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Tennessee lawmaker tables abortion bill exceptions because rape and incest are ‘not verifiable’

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Tennessee state Rep. Sheila Butt (R) on Tuesday moved to table an amendment that would have exempted victims of rape and incest from new restrictions on access to abortion because she said that their claims were “not verifiable.”

While debating a bill that would require women to wait 48 hours and get counseling before having an abortion, state Rep. Craig. Fitzhugh (D) first offered an amendment to HB 977 that would allow doctors to exempt patients from the waiting period for mental health reasons.

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That amendment was immediately tabled by Butt.

“Putting this psychological harm bypass into the bill is really a loophole for the abortion industry,” she said. “It allows someone who is going to profit from abortion to get the waiting period waived.”

A second amendment put forth by Fitzhugh would have allowed women who become pregnant through rape or incest to be exempted from the 48 hour waiting period.

Butt, however, suggested that the victims could be lying about being raped.

“This amendment appears political,” Butt asserted. “Because we understand in most instances, this is not verifiable. Let’s make sure that these women have the information and the understanding to act.”

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Fitzhugh replied: “I just don’t think women take something like rape or incest lightly. And I can’t imagine any person would take advantage of that type of situation. Fortunately or unfortunately, it may not happen much. But it is certainly a condition that women need to be protected from, and that we should not give them a more burdensome process because their pregnancy is a result of one of these two actions.”

In the end, the House voted to table both of Fitzhugh’s amendments. The abortion bill passed 79 to 18. The Senate will need to approve it once more before it can be sent to Gov. Bill Haslam’s (R) desk. The governor was expected to sign it into law.

Watch the video below, broadcast by the Tennessee Legislature on April 21, 2015.

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WATCH: New Zealand prime minister unfazed as quake hits during an interview

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A moderate 5.6-magnitude earthquake rattled New Zealand's North Island early Monday but failed to crack Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's trademark composure as she conducted a live television interview.

The quake struck just off the coast before 8:00 am local time (2000 Sunday GMT) at a depth of about 52 kilometres (32 miles) near Levin, about 90 kilometres north of Wellington, the US Geological Survey said.

St John Ambulance and New Zealand Police both said there were no initial reports of injuries or damage. There was no tsunami warning.

But there was sustained shaking in Wellington, where Ardern was being interviewed on breakfast television from parliament's Beehive building, which is designed to absorb seismic forces by swaying slightly on its foundations.

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‘It’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months’: Trump makes excuses for golfing during coronavirus pandemic

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President Donald Trump was blasted on Sunday for playing golf during the coronavirus pandemic, a dramatic economic recession and after proclaiming churches "essential."

Instead of joining his voters sitting in the pews, Trump went for the links, which drew criticisms for the hypocrisy.

"Sleepy Joe’s representatives have just put out an ad saying that I went to play golf (exercise) today. They think I should stay in the White House at all times. What they didn’t say is that it’s the first time I’ve played golf in almost 3 months, that Biden was constantly vacationing, relaxing & making shady deals with other countries, & that Barack was always playing golf, doing much of his traveling in a fume spewing 747 to play golf in Hawaii - Once even teeing off immediately after announcing the gruesome death of a great young man by ISIS!" tweeted Trump.

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Dealmaker Donald Trump made overly-expensive deals with companies to buy supplies to fight the coronavirus

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President Donald Trump proclaimed that he would make a deal with a company that could sterilize masks about 20 times. The company he was so captured by had appeared on Steve Bannon's podcast and

NBC political analyst Jon Allen explained that a company called Prestige Ameritech has been arguing for years that there is not enough domestic manufacturing. When Bannon introduced the head of the company to the Trump administration's Peter Navarro, it was a marriage of convenience.

"It's one of two contracts in the history of the American contracting database which goes back now 15 or so years where it says the White House ordered this," said Allen.

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