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Arizona Senate approves bill blocking women from buying abortion coverage through Obamacare

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Anti-abortion activists hold placards infront of the US Supreme Court during the annual March for Life (AFP)

Arizona lawmakers on Wednesday passed a controversial measure blocking women from buying insurance that includes abortion coverage through the federal health care exchange.

The fiercely-debated bill also requires doctors to tell women they could possibly reverse the effects of a drug-induced abortion, a claim that critics called “junk science.”

The legislation was approved by an 18-11 vote in the Republican-controlled Senate, with two Democrats voting for it. House lawmakers on Monday approved the bill by a 33-24 margin.

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It now goes to Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey, who has not indicated whether he will sign or veto the bill. He has said he is opposed to abortion.

A governor’s spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday.

Supporters said the bill would prevent taxpayer money from paying for abortion services, as many individuals insured through the federally-run exchange receive government subsidies.

The measure exempts cases of incest, rape and life-saving situations from the coverage ban.

Opponents countered, saying there was no proof that public dollars had been used for the elective procedures and calling the law an overreach.

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The Guttmacher Institute, a research group supporting the right to abortion whose reports are cited by both sides in the debate, says abortion coverage for those eligible for federal subsidies is limited to cases of rape, incest and life-endangerment.

During debate on the Senate floor, the most heated topic was the bill’s requirement that patients be told the effects of abortion pills may be undone by using high doses of a hormone.

“This is junk science, this is quack medicine,” said Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs, a Phoenix Democrat. “There is absolutely no evidence anywhere… that supports this as a valid medical procedure.”

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Backers say there is ample evidence that the reversal is possible if acted upon quickly, though they provided no peer-reviewed studies to support that claim.

“This is a great day for woman in Arizona who are considering getting an abortion to get all the facts they need and a great day for Arizona taxpayers,” said Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, a conservative group that pushed for the measure.

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In December, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Arizona from enforcing a state law that restricts access to abortion-inducing drugs by prohibiting off-label uses of RU-486, the so-called “abortion pill.”

(Editing by Curtis Skinner and Ryan Woo)


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Vehicles being used as weapons against protesters is ‘the new normal in 2020’: CNN

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CNN's Don Lemon on Friday evening devoted a segment to the rash of incidents in which people have driven through Black Lives Matter protesters in the same manner that killed Heather Heyer at the fatal 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"Vehicles used as weapons," Don Lemon began. "You heard me right, vehicles are being used as weapons against Americans taking to the streets in Black Lives Matter protests in cities across this country."

CNN correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro reported shocking scenes captured on camera of vehicles running down protesters are "common now."

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Trump to ignore Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish and appoint Amy Coney Berman: reports

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President Donald Trump intends to name Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, US media reported Friday, who if confirmed would cement a solid conservative majority on the high court.

The president said this week he will announce his pick to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday, and various media outlets said it would be the 48-year-old conservative judge.

Citing sources close to the process, various media outlets, including The New York Times and CNN, said Trump would nominate Barrett.

If she is confirmed the court would shift to a 6-3 conservative majority.

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2020 Election

Trump tells supporters he won’t be ‘stupid’ enough for peaceful transition of power if he loses

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President Donald Trump continued to spread debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election during a Friday night campaign rally in Virginia.

Trump argued that it was impossible for him to lose the election, thus concluding he would be "stupid" to hand over power peacefully should he lose.

"We not gonna lose this, except if they cheat," Trump falsely claimed about the 2020 campaign, where he trails Joe Biden in national and battleground polling.

"That's the only way we're gonna lose is if there's, uh, mischief," he argued. "And it will have to be on a big scale."

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