Feature: Battle Over California's Nonviolent Offender Recovery Act Initiative Begins to Heat Up

With election day less than two months away, the battle over California's groundbreaking "treatment not jail" initiative is heating up. Known as the Nonviolent Offender Rehabilitation Act (NORA) and appearing on the ballot as Proposition 5, the initiative would divert thousands of drug users and drug-using lawbreakers into drug treatment and away from the state's bulging and budget-draining prisons. In doing so, it would build upon and greatly expand the effort begun with the passage of the "treatment not jail" Proposition 36 by voters in 2002.

According to NORA supporters, the initiative:

  • Requires the state to expand and increase funding and oversight for individualized treatment and rehabilitation programs for nonviolent drug offenders and parolees.
  • Reduces criminal consequences of nonviolent drug offenses by mandating three-tiered probation with treatment and by providing for case dismissal and/or sealing of records after probation. Limits court's authority to incarcerate offenders who violate probation or parole.
  • Shortens parole for most drug offenses, including sales, and for nonviolent property crimes.
  • Creates numerous divisions, boards, commissions, and reporting requirements regarding drug treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Decriminalizes possession of less than an once of marijuana.

The complex, ambitious proposal would not be cheap -- estimated annual costs to the state to implement it would be about $1 billion per year. But according to a July 1 analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office, that spending would be more than offset by savings to the state of more than $1 billion annually in reduced prison and parole costs and a net savings of $2.5 billion in prison construction that would no longer be necessary.

NORA has broad support from a long list of California groups and individuals, including not only the entire treatment and recovery community, but also the League of Women Voters, labor unions, the former warden of San Quentin, and former US Secretary of State George Schultz.

"The treatment community gave Prop. 36 only mixed support at the time," said Al Senella, chief operating officer of the Tarzana Treatment Center and president of the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program Executives, both of which have endorsed Prop 5. "But as far as I can tell now, there is total support for the initiative in the treatment community. I don't know any treatment organizations opposing it."

"When you look at the Yes on 5 coalition, you find a wide array of addiction and public health advocates, youth advocates, the League of Women Voters, consumer federations, and on and on," said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, Southern California deputy state director for the Drug Policy Alliance, which has spearheaded the Prop. 5 effort. "It really shows the breadth and diversity of Yes on 5; it really gives you a sense of what California has to gain and from how many perspectives," she said. "When you look at the 'no' side, it is dominated by law enforcement. That's very revealing."

While NORA has broad support from the treatment and recovery community and beyond, it is opposed by a formidable array of law enforcement and drug court interests. It has drawn the ire of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, which slammed it in a position paper earlier this year, as well as the opposition of virtually all of California's sheriffs, district attorneys, police chiefs, prison guards, and probation officers.

Although the opposition had been relatively quiet until this month, last Friday it fired a broadside over NORA's bow when noted actor Martin Sheen penned a "no on NORA"
op-ed
in the Sacramento Bee. Sheen wrote that he opposes Prop 5. because "it will do so much harm to so many people" because it lacks the teeth to punish offenders who fall off the wagon. "Successful rehabilitation needs accountability and so often demands direct intervention in the life of someone who is addicted to drugs, rather than waiting for them to seek treatment 'when they are ready,'" he wrote.

Prop. 5 is the product of "harm reduction theory" and would shift resources from programs that meet his approval, such as Narcotics Anonymous, Sheen complained. "The real problem with Proposition 5 is that it is not about stopping drug use," he wrote. "If it were, it would mandate funding for ongoing drug testing instead of prohibiting that funding, and it would not give drug sellers a reward for the harm they do to so many." The initiative is "poorly designed and dangerous," Sheen warned.

"I certainly respect Martin Sheen's feelings and experiences, but to generalize and universalize them to public policy is the wrong approach," responded Dooley-Sammuli. "We don't want to decide what's best for 36 million Californians based on one man's perspective. He's concerned that Prop. 5 won't work, just like he was concerned that Prop. 36 wouldn't work, but we know now that it did work. I'm not so sure Martin Sheen is up to speed on the research in these areas, and he's wrong again. I'm disappointed he isn't any closer to achieving understanding."

