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Republicans target Planned Parenthood, contraceptives, safe sex counseling

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WASHINGTON – A new Republican bill defunding the health and abortion services group Planned Parenthood would also cut millions of dollars in funding for contraceptives, reproductive health counseling and cancer screenings.

The measure would eliminate all $327 million in funding for Title X, a family planning program that began 40 years ago under President Richard Nixon. And while Planned Parenthood receives millions of dollars from the program, Title X funds cannot be used for abortion services.

The money is to be used for noncontroversial family planning services, mostly for low-income families.

“Unbelievably, the House Leadership has set its sights on abolishing a program that provides lifesaving and preventive care to millions of women and saves taxpayers money by helping women plan their families,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood.

“This is an extreme proposal, and the new leaders of the House are pushing it forward at great risk to women and at their own political peril.”

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The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), framed it as an effort to deny government funding for abortions.

“The time has come to deny all federal funding to Planned Parenthood of America,” Pence said. “I’ve authored the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act, which would deny Title X funds to Planned Parenthood or any other abortion provider and Congress must act and act now to move this important legislation.”

Jodi Jacobson, editor-in-chief of the reproductive health news site RH Reality Check, reports that “Title X provides millions of women across the country with access to basic primary and preventive care, such as lifesaving cancer screenings, contraception, STI testing and treatment, and annual exams.”

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The pro-abortion-rights group NARAL said the legislation would lead to more unwanted pregnancies by cutting funding for contraceptives.

“The new anti-choice House leadership now wants to take away birth control and cancer screenings from millions of American women and men,” said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL. “While these politicians attack abortion coverage from every angle, they now want to deny funding for birth control, even though that’s the best way to prevent unintended pregnancy. Americans will not stand for this blatant hypocrisy.”


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Disney heiress who went undercover to Disneyland ‘livid’ at conditions and pay

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Heiress Abigail Disney went to one of her family's resorts to see conditions for workers herself and was disgusted by what she saw.

In comments to Yahoo News podcast "Through Her Eyes," Disney described how she went to Disneyland in California undercover and found that workers at the resort were treated poorly—and underpaid.

"Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, 'I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people's garbage,'" said Disney.

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Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition

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A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.

The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.

This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."

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‘Washington is no longer functional’: Brian Williams admits he’s sad to report that ‘our government is broken’

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MSNBC anchor Brian Williams on Tuesday reported that America's federal government is broken.

"This was day 908 of the Trump Administration and while there is no joy in it, one way of summing up today is this: Our government’s broken, our politics are broken, Washington is no longer functional, and the cracks in our society are deepening," Williams reported.

"Much of this day was taken up by the discussion of racist statements by the president. Then tonight came the news that had so many people thinking back to when we were different, the death just tonight of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens at the age of 99," he said.

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