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GOP-appointed judge blocks North Dakota law that forces doctors to lie that abortions can be ‘reversed’

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On Tuesday, a federal judge in North Dakota temporarily blocked a GOP-sponsored abortion “counseling” law that forces doctors to lie to their patients.

Judge Daniel Hovland, an appointee of President George W. Bush and the Chief Judge for the District of North Dakota, declared that the law is likely unconstitutional and will not survive scrutiny by a higher court.

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The law would have mandated that doctors tell patients, among other things, that abortions can be “reversed” halfway through if a woman changes her mind.

“Legislation which forces physicians to tell their patients, as part of informed consent, that ‘it may be possible’ to reverse or cure an ailment, disease, illness, surgical procedure, or the effects of any medication — in the absence of any medical or scientific evidence to support such a message — is unsound, misplaced, and would not survive a constitutional challenge under any level of scrutiny,” wrote Hovland.

Medication abortions are typically performed in two stages: a dose of mifepristone, which blocks the synthesis of the hormone progesterone, followed within 48 hours by a dose of misoprostol, which causes the uterus to evacuate. Anti-abortion activists have pushed the idea that women on this regimen can “reverse” the abortion by skipping the misoprostol and instead taking a gigantic dose of progesterone.

There is no medical research whatsoever to support the idea that this is effective or safe — and in any case, contrary to the entire premise that there is an epidemic of women regretting their abortions and wanting to undo them, studies have shown that 95 percent of women who have abortions are confident in their decision.

This year, buoyed by the appointment of a number of new right-wing judges to the federal courts, Republicans in statehouses around the country are pushing increasingly aggressive anti-abortion laws, including near-total bans in some states. So far, federal judges are broadly still finding these laws invalid, voiding them in Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio.

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Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan to give up royal titles — ‘the hardest #Megxit possible’

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Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will give up their royal titles and public funding as part of a settlement with the Queen to start a new life away from the British monarchy.

The historic announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the globetrotting couple's shock resignation from front-line royal duties.

It means Queen Elizabeth II's grandson Harry and his American TV actress wife Meghan will stop using the titles "royal highness" -- the same fate that befell his late mother Princess Diana after her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.

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GOP senator tells home-state press that impeachment trial must be ‘viewed as fair’: report

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Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) spoke to local reporters on Saturday about her role in the upcoming Donald Trump impeachment trial.

Murkowski explained she would likely vote with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on an initial vote on whether to allow witnesses. However, she left the door open to voting for witnesses after House impeachment managers make their opening case.

"I don't know what more we need until I have been given the base case," she said. "We will have that opportunity to say 'yes' or 'no' ... and if we say 'yes,' the floor is open."

Overall, Murkowski said it was important for the trial to been viewed as fair.

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White House press secretary urged to do her job: ‘We don’t pay you to be a Twitter troll’

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White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was blasted on Saturday over the confusion resulting from her refusal to hold daily press briefings.

CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy was alarmed that Grisham's assistant, Hogan Gidley, was forcing reporters to refer to his remarks as coming from a "sources close to the President's legal team."

Darcy noted that Trump had repeatedly questioned the veracity of unnamed sources, making it problematic for Gidley to demand to be quoted as such.

https://twitter.com/oliverdarcy/status/1218704788432572422

Grisham responded to the criticism and asked Darcy to "stop with the righteous indignation.

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