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PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2016 9:58 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

(FL) Federal judge blocks parts of abortion law hours before it goes into effect

Judge dismisses Ky. lawsuit against Planned Parenthood

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Jefferson Circuit Court judge has tossed out a lawsuit by Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's administration against Planned Parenthood that alleged the reproductive health organization illegally provided abortions at its new clinic in downtown Louisville.

In dismissing the lawsuit filed by Bevin's general counsel, Steve Pitt, Judge Mitch Perry found that Planned Parenthood had, as it had claimed, been following directions of state officials when it began offering abortions in December as part of its effort to obtain a state license.

Lawyer Thomas Clay, who represents Planned Parenthood, provided The Courier-Journal with a copy of the order Friday.

Perry, in his order, said it "defies reason" to believe that Planned Parenthood had willfully violated state law when it was acting at the direction of state officials.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Real Cost of That Planned Parenthood Investigation
Today in money pits.


It came as no surprise that Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Zygote) of Tennessee has had her name bruited about as a possible running mate for He, Trump. (Also, hello again to my new friend, Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa! I'm so proud.) After all, Blackburn was in charge of the second biggest waste of time and money in the House of Representatives this year behind only Trey Gowdy's masterful pursuit of The Truth—which is Out There—behind Benghazi, Benghazi, BENGHAZI!

It was Blackburn who led the preposterous probe into the meretricious charges that Planned Parenthood was selling pieces of aborted babies in the parking lots of abandoned gas stations all over America. These hearings produced an array of witnesses even wilder and more unhinged than the folks Gowdy summoned to appear before him in his kangaroo suit. Heavily edited "undercover" videos were treated as gospel. Exhibits seemed to appear out of thin air. Even the editorial board of The New York Times pronounced itself appalled.

Wednesday's hearing showed that limiting or ending access to legal abortion services is part of the agenda. One witness said that women who have had abortions "forfeit the moral standing needed" to decide what should happen to the fetal tissue. One panel member, Representative Diane Black, Republican of Tennessee, bizarrely asked, "Have we reached a point in our society where there effectively is an Amazon.com for human parts, including entire babies?"—a comment that has no basis in reality.

(Dear Tennessee: Please stop electing morons. Sincerely, America.)

So now come the folks at Rewire to tell us what we already suspected—that not only are these hearings a big ship of fools, they're also an ongoing money pit.

Congressional documents reveal that panel Republicans requested the money from the Committee on House Administration, which sets aside $500,000 per session of Congress to supplement operating budgets. A congressional aide told Rewire that the request has been approved. The panel last year received $300,000, which followed the House's informal two-thirds/one-third funding split between the majority and minority parties, from the Administration Committee's coffers. All told, the investigation is well on its way to totaling $790,000, using nearly 80 percent of the House's available supplemental funding.

I shudder to think how much money would be wasted in the House if Speaker Paul Ryan weren't such a staggering economic savant.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Federal Judge Blocks Florida Law Defunding Abortion Giant Planned Parenthood

A federal judge has blocked key parts of a Florida law that, among other aspects, prohibits funds from going to abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.

As previously reported, House Bill 1411 reallocates funds that abortion providers had been receiving as Medicaid reimbursement, and prohibits the government from contracting with organizations that offer abortion services—with the exceptions of ****, incest and the life of the mother. Florida abortion facilities receive approximately $200,0000 a year in Medicaid funds.

“A state agency, a local governmental entity, or a managed care plan … may not expend funds for the benefit of, pay funds to, or initiate or renew a contract with an organization that owns, operates, or is affiliated with one or more clinics,” the bill reads.

Current state and federal law prohibits funds from being used toward abortion, but Florida lawmakers believe that the state shouldn’t help keep abortion facilities in business either.

“We pay their light bill, we pay their salaries, we pay all kinds of things when the state contracts with these clinics,” Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, outlined on the Senate floor prior to the passage and signing of the legislation. “Let’s get Florida out of the abortion business. That’s what this bill does.”

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indiana court tosses woman’s feticide conviction

Originally published July 22, 2016 at 8:47 am  |  Updated July 22, 2016 at 1:31 pm

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned the feticide conviction of a woman found guilty of killing her premature infant by taking abortion-inducing drugs, saying Friday the state’s law wasn’t intended to be used “to prosecute women for their own abortions.”

