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Oregon ramped up funding for access to abortion care before SCOTUS leak

The Legislature provided $15 million in abortion care seed funding during the February legislative session......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 13th, 2022

Biden and Democrats caught flat-footed and without a plan for the possible end of Roe v. Wade

As the Supreme Court appears poised to strike down the constitutional right to an abortion, Democrats are light on plans about how to ensure access. President Joe Biden at State of the Union Address.Pool / Pool A leaked draft opinion shows the Supreme Court appears likely to overturn Roe v. Wade. Biden and Democrats voiced outrage at the potential loss of nationwide abortion protections. But they are not yet offering specific policy ideas or viable legislation for ensuring access. With the US Supreme Court seemingly poised to strike down Roe v. Wade, all eyes are on President Joe Biden and Democrats to somehow preserve abortion access for the tens of millions of women who would be barred from getting the procedure in their state, should federal protections disappear.But despite having known for several years that this moment could arrive, Democrats have offered few specifics this week for how they'd handle a post-Roe landscape.On Capitol Hill this week, Democratic lawmakers made vows to fight for abortion access. Yet they'd unveiled no actionable legislation or policy changes since Monday night, when POLITICO published a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion in the pending abortion rights case, Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization. The Supreme Court's ruling on the major case is expected by late June, but if the draft opinion is adopted, it would strike down Roe v. Wade, triggering automatic bans on abortion in 13 states."I think you are correct in sensing or intuiting that there is not a firm plan," one senior Democratic Senate aide told Insider, when asked about the lack of details from Democrats."The reason we're not seeing a whole lot of specificity is that it's sped up the timeline," said the aide, who requested anonymity to speak about the party's reaction to the draft opinion. "I don't think anyone was super surprised by the outcome, but they were kinda caught off guard … People are still brushing themselves off and standing back up."Immediately after the leak, Democrats implored people to vote for lawmakers who support abortion rights in the midterms and began fundraising blitzes over email and text.Biden this week called for Congress to codify the provisions of Roe v. Wade into federal law. But the proposal faces a dead end.Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced the Senate would vote on such a bill, the Women's Health Protection Act, next week, yet it will almost certainly fail due to Republicans' ability to filibuster such legislation. Some progressives, like Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, have argued for abolishing the Senate's filibuster rule to allow a simple majority vote on federal abortion protections — but two Democratic senators, Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, remain opposed to the idea.Schumer, when asked during a press briefing on Thursday about additional legislative steps that Democrats plan to take to protect abortion access, said, "We'll look at the best way to get things done.""We're starting off here. But you will hear plenty from us. This is not just one vote and then this issue goes away. You will hear a lot from us in the next months, all the way through November," he told reporters.In the hours after the draft leaked, Biden said in a statement that he had already "directed my Gender Policy Council and White House Counsel's Office to prepare options for an Administration response" and that "we will be ready when any ruling is issued." The statement did not elaborate on specific options his team had prepared.The senior Democratic Senate aide said they were "frustrated" by Biden's initial statement."Part of the president's power is his empathy, and ability to speak to people in moments of grief or trouble," the aide said. "And I think this was a moment of grief and dread. People did not feel him being the consoler-in-chief that he is so often referred to as."Xavier Becerra testifies during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on his nomination to become Secretary of Health and Human Services on February 24, 2021.Michael Reynolds/Pool via APSenate Democrats offer outrage, but not policyBiden's Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, appeared before a Senate committee on Wednesday and did not offer new specifics for how his agency — which oversees programs like Title IX and can issue policies on coverage for reproductive care — would act if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade in the coming weeks.He told lawmakers that the Department of Health and Human Services would "double down on our authority" to protect reproductive healthcare, but did not say how.Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), had quizzed Becerra about options for preserving abortion rights. Pressed for specific actions she wanted the agency to take, Murray told Insider, "We are asking them. We are exploring things."Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada, another member of the Senate HELP Committee, said, "I'm not sure what the president will want to do. We haven't had those discussions yet."Sen. Patty Murray.GREG NASH/POOL/AFP via Getty ImagesInsider asked 14 Democratic senators this week about the party's plans to protect some level of abortion access for women in states where the procedure would be banned if Roe falls. Most affirmed their support for abortion rights and condemned the position in the leaked draft opinion, but did not provide specific policy proposals."Women of reproductive age right now don't know a world that doesn't give them choice," said Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, who is facing a challenge from Trump-endorsed, first-time candidate Herschel Walker. "Politics shouldn't get in the way of a constitutional right." Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey said, "If this ends up being the opinion of the court, then it affects every American — not just women in our society, for which the clock will be rolled back over half a century to a time and place nobody wants to go to."Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, attends a meeting with Sen. Mitch McConnell in preparation for her confirmation hearing on September 29, 2020 in Washington, DC.Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty ImagesDemocrats had time to prepare for the end of Roe v. WadeThe party, which is made up almost entirely of politicians in favor of abortion rights, has had at least five years to prepare for this scenario. President Donald Trump appointed three conservative justices over the course of his term, with the latest, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, replacing the liberal jurist Ruth Bader Ginsburg after her death in 2020.On the Supreme Court, the six conservative justices now outnumber its three liberals, creating an opening for anti-abortion challengers to Roe v. Wade to win after years of failed attempts."How the hell is there no plan? I just don't understand," said China Dickerson, a Democratic strategist who has worked on congressional races. "My question with reproductive freedom is: What are we doing — the verb. What are we doing?" Before the draft of conservative Justice Samuel Alito's opinion leaked on Monday night, the Biden administration had taken some increased steps to expand abortion access through federal policies.In December, the Food and Drug Administration changed its rules for abortion pills, allowing patients to receive the drug by mail instead of requiring them to pick it up from a medical provider or pharmacy in person."The FDA could do much more on making certain that women have access to medicated abortions," Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Insider on Thursday. "The FDA has already been through all the testing, knows that this is a safe way to terminate a pregnancy in the early months and that option should be available to more people."In 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules that allowed organizations that referred patients for abortion care or shared space with an abortion provider to once again receive federal Title IX funding for women's healthcare. The Trump administration had banned organizations like Planned Parenthood from receiving these funds in 2019. Under the Biden administration's new rules, abortions would still need to be paid for with private, not federal, funds.Last year, HHS also said it would reinforce the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), underscoring the requirement for medical providers to treat patients who are experiencing pregnancy loss.Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who also serves on the HELP committee, said states like his that allow abortions will have to shoulder the additional burden if Roe falls. Connecticut's Democratic governor signed a bill on Tuesday that will protect medical professionals who treat out-of-state patients who are forced to travel for abortions."We're going to have to step up and continue to make sure that we are a place that welcomes women from all over the country that are seeking to have access to a full range of reproductive health care services," Murphy told Insider. "Unfortunately, many of us said this sky was gonna fall. And it did," he added, before ducking into a Senate subway car. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 5th, 2022

White House officials are scrambling — and failing — to find ways to help women access abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned, report says

An initial draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito and published by Politico showed the Supreme Court had voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. President Joe Biden seen in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 4, 2022.REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein The White House is struggling to find abortion access routes if Roe v. Wade is overturned, The Washington Post said. Politico reported Monday that the Supreme Court had tentatively voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. The White House is considering funding travel for abortions through Medicaid, the Post said.  The White House is unsuccessfully trying to find ways to help women across the US access abortions if Roe v. Wade is overturned, The Washington Post reported.On Monday, Politico published a leaked initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito showing the Supreme Court had voted to overturn the landmark federal right to abortion legislation, 49 years after its adoption. The leak caught the White House off guard, the Post reported, and White House officials have since hurriedly met with government lawyers, external advisers, and federal officials in response.However, the White House is ultimately struggling to find any way for women across the country to access abortion care if the ruling is overturned, especially in regards to finding a way to help poorer women in Republican-controlled states, the Post reported, citing external advisers to the White House.White House officials have discussed the feasibility of funding travel for abortions, through Medicaid or otherwise, the Post reported.However, experts are warning that a number of Republican states will try to ban travel for abortion if Roe . Wade is overturned. The White House is aware than any executive or legislative action from President Joe Biden's administration will likely be met with strong legal challenges in those states, according to the Post."Every single thing they do is going to get legally challenged, and every [government] lawyer agrees," one of the outside advisers told the Post."A bunch of attorneys general will mobilize, and [the administration] will lose. That is in large part because a court that overturns Roe is unlikely to look kindly on actions designed to circumvent that ruling."There is also currently no legislation protecting the right to abortion nationwide, and the chances of passing such legislation is slim, given the Democrats' small majority in the House, the Post noted. Speaking on Tuesday, President Joe Biden said the end of Roe v. Wade threatens each women's right to chose."If the court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation's elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman's right to choose. And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November," Biden said."At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law."Biden, who did not use the word abortion in his speech, said Tuesday that he had tasked the Gender Policy Council, the White House Counsel's Office, and the Domestic Policy Council to come up with solutions.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 5th, 2022

Abortion advocates have expected the end of Roe for years: "It has not gotten the priority that it should have"

Pro-choice groups have anticipated the end of Roe v. Wade for years. But should the Supreme Court strike down Roe v. Wade, their path forward is murky. Caroline McDonald, left, a student at Georgetown University, Lauren Morrissey, with Catholics for Choice, and Pamela Huber, of Washington, join a pro-choice rally outside the Supreme Court, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, as arguments are set to begin about abortion by the court, on Capitol Hill in Washington.AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin Pro-choice groups have prepared for the end of Roe v. Wade for years. A leaked Supreme Court draft decision portends the end of federal abortion protections. Should that happen, abortion advocates and Democrats face years of difficulties to protect access. A leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would unequivocally abolish the constitutional right to an abortion in the US has prompted fear and outrage from Democrats and pro-choice advocates.But the bombshell document has not drastically altered the long-term plans organizations at the forefront of the abortion movement such as Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America, who have been preparing for this scenario since the Trump presidency. Rather, the leak has confirmed their sense that the country is rapidly barreling towards a reality where millions of women will have no abortion access in their home states."We've anticipated this decision for several years," Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, told Insider during a media call on Tuesday. If the Supreme Court issues a ruling as hostile to abortion rights as the draft opinion indicates, there's not much that abortion advocates can do in the near term to stop a wave of bans from going into effect across the country. In states that have laws on the books that would automatically ban abortion if Roe v. Wade falls, "It is not an exaggeration to say this will stop reproductive healthcare and abortion in its tracks," said Noreen Farrell, executive director of Equal Rights Advocates."The courts will no longer be a safe haven for abortion access," Farrell said. "What you will see from pro-choice activists is incredible drive and innovation for other strategies."But the game plan for doing so was only just beginning to take shape.Pivoting from abortion clinics to abortion fundsShould the Supreme Court ultimately issue a decision that overturns Roe v. Wade, a number of states have laws on the books that would automatically ban abortion within their borders. At the same time, Democratic-controlled states are rushing to expand access to the procedure to anticipate a wave of patients from other states.For years, abortion advocates have focused on keeping providers open in states hostile to abortion, and getting women to the limited facilities available in their state. Now, women are faced with the prospect of having to travel hundreds, if not thousands of miles to obtain an abortion.Major pro-choice groups repeatedly underscored the need to invest in abortion funds during a call with reporters on Tuesday. Abortion funds are groups that provide financial assistance and often travel and logistical support for patients seeking care. They will likely play a greater role in helping women schedule and finance abortions if the procedure becomes unavailable in multiple states."We will do whatever we need to do to make sure that folks get access to abortion care that they want and they need," said Oriaku Njoku, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Access Reproductive Care (ARC)-Southeast. That included "providing abortion funding, and logistical support. And that is not going to change depending on what the laws are."Abortion will be a midterms issue Democrats had planned to make abortion a major issue before the draft opinion leaked. Now, they're seizing on the opportunity to galvanize their voters in what will likely be a tough election year.Top Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted out fundraising emails, and the Democratic National Committee texted its supporters soliciting donations.The three major pro-choice political groups in the US  — NARAL Pro-Choice America, EMILY's List, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund (the political arm of Planned Parenthood) — pledged on Monday that they were investing $150 million in midterms races in key battleground states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Nevada with the aim of electing pro-choice candidates to office up and down the ballot.Former President Barack Obama called on Americans to "join with the activists who've been sounding the alarm on this issue for years — and act […] Vote alongside them on or before November 8 and in every other election."Democrats are making the case that in order to protect abortion rights, voters should elect more of them to office and help them keep their majorities in the House and Senate. But there's limited action that Democrats can actually take in Congress right now.At the federal level, legislation to protect abortion rights looks doomed upon arrival. Democrats in Congress are calling for a federal law that would protect abortion rights, but with the filibuster in place, there's likely zero chance such a bill would be able to overcome a Republican blockade.But real battles will happen in state legislaturesThe real power to dictate abortion currently rests with state legislatures, and Democrats have historically underinvested in these races. Republicans now hold power over the governor's office and legislature in 23 states, while Democrats only hold these legislative trifectas in 14.If the Supreme Court issues a decision similar to the draft leaked this week, the issue will be kicked back to states, making these races all the more important for Democrats."A lot of national organizations may have focused more on the federal fights instead of the state and local fights," said Atima Omara, a Democratic strategist who has worked with pro-choice groups. Omara said that Democrats and pro-choice advocates needed to reframe their arguments to voters as an issue regarding their economic and physical freedom."There's definitely a sentiment that abortion has always been in the category of a social issue," said Omara. "Because of that it, has not gotten the priority that it should have."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 3rd, 2022

Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego calls Ted Cruz a "fucking baby killer" over the senator"s pro-gun stance after Texas school shooting

Cruz responded to a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, by pushing against calls for more stringent gun laws. GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has expressed opposition to stricter gun laws following a mass shooting at an elementary school in his state on May 24, 2022..Aimee Dilger/Getty Images Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego condemned Republicans following the Uvalde elementary school shooting. "Fuck you @tedcruz," Gallego tweeted.  Republicans like Cruz are rejecting calls for stricter gun laws following the shooting. Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona didn't pull any punches while criticizing Republican lawmakers and pro-gun advocates for reacting to a school shooting in Texas by pushing against calls for stricter gun laws. At least 19 children and two adults were killed in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday. It was the second deadliest school shooting on record in the US, surpassed only by the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. "Fuck your prayers. They haven't worked for the last 20 mass shootings how about passing laws that will stop these killings," Gallego said in a tweet responding to GOP Rep. Darrell Issa of California offering "thoughts and prayers" to the families of the victims of the shooting. Republicans have often been ridiculed by Democrats for responding to such incidents with "thoughts and prayers" rather than embracing calls for more stringent gun legislation. "Fuck you @NRA," the Arizona Democrat said in another tweet directed at the National Rifle Association. The Texas shooting came on the heels of a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v. Wade — the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. The draft opinion has prompted fury and alarm among Democrats, who want to see Roe v. Wade upheld in order to protect reproductive rights. Meanwhile, Republicans have responded by zeroing in on the leak itself, while also reiterating their staunch opposition to abortion. Alluding to this debate in a tweet directed at GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who opposes abortion rights and stricter gun laws, Gallego said, "Fuck you @tedcruz you care about a fetus but you will let our children get slaughtered. Just get your ass to Cancun. You are useless." Gallego's mention of Cancun was an apparent reference to Cruz's controversial trip to the Mexican resort city as Texas contended with a deadly winter storm."Just to be clear fuck you @tedcruz you fucking baby killer," Gallego added in a subsequent tweet.Cruz responded to the Uvalde shooting by pushing against calls for gun reform, while simultaneously echoing the gun lobby's "good guy with a gun" talking point — or the debunked notion that arming more people could help prevent mass shootings. "Inevitably when there's a murder of this kind, you see politicians try to politicize it, you see Democrats and a lot of folks in the media whose immediate solution is to try to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens," Cruz said to reporters on Tuesday, adding, "That doesn't work. It's not effective. It doesn't prevent crime."Studies have shown that states with stricter gun laws see fewer gun deaths. And though polling has consistently shown that most voters on both sides of the aisle support policies such as expanding background checks, Republicans in Congress have consistently blocked efforts to pass legislation along these lines. Cruz in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday also suggested that schools should have armed law enforcement present to help prevent shootings. "We know from past experience that the most effective tool for keeping kids safe is armed law enforcement on the campus," the Texas senator said.Armed law enforcement on the scene in Uvalde, including a school district officer who worked at Robb Elementary, shot at the gunman as he moved to enter the building on Tuesday, but were unable to stop him, Sgt. Erick Estrada with the Texas Department of Public Safety told CNN. The presence of armed security has also failed to prevent previous incidents at schools, such as a 2018 mass shooting that killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida. —Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) May 25, 2022 Following Tuesday's shooting, other Democrats have expressed outrage in a manner similar to Gallego and implored their Republican colleagues to embrace efforts to strengthen gun laws. "It's fucking nuts to do nothing about this," Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona told reporters on Wednesday. Sen. Chris Murphy, who has been an impassioned advocate for gun reform during his time in Congress and delivered an emotional speech to that effect on the Senate floor on Tuesday, told reporters that he wanted Republicans to "spare" him the "bullshit about mental illness." Republicans have often blamed mental illness for mass shootings, avoiding assigning responsibility to the ease of access to firearms in the US.The US has the highest rate of civilian firearm ownership in the world, and the highest rate of gun deaths in the developed world. Cruz and Issa did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 25th, 2022

