Roundup: FBI Monitoring Scott Roeder’s Visitors

Emily Douglas

FBI is monitoring Scott Roeder's visitors; "death panel" rumors are false; US Conference of Cathoic Bishops says Capps Amendment is not enough to prevent public funding of abortion through health care reform.

FBI Monitoring Scott Roeder’s Visitors
Alleged killer of Dr.
George Tiller Scott Roeder, while in Kansas’ Sedgwick County jail, has
been visited by a number of anti-abortion extremists, including "two
convicted clinic bombers and several activists who once signed a
declaration that defended the killing of abortion doctors," reports the Chicago Tribune,
and the FBI is now monitoring and talking to those visitors.  The
anti-choice activists who have visited him insist that there is no
conspiracy afoot.  Roeder’s trial is scheduled for September 21.

"Death Panel" Rumors False

"There is nothing in any of the legislative proposals that would call
for the creation of death panels or any other governmental body that
would cut off care for the critically ill as a cost-cutting measure," the New York Times explains,
despite a rash of right-wing pundits and politicians recently
circulating the "death panel" myth.  The myth has a "mainstream
provenance, openly emanating months ago from many of the same pundits
and conservative media outlets that were central in defeating President
Bill Clinton’s
health care proposals 16 years ago, including the editorial board of
The Washington Times, the American Spectator magazine and Betsy McCaughey,
whose 1994 health care critique made her a star of the conservative
movement (and ultimately, New York’s lieutenant governor)," the Times
explains.

US Conference of Catholic Bishops Says Capps Amendment Not Enough
Despite yet another clear-sighted analysis of the status of abortion coverage post-health care reform — ABC News reports,
"One version of the House reform bill, by the House Energy and Commerce
Committee, would allow health plans to cover abortions, as long as they
were paid for entirely with private funds.
That provision is made in an amendment by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif." —
the "U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a letter
condemning the House Democrats’ healthcare plan, alleging that the plan’s purported prohibition on federal funds for abortion is a ‘legal fiction,’" Dan Gilgoff reports on US News & World Report.  According to the USCCB, funding coming from the government is "fungible" and would therefore end up supporting abortion care, even if plans in the health insurance exchange paid for abortion care through privately-paid premiums.

Other News to Note
August 14: Catholic Exchange: Position Statement of the National Association of Pro-life Nurses on Health Care Legislation

August 14: Medical News Today: Many Women Not Using Safest Brands Of Contraceptive Pill, UK

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August 14: Prague Daily Monitor: Median: Czechs use mainly condoms, pills as contraception

August 14: Vindy.com: Ryan in the crosshairs of pro-life groups

August 13: Examiner: It’s time to stop calling them “pro-life”

August 13: KSN: Group petitioning against Neb. abortion provider

August 13: Daily Herald: (Letters) Reform plan expands access to abortion

August 13: Courier-Journal: Anti-abortion group wants Pitino out

August 13: LifeSiteNews: Louisville Pro-Life Students Call for Dismissal of Coach who Killed Unborn Child to Cover Up Affair

August 13: LifeSiteNews: ND Judge Refuses Bid by Pro-Abortion Legal Group to Halt Informed Consent Law

August 13: Flesh and Stone: Pro-choice religious leaders urge Congress to maintain abortion access in health care reform

August 14: My SA: Teen pregnancy prevention program will be diminished

August 14: AIDSMap: Less than one in five people with HIV in Kenya and Malawi know they are infected

August 14: Bloomberg: Women Should Take Safest Birth-Control Pill, Researchers Say

August 13: Hampton Roads: Deeds presses pro-choice argument

August 13: LATimes: Birth control pill decreases urinary incontinence

August 13: BeliefNet: De-Fusing the Abortion Bomb on Health Care Reform — More Ideas!

August 14: Bangladesh New Nation: Redrawing the population policy

August 13: WSJ: Keeping Health Reform Neutral on Abortion

August 13: True/Slant: Rick Pitino and Abortion Politics

August 13: THOnline: Planned Parenthood reducing need for abortions

August 13: Globe and Mail: We need fewer barriers to abortion, not more

August 13: KFYR: Abortion Law Challenge

Analysis Politics

Timeline: Donald Trump’s Shifting Position on Abortion Rights

Ally Boguhn

Trump’s murky position on abortion has caused an uproar this election season as conservatives grapple with a Republican nominee whose stance on the issue has varied over time. Join Rewire for a look back at the business mogul's changing views on abortion.

For much of the 2016 election cycle, Donald Trump’s seemingly ever-changing position on reproductive health care and abortion rights has continued to draw scrutiny.

Trump was “totally pro-choice” in 1999, but “pro-life” by 2011. He wanted to shut down the government to defund Planned Parenthood in August 2015, but claimed “you can’t go around and say that” about such measures two months later. He thinks Planned Parenthood does “very good work” but wants to see it lose all of its funding as long as it offers abortion care. And, perhaps most notoriously, in late March of this year Trump took multiple stances over the course of just a few hours on whether those who have abortions should be punished if it became illegal.

With the hesitancy of anti-choice groups to fully embrace Trump—and with pro-choice organizations like Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and EMILY’s List all backing his opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton—it is likely his stance on abortion will remain a key election issue moving into November.

Join Rewire for a look back at the business mogul’s changing views on abortion.

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News Law and Policy

Federal Judge Guts Florida GOP’s Omnibus Anti-Choice Law

Teddy Wilson

"For many people, Planned Parenthood is the only place they can turn to,” said Barbara Zdravecky, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. “We may be the only place they can go in their community, or the only place that offers the screening or birth control method they need. No one should have their basic health care taken away."

A federal judge on Thursday permanently blocked two provisions of a Florida omnibus anti-choice law that banned Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds and required annual inspections of all clinics that provide abortion services, reported the Associated Press.

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle issued an order in June to delay implementation of the law.

“The Supreme Court has repeatedly said that a government cannot prohibit indirectly—by withholding otherwise-available public funds—conduct that the government could not constitutionally prohibit directly,” Hinkle wrote in the 25-page ruling.  

Thursday’s decision came after Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s administration decided not to pursue further legal action to defend the law, and filed a joint motion to end the litigation.

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Hinkle issued a three page decision making the injunction permanent.

HB 1411, sponsored by Rep. Colleen Burton (R-Lakeland), was passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature in March.

The judge’s ruling nixed provisions in the law that banned state funding of abortion care and required yearly clinic inspections. Other provisions of the law that remain in effect include additional reporting requirements for abortion providers, redefining “third trimester,” and revising the care of fetal remains.

The GOP-backed anti-choice law has already had a damaging effect in Palm Beach County, where Planned Parenthood was forced to end a program that focused on teen dropout prevention.

Barbara Zdravecky, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, said in a statement that the ruling was a “victory for thousands of Floridians” who rely on the organization for reproductive health care.

“For many people, Planned Parenthood is the only place they can turn to,” Zdravecky said. “We may be the only place they can go in their community, or the only place that offers the screening or birth control method they need. No one should have their basic health care taken away.”

A spokesperson for Scott told Reuters that the administration is “reviewing” the decision.

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