Quantcast
Connect with us

Anti-abortion initiatives inch forward in southern U.S.

Published

on

Initiatives by social conservatives to limit abortion inched forward in three southern US states this week, contributing to one of the most emotionally-charged debates in US politics.

In Florida, the House of Representatives voted 78-33 in favor of imposing a 24-hour waiting period on women seeking an abortion and requiring new abortion clinics to be owned by doctors.

ADVERTISEMENT

The latter point would effectively ban Planned Parenthood, the biggest single provider of abortions in the United States, mainly to low-income women, from opening new facilities.

“This isn’t an insidious war against women — it’s a righteous war for children,” said Republican lawmaker James Grant in an impassioned debate Thursday, as the bill moved on to the state Senate for further debate.

A day earlier, Georgia’s House of Representatives voted 102-65 for a “fetal pain” bill that would slash from 26 weeks to 20 weeks the period in which women could get elective abortions.

That time frame is based on what the bill calls “substantial evidence” that, 20 weeks after fertilization, an unborn child can feel pain. Doctors who break the law would risk up to 10 years in prison.

ADVERTISEMENT

Doug McKillip, the bill’s Republican sponsor, said it would “save 1,000 to 1,500 lives,” but critics argued it amounts to lawmakers dictating what doctors can or cannot do.

“It is time for the government to get out of my examination room and my office,” said obstetrician Ruth Cline, quoted in the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper.

Meanwhile, Virginia was on track to become the eighth state to mandate pre-abortion ultrasounds, after a toned-down version of a highly contested bill cleared its final legislative hurdle.

ADVERTISEMENT

Like Florida and Georgia, Virginia’s legislature is Republican controlled.

The Virginia House of Delegates approved a Senate-amended version of the “informed consent” bill by a 61-35 vote Thursday, leaving it in the hands of Governor Bob McDonnell to sign into law.

“The governor will act upon the bill within seven days of its delivery to him,” his spokesman Jeff Caldwell told AFP by email Friday, adding that a firm signing date remains to be set.

ADVERTISEMENT

In its original form, the bill triggered a national furor by insisting that abortions in Virginia be preceded by transvaginal ultrasounds, in which an electronic probe is inserted deep into a woman’s vagina.

No other state with pre-abortion ultrasound laws, including Texas, call for such an invasive procedure.

Under fire from pro-choice activists, and ridicule from late-night TV comics, McDonnell — a potential Republican candidate for vice president — rejigged the bill so as to make only external abdominal ultrasounds mandatory.

ADVERTISEMENT

State senators further amended the text to exempt rape and incest victims from ultrasounds, before sending it back to the House where its mainly Republican supporters and Democratic opponents locked horns one last time.

“I have trouble going to sleep at night” knowing that more than 54 million abortions have been carried out since abortion was ruled legal by the US Supreme Court in 1973, said House majority leader M. Kirkland Cox.

To which David Englin, a Democrat, riposted: “The true nature of this bill is to use emotional blackmail, practical logistical barriers and just plain old government bullying to try to prevent women from having abortions.”

Among other southern states, Mississippi’s Republican-dominated legislature is considering about two dozen bills and constitutional amendments to limit abortion, including ultrasound and fetal-pain bills.

ADVERTISEMENT

Last year, a proposed change to the state constitution to grant personhood to unborn children — effectively outlawing abortion — was rejected by 58 percent of Mississippi voters.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

‘Clearly impeachable and serious offense’: Ex-organized crime prosecutor says of Trump’s Ukraine scandal

Published

on

Former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks recalled during an MSNBC panel discussion that she was once the prosecutor for organized crime. It was something that reminded her of this recent move by President Donald Trump and his administration.

This week, it was revealed that Trump said something to a foreign leader that was so concerning to a senior intelligence officer that a complaint was filed and the officer sought whistleblower protections. The White House is now working to obstruct any investigation about the complaint.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Iran accuses foreign forces of raising Gulf ‘insecurity’ — but doesn’t mention Trump by name

Published

on

President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday denounced the presence of foreign forces in the Gulf and said Iran will present a peace plan, after its arch-foe Washington ordered reinforcements to the tense region.

"Foreign forces can cause problems and insecurity for our people and for our region," Rouhani said before a military parade commemorating the Iran-Iraq war.

Rouhani also said Iran would present a peace plan to the United Nations within days.

"In this sensitive and important historical moment, we announce to our neighbours that we extend the hand of friendship and brotherhood to them," he said.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Trump holds mass rally with Indian Prime Minister that was more like a campaign event than official one

Published

on

US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday declared themselves united in a relentless fight against "terrorism," vowing a close, personal alliance in front of tens of thousands of Indian-Americans.

The two leaders, like-minded nationalists fond of fiery rallies and skeptical of traditional media, heaped praise on each other in an unusual joint appearance inside a football stadium in Houston.

To the bhangra beats of four drummers in saffron turbans, Trump in his dark suit and Modi in a yellow kurta and vest made a grand entrance with arms clenched together to ecstatic cheers from a crowd estimated by organizers at 50,000.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Investigate and Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image