Maternal death rate isn"t as bad if you don"t count Black women, GOP senator says

Louisiana's Bill Cassidy said the state's maternal death rate isn't so high if you "correct our population for race," Politico reported. Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana.AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite Sen Bill Cassidy said his state's high maternal death rates are more standard if you "correct for race," Politico reports. Louisiana has a high Black population and one of the worst maternal death rates in the US. Experts called this framing "disturbing," arguing the state must improve healthcare for Black women. Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said that the state's poor maternal mortality rate is only an "outlier" because of the high proportion of Black women in the state, according to Politico. Cassidy's comment was featured in Politico's in-depth exploration of Louisiana's maternal death rates, which are among the worst in the country. The state ranks 47 out of 48 states assessed for maternal deaths, state officials said. Cassidy told the outlet that this is partly because "about a third of our population is African American; African Americans have a higher incidence of maternal mortality."So, if you correct our population for race, we're not as much of an outlier as it'd otherwise appear."He continued: "Now, I say that not to minimize the issue but to focus the issue as to where it would be. For whatever reason, people of color have a higher incidence of maternal mortality."Overall, according to Louisiana's Department of Health, "four black mothers die for every white mother" in the state. It outpaces a three-to-one ratio nationwide, which is already the worst in the developed world, Politico reported. Dean Michelle Williams of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health discussed Cassidy's comments in a blog post. (The Politico article was produced as part of a series partnership with the school.)Williams said: "It's no mystery why maternal mortality rates are so high among Black women. They are high because of the devastating impacts of structural racism and individual bias."According to the CDC, Black women are disadvantaged in their "access to care, quality of care, prevalence of chronic diseases, structural racism, and implicit biases" in healthcare.Williams said she found Cassidy's framing "disturbing.""This is not a moment to quibble about how states are ranked," Williams wrote."It's not a moment to correct for race. It's a moment to assert that Louisiana — precisely because it has such a large population of Black women — must seize a leadership role in making pregnancy and childbirth safer for all."She noted that Cassidy has supported numerous public health measures, including those that protect pregnancies. Cassidy's comment comes soon after Politico's publishing of a leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a measure that the Senator supports. Anti-abortion organization Louisiana Right To Life says that Cassidy has a "100% pro-life voting record." Louisiana is also one of 13 states with "trigger laws" that would come into effect to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade, as looks likely, is overturned. Following the Roe leak, top British medical journal The Lancet warned in a stark editorial statement that "women will die" if the decision is overturned. Furthermore, Black women will be the group most affected by the move, ABC News reported.Asked by Politico how maternal death rates may be affected by the measure, Cassidy said: "If we're using abortion to limit maternal deaths, that's kind of an odd way to approach the problem."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 21st, 2022

I"m an abortion provider. It"s made me a better doctor.

"Doing this work has transformed me," said Becca Simon, an Arizona abortion provider. "I wish people knew that we really care about our communities." Becca Simon.Courtesy of Becca Simon Becca Simon is a 33-year-old family practice doctor who provides abortion care in Arizona. Simon is dedicated to providing abortion care, but Arizona laws would stop her if Roe v. Wade falls. This is her story, as told to writer Fortesa Latifi. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Dr. Becca Simon, a 33-year-old family practice doctor who provides abortion care in Arizona at Physicians for Reproductive Health. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.As the country braces for the Supreme Court's final opinion on whether it's going to rescind Roe v. Wade, the situation in Arizona is even more dire because of a little-known trigger law that dates back to the 1800s. The law criminalizes providers like me.The law — which is from a time when Arizona wasn't even a state yet, but a territory — mandates prison time for providers who give abortion care at any point during a pregnancy. The 1864 law only allows doctors to provide abortions legally if a pregnant person's life is at risk, and recent laws passed in Arizona ban most abortions after 15 weeks — including in cases of rape or incest. Under the 1864 law, a provider faces a minimum of two years in prison and a maximum of five years for providing abortion care.As a family medicine physician, I was always interested in giving abortion careWhen I was in training, I realized how critical abortion care is to the health of a community. I want to take care of people no matter what stage of life they're in. I want to help pregnant patients, and I want to help them if they choose not to be pregnant anymore. I want the choice to be theirs, and I'll guide them through whatever choice they make. Abortion access in Arizona is already restrictedPatients have a mandatory 24-hour waiting period between their first appointment and the procedure, and they're forced to view an ultrasound before the abortion. Medicated abortion cannot be conducted through telemedicine, which is difficult for the millions of people who live in the more rural areas of the state — many of whom are forced to find a way to travel to the Phoenix metropolitan area, which is where I work.I often think about the people who will be most affected if Roe v. Wade does indeed fall, as is expected from the leak of the Supreme Court draft majority opinion.The same populations that currently struggle with access to reproductive healthcare — because of laws that are designed to restrict care, such as the Hyde Amendment — are going to struggle even more if Roe v. Wade is overturned. That includes patients with disabilities, people of color, people with low socioeconomic status, and critically in Arizona, indigenous and undocumented people. That's not all. People who struggle to travel to receive care will face greater barriers, as will people who can't afford to take off work or get childcare. All these people already struggle with abortion access in Arizona and will have an even harder time if the Supreme Court finalizes this decision.I'm dedicated to helping with abortion access in any way I can, but a rollback of Roe v. Wade would be devastatingIf Roe v. Wade does get rolled back and Arizona's trigger law comes into play criminalizing providers, I wouldn't be able to provide abortion care in Arizona anymore. I would look for another way to support patients, whether that's providing care in a neighboring state or doing some kind of telehealth abortion care. In Arizona, it's even more unclear because Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican who has passed abortion restrictions, has only commented on the leaked Supreme Court opinion to say he won't engage in hypotheticals. Though, as AZFamily reported, Gov. Ducey has signed every piece of anti-abortion legislation that's crossed his desk since he took office in 2015. He recently signed a 15-week abortion ban that's set be enforced in September.Being an abortion provider has made me a better all-around doctorAs an abortion provider, I make sure I'm patient-centered and that I listen and engage in a partnership with my patients. Doing this work has transformed me. I wish people knew that abortion providers are people who really care about the communities they live in. We're trying to give people what they want and deserve: bodily autonomy. Plus, abortion care is really safe. It shouldn't be siloed away from other specialties; rather, it should be considered a part of general all-around care. I should be able to provide that care at a general practice. Abortions are essential healthcare. When we restrict bodily autonomy, it can change the course of a pregnant person's life. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 19th, 2022

Starbucks joins Tesla, Amazon, Apple, and Citi as the latest company to cover travel costs for employees seeking abortion in different states. Here"s how companies are pushing back against increasing restrictions.

With the Supreme Court possibly poised to overturn decades of precedent on abortion, some employers are taking steps to ensure workers receive care. Protesters, demonstrators and activists gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, a case about a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, on December 01, 2021.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images The US Supreme Court appears poised to overturn the abortion-rights ruling under Roe v Wade. Companies like Citi, Apple, Yelp, and Amazon are expanding support for workers seeking abortion. Here is a list of major companies taking steps in response to any rollback of reproductive rights. In a surprise leak, a Supreme Court majority decision appears poised to overturn decades of settled law in reversing the constitutional right to abortion under Roe v Wade.On Tuesday, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed that the draft document was real, but said the court has not yet reached a final ruling.Though the leak itself was unexpected, it follows a concerted effort that has long been underway in many Republican-controlled states to severely limit access to abortion.Several large companies with employees located in places like Texas and Oklahoma have announced their own initiatives to preserve access to medical treatments that are in the process of being criminalized by state lawmakers. 26 states are "certain or likely" to ban abortion if Roe is struck down, according to analysis by the Guttmacher Institute. Employers like Citi, Apple, Yelp, and Amazon are specifically including abortion in their expansion of existing benefits programs, which reimburse employees for travel costs related to seeking medical care that is not available near the employee's home.Others like Uber and Lyft have pledged support for transportation for people seeking abortions, as well as legally defending drivers against abortion related lawsuits.Below is a list of major companies and how they are responding to rollbacks of reproductive rights.StarbucksThe coffee company, which employs 240,000 workers across the US, announced an expansion of its employee benefits package that will soon include reimbursement for travel to access abortion or gender-affirming care that is not available locally. The benefit also applies to employees' dependents enrolled in the company's programs."Like many of you, I'm deeply concerned by the draft Supreme Court opinion related to the constitutional right to abortion that was first established by Roe v. Wade," Starbucks executive vice president Sara Kelly said in a letter to staff. "Regardless of what the Supreme Court ends up deciding, we will always ensure our partners have access to quality healthcare."TeslaThe electric carmaker, which officially relocated its headquarters to Texas in December, announced in a report on May 6 that it has offered "travel and lodging support for those who may need to seek healthcare services that are unavailable in their home state" since 2021 under its Safety Net and health insurance program.AppleApple CEO Tim Cook addressed concerns about Texas' fetal heartbeat bill during a town hall meeting in September. The company soon followed up with a memo that called the bill "uniquely restrictive," and said the employee health plan covers participants who "travel out-of-state for medical care if it is unavailable in their home state."CitigroupCiti, which has roughly 8,500 employees in Texas, notified investors in a March filing that "In response to changes in reproductive healthcare laws in certain states in the U.S., beginning in 2022 we provide travel benefits to facilitate access to adequate resources."AmazonOn May 2, just hours before news of the Supreme Court draft decision broke, Amazon told employees it would cover up to $4,000 per year in travel costs related to non-life threatening medical treatments, including elective abortion. The policy covers both corporate and warehouse workers and their dependents who are enrolled in the company's Premera or Aetna health plans.SalesforceShortly after the Texas bill passed in September, Salesforce told employees via its internal messaging system: "If you have concerns about access to reproductive healthcare in your state, Salesforce will help relocate you and members of your immediate family."Yelp"Overturning Roe v. Wade will jeopardize the human rights of millions of women who stand to lose the liberty to make decisions over their own bodies," Yelp said in a statement on Tuesday. "Turning back the clock on the progress women have made over the past 50 years will have a seismic impact on our society and economy."In explaining Yelp's decision cover travel costs for employees seeking abortion in a different state from the one where they live, chief diversity officer Miriam Warren previously told Insider, "This is not a new issue for Yelp; this is a new benefit.""Our company and our CEO have long been invested in promoting gender equity," she continued, "the possibility of which is diminished when women don't have control over their own reproductive health."LyftIn response to the "heartbeat" abortion bans recently passed in Oklahoma and Texas, Lyft announced it would cover the legal fees of drivers sued in either state for transporting passengers to abortion providers. The ride-share company said it is also working with healthcare partners to cover transportation costs to airports and clinics for women in Oklahoma and Texas seeking out-of-state abortion care. Lyft's US medical benefits include coverage for elective abortions. On April 29, the company said it will cover the transportation costs for employees seeking abortions outside of Texas and Oklahoma. UberUber announced it would also cover drivers' legal fees soon after Lyft. "Drivers shouldn't be put at risk for getting people where they want to go," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on Twitter, referring to a provision that allows private citizens to sue individuals "aiding and abetting" an illegal abortion and creates a $10,000 "reward" for successful lawsuits.MatchMatch Group CEO Shar Dubey created a fund for Texas-based employees seeking healthcare services outside of the state following the "heartbeat" abortion ban. "I'm not speaking about this as the CEO of a company," Dubey said. "I'm speaking about this personally, as a mother and a woman who has fervently cared about women's rights, including the very fundamental right of choice over her body."BumbleBumble created a relief fund for organizations supporting Texans' reproductive rights. The $6.6 billion company founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014 tweeted that it was "women-founded and women-led," and would "keep fighting against regressive laws like SB8." Bumble and Match were some of the first Texas-based tech companies to speak out against the ban. "We are dismayed by the rumors of the Supreme Court decision that was leaked last night," a Bumble spokesperson said Tuesday. "At Bumble, we believe strongly in women's right to choose and exercise complete control over their bodies. The safety, privacy and freedom of family planning are critical to equality for all ... The health and safety of our team is our utmost priority and that includes covering access to abortion care. We will continue to partner with organizations that work to provide reproductive access to all." DellIn response to TX SB8, Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell sent an email to all Texas employees on Wednesday, September 8 that said: "Our leadership team is carefully reviewing the implications of recent legislation on our business and on you, our team members."  While the internal message did not mention SB8 by name, Dell wrote that "there's much we still don't know about how all of these laws will ultimately play out" and the company's "goal is for you to have more (health) coverage, not less."A Dell spokesperson declined to comment on the Supreme Court draft opinion leaked Monday, adding that the company's focus "is on our team members and supporting them with the benefits and support they need."Levi'sLevi's employees, including part-time retail workers, can seek reimbursement for travel expenses related to seeking an abortion in another state."Protecting access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion, is a critical business issue. Efforts to further restrict or criminalize that access would have far-reaching consequences for the American workforce, the US economy and our nation's pursuit of gender and racial equity.It would jeopardize workplace gains women have made over the past 50 years, disproportionately impact women of color and force companies to implement different health policies for different locations. Given what is at stake, business leaders need to make their voices heard and act to protect the health and well-being of our employees. That means protecting reproductive rights," Levi Strauss & Co said Tuesday in a statement shared with Insider. LushLush Handmade Cosmetics said in January that it's reviewing healthcare coverage to ensure all US staff can access abortion services. "We are fraught with concern for the state of women's rights in this country. Not only because Lush employs over 80% of women but because we know access to safe reproductive care, including abortion is an essential part of a healthy workforce and community. For seven months we've been campaigning for the right to access to abortion for all in TX, FL, OH, MO, AK and OK.The leaked draft of the Supreme Court opinion confirms our worst fears and we are currently exploring ways to support impacted staff with inclusive and equitable care. But this 'fix' can only be temporary from the business community, we need legislation like the Women's Health Protection Act, passed to reflect the will of the majority of the country and ensure that women's rights are affirmed as what they are — human rights," Brandi Halls, Chief Ethics Officer for Lush Cosmetics North America, said in a statement shared with Insider on Tuesday. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 16th, 2022

