Kathleen Gilbert

Actress Vanessa Williams on the lesbian rape and abortion that changed her youth

Kathleen Gilbert
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As a singer, an actress, and a fallen beauty queen, Vanessa Williams is an enigmatic figure. In 1984, her glory as the first black winner of the Miss America contest was quickly snuffed out by a nude photo scandal that forced her to give up her crown.

Today, with years of success in the entertainment industry tucked under her belt, Williams has long ago proven that no hard knock can keep her down. Her recently-released book proves that thesis even more: revealing that, all along that journey, she was silently carrying two heavy burdens.

Williams revealed for the first time in “You Have No Idea,” and in two interviews attending its release, that she was molested by an 18-year-old woman before she entered fifth grade, and that she had an abortion before she left high school. Not even her mother, who co-wrote the book with Williams, had heard of these events until now.

The “Desperate Housewives” actress told Nightline ABC that the fallout from the first trauma was clear.

“I think I was highly sexualized because I was in fifth grade and I had this experience,” she said of the molestation. “Because it feels good, you’re like, OK, well this is supposed to be normal. That’s not normal for a 10-year-old to be seduced.”

Her feelings about the abortion, which she said was another result of the rape which led to a subsequent desire to be “wild,” are not as clear.

“Being pregnant is the most frightening thing that happens in your life,” she told Nightline. “I knew in high school that’s something that I was not prepared to do, or fight, or struggle with.”

Some took the remark as a sign that Williams, who says she attends Catholic Mass every Sunday, embraces abortion as an important way out for teens as scared as she was.

But in an interview with Fox411, her answer to a question on the same topic hints that she wonders about what might have been, if her child were still alive - and that those who think abortions are necessary for women to be successful are quite mistaken.

“Who knows how life would have been different? I think the bottom line is I definitely would have been where I am now even if I’d gone down another path,” she said. “It doesn’t take away from the drive or the talent. You can make your life whatever you want with or without a child.”

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Media blackout: Reporter says HHS mandate ‘just a weird idea I don’t think anyone’s talking about’

Kathleen Gilbert
Kathleen Gilbert

A Daily Beast reporter who sat down with a religious conservative at the Republican National Convention last month gave us all a peek at just how effective the media blackout on the HHS mandate has been.

In a live broadcast, the interviewer asked businessman Foster Friess what the deal was with conservatives’ “obsessive dislike” of President Obama. Friess’ top answer, of course, was the fact that the administration has forced virtually all religious employers across the country to cough up coverage for free birth control, sterilizations, and abortifacient drugs under threat of severe fines.

“That’s just a weird idea that I don’t think anyone’s talking about,” was the reporter’s bewildered response.

Apparently the 125,000+ citizens pouring onto the streets of 160 American cities last spring and summer didn’t make an impression: aside from an NPR article, mainstream media coverage of the events was basically nonexistent. A third rally has been set for Oct 20.

Friess tried to explain the seriousness of the problem by likening the mandate to forcing a Jewish deli to carry pork. “It’s an issue of freedom. Should that decision be made between employer and employee, or should it be a government edict?” said the businessman.

Unfortunately, the communication rift between persons of faith and the religiously disinclined can be rather difficult: Friess didn’t appear to make a dent.

One only hopes that the court fight of Christian arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby, fending off a $1.3 million-per-day fine, will force a chink into mainstream coverage, illuminating the vast discontent plainly visible on countless bulletin boards - not to mention voices and furrowed brows - in parishes and churches across the nation.

But that may be hoping too much.

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‘Ugly black babies’ abortionist an avid Democrat donor

Kathleen Gilbert
Kathleen Gilbert
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In a development sure to provide a headache for Democrat leaders, it has been revealed that the North Carolina abortionist caught on video explaining how his practice aborting “ugly black babies” is a boon to taxpayers is a regular blue donor.

“I don’t wish to pay for the baby with my money,” Ashutosh Ron Virmani told pro-life activists with Operation Save America in remarks caught on video and published July 30. “Go ahead and pay for them. Let me see you go ahead and adopt one of those ugly black babies.”

The Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney on Tuesday noted Virmani’s political leanings are well-established.

Records show the Charlotte-based Virmani has given several donations since 2000 to the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, as well as $1,000 to John Kerry in 2004 and $250 to Hillary Clinton in 2008. Barack Obama does not appear on the list.

Historically, Democrats have an embarrassing record on civil rights: the party opposed civil rights for African Americans, including uniform opposition in Congress to the 14th amendment granting blacks civil rights. The party is also the sole founding party of the Ku Klux Klan: the 1915 Klan propaganda film The Birth of a Nation was described by its director as intended “to revolutionize northern sentiment by a presentation of history that would transform every man in my audience into a good Democrat!”

In September of last year, black pastor and civil rights activist Rev. Wayne Perryman filed a lawsuit against President Obama and the DNC in U.S. District Court for its history of racism against blacks, which he notes has never elicited an apology.

“Any organization that has such a racist history and receives 97% of the African American vote (after doing all they could to deny blacks the right to vote), should willingly apologize without being forced do so through a lawsuit,” said Perryman. The activist said he was “convinced that Democrats will only apologize if the media, or the courts (with public pressure) will force them to do so.”

“The man who authored the book: The Audacity of Hope, now has the ‘audacity’ to refuse to apologize for his political party and their racist institutions, that took the lives of millions of his own people,” he said.

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Should women taking the pill pay $1,500 more in taxes?

Kathleen Gilbert
Kathleen Gilbert
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...Given the severe environmental effects of hormones from the pill ending up in our water supply, one Forbes writer thinks so, based on the costs of upgrading and operating sewage treatment facilities to remove the hormones:

[T]he proposal is that sewage treatment systems should be upgraded to deal with this. ...

Look purely at the running costs of such a system, some 10% of the capital cost. That’s £3 billion a year for England and Wales, and in that country there are some 2.5 million women using the pill. That looks a little low to me so just to make the math easier we’ll say 3 million. Or the running costs alone of such a system will be £1,000 ($1,500) a year for each and every women who uses the pill to regulate her fertility.

As for having the pharmaceutical manufacturer foot the bill, Worstall calls it “near insane” to think Big Pharma would countenance such a financial burden on the pill. After all, “given that the pill is free” in the UK, as will be the case soon in the US, the sewage bill would “just [mean] that the taxpayer is going to pay.”

But we already have a cultural climate that dictates who should pay for such measures: the polluter.

BP has to pay to clean up the waters of the Gulf after Macondo: we all think this is just and righteous. ... Which brings us to: well, it is women taking the contraceptive pill who are causing this pollution. ... This really is pollution and yes, we do have this general assumption that the polluter should pay for having polluted.

We cannot charge BP for killing fishies through pollution if we don’t also charge others who kill fishies through pollution, can we?

Worstall concludes that contraception isn’t bad in itself, but “there are a number of alternative methods, various barriers, creams, sponges, IUDs, which do not carry this environmental cost,” that women should pursue.

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