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Austin City Council members seek decriminalization of abortion citywide in response to Texas 'trigger law'

Austin City Council members seek decriminalization of abortion citywide in response to Texas 'trigger law'

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Austin City Council members are seeking to pass legislation that would decriminalize abortion citywide after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a decision that puts the Texas “trigger law” into effect shortly.Council members want new legislation that would specifically target a state law that would ban abortions performed from the moment of fertilization, according to FOX 7.Austin City Council members Vanessa Fuentes and José “Chito” Vela are both asking for a special meeting board to be convinced in order to pass the GRACE Act, which stands for “Guarding the Right to Abortion Care for Everyone.”Vela wrote in the council’s message board on Friday following the Supreme Court ruling, asking for support in passing the act.AUSTIN CITY COUNCIL APPROVES RESOLUTION TO ‘EXPLORE EVERY OPTION’ OF RAISING AGE TO BUY AR-15 STYLE WEAPONS
Cyclists pass beneath the downtown skyline on the hike and bike trail on Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas September 18, 2012.
(REUTERS/Julia Robinson)”Today is a painful day for our country, and I grieve the violations of bodily autonomy which the Texas state government will soon impose on Austin residents,” Vela wrote, according to the report. “I welcome any of my colleagues who wish to co-sponsor the GRACE Act, and I hope our city can be a source of grace to those who will be targeted for making what should be a private medical decision.”The act would place abortion investigations as the lowest priority for the Austin Police Department, and also restrict funding that would typically go towards investigations into illegal abortions and prosecutions, according to the report.Vela said that ideally, police wouldn’t take more action on an abortion investigation beyond taking a report.”We understand that we’re bound by state laws. We have to take the report. We have to accept the report from the citizen or whoever. However, we don’t want to do much more than take the report, ideally,” Vela told FOX 7.SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS ROE V. WADE IN LANDMARK OPINION
Austin City Council members Vanessa Fuentes and José “Chito” Vela.
(Austin Government)The Austin City Council similarly voted to approve a resolution that would “explore every option” allowing the city to raise the minimum age to buy an AR-15 style weapon or other semi-automatic weapons on June 16.Mackenzie Kelly, District 6 council member, said during the June 16 that attempts to limit the sale of firearms would violate state law, adding that people could simply travel elsewhere in the state to buy a firearm.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”I believe that any attempt by Austin to restrict, regulate, or hamper the sales of firearms does violate state preemption laws. And that violation of the preemption law risks a lawsuit from the attorney general, which I think is a needless waste of taxpayer resources,” Kelly said.

The Supreme Court's abortion ruling and the Utah senate race

The Supreme Court's abortion ruling and the Utah senate race

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The landmark Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade is already impacting one of the more unique midterm races in the country, where Utah Republican incumbent Senator Mike Lee is facing one of tougher contests of his political career.If Lee defeats two primary challengers on Tuesday, he’ll face off in November against an independent – former Republican congressional aide and CIA officer Evan McMullin, who has the backing of the state’s Democratic Party. Head-to-head polls here are close.  Lee tops McMullin 41%-35%, according to the latest survey from Desert News/Hinkley Institute of Politics. One in five voters say they are still undecided.Utah is one of more than a dozen states with a so-called trigger law on abortion.  While it has been a reliably red state, McMullin says Lee is out of step with Utah voters on the issue. 
UNITED STATES – JULY 20: Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks during the news conference in the Capitol. If Lee defeats two primary challengers on Tuesday, he’ll face off in November against an independent – former Republican congressional aide and CIA officer Evan McMullin, who has the backing of the state’s Democratic party. 
((Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images))10 KEY QUOTES FROM JUSTICE ALITO’S OPINION OVERTURNING ROE V. WADE “I think that he, like many other politicians in our country, have played politics with this obviously critical issue, McMullin said in an interview with Fox News. “And they do it because they think that if they divide Americans against each other, they can raise more money.”McMullen added, “it’s an appeal to extremism that that I believe is very destructive for our country and unnecessary. There is common ground on this issue. Most Americans are in the middle on this issue, and most Utahns are not for either extreme. When you see politicians appealing to the extremes to try to divide the country, it’s about their self-interest.”The Lee campaign fired back, saying the Senator has advocated for overturning Roe v. Wade for years, and accusing McMullin of flip-flopping on the issue.
Third party candidate Evan McMullin, an independent, talks to the press as he campaigns in Salt Lake City, Utah, October 12, 2016. “I think that [Lee], like many other politicians in our country, have played politics with this obviously critical issue,” McMullin said in an interview with Fox News. “And they do it because they think that if they divide Americans against each other, they can raise more money.”
(REUTERS/George Frey/File Photo)”Overturning Roe isn’t extreme and upholding the Constitution isn’t an act of extremism,” Lee Campaign Spokesman Matt Lusky tells Fox News.  “In 2016, McMullin supported justices willing to overturn Roe. The 2022 version of McMullin seems to have conveniently flipped to a far different position. Suggesting the overturn of Roe was an act of extremism shows McMullin’s fundamental disconnect with Utahns and Utah law.”SEN. MIKE LEE PREDICTS CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS, ‘INVASION’ OF SUPREME COURT FROM ‘PRO-ABORTION’ LEFT, AFTER ROE  
The Utah State Capitol building in Salt Lake City. The Utah trigger law, passed in 2020, bans all elective abortions in the state with exceptions for rape and incest, the health or safety of the mother or fetal viability. 
(Universal Images Group via Getty Images)CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe Utah trigger law, passed in 2020, bans all elective abortions in the state with exceptions for rape and incest, the health or safety of the mother or fetal viability.  On Saturday, the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah and the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah filed a lawsuit seeking to block it.