This telehealth abortion clinic has seen a 300% surge in interest since the bombshell news that Roe v. Wade may be overturned

It's going to be challenging for patients to get care amid the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade, according to California-based clinic Choix. Choix was co-founded by Cindy Adam, Lauren Dubey, Aisha Wagner, and Mark Adam in 2020.Illustration by Mary Purdie via Choix Interest has surged at telehealth abortion clinic Choix since the draft Supreme Court opinion leak. The US government permanently allowed abortion pills to be delivered by mail in December 2021. Choix said the reversal could mean more people travelling to other states to access abortion services. Telehealth abortion clinic Choix said interest in its services surged 300% in the week following the news that Roe v. Wade could potentially be overturned.The draft Supreme Court opinion, leaked on May 3, could seek to overturn Roe v. Wade – a landmark ruling that protects women's right to abortions. If the legislation is overturned it could mean abortion becoming illegal in 23 states. California-based Choix is a telehealth clinic for sexual and reproductive needs run by nurse practitioners and doctors. Telehealth refers to healthcare services that can be offered to patients remotely, including from the comfort of their own home using technology like video conferencing. Telehealth companies can offer remote patient monitoring including services like online consultations and therapy. These services gained popularity during the pandemic, as utilization spiked to more than 32% of outpatient visits taking place through telehealth in April 2020, data from McKinsey shows. That rate stabilized to between 13% and 17% across all telehealth services, per the report.Choix, licensed to deliver its services in California, Colorado, and Illinois, said it's seen a spike in the number of visitors to the website and patient inquiries about the type of care it provides, as well as increased inquiries about what states it serves since the leak."We're getting a lot of interest. People probably want to know if they should ever need this care where they might be able to go. I think the surge was really about people learning more," co-founder and chief executive Cindy Adam said. The US government lifted a ban on mail-order abortion pills in April 2021 after the Supreme Court previously voted to ban the abortion pill from mail delivery. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided in December last year to permanently allow the abortion pills to be delivered by mail rather than requiring it to be administered in person.Choix offers telehealth services including mail-order abortion pills through its partner pharmacy.Illustration by Mary Purdie via ChoixIt's going to be challenging for patients to get care with the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade, according to Choix. The reversal could mean people travelling out of state to access telehealth abortion services."We suspect and we're seeing an increase in certain parts of states where it's easier for people to travel. We'll probably see really big surges in Southern California and parts of Illinois where it's easier to access care and they are really going to be the focus of patient travel," Adams said. Choix patients do not have to show proof of residency to get access to its services, but they need to confirm their ID with a selfie as part of its intake process. They are only required to have an address in the state it serves so that Choix knows patients are getting care at or near that address. "It will be an unfair challenge, to say the least, to see how restrictive states challenge us. It'll be interesting to see how they come after telehealth abortion clinics because they don't require this of other telehealth providers," Adam said.Choix offers abortion services by letting customers sign up to its website, create a patient portal account, and fill out an online medical questionnaire. Once a patient submits their online questionnaire, a medical provider will review it within 24 hours and then determine eligibility. If a patient chooses to proceed, they complete final consent forms and its partner pharmacy will mail the prescription for the abortion care medications, which are the exact same medications that a patient would receive if they went to a brick-and-mortar clinic.Choix, which was founded in 2020, said its colleagues in the brick-and-mortar clinics are already seeing an increasing request for appointments in states like Illinois, which is causing longer wait times for in-person care. "We hope that our model will help alleviate capacity issues so that we can help reserve in-person visits for patients who really require or who really prefer in-person care," Adam said. One of the challenges telehealth abortion clinics face as a newer form of care is that many people are still learning about the safety and efficacy of medication abortion in general, and the knowledge gap is even greater around medication abortion via telehealth, according to Choix. There is a lot of misinformation about the safety of medication abortion via telehealth and concerns over data privacy, it added. "We still get calls a lot of weeks just wanting to make sure that we're real and that a human answers the phone. And they're so relieved when they do hear that we're here and that we're real," Adam told Insider. "As understanding about abortion care via telehealth grows — and as access continues to get more restricted — we anticipate even greater influxes of patient care requests," she added. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 14th, 2022

Marco Rubio vs. Val Demings is set to test whether Democrats should just give up on red-shifting Florida

Demings is seeking household-name status while facing long odds in her US Senate race. Her results will be telling for Democrats' future in Florida. Rep. Val Demings is expected to win the Democratic primary race for a US Senate seat in Florida. If she does, she'll face off against Republican Sen. Marco Rubio in the general election.Tasos Katopodis/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Rachel Mendelson/Insider Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida is expected to face off against Rep. Val Demings for a US Senate seat. Rubio is running at a time when many are wondering whether Florida is even a battleground anymore. Demings is traveling the state to make her pitch to an increasingly conservative electorate. MIAMI — Sen. Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential run gave him national name recognition. Then, after complaining for years about Congress' ineffectiveness, the Florida Republican threw himself into his Senate work.He can now tick off a list of accomplishments. There's his push to double the child tax credit and focus on expanding care for veterans. He secured Everglades funding. And he cowrote the Paycheck Protection Program that sent big money to small businesses at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.Rubio is also one of Congress' go-to experts on foreign policy, and two years ago he landed a coveted role as the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee.And entering the teeth of election season, Rubio, 50, is wearing it all like armor as he seeks a third term."I don't think anybody that's ever served the state of Florida in the Senate has gotten more done than I have over the last five years," Rubio told Insider.But Republicans know better than to take Florida for granted.Ahead of the state's primary in August, a clear Democratic frontrunner to challenge Rubio has emerged: Rep. Val Demings.In Demings, Democrats see a star — a Black woman trailblazer who spent 27 years in law enforcement, including as the chief of police in Orlando.At a recent campaign event with union members in Miami, Demings, 65, appeared confident as she wove stories about her life into a narrative about the need to raise wages, increase voting access, and make healthcare more affordable."We are fighting for the very soul of this country," Demings told a riveted audience. "We are fighting for the Constitution, the rule of law, and our democracy."As if that's not enough, Demings would also carry into November the burden of her party's national aspirations.Florida's US Senate race will be crucial for Democrats' hope — a dwindling one, some liberals concede — of retaining their bare-bones Senate majority. Floridians have dealt blows to Democrats over three election cycles, leading many to question whether the state Barack Obama won twice can even be called a battleground anymore.As of late 2021, Florida's registered Republicans outnumbered its Democrats.Demings could be Democrats' last, best shot at winning statewide office in Florida not only in 2022 but for the foreseeable future.Demings rallied over 200 supporters in Pensacola, Florida, on April 30.Courtesy Demings campaignDemings is still introducing herself to FloridaPolling from the University of North Florida suggests Rubio's reelection prospects are strong. And he enjoys a national backdrop where Democrats could suffer at ballot boxes nationwide amid President Joe Biden's steadily sinking job-approval ratings, now in the low 40s, according to Gallup.Rubio has the added benefit of running on the same ticket as GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis, who's expected to sail to reelection in 2022 ahead of a potential run for president in 2024.One of the biggest tasks Demings has before her is to become a household name.To do that, and to introduce herself to prospective voters, she's conducting campaign events all over Florida.Born Valdez Venita Butler, the youngest of seven children of a janitor and a maid, Demings was the first in her family to graduate from college. She briefly worked as a social worker in Jacksonville before launching a career in Orlando law enforcement. After losing a US House run in 2012 and dropping out of the mayoral race in Orange County, Florida, she won a US House seat in Florida's 10th District in 2016.—Val Demings (@valdemings) February 11, 2022At the union meeting in Miami, Demings stood at a table without any notes before her. She took dramatic pauses between sentences. At times, the 20-person audience seated around her even finished her sentences.Her pitch to voters is straightforward: She overcame enormous odds to realize the American dream, and she wants to be a senator to create more opportunities for others to realize it, too.Once Demings had finished, Elizabeth Judd, a community leader and member of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, told her she's enthralled by her candidacy."It is of the utmost urgency that you replace little Rubio," Judd said, invoking Donald Trump's nickname for Rubio when they were both vying for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.Wes Hodge, the chair of the Orange County Democratic Party, who has worked with Demings at political events, predicted that speaking all over Florida would be a particularly effective strategy for Demings. Hodge said he always puts himself after her in a speaker lineup."The worst place to speak is after Congresswoman Demings," Hodge said, laughing. "I always go, 'I don't wish the spot on anybody, so I'll fall on the sword.'"When she is done speaking, the room is ready to do whatever she wants."But it'll take more than rhetoric to win Florida, a state of more than 21.5 million that's growing increasingly conservative.Both nationally and in Florida, Demings lacks the public profile Rubio so enjoys.Outside her Orlando-centric home district, in places such as Gainesville or Pensacola, Demings isn't a household name.And though she's known for her authoritative questioning of witnesses during congressional hearings, she has sometimes dodged publicity by avoiding reporters as she slips in and out of votes on Capitol Hill.Demings' esteem within Democratic circles has, however, steadily grown, starting with her work as a House impeachment manager during Trump's first Senate trial in 2020.Though the GOP-controlled Senate acquitted Trump, her performance at the trial shone so brightly that it catapulted her to the short list of candidates for Biden's running mate. Demings seemed to embrace the possibility of being vice president, even if Biden ultimately selected Sen. Kamala Harris of California.So how does Demings appeal to voters beyond a dwindling base of loyal Democrats?In part by being who she is.Demings speaks openly about race, inequality, and injustice in America, but her campaign also unabashedly plays up her experience in law enforcement. Demings' husband, Jerry Demings, the mayor of Orange County, is also a former sheriff.It's hardly an accident that Demings is often billed as "Chief Demings" instead of "Congresswoman Demings" in congressional and campaign materials.It's a recognition that her long background in law enforcement — where she said she oversaw a 40% reduction in violent crime — where she could help inoculate against Republican attacks seeking to cast all Democrats as supportive of progressives' unpopular movement to defund the police. It could also help her appeal to center-right independents who aren't enthralled with Rubio.—Val Demings (@valdemings) April 30, 2022"This is the candidate Rubio didn't want to run against," said Eric Johnson, the president of Johnson Strategies, who advised Rubio's 2016 Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy."Her profile is literally the best," said Joshua Wolf, another Murphy campaign vet whose firm, AL Media Strategies, is working with the Demings campaign. "She has this incredible ability to motivate the base."In August's Democratic primary, which Demings is expected to easily win, she faces seven competitors, including former Rep. Alan Grayson. All the while, Demings' staunchest allies say she has to keep introducing herself to Floridians.In a University of North Florida poll conducted in February, 17% of voters said they were undecided on a Rubio-Demings matchup — a positive statistic for someone who must grow beyond her base in order to win.Vincent Adejumo, a professor of African American studies at the University of Florida in Gainesville, told Insider that to win, Demings would need to receive overwhelming support from Black voters and bring over white centrists.He added that she would also need to siphon off Latinos from Rubio. But the senator's personal profile helps with that demographic: Rubio speaks fluent Spanish, having grown up in Miami as the child of working-class Cuban immigrants. He has a critical advantage in the state's most populous county, Miami-Dade, where he lives and where roughly 70% of residents are Latino.During the first quarter of this year, Demings raised $10 million, while Rubio raised $5.7 million, according to federal campaign-finance disclosures.Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty ImagesA nationalized Senate raceOne major factor working in Demings' favor is that she's raising a ton of money. Her campaign recently announced a $3 million Hispanic outreach effort.During the first quarter of this year, Demings raised $10 million compared with Rubio's $5.7 million, according to federal campaign-finance disclosures.That's serious cash. Of everyone running for a Senate seat in 2022, Demings has so far raised the fifth-most, at nearly $30.8 million. (Rubio is right behind her, at $30.2 million.)Outside attention is pouring in, too. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is pumping $30 million into nine states it considers battlegrounds for Democrats, including Florida. And Florida Democrats have committed to spending $15 million to increase Democratic voter turnout up and down the ballot.Super PACs — political committees that may raise and spend unlimited sums of money, fueled by megadonors with no particular tie to Florida — are also expected to inject millions of dollars into the race.Given this, a Rubio-Demings showdown is almost certain to rank among the most expensive races in the 2022 midterms, set to soar well into nine figures by the time a winner is declared.This doesn't guarantee Demings' success — in 2020, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, now the minority leader, trounced his Democratic challenger, Amy McGrath, despite McGrath outraising him. But major financial resources are a prerequisite if Demings has any realistic hope of toppling Rubio."That just tells you how viable she is," Juan Marcos Vilar, the executive director of Alianza for Progress, a group that works to motivate Democratic Latino voters, said of Demings. "If she wasn't viable, it wouldn't generate that level of investment on both sides. It's going to be a clash of titans."It also suggests that Democrats aren't ready to cede Florida to the GOP.Democratic leaders often note that, yes, Florida voted for Trump over both Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Biden in 2020 — but it has also voted for liberal policy staples such as implementing a $15 minimum wage, legalizing medical marijuana, restoring voting rights for people found guilty of felonies, and spending billions of dollars on environmental conservation.All these factors show why Republicans, too, are not complacent in the race.Consider that the Republican National Committee just launched what it's calling "Operation Red" in Florida to knock on thousands of doors and make phone calls on behalf of Republicans including Rubio.Republicans also say they aren't scared by Demings' strong fundraising or her potential with independent voters. They contend that Rubio's name recognition is worth its weight in gold — literally. Other candidates have to buy that recognition through TV, radio, and digital ads in a state with a huge population and multiple major media markets."Democrats have a weak bench, and they feel Val Demings is the best they got," Helen Aguirre Ferré, the executive director of the Republican Party of Florida, told Insider. "They will have to spend a lot of money to sell her image, and good luck to them, because Val Demings doesn't have a record that's worthy of winning a Senate seat."Ana Carbonell, a top GOP operative in Florida who owns the public-policy firm The Factor, said the money itself would do little without an understanding of Florida's voting blocs."Unless you have a keen understanding of the communities throughout the state and the nuances throughout the state, the money doesn't mean anything if you don't have an understanding on how to use it," she said."Democrats have proven time and time again that they just don't get it," she added.Rubio has been calling Demings a "Pelosi puppet."Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images'Pelosi puppet' versus 'Missing Marco'Because Demings is still introducing herself to voters, Rubio, whose name recognition is all but universal in Florida, has space to define his opponent.For example, Rubio has called Demings a "Pelosi puppet" on Twitter, referring to her tendency to side with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on votes.—Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 15, 2021When asked how he stands apart from Demings, Rubio said his office gets high ratings for constituent service. Elizabeth Gregory, a Rubio campaign spokeswoman, said Demings had "zero substantive accomplishments to show for her time in Washington."Democrats' bottom-line message is to cast Rubio as a political lifer devoted more to his party and his own advancement than to voters."Marco Rubio lacks the integrity to put Floridians before the special interest donors that tell him what to do," said Christian Slater, a spokesman for the Demings campaign.The Demings' campaign has contrasted the two lawmakers' votes, pummeling Rubio over voting against Democrats' $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package and the bipartisan infrastructure bill to help fix Florida's roads and bridges.Florida Democrats have been recycling an attack that dates back to Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign by sending out a "Missing Marco Alert" every time he doesn't attend committee meetings — particularly when he appears on national TV instead."He hasn't been around," Manny Diaz, the chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, told Insider in Miami. "You almost sense that he no longer likes the job. His record of showing up to votes and committee meetings is horrendous."Rubio has said he voted against the spending measures because of concerns about the deficit and inflation. Asked about committee absences, Ferré replied, "Floridians care about results, and Senator Rubio delivers."Other attacks against Rubio have been similar to those waged against Republicans in other states.For instance, in recent days Demings has been stumping and fundraising on a promise to codify abortion rights in federal law as the Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. Rubio opposes abortion.The Demings campaign also has sought to tie Rubio to a controversial plan from fellow Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, to force everyone to pay at least some taxes.While Rubio hasn't supported such a measure, the Demings campaign labeled the plan the "Rubio-Scott Tax Hike" and ran an ad imploring voters to "tell Rubio to take a hike." In turn, the Rubio campaign has accused Demings of "auditioning to be Joe Biden's running mate" when Rubio was working on COVID-19 relief for small businesses.But the Demings campaign has a tougher task than other Democrats have in going after Rubio. Democrats' wins in Southern states in recent years have come against opponents with serious allegations that were impossible to come back from, such as the financial entanglements of Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in Georgia or the sexual-misconduct allegations against Roy Moore in Alabama.Rubio isn't especially controversial and by numerous accounts gets along with his colleagues and staffers, who call him by his first name.And even with Trump, who now lives in Florida, Rubio has managed a balance: He comes across as neither a knee-jerk genuflector nor a scathing critic. Despite their turbulent history — including Rubio's descriptions of Trump as a "con artist" and his comment in 2016 that prompted Trump to defend the size of his genitalia — Rubio scored a coveted Trump endorsement a year ago."He has carved out a nice lane for himself to be independent while still being able to speak the language with MAGA, with the tea party, but still have his own brand of what he does," Adejumo said.To win, Demings can't rely on trashing Trump or tying Rubio to the former president — she must deliver a concise message about how she could improve voters' lives, Adejumo said."It can't be a message of 'He's the bogeyman,'" he said. "If that's the strategy, you might as well pack it up."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 12th, 2022

I help people travel for abortions. My job is already unsafe — and it"ll get worse if Roe v. Wade falls.

