In New Jersey, Vice is Nice–But Incest is Best!

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By doing an end run around Roe v. Wade, States and the Feds are making incest legal by redefining its victims as minors only.

by Jeanette Friedman

In the Soprano state where vice is nice, incest is best and legal among consenting adults. It is incredible that in New Jersey, where Governor Chris Christie and Congressmen Chris Smith and Scott Garrett are political paragons of virtue, incest among consenting adults is perfectly legal, but therapeutic abortions to save the life of the mother wouldn’t be if those same men have their way.

This is the same state that arrogantly cut $1 billion from education, and who knows how much more from programs that provide women with low cost screenings for reproductive diseases, including ovarian, cervical and breast cancer and programs that provide children with food. Looks like the language in HR 3, HR 217, and HR 358, Congressional bills designed to do an end run around Roe v. Wade, was born in New Jersey. It’s also a sneaky way to make incest legal in America, since all three bills state incest only applies to people under 18.

New Jersey does not apply any penalties when both parties engaged in incest are 18 years of age or older. The county prosecutor I spoke to, who stayed on background, wouldn’t say outright that it was legal and kept referring to sexual assault. He asked me to read the sexual assault statute, and I kept asking, “What if the victim doesn’t understand that this is sexual assault? What if Daddy is in control?” There was no comment–but they won’t prosecute if the victim is 18+.

A 2006 Harvard Law Review article said it all: “Inbred Obscurity: Improving Incest Laws in the Shadow of the ‘Sexual Family'”. Harvard Law Review. June 2006. Get it here. It’s legal in France, Belgium, and in Brazil from the age of 14. But you can get up to life in prison for it in Ireland. The Irish understand that incest is always rape.

There are plenty of people who say it’s not a problem, especially the Libertarians. Even Supreme Court Justice Arthur Kennedy says it’s no one’s business. ..Amazing how they keep their noses in women’s private parts, but no one’s permitted to stick noses into their crotches. They clearly understand the uses of power.

I wrote “What do you mean it’s not rape?” because people are inserting the word forcible in front of the word rape for legal purposes–as if rape is not a forcible act, with or without the use of threats, weapons or drugs. Everyone knows it’s all about power and has nothing to do with sex. That’s why rape is used as a weapon of war. Imagine, if you aren’t marked up or if you’ve been drugged, you won’t be a victim, you’ll be an accuser, In Georgia, at least, they want to go that route, and Rep. Bobby Franklin, a Republican, would make all abortions, described as “prenatal murder,” illegal based on the belief that all life begins at conception. Miscarriages in Georgia will become felonies if the mother cannot prove there was no “human involvement.” Unlike New Jersey, at least, in Georgia, incest is still a crime at any age–until the Feds make it legal.

America has lost its collective mind: they are legalizing incest while they send women back to the stone age. Move-on did a PSA with Lisa Edelstein of HOUSE (like young people watch it, not!) and it ends with a lone wire clothes hanger in the closet. How many women under 40 know what that hanger is for? How many of them can even imagine what it was like before Roe V. Wade? We’re talking pregnancies resulting from incest, rape, or affected by drugs and disease that result in non-viable fetuses…
As a result, some hospitals will let women die. Creating non-viable fetuses via incest? Those lawmakers just gotta have those babies.

In South Dakota, they debated for days to decide if your doctor or family member could become a victim of justifiable homicide if he or she takes the fetus to save the life of the mother. They finally shelved it when outsiders reacted.

It’s not just women’s reproductive rights under attack. It’s Head Start, nutritional programs, day care centers, all those things that help single mom families struggling at the edge of poverty keep families and soul together.

Even The Daily Show noticed.

But maybe we are mistaken. Perhaps this is part of a Republican jobs plan. If they get what they want, funeral directors will get plenty of work, emergency room and neo-natal ICU units will need more medical personnel. Prisons will need to be expanded and more prison guards hired…as well as social workers, parole officers…and everything it takes, like $73,000 a year per kid, to keep these unwanted and damaged kids in Juvenile Hall for a year. But if it’s incest, they won’t prosecute because it costs too much.

