North Korea on Monday denounced South Korea's claim that Pyongyang sent a trio of spy drones across the border as a provocative "charade" organised by its "prostitute" president, Park Geun-Hye. South Korea's Defence Ministry said last week that an investigation…
Emergency contraception funds sent to Texas by Biden admin following GOP's near-total abortion ban: report
The federal government announced Friday it is providing additional funding to Austin nonprofit Every Body Texas to address a potential increase in clients' need for emergency contraception and family planning services now that Texas prohibits abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a release Friday that the Office for Population Affairs will award funding to the group, which is the statewide administrator of the federal Title X funding program, which provides family planning and reproductive health services to low-income patients.
Friday's move comes as the Biden administration is challenging Texas' near-total ban on abortion in court.
The federal government is also launching a new funding program that allows any entity across the country, regardless of if it receives Title X funding, to apply and receive additional money to provide reproductive and family planning services to patients impacted by Senate Bill 8.
There is $10 million available for these two programs, though it is unclear how much Every Body Texas is receiving directly. According to the federal government's website, the grant application for the new program, called Funding to Address Dire Need for Family Planning Services, says they expect to award 10 grants between $150,000 and $1.5 million by the end of this year. The announcement said Every Body Texas must use the money provided by March 31.
Neither Every Body Texas nor the federal government immediately responded to questions.
But the group thanked Becerra on Twitter Friday afternoon for the additional funding.
"In light of #SB8, free and low-cost access to EC is more important than ever," the group wrote.
Becerra also issued a memorandum detailing two federal statutes he says his department would enforce to provide protection for patients who may need an abortion and health care providers who assist pregnant patients in certain situations.
"Today we are making clear that doctors and hospitals have an obligation under federal law to make medical decisions regarding when it's appropriate to treat their patients," Becerra said in a release. "And we are telling doctors and others involved in the provision of abortion care, that we have your back."
It was not immediately clear late Friday how Becerra's memorandum would impact people's ability to access an abortion in Texas or providers' willingness to perform the procedure.
The two federal laws Becerra referred to include the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act and the Church Amendments. The federal government issued a memorandum reminding health care providers that patients who appear in the emergency room must receive appropriate medical screening, stabilizing treatment and a transfer, in or out of state, regardless of state laws, including pregnant patients or patients experiencing a pregnancy loss.
Becerra said the federal government would impose civil monetary penalties against hospitals or physicians if they violate that law.
Second, the federal Office of Civil Rights released guidance about the Church Amendments, which prevent discrimination against health care personnell who object to performing an abortion because of their relgious beliefs. Those amendments also protect health care providers from discrimination if they do assist or perform a lawful abortion, such as an abortion where federal funds are used to end pregnancies that result from rape or incest or to save the life of the pregnant person.
Gov. Greg Abbott did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the announcement.
A national anti-abortion group, The Susan B. Anthony List, criticized the Biden administration in a press release Friday evening.
"Texas is not California, no matter how hard Xavier Becerra tries to export his pro-abortion legacy," Marjorie Dannenfelser, the group's president, said in a statement referring to Becerra's home state.
SB 8, which took effect Sept.1, bans abortions whenever an ultrasound can detect what lawmakers define as a fetal "heartbeat," though medical experts say that phrase is misleading because embryos don't posses a heart at that developmental stage.
Rather than the state enforcing the law, it relies on private citizens to sue abortion proividers and anyone who helps a pregnant person receive an abortion after fetal cardiac activity is detected.
Abortion rights advocacy groups have said the law could affect at least 85% of abortions provided in the state. Since the law went into effect, many providers have canceled procedures or denied care to patients.
MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, an avid supporter of former President Donald Trump, has repeatedly claimed the 2020 presidential election was rife with fraud.
But the latest place he is looking for fraud is an odd choice: Alabama, a state Trump won by 25 points and where Democrats do not control a single statewide office. Lindell's plans in the state were detailed by Al.com on Friday.
"MyPillow founder and Donald Trump adviser Mike Lindell plans to conduct "tests" on Alabama's voter rolls after purchasing the list, said Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, who along with Gov. Kay Ivey met with Lindell on Friday," reported Howard Koplowitz. "Lindell, the founder and CEO of MyPillow who is Trump's main attack dog in the former president's battle contending the 2020 presidential election was stolen, is going to comb through the list of Alabama voters to determine whether the state has any ineligible people on it, including deceased residents."
"Lindell, who set up the meeting with Merrill after attending Trump's 'Save America' rally in Cullman in late August, heaped praise on Alabama's election procedures, ranging from the state's voter ID law to how votes are tabulated in the state, according to Merrill," noted the report.
Lindell is currently facing a defamation suit by Dominion Voting Systems after he repeatedly claimed that their voting equipment was illegally switching votes. To this day he has provided no credible evidence of this accusation. In the wake of his controversies, Lindell has lost contracts with retailers to sell his pillows, and even Fox News is refusing to be involved with him, which has led him to denounce the right-leaning television network.
Donald Trump's demands to see the "routers" used by Maricopa County hit a dead end on Friday evening.
"Why won't the RINO Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in Arizona give the routers? What are they trying to hide?" Trump asked in a July 19th statement to reporters.
Trump returned to the issue during a speech in Phoenix a few days later.
Trump speaking of “routers” here is a reference to a MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell conspiracy theory which alleges the… https://t.co/m0EMD15UG3— Zachary Petrizzo (@Zachary Petrizzo) 1627175927.0
But the Cyber Ninjas audit will not receive the routers, KPNX-TV political correspondent Brahm Resnik reported Friday evening.
"Maricopa County Board settles with Senate GOP over subpoena for computer routers. County faced loss of hundreds of millions in revenue after GOP AG Brnovich ruled subpoena was valid," Resnik reported. "enate drops subpoena but won't get routers."
"Maricopa County will eat the $2.8 million it spent to replace ballot-counting machines it said were irreparably damaged by Senate contractors. County had filed notice of claim with senate to obtain payment for machines," he explained. "A 'special master' - former GOP Congressman John Shadegg - appointed to oversee router review w tech experts, to answer Senate GOP questions."
All four Republicans on the board, whom Trump had complained were "RINO" or "Republican in Name Only" voted to approve the settlement.
BREAKING Maricopa County Board settles with Senate GOP over subpoena for computer routers. County faced loss of hun… https://t.co/mofnOYrqEC— Brahm Resnik (@Brahm Resnik) 1631928294.0
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