When people need to leave their state for legal abortions, Lexi Dotson-Dufault helps. Many factors go into it — safety, costs, and childcare included. Lexi Dotson-Dufault.Courtesy of Lexi Dotson-Dufault Lexi Dotson-Dufault is a 24-year-old resource coordinator for Women Have Options Ohio. Dotson-Dufault helps pregnant people find and travel for safe and legal abortion care. This is her story, as told to writer Fortesa Latifi. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Lexi Dotson-Dufault, a 24-year-old resource coordinator for Women Have Options Ohio. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.One month after my own abortion in 2019, I started working as intern with Women Have Options Ohio — otherwise known as WHO/O. I worked my way up, and after graduating from college, I became a resource coordinator for WHO/O, where I help pregnant people who need access to abortion services.One of the things I do at work is help people who need to travel out-of-state for abortion services.In Ohio, abortions are legal up to 20 weeks unless the patient's life is in danger, so sometimes at WHO/O we help people go to Michigan, Illinois, or Pennsylvania to access care. But getting people to other states for abortion care can be really expensive, and sometimes we work with other organizations to gather the funds to get someone access. There are so many details that go into a patient crossing state lines for abortion careThere are transportation costs, lodging costs, childcare costs, and sometimes they have to take time off work. It's a lot, and we're here for people throughout the entire process. So much work goes into helping someone access care.When someone first contacts me for abortion care, I ask where they're located and try to figure out how far along their pregnancy is, because that helps us figure out which clinics will serve them. (There's this website called AbortionProvider, where you input how far along you are and your location to find an abortion provider. It's really helpful, but sometimes people don't have safe internet access — or any internet access at all.) From there, I ask if they have any safety concerns. It kind of feels like I'm an uncertified social worker sometimes. I ask if they have anyone who can drive them to their appointment and if they need funding to help with lodging and transportation costs. If we help people cross state lines for abortions in Ohio, they generally go to Michigan or Pennsylvania. We're lucky that other abortion funds and organizations will help us when we have to bring patients to their state.The possibility of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade is terrifying for abortion workersIf this change happens, we're going to be totally overrun by the amount of cases we have to take on. And I can't help but think that if Michigan loses access, and we send patients to Michigan, where will Ohioans go? The travel time and cost would add up terribly. If there are more barriers to care, people are going to be pregnant longer than they want to be — and then they're going to need care in states that have fewer restrictions. I've seen people have to sell beloved personal belongings to get the money to get care. Even if you have insurance, abortion is often left out of coverage.If Roe v. Wade falls, our capacity would be stretched beyond what is possible. There are only four people working at Women Have Options Ohio. We're trying to build our organization, but it's hard when we're focused on putting out fires every day when it comes to abortion access and laws targeting it. Not to mention that workers themselves aren't safe — there's a target on everyone's back in this movement.People who work in abortion care aren't safeWe already get hate mail at the clinic, and harassment of abortion workers as a whole is increasing. According to the National Abortion Federation, instances of violence toward abortion providers rose from 95 in 2010 to 1,627 in 2020. We only anticipate that number rising even more if Roe v. Wade is struck down. It's obviously emotionally exhausting to work in abortion care, but it's so rewarding. My favorite part of this work is being able to overcome the internalized stigma I faced from my own abortion. I grew up in a conservative household and attended Catholic school until I went to college. I didn't know anything about sex or my own body or abortion, except the negative, stigmatizing things I had grown up hearing. When I was pregnant and decided to have an abortion, I felt very alone. I made the decision for health reasons, and I sometimes think that if I hadn't been sick, I would've continued my pregnancy just because of the stigma I faced. For me, that's so sad.I want people to know: There's nothing wrong with you for getting an abortionThis is a normal medical procedure. You are valid, and your choice is valid. Anything you feel about it — whether that be grief or relief — is valid. I don't want people to feel alone like I did, and in the work I do, I'm able to hold people's hands as they walk down this road. I can't imagine what my life would be like if I didn't have an abortion. It allowed me to have the life I wanted, and I want that choice for everyone.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 11th, 2022

Microsoft will help employees cover travel costs to access abortion and gender-affirming services

Microsoft joins a growing number of companies bringing in policies to help staff travel across state lines to access medical care. People protest in favour of abortion rights in Union Square, New York City.REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo Microsoft said it will now cover travel expenses for employees seeking abortion and gender-affirmation services. A leaked draft opinion shows the Supreme Court could be poised to revoke abortion rights. Microsoft joins a growing number of companies with travel-expense policies for abortion services. Microsoft joined the growing number of companies committing to help staff travel to access abortion and gender-affirmation healthcare.Microsoft said in a statement to Insider that it will "support employees and their enrolled dependents in accessing critical health care — which already includes services like abortion and gender-affirming care — regardless of where they live across the US.""This support is being extended to include travel expense assistance for these and other medical services where access to care is limited in availability in an employee's home geographic region," Microsoft's statement said.This comes after a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion revealed last week that the court could be poised to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that granted women the right to an abortion. If the Roe decision is struck down, 23 states have laws that could then ban or severely limit access to abortion. The maximum amount that Microsoft will cover for employee travel expenses is not clear from its statement to Reuters and Bloomberg. Other companies, including fellow tech firms Amazon and Yelp, have already announced plans to help cover travel costs for employees so they can travel to other states for abortion care. Some large employers, including Amazon, announced travel-expense policies for abortion services in response to increasingly restrictive legislation from some Republican-controlled states including Texas and Oklahoma ahead of the Supreme Court leak.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 10th, 2022

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says banning abortion would damage the economy and "set women back decades"

Blocking abortion access would increase the likelihood of women needing social welfare benefits to avoid slipping into poverty, Yellen said Tuesday. Sec. Yellen said at a Senate Banking committee hearing on Tuesday that an abortion ban "would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades."Al Drago/Associated Press The Supreme Court seems poised to overturn abortion case Roe v. Wade. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that could damage the economy. Yellen said it could also "set women back decades," and potentially disrupt labor force participation.  On May 2, Politico released the leak heard around the world: The Supreme Court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that gave Americans the constitutional right to an abortion.While the ruling is still far from final, the Supreme Court confirmed that the draft was authentic. The leak sparked immediate backlash from protesters and politicians alike. One emerging concern over a potential overturning are the economic repercussions for a still-recovering country, where women have already been on the short end of job gains and employment."Eliminating the right of women to make decisions about when and whether to have children would have very damaging effects on the economy and would set women back decades," Yellen said at a Senate Banking committee hearing on Tuesday.As the US still tries to rebound from the economic fallout of the pandemic, labor force participation — a key measure that tracks how many Americans are working or actively looking for work — hasn't recovered. In fact, it dipped in April. Yellen said that Roe helped up women's participation."Roe v. Wade and access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion, helped lead to increased labor force participation," she said. "It enabled many women to finish school — that increased their earning potential. It allowed women to plan and balance their families and careers."She warned that restraining access to abortion would increase the likelihood of women needing social welfare benefits to avoid slipping into poverty.Labor Secretary Marty Walsh has expressed similar concerns over the economic fallout of Roe being overturned."This will impact women individually, but also is going to impact our economy as a whole," Walsh told Insider on Friday. "I don't think we could underscore the importance of what actions potentially could happen at the court."Researchers at the University of California San Francisco surveyed 1,000 women who had sought abortions over five years for The Turnaway Study. They found that women turned away from receiving an abortion who went to give birth experienced more poverty than woman who had received an abortion. The women turned away saw their debts increase, and credit scores sink.President Joe Biden pledged to fight to protect abortion access a week ago, saying in a statement that "we will be ready when any ruling issued." However, the Biden administration has few options at its disposal. The Washington Post reported that the White House weighing executive actions to help low-income women residing in GOP-led states to access abortion care.Senate Democrats are setting up a largely symbolic vote for Wednesday aimed at codifying the Roe v. Wade ruling and to mold it into law, Insider's Oma Seddiq reported. It's bound to fail since Democrats haven't amassed enough support to gut the Senate's 60-vote threshold known as the filibuster.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 10th, 2022

Microsoft will help employees cover travel costs to access abortion and gender-affirming services, reports say

Microsoft joins a growing number of companies bringing in policies to help staff travel across state lines to access medical care. People protest in favour of abortion rights in Union Square, New York City.REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo Microsoft said it will now cover travel expenses for employees seeking abortion and gender-affirmation services. A leaked draft opinion shows the Supreme Court could be poised to revoke abortion rights. Microsoft joins a growing number of companies with travel-expense policies for abortion services. Microsoft joined the growing number of companies committing to help staff travel to access abortion and gender-affirmation healthcare, Reuters and Bloomberg reported Tuesday.Microsoft said in a statement to Reuters and Bloomberg that it will "support employees and their enrolled dependents in accessing critical health care — which already includes services like abortion and gender-affirming care — regardless of where they live across the US.""This support is being extended to include travel expense assistance for these and other medical services where access to care is limited in availability in an employee's home geographic region," Microsoft's statement said.This comes after a leaked draft Supreme Court opinion revealed last week that the court could be poised to strike down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that granted women the right to an abortion. If the Roe decision is struck down, 23 states have laws that could then ban or severely limit access to abortion. The maximum amount that Microsoft will cover for employee travel expenses is not clear from its statement to Reuters and Bloomberg. Microsoft did not immediately respond when contacted by Insider for comment.Other companies, including fellow tech firms Amazon and Yelp, have already announced plans to help cover travel costs for employees so they can travel to other states for abortion care. Some large employers, including Amazon, announced travel-expense policies for abortion services in response to increasingly restrictive legislation from some Republican-controlled states including Texas and Oklahoma ahead of the Supreme Court leak.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 10th, 2022

