The Little Sisters of the Poor Joined Trump Administration To Attack Contraception Coverage At SC

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The Little Sisters of the Poor Joined Trump Administration To Again Attack Contraception Coverage At SC

Conservatives have spent the better part of a decade arguing the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, which provides insurance coverage for a host of contraception without additional cost or co-pay, violates religious freedom principles. Those efforts have had mixed results. Despite two turns before the U.S. Supreme Court, dozens of lower court orders, and a handful of executive orders from President Trump, the benefit remains in place—but employers who object to it can avoid complying with it.

This week, the Roberts Court will consider taking up a case that could settle the birth control benefit’s fate once and for all.

The case is The Little Sisters of the Poor Jeanne Jugan Residence v. California. Yes, that’s right. The Sisters are at it again.

To understand how yet another case like this could end up before the Roberts Court, let’s revisit for a moment the history of the contraception mandate. Originally proposed in 2012, the birth control benefit requires most employers to include coverage of FDA-approved contraceptives without co-pay in their employer-sponsored health insurance plans. The benefit contains an exemption for religious employers and an accommodation for religiously affiliated employers. The benefit, and the exemption and accommodation, launched a wave of objections and lawsuits that has not yet receded. The first batch of those lawsuits reached the Roberts Court in 2014 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, in which the Court ruled that some for-profit employers could take advantage of the accommodation process.

NIKE, Pls Help Us FREE 'Fearless Girl' From State Street Global Advisors. We NEED Her Now More Than Ever

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NIKE, Pls Help Us FREE 'Fearless Girl' From State Street Global Advisors. We NEED Her Now More Than Ever

Patriarchal, capitalist forces are clamping down on ‘Fearless Girl’, with her ‘owners’ State Street Global Advisors saying that Fearless cannot go worldwide, unless she flies the State Street banner. A New York federal judge issued a preliminary injunction this week, barring ‘Fearless Girl’s’ birth mother and creator, artist Kristen Visbal, from duplicating her likeness in any way.

The problem is that countries and their governments worldwide want their own ‘Fearless Girl’. She is a unifying, American vision, but her ‘owners’ State Street Global Advisors say “No Way. ‘Fearless Girl is our property.”

Simply stated, yet another female has become an unwilling advocate for big-money capitalism and the boys club. ‘Fearless Girl’s’ debut on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017 inspired us beyond words. The small bronze goddess arrived in the dead of night, originally installed at Bowling Green in another legal battle with ‘Charging Bull’.

Abortions Rise Worldwide When US Cuts Funding To Women’s Health Clinics, Study Finds

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Abortions Rise Worldwide When US Cuts Funding To Women’s Health Clinics, Study Finds

By Yana Rodgers, Professor of Labor Studies, Rutgers University. First published on The Conversation

Fulfilling Republican efforts to “defund Planned Parenthood,” the Trump administration announced on Feb. 22 it would end federal funding to health providers that perform abortions.

This new ruling is the domestic version of the “global gag rule” that Trump imposed in 2017. It cuts U.S. global health funding from organizations abroad that perform – or even talk about – abortions, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

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First implemented under Ronald Reagan in 1984, the global gag rule has been rescinded by every Democrat and reinstated by every Republican to occupy the Oval Office, reflecting the partisan nature of abortion.

Supporters of the global gag rule say defunding abortion providers will reduce abortions. However, researchers from Stanford University in 2011 found that this U.S. policy actually made women in sub-Saharan Africa twice as likely to have an abortion.

Dem. Rep Raul Grijalva Expands Proposed Protections Under CECIL Animal Trophies Act

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Dem. Rep Raul Grijalva Expands Proposed Protections Under CECIL Animal Trophies Act

US Rep. Raul Grijalva (Ariz.), the top House Democrat overseeing endangered species legislation on trophy hunting, has expanded Endangered Species Act protections with new requirements that legal animal imports must help conserve the animal’s species.

Grijalva named the legislation — not introduced for the first time — the Conserving Ecosystems by Ceasing the Importation of Large Animal Trophies Act, or CECIL Animal Trophies Act, after Cecil the African lion whose 2015 killing by American dentist and big-game hunter Walter Palmer caused an international uproar.

CECIL would prohibit elephant and lion trophy imports from Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia, and it comes at a time when many Trump supporters who are big-game hunters are infuriated by delays in easing restrictions against killing the animals.

“The bottom line is they are afraid as shit to get off the fence,” Dwight Miloff, a frequent trophy hunter, told The Hill. “They know if they get off the fence the anti-hunting people will be up in arms, and if they don’t grant them the people who put in the money for the permit will be pissed off.”