The men who think they are cutting the budget are gutting American values–diminishing rape victims by calling them accusers; by not allowing American women to make decisions about their own bodies, and denigrating their own mothers, sisters and daughters when they legalize incest between consenting adults in the name of ending abortion.

It makes you wish they’d hurry up and legalize marijuana.



Soul or Pocketbook? You Decide.

By Jeanette Friedman

Thirty-seven years ago, this very week, there was a snowstorm swirling outside my kitchen window, but my sixth floor apartment was so hot and dry I cracked the window facing the fire escape before I went to bed. It was about 3 a.m., and I had just fallen asleep when I woke up to find a man cutting the wires to the phone on my bedside table. Next thing I knew, I was blindfolded with my bathrobe, and could feel the point of a knife pushing into the top of my scalp. I kept thinking that what was happening couldn’t be happening, and remembered what my cop friends had taught me. “Don’t fight back, give them what they want or they won’t think twice about hurting or killing you.”

So I did as I was told, and about half-an-hour later, wrapped in a blanket, I went pounding on my neighbors’ doors, begging them to call the cops. One of my big kitchen knives was laying on the third step of the staircase.

I was not bruised or battered physically, but I demanded to be taken to a hospital for a rape kit. (I was the editor of my college paper and had access to information most women didn’t have. It was 1973 and women were starting to learn how to take care of themselves because, generally, men proved unequal to the task. Mostly I wanted a massive dose of penicillin, just in case I’d caught something disgusting.)

The first question these police officers asked me was what I had done to encourage my attacker. I thought that only happened in movies! I was so furious, I shot back that at 3 a.m., as the snowstorm raged across the city, I had climbed out on the fire escape, and while swinging my panties in the air, had yelled “Here ‘tis, come and get it.”

They finally believed me when they heard the names of my cop friends and saw the evidence: the broken screen in the kitchen window, the knife on the stairs in the hall and the cut phone wires. A few weeks later the rapist got his just desserts. His face was plastered all over the NY Daily News, and more women came forward to identify him. He was a serial rapist who didn’t have to beat his victims black and blue because he carried a weapon.

I wasn’t battered because I had done what the cops taught me to do. And now, thirty-seven years later, Chris Smith, a Republican congressman in my home state of New Jersey, is pushing the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” that invalidates the terrible experiences of millions of American women who were raped. His law basically says that only bruises prove rape and that it isn’t incest if the victim is over 18. By his lights, because we weren’t beaten to a pulp, we weren’t raped. And that means victims of date rapes or designer drug rapes haven’t been raped either. Never mind marital rape. It doesn’t exist. He is saying it’s no longer rape even if there is a knife to the victim’s head—and it isn’t incest because she’s over 18, and she’s not bleeding.

So far there are 173 Congressmen rallying behind this bill—one Smith claims will cut the deficit dramatically by eliminating abortions. What this law really does is pull the rug out from beneath women’s bitterly won rights to do what they want with their own bodies. And that’s precisely the point. They are creating a ruse to stop legal abortions.

I never went back to my apartment after that terrible night, except to move out. I stayed with a friend when I was released from the hospital and spent the rest of the night trying to scrub myself clean. For weeks afterward I held my breath until I got my period. Thank God, Roe V. Wade was passed just two weeks before I was raped. Had I gotten pregnant, I have no doubt I would have gotten an abortion—by hook or by crook. Such a pregnancy would have been life-threatening to me, since I wanted to marry and have children with someone I loved—and not have to commit suicide in despair. (A victim of rape is four times more likely to commit suicide.)

