February 04, 1996

      On this our 100th episode of Catt's Claws we declare that we will in every issue from now on out intentionally break a federal law which specifically forbids the transmission of abortion information on Internet... and seriously strikes out at the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by threatening jail for "any obscene, lewd, lascivious, or filthy..." materials.
      This first inroads on our rights of free speech by the religious right is a frightful thing. Who defines what is obscene, lewd, lascivious, or filthy ???
      We are quoting a speech by Congressional Representative Patricia Schroeder made on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives last week. Then we are following it with the pertinent text of the section of the new "Telecommunications" law so you can read it yourself.
      When it is signed by President Bill Clinton (who as we have always said is a pragmatist), Catt's Claws will continue to oppose censorship and continue to publish abortion information, etc., which will be in direct violation of the law.
      Look, let's be honest and let's for once be politically savvvvvy.
      (OH GAWD {God, a woman deity}, I can hear the screams of the idealists of this world who still think the good tooth fairy lives and that women will continue to fund organizations that wield no political power.)
      Clinton, as we have pointed out in the past, allowed one of the most restrictive anti-abortion and anti-birth control laws in the nation to be passed while he was governor because he knew that FEDERAL laws supersedes Arkansas law. And he knows that the U.S. Constitution supersedes Congressional spite actions.
      Senator Hyde of Indiana who loves to bend over for the religious right, hopes that Clinton will be mightily embarrassed by not vetoing the telecommunications bill as the liberal groups such as NOW get on Clinton's case. Suckered again, ladies if you do it.
      You know, if some of these groups which spend half their time criticizing Clinton would spend some of it by asking President Clinton, "what can we do to help," your voices might be have some power.
      Don't blame Clinton for this. Blame Congress - and unite to do something about things come November.
      See the ploy for what it is.

      Kristin Zeller forwarded the following which was put out by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom:
      This comes straight from conference report/congressional record.
      Mrs. Schroeder: (3 lines snipped)
      "I was on the conference committee, and at 7:40 a.m. this morning was the first time I got the full bill. Let me show you what was attached to it. These are the proposed technical corrections. This is page 1, this is page 2, this is page 3, this is page 4, this is page 5, and this is page 6. We have six little pages of technical corrections.
      "Now maybe the rest of you are quicker than I am, but we have been trying desperately to go through all of this and figure out what these six pages of technical corrections are really going to do to this bill, and because we do not have 3 days, we have until probably about an hour and a half from now, that is it, and I think when you are talking about a seventh of the economy, when you are talking about something that is trillions of dollars, and I come from a district that is very impacted by this, because we have regional Bells, we have long-distance companies, we have got cable companies, we have got all of that. We would like to know what this means, and the idea of 'trust us, hurry out and vote,'' I think is wrong.
      "I mean, I figure I am getting my pay, and I am getting paid to be here, and to be here and study this, and I would hope that we know what is in it before we vote for it.
      "For all of those who think they know all of this and this is fine and this is terrific, let me tell you about one of the things that we stumbled over as we looked at this page upon page of corrections and stuff. We came across section 1462, which I think very few people know is even in this bill. What it says is absolutely devastating to women. What we are going to do is put on a high-technology gag rule with criminal penalties. Have a nice day.
      "Yes, let me read what this brings into the law through one of these little things. It says that any drug, medicine, article, or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion or for any indecent or immoral use or for any written or printed card, letter, circular, book, pamphlet, advertisement, or notice of those giving any kind of information directly or indirectly, no matter what it means, this is going to be deemed a Federal penalty, a Federal crime, if you transmit any of this over the Internet. Now, this is a gag rule that is off the charts.
      "One of the major things people wanted to use Internets for was telemedicine. Does that mean anything dealing with women's reproductive parts they cannot do this? There will be people standing up and saying,
      " 'Oh, Schroeder, cool off, that will never be considered constitutional.' Well, if we are going to vote for things we think are not constitutional and we are going to do it in this fast a pace, we ought to give at least part of our salary to the judges. We are just going to mess everything up over here and send it over to them. I do not think so.
      "Let me tell you what lawyers tell me. Lawyers tell me do not be so quick about saying this is not constitutional; there was a pre-1972 case that upheld the constitutionality of this. And, second, we are talking about an international Internet. That is what our companies want to get on. And we have now seen one case with Germany talking about standards and what they want, and this, I think, would only give some international gravitas to limiting what you can say about women's reproductive health in and around the Internet no matter which side of this issue you were on.
      "I just think, why can we not have a little technical amendment correcting this? I think you are going to hear all sorts of people say we did not intend that, we did not mean it, let us have a colloquy, oh, let us, oh, let us, oh let us. Why can we not fix this? Why are not women in the world important enough if you can have six pages of technical corrections for every other thing you can possibly think of, some megacorporation wants? Why can we not take a deep breath and do this? Does that mean somebody's golf schedule in Florida is going to get upset? I do not know.
      "I must say I am very saddened we are coming to the floor with this rule saying we have to waive the 3-day proposal where we have time to read this and digest this, because I really do not think anybody here could pass a test. I really do not.
      "I was on the conference committee. Let me tell my colleagues, those conference committees were absolutely nonsubstantive. We would all gather in a room, best dressed, the TV camera from C-SPAN II would pan us, that would be the end of it.
      "I really hope people vote 'no'' on this rule."
      (End of Schroeder's remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives.)

