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Texas women who get abortions would lose voting rights if Republican lawmaker has his way

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Access to reproductive healthcare and rights has been increasingly under fire since President-elect Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory. In the two months since the election, federal and state lawmakers across the country have introduced aggressive anti-abortion bills.

The Texas GOP opened its new session in mid-November with a bill that would force people to bury or cremate fetal remains. On Wednesday, legislators took the war on reproductive rights a step further.

Republican Rep. Tony Tinderholt introduced a bill titled “Abolition of Abortion in Texas Act,” which would both ban and criminalize the procedure altogether by making abortion — and the provision of the procedure — a felony.

The bill recognizes “the rights, powers, and privileges of all unborn children at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth,” and categorizes the fetus as a “living human child.”

In turn, abortion would be treated as a criminal homicide, except in cases where the individual’s life is at risk due to complications during pregnancy. This also means that anyone who has an abortion or provides the procedure could face felony charges and lose their right to vote.

The proposed bill would be at odds with the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling and seems unlikely to pass. University of Texas law professor Sanford Levinson told the Texas Observer, “This is a latter-day attempt at nullification of federal law or Supreme Court decisions, and it’s not going to work. Period.”

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Levinson added, “There is simply no doubt whatsoever that it is unconstitutional under current law.” However, that it was introduced in the first place is telling of the fight ahead for basic reproductive rights and the Texas GOP has made their platform very clear.

In their agenda for the new session, the Republican Party of Texas stated that abolishing abortion and “stopping the murder of unborn children” are among their priorities.

Legislators and organizations advocating for reproductive freedom are bracing themselves for the work ahead under the Trump administration. There are already at least 46 anti-abortion bills facing state legislatures at this time.

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QAnon authors in a fight over doing an audiobook — because they think their followers can’t read

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On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that the authors of a popular book for believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory are in a bitter fight over whether or not to release an audiobook version.

QAnon: An Invitation to The Great Awakening came out last year and peaked near the top of the Amazon bestseller list in March. One of the book's co-authors, Dustin Nemos, is publicly attacking another co-author, who goes by the name of "JoeM," for his "petty and hostile and paranoid" refusal to help produce an audiobook, and notes that it is necessary because a disproportionate number of QAnon believers are elderly, have bad eyesight, and may not be able to read the book as text. JoeM, for his part, has accused Nemos of being a "grifter" who is trying to make a buck off of true believers.

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Missouri governor appoints judge who fundraised for crisis pregnancy center to help decide Planned Parenthood’s license

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On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO) has appointed former Macon County Associate Circuit Judge Philip Prewitt to the Administrative Hearing Commission, a state agency that oversees disputes between the state and organizations seeking licensure.

Prewitt, a former Republican candidate for office, once fundraised on Facebook for Ray of Hope Pregnancy Care Ministeries, a "crisis pregnancy center" that masquerades as a health care facility in order to trick women seeking abortions into listening to anti-abortion propaganda. In 2015, the Missouri Supreme Court reprimanded Prewitt for the post encouraging people to donate, saying that it violated judicial ethics rules.

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Trump being a ‘compulsive liar and erratic ignoramus’ is why he failed on Iran: Conservative columnist

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President Donald Trump's highly-criticized decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has resulted as was warned, with the country reviving its nuclear program, a conservative columnist explained in The Washington Post on Monday.

Conservative Max Boot took a victory lap in the hard-hitting column, reminding that he had signed a March 2016 letter by 121 Republican foreign policy analysts warning about Trump's approach.

"I wish we had been wrong, but we were all too right," Boot wrote.

"Trump has shown no ability to grow in office; but then it’s hard to learn if you all you read is Fox News chyrons. He is today the same compulsive liar and erratic ignoramus he was at the start of the 2016 campaign," Boot said. "Only now, the stakes are much higher."

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