Alabama Passes Near Total Ban on Abortions

Posted: May 16, 2019, 1:46 am

The U.S. state of Alabama has passed a law that criminalizes abortion in nearly all cases, including pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. Tough abortion laws were earlier adopted in the states of Ohio, Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi. A growing number of other states hostile to abortion could follow suit. The trend is raising fears that conservatives will seek to make abortion illegal across the country, forcing women to opt for unsafe methods to end unwanted pregnancies.

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Alabama Legislature Approves Ban on Nearly All Abortions

Posted: May 15, 2019, 7:12 am

Alabama Legislature Approves Ban on Nearly All Abortions Senator Clyde Chambliss (R), center, is seen with other senators during a state Senate vote on the strictest anti-abortion bill in the United States at the Alabama Legislature in Montgomery, Alabama, May 14, 2019. Lawmakers in the southeastern U.S. state of Alabama passed a near-total ban on abortion Tuesday, sending what would be the nation's most stringent abortion law to the state's Republican governor.
The Republican-dominated Senate voted 25-6 to make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years or life in prison for the abortion provider. The only exception would be when the woman's health is at serious risk.
Senators rejected an attempt to add an exception for rape and incest.
Supporters said the bill is designed to spark a court case that might prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationally.
The spokeswoman..

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With $1 Million Donation, Activists Renew Green New Deal Push in US Election

Posted: May 6, 2019, 6:58 pm

With $1 Million Donation, Activists Renew Green New Deal Push in US Election FILE – U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) hold a news conference for their proposed Green New Deal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Feb. 7, 2019. Young activists pressuring U.S. lawmakers to aggressively tackle climate change and reject fossil fuel company donations got their first major financial boost Monday from a foundation that wants to “amplify” the Green New Deal movement ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
The Wallace Global Fund, a nonprofit that supports social movements, has given the Sunrise Movement $250,000 and committed $750,000 in grants in 2019 to Sunrise partner groups to advance the goals of the Green New Deal, a congressional resolution introduced this year by progressive Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey that has reignited the U.S. debate ar..

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Presidential Hopeful Inslee Wants 100% Clean Energy by 2030 

Posted: May 3, 2019, 6:27 pm

Presidential Hopeful Inslee Wants 100% Clean Energy by 2030 Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee speaks during a tour of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation bus depot in Los Angeles, May 3, 2019. Inslee's campaign centers on climate change and environmental issues. Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee, as part of his pledge to make combating climate change the top national priority, is calling for the nation's entire electrical grid and all new vehicles and buildings to be carbon pollution free by 2030.
It's the first major policy proposal from the Washington governor as he tries to gain a foothold in a field of more than 20 candidates.
The plan, the first piece of a series of climate action proposals from Inslee, would represent a national shift from coal-powered plants and traditional fuel engines in vehicles, while requiring an overhaul in the way most buildings are heated and cooled. Inslee's outline would require legislation and executive..

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Budget Office: Caveats to Government-Run Health System

Posted: May 1, 2019, 11:21 pm

Budget Office: Caveats to Government-Run Health System FILE – A sign is shown during a news conference to reintroduce “Medicare for All” legislation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 10, 2019. WASHINGTON — Congressional budget experts said Wednesday that moving to a government-run health care system like “Medicare for All” could be complicated and potentially disruptive for Americans.
The report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office was a high-level look at the pros and cons of changing the current mix of public and private health care financing to a system paid for entirely by the government. It did not include cost estimates of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All legislation or its House counterpart, but raised dozens of issues lawmakers would confront.
“The transition toward a single-payer system could be complicated, challenging and potentially disruptive,” the report said. “Policymakers would need to consider how quickly people with private insurance would switc..

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Budget Office Offers Caveats on Government-run Health System

Posted: May 1, 2019, 6:24 pm

Budget Office Offers Caveats on Government-run Health System FILE – A sign is shown during a news conference to reintroduce “Medicare for All” legislation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 10, 2019. WASHINGTON — Congressional budget experts said Wednesday that moving to a government-run health care system like “Medicare for All'' could be complicated and potentially disruptive for Americans.
The report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office was a high-level look at the pros and cons of changing the current mix of public and private health care financing to a system paid for entirely by the government. It did not include cost estimates of Sen. Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All legislation or its House counterpart, but listed dozens of trade-offs lawmakers would confront.
“The transition toward a single-payer system could be complicated, challenging and potentially disruptive,'' the report said. “Policymakers would need to consider how quickly p..

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Activists Vow to Make Climate One of Top Election Issues

Posted: April 22, 2019, 9:42 pm

Events around the world focused on the environment Monday as the global community marked the 49th Earth Day. The founders of the movement predict that 2020 will be the crucial year in mobilizing people worldwide to demand economic and political changes aimed at preserving the planet for the coming generations. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.

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Some Conservative States Easing Access to Birth Control

Posted: March 31, 2019, 3:30 am

Some Conservative States Easing Access to Birth Control Several Republican-led state legislatures are advocating for women to gain over-the-counter access to birth control in what they say is an effort to reduce unplanned pregnancies and abortions, Ames, Iowa, March 15, 2019. AMES, IOWA — Several Republican-led state legislatures are advocating for women to gain over-the-counter access to birth control in what they say is an effort to reduce unplanned pregnancies and abortions.
State legislatures in Arkansas and Iowa, for example, are working on legislation that would allow women older than 18 the ability to receive birth control from a pharmacist rather than going first to a doctor for a prescription. The measures are seeing bipartisanship support in those states and come after similar laws have passed in nearly a dozen other states.
Iowa state legislators have proposed a bill that would allow women to access birth control directly from a pharmacist, Ames, Iowa, March 15, 2019. ​Ark..

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Republicans, Democrats Back to Battle Over US Health Care Law

Posted: March 27, 2019, 6:45 am

Republicans, Democrats Back to Battle Over US Health Care Law FILE – The Dome of the US Capitol building is visible on the morning of the State of the Union, Feb. 5, 2019. Health care has re-emerged as a major focus of U.S. political parties with the Trump administration advocating striking down the entire Affordable Care Act and Democrats introducing legislation to strengthen the law that has been in place since 2010.
The Justice Department on Monday backed a federal court ruling declaring the entire ACA unconstitutional on the basis that without the fines for not having health insurance, which a Republican-led Congress passed last year, the mandate for having coverage should not be allowed.
That went against the administration's earlier position that while some parts of the ACA should be struck down, not all of it should be thrown out.
SEE ALSO: Trump Administration Wants All of 'Obamacare' Struck Down Trump told reporters Tuesday he wanted alternatives to the law, ..

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Republican-led US Senate Rejects Green New Deal

Posted: March 27, 2019, 12:58 am

Republican-led US Senate Rejects Green New Deal U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) hold a news conference for their proposed Green New Deal at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Feb. 7, 2019. The Republican-led Senate Tuesday night voted against consideration of the Democratically-supported New Green Deal — the outline of an ambitious plan to get the U.S. off climate-changing fossil fuels.
The vote was 57 to zero against the green proposal. Forty-three Democrats only said “present” when their names were called, refusing to participate in what they say was a Republican sham vote and stunt.
The Green New Deal is a non-binding proposal to shift the United States away from oil, natural gas, and coal to renewable energy sources, including wind and solar power.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called it a “radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy,” noting it would cost millions of jobs and sharply drive up energy pr..

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