Maybe I believe that women have the right to choose because I am a Jew, and in Judaism, abortion is permitted even during full-term delivery if the life of the mother is at stake. The differences of opinion among the Jews lay not in the act of abortion, which is clearly permitted; they lay in the definition of the word “life.” There are those rabbis who say that a woman’s emotional and mental state matters—especially when it comes to raising children. For some women forced to give birth to a child of rape or a severely damaged child with no hope of recovery, the situation becomes life-threatening—not only to the mother, but to the mental and emotional health of her other children. On the other hand, there are rabbis who say a mother’s life needs to be literally physically threatened by conditions of pregnancy and birth before an abortion can take place. In all cases, the final decision is between a woman, her rabbi and her doctor—and together they face God, come what may.

What is happening right now is that Smith and his cronies have wrapped their religious beliefs in the deficit and are attempting to coerce the rest of us to adhere to those beliefs by abusing the separation of Church and State. True, the separation of Church and State is not explicit in the Constitution. Neither is the right to privacy. Yet both of these principles are considered basic American human rights. They reinforce democratic ideals and allow American women to choose what they want to do, without having someone else’s beliefs jammed down their throats.

Smith’s bill is designed to demolish these long-established American freedoms as he and fellow Republican Mike Pence—whose companion bill aims to prohibit private insurance companies from covering legal abortions—attempt to bring the full force of Federal legislation to bear down on poor and middle class women. They are forcing American women to abide by the rules of Christian beliefs that differ even from those of other Christians. They use doublespeak to redefine rape and incest, words that have accepted meanings, legally and literally, that go back to biblical times. They manipulate the Constitution and lie about the costs of the havoc their bills will create.

If Smith’s bill passes, you will have to suffer contusions, blunt force trauma or open wounds to prove rape, and if you are an incest victim over 18, it won’t be incest. Any resulting pregnancies of these non-rapes will have to be carried to term because Chris Smith will make abortion impossible unless you are wealthy and pay for it “out of network.” It’s already awful to know that if you are a poor woman in America who relies on federal funds for health care, you can’t get an abortion if your fetus was damaged by prescription drugs, a disease you contracted, or a genetic disorder. The government doesn’t allow it.

If these Republicans have their way, women will be forced to go back to pre-1973 kitchen table abortions. These back-alley homemade procedures force women to risk their lives by using Betadyne and knitting needles or coat hangers to accomplish what the United States government will not allow them to do safely. The only women who will escape this desperate trap are the rich.

The rest of us will wonder what we can do for the women who develop complications from butchered abortions and how we will care for the damaged and unwanted children that will be the issue of this insane policy. Will the greater costs lie in our souls or our pocket books?

Call your congressman and tell him or her that you won’t stand for this abuse of legislative power. This is still America—and we are still Americans—of different faiths and belief systems, and no one’s religious agenda speaks for us all, not even to lower the deficit.

(America has more reported rapes, by a huge number, than any other country that gathers such statistics, and researchers note that as many as 60% of all rapes are never reported. Here are the facts and here.)

Naomi Graetz, Biblical Scholar, on Human Trafficking

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Naomi Graetz, the biblical scholar and author of groundbreaking books on the sources for coping with discomfiting Jewish topics like wife-beating, talked about slavery and trafficking at the Rabbis for Human Rights North America Conference on December 6. Graetz, who lives in Omer, a Beersheva suburb, came to the States for that meeting and a biblical scholar’s conference in Atlanta.

Graetz explains that slavery and trafficking resonate from biblical times. Poverty and circumstance have always forced some women into the trade — where they are dehumanized. And while there are those who say prostitution is the world’s oldest profession, Graetz notes that pimps came first, and it is a very lucrative trade, indeed. According to the U.S. State Department, 12.3 million people are in slavery and forced prostitution around the world — most of them women and children. “The practice of closing one’s eyes to a social phenomenon with distressing overtones creates denial — and that prevents the establishment from responding effectively to trafficking,” she said.

read more here.