"Martin Sheen is a celebrity, and perhaps that will sway some folks, but he did the same thing with Prop. 36, and he didn't sway enough folks," said Senella. "I respect the fact that he and his son had issues and overcame them, but his position is driven by his personal views, not by the data and expert opinion. And while he wrote an op-ed, I don't see him putting up millions for an effective opposition campaign. He is just giving the opposition a voice, not financial muscle."

Sheen isn't alone. While the powerful state prison guards' union, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, hasn't taken an official position on Prop 5 -- mainly because it is busy trying to recall Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) over budget issues -- it will do so soon, said union spokesman Lance Corcoran.

"We haven't taken an official position, but we have done an analysis, and we see this as basically a get out of jail free act," he said. "We think Prop. 36 has arguably not been successful, and we think Prop. 5 will be a failure, too. This is not something that will be good for California," he warned.

Susan Blacksher is executive director of the California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources, the largest residential treatment care provider organization in the state. For Blacksher, NORA is a necessary deepening and broadening of Prop. 36, whose success was limited by lack of resources, she argued.

"Prop. 36 didn't anticipate the sheer volume of need, and similarly, many counties did not fully recognize the magnitude of their addiction problems," she explained. "They assumed they would be picking up people who were early in their drug-taking careers, but almost from the beginning we began to see that the people coming through the program had more severe problems than anticipated. There were just not enough resources for the volume of people and the severity of their problems."

Arguments made by law enforcement and the drug court organizations that NORA should be opposed because it did not offer sufficient sanctions for relapses was "like throwing out the baby with the bathwater," Blacksher said. "NORA has been brilliantly crafted taking into account all the issues we've been discussing over the past six years, and there was a lot of discussion about sanctions. Some of us in the recovery movement think short term sanctions like flash incarceration can make sense if used as part of treatment, and not just punishment," she said, "but why are we making such a big deal about this when the rest of it makes so much sense?"

Blacksher said she understood the frustration of law enforcement and drug courts over the issue of sanctions, but it was not enough to invalidate NORA. And, as she noted, "Their jails and prisons are so full, something has to happen."

"You would think the judges and prosecutors who led the way on drug courts would support what will be the nation's largest expansion of drug courts," said Dooley-Sammuli. "I'm disappointed there as well. What I think we're really seeing is a turf battle, where folks would rather protect their turf than support what will be an expansion of drug courts. Unfortunately, the folks who run those courts are resisting what have been proven to be the best practices."

"The drug court people believe strongly in accountability, and so does the treatment community," said Senella, "but the drug court people believe they should have full authority. Prop. 36 didn't give them that, and neither does NORA. NORA does give them a great deal, it gives them additional authority, but not as much as they want. And although drug courts will get substantially more funding under NORA, they oppose it because it imposes some criteria on them about when they can impose their sanctions."

"I was alive in the 1960s when we went through this drill before," said Michael Rushford of the conservative, victims' rights-oriented Criminal Justice Legal Foundation. "Crime rates tripled while we were diverting felons to the streets. Not everyone remembers that and, unfortunately, if you don't learn from history, you're doomed to repeat it," he said.

"Sure, I could see some diversion for juveniles, but when you're talking about felony offenders, there need to be consequences," Rushford continued. "Prop 5. would let somebody with $50,000 worth of meth avoid prison; it would let a repeat car thief avoid prison. It's a bad deal."

"These kinds of arguments are simply not based on facts or an accurate reading of the initiative," said Senella. "You can't have $50,000 worth of meth and just walk away; you can't go around stealing cars and just walk away. For these kinds of cases, judges will have complete discretion. If the judge decides this guy is stealing cars because he's strung out on something, he may be a good candidate for diversion, but it is in no way a free ticket out of trouble."

Despite five years of evaluations and annual reports on the efficacy of Prop. 36, neither the legislature nor Gov. Schwarzenegger have taken the initiative to implement the recommendations of the various reports. That's why it's up to the public, said reform advocates.

"People say California needs this, but something this big should go through Sacramento," said Dooley-Sammuli. "We say yes it should, but it hasn't. The federal courts have already taken over medical care in our prisons and there is a November 17 hearing to see if they should put the entire California Department of Corrections under receivership as well. The state government has proven incapable of action on this."

"The legislature and the governor can't or won't acknowledge what the public believes is important and what the science has demonstrated," said Senella. "In approving Prop. 36, the public showed that it was important to voters and their loved ones that treatment was a priority instead of prison as a method of dealing with addiction," he said.