Noem says doctors, not pregnant mothers, should be prosecuted following Supreme Court abortion ruling

Noem says doctors, not pregnant mothers, should be prosecuted following Supreme Court abortion ruling

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, on Sunday praised the recent Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade as a decision that follows the science, asserting that doctors who perform abortions, and not vulnerable women in crisis situations, should be the ones prosecuted going forward. Noem, who appeared on multiple cable television programs Sunday morning, is the leader of one of 13 states with trigger laws banning all abortions except in cases to save the life of the pregnant mother that took effect following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. “It’s still about rights and liberties,” Noem said on “Fox & Friends” Sunday about the Supreme Court ruling. “It’s about every single right, every single life having the right to live. And technology has developed. Science has revealed more and more of what’s going on in the womb. We know more today than we did 15 or 20 years ago. I think it’s incredibly important that we use that science to recognize that every single life is precious and that it deserves to be protected under the United States Constitution.” In an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Noem pointed to the science in defending the Supreme Court’s ruling. “I’d encourage them to continue to follow the science, to continue to follow what we know to be true today with the technology that’s been advanced,” Noem said, referring to women who do not feel like either the mother or the unborn child is a victim in an abortion. WHITMER SLAMS TRUMP FOR EXTREMISM AFTER QUESTION ADDRESSING THREATS FROM ‘PRO-ABORTION RIGHTS GROUPS’ 
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem attends the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Feb. 25, 2022, in Orlando, Florida.
(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)”And to really look at the Supreme Court decision for what it is,” she said. “Take the sensational pundit commentary out of it and look at the fact that what the Supreme Court did was fix a wrong decision that was made many years ago and now give the power back to the States. What they said is that the Constitution does not guarantee a right to an abortion. That means that each state will make the decision for themselves on what their laws look like and that those women have an opportunity to speak to their elected officials there closer to home to make sure that their laws reflect what they value.”ABC host Martha Raddatz pointed to the American Medical Association’s statement calling the Supreme Court decision a “brazen violation of patients’ rights,” saying that “states that end legal abortion will not end abortion, they will end safe abortion, risking devastating consequences, including patients’ lives.”GOP SENATOR SLAMS PRESIDENT BIDEN FOR ‘FEAR-MONGERING’ IN ADDRESS TO NATION AFTER SUPREME COURT’S RULINGNoem countered that she’s spoken to doctors who refer to unborn babies as patients too. “Well, what’s interesting to me, Martha, is that I’ve talked to many doctors who say when they do procedures on babies in the womb, when they work on babies that have not been born yet, that those babies are patients. So they define them as patients,” Noem said. “And if they defend patients’ rights, they should be defining and defending that life that’s in the womb as well. And it is an individual and every life has value.”
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem speaks during the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual convention on May 27, 2022, in Houston, Texas. 
(Brandon Bell/Getty Images)Noem said Planned Parenthood had already stopped abortions in South Dakota weeks before Roe v. Wade was overturned. Then after the ruling, the trigger law already on the books made abortions illegal except to save the life of a mother, with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.”And so that went into effect. And what we will do is continue to focus on not punishing mothers or women,” Noem said. “But what we will do is focus on those doctors who knowingly break the law to perform abortions in the state of South Dakota.” Noem is calling for a special legislative session to launch debate on how the state can best support mothers. The governor launched a website – life.sd.gov – to get resources to individuals with unplanned pregnancies or in crisis situations to coordinate financial assistance, health care and nonprofit support. 
Protesters gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 25, 2022, in Washington in the wake of the decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)Noem said the website also provides resources for families wanting to put babies up for adoption. “I think we’ll continue to have those debates on how we can support these mothers and what it means to really make sure that we’re not prosecuting mothers ever in a situation like this when it comes to abortion,” Noem told CBS “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan. “That we’ll always be focused toward those doctors who knowingly break the law to perform abortions in our state.”   The South Dakota governor also criticized telemedicine abortions, or cases where doctors or medical providers subscribe abortion pills by phone or virtually and mail them to patients. Brennan pointed out that the Biden Justice Department has said it will work to ensure women have access to the abortion pill despite Roe v. Wade being overturned. “These are very dangerous medical procedures,” Noem said. “A woman is five times more likely to end up in an emergency room if they’re utilizing this kind of method for an abortion…”CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”This is an FDA approved drug,” Brennan interjected. Noem also raised concerns about the safety of telemedicine abortions on ABC, noting how often there is no physician supervision. 

