanyahu spent the Succot holiday last week at his home in Caesarea and issued a number of statements through his office calling on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas not to quit the talks, but did not speak out publicly about the situation.
Read More at The Jerusalem Post

Proposed state legislation would restrict abortion access

Correction:  The Don White listed in in the article below is Don White, State Senator PA. 
New state legislation that would sharply restrict abortions in Pennsylvania was condemned on Friday by a statewide abortion rights group, Pennsylvanians for Choice.

A bill introduced by Sen. Don White, R-Indiana, would prohibit private health insurance plans sold in Pennsylvania's state "exchange" -- created under the new federal health care law -- from offering abortions and require rape victims to report the crime within 72 hours in order to receive an abortion.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Sen. Johanns Introduces Federal Anti-Abortion Bill

Following recent state legislation in Nebraska that bars abortion after 20 weeks based on fetal pain, Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns (R) has introduced a similar bill to the US Senate.
Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns (R) introduced a controversial piece of federal abortion legislation this week in the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.  According to his press release, the legislation would require that if a woman seeks an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy the doctor must inform her of the pain the unborn child feels and provide the woman the opportunity to request anesthesia to the child if she goes forward with the abortion.
Read more at Care2.com