"The only way to move forward on this is through the initiative process," he said. "That's why we need and support NORA. What has gone on in California corrections is clearly not working -- we have the second highest recidivism rate in the nation. Our current approach is not what the science indicates is necessary. It's absolutely clear that if you treat the addiction, you do a great deal for the recidivism rate."

"One way or another, the future of prison overcrowding in California will be decided in November," said Dooley-Sammuli. "Either by the voters on election day or by three federal judges later in the month. Rehabilitation and treatment has a lot of support among California voters. So far, we have let addiction drive our record-setting incarceration rates. The voters understand that."

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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60's crime versus '08 crime

I am a California resident and voter. And I lived through and survived the '60's. Some of my friends did, others did not.
Interesting that Rushford claims that based on his experiences in the 60's he feels his present views justfied.
Comparing the types of individuals who became addicts then with those who become addicts now is an exercise in futility. For one, I refer him to the book _Freakonomics_ written by an economist and statistician. There are so many socio-economic variables and differences between the two eras and the generations that to make predictions, and, worse, continue with archaic approaches is absurd.
Generalizing and labeling individuals "felons" adds no data or facts to his argument. Not all "felons" are created equal. Betty Ford never got "caught." Yet her behavior could easily be labeled "felonious." Thus, was she an unconvicted "felon?" The same goes for Rush Limbaugh and for Charles Manson, also "felons." No, not all "felons" are created equal, and they _should not_ be "treated" the same. Each should be judged on its merits. Prop. 5 opens that door. Rushford seems unable to make these critical distinctions.
What is is about change that spooks so many people, especially when the same old attempts _have not worked_!

Where's Soros?

I want to see his money at work! I'm sick of hearing from Martin Sheen in the op-eds.

NORA makes sense!

I hope it passes. I sure will vote for it. We spend way too much money incarcerating drug users. Plus, it is just plain stupid to do so, especially when tobacco and alcohol users face no penalties at all. Let's at least be fair. Alcohol and tobacco are as dangerous as cocaine or heroin. Alcoholics and tobacco addicts should be imprisoned if we were to be fair. Oh yes, I forgot, most politicians are alcoholics and tobacco addicts. No wonder we have such hypocrisy.

Norman Lepoff, M.D., retired

Hello.

I'm a former meth addict, and Prop. 36 helped me get out of a wrap. I'm a nice fellow, polite, and friendly. Without Prop. 36, I'd be around people the total opposite of me. Not only does it save California, and our nation as a whole, money. It saves people like me, from being sent to the wrong place due to a bad habit. It seems rehabilitation is the most reasonable and logical choice out there, why do people insist on sending non-violent drug offenders straight to prison? It hurts those who go to prison, their families, and the economy. Fucking assholes in my opinion. Martin Sheen should try some drugs, go through the addiction process, get busted and they'll be greatful for Prop. 36.He shouldn't talk. Sheen needs to handle his personal addiction to sex, then he can talk.

...

My apologies on the misspelling or run-offs.

Sentence correction: 'Not only does it save California, and our nation as a whole, from debt.'

Follow the money. The

Follow the money. The police,CCOPA,and parole officers make their livelihoods from California's inept throw away the key approach. Their paychecks and benefits requires the revolving door. Their solution is no solution, period.Scare the public and they will pay. Definition of insanity...keep doing the same thing over expecting different results. As a tax payer I am voting for prop 5.

NORA what senseless (and expensive) bullshit!

Another monstrous rights-gobbling "this new governmental program will take us to the promised land" boondoggle. This is a step in the right direction?????

More money will be directed at and funneled through a different set of tit suckers. Will the people whose sole "crime" is that they used or sold some "illicit" drug feel better because they are incarcerated in different types of facilities and heavily propagandized to change their wanton ways? It is a one size fits all approach to the addiction problem.

Some might actually want help with their "substance abuse" problems, and those people should get the help they need, but others will go through the motions because they are required to and immediately return to using their substances because they choose to and just pray they don't get caught again.

Instead of this type of coercive "the state has decided to fix you this way" approach we need to pursue full on decriminalization and let people get on with their lives in the way they choose to live them.

NORA is no good

Mandatory treatment is nothing but the poster child for the exquisite stupidity and endless hypocrisy of the drug war.