Hochul says New York 'safe harbor' for abortion seekers; blames Trump in push to the polls

Hochul says New York 'safe harbor' for abortion seekers; blames Trump in push to the polls

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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, said Sunday that the Empire State will be a “safe harbor” for those seeking an abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, arguing there will be a referendum on former President Donald Trump’s nominees come November at the polls. In an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show,” Hochul said she already earmarked $35 million to abortion providers to beef up their services in anticipation of a flood of people coming to New York to receive abortions. “We’re going to get a flood of people. I have declared this as our safe harbor,” Hochul said. “This is where we have the Statue of Liberty welcoming people who are oppressed. Women who cannot receive the fundamental right to control their body or receive an abortion. They are oppressed. They are welcomed here in the state of New York.” In New York, where late-term abortions are already legal, the governor said she already signed legislation a week ago that protect providers from being sued in patients come from out of state for an abortion and noted how measures prevent anyone from being extradited from New York to be prosecuted elsewhere over an abortion. WHITMER SLAMS TRUMP FOR EXTREMISM AFTER QUESTION ADDRESSING THREATS FROM PRO-ABORTION RIGHTS GROUP “This is New York. These rights are not going away. This is a place where we had abortion access three years before Roe v. Wade,” Hochul said. “Roe v. Wade is now a part of our state law, but we’re looking to find any other ways we can strengthen. We protected our providers. We gave them immunity already.” 
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul debates in the race for governor at the studios of WNBC4-TV June 16, 2022, in New York City. Early voting starts June 18 ahead of the June 28 primary. 
( (Photo by Craig Ruttle-Pool/Getty Images))Though the Supreme Court ruling says the Constitution does not protect a woman’s right to an abortion and hands that decision back to state legislatures, Hochul speculated it could mean more federal government overreach when it comes to other reproductive issues, such as contraception. “It is reprehensible that we have to have this conversation. Is this a police state? Is this where we cherish people’s freedoms? Or are we going to have government telling us what to do not just in our bedrooms and maybe take away the access to even contraception which they telegraphed they would do. This is not wild speculation on our part. They said they would do that. As well as talk about making it a national law to ban abortion. My God. How have we fallen so quickly?” 
Protestors are seen marching in the streets of New York City in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade.
(Fox News Digital)Hochul also said abortion would be a big issue at the polls in November, and blamed Trump, who got three nominations to the Supreme Court approved during his four years in office. They were Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. “So, all of these are going to be mobilized at the polls, I guarantee It,” Hochul said. “This is going to be a motivation to people who were complacent in the past. We saw what happens when you get a Donald Trump in and three Supreme Court justices who should not be there. This is a direct correlation to people exercising their right to vote.”LINDSEY GRAHAM PRAISES TRUMP AFTER SCOTUS OVERTURNS ROE: ‘DESERVES THE LION’S SHARE OF CREDIT’
MENDON, IL – JUNE 25: Former US President Donald Trump gives remarks during a Save America Rally at the Adams County Fairgrounds on June 25, 2022 in Mendon, Illinois. Trump will be stumping for Rep. Mary Miller in an Illinois congressional primary and it will be Trump’s first rally since the United States Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade on Friday. 
((Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images))”Chicken Little was right. The sky just fell on all of us,” the governor added. “And if that’s not a motivating factor. For my daughter in her 30s, this was the plight of my generation, my mother’s generation. I just had a brand-new granddaughter. I did not think this would have to be the fight of her generation. So, this is deeply personal.” CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe governor also said she called a special session of the state legislature after the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that New York state’s restrictions on concealed carry permits were unconstitutional. She and other Democrats, including New York City Mayor Eric Adams, decried the decision, arguing it would contribute to even greater gun violence in the state struggling with crime despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. 

