Tag: abortion

Amy Coney Barrett dodges abortion, healthcare and election law questions

On the second day of hearings before the Senate judiciary committee, Democrats pressed supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on healthcare, election law and abortion rights – and met with little success.



a person standing in front of a counter: Photograph: Demetrius Freeman/EPA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Demetrius Freeman/EPA

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Donald Trump’s third nominee for the highest court dodged questions on how she might rule on a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA); if she would recuse herself from any lawsuit about the presidential election; and whether she would vote to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v Wade, which made abortion legal.



a man standing in front of a counter: Supreme court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies during the Senate judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday.


© Photograph: Demetrius Freeman/EPA
Supreme court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies during the Senate judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday.

Barrett argued that she was not a pundit, citing remarks by Justice Elena Kagan and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg in saying that outside of reviewing a specific case, it was not her place to offer a position.

“No hints, no previews, no forecasts,” Barrett quoted Ginsburg as saying, after the California senator Dianne Feinstein questioned her about how she might rule in any case challenging the legality of abortion.

Barrett is a devout Catholic whose previous statements and affiliations have been closely examined by Democrats and the media. Trump has said overturning Roe v Wade would be “possible” with Barrett on the court.

At another point in Tuesday’s hearing, Barrett cited Kagan in saying she would not give “a thumbs up or thumbs down” on any hypothetical ruling.

Most of the questioning from Democrats centered on the ACA, known popularly as Obamacare, and how a ruling by the high court overturning the law would take away healthcare from millions of Americans. A hearing is due a week after election day. Democrats see protecting the ACA as a productive electoral tactic, having focused on it in the 2018 midterms, when they took back the House.

Barrett said she was not hostile to the ACA, or indeed abortion or gay rights, another area worrying progressives as the court seems set to tilt to a 6-3 conservative majority. Barrett said she was simply focused on upholding the law.

“I am not hostile to the ACA,” Barrett said. “I apply the law, I follow the law. You make the policy.”

Video: Barrett refuses to address whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned, despite prodding from Sen. Feinstein (CNBC)

Barrett refuses to address whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned, despite prodding from Sen. Feinstein

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Asked about gay rights, Barrett said: “I would not discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.”

Her choice of words conspicuously suggested that to her, sexuality is a choice. Amid scrutiny of Barrett’s past, meanwhile, it has been reported that she was a trustee at a school whose handbook included stated opposition to same-sex marriage

Republican senators also questioned Barrett on healthcare, the Iowa senator Chuck Grassley asking if she had been asked during the nomination process if

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South Korea proposes compromise abortion law after landmark court ruling

The Daily Beast

White Male Prof Allegedly Posed as Woman of Color to Bully Women

“The Science Femme” claimed to be a female academic. She claimed to have upended efforts by her social justice-obsessed department to draft a statement condemning racism.And when Twitter users accused her of racism, she claimed to be a woman of color herself—and an immigrant to boot.But The Science Femme, who tweeted from the handle @piney_the, wasn’t any of those things, digital sleuths began alleging late last month. Instead, they claimed, “she” was Craig Chapman, a white male assistant professor of chemistry at the University of New Hampshire. The allegations, bolstered by an internal chemistry department email, would make Chapman at least the fourth white academic revealed to have posed as a person of color in recent weeks.In three of those cases, academics are accused of shamelessly trying to further their own careers. But in Chapman’s case, Twitter users who came into contact with @piney_the say the account harassed real women working in science.The University of New Hampshire said the incident was under investigation.“UNH was recently made aware of allegations on social media about a member of its faculty,” a spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “We are deeply troubled by what we’ve learned so far and immediately launched an investigation. The employee at the center of allegations on social media is on leave and not in the classroom. In order to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation the university is unable to comment further.”Chapman did not return repeated requests for comment for this story. Both his account and @piney_the were deleted last week.Susanna Harris, a microbiology Ph.D. holder who currently works in science communications, first noticed the @piney_the Twitter account in July.“They put out this huge long thread about how they, as a woman of color in science, a professor, made a big change in their university by shutting down diversity, equity, and inclusion work,” Harris, who is white, told The Daily Beast.Harris wasn’t the only person to make note of the thread, in which @piney_the claimed to have been “successful in killing my dept’s woke statement on recent social unrest.” The viral thread earned write-ups in conservative publications like RedState, which lauded the efforts to derail an anti-racism statement. Some academics were suspicious of the claims, coming from an anonymous professor at an unnamed university.“I did a little bit of poking around to see if there was any chance this was a real person,” Harris recalled. “I’ve been on Twitter for a while and nothing about their account said anything to make me think this is a genuine account.”Other Twitter users had raised similar concerns earlier this year. @piney_the was an especially combative Twitter personality, who frequently tangled with the left online. The account described a female opponent in explicit anatomical terms on at least one occasion, repeatedly railed against transgender people, and posted censored nude pictures of former Rep. Katie Hill. Hill, a former California politician, resigned last year after those pictures were

