WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 30: United States Supreme Court (Front L-R) Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Jr., (Back L-R) Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Elena Kagan and Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh pose for their official portrait at the in the East Conference Room at the Supreme Court building November 30, 2018 in Washington, DC. Earlier this month, Chief Justice Roberts publicly defended the independence and integrity of the federal judiciary against President Trump after he called a judge who had ruled against his administration’s asylum policy “an Obama judge.” “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in a statement. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them. That independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.” (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The United States Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a case to block funding for Planned Parenthood, upholding previous rulings from two lower courts.

In 2014, Planned Parenthood sued the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group that produced fake videos of supposed Planned Parenthood officials talking about selling fetal body parts.

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A new Trump administration rule, now under review at the White House budget office, would bar organizations that mention abortion, refer patients elsewhere for abortions, or provide abortions under their roofs from receiving Title X funding. Title X is a federal program that provides at least $260 million a year for contraception, screenings for sexually transmitted diseases and other reproductive health services to millions of low-income people. 

The rule, known by abortion rights advocates as a “gag rule,” is aimed at Planned Parenthood, which congressional Republicans are determined to defund, despite that no federal funds are used to pay for abortions, and many Planned Parenthood clinics offer only birth control, STD treatment, and other reproductive health care, such as cervical and breast cancer screening.

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Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is a favorite to win an Academy Award for his work on Disney's Moana, but his sit-down with The Daily Beast took a different turn when interviewer Marlow Stern asked him to reflect on the election results. Miranda vowed to "keep fighting" for what he believes in under a Donald Trump presidency.

"Obviously I supported the other team quite publicly... But I woke up with a very pronounced case of moral clarity. In addition to the disappointment, it was like, oh, this does not change the things that I believe in," he said. "The things that I believe in that this candidate doesn’t means [sic] we’re going to have to fight for them."

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Ohio state lawmakers have passed a controversial measure that would prohibit women from having abortions from the moment a fetal heartbeat can be detected (which usually occurs about six weeks into pregnancy). House Bill 69––the "Heartbeat Bill" which would make an exception in the event the mother's life is in danger but no exception in cases of rape or incest––now heads to the desk of Governor John Kasich for his signature. The bill, should it pass, would be one of the toughest restrictions on abortion nationwide.

The Ohio Legislature sent the bill to Kasich's desk on Tuesday after considerable legislative maneuvering. Republican legislators added the bill's language last minute to House Bill 493, a bill revising state child abuse and neglect laws. The Senate voted twice: First, they approved 20-11 the decision to include the "Heartbeat Bill" language in HB493. Senators then passed the bill with a 21-10 vote after they approved the amendment. Once the bill went back into the House, senators approved the revised bill 56-39. In a statement, Senator Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander) said "we are a pro-life caucus" and signaled that passing the legislation "demonstrates our commitment to protecting the children of Ohio at every stage of life."

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[DIGEST: HuffPo, The Hill, Chicago Tribune]

The GOP has waged a longstanding battle with Planned Parenthood, ostensibly over its abortion services. However, that procedure represents just three percent of the organization’s services, and by law, taxpayer money already cannot be used for abortions. Planned Parenthood does, however, receive $450 million in federal dollars to provide other services to low-income and uninsured people, including cancer screening, treatment of urinary tract and yeast infections,  contraception services for men and women, and treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.

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Last summer, the media unleashed covert videos made by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress. The videos purported to show Planned Parenthood involved in the illegal sale of fetal tissue—a claim which Planned Parenthood strenuously denied. (Federal law allows providers to accept donations for processing tissue, but not to profit from it.)

Credit: Source.

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Who is the archetypal American single mother? Is she a divorced professional who juggles motherhood and a stressful career in a frenzied attempt to “have it all”? Or is she a young, unwed mother, unemployed and welfare-bound? The truth is, there is no archetypal single mother, regardless of what entertainment and media would have us believe. These two familiar extremes ignore the myriad ways in which women become single mothers, as well as the diversity of the women themselves. What about single mothers who happen to be lesbians, or women of color, or working class women? Those characters, and their struggles, aren't easily found on prime-time TV sitcoms or among book club selections.

Staceyann Chin is a multitasking single mother. When I first spoke with her, she was standing at the curb in front of her Brooklyn apartment building, one arm reaching out to hail a taxi to pick up her daughter, the other holding her phone to her ear. Sound familiar?

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