The very existence of victimless crimes is too bizarre for words. Who do "drug offenders" offend, exactly? Do they offend drugs? It defies common sense.

I know that keeping people

I know that keeping people out of prison for drugs is a great idea, and that there should be some form of treatment availible for you when things get out of hand. What the California proposition is attempting to do is not what it appears to do from a first cursory glance. I see some real good things there, but there is still a hidden and more deeply rooted cancer that is eating away at this society and people who use drugs are used as a food source for it. That cancer is the ever expanding and life destroying courts and law enforcement mega industry, including the huge prison system. All that talk about drug courts and forced treatment for offenders is just plain unconstitutional and y'all know it. It is absolutely the right of any man or woman to choose what he will or will not put into his or her body just as much as it is the right of any woman to choose whether she will or will not keep an unborn child in her womb to term. I am sorry folks, this all is crap. The government is overstepping its bounds when it trys to legislate anything that is done in the privacy of your own home. Of course some would argue that the drugs are causing all these crimes and that it's a huge drain on public resources to deal with the spin off crimes such as Identity theft, robbery, burglery, shoplifting, property crimes and prostitution. Not to mention all the organized crime that is fed by the huge profits to be in the illegal drug industry. Folks you need to WAKE UP!! The sole cause of every thing that is negative that is related to drug use and abuse is caused not by the drug and the people who use the drugs. It is the fault of the governmets war on drugs which strictly limits access to these drugs. Some would say that that is a good thing, but in reality all it does is make the durg manufacturers and dealers rich and fill up the prisons with the users and a few of the dealers and occasionally a cartel boss. Stupid governmental policies that try to regulate a individuals right to choose what he or she will ingest for what ever reason is wrong on every level. I can tell you from many years of experience that almost every person who uses drugs use them for one or both of two reasons. The first is to kill emotional pain. The second is because of some sort of physical pain. That's it. Now some would ask why don't they just go to a psychiatrist or a doctor. Folks, have you ever been to a doctor that will give you a baggy of meth? What about some weed? How about some china white? It's not going to happen, because the doctors and psychiatrists are pretty much programmed as well as invested into the whole medical bankers club which is in itself part of the whole problem. What would happen to their grip on their money sacks if no one had to go to them to beg for something to help with their messed up life or the ripping pain in their back that all you can get form a doctor is some Ibuprofen(crap). The deal is that no one want's to admit it that the illegal drug issue is really a part of a much bigger and more dangerous problem for the citizens of this country. People! you need to wake up and quit being hood winked by the political process and the people who manipulate it. That's right, 'We The People" who used to have a government "By and Of" the people "For The People" with it's beautiful constitution that had, at one time, guaranteed that what I did and with whom I did it with, or what I sold and to whom I sold it to in the privacy of my own home was not illegal. Why are drugs illegal? If you look back to the past and just look at how marijuana came to be illegal you see that it was law enforcement that pushed the idea and forced it through lies and false propiganda down the throats of the American people. There was a study that was ordered back it the olden days (just some humor) back when the marijuana tax act was being debated. This study was orderd by the either the governor or mayor of New York State or City (it's early haven't had my coffee yet) any way, this study was extensive and it was highly favorable to marijuana and showed that there was no reason to illegalize or regulate it or hemp. Tha study was dismissed and actually disapeared for years while the tax act finally became law and was law for many years. The results of which cost many hemp farmers not only their incomes, but many of them their land and homes. That was criminal, but what is really criminal is that I don't know if any of those farmers or their families were ever reimbursed when the tax act was declared to be unconstitutional and illegal in and of itself? Did any one come to their rescue? Well, back to the subject of this new law being decided by the California