The ruling comes in the case of Purvi Patel, who was convicted of neglect and feticide last year. However, the court upheld a lower-level felony neglect of a dependent conviction.

She was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2015, two years after her self-induced abortion at her family’s home. Women’s advocacy groups have been heavily involved in the case, saying it marks the first time a state feticide law was used against a woman because of an alleged self-induced abortion.

The appeals court ruled that Patel, who is currently in state prison on the neglect and feticide convictions, should be resentenced on the lower-level felony charge, which carries a possible prison term of between six months and three years. It wasn’t immediately clear how quickly that resentencing could happen and whether Patel could soon be released from prison.

Stanford University law professor Larry Marshall, who represented Patel during the appeals court hearing in May, said Friday that he was reviewing the court’s 40-page decision and would discuss it with Patel before deciding the next legal steps.

“At this point, we’re going to digest it before we have any comment,” he said.

The Indiana attorney general’s office said it would confer with local prosecutors before deciding whether to appeal the decision.

Patel, who was 32 at the time, was arrested when she sought treatment at a local hospital for profuse bleeding after delivering a 1½-pound boy in a bathroom and putting his body in a trash bin behind her family’s restaurant. Court records show she bought abortion-inducing drugs from an online pharmacy based in Hong Kong.

She used the drugs because she feared her family would discover she had been impregnated by a married man, according to documents. Patel lived with her parents and grandparents in Granger, a city just northeast of South Bend along the Michigan border.

Attorneys for Indiana argued that Patel was at least 25 weeks into her pregnancy, so her infant was just beyond the threshold of viability and took at least one breath before dying. The attorneys also argued that Indiana’s feticide law could apply to pregnant woman, not just “to third-party actors,” and that Patel hadn’t shown the feticide law constituted an undue burden on the right to an abortion.

The appeals court disagreed, saying the feticide law only had been used since it was enacted in 1979 to prosecute those who attacked pregnant women. The judges also wrote that the wording of state law on illegal abortions shows the Legislature “intended for any criminal liability to be imposed on medical personnel, not women who perform their own abortions.”

Patel endangered the child by not seeking medical care, but prosecutors failed to prove that her failure to do so resulted in the boy’s death, the court said.

Two dozen women’s advocacy groups, as well as Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, filed friend-of-the-court briefs siding with Patel.

At least 38 states have fetal homicide laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The Patel case was the first time a state feticide law was used against a woman specifically because of “an alleged self-induced abortion,” said Jill Adams, executive director of the abortion-rights advocacy group Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice.

Adams said she was glad the appeals court overturned Patel’s feticide conviction, but that it was still worrisome that she faced a felony neglect conviction. Adams called the prosecution a misuse of the criminal justice system.

“No person in Purvi Patel’s position should have to feel threat of arrest or jail for ending their own pregnancy,” she said. “That is not what these laws were put in place to do.”
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a convention first, NARAL president talks about her own abortion

PHILADELPHIA — Her remarks came in the 5 p.m. hour, not in primetime, but when NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue spoke from the Democratic National Convention stage here on Wednesday, she made convention history.

On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards was the first speaker to utter the word abortion from the convention stage this year. The next day, Hogue broke new ground and spoke about having had one.

“I am a fourth-generation Texan,” said Hogue, who before leading the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws had worked with MoveOn.org in Washington, D.C. “Texas women are tough. We approach challenges with clear eyes and full hearts. To succeed in life, all we need are the tools, the trust, and the chance to chart our own path.”

She continued: “I was fortunate enough to have these things when I found out I was pregnant years ago. I wanted a family, but it was the wrong time. I made the decision that was best for me — to have an abortion and get compassionate care at a clinic in my own community. Now, years later, my husband and I are parents to two incredible children.

“My story is not unique. About one in three American women have abortions by the age of 45, and the majority are mothers just trying to take care of the families they already have. You see, it’s not as simple as bad girls get abortions and good girls have families. We are the same women at different times in our lives — each making decisions that are the best for us.”

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Again, a Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Backpedals on Abortion

If you look at the Colorado Right to Life website, you’ll see that Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn is labled “pro-life.”

If you’re Colorado Right to Life, you’re opposed to all abortion, even for rape and incest. No exceptions. No abortion. Never. And you’re opposed to some forms of birth control, like some intrauterine devices (IUDs).

The group determined that Glenn is “pro-life” based on his answers to questions about seven “pro-life issues,” revealing his position “through specific language with no weasel-room.”

