The “Abortion Wars” Now Include Birth Control!

Thirty-nine years after women won the right to abortion, this fundamental right is hanging by a thread. 2011 saw the greatest number of restrictions passed on womens access to abortion ever – and now, more than 90% of counties don’t have abortion providers, millions of women face unnecessary and humiliating legal restrictions to access, doctors who provide this service are hunted and terrorized and women who get abortions are stigmatized and shamed.

But that is not all.

Now, even birth control is under siege. Pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions. “Personhood” amendments seek to criminalize miscarriages and ban all contraception. And President Obama openly upheld Kathleen Sebelius’s unprecedented decision to overrule the FDA to ban the over-the-counter distribution of Plan B (emergency contraception).

This Saturday,  join Sunsara Taylor as she convenes a round-table of experts and commentators to look back at the past year in the battle over women’s right to birth control and abortion… and, to look ahead to the battles to come.

Guests will include:

Irin Carmon, staff writer for Salon, whose recent titles include, “Why women have second trimester abortions,” and, “The next front in the abortion wars: Birth control.”

Amanda Marcotte, author of “2011: The War on Contraception,” and, “Restricting Plan B Is Bad Politics,” for rhrealitycheck.org.

Erin Gloria Ryan, writer for Jezebel whose pieces include, “The Year In Your Uterus.”

A  Naturalistic Christmas - 2-Hour Special!

Our program will feature a completely new, exclusive interview with old St. Nick himself who, after years of eluding us, has finally agreed to another interview.  Apparently, Santa’s status as a mythical holiday icon could not insulate him from suffering the same reversal of fortune that has afflicted almost everyone.  Yet despite his considerable setbacks, Santa somehow manages to remain an inspiration.

We’ll also feature our much enjoyed Christmas Day Guided Meditation.

And this year, we will be trying, for the first time, a special Christmas Call-In Experiment: “Real Time Giving and Receiving”

It’s the kind of Christmas that only WBAI can deliver — completely naturalistic and filled with fun, love, and hope.

Jesus: Man or Myth w/ Robert Price

Tonight is Christmas Eve. Christians around the planet will understand this evening as the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, a prophet and son-of-God. Biblical scholarship outside of Christian Apologetics have long held that the Jesus of the Gospels – the Jesus born of a virgin, master miracle worker, and the god who rose from the dead and founded a religion – never existed… That this Jesus was a mythology designed to offer metaphysical bases for a very human religion.

But did a man named Jesus ever exist, historically speaking? If not, who was it Christianity was based on? And if there never existed the Jesus of the Gospels NOR a historical Jesus, what are Christians to do?

Today we will speak with biblical scholar Robert Price on this – the core of an entire religion may much different than most Christians even suspect.

Is there a relationship between a naturalized view of human behavior and rejecting a system which lavishes extreme rewards on some, and doles out harsh privation and punishments to others?

The strongest argument against our becoming an egalitarian, socially just society is the commonly held idea that if things in someone’s life are going badly, they have no one to blame but themselves. But does understanding that human behavior is ultimately caused by factors that are not freely chosen make it more likely that someone would support a more compassionate social agenda?

It’s not surprising that most people in our society subscribe to the belief that people have free will. And that, regardless of the determining factors, they can always choose to behave in a manner that runs contrary to cause and emanates from them alone. Nor should it be surprising that those with this view believe that people who behave in ways we like deserve reward and those who behave in ways we dislike deserve hardship.

What is surprising, however, is that, of the relative few who accept that our behaviors are determined by factors we do not choose and that our actions at any given moment are always the only actions to which the prior determinants could have led, most seem to feel that keeping our system of applying reward and punishment to motivate desirable behavior is justified, albeit with some moderate amelioration.

Does this make logical sense? Does it make moral sense? Is it the most effective approach to protecting our society and maximizing people’s greatest potential to contribute? If not, is there a more effective approach to protecting society and supporting desirable behaviors than retaining the fiction that it is justified to hold people (in the traditional sense) responsible?

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