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Judge Schreier Gives Coercive Counseling Centers Standing in SD Abortion Lawsuit

Federal Judge Karen Schreier has ruled that purveyors of pious coercion and false science like the Alpha Center and Black Hills Crisis Pregnancy Center can intervene in Planned Parenthood's lawsuit against South Dakota's unconstitutional 72-hour waiting abortion period. Judge Schreier says the CPC's may intervene because they stand to lose 700 new clients a year if the law is overturned.

Now wait a minute: the Alpha Center's Leslee Unruh and her cronies are always hooting about how Planned Parenthood promotes abortion just in the interest of drawing clients and making money. But now Leslee and her fellow (uncertified) "counselors" elbow their way into the court by claiming their "right" to gain more clients from a state-sponsored registry?

Please, dear readers (and I'm sure you're up to this task), clarify for me this double standard.


  1. larry kurtz 2012.01.10

    Judge Schreier is a brilliant jurist who clearly knows that given enough rope this issue could scaffold Republican Marty Jackley as he grooms for higher office.

    It's the red meat in the red map strategy and always brings the money into elections.

    The GOP is toast.

  2. Steve Sibson 2012.01.10

    So now Planned Parenthood is the subject of this post making this directly relevant:

    "Planned parenthood, inspired by the pseudo-scientific theory of eugenics, is among sects the most dangerous one of this century: New-Age, which is not new at all since we have already seen its works in Europe between 1933 and 1945."

    Planned Parenthood, the militant arm of the New Age Theocracy. So Cory, do I need anymore proof that you are working with Theocrats here? Or are you just going to delete this comment because you can't handle the truth?

  3. larry kurtz 2012.01.10

    PP's mission has evolved, should give it try.

  4. Steve Sibson 2012.01.10

    "PP’s mission has evolved"

    That is how New Age Theocrats view it. The truth, they are bringing America down.

  5. larry kurtz 2012.01.10

    Both hospitals in SD where these procedures were performed are monopolies, Steve. Why would you not more open access to medical care?

  6. larry kurtz 2012.01.10

    Okay, busted. Why do you support oligopolies, Steve?

  7. troy jones 2012.01.10

    PP and the crisis pregnancy centers have standing by about every concievable way. Judge Schrier (who even though I do sometimes disagree with is a good jurist) just made the easiest connection. No sin in it nor "symbolism."

    Additionally, the assertion these centers are coercive displays an inaccurate understanding of coercion. Advocacy and education is not coercion.

    This problem is divisive not only because of the difference of outlooks/views/opininions/values but also because of the failure to discuss the matter without denigration.

    There are people who speak out on the pro-life side of the issue who I wonder about their true sincerity about concern about a baby and mother as they appear to use the issue to serve a broader agenda. But Leslee isn't one of those. She has experienced abortion firsthand and her sincere concern for mother and baby is indisputable. Cory, you know better as you wrote a nice piece sometime ago acknowledging this. To demonize her personally to serve an agenda is the opposite side of the coin of those on the pro-life issue I reference above.

  8. Bill Fleming 2012.01.10

    Troy, it's an interesting "chicken or the egg" question, isn't it? Prior to passage of the law in question, the counseling centers would have no more standing than anyone else, isn't that correct? No law, no standing. Curious. And yet is it is the Constitutionality of the law that is in question, isn't it?

  9. Bill Fleming 2012.01.10

    An equivalent scenario would be in the case of the mandatory purchase of Health Care insurance wouldn't it? Allowing insurance companies to have standing because of how much business they might potentially lose if the law is repealed?

  10. troy jones 2012.01.10

    Not a lawyer. Didn't stay at Holiday Inn Express.

    However, the courts have allowed people interested in the matter join. These centers obviously have a concern for the babies and mothers. I think the economics just made it easier for the judge (and she didn't have to concede this point). Non-issue. Move on.

  11. Douglas Wiken 2012.01.10

    The lunacy and distortions of the right wing on this issue cause young girls who get pregnant to become brood cows for mythology. They are impressionable and not aware that a child taking care of a child can effectively destroy two lives and burden taxpayers for two lifetimes and probably several generations more. Perhaps the judge should invite the pocket-book conservatives and taxpayers who get milched some standing in this issue. This issue is too zero-sum to give standing to only those profiting by the law.

  12. Roger Elgersma 2012.01.10

    Saying only one side is coercive shows prejudice. Both sides of this issue are quite certain they are right. I know someone who was totally coerced to get an abortion and ended up in a mental hospital after attempting suicide. That was coercive.
    Agree with Troy.
    Bill, before the court said abortion was legal the abortion clinics had no standing. The idea that some are for abortion because it would cost the taxpayer is money over what is humanly or morally right. Those right wingers are aware that they will have more taxes for those disfuntional children. They also realize that dehumanizing the human being is detrimental to society as a whole. But when promisquous people get decietful to cover their wanderings, then their reasons to cover up their actions also gets decietful. That is why some right wingers simply do not listen to anything we democrats say no matter if it has merit or not. That makes it more difficult for all of us to have meaningful conversation.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.10

    Only one side is coercive? No one is seeking to engage the power of the state to force women to sit through Planned Parenthood lectures.

