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California lawmakers push bill making ‘pregnancy centers’ tell women about abortion option

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The California State Assembly approved a bill on Tuesday that would require licensed pregnancy centers, which sometimes steer women away from abortion, to inform clients about state programs offering such services, officials said.

The Democratic-led Assembly voted 49-26 to approve the bill, which has the support of California’s Democratic attorney general, Kamala Harris, and will next go to the state Senate, said Allison Ruff, aide to Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, a Democrat and co-author of the bill.

With the vote, lawmakers in liberal-leaning California are moving in the opposite direction of a number of more conservative states, where laws have placed increased obligations on abortion providers.

Eleven states, but not California, require in-person counseling and a waiting period before an abortion can take place, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks reproductive policy.

The California bill would require pregnancy centers that are licensed as clinics to notify patients that the state has programs that offer free or affordable abortion services, as well as help with family planning and prenatal care, according to Burke’s office.

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Pregnancy centers that are not licensed as clinics would be spared from having to give notice to clients of state programs, but would be required to disclose they are not licensed medical providers.

California has about 200 so-called crisis pregnancy centers, which may be licensed as clinics or unlicensed. All generally steer women away from abortion, Ruff said.

“That is their focus and they have every right to focus on adoption and other services, but they also can’t misinform,” Ruff said.

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Sandra Palacios, associate director for governmental relations for the California Catholic Conference, which opposes the bill, said her organization would support an effort to fight the legislation in court if it is enacted.

“If I walk into a pro-life center, then I’m trying to figure out what can I do to get some medical help to make sure that my baby is safe and healthy,” she said.

“It’s almost like saying that I’m walking into McDonald’s but they’re supposed to put up a notice that says across the street a Burger King or something better is offered.”

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(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Peter Cooney)


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White supremacists accounted for majority of terror-related arrests in last year: FBI director

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FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers on Tuesday that his agency has so far made roughly 100 terrorism-related arrests so far this fiscal year -- and the majority of them are related in some way to the white supremacist movement.

As Washington Post reporter Matt Zapotosky reports, Wray made his remarks about white supremacist terrorists while being questioned by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) during an appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Despite the fact that white supremacists accounted for a majority of terror-related arrests in the first three quarters of this fiscal year, however, Wray also said that the FBI still considers jihadi-inspired terrorism to be the greater overall threat.

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Ted Cruz’s dangerous resolution suggests that all forms of political dissent could soon be considered terrorism

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Last week, Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Ted Cruz  of Texas introduced a resolution to designate "antifa," which the Anti-Defamation League defines as "a loose collection of groups, networks, and individuals who believe in active, aggressive opposition to far right-wing movements," as a "domestic terrorist organization."

This article was originally published at Salon

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Florida cop runs down joy-riding black teen on bicycle — then officers shock him with a Taser

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Florida police chased down a joy-riding black teenager, struck the bicycle he was riding and then violently arrested him after he fled in terror.

Jaydon Stubbs and four friends were riding July 17 on their way to Hollywood Beach when an officer spotted the teens in an area where there had been a string of recent burglaries, reported WPLG-TV.

The officer saw the boys popping wheelies and ignoring traffic laws, so she tried to stop them for questioning -- but they split up and rode away from her.

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