I’d like to think that Doug MacEachern was just trolling me with this.


Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com


Doug MacEacern, who inexplicably maintains employment as an Arizona Republic editor, has weighed in on the recent report that the Arizona NARAL Executive Director was contacted by the Arizona Department of Health Services on a tip that she was providing health care services (read: ABORTIONS!) in her home:

You can guess how any homeowner who just lives in her home would react to that. She’d be outraged. And she’d be right to be outraged. Sabine herself said it was “bullying” to have been sent such a letter.

She went to the ACLU, whose lawyers sent a 5-page letter to ADHS, demanding they stop bullying Sabine. The director of the local chapter of the ACLU said the agency’s letter to Sabine constituted borderline harassment.

And, assuming all she did was live in her home, some outrage may have been in order.

But despite Sabine’s whining protests to the media – the “bullying,” the borderline harassment caused by the horror of having received a government letter in the mail — her home isn’t just her home. Or, at least, wasn’t. And the evidence that it’s not comes from none other than Sabine herself.

On the Attestation Letter she returned to ADHS, Sabine wrote: “The facility is a community education, advocacy, or recovery support group that is not owned or operated by or contracted to provide services with a healthcare institution.”

Not just a “home,” as Sabine repeatedly claimed. But a “facility.” It would have been bullying to get Sheriff Arpaio to land a SWAT team on Sabine’s roof. But does it really seem so out of line for a government agency to want to know what kind of “facility” she’s running?

MacEachern’s “factual” assertion rests on Sabine having conducted some NARAL work, which consists no providing of health care whatsoever, out of her home in the past. NARAL AZ now has an office whose address is, understandably, not made public. The reason Sabine described NARAL AZ (not her home) as any type of “facility” is because that was the only choice available to her in the form she was given. Sabine says that NARAL AZ was not even given the option to indicate that the organization engages strictly in education and advocacy work, which would exempt it from any health care provider licensing or inspection requirements.

ADHS quickly closed out the complaint upon learning that Sabine’s home is just a home and that NARAL AZ is not some rogue health care (read: ABORTION!) provider in any way, shape, or form. Certainly, the Google Maps search that Sabine told reporters ADHS ought to have done (that would have indicated that it was a home that was the target of the complaint) should have clued the agency in to the possibility (nay, probability) that the complaint was spurious. It should have led to further searches by ADHS into NARAL AZ tax and corporate filings, which would have explained both the location and mission of the organization, rendering any further investigation pointless. But no, they had to go forth with a demand letter (because ABORTION!).

That aside, MacEachern’s main argument is that Sabine and other publicly pro-choice women (and you know it will mostly be women targeted with this crap) should expect a certain amount of harassment for it. Again:

Not just a “home,” as Sabine repeatedly claimed. But a “facility.” It would have been bullying to get Sheriff Arpaio to land a SWAT team on Sabine’s roof. But does it really seem so out of line for a government agency to want to know what kind of “facility” she’s running?

Apparently, Kat Sabine was just supposed to respond to that ridiculous summons meekly and quietly and then to whatever else anti-abortion zealots throw her way and not make a sound about it in public until a SWAT team has landed on her house. What MacEachern is doing here is similar to when people say that women and gays in the West don’t get to complain about the discrimination they experience because they’d face beheading in Saudi Arabia. My response to that is always that if we wait until people are being beheaded to stop bigotry and bullying here it will be too late. As a formal logical fallacy, it is known as the Fallacy of Relative Privation and it is often wielded by powerful people against less powerful people to silence them. In the case of anti-choice laws, the path to women being harassed and even prosecuted for simply advocating for reproductive rights and merely for living as a woman of reproductive age is both historically and currently proven.

Just in case you weren’t sure of his meaning, MacEachern reiterates his belief that publicly pro-choice women deserve harassment:

Abortion politics being what they are, the pro-life crowd no doubt is going to continue suspecting something fishy was going on at Sabine’s house. The pro-abortion-rights people, meanwhile, will remain outraged that Sabine had to endure the emotional trauma of getting a certified demand letter from the government.

In the real world, however, it is impossible to miss the absurdity of Sabine’s “bullying” claim.

No, the real world easily understands that a recently passed law allowing for surprise inspections of abortion clinics would embolden some anti-choice crank to look up where the director of NARAL AZ lives and then send some bullshit complaint to the ADHS, fully expecting that the department would act on it. Anti-choicers defend their policies with syrupy platitudes about “life” and “protecting women” but hatred and bullying is at the root of all of them, as what happened to Kat Sabine so amply demonstrates. It shouldn’t take women being frogmarched to jail right in front of you to realize that.


  1. Why is it mostly XYs (guys for the biologically challenged) are always the ones shouting anti-choice politics, pseudo-tough guys. It really is just this simple; if you do not want to support with our tax revenues repro-health issues, ok, then no Medicare, Medicaid proctologist exams. No prostate either, fair is fair. Or maybe NeoClown boy, maybe go home, Breitbart. No pseudo-tough guy stuff, it gets old for tough guys to hide behind fake email accounts, anonymous posts. Be brave post your social security #? Just kidding.

  2. Steve, I said in a post a while back that I would remove comments that trivialize attacks on women’s reproductive rights. I meant it. I’m not even in the mood to engage with someone who doesn’t accept the full humanity of women.

    • In no way do I trivialize women. But I am not surprised you would have the post removed. It is a another manifestation of that fear of which I spoke to pretend others do not, or are not allowed to, have a point of view that differs from the one you hold. You really are afraid, aren’t you?

      • No, I’m not afraid of your stupid point of view. I have been exposed to it for decades. I simply have no desire to accommodate you in my comments section. You have many other forums online upon which to express your stupid point of view.

  3. “Anti-choicers defend their policies with syrupy platitudes about “life” and “protecting women” but hatred and bullying is at the root of all of them…”

    Your raging fear makes you say some truly silly things. I guess that Pro-Lifers are less afraid because I have never read anything they wrote that was along the lines of “Pro-abortioners defend their policies with syrupy platitudes about ‘choice’ and ‘protecting women’ but hatred of children and bullying of timid women is at the root of all of them…”.

    I have a hunch this issue took over your life a long time ago and it has now become, if not your life, then a major part of it. That’s sad. Especially when it leaves you so angry and bitter…

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