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Oklahoma Supreme Court: ‘Fetal personhood’ initiative ‘clearly unconstitutional’

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The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday unanimously ruled that a ballot measure to completely prohibit abortion was “clearly unconstitutional.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit against the ballot measure, which would have amended the Oklahoma Constitution to grant fertilized eggs and embryos the same constitutional rights as people.

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“By their own admission, the proponents of this initiative aim to strip women and families of their established right to decide whether and when to become pregnant and carry a pregnancy to term,” Ryan Kiesel, executive director of the ACLU of Oklahoma, said in March. “This initiative insults Oklahoma women’s intelligence and dignity by denying access to basic health services.”

Legislation similar to the “fetal personhood” ballot measure passed in the Oklahoma Senate in February by a 34-8 vote. However, Oklahoma House Speaker Kris Steele and the State House Republican Caucus decided not to bring the bill to the House floor for a vote.

The pro-life Christian group Personhood USA and its state affiliates have campaigned to place “fetal personhood” initiatives on the November ballot.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled in March that a proposed “fetal personhood” amendment to the state’s constitution could be placed on the 2012 ballot. In contrast, a Nevada judge ruled in December that the ballot initiative was so vague that backers were not allowed to circulate it among voters.

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A similar constitutional amendment was rejected by more than 55 percent of Mississippi voters last year.


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Why you should sell your house now — and not wait for the climate to change

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Cities across the United States are already seeing the impacts of climate change. Sea levels are on the rise in Miami, Florida, where ocean waters creep into the streets, even when it isn't raining. Massive wildfires have taken out whole neighborhoods in California and in Alaska, about 2.5 million acres have burned since July 3. Wildfires there are getting worse, according to experts.

The problem of climate change has reached a dangerous level for some homeowners in areas that are no longer insurable. In Miami, for example, the "street-level" is now considered the basement and insurers are dropping coverage for basements. According to the Daily Beast, at least 340,000 California homeowners lost their property insurance coverage between 2015 and 2018 because the wildfires are getting worse and companies don't want to pay out when homes are destroyed.

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GOP lawmakers working behind the scenes with Democrats to curb Trump’s tariff madness

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According to a report from Wall Street Journal, Republican lawmakers are working behind the scenes to rein in Donald Trump's penchant for declaring tariffs willy-nilly depending on how he feels about other countries and their leaders at any given time.

As the president trade war rages on -- impacting manufacturers, farmers and consumers alike -- Republicans looking at the 2020 election are desperate to turn around a U.S. economy that looks headed for a recession.

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Beto O’Rourke doubles down on gun buybacks

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Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Texas Democrat who is running for president in 2020, told NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that he believes assault weapons are "instruments of terror" and the government should implement a mandatory buyback policy.

I was asked about @SenToomey saying mandatory buybacks are "awful."

I said the priorities in D.C. are screwed up.

What's awful is a 17 month-old baby shot in the face with an AR-15 in Odessa. What's awful is 22 people killed in a Walmart buying school supplies in El Paso. pic.twitter.com/JAN1xfrQYS

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