Isn't it odd that just when New York Governor Elliott Spitzer has introduced the RHAPP Bill -- the Reproductive Health and Privacy Protection Act -- which guarantees women the right to choose or refuse birth control and abortion, he is simultaneously the subject of a highly publicized sex sting that threatens to destroy his career and possibly send him to prison?
Surely, what Spitzer is accused of -- an interstate tryst with an expensive prostitute -- is egregious for a family man and a high ranking public servant. Nonetheless, it's striking that the Governor comes under attack NOW when he's proposing the country's most comprehensive protection for women.
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Spitzer's RHAPP Bill is highly controversial and the blatant target of the Catholic Church and anti-abortion groups nationwide. These groups are relentless in their efforts to thwart a woman's right to choose. Anti-abortion proponents have murdered doctors and bombed clinics. Some have committed heinous acts of domestic terrorism -- yet because the current administration shares their ideology, anti-abortionists, as a group, are publicly supported. At their anti-abortion rallies, loudspeakers broadcast well wishes from the President of the United States.
Elliott Spitzer "may" have committed an act that is shameful for a husband and a father, but how many other politicians and powerful leaders are guilty of the same? The only difference may be that those other leaders aren't launching sweeping legislation to protect the rights of women, and in so doing, mobilizing the powerful and vengeful forces of the conservative religious right.
As reported this morning by Amy Goodman on "Democracy Now!," Governor Spitzer was scheduled to deliver a major address yesterday morning in Albany, New York, on the issue of women's reproductive rights. One thousand people were awaiting the Governor's address when the news of his sexual liaison broke. Governor Spitzer abandoned his women's rights speech to defend his own rights instead. He had no other choice.
Timing is everything -- so it is said.
(Note: This article was originally posted as a diary - but it has been revised to include more recent information. A version still remains in the diary column to preserve the original comments.)