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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Democrat mocks Trump for being the wrong person to lead the charge on mental illness

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President Donald Trump may not be the best person to focus on mental health in America, a Democratic senator explained on MSNBC.

"All In" host Chris Hayes interviewed Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) before a live studio audience.

The two discussed Trump's focus on mental health instead of gun control following the latest mass shootings in America.

"I saw this article about the mental health proposal being floated. I gotta say, the more I hear him talk about mental health, the more freaked out I get, honestly," Hayes explained. "It seems like — like sci-fi dystopia. They want to do something like DARPA, the notorious Pentagon research association called HARPA. It’s going to develop 'breakthrough technologies with high specificity and sensitivity for early diagnosis of neuropsychiatric violence...The document goes on to list a number of widely used technologies it suggests could be used to help collect data, including Apple Watches, Fitbits, Amazon Echo and Google Home."

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Trump’s economic ‘brain trust’ ridiculed as America braces for a trade war recession: report

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President Donald Trump appears unprepared to deal with a potential recession, the Associated Press reported Friday.

"Facing a trade war against China that has shaken the global economy, President Donald Trump gathered his most trusted economic aides in the Oval Office," the AP reported. "The assembled brain trust for Friday’s urgent consultations included an economics chief best known for his stint as a cable TV commentator; a trade adviser whose pro-tariff views are outside the economic mainstream; and a treasury secretary (joining by phone on his way back from vacation) who made millions off the housing crisis and then turned to financing Hollywood movies."

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ICE and Homeland Security busted pushing right-wing propaganda and conspiracy theories

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Donald Trump in Oval Office

Multiple federal departments have been pushing far-right propaganda to federal employees.

"An arm of the Justice Department regularly sent summaries and links to articles from an online white nationalist publication over the last year, a BuzzFeed News investigation has found. In addition, similar newsletters sent to the Labor Department, ICE, HUD and the Department of Homeland Security, included links and content from hyperpartisan and conspiracy-oriented publishers," BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

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