      Section 1462 of title 18, as amended, states: "Whoever brings into the United States, or any place subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or knowingly uses any express company or other common carrier, or interactive computer service, as defined in section 230(e)2 of the Communications Act of 1934, for carriage in interstate or foreign commerce --

    (a) any obscene, lewd, lascivious, or filthy book, pamphlet, picture, motion-picture film, paper, letter, writing, print, or other matter of indecent character; or

    (b) any obscene, lewd, lascivious or filthy phonograph recording, electrical transcription, or other article or thing capable of producing sound; or

    (c) any drug, medicine, article, or thing designed, adapted, or intended for producing abortion, or for any indecent or immoral use; or any written or printed card, letter, circular, book, pamphlet, advertisement, or notice of any kind giving information, directly or indirectly, where, how, or of whom, or by what means any of such mentioned articles, matters, or things may be obtained or made..."

      By the way, we have been reading very contradictory statements about whether this law can be enforced or has already been rendered unconstitutional.
      We cannot take chances.
      It must be struck down as soon as possible.
      Do you realize that the "Abortion Services" ads in the yellow pages are forbidden by this?
      Read those paragraphs of the law again.
      Then email and ask President Clinton to veto; send the bill back to have those terrible sections eliminated.
      It is a blatant attempt by the religious right to infringe on our rights.

      Medical authorities are saying the use of two already approved drugs that induce abortions when used in combination has produced a surge in abortions but no one will realize it for several years because they are being prescribed quietly and in private in doctor's offices.
      Dr. Richard U. Hausknecht of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York published a study of the use of the combination of methotrexate and misoprostol to induce abortion in the Aug. 31 in the New England Journal of Medicine. In years past, several doctors, including a woman doctor released the same information and after the first news story, it was quietly ignored/suppressed.
      Catt's Claws vows this time the information will stay available.
      Methotrexate is FDA-approved for use against cancer; Misoprostol is FDA approved to treat ulcers. Because both are FDA-approved, they can be prescribed by physicians today and together, they produce abortions at a better rate than the RU-486 pill.
      Available today at your friendly M.D.
      Also available for many years and never brought to women's attention, the drugs that produced abortions in women with ectopic pregnancies and the so-called morning after pill given to many rape victims.

      P.S. - Forbes' straight tax would RAISE taxes 2% on families which earn less than $39,000 a year and eliminate all taxes on inheritence (of which Stevie got some $400 million when his daddy died).

Women's rights are young and tender and we must protect them from the plagues of holy hypocrisy and newts.

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