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Alaska Republican worries women are getting abortions so they can take Medicaid-funded vacations

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An Alaska state lawmaker worries Medicaid funding for health care will encourage women to seek abortions for a free trip to the big city.

State Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) claims anecdotal evidence that women were glad to become pregnant so the federal government would pay for them to visit Anchorage or Seattle to get an abortion, reported Alaska Public Media.

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“We’ve created an incentive structure where people are now incentivized to carry their pregnancy longer than they would otherwise and then take part in that when they wouldn’t otherwise be doing it,” Eastman said.

The first-term lawmaker was asked to provide evidence, and he claimed he “certainly knows of specific instances” but declined to provide additional details.

“You have individuals who are in villages and are glad to be pregnant, so that they can have an abortion because there’s a free trip to Anchorage involved,” Eastman told the Associated Press.

Eastman said his constituents from the Wasilla area, where Sarah Palin lives, wanted to eliminate Medicaid funding for abortion.

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The Alaska Supreme Court has ruled that the state must fund medically necessary abortions, although a legislative definition of those has been ruled unconstitutional by a superior court judge and an appeal by the state is pending.

Eastman successfully added an anti-abortion message to an unrelated a resolution to proclaim next April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month.

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His amendment describes abortion as “the ultimate form of child abuse.”

A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands dismissed Eastman’s claims as “ludicrous and despicable.”

“The process for a woman to get to Seattle to access reproductive health care – a full range of reproductive health care – is incredibly challenging,” said spokeswoman Katie Rogers.

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“To even suggest that women are benefiting off the very restrictions that the state has put in place as relates to second-trimester abortions is – it is a new low, even for Rep. Eastman,” she added.

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Enjoy this piece?

… 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 outlets, 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.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Workers at Shell plant told they would not get paid unless they attended Trump’s speech: report

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A new report from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette claims that workers at Royal Dutch Shell’s petrochemical plant in Beaver County this week were told that they had to attend President Donald Trump's speech on energy if they wanted to be paid.

In a memo to union employees obtained by the Post-Gazette, Shell informed workers that their "attendance is not mandatory," but said that if they did not attend the rally, they would have to take a day off without getting paid.

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#EmptySeatMAGATour: Internet hilariously mocks Trump for failing to sell out his campaign rallies

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There were notably some empty seats at President Donald Trump's Thursday night campaign rally in New Hampshire, and now Twitter users are ridiculing the president over his failure to sell out even relatively small venues.

Twitter user Tony Posnanski got the ball rolling on Friday afternoon when he posted a video of Trump talking with several empty seats behind him.

"Trump keeps saying his rallies are full, but doesn’t look like it," Posnanski wrote. "Wow, I would hate for #EmptySeatMAGATour to trend so people knew the truth."

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CNN fact checker tracks down the potential origin of one of Trump’s most baffling lies

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CNN's Daniel Dale, who has made his name as a tireless fact checker of President Donald Trump's many lies and false claims, may have just solved the mystery behind one of the president's biggest whoppers.

During a rally on Thursday night, Trump once again claimed that he had been named "Michigan's Man of the Year," despite the fact that no record of any such award exists. According to Dale, Trump has claimed to have won this nonexistent award no fewer than seven times since November 2016, even though he has never once provided evidence to back up this claim.

Dale on Friday decided to ask for help in tracking down the origins of this lie and he was given a promising lead from former Congressman Dave Trott (R-MI), who says that Trump believed that he received the award during a dinner in which he was invited to speak at in 2013.

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