I don't know how many of my readers or my InjuryBoard colleagues are familiar with Emily's List, so I thought I would share some information. In 1985, a woman named Ellen Malcolm convened a group of 25 women to send letters to friends who might agree (and contribute money for a cause in support of the proposition) that woman were under represented in American politics. Their primary fundraising was devoted to Democratic, pro-choice, women's rights.
The mission of the group is stated, very simply, on its website:
EMILY’s List is dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women to office. The method is a little more complicated, but not much.
Since 1985, this once small group has raised over $86 Million for pro-choice Democratic candidates. They now have over 1,000,000 members.
As many of you know, President Obama's recent addition of contraceptive devices to our national healthcare coverage has stirred some controversy in religious circles. GOP congressional leaders, in response to these healthcare proposals, have convened a congressional committee to study birth control coverage. Below (furnished by Emily's list to me, by email) is a photograph of those (primarily religious leaders) invited to testify before the committee:
I am forced, by common sense and logic, to asked the same question that Emily's list is asking:
"What's Wrong With This Picture?"
There are pro-choice democratic women on the committee; they pleaded with the Republican committee chair to include a female witness. When the chair refused, these brave women stood up for all pro-choice women. In fact, they not only stood up, but they also turned and walked out on this farce of a hearing. An all-male GOP calls on all-male religious leaders to decide whether insurance plans should fully cover birth control!? What a joke! But this is what we have come to expect from those who allow conservative religious beliefs to dictate public policy in a country that is supposed to separate church and state, supposed to promote religious freedom, even the freedom to be a non-believer.
And these politicians are the biggest hypocrites of all. The same "champions of the far right" who oppose adding birth control to insurance coverages are also anti-abortion, or, as they like to refer to themselves: "pro-life". Being "pro-choice" does not exclude someone from being "pro-life". I am not a fan or supporter of abortion. I do not believe that it should be used, as it is by some, as a means of birth control. I am a father of four children and a grandfather of two, with two more on the way. The thought of those beautiful children not being allowed a chance to enter and experience the world is abhorrent to me. But, what others decide to do with their lives, their bodies, their circumstances, is none of my business, and that makes me, solidly, "pro-choice". I am also, as most of my readers know, solidly "anti-tort reform". I am for limited government: I don't want these politicians in my bedroom or any American bedroom; I don't want these politicians in my courtroom. These issues a solidly linked. These far right politicians seek to infringe on precious constitutional and fundamental citizen's rights
There are many on the far right who scream "limited government"!, "get government off my back"! Those are the same politicians and business people who would allow government into our bedrooms, into our family planning clinics, into our courtrooms. "We want less government, but we want to legislate what women do with their own bodies (the worst of these would do so even in the cases of rape and incest)". We want less government, but we want to legislate who can sue who in court and for what and how much". How do these positions square with the concept of "limited government". These people, who and wherever you may find them, are the very definition of hypocrisy.
In the meantime, I encourage all people of common sense to reject the dark age positions of the far right. Come into the 21st century. into the age of reason. Come into the light, and while you're at it, pay a visit to Emily's List and make a nice donation.
Mark Bello has thirty-five years experience as a trial lawyer and thirteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Mississippi, Connecticut, Texas, and Tennessee Associations for Justice, and Consumers Attorneys of California, member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series—Mark Bello is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation. He is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.