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Ohio Gov. Kasich set to sign anti-Planned Parenthood bill based on debunked activist videos

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A bill that would defund Planned Parenthood clinics in Ohio was approved by lawmakers and sent to Gov. John Kasich’s (R) desk for approval on Wednesday, Think Progress reported.

State Republicans developed House Bill 294 in the wake of the heavily-edited videos released last year by the anti-abortion Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which were quickly debunked. Kasich said as recently as last month that he would sign the measure, in footage released by the progressive group American Bridge 21st Century.

“What I’m for is making sure we have robust funding for womens’ health. When it comes to the domestic abuse and everything else, we have lots of resources to deal with it,” Kasich says after being questioned by a woman in the video, adding, “I’m going to sign a bill to defund it, so you shouldn’t be confused.”

When the woman begins mentioning the other functions provided by Planned Parenthood, Kasich throws up his hands and walks away, saying, “We’re done.”

According to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, only three of the state’s 27 Planned Parenthood clinics perform abortions. Yet HB 294 would defund all of them because it targets organizations that perform or “promote” abortions, or any contractor working with them.

“This bill uses Planned Parenthood as a stand in punching bag for Ohio’s women,” said state Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D). “By passing this bill, the Ohio House is showing women where they are on the priority list and unfortunately, it shows they are at the bottom.”

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The bill was passed a day after Kasich finished second to Donald Trump in New Hampshire’s Republican presidential primary, and shortly before he takes part in a GOP candidate debate on Saturday night in Greenville, South Carolina.

“We’ve seen the dire consequences for women, men and young people when politicians block access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards told Think Progress. “It’s time for political games to end — and for Governor Kasich to veto this bill so Ohioans don’t lose vital care.”

The CMP’s videos touched off investigations in several states concerning Planned Parenthood, none of which turned up any evidence of malfeasance on the group’s part. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the duo behind the videos were indicted last month by a grand jury in Harris County, Texas over the illicit recordings.

Watch Kasich defend HB 294, as posted online, below.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate

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There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.

Immigration:

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

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