10 common pieces of abortion misinformation — debunked by a retired gynecologist

Retired gynecologist Debbie McNabb fact-checks abortion myths, including cancer risk, infertility, regret, and fetal pain. Abortion-rights protesters hold signs during a demonstration outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, Sunday, May 8, 2022.(AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades) Oftentimes it's not just potential patients who are affected by misinformation, but also doctors.  A retired gynecologist debunked common mistruths spread about the procedure by abortion opponents. She fact-checked erroneous claims, such as abortions are generally unsafe and cause breast cancer.  Overturning Roe v. Wade would put many women's health at risk— some fatally, said Dr. Debbie McNabb, a retired gynecologist."Women are going to die, no doubt about it," McNabb told Insider. She added, "Women will always have abortions in the United States. The only question is, will they be safe and legal?"The 1973 landmark Supreme Court ruling is facing a potential reversal after an unprecedented leak published last week by Politico signaled the court could restrict existing access to abortions. But as the ruling remains in place, there is still a wealth of misinformation about the procedure, she said. McNabb, who is receiving her Ph.D. in bioethics and health humanities at the University of Texas, fact-checked some of the most common pieces of misinformation spread by abortion opponents. 1. Abortion causes breast cancer?"Abortion does not cause breast cancer," McNabb said, noting that abortion opponents often base that argument on discredited studies.Women who menstruate earlier but don't have children are at a slightly higher risk of getting breast cancer, as are women who don't have children until age 35, McNabb said. Meanwhile, women who have a baby (or more) by age 20 are at a slightly lower risk. "There are a couple of outlier studies, but the overwhelming number of large, well-documented studies show no increased risk of breast cancer from abortions. Because of this evidence, every single professional medical organization worldwide states that there is no increased risk of breast cancer associated with abortion," McNabb said. 2. Abortion causes infertility?"Oh, no way. No way," McNabb said. "I guess perhaps what they're talking about is when you do an aggressive D&C," referring to dilation and curettage —  a medical procedure that removes tissue from inside a person's uterus. "If you're overly aggressive, you can scrape the inside of the uterus. And that can cause scar tissue, which is a terrible thing."The claims could also be referencing "cervical insufficiency," McNabb said. "If you have to dilate the cervix real wide, and then the cervix doesn't work as well the next time. Again, exceedingly rare," McNabb said, adding that there's "nearly zero risk of infertility" from an abortion."I've never even heard of a case. Never even heard of a case of scar tissue in the endometrium causing infertility. It would be so rare. It would make a journal article," she added. Dr. Debbie McNabb.Courtesy of Dr. Debbie McNabb.3. The abortion pill isn't safe for women.Another common claim is that medical abortions, which utilize Mifepristone and Misoprostol pills, are not safe for women."That's not true. You can take medication for abortion up to – some people say 10 weeks, some people say 11 weeks – gestation," she said, noting that knowing the dates of your last menstrual period is important. She added: "So typically if a woman goes to a clinic, she gets a pelvic exam. But if women are sure about their dates, it's very safe to do medication abortions. It's extremely safe and highly effective up to 10 to 11 weeks."She also noted that oftentimes it's not just potential patients who are affected by misinformation, but also doctors. "That megaphone through society, churches, and sometimes even healthcare providers (repeating these lies purely because of their religious beliefs) is very loud," McNabb said. "Doctors in practice, and even in academic centers, are terrified of speaking out in this dangerous legal and social environment, so lies spread easily." 4. Women who have had abortions risk preterm deliveries in future pregnancies.Another hard no, McNabb said. "You compare abortion complications to complications encountered if a woman goes to full term and delivers a baby," McNabb said. "So yeah, abortion complications are not zero, but if a woman goes to full term and has a baby, she's at between 10 and 14 times the risk of serious illness or death. So it has no meaning to just look at abortion. You have to look at it in terms of the alternative." She added that the risk of a full-term pregnancy will "still far outweigh an abortion up to 20 or even 22 weeks," noting that in many conservative states, there are very high maternal mortality rates, especially among Black women."The risk of abortions go up from first trimester up to the limit of when someone would perform an abortion," McNabb said. "But they're always still less than the risk of a full-term pregnancy."Containers of the medication used to end an early pregnancy.Jeff Roberson/AP5. Abortion is psychologically damaging, increasing a woman's risk of mental illness and suicide.McNabb said these claims are "absolutely false," adding that previous litigation made claims about the psychological damages "without any evidence." "So Planned Parenthood v. Casey talked about abortion regret," she said, referring to the 1992 Supreme Court decision which again reaffirmed Roe v. Wade. "We have excellent studies that show that women who have abortions have no more mental distress than women who have full-term pregnancies and deliveries."According to a 2009 journal article by the American Psychological Association, "the majority of adult women who terminate a pregnancy do not experience mental health problems. Across studies, the prevalence of disorders among women who terminated a pregnancy was low, and most women reported being satisfied with their decision to abort both one month and two years post abortion."6. Most women regret their abortions."No, abortion does not cause regret to any significant extent. And when it does, it's the same as if you've had a full-term pregnancy and delivery," she said. She added that modern studies disagree with conclusions about unique regret among women with abortions. "Back when Casey was decided...they leaned so heavily on abortion regret without any evidence," McNabb said. "Well, now we have very strong evidence that it's not a thing." She added that misinformation about abortion is "extremely pervasive" in some conservative states. She said many "crisis pregnancy centers," there, which often receive private and public funds, try to convince those seeking abortions to raise the child or place the child for adoption. "The name is misleading because their sole mission is to persuade women not to have abortions, though most women who walk in, think that they're going into an abortion clinic," McNabb said, noting that the centers may do a pregnancy test, an ultrasound, and provide adoption resources, but "otherwise, the entire time is spent on convincing the woman that abortion is murder."7. Women will have abortions up to the moment of birth.In this claim, McNabb said abortion opponents target New York's Reproductive Health Act, which codified Roe v. Wade into state law in 2019 and permits abortion in certain circumstances after 24 weeks. "In New York state, you can perform an abortion to remove the uterine contents, but it's not the same as abortion that's allowed up to the moment of birth," McNabb said.In 2015, CDC data showed that two-thirds of all abortions were performed at or before eight weeks' gestation, and over 90% were performed at or before 13-weeks' gestation. Only 1.3% of abortions were performed at or beyond 21 weeks' gestation."An abortion at term is a desired pregnancy in the context of an extremely dire emergency without sufficient time for a safe C-section, when a woman would otherwise die. This is a rare medical situation that no amount of medical information could inform a law-making body sufficiently for them to draft a specific law," McNabb said.Abortion rights activist protest outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington.Jose Luis Magana/AP8. Doctors will perform 'partial-birth abortions.'McNabb said the phrase "partial-birth abortion," which is commonly used by those lobbying against abortion access, is not "in any obstetrics textbook. It is not medical lingo." "So they say 'partial-birth' like this is a baby being delivered. But what it is, it's a second-trimester abortion where some gynecologists realize that the safest thing for a woman was to do the procedure this way," McNabb said. She added that "if things are going really south and a woman is in distress for some reason because of the pregnancy," the doctor will perform an emergency C-section. "Any fetus that is post-viability, the physicians will do everything within their power to care for that fetus and to ensure a good outcome," McNabb said, noting that viability tends to be around 23 to 24 weeks, but doctors also consider survivability and impairments to the fetus."If you can get the baby out in a C-section, that's what you do. If, for example, a woman is septic and hemorrhaging and you can't do a C-section, or you can't do it fast enough because you don't have things available, yes, in New York state, you can perform an abortion to remove the uterine contents."9. An unborn fetus experiences pain."The other thing they always say is fetal pain," McNabb said. "So pain is only experienced if you have a brain that's developed enough to experience it. And that process doesn't even start until about 24 weeks gestation. And in addition to the brain, you have to have a mature connection from the brain to the body. Mature spinal cord with mature neural pathways."She continued, "So pre-viability abortions, there is no such thing as fetal pain."10. Abortion is never medically necessary to save a woman's life.According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as well as Physicians for Reproductive Health, this claim is untrue. "Determining the appropriate medical intervention depends on a patient's specific condition. There are situations where pregnancy termination in the form of an abortion is the only medical intervention that can preserve a patient's health or save their life," both organizations said in a 2019 joint statement. Many doctors have stories of medically necessary abortions they've performed. McNabb recalled a case of a patient pregnant with conjoined twins who shared a heart at 18 weeks. "If she carried to term, not only would she have had 10-14 times the risk of morbidity and mortality, but those babies would not survive and would require a C-section, and even that would be extremely difficult with potential damage to nearby organs or hemorrhage requiring a hysterectomy. Shouldn't she be allowed to weigh those risks for herself?" McNabb said. "It's up to the woman to decide either way, and the OB will follow her wishes."Ultimately, McNabb said, people typically find abortion acceptable in cases of rape, incest, risk to the mother's life, fetal malformations, or — most notably — when "it's me or my family." "We can say what we think we would do, but all of these women I've ever spoken to, they would say, 'I never thought I would have an abortion, but I have this situation. And that's why I made this decision,'" McNabb said. "So it's absurd for anybody else to suggest that they can tell somebody else what to do if they haven't been in that spot."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 9th, 2022

Overturning abortion rights could amplify the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people, many of whom are victims of domestic violence or sex trafficking

As the Supreme Court seems poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, one expert said access to safe and legal abortion is "essential" for Indigenous people. Family members of missing and murdered indigenous women in Montana gather in front of the state Capitol in Helena, Mont., Wednesday, May 5, 2021.Iris Samuels/Associated Press Abortion rights may be overturned, according to a leaked Supreme Court opinion published Monday. Access to abortion is "essential" for Indigenous victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking, one expert said. "Many of our tribal members are dependent on the state's access to abortion," Abigail Echo-Hawk said. As the Supreme Court appears set to toss Roe v. Wade, some are concerned with the impact the decision could have on the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people."Access to safe and legal abortion is absolutely essential as we look at American Indian and Alaska Native women having some of the highest rates of sexual violence or possibilities of going missing and being murdered," Abigail Echo-Hawk, the director of the Urban Indian Health Institute, told Insider.Echo-Hawk, a citizen of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, is an expert on American Indian and Alaska Native health, as well as the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) crisis. Indigenous people in the US go missing, are murdered, and are sexually and physically assaulted at higher rates than other groups. According to data published by the National Institute of Justice, more than four out of five Native women have experienced violence and more than half have experienced sexual violence.Women living on reservations are murdered at a rate ten times the national average, according to the CDC. Echo-Hawk said many are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking.In the case of domestic violence, she said reproductive coercion is common, adding that abusers often deny victims access to birth control. For victims of sex trafficking, Echo-Hawk said most are under total control of the perpetrators.Traffickers might not allow their kidnapped victims to use birth control. They might control and limit their movements, including whether or not they can go outside or use the bathroom. And they might force them to have nonconsensual sex with a certain number of people per day."One individual told me the trafficker would not allow her to have the men use condoms because they could make more money that way," Echo-Hawk said, adding that for these victims overturning Roe v. Wade could have dire consequences.But according to a leaked draft opinion published on Monday, the federally protected right to an abortion is likely to be overturned, a move that would allow states to enforce their own abortion restrictions and further strain Native people's access.Many Native people rely on state-level access to abortions"The looming Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade sets up some big potential conflicts between states and the federal government and between states and Indian tribes," Neama Rahmani, the president of West Coast Trial Lawyers and a former federal prosecutor, told Insider.Rahmani said Native tribes would still have the sovereign right to open abortion clinics on tribal lands located in states that have bans.However, many medical facilities on reservation lands receive funding from or are run by the Indian Health Service (IHS), a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services subject to the Hyde Amendment.A legislative provision that took effect in 1980, the amendment blocks the use of federal funds to pay for abortion, with exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother.The result is that abortions are often not accessible at clinics located on reservations, according to Echo-Hawk. She said even though there is an exception for rape, there are bureaucratic steps that make it challenging.For instance, the IHS requires the rape to be reported to police within 60 days of the assault in order for someone to receive abortion care. But according to the Justice Department, more than 80% of sexual assaults and rapes go unreported.Some IHS facilities aren't equipped to provide abortion services at all. A 2002 study found 85% of IHS facilities did not have any abortion services available and that 62% said they could not provide abortions even in the case of a threat to the mother's life."Many of our tribal members are dependent on the state's access to abortion," Echo-Hawk said, adding that for missing and murdered Indigenous people, whose cases are solved at lower rates than their white counterparts, that access is necessary."At the very terrible least, they should have access to safe and legal abortion," she said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 8th, 2022

Jewish communities react to the possible overturning of Roe v. Wade, which could violate their First Amendment rights

The Jewish faith requires abortion if the health of the mother is at risk, with 83% of Jews supporting legal abortion in most or all cases. Pro-choice and anti-abortion activists at the capitol in Texas.Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images A leaked opinion shows the Supreme Court is ready to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Jewish faith allows abortion and even requires it if the health of the mother is at risk.  Jewish organizations say restricting abortion access would violate their religious freedoms. As the country responds to a leaked Supreme Court opinion that indicated the sitting justices are prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade, Jewish organizations say a possible ban on abortion would violate their First Amendment rights. "I think for too long, we've allowed a small group of loud voices from the religious right to dictate the narrative in this country about faith and abortion, but it is simply not true. People of faith support abortion access and people of faith support compassionate healthcare laws," Sheila Katz, the CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, told Insider. "And in this case, it would be a violation of our religious freedom to not have access to abortion."On May 2, Politico published a leaked opinion written by Justice Alito indicating the Supreme Court may be prepared to overturn the federal right to an abortion without undue government interference established by Roe v. Wade in 1973.If the justices ultimately overturn Roe, at least 12 states will immediately impose near-total bans on abortion.Supporters say an abortion ban would protect unborn children, a belief largely shaped by Christian religious views which claim life begins at conception. For Jews and others who don't share the religious view that life begins at conception, a total abortion ban may not only prevent access to necessary medical care but also violates religious freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to practice one's faith without government intervention."We are proud that Jewish tradition regards abortion as essential health care, not only permitting the termination of pregnancy, but even requiring it when the life of the pregnant person is in danger," Rabbi Hera Person said in a statement following the Supreme Court leak. "Restricting access to reproductive health care impedes the freedom of religion granted by the First Amendment, including a Jewish person's ability to make decisions in accordance with their religious beliefs."Katz added that Jews "feel really strongly about reproductive freedoms." To them, abortion falls at the cross-section of economic justice, racial justice, healthcare access, and religious freedom, she said."So in the Jewish community, all of those issue areas are deeply Jewish for many different reasons, but the notion that the Supreme Court might dictate when life begins according to only one religious tradition is deeply problematic and concerning to us," Katz told Insider, adding that she was "devastated, outraged, and sad" about the possible overturning of Roe.83% of Jewish people believe abortion should be legal in most or all cases, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, compared to 61% of the total US population. A full 70% of Americans surveyed by Pew Research do not support the overturning of Roe v. Wade. While the Court emphasized that the leak does not represent the final decision in the case, Katz said the NCJW is "exploring every possibility of what it looks like for us to fight back against" the leaked opinion on the grounds of religious freedom. "We've known that this is a real possibility that Roe v. Wade is getting overturned, but seeing it in writing made it all the more real. And for us, for the National Council of Jewish Women, just one person being forced to be pregnant is one person too many," Katz told Insider."Our moral values compel us to ensure that people aren't forced to be pregnant or forced to give birth."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 7th, 2022

Elon Musk"s Tesla is paying for employees to get abortions out of state as the Supreme Court looks likely to overturn Roe v. Wade

The company policy, which began in 2021, could put Musk, conservatives' latest darling, on a collision course with Republicans including Sen. Marco Rubio. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and protesters outside the Supreme Court this week.Angela Weiss / AFP and Amanda Andrade-Rhoades / The Washington Post via Getty Images Tesla began covering costs for its employees to receive out-of-state abortions in 2021. The policy came as states like Texas, where Tesla is now based, passed tighter abortion restrictions. It puts Elon Musk at odds with his conservative fans as the Supreme Court looks likely to overturn Roe v. Wade. Tesla, the electric vehicle company owned by billionaire and soon-to-be Twitter owner Elon Musk, is paying for employees to get out-of-state abortions. According to the company's 2021 Impact Report, Tesla began providing an "expanded Safety Net program and health insurance offering" last year, which includes "travel and lodging support for those who may need to seek healthcare services that are unavailable in their home state." That came after the company relocated to Texas, where abortion was outlawed after the six-week mark in August 2021.That policy places Tesla among a growing list of companies that are helping employees access abortion care in the wake of new restrictions passed at the state level, as well as fresh concerns that Roe v. Wade could be overturned next month following the unprecedented leak of a draft opinion doing just that.And it puts Musk — who's otherwise become a hero among conservatives following his purchase of Twitter last month — at odds with some of his cheerleaders.Chief among them is Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who introduced a bill this week to prevent companies from making tax deductions for employees' abortion-related travel costs or for gender-affirming care for minors."Too often our corporations find loopholes to subsidize the murder of unborn babies or horrific 'medical' treatments on kids," said Rubio in a statement touting the bill. "My bill would make sure this does not happen."Though Tesla's impact report makes no mention of minors, the company does tout the fact that it has provided "transgender benefits aligned with the clinical protocol set forth by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health" since 2018.Rubio's bill is part of a long-standing crusade by the one-time 2016 presidential candidate against what he sees as collusion between big business and "Marxism.""[Corporate leaders] are the product of decades of anti-American indoctrination at our elite universities and they feel no obligation to America or its national interest," said Rubio during a speech last fall. "I'm not here to tell you big business is the enemy. But I'm here to tell you big business is not our ally in the fight against socialism."But Rubio has also showed cautious optimism for Musk's recent purchase of Twitter, which he said had caused a "meltdown" among the "far left" because they fear "losing the power to threaten, silence and destroy anyone who doesn't agree with them."—Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) April 26, 2022Rubio's office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.Some of the Florida senator's Republican colleagues were even more enthusiastic about Musk's Twitter purchase.Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas called it the "most important development for free speech in decades," while Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana lauded the purchase as a "clear win for free speech and America."—Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 27, 2022 But while Musk's self-avowed commitment to free speech and seeming disdain for the progressive left has given hope to some conservatives, the tech billionaires' ideology may prove too libertarian for a party increasingly interested in using the power of the state to promote conservative values."In general, I believe government should rarely impose its will upon the people," wrote Musk in a tweet in September 2021. "That said, I would prefer to stay out of politics."—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 2, 2021 Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 6th, 2022

Tesla joins Amazon, Apple, and Citi as the latest company to cover travel costs for employees seeking abortion in different states. Here"s how companies are pushing back against increasing restrictions.

