Tag Archives: women’s health

This week in the GOP’s war on the civil rights of women and LGBTQ

The House on Tuesday approved a bill banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, advancing a key GOP priority for the third time in the past four years — this time, with a supportive Republican president in the White House. The purpose of the bill is to create a direct legal challenge to Roe v. Wade, which provides for access to abortion in the first 24 weeks.  With Trump’s backing, House approves ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy:

The bill, known as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, is not expected to emerge from the Senate, where most Democrats and a handful of moderate Republicans can block its consideration. But antiabortion activists are calling President Trump’s endorsement of the bill a significant advance for their movement.

The White House said in a statement released Monday that the administration “strongly supports” the legislation “and applauds the House of Representatives for continuing its efforts to secure critical pro-life protections.”

The bill provides for abortions after 20 weeks gestation only when they are necessary to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. Under the bill, abortions performed during that period could be carried out “only in the manner which, in reasonable medical judgment, provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive” — note, not the life of the mother — and would require a second physician trained in neonatal resuscitation to be present.

How Arizona’s congressional delegation voted:

Stricter Abortion Ban: The House on Oct. 3 voted, 237-189, to outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of fertilization on the belief that the fetus can feel pain by then. This repudiates Roe v. Wade’s ruling that abortion is legal up to viability that occurs at about 24 weeks or later. A yes vote was to pass HR 36

Voting yes: Martha McSally, R-2, Paul Gosar, R-4, Andy Biggs, R-5, David Schweikert, R-6, Trent Franks, R-8

Voting no: Tom O’Halleran, D-1, Raul Grijalva, D-3, Ruben Gallego, D-7, Kyrsten Sinema, D-9

Women’s Health Exemption: The House on Oct. 3 defeated, 181-246, a bid by Democrats to add an overall woman’s health exemption to HR 36 to go with exemptions already in the bill in cases of incest or rape or to save the mother’s life. A yes vote was to permit abortions after 20 weeks if necessary to protect the mother’s health.

Voting Yes: O’Halleran, Grijalva, Gallego, Sinema

Voting No: McSally, Gosar, Biggs, Schweikert, Franks

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Senate begins work to repeal ‘ObamaCare’ and to defund Planned Parenthood through the budget reconciliation process

I warned you about this months ago.  The authoritarian Tea-Publcians intend to use the budget reconciliation process to complete the budget that the last Congress failed to pass as the vehicle for repealing the Affordable Care Act aka “ObamamCare” and to give their wealthy benefactors a massive tax cut. They have also now added defunding Planned Parenthood to the reconciliation bill.

The reason for this is that under the budget reconciliation process, it only requires a simple majority vote and there is no filibuster in the Senate. Eddie Munster’s Monstrous Plan for America (snippet):

POLITICO Tiger Beat on The Potomac, reports Ryan plans to steamroll Democrats with budget tool:

If Donald Trump is elected president and Republicans hold onto Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan is bluntly promising to ram a partisan agenda through Capitol Hill next year, with Obamacare repeal and trillion-dollar tax cuts likely at the top of the list. And Democrats would be utterly defenseless to stop them.

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EddieMunsterRyan peeled back the curtain on his strategy at a news conference last week after a reporter suggested he would struggle to implement his ambitious agenda next year. After all, it was noted, Republicans are certain to lack the 60 votes needed in the Senate to break Democratic filibusters on legislation. So Ryan gave a minitutorial on congressional rules and the bazooka in his pocket for the assembled reporters.

“This is our plan for 2017,” Ryan said, waving a copy of his “Better Way” policy agenda. “Much of this you can do through budget reconciliation.” He explained that key pieces are “fiscal in nature,” meaning they can be moved quickly through a budget maneuver that requires a simple majority in the Senate and House. “This is our game plan for 2017,” Ryan said again to the seemingly unconvinced press.

The New York Times has an explainer piece on The Parliamentary Tactic That Could Obliterate Obamacare.

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The GOP war on women’s reproductive rights under Trump begins

Women’s reproductive rights are now in the cross-hairs of the Forced Birthers, and Roe v. Wade is threatened by the Trump administration. Empowered by Trump, Ohio legislature passes ‘heartbeat’ bill that would ban most abortions:

abortionOhio lawmakers passed a bill late Tuesday that would prohibit abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected — at around six weeks, before many women realize they are pregnant.

If Gov. John Kasich (R) signs the bill, it would pose a direct challenge to Supreme Court decisions that have found that women have a constitutional right to abortion until the point of viability, which is typically pegged around 24 weeks. Similar bills have been blocked by the courts. Because of this, even many antiabortion advocates have opposed such measures.

But some Ohio Republicans said they were empowered to support the bill because of President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 high court decision that legalized abortion nationally.

There is one vacancy on the Supreme Court, left by Antonin Scalia, a conservative justice who died this year. Another conservative justice in his place would not likely change the dynamics of the court enough to alter the chances for such a bill. But that could change if Trump gets the opportunity during his term to appoint a replacement for one of the more liberal justices.