voters. I have to say that it's a very small step towards what should be the actual goal. That goal should be to restore our own personal liberties that have been hijacked by the law enforcement industry. One thing you all should keep in mind. If all illegal drugs were made legal and were openly accessable without any regulation if you could just walk into a store and ask for them from over the pharmacy counter ( with ID for proof of age ) and the prices were real cheap then all the crime that is based on drug profits would disapear. The gangs that deal dope to finance their organization would lose their income. The Columbian drug cartels would lose their source of income. The outlaw biker organizations that use illegal drugs to fund their operations would lose their income. The women who prostitute themselves to pay for their drugs wouldnt have to sell their bodies in back ally's for some pimp to feed thier addiction. And Folks here's the big one! That huge multi billion dollar a year war on drugs wouldn't exist. Yes, all those billions and billions of dollars spent every year would and should be spent on domestic programs and projects that are sociably redeeming and needed. Things like infrastructure maintenance, schools, college funding, better medical care, drug abuse education and so on and so forth. That's not where the huge savings end either. Think about the billions spent nation wide to prosecute and defend drug defendants annually. Think about the cost of incarceration and all the probation and parole supervision costs. Look, this nation is supposed to be an illuminated race of people. We are a progressive lot. The sad thing is that we have allowed our governance to be hijacked by religeous and moral objectives perpetrated by unscrupulous polititians wanting to use drug abuse and the war on drugs as a political springboard. They don't five a rat's ass about the truth. If drug use was popular and the majority of people used them then you would be hearing the politicians all harping about legalization and treatment and you would probably see a few of them openly lighting up a doob on the platform. But it is the opposite reality. That still doesn't make it right and constitutionally legal just because the majority doesn't like drug users. Remember that all the negative stuff that is associated with drug use doesn't originate with the users. They are victims just as much as the American Public. The cause is the Political machine and The Law enforcement activity that has caused all of this. As much as I am not pleased with the lack of progress in that proposition I would still have to support it because it just might keep some one from going to prison. However, if I found myself being forced into one of their treatment programs I would have to immediately start sueing on the grounds that My right to choose my own self destiny , my right to privacy and so many other rights violated and just plain immoral. Not that I am a religeous zealot, but there is a scripture that the Wise King Solomon said. He said :" Man Has Dominated Man To His Own Injury". Do you get it. It is when we try to shove our own personal moral and philisophical life styles and ideologies down the throat of our fellow man there is injury taking place. It is demoralizing to have your liberities and freedoms stolen from you when all you want is to just enjoy what little bit of life your given and who is the government that it can operate so freely outside the grip of the people who have empowered it. This government has gotten loose, is running wild and un fettered and the people better start to reigning it in. These are just some observations from the viewpoint of someone who has been chewed up and spit out by this stupidly designed and developed system. One final rant; What about the damage done to a mans ability to get a decent job when he has a felony drug charge on his record. I once heard that there was a thing called "double jeopardy" Folks, if you go to prison, do every day of your sentence, do the post prison supervision (in Oregon)(smells like double Jeporady too) and then ten years later you still can't get a job because 99% of the time that question on the application about felony convictions is an automatic disqualifier, isn't that a continuation of the punishment? Look at the damage folks! Homes are taken in drug seizure actions, people have their lives torn apart, and for what? So the cops can get a bigger budget and the prison industry can grow like a cancer, and the courts can continue to eat away at the last shredd of our constitution that's left. Not to mention the crooked, greedy, power hungry, self righteous, and down right hypocritical politicians that feed on the fears of people in order to get and keep their little throne of power in which ever tier of government they covet. I look foreward to your comments.

