Texas moves forward with a range of anti-abortion bills, including a ban on insurance coverage

Slowly but surely, states with Republican majority leadership are working toward ending women’s access to abortion—and they are looking to do it by any means necessary. Last week in Iowa, Republicans managed to pass a law which will result in preventing low-income women from using their state-provided insurance at any provider that offers abortion services. This has resulted in the closing of four Planned Parenthood clinics that serve more than 15,000 patients in the state.

And in Texas, the state Senate is looking to ban abortion coverage in health insurance—nearly everywhere. The ban includes private insurance plans as well as in plans offered to state employees or anyone participating in the Affordable Care Act. Basically, they want zero access to abortions and think women should pay for abortion coverage under separate insurance plans. On Monday night the legislation, House Bill 3124, was added to a Senate bill which had support from all Republicans and one Democrat. 

Supporters

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Iowa Republicans successfully defund Planned Parenthood in preview of what may come under Trumpcare

The War on Women continues and, right now, it’s not looking good. Iowa Republicans just succeeded in limiting women in the state’s access to reproductive choice in a dangerous measure that just became law last week. As a result, four Planned Parenthood clinics in the state will now close which serve over 15,000 patients. This law bypasses Medicaid funds and instead puts in place a family-planning program which does not allow low-income women the ability to use their insurance at any providers that offer abortion services. This is similar to measures that have been making their way through other state legislatures with the intent of punishing women. Missouri lawmakers passed a similar measure last week and have sent it to their governor for signing. What’s also telling is that this could be a preview of what’s to come should congressional Republicans get their way and defund Planned Parenthood under Trumpcare.

“What is happening in

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Missouri lawmakers cut uninsured women’s access to reproductive healthcare just to prevent abortions

Republicans in Missouri are so desperate for women not to have abortions that they are willing to cut uninsured women’s access to any kind of family planning services. The budget that lawmakers have passed and are sending to Republican Gov. Eric Greitens for signing prevents hospitals and clinics which participate in the uninsured women’s health services program from receiving state funds if the organization provides abortion services. But apparently, punishing these women isn’t enough. The Republican budget also includes cutting the program by 2.1 million dollars. How’s that for compassion? So much for the party of morality and values.

That means patients insured through the program, like Alecia Deal, 37, may need to find another doctor. Her coverage currently pays for checkups, birth control and cancer screenings at a Planned Parenthood clinic in south St. Louis, which does not provide abortions but can provide a referral. Though limited, it’s the only health coverage she

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Trump regime makes itself clear: When women inevitably die from its abortion gag rule, no big deal

As a follow-up to one of the first executive orders issued by Pr*sident Donald Trump back in January, the State Department made it crystal clear in rules it announced Monday that it’s not just the health and lives of American women that the Trump regime is willing to sacrifice, but that of women across the whole planet.

Adopting the decades-old Republican approach of deceptively naming programs and legislation, this one is called “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance.”

Critics, however, have long called it the global “gag rule.” First imposed in 1984 President Ronald Reagan and alternatively known as the Mexico City Policy, the gag rule prohibits funding for any non-governmental organizations that “perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations.” Merely mentioning abortion is forbidden. Since ‘84, Republican presidents have imposed or reimposed the rule, and Democratic ones have rescinded it.

The latest

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Abortion restrictions drive women to desperate measures, then criminalize them through outdated laws

No matter what they say, it is hard to reconcile pro-life lawmakers’ stance on abortion with what appears to be a complete lack of compassion for the women who have them or need access to them. Though the two need not be mutually exclusive, in this increasingly polarized political climate, they most definitely are. Donald Trump made headlines last year during his presidential campaign when he said that there should be some form of punishment for women who seek to end their pregnancies should abortion become illegal. To be fair, he was criticized by both the left and the right—including anti-abortion activists, but it does raise a very important question: how is it possible to criminalize one without the other?

His remarks exposed a tension at the heart of the pro-life legal movement: How can abortion become illegal without punishing the women who seek them? The question has come into greater relief over

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Civil rights groups prep to block Trump’s anti-LGBTQ ‘religious freedom’ order

As Donald Trump readies to sign an order that many expect will give religious people sweeping latitude to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans, civil rights groups are preparing to immediately launch a legal challenge. Dominic Holden reports:

Depending on how a final order is worded, legal groups say they are prepared to try blocking it in federal courts on constitutional grounds, thereby hoping to hand Trump another high-profile defeat like those he has faced so far with his travel bans.

“We will fight this with everything we have,” Lambda Legal senior counsel Camilla Taylor said Tuesday, adding, “We are prepared to sue in a very short timeframe if the executive order closely resembles the leaked drafts.”

She said the group has already assembled plaintiffs for their lawsuit.

An original draft of the order, which was spearheaded by distinguished homophobe Mike Pence and leaked to The Nation in early February,

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If Zombie Trumpcare is about states’ rights, why is it screwing New York and California?

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities takes a deep look into the Republican talking points’ big lie about how Zombie Trumpcare would give states more flexibility. Two states in particular would be punished for the health care decisions they’ve made law: New York and California. But since they’re blue states, Republicans apparently don’t count them.

Nearly a million people in these states would be unable to keep the tax credits for their current plans, and hundreds of thousands more could be forced to choose between paying full price to enroll in the plan that best meets their needs or claiming tax credits for a plan with a less appropriate network, cost sharing, or other features.
That’s because the Republican plan prohibits individuals from using their subsidies to pay for plans that cover abortions (unless such coverage is limited to abortions following rape or incest, or abortions that are necessary

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