Women’s groups to support bill that overrides Christie’s July veto of funding for clinics

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Family health care rally set for Trenton
FRIDAY, 17 SEPTEMBER 2010 12:08



The ongoing battle to restore $7.5 million to family planning clinics in the state will be met in front of the State House on Monday, September 20 at noon. That’s when a slew of women’s groups, including the NJ chapter of the National Organization of Women (NOW/NJ), the League of Women Voters, the National Council of Jewish Women, Health Professional and Allied Employees, the Women’s Political Caucus, and Women Advocating for Good Government (WAGS), will send representatives to call on women in the state to support Senator Loretta Weinberg’s ([D] District 37/Bergen County) bill to override Governor Chris Christie’s July veto of restored funding to Family Health Care.


Choiceless Choices

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by Jeanette Friedman

A healthy American economy is necessary for a strong Israel. If you think McCain and Palin won’t cause a financial meltdown guess again. Look at what China said about the US and the global economy. We will be finished as a superpower and will not be able to help ourselves, let alone poor little Israel, which is in better financial shape than us.

Our donated dollars are now worth half of what they were a year ago. If McCain gets in, he said he will tax the middle class and give the biggest corporations tax breaks. He voted to deregulate the securities markets and that led directly to the subprime mortgage debacle. Increasingly, the financial blogs are blaming the Jews for this–and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is selling like hot cakes around the world. Imagine how much worse it would be if McCain had his way and Social Security would have been privatized. Antisemitism is up everywhere.

With American dollars worth so much less in Israel and around the world, with no industrial base and no pensions, and with increasing reliance on oil, (which is killing us by affecting our brains and bodies because of pollution in the air and water) we are in deep trouble. At the GOP convention, McCain’s people said they will do away with the Department of Education. What a great future for our children.

McCain whines Obama had no business going to Hollywood and raising money for the campaign. At his fundraiser, Obama said he didn’t feel like celebrating because Hurricane Ike was devastating and the economy is a disaster. He is itching to fix what’s broken.

Obama takes no public monies for his campaign.. McCain took $84 million from the public trough. His wife is a multi-millionaire and he doesn’t know how many houses he owns–but we have to pay for his election, whether we like it or not. McCain’ policies will continue this insanity–not to mention the war, which is costing us $12 billion a month. We will have to hock our existence to the Saudis.

As for Sarah Palin: There’s Troopergate and nepotism, and Palin’s even more heinous act in making rape victims pay for their rape kits–this is made worse when she says she would do away with Roe vs. Wade. That means that rape victims who resort to back alley abortions or knitting needles and Betadyne become criminals and Christianity is legislated constitutionally. In Halakha, the life of the mother comes first, even during delivery–but not in Palin’s world. And GOP policies will not pay for all those unwanted newborns.

Look at youtube for her church views, how the Jews must suffer terrorism because we refuse to accept Jesus as our Messiah. The Rapture seems to be part of her Middle-East strategy. ( And McCain seems to believe it too. Was he really kidding when he described the Rapture to Jon Stewart so long ago?)

What kind of a woman stands over a bloodied dead moose with a hi-powered rifle in her hand and a young child at her side? What kind of a being shoots innocent animals for fun? She didn’t shoot them for food and survival. She gets up in a helicopter and shoots tens of them at a time,

Consider this:

Obama does a two-minute ad about how we need to fix the economy and get off of oil so we don’t rely on foreign countries to keep us going. He doesn’t mention McCain or Palin, because it’s about the economy and becoming an energy independent nation and world leader. It’s about fixing health care and education…

Go to Obama’s website and read about his policies. Look who he uses for his advisors. His vice presidential pick is Joe Biden, dean of the Senate and head of the Senate Foreign Relations committee who knows every world leader. He is respected, loves and understands the Jewish people, and worked hard for peace in Israel. Dennis Ross is Obama’s Middle East person. Read his book “Statecraft” if you want to know how he thinks and how America can recover.

I am voting for Joe Biden and Dennis Ross, and I am sure, Richard Holbrooke (who was instrumental in stopping the genocide in the Balkans). I am voting for a man who knows where to find the right people to get America back on track.

I am not interested in McCain/Palin and four more years of the same or infinitely worse.

Educate yourself. Get the truth. Then vote for a safer, more secure and financially sound America.

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