With the Supreme Court possibly poised to overturn decades of precedent on abortion, some employers are taking steps to ensure workers receive care. Protesters, demonstrators and activists gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, a case about a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, on December 01, 2021.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images The US Supreme Court appears poised to overturn the abortion-rights ruling under Roe v Wade. Companies like Citi, Apple, Yelp, and Amazon are expanding support for workers seeking abortion. Here is a list of major companies taking steps in response to any rollback of reproductive rights. In a surprise leak, a Supreme Court majority decision appears poised to overturn decades of settled law in reversing the constitutional right to abortion under Roe v Wade.On Tuesday, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed that the draft document was real, but said the court has not yet reached a final ruling.Though the leak itself was unexpected, it follows a concerted effort that has long been underway in many Republican-controlled states to severely limit access to abortion.Several large companies with employees located in places like Texas and Oklahoma have announced their own initiatives to preserve access to medical treatments that are in the process of being criminalized by state lawmakers. 26 states are "certain or likely" to ban abortion if Roe is struck down, according to analysis by the Guttmacher Institute. Employers like Citi, Apple, Yelp, and Amazon are specifically including abortion in their expansion of existing benefits programs, which reimburse employees for travel costs related to seeking medical care that is not available near the employee's home.Others like Uber and Lyft have pledged support for transportation for people seeking abortions, as well as legally defending drivers against abortion related lawsuits.Below is a list of major companies and how they are responding to rollbacks of reproductive rights.TeslaThe electric carmaker, which officially relocated its headquarters to Texas in December, announced in a report on Friday that it has offered "travel and lodging support for those who may need to seek healthcare services that are unavailable in their home state" since 2021 under its Safety Net and health insurance program.AppleApple CEO Tim Cook addressed concerns about Texas' fetal heartbeat bill during a town hall meeting in September. The company soon followed up with a memo that called the bill "uniquely restrictive," and said the employee health plan covers participants who "travel out-of-state for medical care if it is unavailable in their home state."CitigroupCiti, which has roughly 8,500 employees in Texas, notified investors in a March filing that "In response to changes in reproductive healthcare laws in certain states in the U.S., beginning in 2022 we provide travel benefits to facilitate access to adequate resources."AmazonOn Monday, just hours before news of the Supreme Court drafted decision broke, Amazon told employees it would cover up to $4,000 per year in travel costs related to non-life threatening medical treatments, including elective abortion. The policy covers both corporate and warehouse workers and their dependents who are enrolled in the company's Premera or Aetna health plans.SalesforceShortly after the Texas bill passed in September, Salesforce told employees via its internal messaging system: "If you have concerns about access to reproductive healthcare in your state, Salesforce will help relocate you and members of your immediate family."Yelp"Overturning Roe v. Wade will jeopardize the human rights of millions of women who stand to lose the liberty to make decisions over their own bodies," Yelp said in a statement on Tuesday. "Turning back the clock on the progress women have made over the past 50 years will have a seismic impact on our society and economy."In explaining Yelp's decision cover travel costs for employees seeking abortion in a different state from the one where they live, chief diversity officer Miriam Warren previously told Insider, "This is not a new issue for Yelp; this is a new benefit.""Our company and our CEO have long been invested in promoting gender equity," she continued, "the possibility of which is diminished when women don't have control over their own reproductive health."LyftIn response to the "heartbeat" abortion bans recently passed in Oklahoma and Texas, Lyft announced it would cover the legal fees of drivers sued in either state for transporting passengers to abortion providers. The ride-share company said it is also working with healthcare partners to cover transportation costs to airports and clinics for women in Oklahoma and Texas seeking out-of-state abortion care. Lyft's US medical benefits include coverage for elective abortions. On April 29, the company said it will cover the transportation costs for employees seeking abortions outside of Texas and Oklahoma. UberUber announced it would also cover drivers' legal fees soon after Lyft. "Drivers shouldn't be put at risk for getting people where they want to go," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on Twitter, referring to a provision that allows private citizens to sue individuals "aiding and abetting" an illegal abortion and creates a $10,000 "reward" for successful lawsuits.MatchMatch Group CEO Shar Dubey created a fund for Texas-based employees seeking healthcare services outside of the state following the "heartbeat" abortion ban. "I'm not speaking about this as the CEO of a company," Dubey said. "I'm speaking about this personally, as a mother and a woman who has fervently cared about women's rights, including the very fundamental right of choice over her body."BumbleBumble created a relief fund for organizations supporting Texans' reproductive rights. The $6.6 billion company founded by Whitney Wolfe Herd in 2014 tweeted that it was "women-founded and women-led," and would "keep fighting against regressive laws like SB8." Bumble and Match were some of the first Texas-based tech companies to speak out against the ban. "We are dismayed by the rumors of the Supreme Court decision that was leaked last night," a Bumble spokesperson said Tuesday. "At Bumble, we believe strongly in women's right to choose and exercise complete control over their bodies. The safety, privacy and freedom of family planning are critical to equality for all ... The health and safety of our team is our utmost priority and that includes covering access to abortion care. We will continue to partner with organizations that work to provide reproductive access to all." DellIn response to TX SB8, Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell sent an email to all Texas employees on Wednesday, September 8 that said: "Our leadership team is carefully reviewing the implications of recent legislation on our business and on you, our team members."  While the internal message did not mention SB8 by name, Dell wrote that "there's much we still don't know about how all of these laws will ultimately play out" and the company's "goal is for you to have more (health) coverage, not less."A Dell spokesperson declined to comment on the Supreme Court draft opinion leaked Monday, adding that the company's focus "is on our team members and supporting them with the benefits and support they need."Levi'sLevi's employees, including part-time retail workers, can seek reimbursement for travel expenses related to seeking an abortion in another state."Protecting access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion, is a critical business issue. Efforts to further restrict or criminalize that access would have far-reaching consequences for the American workforce, the US economy and our nation's pursuit of gender and racial equity.It would jeopardize workplace gains women have made over the past 50 years, disproportionately impact women of color and force companies to implement different health policies for different locations. Given what is at stake, business leaders need to make their voices heard and act to protect the health and well-being of our employees. That means protecting reproductive rights," Levi Strauss & Co said Tuesday in a statement shared with Insider. LushLush Handmade Cosmetics said in January that it's reviewing healthcare coverage to ensure all US staff can access abortion services. "We are fraught with concern for the state of women's rights in this country. Not only because Lush employs over 80% of women but because we know access to safe reproductive care, including abortion is an essential part of a healthy workforce and community. For seven months we've been campaigning for the right to access to abortion for all in TX, FL, OH, MO, AK and OK.The leaked draft of the Supreme Court opinion confirms our worst fears and we are currently exploring ways to support impacted staff with inclusive and equitable care. But this 'fix' can only be temporary from the business community, we need legislation like the Women's Health Protection Act, passed to reflect the will of the majority of the country and ensure that women's rights are affirmed as what they are — human rights," Brandi Halls, Chief Ethics Officer for Lush Cosmetics North America, said in a statement shared with Insider on Tuesday. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 6th, 2022

