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Planned Parenthood files suit over Arkansas decision to cut funding

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Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in federal court on Friday seeking to a block a move by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson that cut state funding for certain programs the reproductive health provider has in the state, the group said.

Arkansas was one of several Republican-controlled states that have cut funds for the organization in the wake of the release of videos by anti-abortion activist group Center for Medical Progress, in which a Planned Parenthood official is seen talking about transactions involving fetal tissue.

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Planned Parenthood has denied any wrongdoing.

“Governor Hutchinson has no business telling women in Arkansas where they can and cannot go for cancer screenings, birth control, HIV tests and other care,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The group said it has two health centers in Arkansas that provide services including cancer screenings, testing for sexually transmitted diseases and providing federally approved birth control methods.

In August, Hutchinson said the state would cut off contracts with Planned Parenthood because its values did not represent those of the people of Arkansas.

The Arkansas contracts involved services including nurse practitioners, pharmacy and family planning and were delivered through the Arkansas Medicaid program. No state funds were used for abortions, except in the case of incest, rape or when the life of the mother was at stake.

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Planned Parenthood has taken similar legal action in Louisiana and Alabama.

Planned Parenthood has come under massive criticism from Republicans and has been investigated by several Republican-controlled states following the release of the videos.

Conservatives have pushed to cut off federal funding for Planned Parenthood as the U.S. Congress works on a stopgap funding bill for the federal fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

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Democrats have made clear, however, that a Republican attack on Planned Parenthood’s funding, which totals more than $500 million a year, would likely prompt a veto by President Barack Obama. That in turn could lead to a government shutdown due to the political bickering between Republicans and Democrats.


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Ken Starr is an awful choice for Trump’s legal team because he’ll look like a hypocrite: Former federal prosecutor

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President Donald Trump has a severe hypocrisy problem, and it has extended to his legal team. In a CNN explainer answering legal questions from viewers, former state and federal prosecutor Eli Honig explained that the choice of Ken Starr for Trump's legal team was a terrible idea.

Trump has chosen lawyers that are like a Fox News legal discussion panel. Pat Cipollone, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Wray, Pam Bondi and Jay Sekulow are all key people Trump has called on to defend him. But one person stands out, Honig explained. Ken Starr.

"He may emerge as a symbol of hypocrisy," Honig said. "He was the independent counsel who pursued Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Ken Starr turned over Heaven and Earth in his investigation of Bill Clinton. He talked to everyone who ever had known Monica Lewinsky, ex-boyfriends, teachers, window washers. And here he's going to say you shouldn't be hearing from primary witnesses?"

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‘Comparing yourself to terrorists?’ Internet cracks up at Trump saying dead 9-11 hijackers got more justice than him

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President Donald Trump quoted Fox News host Mark Levin that left many scratching their heads. Levin, who has a show on Sunday evenings, claimed that the terrorists from Sept. 11 got more due process than the president.

The claim was a curious one because, as many on Twitter noted, it's not often that the president of the United States compares himself to a terrorist. Secondly, the 9-11 hijackers all died in the attack, as they were on the planes that crashed into the buildings and into a Pennsylvania field.

Trump is known to quote Levin frequently, though the citations often make the president look worse.

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If people of color showed up to a Capitol protest heavily armed — Trump would call them terrorists: commentator

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Legal analyst Areva Martin explained in a CNN panel discussion Sunday that the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has historically been a day in which white supremacists rear their ugly heads with racist protests and other public displays of bigotry. Monday's expected rally of racist gun nuts expected at the Virginia capitol is no different.

Colorblind author Tim Wise said that it's a whole different level with pro-gun activists. He noted that there was a message from the NRA that former President Barack Obama was going to take everyone's guns away. Of course, that never happened, but it was part of the narrative to scare sensible gun owners. Now, President Donald Trump is employing the same idea, saying that the rally of racists in Virginia is being spun by the president as another Democratic power-grab. Wise called it a kind of "front-lash" instead of "backlash."

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