WASHINGTON — After a botched effort to pass legislation imposing a 20-week ban on abortions, House Republicans are moving forward Thursday with what’s being dubbed a less controversial bill that codifies a ban on federal funding for abortions.
The bill would do a number of things — including block federal funds for abortion for women who are in the military, who live in Washington, D.C., and who are poor — but one aspect of the legislation that hasn’t received much attention is the fact that it would raise taxes on the vast majority of small businesses.
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would deny small businesses a tax credit they currently receive through what’s known as the SHOP exchange, a part of the Affordable Care Act, if they include abortion care in their health plans. Roughly 87 percent of private plans include abortion services as part of comprehensive coverage, meaning the bulk of small businesses would be hit with a tax hike if the bill were to become law.
House Republicans passed a watered-down antiabortion bill Thursday after withdrawing a more restrictive measure that some female GOP lawmakers argued would hurt the party’s efforts to broaden its appeal to women and younger voters.
The rebellion on the abortion bill, led by women and moderates, was an illustration of some of the new challenges the party faces as a result of its expanded majority in the House. The 246-member GOP caucus is now experiencing rifts that previously did not exist, and those divisions are largely being driven by concern among moderates that they could face tough reelection battles in 2016, when more Democratic and independent voters are expected to turn out for presidential election.
So this anti abortion bill is basically a retread. Maybe they think that the Hyde (that old hypocrite) Amendment missed something.
Pope Francis gets pretty chatty on the papal plane.
He’s talked to reporters about jobs, homosexuality and women’s role in the church. He’s spoken out about the War in Iraq and terrorism. He’s even addressed his own retirement. And on his flight back from the Philippines this week, he started chatting about the church’s position on birth control, saying some think that to be good Catholics, “we have to be like rabbits.”
Here’s [sic] his exact words from the Vatican Insider:
I believe that three children per family, from what the experts say, is the key number for sustaining the population. The key word here is responsible parenthood and each person works out how to exercise this with the help of their pastor. … Sorry, some people think that in order to be good Catholics we have to breed like rabbits, right? Responsible parenthood: This is why there are marriage support groups in the Church with people who are experts on such issues; and there are pastors and I know that there are many acceptable solutions that have helped with this. And another thing: For poor people, children are a treasure, prudence is needed here too, it is true. Responsible parenthood but also recognizing the generosity of that father or mother who see their child as a treasure.
CHARLOTTESVILLE — A police investigation has cleared a University of Virginia fraternity of any involvement in an alleged gang rape that was detailed in a Rolling Stone magazine story last year, with authorities saying there was “no basis to believe that an incident occurred” at the Phi Kappa Psi house.
U-Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan approved the full reinstatement of the fraternity chapter Monday after police detectives did not find “any substantive basis to confirm that the allegations raised in the article occurred at Phi Kappa Psi,” university officials said. The announcement came as classes here resumed for the spring semester and three days after Sullivan lifted a months-long freeze on campus Greek life.
The reinstatement also allows Phi Psi to join the ranks of fraternities and sororities now beginning recruitment activities, known as Rush, this week.
“We welcome Phi Kappa Psi, and we look forward to working with all fraternities and sororities in enhancing and promoting a safe environment for all,” Sullivan said in a statement.
It’s 7:30 p.m. on Monday night, and the day’s most vilified blogger is driving somewhere in California, though he declines to specify where, and with whom. As he talks into the telephone, he confesses he feels hunted: He’s recording the conversation. Someone has already hacked him that day. He’s deluged with threats. His mom, he said, “is worried about me and worried about herself.”
This is Charles C. Johnson, the one-time Daily Caller contributor who just outed a woman he claims is Rolling Stone’s “Jackie,” whose widely-trumpeted gang-rape account at a University of Virginia fraternity has now come under suspicion. And today, Johnson sighed, has been quite a day. Jezebel called him “vile.” Slate called him a “vicious troll.” The Frisky called him a “complete piece of s–t.” Others, some of whom criticized Twitter for failing to censor his allegedly revelatory tweets, have been even less kind.
Whine. Johnson seems to be one of those who can dish it out but doesn’t know how to take it. He has been vile. He had defied acceptable public behavior. He has been called out.
Before the Rolling Stone article, I mercifully had no clue who Charles C. Johnson even was. I had never heard of him. In fact, the first I heard of him was on Moonhowlings.
CHARLOTTESVILLE — A University of Virginia student’s harrowing description of a gang rape at a fraternity, detailed in a recent Rolling Stone article, began to unravel Friday as interviews revealed doubts about significant elements of the account. The fraternity issued a statement rebutting the story, and the magazine apologized for a lapse in judgment and backed away from the article.
RICHMOND — The Virginia Board of Health decided Thursday to move forward with a review of rules for abortion clinics, the latest step in a lengthy process that could roll back controversial regulations finalized last year.
The move was a victory for Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who campaigned on a promise to reverse the rules, which regulate abortion clinics as if they were hospitals by dictating such details as hallway widths and the number of parking spots. Opponents of the regulations say they were intended to block access to abortion by closing down clinics that do not meet the requirements.
“These clinics provide essential preventive care and cancer screenings to many women and families and unfortunately were facing closure due to onerous regulations that were the result of politics being inserted into the regulatory process,” McAuliffe said in a statement.
However, groups opposed to abortion did not necessarily see Thursday’s action as a defeat; they said the review approved by the health board leaves open the possibility that restrictions on clinics could be strengthened. The restrictions, they said, are meant to protect women’s health and safety.
“We don’t know what will happen at the end of this process. This is simply a reopening and reviewing of the standards,” Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, told reporters after the meeting.
The biggest bullshit in the world is out of Victoria Cobb’s mouth. TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) are for one reason and one reason alone–to stop abortion. That’s the only reason. Wide hallways and designer parking lots are just BS and help no one. Let’s face it, people having medical procedures not related to abortion can run into emergency problems. Can someone please explain to me why these laws aren’t in place for all medical facilities that provide out-patient services? They can’t. The requirements are bogus and help no one.
Good for Governor McAuliffe for prioritizing getting rid of these ridiculous laws.
RICHMOND – Legislative support is coalescing behind a proposal to require that university officials quickly turn rape allegations over to law enforcement, or potentially face prosecution themselves.
A trio of Republican House leaders backed the requirement Monday, though they didn’t spell out potential punishments. In the state Senate, Democratic Minority Leader Richard Saslaw said last week that he’s working on a similar bill, and that he’ll attach the possibility of a year-long prison sentence for violators.
The harrowing account of a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house described in a new Rolling Stone article roiled the campus Friday, with students, faculty members and parents questioning the administration’s response to the allegations.
The article, in the pop culture magazine’s December issue and posted online this week, describes a brutal sex assault that allegedly occurred in the Phi Kappa Psi house in 2012. The victim, who is given an alias in the article, said a member of the fraternity led her upstairs during a party and took her to a dark room, where numerous men pinned her to the floor and attacked her.
The victim later describes a underwhelming response from university officials, whom she contacted about the attack, according to Rolling Stone. She did not file a police report.
After the story appeared online, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) called for the university to begin a thorough investigation into the matter, and Charlottesville police said they are investigating the allegations at the request of the university’s president, Teresa Sullivan.
U-Va. Vice President Patricia Lampkin said the article has “deeply affected” the university community.