Live updates: GOP plans abortion strategy after Roe v. Wade leak

The campaign arm of the Senate GOP told Republicans to be "the compassionate, consensus-builder on abortion policy." Pro-choice demonstrators hold signs in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on May 3, 2022.Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images The GOP is advising members on abortion communications after the SCOTUS leak, Axios reported. It called Democrats "extreme" and said Republicans should be the "compassionate, consensus-builder." Politico also said it is adding security measures after publishing the leaked draft opinion on Roe v. Wade. The GOP told lawmakers to portray themselves as 'the compassionate, consensus-builder' on abortion policy after SCOTUS leak, Axios reportsSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesA leaked GOP memo obtained by Axios told Republican lawmakers to portray themselves as the "compassionate consensus-builder" on abortion policy after the leak.The memo by the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which is the campaign arm of the Senate GOP, said: "Be the compassionate, consensus-builder on abortion policy ... While people have many different views on abortion policy, Americans are compassionate people who want to welcome every new baby into the world."It also Republicans should "expose the Democrats for the extreme views they hold," claiming that "Joe Biden and the Democrats have extreme and radical views on abortion that are outside of the mainstream of most Americans," Axios reported.Read Full Story Phone location data from people who visited abortion clinics, including Planned Parenthood, is legally on sale for $160, Vice reportsThe outside of the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center is seen in St. Louis, Missouri.Saul Loeb/Getty ImagesVice found that location data from Planned Parenthood branches can be legally sold.Vice paid a broker $160 for a dataset that included a week's worth of phone location data for 600 Planned Parenthoods in the US, including some that provide abortions.Data from such brokers is aggregated, which means individuals are not singled out, but it is possible to de-anonymize the data and idenfify people from the datasets.Read Full StoryPolitico told its employees to watch out for strangers trying to enter their office after it published the leaked SCOTUS draft, The Daily Beast reportsProtests erupt after a leaked opinion favors abortion bans.Getty ImagesPolitico told employees to watch out for strangers trying to enter their office after they published the leaked draft opinion, The Daily Beast reported.Politico's Chief Talent Officer Traci Schweikert said new security measures would be put in place after the report.The Daily Beast did not report the specifics of any new measures, but reported that Schweikert told staff to be aware of potential threats."Be aware of anyone accessing our elevators with you and the possibility of 'tailgating' to your floor," Schweikert said.The email also urged employees to delete private information from their social media accounts, The Daily Beast reported.Read Full Story  Women on TikTok say hookup culture will be 'decimated' if Roe V. Wade is overturnedThe landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case provided the legal precedent that makes abortion legal in the US.TikTokSome women say they will deny casual sex if they do not have abortion rights after news broke that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn the landmark Roe V. Wade case. "In case you're a man who doesn't care about roe v wade just know that if abortion gets banned hookup culture will be absolutely decimated," TikTok user @moneymollusk wrote in a video, which has received more than 1.2 million views in a single day."What women would have mediocre sex with a drunk rando if he could potentially father their child," she continued, noting that the video is directed at "all the pro-life men who love Plan B."Read Full StoryReasoning behind leaked draft decision could lead to anti-feminist laws nationwide, says Rep. Jamie RaskinProtesters at a pro-choice rally outside the Supreme Court on November 1, 2021.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinMaryland Rep. Jamie Raskin said this week that if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned based on Justice Samuel Alito's reasoning, it might be an invitation for other laws to be overturned. Raskin was discussing the bombshell leak of the Supreme Court's draft majority opinion on Roe v. Wade during an interview with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Monday.Read Full StoryOverturning Roe v. Wade is 'not what a majority of Americans want,' says Elizabeth WarrenSen. Elizabeth Warren.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesA video taken on Tuesday showed Sen. Elizabeth Warren fuming over a leaked Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito which appeared to show that the Supreme Court's conservative judges have lined up to overturn Roe v. Wade.The 1973 Supreme Court decision codified the right to an abortion into law, but the memo leaked by Politico on Monday showed that the court's five conservative judges all shared their opposition to the law in February.A furious Warren ripped into the lawmakers who approved the conservative judges while speaking with reporters on Tuesday, appearing shaken with anger as an aide helped escort her away from the courthouse.Read Full StoryAs Roe v. Wade faces being overturned, communities of color continue to fight for their rightsFor decades, women of color have been on the front line of the fight for abortion rights.Whitney Curtis/Getty ImagesAbortion advocates say that communities of color will bear the brunt of the overturning of the decades-long precedence of Roe v. Wade."We know this imminent ruling will have a dramatic impact on all people seeking to end a pregnancy and its consequences will reverberate nationwide," Lupe M. Rodríguez, the executive director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, wrote in a statement to Insider.Read Full StorySupreme Court's leaked decision gives Democrats a fresh shot at the culture warsBoth pro- and anti-abortion demonstrators gathered in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on May 3.Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty ImagesRepublicans planned to ride to electoral victory this fall on a wave of parental fears and dissatisfaction with schools, teachers' unions, and COVID restrictions.The Supreme Court was poised over the summer to weigh in on one of the most polarizing issues of all, overturning abortion rights. But now that an authentic draft of the conservative majority's opinion has been leaked ahead of schedule, it has accelerated concerns, and a decision to gut Roe v. Wade could supersede all other culture wars when Americans go to the polls in November.Democrats are counting on it.Read Full StorySchumer blasts McConnell for not discussing Supreme Court draft opinionSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.Alex Wong/Getty Images; Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday ripped into Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after the top Republican avoiding talking about his longtime push to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that granted women the constitutional right to an abortion nearly 50 years ago.McConnell earlier on Tuesday criticized the release of a draft opinion from the Supreme Court — an unprecedented leak related to a major abortion rights case that's still pending. The top Republican focused his outrage on the nature of the leak, and avoided speaking on the substance of the draft opinion, which would overturn Roe."It is utterly amazing that Mitch McConnell did not want to say he supports repealing Roe v. Wade," Schumer said during a press conference. "All he did was talk about the leaks."Read Full StoryRepublican senators won't say if they support rape and incest exceptions to abortion bansRepublican Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Joni Ernst of IowaJim Lo Scalzo/Pool/AFP via Getty Images; Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty; Anna Moneymaker/GettyEvery Republican president since Ronald Reagan has stood behind anti-abortion views with exceptions in the cases of rape, incest, and protecting the life of the pregnant person.But some Senate Republicans refused to tell Insider whether they support such exceptions in the wake of the publication of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling protecting abortion rights.Read Full StoryConservative media talking heads play defense on overturning Roe v. WadeSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe conservative legal movement appears to be on the cusp of achieving a nearly 50-year dream of overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision protecting abortion.But so far, conservative media appearances show the party and its most loyal pundits holding off on taking a victory lap.Read Full StoryDemocrats want to make Roe v. Wade the law of the landSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer discusses efforts to codify Roe v. Wade into law this past February.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesDemocrats have promised to vote on a bill that would protect abortion rights after a leaked draft showed the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. "Every American is going to see which side every senator stands on," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday on the steps of the US Capitol, adding that a vote would happen "soon" on the Women's Health Protection Act. Read Full StoryJustice Samuel Alito quoted Ruth Bader Ginsburg in leaked draft opinionUS Supreme Court Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Samuel Alito, Jr. sit next to each other for a group portrait on November 30, 2018.Jim Young/ReutersAssociate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito cited the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in his leaked draft opinion that would reverse landmark abortion rights. Ginsburg was a famously strong defender of women's rights during her 27-year tenure on the court before her death in 2020. "Roe...halted a political process that was moving in a reform direction and thereby, I believed, prolonged divisiveness and deferred stable settlement of the issue," Alito quoted Ginsburg on the third page of his 98-page opinion.Read Full StoryScrapping of Roe v. Wade would hurt women's personal and financial securityProtesters, demonstrators, and activists gather in front of the US Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, a case about a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, on December 01, 2021.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesOver the last few years, women and trans Americans have seen their economic, physical, and personal security imperiled, and policy hasn't stepped up to address those challenges.A Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade would be yet another big setback, Insider's Juliana Kaplan and Joseph Zeballos-Roig write.Read Full StoryThe draft leak was Chief Justice John Roberts' worst 'nightmare'Chief Justice John Roberts ordered an investigation into the leak of a draft opinion.Andrew Harnik/AFP via Getty ImagesChief Justice John Roberts has a pattern of warning Supreme Court clerks and staff to maintain confidentiality in court dealings. Roberts would highlight to the clerks that leaking information could mean blows to their careers, clerks told Insider.Legal experts called the breach — which is almost unprecedented — "highly disturbing." Roberts has instructed the court marshal to start an investigation into the leak. He called it a "betrayal of the confidences of the court."Read Full StoryOklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signs Texas-style bill that bans abortions around the six-week pregnancy mark—Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) May 3, 2022Stitt signed SB 1503 — a bill that mirrors the highly restrictive Texas abortion ban — on Tuesday saying he wants Oklahoma "to be the most pro-life state in the country."The "Oklahoma Heartbeat Act" would make it illegal for any pregnant individual to obtain an abortion passed the point when a heartbeat can be detected in the fetus. This typically occurs around the sixth week of pregnancy — though most people are unaware that they are pregnant at this point. The bill leaves out exceptions including rape or incest and only allows the procedure if the impregnated person's life is at risk.It also enables private citizens to sue others who induce or provide an abortion for up to $10,000, just like the Texas law. The bill immediately goes into effect since Stitt signed.Oklahoma lawmakers passed another abortion law in April forbidding medical professionals from performing the procedure except in medical emergencies — punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $100,000 in fines. This bill would go into effect in the summer unless courts stop it.Some companies are covering travel costs for employees seeking abortion in different statesSarah Goggans (C) holds her daughter Lilith Centola in front of the US Supreme Court as demonstrators gather in Washington, DC, on May 3, 2022.Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty ImagesSome US companies are taking steps in response to increasing restrictions on abortion access.  Amazon, Apple, and Citi, for example, are covering travel costs for employees seeking abortion in different states.At least half of US states are "certain or likely" to ban abortion if the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling is struck down, according to analysis by the Guttmacher Institute.Read Full StoryAOC calls Sen. Kyrsten Sinema 'an obstructionist' and rips on the Arizona lawmakerSen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images; J. Scott Applewhite, File/Associated PressRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called Sen. Kyrsten Sinema "an obstructionist" and slammed the Arizona lawmaker for refusing to support changes to the Senate filibuster to codify abortion protections."We could protect Roe tomorrow, but Sinema refuses to act on the filibuster. Until that changes she can take a seat talking about 'women's access to health care,'" Ocasio-Cortez said, calling for Sinema to be primaried. Read Full StoryRepublican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said her "confidence" in SCOTUS has been rockedRepublican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said her "confidence" in the Supreme Court has been rocked after the leaked draft opinion suggesting Roe v. Wade would be overturned. "Roe is still the law of the land. We don't know the direction that this decision may ultimately take, but if it goes in the direction that this leaked copy has indicated I will just tell you that it rocks my confidence in the court right now," she told reporters. Murkowski, who supports abortion rights, voted to approve Conservatives Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.Read Full StoryKamala Harris says the 'rights of all Americans are at risk' after leaked draft opinionVice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff disembark from Air Force 2 at San Francisco International Airport on April 21, 2022 in California.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesVice President Kamala Harris said in a statement that "the rights of all Americans are at risk" as the Supreme Court seems set to overturn Roe v. Wade. "If the right to privacy is weakened, every person could face a future in which the government can potentially interfere in the personal decisions you make about your life," Harris said.She added: "Republican legislators in states across the country are weaponizing the use of the law against women."Read Full StorySen. Elizabeth Warren rips Republicans for 'plotting' to get a conservative Supreme CourtU.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to pro-choice demonstrators outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on May 03, 2022 in Washington, DC.Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesSen. Elizabeth Warren slammed Republicans for "plotting" to get a conservative Supreme Court and overturn Roe v. Wade. "The Republicans have been working toward this day for decades," Warren told reporters Tuesday. "They have been out there plotting, carefully cultivating these Supreme Court justices so they could have a majority on the bench who would accomplish something that the majority of Americans do not want."She said she's "angry and upset and determined," after the leaked draft opinion appearing to signal the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling will be overturned. Read Full StorySen. Kyrsten Sinema stands by her support of the Senate filibusterSen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Feb. 1, 2022 in Washington.Al Drago/Bloomberg via AP, FileSen. Kyrsten Sinema is standing by her support of the Senate filibuster, busting Democrats' hopes of codifying Roe v. Wade into law.  "Protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women's access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past ten years, and are more important now than ever," she said in a Tuesday statement.The filibuster requires most legislation to get a three-fifths majority to head to debate, meaning Democrats can't pass many policy items in an evenly divided Senate.  Read Full StoryRep. Cori Bush said she's 'broken up' by the Roe v. Wade draft opinionDemocratic Rep. Cori Bush — who previously revealed she got an abortion after being raped as a teen — said she was "broken up" after the leaked draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court would overturn the constitutional right to abortion."I'm pretty broken up," the 45-year-old Missouri congresswoman told The New York Times in an interview on Tuesday.She added: "Whether you have an abortion, or whether you have the child, no one is on that table with you. No one is on that bed with you."Read Full StorySupreme Court confirms authenticity of leaked draft opinion gutting abortion rightsU.S. Supreme Court Police officers set up barricades on the sidewalk as pro-choice and anti-abortion activists demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on May 03, 2022 in Washington, DC.Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesThe Supreme Court confirmed the authenticity of a leaked draft opinion that would overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling guaranteeing abortion rights."Although the document described in yesterday's reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case," the court said in a statement.Chief Justice John Roberts announced the court will investigate to find out who leaked the document.Read Full StorySusan Collins slams Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh after leaked draft opinionSusan CollinsGreg Nash-Pool/Getty ImagesRepublican Sen. Susan Collins slammed conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh in the wake of the leaked draft opinion that would overturn the right to an abortion."If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office," Collins said in a statement.Collins — who supports abortion rights — has previously defended her decision to vote for Gorsuch and Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmations. Read Full StoryMajority Leader Schumer says the Senate will vote on an abortion rights billSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised to hold a vote that would codify federal abortion rights into law."A vote on this legislation is not an abstract exercise. This is as urgent and real as it gets," Schumer said during a speech on the Senate floor. "We will vote to protect a woman's right to choose and every American is going to see on which side every American stands."Read Full StoryBiden says it's up to 'voters to elect pro-choice officials' after leaked SCOTUS draft opinionBiden at former Vice President Walter Mondale’s memorial service in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 1, 2022.Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden urged voters to elect pro-choice lawmakers in the wake of a leaked draft opinion seemingly suggesting that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade. Biden in a Tuesday statement said at a federal level, the country needs "more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House" so he can pass legislation to codify Roe v. Wade. "If the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation's elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman's right to choose," the president added. "And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November." Read Full StoryMcConnell lashes out at Democrats over reactions to Roe v. Wade leakSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) departs the US Capitol on April 27, 2022.STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty ImagesSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Democrats over their reactions to the leaked draft opinion showing the Supreme Court is set to undo abortion rights. "By every indication, this was yet another escalation in the radical left's ongoing campaign to bully and intimidate federal judges and substitute mob rule for the rule of law," McConnell said in a statement.He also called the leak "an attack on the independence of the Supreme Court." Read Full StoryCalifornia Gov. Gavin Newsom proposes to build a statewide constitutional 'firewall' around abortion rightsCalifornia Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday proposed building a statewide constitutional "firewall" around abortion rights."California will build a firewall around this right in our state constitution," Newsom said in a joint statement with California's State Senate President Toni Atkins and State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.The statement said California lawmakers will propose a constitutional amendment to "enshrine the right to choose."Read Full StoryDemocrats plan to make abortion rights a huge midterm issueAbortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in Washington, as the court hears arguments in a case from Mississippi, where a 2018 law would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, well before viability.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)Democrats plan to make abortion a main talking point ahead of the fall midterm elections if the Supreme Court overturns existing protections for women's reproductive rights.If the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling is overturned, pro-choice groups say outrage could help inspire people to vote. "The reality is abortion is absolutely going to be on the ballot in 2022, no ifs, ands, or buts about it," Kristin Ford, vice president of communications at NARAL Pro-Choice America, told Insider in March.Read Full StoryDemocrats are worried that same-sex marriage and civil rights could be targeted next after SCOTUS leakDemocratic lawmakers are concerned that same-sex marriage and civil rights could be undone next in the wake of a leaked draft opinion showing the Supreme Court is set to overturn abortion rights.The Supreme Court "isn't just coming for abortion - they're coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Monday.Legal scholar Laurence Tribe wrote on Twitter that next steps may include a "nationwide abortion ban, followed by a push to roll back rights to contraception, same-sex marriage, sexual privacy, and the full array of textually unenumerated rights long taken for granted." Read Full StorySCOTUS leaked draft opinion is unprecedented, but details about Court deliberations have been made public beforeCaroline McDonald, left, a student at Georgetown University, Lauren Morrissey, with Catholics for Choice, and Pamela Huber, of Washington, join a pro-choice rally outside the Supreme Court, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, as arguments are set to begin about abortion by the court, on Capitol Hill in Washington.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinThe leaked draft opinion seemingly showing that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade is certainly unprecedented. An entire draft opinion has never been leaked like this before. But details about justices' deliberations have been made public before — for example a 1972 memo about Roe that was leaked to the Washington Post before it became public. Read Full StoryBiden has been reluctant to say the word 'abortion' throughout his termPresident Joe Biden has been reluctant to publicly say the word "abortion" since he took office in January 2021.According to CNN, he has never said the word "abortion" out loud and used it a few times in some written statements. During his presidential campaign, Biden promised to codify the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.Read Full StoryDemocrats want to 'codify Roe,' but it's unlikely to succeedSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer discusses efforts to codify Roe v. Wade into law this past February.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesIn the wake of the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion, Democrats have quickly organized to codify Roe v. Wade and make it a law.One thing stopping Democrats' efforts, however, is the Senate filibuster. Democrats are currently focusing on the Women's Health Protection Act as a way to protect women's' federal right to abortion. Read Full StoryA constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights is nearly impossible to get throughThe First Printing of the Final Text of the United States Constitution is on display during a press preview at Sotheby's on September 17, 2021 in New York City.Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty ImagesAmending the Constitution is extremely difficult and rare. An amendment protecting abortion rights is nearly impossible.Abortion rights amendments have previously been proposed by both supporters and opponents. In the 233-year-long lifespan of the Constitution, it has only been amended 27 times — most recently in 1992 — and would require massive support in Congress and among states.  Read Full StoryLegal experts are shocked the drafted decision leakedSeated from left: Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, Standing from left: Brett Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett.Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty ImagesLegal experts have expressed shock at the fact that a draft opinion from the Supreme Court was leaked to Politico. "The fact that it leaked is, to me, the most surprising thing," Harvard Law School professor I. Glenn Cohen told Insider.Mark Kende, a law professor at Drake University, told Insider that it's "highly disturbing that the opinion was improperly leaked in an unprecedented way, presumably by someone at the Court."Read Full StoryTop Democrats slam SCOTUS justices for 'one of the worst' decisions in historySenate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Designate Nancy Pelosi.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed the potential Supreme Court ruling as  "one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history."Their remarks came in response to a leaked draft opinion published by Politico that appears to show the Supreme Court is set to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case. "If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years – not just on women but on all Americans," Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement. Read Full StoryProtesters in support of Roe v. Wade gathered outside Supreme CourtPro-choice and anti-abortion activist rally outside of the U.S. Supreme Court on May 02, 2022 in Washington, DC. In an initial draft majority opinion obtained by Politico, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito allegedly wrote that the cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern v. Casey should be overruled, which would end federal protection of abortion rights across the country.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesHundreds of protestors gathered outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, late on Monday night after Politico published a leaked draft opinion suggesting that Roe v. Wade was poised to be overturned. "I got down here early, right, cause I got home from a long day kicked off shoes my shoes, opened Twitter, saw that Roe v. Wade was trending to be overturned, put my shoes back on, and came right back from east of the river," Rev. Wendy Hamilton, a Democratic congressional candidate from DC, told Insider. Read Full StoryLeaked draft opinion shows SCOTUS set to overturn Roe v. WadeThe U.S. Supreme Court building is seen at sunset in Washington on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021.Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesA leaked draft opinion obtained by Politico appears to show that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that granted women the constitutional right to an abortion.Politico late Monday published the 98-page initial draft majority opinion, purportedly authored by Justice Samuel Alito who said Roe was "egregiously wrong from the start.""We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled," the draft opinion says, labeled as the "Opinion of the Court," according to the report.The decision — if finalized — would mark a momentous shift in constitutional rights. Over a dozen GOP states have laws that would immediately restrict abortion access if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Read Full StoryRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 4th, 2022

