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Texas Republican says women who have abortions to should ‘absolutely’ be punished as murderers

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Rep. Ron Wright (Image credit: YouTube)

Rep. Ron Wright (R-TX) told reproductive rights activists that women should “absolutely” face punishment for self-managed abortions.

The video, originally uploaded on May 30 by Reproaction and picked up by the Dallas Morning News, shows Wright, who represents Arlington, saying that “as far as I’m concerned, it’s murder” and saying that women should “absolutely” be punished for having abortions. At that point, Wright’s chief of staff Micah Cavanaugh stepped in and ended the exchange.

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Roughly one in four women have an abortion at some point in their lives. The sustained attacks by the GOP on legal abortion and declining number of clinics, as well as the possibility that the conservative Supreme Court could abolish the constitutional right to an abortion altogether, have raised the possibility that millions of women in many parts of the country soon could need to resort to dangerous homemade methods to end pregnancies, possibly causing injury or death.

Wright’s vision of punishing women for self-managed abortions is arguably even more extreme than the system that existed prior to Roe v. Wade. From the 1880s to the 1970s, when abortion was banned across the entire nation, it was possible to prosecute women, but it was very rare — rather, law enforcement tended to go after doctors that helped them, and usually only targeted women to try to force them to testify against providers. Newer abortion bans, like the one that just passed in Georgia, much more clearly lay out how the women themselves would be imprisoned.

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2020 Election

Democrats to elevate Biden-Harris at unique online confab

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US Democrats kick off an unprecedented political experiment beginning Monday, an all-virtual national convention that nominates Joe Biden as their White House candidate to battle Donald Trump in the heat of a deadly pandemic.

With his vice presidential pick Kamala Harris, the first woman of color on a major US presidential ticket, Biden is campaigning to unify a nation ravaged by political and racial turmoil, voter suppression concerns and profound anxiety over the devastating coronavirus crisis.

But the running mates will deliver their message, aiming to inspire the Democratic base while luring frustrated Republicans, under unique circumstances: a four-day Democratic National Convention conducted entirely online.

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2020 Election

Trump fans false birther theory about Kamala Harris

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US President Donald Trump has stoked false claims that Democratic vice-presidential contender Kamala Harris is ineligible to hold that office because her parents were foreign born.

The claims about Harris -- who was born in the United States, making her constitutionally eligible to be both vice president and president -- echo a baseless theory that Trump long promoted about his predecessor Barack Obama.

"I heard it today that she doesn't meet the requirements," Trump said at a White House news conference on Thursday, referring to an August 12 opinion piece in Newsweek.

The article by conservative law professor John Eastman says that "before we so cavalierly accept Senator Harris' eligibility for the office of vice president, we should ask her a few questions about the status of her parents at the time of her birth."

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A son of a slave reflects on his American story

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At 88, Dan Smith has witnessed some of the defining moments in America's fraught battle for racial equality.

He protested in Alabama, marched on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr, and attended the inauguration of the first black president, Barack Obama.

He also represents a living link to the nation's dark past: his father Abram was born a slave, 157 years ago.

As a boy, his elderly father told chilling stories: about the "hanging tree" where slaves were lynched, and the master who forced a slave to lick a wagon wheel. The man lost part of his tongue when it froze to the steel.

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