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Federal judge strikes down anti-abortion Alabama law

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A federal judge on Friday struck down an Alabama law that required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

The ruling comes amid a wave of new abortion laws in states where conservatives are aiming to chip away at the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson in Alabama issued the 53-page ruling, saying the provision in the state’s so-called Women’s Health and Safety Act would effectively close the only abortion clinics in Alabama’s three largest cities: Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham.

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“The staff-privileges requirement would make it impossible for a woman to obtain an abortion in much of the state,” Thompson wrote. “It is certain that thousands of women per year – approximately 40 percent of those seeking abortions in the state – would be unduly burdened.”

Representatives for the Alabama Attorney General’s Office could not be immediately reached on Friday.

Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama, applauded Friday’s order.

“This ruling protects Alabama women and ensures access to safe and legal abortion,” she said in an interview. She added that similar laws being pushed in other states appeared to be a “a concerted effort nationwide,” to scale back abortion rights.

A comparable provision to Alabama’s was part of a law signed in Florida by Republican Governor Rick Scott on Friday, and the U.S. Supreme Court is considering a challenge to an abortion law in Texas, where several clinics have closed due to new restrictions.

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(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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Mitch McConnell continues to be haunted by this Confederate flag photo – but he says he has no regrets

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell explained the origins of an infamous photograph of himself standing in front of a Confederate flag.

The photo has circulated for years, and it's believed to have originated in the early 1990s at an event held at Big Spring Country Club by the Louisville-based John Hunt Morgan Camp 1342 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, reported the Courier-Journal.

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WATCH: Christian parent warns school district that wearing masks is a ‘pagan ritual of satanic worshipers’

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Wisconsin's Elmbrook School District is fully reopening for the coming school year -- a decision that was expectedly met with criticism. Nevertheless, the school is requiring students to wear masks while on campus, and a certain Christian parent took umbrage at the rule, saying social distancing and wearing masks are "pagan rituals of satanic worshipers."

"My kids are Christian they are not subject to wearing masks,” the woman, identified as Heidi Anderson, said at an Elmbrook Board of Education meeting on Tuesday.

"Six-foot distance and masks are pagan rituals of satanic worshipers," Anderson said. "Absorb that in. 6 feet. Where does 6 feet come from, people? Why is not 3? Why is it not 5? Why is it not 10? Why is it not 30? Why is it 6?"

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Trump-loving Catholic Priest accuses Biden-Harris supporters of wanting ‘terrorists’ and ‘bloodshed’

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A very pro-Trump Catholic priest went ballistic after the first joint public appearance of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Wednesday afternoon, attacking Americans showing support for a Biden-Harris landslide.

"Those tweeting #BidenHarris2020Landslide with a desire for it are seeking a landslide of - bloodshed of #unborn babies - persecution of the church - economic debt - criminals in our neighborhoods - new terrorists in the world - taxes," wrote Father Frank Pavone. "And they don't have the integrity to face it."

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