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Joe Biden says he’ll push new abortion rights law if Supreme Court overrules Roe v. Wade

Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden said Monday he would work to pass legislation codifying the right to obtain an abortion if the Supreme Court takes action to undermine Roe v. Wade, the 1973 high court ruling that recognized abortion rights.

At a Miami, Florida town hall held by NBC, a female participant asked Mr. Biden how he would respond if the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade because she was fearful of President Trump appointing Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the high court.

“Considering the new Supreme Court nomination of [Judge] Amy Coney Barrett, what are your plans to protect women’s reproductive rights in the U.S.?” the female questioner asked.

“Number one, we don’t know exactly what she will do, although the expectation is that she may very well move to over, overview, overrule Roe,” Mr. Biden answered. “The only responsible response to that would be to pass legislation making Roe the law of the land. That’s what I would do.”

Mr. Biden has been reluctant to criticize Judge Barrett by name on the campaign trail. At the first presidential debate opposite President Trump last month, Mr. Biden said he was “not opposed” to Judge Barrett personally and added, “She seems like a very fine person.”

Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Judge Barrett’s nomination are scheduled to begin next Monday, Oct. 12, at 9 a.m.

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Part of Tennessee abortion law blocked by federal judge

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Gov. Bill Lee on Monday signed into law the state’s wide-ranging abortion ban banning abortions after the point a fetal heartbeat can be detected along with other restrictions.

Nashville Tennessean

A federal judge this week temporarily blocked a section of Tennessee’s new abortion law requiring doctors to share controversial information about medication abortions, saying there is evidence the law might violate the First Amendment.

U.S. District Judge William L. Campbell, Jr. issued the ruling Tuesday, two days before that portion of the law was set to go into effect.

Campbell said in legal filings that his order blocking the law could remain in place for months while legal arguments for and against a longer term preliminary injunction are under consideration.

Among other things, the new state law requires clinics to notify patients that medication abortions, which are induced by pills, may be reversible. Providers who fail to do so could face criminal felony charges.

Abortion providers sued the state in federal court to block the law, saying it unconstitutionally required them to share “false and misleading” information with their patients.

In a filing last week, Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk, one of the named defendants, said he wouldn’t enforce the provision because he considers it unconstitutional.

Related: Nashville DA Glenn Funk won’t enforce Tennessee abortion law, says it’s unconstitutional

There is no conclusive medical proof such that it is possible to reverse medication abortions, called “chemical abortions” in the legislation.

Abortion providers said they have experts ready to testify such a reversal is not possible. The state points to research from doctors suggesting it could be possible.

Campbell said he would consider testimony from dueling experts at a hearing. In the meantime, he said, the abortion providers had justified blocking the law temporarily.

Related: Gov. Bill Lee signs controversial Tennessee abortion restriction measure into law

Campbell said his decision was guided in part by the fact that the law requires providers to refer patients to the Tennessee Department of Health for more information on reversing medication abortions despite the fact that the health department has yet to compile that information.

“With this built-in delay, (the law) requires abortion providers to tell patients that ‘information on and assistance with reversing the effects of a chemical abortion’ is available on the Department of Health website, when in fact, such information and assistance may not be available,” Campbell wrote.

“Consequently, the mandated message contains misleading information.”

A hearing to debate the provision is set for Oct. 13, although Campbell suggested he might push it back 90 days to allow both sides time to prepare.

The ACLU of Tennessee, which is representing abortion providers in the lawsuit, celebrated the ruling in a statement.

“This decision is a victory for patients, who rightfully expect factual and clear information from their personal doctors,” said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee.

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