Colorado Right to Life states:

No candidate who supports abortion for any reason is “pro-life.” Regardless of what they may say, any truly pro-life citizen/candidate believes that government has an obligation to protect all human life from conception forward, and therefore pledge to oppose all abortion (with the understanding that a doctor may take action to save a woman’s life while also trying to save the baby’s life, even if the baby’s survival is doubtful due to other factors) - every innocent human being has an inalienable Right to Life at every age or stage of development.

But as the Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus reports today, Glenn appears to have described his abortion stance differently to different audiences.

Marcus quotes Glenn in an appearance on “Devil’s Advocate,” a television show sponsored by the conservative Independence Institute.

Glenn said: “As a person who has two adult daughters, I put myself in that situation. And I want to make sure that when we’re talking about health care, you want to make sure that women have the ability and access to health care, so that they understand all the different options that are out there. And at some point in time, maybe they might have to make that decision. But that is a personal decision that they have to make between them and... God.”

Marcus’ report included a reaction to the Caldara interview from Colorado Right to Life:

“I’m willing to say on behalf of our organization that his comments were not nearly as strong as we would hope,” said Susan Sutherland, vice president of Colorado Right to Life. “He was just trying to play a little bit of political maneuvering there.”

Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner ran into a similar situation in 2014 when he defeated incumbent Democrat Mark Udall. To defeat Udall, Gardner walked more to the middle on the abortion issue, attempting to distance himself from personhood.

Glenn proudly leaned to the right during the primary, which helped propel the relatively unknown El Paso County commissioner to success in a crowded GOP field.

But Glenn wouldn’t talk to Marcus. And The Denver Post’s John Frank has been trying to talk to Glenn about his abortion stance for weeks, with no luck.

Before Gardner sprt pf backtracked on his abortion stance, there was 2010 Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck, who, after the GOP primary, oops, took back his support for a personhood abortion ban  because, he said at the time, he didn’t understand the proposed amendment.

Like Buck, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman was cozy with the poor folks at Colorado Right to Life, before he jumped ship and took back his personhood support a couple years ago—though he’s never offered up much detail on why and how his position evolved on the issue.

I woudn’t be feeling very good if I were in the shoes of Colorado Right to Life, but we all agree that it’s better to have journalists expose the buckpedaling than leaving it buried in candidate questionnaires few people bother to read.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The abortion rights movement is bolder than it’s been in years. That’s Cecile Richards’s plan.

On the morning of one of the most important days in her career, Cecile Richards waited anxiously in her office at Planned Parenthood headquarters in Manhattan, texting furiously with friends across the country.

A few minutes past 10 a.m., a message from her daughter flashed across the screen. A single word: Yay!

“That was when I knew we’d won,” Richards says, recalling the moment when she learned of the decision in the biggest abortion-related case to come before the Supreme Court in more than two decades. In a 5-to-3 vote, the justices had ruled that Texas’s restrictions on abortion clinics placed an “undue burden” on women seeking to end their pregnancies.

Seeing that text, the president of Planned Parenthood ran out of her office and joined her staff, gathered around television sets, clapping and crying, to revel in a moment of joy.

“It was a little bit unreal,” she recalls of the day’s emotions.

The decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt was a significant victory for abortion providers nationwide. And it came at a significant moment.

One hundred years after Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger began educating women about birth control in New York and 43 years after Roe v. Wade, the reproductive rights movement in America is at a pivotal crossroads. Facing hundreds of restrictive laws nationwide, abortion rights advocates are going on the offensive with a new strategy.

Gone is the vaguely conciliatory mantra of the past, the ideal of keeping abortion “safe, legal and rare” once advocated by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Today’s activists are bringing the passionately debated procedure into the light, encouraging women to talk openly about their abortions and giving the movement an unapologetic human face.

And they aren’t stopping there. Heading into a high-stakes presidential election, Planned Parenthood’s political arm and its supporters are rolling up their sleeves to help elect Hillary Clinton — who has done an about-face on the issue with a party platform that is pushing, for the first time , for full Medicaid funding for abortions.

It’s a bold move that positively courts controversy. But controversy has never stopped Cecile Richards.

“There’s this thought that women are just too scattered, we’re too impulsive, we are too hormonal, we can’t make good decisions for ourselves,” Richards says, sitting in a sterile, glass-walled conference room at Planned Parenthood’s headquarters. She’s talking about what she thinks lies at the root of the bitter debate over abortion.