Biden still does not support court packing, White House confirms

Biden still does not support court packing, White House confirms

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President Joe Biden does not support Democrats pushing to expand the Supreme Court, the White House announced on Saturday.White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed the president’s position on the issue during an Air Force Once press gaggle. Some Democrats have argued for court-packing in recent years, but those calls were amplified following SCOTUS’ decision to overrule key abortion cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey on Friday.Many of Biden’s fellow Democrats have argued for expanding the court to offset the influence of the three justices appointed under former President Donald Trump’s administration.”So, I know I’ve… I was asked this question yesterday, and I’ve been asked it before — and I think the president himself … about expanding the court,” Jean-Pierre said to reporters. “That is something that the president does not agree with. That is not something that he wants to do.”SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS ROE V. WADE IN LANDMARK OPINION: LIVE UPDATES
Crowds outside the Supreme Court reacting to the Dobbs ruling.
(Joshua Comins/Fox News)”A stolen, illegitimate, and far-right Supreme Court majority appears set to destroy the right to abortion, an essential right which protects the health, safety, and freedom of millions of Americans. There is no other recourse. We must expand the court,” Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., tweeted soon after news of the court’s intent to overturn Roe leaked.SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS ROE V. WADE IN LANDMARK OPINIONSen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., also pushed for court-packing during a Sunday television appearance.”This court has lost legitimacy. They have burned whatever legitimacy they may still have had after their gun decision, after their voting decision, after their union decision,” Warren told ABC News in remarks.”They just took the last of it and set a torch to it,” she added. “I believe we need to get some confidence back in our court and that means we need more justices on the United States Supreme Court.”Biden called on Congress to restore abortion protections through legislation last week, saying he cannot do so from the White House.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”Let me be very clear and unambiguous: the only way we can secure a woman’s right to choose — the balance that existed — is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade as federal law,” Biden said. “No executive action from the president can do that.”

Blinken says Putin has ‘already failed’ in strategic objective to end Ukraine's independence

Blinken says Putin has ‘already failed’ in strategic objective to end Ukraine's independence

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has already failed in his strategic objective “to erase” Ukraine and end its independence after more than four months of conflict.Blinken appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” ahead of the annual G-7 summit in Germany, and was asked whether Russia was winning the months-long conflict following overnight attacks on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.”When it comes to Putin’s strategic objectives, he has already failed,” Blinken said. “His strategic objective was to end Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence, to erase it from the map, to subsume it in Russia. That has failed.”Blinken added that “a sovereign, independent Ukraine will be around a lot longer than Vladimir Putin is on the scene.”REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: WITNESSING RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR, RECALLING PAST HORRORSThe secretary of state’s remarks come as Ukrainian officials said that Russia launched missiles on Kyiv, striking at least two residential buildings and damaging a nearby kindergarten. 
Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in the BRICS Business Forum via video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow.
(Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)Ukraine’s general prosecutor’s office said preliminary information indicated one person was killed and four injured; Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said four people were hospitalized with injuries and a 7-year-old girl was pulled alive from the rubble.Meanwhile, Blinken described “a tactical, ferocious battle” raging in Eastern Ukraine, where Ukrainian forces are engaged in pushing back Russian forces.BIDEN ACCUSES RUSSIA OF TORTURING, ELECTROCUTING UKRAINIANS: ‘BARBARIC’
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken addresses the media during a press conference in Berlin, Germany, Friday, June 24, 2022. 
(AP Photo/Michael Sohn)CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP”And that line has shifted, there are gains one way, gains another way,” the secretary of state said. “But what’s really important is the strategic proposition that Putin will not succeed in what he’s tried to achieve.”Blinken said that while Putin has also tried to divide NATO, the alliance will meet at the G-7 summit where the nations will show their unity and strength. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Whitmer slams Trump for extremism after question addressing threats from 'pro-abortion rights group'