Just an add on

IamMe

Heres another bit of food for thought on this whole non violent drug offender business,. Has it ever occurred to anyone that all the violence associated with drugs is directly related to the fact that they are illegal and thus highly lucrative and profitable to trade in. Therefore this feeds the drug gangs, cartels, dealers and outlaw bikers etc.... If it were all legal there would not be hardly any violent crimes attributable to drugs. I propose that a great number of the crimes that happen now would stop happening almost immediately with the full legalization and deregulation of all drugs currently banned by US drug law. IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME TAKE A TRIP TO AMSTERDAM. TAKE A TRIP TO GREAT BRITAIN. THEY DON'T HAVE DRUG GANGS AND IN CASE YOU HADN'T NOTICED THE BRITISH POLICE DON'T HAVE TO CARRY GUNS. MEXICO USED TO BE COOL ON DRUGS BUT THE USA HAS MEDDLED IN THEIR AFFAIRS SO MUCH NOW THAT THE DRUG WAR HAS ESCALATED INTO A BLOOD BATH ON OUR OWN BORDER WITH MEXICO. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. WE THE PEOPLE NEED TO GET READY TO TAKE OUR OWN GOVERNMENT BACK AWAY FROM THE EMPERIALIST WHO HAVE STOLEN OUR DEMOCRACY WITH SMOOTH TALK AND LEGAL TRICKERY. WE NEED TO BE PREPARED TO TAKE IT BACK WITH FORCE IF NECESSARY. READ THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND MAKE SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT WHAT IT SAY'S YOUR AND MY RESPONSIBILITY IS AS A CITIZEN WHEN WE SEE A WRONG BEING COMMITTED EVEN IF WE HAVE TO BREAK OUR OWN LAWS IN ORDER TO WRITE THE WRONG IS WHAT EACH ONE OF US IS MANDATED TO DO BY OUR OWN DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. GO AHEAD READ IT AND THEN ASK YOURSELF WHAT YOU THINK IS RIGHT AND WRONG ABOUT THIS COUNTRY RIGHT NOW I stongly urge every single person who is concerned about the desicration of our constitution and how it has been systematically chipped away at, I urge you to go out today and for every adult in your household you should purchase one semi auto matic assault rife and at least two thousand rounds of full metal jacket ammo per gun. I am serious. When the founding fathers established the second ammendment it had absolutely nothing to do with hunting. It was put in place so that "We The People" could always hold our government accountable, especially if it were to get out of control and starrt to act like an empire or dictatorship. Well, folks this last eight years have been the worst so far, but I promise all of you it is just going to get worse. There is no way for us to get rights back from this monster that has gotten out of control and is now slowly shredding the foundation of our free society. It happens in the name of security, in the name of protecting us from out side threats, in the name of protecting our kids, any excuse to chip away and weaken that most sacred of documents, our Constitution, the Legislative, Adminsitrative and Juduciary branches of the government have been year by year chipping away at it.When one of their new laws is challenged as unconstitutional they go back and rewrite it full of loop holes and different language so that it can barely squeek by the constitutional test. When in reality it's just the same unconstitutional rule that breaks the same constitutional right, but can pass by on a teqnicality. What kind of bullshit is that. It's like the Marijuana stamp act that was ultimately ruled to be unconstitutional, When that happened did anyone rush out to give reparations to all the hemp farmers who lost their farms and growers who had went to jail. Nope. The govermenrt responded with a whole new set of standards to measure pot by and thus they kept it as an illegal substance. Why do we let them do this to us? I know why, because these drug laws don't affect everyone equally. It hits those of us who like to smoke weed and snort coke and meth and slam heroin, but your average citizen is oblivious to how this is really hitting home. They all wonder why prescription drugs are so goddam expensive.They just dont get why they cant buy cheaper drugs from a pharmacy in canada. [email protected]!! Wake up ass holes! It's the regulatory and prohibitory laws that keep these prices through the roof. And the reason these laws wont change without force is because your congress man and your senator from each and every one of your particualar districts is snug as a bug in the pockett of some drug company lobyst. He's snug as a bug in a rug in the pocket of the Law enforcement Lobby, they are each and every one crooked to the infinate degree and there is not any way on earth that you can dislodge them from their little niche of political nirvana lest you just commit to always vote for the non incumbant. ALWAYS. That goes for everyone. Doesn't matter what party, just get rid of the status quo.Now I know that's not going to happen, so like I said, get your guns ready cause the day is comming soon when we all will have to head east to DC packin our constitutionally protected method of changing from a empire gone mad back to a real democracy BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE PEOPLE. This is just my personal opinion of what seems to be the direction our nation is headed in. At this time I do recomend that you do every thing in your power to influence your particular local state representatives to pass drug laws that decriminalize all drugs, especially marijuana.If you know your US congressman ro US senators address I urge you to write to them and tell them in no holds barred language how you feel about your rights being hijacked by the law enforcement lobby and how you don't appreciate them hijacking your constitutional rights of privacy and your right to decide what is good or bad for your own body..After all that's the same rights that guarantee that a woman can scrape a liviing child out of her hooch if she doesnt want to carry it to term. Its her right to privacy. I ask you,in principle, is there any difference at all between the two? I dare to say NO. Start demanding your right to privacy and your right to self determination that is guaranteed by our constitutions fourth ammendment and reaffirmed by ROE -V -WADE ! Hey, if they want it one way and not the other doesn't that just smack of real hipocracy?

IAMME U R U PARAGRAPHS SON...

Your writing is ok and whatnot, and you like the firebrand ok that's cool. Separate your writing out into paragraphs and work on some brevity. Don't make it so hard for people to get the truth

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