The vote is the latest sign that Trump’s election has energized conservatives on cultural matters, even as his campaign was built around an economic message. Social conservatives were heartened by his choice for vice president, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), who shepherded some of the nation’s strictest abortion laws in his state. They have watched approvingly as his cabinet picks have almost uniformly been outspoken against abortion rights.

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Donald Trump cleaves the Christian Right

One of the strangest occurrences in the 2016 election is how the fundie Christian Right chose to support Donald Trump, of all people, over one of their own in the GOP primary. What is even more difficult to believe is that many of them are standing by Trump even after the revelations of the past week.

The leaders of the fundie Christian Right have pledged their fealty to Donald Trump (hmmm, I’m pretty sure this violates the first two Commandments somehow). ‘Still the best candidate’: Some evangelicals still back Trump despite lewd video:

gop-elephant-w-flag-crossRalph Reed, a conservative Christian activist and the head of Trump’s religious advisory board, said that as the father of two daughters, he was disappointed by the “inappropriate” comments. “But people of faith are voting on issues like who will protect unborn life, defend religious freedom, grow the economy, appoint conservative judges and oppose the Iran nuclear deal,” he said in an email. “I think a 10-year-old tape of a private conversation with a TV talk show host ranks pretty low on their hierarchy of their concerns,” he said.

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David Brody from the Christian Broadcasting Network tweeted, “This just in: Donald Trump is a flawed man! We ALL sin every single day. What if we had a ‘hot mic’ around each one of us all the time?”

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Legislative District 9 races

Legislative District 9 was considered a competitive district when it was redistricted in 2012. A Republican, Ethan Orr, was elected to the House that year, but lost to Democrat Dr. Randall Friese just two years later.

FarleyDemocratic Senator Steve Farley is unopposed in the general election, mostly because he is popular in his district, and he has risen as a leader in the Democratic Caucus in the Senate.  Farley was named by the Arizona Republic as one of 16 Arizonans to Watch in 2016, and voted Best Arizona Democratic Elected Official in 2016 by readers and reporters of the Arizona Capitol Times. His legislative priorities are public education, jobs and economic development, senior issues, public safety, transportation choices, sustainable growth, fiscal health, and quality of life. He has repeatedly been named Conservation Hero by the Arizona League of Conservation Voters, and Legislative Champion by the Arizona League of Towns and Cities.

If Democrats can pick up enough seats to gain a 15-15 tie in the Senate, Farley will be running for a leadership position.

ld9houseIn the House, there is one Democratic incumbent and a Democrat and Republican newcomer for the open House seat.

Dr. Randall Friese has proven to be quite popular in the district since his election in 2014. Dr. Friese joined the University of Arizona College of Medicine as a member of the Trauma Team. In this role he is a Professor of Surgery where he trains young doctors, he is the Associate Medical Director and he is one of nine UAMC Trauma Surgeons that care for the injured in southern Arizona. Dr. Friese was one of the Trauma Surgeons who cared for the victims of the Jan 8 shootings in Tucson.

Dr. Friese focuses on healthcare issues, including the epidemic of gun violence. Dr. Friese believes that gun violence is a public health issue. Most recently Dr. Friese was instrumental in adding Arizona to the National Violent Death Reporting System. This allows Arizona to gather, and share with the Centers for Disease Control, statistics concerning violent deaths in Arizona. This is an important first step towards finding real solutions to gun violence.

Arizona’s “citizen legislature” definitely needs a doctor with Dr. Friese’s knowledge, background and experience.

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LD 2 House Race: Gabaldón and Hernandez v. Ackerley

Tea-Publicans in “blue” Pima County have a simple strategy for picking off House seats in Democratic voter registration districts: single-shot voting. If all Tea-Publicans vote for only their candidate out of GOP tribalism, and Democratic voters fail to do the same with their candidates — as they frequently do — it is statistically possible for a Tea-Publican to steal a seat.

ld2-houseThis is what happened in 2014 when John Christopher “Chris” Ackerley, in his second run for office, managed to defeat Demion Clinco, who had been appointed to the House seat earlier in the year to fill a vacancy. There were a number of reasons for Clinco’s loss, but better name ID and favorable reporting in the Green Valley News and Sahuarita Sun certainly were factors.

Ackerley is a math and physics teacher who runs on education issues. He is frequently cast by the media as a “moderate” because he is sane and occasionally departs from his party’s ideological leadership, e.g., referring to Governor Ducey’s and the GOP leadership’s budget for K-12 education funding and Prop. 123  as the “robbing Peter to pay Paul plan”; he was a sponsor of the bill to restore JTED funding slashed by the previous Tea-Publican legislature; he voted to restore KidsCare funding over the GOP leadership’s objection; and he voted against SB 1516, the GOP’s “dark money on steroids” bill, which was enacted into law.

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