Projection Artist Robin Bell Strikes Kavanaugh's DC Courthouse With Brutal Messages

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Projection Artist Robin Bell Strikes Kavanaugh's DC Courthouse With Brutal Messages

Projection artist and activist Robin Bell has turned his highly-effective visual projections on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, targeting his federal courthouse in DC with interchanging slogans: ‘Brett Kavanaugh Is A Sexual Predator’, ‘Brett Kavanaugh Lied Every Time He Testified’, ‘Brett Kavanaugh Must Withdraw’, and ‘#Believe Survivors’.

Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has been accused of a sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford, allegations he has denied. The two will appear in front of the Senate Judicial Committee on Thursday. On Wednesday, another woman, Julie Swetnick, walked into the national spotlight, claiming that Kavanaugh had been present while she was gang raped in 1982. And on Wednesday evening, a fourth anonymous, but highly-detailed charge against Kavanaugh was revealed.

On Tuesday night, Bell pulled up in front of the E. Barrett Prettyman United States courthouse in a specially modified light projection van, beaming his message onto the facade of Kavanaugh’s workplace in an effort to highlight the allegations against the nominee and create a public shaming against the Supreme Court nominee. The guerrilla intervention was a collaboration with the women’s advocacy group Ultra Violet.

Federal Court Reverses EPA Relaxing Ban On Chlorpyrifos, Gives Agency 60 Days To Reinstitute Ban

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The ninth circuit federal court on Thursday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide widely linked to brain damage in kids. The court ruled in a 2-to-1 decision that the EPA offered “no defense” of its decision to delay a ban on chlorpyrifos ― a move the court said violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. The law governs pesticides, mandating that the EPA ban chemicals from being used on food, if scientific evidence establishes that they cause harm. 

The agency has 60 days to finalize a ban initiated by the Obama Administration in November 2015.

The Trump administration's then head of the EPA Scott Pruitt reversed the ban on chlorpyrifos in March 2017, almost immediately after taking the office and with little explanation. 

Critics were furious with Pruitt and Trump for putting DOW Chemical profits ahead of the health of Americans. In a joint letter to Pruitt in June, the American Academy of Pediatrics and Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit advocacy group, said they were “deeply alarmed” by his decision. 

“EPA has no basis to allow continued use of chlorpyrifos, and its insistence in doing so puts all children at risk,” they wrote. 

The decision to relax rules around pesticides came at a time when Ivanka Trump was promoting feeding children organic food not contaminated by pesticides. Her silence on the proposed reversal of a chlorpyrifos ban was one of the earliest examples of Ivanka saying she stands for women and children, but then takes little positive action to help them, if it means disagreeing with her father. 

All concerned bloggers and activists noted at the time that now-retired Dow CEO Andrew Liveris was then the head of President Trump's new American Manufacturing Council. Oh, and he also donated $1 million to Trump's inauguration.

Dow celebrated Pruitt's actions on reversing the ban on chlorpyrifos and activists went to court. The Council headed by Dow's Liveris was disbanded after multiple CEOs refused to serve any longer after Trump equivocated in his remarks about white-nationalist violence in Charlottesville, one year ago this weekend. 

The absurdity of Ivanka Trump's silence at the time of the EPA actions contrasted with the advice given by her health coach on IvankaTrump.com:

“The average conventional apple is sprayed with over 45 different chemicals, including six that are known or suspected carcinogens, 16 suspected hormone disruptors, five neurotoxins (a.k.a brain cell killers), and six developmental or reproductive toxins… It is definitely worth the premium price tag.”

More than 24 studies have found "chlorpyrifos to be  a neurotoxin that very likely affects the development of children’s brains, most particularly if the exposure is prenatal." The pesticide was banned in residential use 17 years ago but continued to be used in agriculture.

Caitlyn Jenner Tells British House of Commons That Trump Has Set Trans Community "Back 20 Years"

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It's about time that Caitlyn Jenner admits that she has changed her mind about Trump. Speaking before the UK House of Commons this week, Jenner said that the man she once supported has set the transgender community "back 20 years", writes The Daily Beast. 

Jenner echoed the same sentiments in a March Newsweek interview in which the former Olympian and transgender advocate acknowledged that the Trump administration "has been the worst ever" on "trans issues."

Speaking as a leader in the trans community, Jenner added "It's going to be hard to change, but we've been through these types of things before and we'll continue to fight it."

The transgender community is not all-in on Jenner and may never be. Delivering the third address on trans issues to the House of Commons, following British actors Idris Elba and Riz Ahmed, the American former Trump supporter was the recipient of awkwardness, frustration and even anger that she was speaking in the first place.