Whitmer slams Trump for extremism after question addressing threats from 'pro-abortion rights group'

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Sunday attempted to blame former President Donald Trump for the rise in extremism when responding to a question about threats from “pro-abortion rights groups.”  In an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” the Democratic governor first ripped the “radical agenda” of the Michigan GOP and Republican candidates for governor in supporting legislation she said would make abortion a felony with no exceptions for rape and incest and throw nurses and doctors in jail.”This is a moment where we’re seeing how extreme the Michigan GOP has gotten,” Whitmer told CBS host Margaret Brennan. “This radical agenda to deprive women of making their own most important economic decision that they’ll make in their lifetime – when and whether or not to have a child.”Brennan then turned to reference a recent bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security warning of increased violence related to the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade. PRO-CHOICE VANDALS SCRAWLED THREAT ON VERMONT STATE HOUSE AFTER ROE V. WADE DECISION: POLICE The bulletin, as depicted in the on-screen graphic while Brennan was speaking, references an incident in Michigan involving “vandalism claimed by ‘Jane’s Revenge’ on a building that houses a US Representative’s campaign office and a pro-life advocacy group.” Yet, Brennan does not name Jane’s Revenge and instead mentions a “pro-abortion rights group.” “I want to ask you about this Homeland Security warning that domestic violent extremists may intensify violence. In the bulletin that CBS obtained, it specifically mentions an incident in Michigan related to a pro-abortion rights group. How concerned are you about violence? What are you seeing on the ground?” Brennan asked. 
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks with Elizabeth Door, a senior vice president at Whirlpool Corp., before a meeting with President Joe Biden in Washington on March 9, 2022.
(Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)”I am concerned about a lot of things happening in the United States right now,” Whitmer responded. “And frankly, the last couple of decisions that came out of this United States Supreme Court make America a lot more dangerous. More guns, fewer rights, less health care. It is scary.” “And as a lawyer, it crushes me to say that even I am losing faith that these important institutions that are supposed to be above the politics of the day are now being corrupted,” Whitmer continued, deflecting criticism instead to Justices. “And that’s what we’re seeing out of our United States Supreme Court. And I am very concerned about our long-term prosperity, our Homeland Security and our safety.” Brennan pushed back that the bulletin warned of threats to federal and state government officials, including judges. 
Former President Donald Trump gives remarks during a Save America Rally on June 25, 2022, in Mendon, Illinois.
(Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)”Are you concerned about active threats in Michigan,” she asked. “Of course I am,” Whitmer said. “I have been the recipient of so much ugliness and hate often stoked by the former president.””This is a really scary moment,” the governor continued. “And with the proliferation of the ugly rhetoric, the scary proliferation of guns in America, fewer and fewer restrictions, any parent who sends their child to school or any politician or policymaker who makes a hard decision, we now have to be much more fearful on a whole new level.” 
Demonstrators rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on June 25, 2022.
(Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)In recent weeks before Roe v. Wade was overturned, Jane’s Revenge claimed responsibility for more than a dozen arson attacks and vandalism lodged at pro-life crisis pregnancy centers and churches across the nation after the leak of the draft opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPAfter a letter signed Jane’s Revenge circulated last week declaring “open season” on pro-life groups and an escalation of violence using measures not “so easily cleaned up as fire and graffiti,” Republican lawmakers ripped what they categorize as the Justice Department’s inaction on attempts to intimidate pregnant women, pro-life Americans, and Supreme Court justices.In April, a jury failed to convict four men accused of plotting to kidnap Whitmer because they were angry with the governor over COVID related lockdowns and restrictions. The defense had pointed to who they categorized as aggressive FBI undercover agents and informants for allegedly fabricating the case.  

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