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Planned Parenthood sues Texas over exclusion from Medicaid funds

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The Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the state of Texas over the state’s exclusion of the nonprofit group’s clinics from a state women’s health program primarily funded by federal dollars.

PPFA told Austin American Statesman reporter Chuck Lindell that they’ve already closed 12 clinics across Texas since last year, after Texas Republicans slashed family planning funds by $74 million. Exclusion from Medicaid funding will see another $10-$13 million pulled from the group, which would trigger the closure of even more clinics serving lower-income communities.

Texas Republicans say they are within their lawful authority to deny funding to the nonprofit group because abortion providers are not considered to be qualified organizations. To those ends, the legislature last year passed a new rule that bans abortion providers from receiving taxpayer money.

PPFA, however, insists that only 3 percent of services performed across the whole country in 2010 had to do with abortion: the vast majority of their work, they claim, relates to breast and cervical cancer screenings, reproductive health, education and contraceptive support.

The Obama Administration said last month that Texas’s move was illegal, and began to cut off federal funds for the Texas Medicaid Women’s Health Program because of the state’s decision to exclude PPFA.

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“Medicaid law is clear,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services director Cindy Mann said in a letter to state officials. “Patients, not state government officials, are able to choose the doctor and health care providers that are best for them and their family.”

The state’s Republicans have also passed into law a series of new regulations dealing with abortions in the state, including one highly controversial provision that requires women seeking abortions to undergo a medically unnecessary, invasive trans-vaginal sonogram first. That law is also being challenged in court.

A spokesperson for PPFA in Texas was not available for comment.

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Cop says Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot following Trump’s racist targeting of The Squad

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Following racist attacks on members of The Squad by President Donald Trump and his supporters, a police officer in Louisiana reportedly said that one of the congresswomen of color should be shot.

Trump has been lashing out at the four first-term congresswomen, who include Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI).

"A Gretna police officer posted a comment on his Facebook page this past week calling U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a 'vile idiot' who 'needs a round, and I don't mean the kind she used to serve,'" NOLA reported Saturday.

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Internet piles on ABC reporter for lavishing praise on Trump for allowing press to ask questions

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ABC News reporter Kyra Phillips on Saturday heaped praise on President Donald Trump for his treatment of the press.

Despite the White House no longer holding daily press briefings, Phillips praised the "access" she receives from the administration.

"No matter what your politics are, I have to say that I appreciate the access ?Trump? gives us on a regular basis and the ability to ask any question," she said.

She tagged Stephanie Grisham in her tweet, who is Trump's latest press secretary. She also tagged her husband, John Roberts, who does not work in the White House, but works for Fox News.

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The real problem wasn’t the racism — it was the Trump taking ‘the Lord’s name in vain’ twice: supporter

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President Donald Trump was widely condemned after supporters at a campaign rally in West Virginia turned his racist "go back" message into a "Send Her Back" chant against one of a woman of color in Congress.

One Trump supporter in West Virginia also criticized the speech, but not for the racist targeting of Rep. Ilhan Omar.

State Senator Paul Hardesty, a Democrat, wrote to the White House to complain about Trump's use of the word "goddamn."

The letter was republished by the Montgomery-Herald.

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