She is, as always, immaculately put together, her tall frame draped in a merlot-colored sheath and matching cardigan, gold earrings twinkling beneath her short, white-blond hair. Her alto voice conveys the subtlest hint of a Texas twang, and more than a hint of sarcasm.

“Therefore we need the state to tell us, we need the state to give us medical information, even if it’s incorrect,” she says. “We need the state to give us an ultrasound because we must not really realize that we’re pregnant; we have to go away for 24 hours and think it over.”

She leans forward slightly and raises her voice: “Can you imagine if these kinds of restrictions were put on any other kind of health care in America?”

In person, the 59-year-old Richards exudes both a warm authenticity and a subtle impenetrability; there’s the sense that she means everything she says, but she isn’t saying everything. Her public persona is almost preternaturally controlled; like the savviest politicians, she’s supremely polished, perpetually on-message and surrounded by a highly protective media operation that carefully controls reporters’ access and circles the wagons when uncomfortable situations arise.

Which, given her job, they frequently do. As the president of the country’s largest abortion provider, Richards is a lightning rod for conflicting passions. Polarizing? The word could have been invented for her. It’s a safe bet that how you view her depends on where you stand on abortion: She’s composed, heroic, a righteous defender of the vulnerable; or she’s cold, unfeeling, a cunning apologist for baby murderers.

She gets standing ovations. She also gets death threats.

One thing, though, is indisputable: her success at creating a powerful political juggernaut — pretty close to “the largest kick-butt political organization” that she said she wanted to establish not long after she took the helm in 2006.

In a lineup of past presidents of Planned Parenthood, which has a separate political action committee, Richards stands out — her background isn’t in women’s health care. It’s in organizing and politics. And she has deployed her skills in those fields to win major battles for abortion rights.

When the Susan G. Komen foundation announced that it would cut funding for breast cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood clinics in 2012, the organization sparked an outcry so fierce that Komen quickly backtracked. Last year, Planned Parenthood successfully turned back a challenge by an antiabortion group that shot undercover video purporting to show that the organization was illegally selling fetal tissue. Richards herself stared down hostile lawmakers bent on defunding her organization in a congressional hearing called after the videos surfaced.

Since Richards’s ascension, Planned Parenthood has also pointedly transformed its messaging and its public strategy. Two years ago, the organization officially — and shrewdly — shed the abortion-specific “pro-choice” label in favor of broader terms such as “reproductive rights” and “women’s health care.” Most notably, it started highlighting the day-to-day reality of abortion, encouraging women to come forward with their personal stories.

And lots of women are taking the leap. More than 200 shared their abortion experiences in public amicus briefs filed as part of Whole Woman’s Health.

“I have never been in a courtroom where women’s experiences were so prominent and so impossible to ignore,” Richards says.

For the activist extraordinaire, it’s all in a decade’s work. And it wins her major kudos from admirers.

Richards has “really transformed” Planned Parenthood, says Rep. Gwen Moore, a Wisconsin Democrat, and “turned it into the kind of political machine that has been necessary to not only fight back the bad policy positions, but to actually raise money.”

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Judge definitively blocks Florida abortion law

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday definitively blocked a Florida abortion law that prevents state funds from going to organizations that provide abortions after the administration of Gov. Rick Scott made the unusual decision to drop further legal action. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle had placed a temporary hold on the law in June just hours before it went into effect. The sweeping law also greatly increased inspection requirements for abortion clinics. Planned Parenthood challenged three parts of the law. But instead of taking the case to trial and offering additional evidence or legal arguments, attorneys for the Scott administration agreed to forgo further legal action. ...
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unborn Babies Found at South Carolina Wastewater Treatment Plant

Two unborn babies were found at a wastewater treatment plant in South Carolina last Monday, prompting an investigation by law enforcement.

According to reports, workers at the Plum Island Wastewater Treatment Plant found the dead babies in the water on Aug. 8. as they were cleaning out the filter screens at the plant. They spotted a small hand, then the rest of the infant’s body—then another baby. Neither child was fully intact.

Police were called to the scene, and were taken to the pump station to be shown the preterm babies.

The babies had been found in the headworks, where the wastewater flows in. Officials state that the infants could have only entered the system by either being flushed down the toilet or placed in a manhole. The bodies were turned over by police to the Charleston County Coroner’s Office for further review.


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