Live updates: Overturning Roe v Wade is "not what a majority of Americans want," says Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Over a dozen GOP-led states have laws that would immediately restrict abortion access if the Supreme Court throws out Roe v. Wade. Pro-choice demonstrators hold signs in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on May 3, 2022.Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images A video shows Sen. Elizabeth Warren furious about the leaked memo regarding Roe v. Wade. "The Republicans have been working toward this day for decades," Warren said. If finalized, the ruling would throw out a woman's constitutional right to have an abortion. Reasoning behind leaked draft decision could lead to anti-feminist laws nationwide, says Rep. Jamie RaskinProtesters at a pro-choice rally outside the Supreme Court on November 1, 2021.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinMaryland Rep. Jamie Raskin said this week that if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned based on Justice Samuel Alito's reasoning, it might be an invitation for other laws to be overturned. Raskin was discussing the bombshell leak of the Supreme Court's draft majority opinion on Roe v. Wade during an interview with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Monday.Read Full StoryOverturning Roe v. Wade is 'not what a majority of Americans want,' says Elizabeth WarrenSen. Elizabeth Warren.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesA video taken on Tuesday showed Sen. Elizabeth Warren fuming over a leaked Supreme Court opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito which appeared to show that the Supreme Court's conservative judges have lined up to overturn Roe v. Wade.The 1973 Supreme Court decision codified the right to an abortion into law, but the memo leaked by Politico on Monday showed that the court's five conservative judges all shared their opposition to the law in February.A furious Warren ripped into the lawmakers who approved the conservative judges while speaking with reporters on Tuesday, appearing shaken with anger as an aide helped escort her away from the courthouse.Read Full StoryAs Roe v. Wade faces being overturned, communities of color continue to fight for their rightsFor decades, women of color have been on the front line of the fight for abortion rights.Whitney Curtis/Getty ImagesAbortion advocates say that communities of color will bear the brunt of the overturning of the decades-long precedence of Roe v. Wade."We know this imminent ruling will have a dramatic impact on all people seeking to end a pregnancy and its consequences will reverberate nationwide," Lupe M. Rodríguez, the executive director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, wrote in a statement to Insider.Read Full StorySupreme Court's leaked decision gives Democrats a fresh shot at the culture warsBoth pro- and anti-abortion demonstrators gathered in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on May 3.Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty ImagesRepublicans planned to ride to electoral victory this fall on a wave of parental fears and dissatisfaction with schools, teachers' unions, and COVID restrictions.The Supreme Court was poised over the summer to weigh in on one of the most polarizing issues of all, overturning abortion rights. But now that an authentic draft of the conservative majority's opinion has been leaked ahead of schedule, it has accelerated concerns, and a decision to gut Roe v. Wade could supersede all other culture wars when Americans go to the polls in November.Democrats are counting on it.Read Full StorySchumer blasts McConnell for not discussing Supreme Court draft opinionSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.Alex Wong/Getty Images; Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday ripped into Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after the top Republican avoiding talking about his longtime push to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that granted women the constitutional right to an abortion nearly 50 years ago.McConnell earlier on Tuesday criticized the release of a draft opinion from the Supreme Court — an unprecedented leak related to a major abortion rights case that's still pending. The top Republican focused his outrage on the nature of the leak, and avoided speaking on the substance of the draft opinion, which would overturn Roe."It is utterly amazing that Mitch McConnell did not want to say he supports repealing Roe v. Wade," Schumer said during a press conference. "All he did was talk about the leaks."Read Full StoryRepublican senators won't say if they support rape and incest exceptions to abortion bansRepublican Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Joni Ernst of IowaJim Lo Scalzo/Pool/AFP via Getty Images; Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty; Anna Moneymaker/GettyEvery Republican president since Ronald Reagan has stood behind anti-abortion views with exceptions in the cases of rape, incest, and protecting the life of the pregnant person.But some Senate Republicans refused to tell Insider whether they support such exceptions in the wake of the publication of a draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling protecting abortion rights.Read Full StoryConservative media talking heads play defense on overturning Roe v. WadeSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe conservative legal movement appears to be on the cusp of achieving a nearly 50-year dream of overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision protecting abortion.But so far, conservative media appearances show the party and its most loyal pundits holding off on taking a victory lap.Read Full StoryDemocrats want to make Roe v. Wade the law of the landSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer discusses efforts to codify Roe v. Wade into law this past February.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesDemocrats have promised to vote on a bill that would protect abortion rights after a leaked draft showed the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. "Every American is going to see which side every senator stands on," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday on the steps of the US Capitol, adding that a vote would happen "soon" on the Women's Health Protection Act. Read Full StoryJustice Samuel Alito quoted Ruth Bader Ginsburg in leaked draft opinionUS Supreme Court Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Samuel Alito, Jr. sit next to each other for a group portrait on November 30, 2018.Jim Young/ReutersAssociate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito cited the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in his leaked draft opinion that would reverse landmark abortion rights. Ginsburg was a famously strong defender of women's rights during her 27-year tenure on the court before her death in 2020. "Roe...halted a political process that was moving in a reform direction and thereby, I believed, prolonged divisiveness and deferred stable settlement of the issue," Alito quoted Ginsburg on the third page of his 98-page opinion.Read Full StoryScrapping of Roe v. Wade would hurt women's personal and financial securityProtesters, demonstrators, and activists gather in front of the US Supreme Court as the justices hear arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health, a case about a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks, on December 01, 2021.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesOver the last few years, women and trans Americans have seen their economic, physical, and personal security imperiled, and policy hasn't stepped up to address those challenges.A Supreme Court decision striking down Roe v. Wade would be yet another big setback, Insider's Juliana Kaplan and Joseph Zeballos-Roig write.Read Full StoryThe draft leak was Chief Justice John Roberts' worst 'nightmare'Chief Justice John Roberts ordered an investigation into the leak of a draft opinion.Andrew Harnik/AFP via Getty ImagesChief Justice John Roberts has a pattern of warning Supreme Court clerks and staff to maintain confidentiality in court dealings. Roberts would highlight to the clerks that leaking information could mean blows to their careers, clerks told Insider.Legal experts called the breach — which is almost unprecedented — "highly disturbing." Roberts has instructed the court marshal to start an investigation into the leak. He called it a "betrayal of the confidences of the court."Read Full StoryOklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signs Texas-style bill that bans abortions around the six-week pregnancy mark—Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) May 3, 2022Stitt signed SB 1503 — a bill that mirrors the highly restrictive Texas abortion ban — on Tuesday saying he wants Oklahoma "to be the most pro-life state in the country."The "Oklahoma Heartbeat Act" would make it illegal for any pregnant individual to obtain an abortion passed the point when a heartbeat can be detected in the fetus. This typically occurs around the sixth week of pregnancy — though most people are unaware that they are pregnant at this point. The bill leaves out exceptions including rape or incest and only allows the procedure if the impregnated person's life is at risk.It also enables private citizens to sue others who induce or provide an abortion for up to $10,000, just like the Texas law. The bill immediately goes into effect since Stitt signed.Oklahoma lawmakers passed another abortion law in April forbidding medical professionals from performing the procedure except in medical emergencies — punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $100,000 in fines. This bill would go into effect in the summer unless courts stop it.Some companies are covering travel costs for employees seeking abortion in different statesSarah Goggans (C) holds her daughter Lilith Centola in front of the US Supreme Court as demonstrators gather in Washington, DC, on May 3, 2022.Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty ImagesSome US companies are taking steps in response to increasing restrictions on abortion access.  Amazon, Apple, and Citi, for example, are covering travel costs for employees seeking abortion in different states.At least half of US states are "certain or likely" to ban abortion if the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling is struck down, according to analysis by the Guttmacher Institute.Read Full StoryAOC calls Sen. Kyrsten Sinema 'an obstructionist' and rips on the Arizona lawmakerSen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images; J. Scott Applewhite, File/Associated PressRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called Sen. Kyrsten Sinema "an obstructionist" and slammed the Arizona lawmaker for refusing to support changes to the Senate filibuster to codify abortion protections."We could protect Roe tomorrow, but Sinema refuses to act on the filibuster. Until that changes she can take a seat talking about 'women's access to health care,'" Ocasio-Cortez said, calling for Sinema to be primaried. Read Full StoryRepublican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said her "confidence" in SCOTUS has been rockedRepublican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said her "confidence" in the Supreme Court has been rocked after the leaked draft opinion suggesting Roe v. Wade would be overturned. "Roe is still the law of the land. We don't know the direction that this decision may ultimately take, but if it goes in the direction that this leaked copy has indicated I will just tell you that it rocks my confidence in the court right now," she told reporters. Murkowski, who supports abortion rights, voted to approve Conservatives Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.Read Full StoryKamala Harris says the 'rights of all Americans are at risk' after leaked draft opinionVice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff disembark from Air Force 2 at San Francisco International Airport on April 21, 2022 in California.Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty ImagesVice President Kamala Harris said in a statement that "the rights of all Americans are at risk" as the Supreme Court seems set to overturn Roe v. Wade. "If the right to privacy is weakened, every person could face a future in which the government can potentially interfere in the personal decisions you make about your life," Harris said.She added: "Republican legislators in states across the country are weaponizing the use of the law against women."Read Full StorySen. Elizabeth Warren rips Republicans for 'plotting' to get a conservative Supreme CourtU.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to pro-choice demonstrators outside of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on May 03, 2022 in Washington, DC.Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesSen. Elizabeth Warren slammed Republicans for "plotting" to get a conservative Supreme Court and overturn Roe v. Wade. "The Republicans have been working toward this day for decades," Warren told reporters Tuesday. "They have been out there plotting, carefully cultivating these Supreme Court justices so they could have a majority on the bench who would accomplish something that the majority of Americans do not want."She said she's "angry and upset and determined," after the leaked draft opinion appearing to signal the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling will be overturned. Read Full StorySen. Kyrsten Sinema stands by her support of the Senate filibusterSen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Feb. 1, 2022 in Washington.Al Drago/Bloomberg via AP, FileSen. Kyrsten Sinema is standing by her support of the Senate filibuster, busting Democrats' hopes of codifying Roe v. Wade into law.  "Protections in the Senate safeguarding against the erosion of women's access to health care have been used half-a-dozen times in the past ten years, and are more important now than ever," she said in a Tuesday statement.The filibuster requires most legislation to get a three-fifths majority to head to debate, meaning Democrats can't pass many policy items in an evenly divided Senate.  Read Full StoryRep. Cori Bush said she's 'broken up' by the Roe v. Wade draft opinionDemocratic Rep. Cori Bush — who previously revealed she got an abortion after being raped as a teen — said she was "broken up" after the leaked draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court would overturn the constitutional right to abortion."I'm pretty broken up," the 45-year-old Missouri congresswoman told The New York Times in an interview on Tuesday.She added: "Whether you have an abortion, or whether you have the child, no one is on that table with you. No one is on that bed with you."Read Full StorySupreme Court confirms authenticity of leaked draft opinion gutting abortion rightsU.S. Supreme Court Police officers set up barricades on the sidewalk as pro-choice and anti-abortion activists demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on May 03, 2022 in Washington, DC.Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty ImagesThe Supreme Court confirmed the authenticity of a leaked draft opinion that would overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling guaranteeing abortion rights."Although the document described in yesterday's reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case," the court said in a statement.Chief Justice John Roberts announced the court will investigate to find out who leaked the document.Read Full StorySusan Collins slams Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh after leaked draft opinionSusan CollinsGreg Nash-Pool/Getty ImagesRepublican Sen. Susan Collins slammed conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh in the wake of the leaked draft opinion that would overturn the right to an abortion."If this leaked draft opinion is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office," Collins said in a statement.Collins — who supports abortion rights — has previously defended her decision to vote for Gorsuch and Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmations. Read Full StoryMajority Leader Schumer says the Senate will vote on an abortion rights billSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised to hold a vote that would codify federal abortion rights into law."A vote on this legislation is not an abstract exercise. This is as urgent and real as it gets," Schumer said during a speech on the Senate floor. "We will vote to protect a woman's right to choose and every American is going to see on which side every American stands."Read Full StoryBiden says it's up to 'voters to elect pro-choice officials' after leaked SCOTUS draft opinionBiden at former Vice President Walter Mondale’s memorial service in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on May 1, 2022.Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty ImagesPresident Joe Biden urged voters to elect pro-choice lawmakers in the wake of a leaked draft opinion seemingly suggesting that the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade. Biden in a Tuesday statement said at a federal level, the country needs "more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House" so he can pass legislation to codify Roe v. Wade. "If the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation's elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman's right to choose," the president added. "And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November." Read Full StoryMcConnell lashes out at Democrats over reactions to Roe v. Wade leakSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) departs the US Capitol on April 27, 2022.STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty ImagesSenate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell slammed Democrats over their reactions to the leaked draft opinion showing the Supreme Court is set to undo abortion rights. "By every indication, this was yet another escalation in the radical left's ongoing campaign to bully and intimidate federal judges and substitute mob rule for the rule of law," McConnell said in a statement.He also called the leak "an attack on the independence of the Supreme Court." Read Full StoryCalifornia Gov. Gavin Newsom proposes to build a statewide constitutional 'firewall' around abortion rightsCalifornia Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday proposed building a statewide constitutional "firewall" around abortion rights."California will build a firewall around this right in our state constitution," Newsom said in a joint statement with California's State Senate President Toni Atkins and State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.The statement said California lawmakers will propose a constitutional amendment to "enshrine the right to choose."Read Full StoryDemocrats plan to make abortion rights a huge midterm issueAbortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, in Washington, as the court hears arguments in a case from Mississippi, where a 2018 law would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, well before viability.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)Democrats plan to make abortion a main talking point ahead of the fall midterm elections if the Supreme Court overturns existing protections for women's reproductive rights.If the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling is overturned, pro-choice groups say outrage could help inspire people to vote. "The reality is abortion is absolutely going to be on the ballot in 2022, no ifs, ands, or buts about it," Kristin Ford, vice president of communications at NARAL Pro-Choice America, told Insider in March.Read Full StoryDemocrats are worried that same-sex marriage and civil rights could be targeted next after SCOTUS leakDemocratic lawmakers are concerned that same-sex marriage and civil rights could be undone next in the wake of a leaked draft opinion showing the Supreme Court is set to overturn abortion rights.The Supreme Court "isn't just coming for abortion - they're coming for the right to privacy Roe rests on, which includes gay marriage + civil rights," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Monday.Legal scholar Laurence Tribe wrote on Twitter that next steps may include a "nationwide abortion ban, followed by a push to roll back rights to contraception, same-sex marriage, sexual privacy, and the full array of textually unenumerated rights long taken for granted." Read Full StorySCOTUS leaked draft opinion is unprecedented, but details about Court deliberations have been made public beforeCaroline McDonald, left, a student at Georgetown University, Lauren Morrissey, with Catholics for Choice, and Pamela Huber, of Washington, join a pro-choice rally outside the Supreme Court, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021, as arguments are set to begin about abortion by the court, on Capitol Hill in Washington.AP Photo/Jacquelyn MartinThe leaked draft opinion seemingly showing that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade is certainly unprecedented. An entire draft opinion has never been leaked like this before. But details about justices' deliberations have been made public before — for example a 1972 memo about Roe that was leaked to the Washington Post before it became public. Read Full StoryBiden has been reluctant to say the word 'abortion' throughout his termPresident Joe Biden has been reluctant to publicly say the word "abortion" since he took office in January 2021.According to CNN, he has never said the word "abortion" out loud and used it a few times in some written statements. During his presidential campaign, Biden promised to codify the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.Read Full StoryDemocrats want to 'codify Roe,' but it's unlikely to succeedSenate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer discusses efforts to codify Roe v. Wade into law this past February.Win McNamee/Getty ImagesIn the wake of the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion, Democrats have quickly organized to codify Roe v. Wade and make it a law.One thing stopping Democrats' efforts, however, is the Senate filibuster. Democrats are currently focusing on the Women's Health Protection Act as a way to protect women's' federal right to abortion. Read Full StoryA constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights is nearly impossible to get throughThe First Printing of the Final Text of the United States Constitution is on display during a press preview at Sotheby's on September 17, 2021 in New York City.Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty ImagesAmending the Constitution is extremely difficult and rare. An amendment protecting abortion rights is nearly impossible.Abortion rights amendments have previously been proposed by both supporters and opponents. In the 233-year-long lifespan of the Constitution, it has only been amended 27 times — most recently in 1992 — and would require massive support in Congress and among states.  Read Full StoryLegal experts are shocked the drafted decision leakedSeated from left: Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor, Standing from left: Brett Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney Barrett.Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty ImagesLegal experts have expressed shock at the fact that a draft opinion from the Supreme Court was leaked to Politico. "The fact that it leaked is, to me, the most surprising thing," Harvard Law School professor I. Glenn Cohen told Insider.Mark Kende, a law professor at Drake University, told Insider that it's "highly disturbing that the opinion was improperly leaked in an unprecedented way, presumably by someone at the Court."Read Full StoryTop Democrats slam SCOTUS justices for 'one of the worst' decisions in historySenate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Designate Nancy Pelosi.AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer slammed the potential Supreme Court ruling as  "one of the worst and most damaging decisions in modern history."Their remarks came in response to a leaked draft opinion published by Politico that appears to show the Supreme Court is set to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade case. "If the report is accurate, the Supreme Court is poised to inflict the greatest restriction of rights in the past fifty years – not just on women but on all Americans," Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement. Read Full StoryProtesters in support of Roe v. Wade gathered outside Supreme CourtPro-choice and anti-abortion activist rally outside of the U.S. Supreme Court on May 02, 2022 in Washington, DC. In an initial draft majority opinion obtained by Politico, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito allegedly wrote that the cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern v. Casey should be overruled, which would end federal protection of abortion rights across the country.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesHundreds of protestors gathered outside the Supreme Court in Washington, DC, late on Monday night after Politico published a leaked draft opinion suggesting that Roe v. Wade was poised to be overturned. "I got down here early, right, cause I got home from a long day kicked off shoes my shoes, opened Twitter, saw that Roe v. Wade was trending to be overturned, put my shoes back on, and came right back from east of the river," Rev. Wendy Hamilton, a Democratic congressional candidate from DC, told Insider. Read Full StoryLeaked draft opinion shows SCOTUS set to overturn Roe v. WadeThe U.S. Supreme Court building is seen at sunset in Washington on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021.Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesA leaked draft opinion obtained by Politico appears to show that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that granted women the constitutional right to an abortion.Politico late Monday published the 98-page initial draft majority opinion, purportedly authored by Justice Samuel Alito who said Roe was "egregiously wrong from the start.""We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled," the draft opinion says, labeled as the "Opinion of the Court," according to the report.The decision — if finalized — would mark a momentous shift in constitutional rights. Over a dozen GOP states have laws that would immediately restrict abortion access if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Read Full StoryRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 4th, 2022