Another day, another ban on abortion in Texas! Can you keep up with how many times the courts have ruled that abortions can or cannot continue in the state? I for one cannot!
On Monday, and after initially ruling a week earlier that medication abortions can continue during the pandemic, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed itself, declaring that the state’s Republican leaders can ban nearly all abortions in the state. As CBS News noted, it’s a ruling that “seems destined for the U.S. Supreme Court.”
It was Texas’s Republican Governor Greg Abbott and his Attorney General Ken Paxton who kicked off this protracted and wildly confusing legal battle in March, which has forced Texans seeking abortions to travel—in the midst of a pandemic!—to states around the country in order to receive essential medical care.
In a statement, Alexis McGill Johnson, the acting president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation, described the seemingly endless back-and-forth as a “nightmare within a nightmare.” She added, “A global pandemic is no time to restrict time-sensitive health care. Gov. Abbott’s extreme ideology is risking the health of women in Texas. This is politics at its absolute worst.”
It’s becoming increasingly clear that not only is Donald Trump perfectly willing to let tens of thousands of Americans die, he would prefer those people to be residents of states that he simply does not like, like Illinois and Massachusetts.
According to a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine by a doctor and head of a hospital system in Springfield, Massachusetts, a shipment of PPE they had ordered was almost commandeered by the Department of Homeland Security. Per the NEJM, emphasis my own:
Hours before our planned departure, we were told to expect only a quarter of our original order. We went anyway, since we desperately needed any supplies we could get. Upon arrival, we were jubilant to see pallets of KN95 respirators and face masks being unloaded. We opened several boxes, examined their contents, and hoped that this random sample would be representative of the entire shipment. Before we could send the funds by wire transfer, two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents arrived, showed their badges, and started questioning me. No, this shipment was not headed for resale or the black market. The agents checked my credentials, and I tried to convince them that the shipment of PPE was bound for hospitals. After receiving my assurances and hearing about our health system’s urgent needs, the agents let the boxes of equipment be released and loaded into the trucks. But I was soon shocked to learn that the Department of Homeland Security was still considering redirecting our PPE. Only some quick calls leading to intervention by our congressional representative prevented its seizure. I remained nervous and worried on the long drive back, feelings that did not abate until midnight, when I received the call that the PPE shipment was secured at our warehouse.
- Wait so you mean the World Health Organization was communicating with the Trump administration about the dangers of the coronavirus shortly after it emerged in China after all? Who to believe! [Washington Post]
- Turns out Donald Trump can’t fire everyone—the Government Accountability Office, which is run by Congress, is planning a “blizzard of audits” on the Trump administration’s response to covid-19. [Politico]
- Republicans in Congress: WE MUST SAVE RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE AT ALL COSTS! [Popular Info]
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she plans on voting against the fourth coronavirus recovery package because, in short, it really sucks. [HuffPost]
- And she’s not the only one who wants the next relief package to include what millions of Americans actually need right now.
- Hey guess what? You won’t get any TrumpBux if you’re a U.S. citizen who’s married to an immigrant who files their taxes with an ITIN. [Los Angeles Times]
- Color me shocked that Whole Foods and Jeff Bezos suck and hate unions. [Business Insider]
- Anti-government protesters in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania did their thing.
- And as they did in Denver, nurses are counterprotesting.