  14. Bill Fleming 2012.01.10

    "These centers obviously have a concern for the babies and mothers."

    Not especially obvious to me, or the judge either apparently, Troy. As per Cory: "Judge Schreier says the CPC’s may intervene because they stand to lose 700 new clients a year if the law is overturned."

    Sounds like their interest could just as well be economic (i.e. monetary.)

  15. Steve Sibson 2012.01.10

    "No one is seeking to engage the power of the state to force women to sit through Planned Parenthood lectures."

    Cory, the New Age Theocracy is doing that through Comprehensive Sex Education programs of the "state's" public education system. That is very obvious.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.10

    More words without meaning... but when we tried to force Leslee Unruh's abstinence message on everyone, we found it didn't work. There's a difference between requiring rational scientific information in school curriculum and forcing women seeking an abortion to subject themselves to a lecture from religious zealots committed to using any means necessary to stop them from exercising their constitutional rights.

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.10

    Bill, I'm not convinced that Leslee is wholly free of some other agenda than simple concern for babies and mothers. Do remind me of the complimentary piece you are thinking of, and I'll give my suspicions further review.

  18. Steve Sibson 2012.01.11

    "There’s a difference between requiring rational scientific information"

    Cory, the [...] sex ed propaganda flies in the face of scientific facts:

    "A practical look into new scientific research showing how sexual activity causes the release of brain chemicals which then result in emotional bonding and a powerful desire to repeat the activity. This book will help parents and singles understand that “safe sex” isn't safe at all; that even if they are protected against STD's and pregnancy, they are still hurting themselves and their partner."

  19. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.11

    Tell me how explaining what birth control does and doesn't do and helping people understand all the methods at their disposal to avoid pregnancy and STDs is unscientific. (And do so without flogging any irrelevant memes.)

  20. troy jones 2012.01.11

    I laugh when I hear the term "rational scientific information" from a liberal because "rational" means "my values", scientific means "influenced by feelings" and "information" means "my information with some freedom to fudge the data."

    This disagreement is in the end about your values and mine. I am honest enough to admit it. Cory, to hide behind and invoke science is dishonest.

    Bill, if you really believe these centers do not have concern for mother's and babies, i am really disappointed. I dont know what else to say.

  21. larry kurtz 2012.01.11

    You're right, Mr. Jones: you're not a lawyer. Evidence presented in court has to conform to reality. This case smells so much like discrimination it's clearly fishy.

  22. Bill Fleming 2012.01.11

    Troy, I'm talking about the judge's ruling (and perhaps by extension, the counselling center's argument) which appears to be more related to lost business than concern for mothers and babies.

    Otherwise, everyone would have standing except, of course, people who don't care about mothers and babies.

    Likewise, I too would be disappointed if you are saying that no one besides the conselling centers care about mom's and kids, but I doubt that's what you are saying (although I do notice that on this particular issue you are sometimess less than objective).

  23. Bill Fleming 2012.01.11

    By the way, I'm not objecting to the judge's ruling here. I beieve this issue needs to be debated and understood in the broadest possible context. I'm only trying to be clear as to what her ruling is, specifically. And if is that anyone who cares about moms and kids should have standing in the case, so be it. I just don't get that's what she is saying. I think she's referring to business interests.

  24. troy jones 2012.01.11

    Judges in deciding standing have a number of criterium and economic is one. It is also the easiest to state requiring a simple ruling.

    Fyi, most environmental groups utilize economic interest to get standing. I dont infer this is their real motive and you shoulnt make the same inference here.

    As i said earlier, move on. This tactic is really just adhominem.

  25. larry kurtz 2012.01.11

    Totenberg: "oral exam not relevant in sex discrimination case."

  26. Bill Fleming 2012.01.11

    Okay, I'll move on Troy. But first, I have to coach you a little about word usage if you'll allow me. "Criterium" doesn't mean what you think it means (see link below.) The plural of "criterion" is "criteria." (I know you'll thank me for this some day brother.)

  27. Elliot Knuths 2012.01.11

    Mr. Kurtz,

    That off-color joke just made my day.

    Thank you so much,
    Elliot Knuths

  28. larry kurtz 2012.01.11

    avoid getting any on you, Mr. Knuths.

  29. troy jones 2012.01.12

    Bill, thanks for the english lesson. I seriously am contemplating taking up the hobby of learning Latin which will prevent such mistakes in the future. :)

  30. Bill Fleming 2012.01.12

    No biggie, Troy. Just figured you would want to know. I didn't know about the "criterium" bicycle thing either until I looked it up.

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