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MORNING MESSAGE

George Goehl

Who Is Blocking ‘Medicare for All’?

A majority of Americans are in favor of Medicare for All. And why not? Right now, nearly 30 million people in this country are uninsured; 40 million can’t afford health-care co-pays and deductibles and 45,000 die annually as a result of not having access to health care. That’s why the corporate hospitals, insurance and drug companies reaping excessive profits from our illnesses and injuries are laying all their chips on the table to make sure Medicare for All never becomes reality. They must have a lot to lose: last year alone, they spent $143 million developing attack ads and launching fear campaigns to kill Medicare for All. Well, the jig is up. Decades under a corporate-run private health insurance system have proven that we can’t rely on profiteers to provide access to quality health care. We need a publicly held system that is accountable to the people who rely on it. We are able to do so, and save trillions of dollars over the next decade.

Thomas, Ginsburg Cross Swords On Roe

Thomas, Ginsburg draw battle lines for future abortion cases. CNN: “The Supreme Court made clear on Tuesday that it’s not ready to take big strides quickly on abortion and the future of Roe v. Wade. But justices also revealed that the far right and the far left side of the bench are drawing their battle lines, in anticipation of other cases concerning more restrictive laws currently hurtling toward the court. In an unsigned opinion, the justices let stand a lower court opinion that invalidated part of an Indiana law that said the state can ban abortions solely motivated by the race, sex or disability of the fetus. The court did allow a provision requiring clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains to take effect. The move will keep the Indiana law off the docket during an election year and allowed both sides of the debate to take away a partial victory. But it’s clear the court won’t be able to hold off too much longer. The Indiana law is only the first of many the justices will be asked to consider in the weeks and months to come, and state legislatures continue to promote more restrictive abortion access laws. Justice Clarence Thomas warned his colleagues that they will have to deal with some of the issues soon. On the left, liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor staked out their ground, saying that they would have blocked the entire Indiana law. In a footnote, Ginsburg referred to the ‘undue burden’ language in the 1992 Casey v. Planned Parenthood case that upheld Roe v. Wade. ‘A woman who exercises her constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy is not a ‘mother’; the cost of, and trauma potentially induced by, a post-procedure requirement may well constitute an undue burden,’ she wrote.”

GOP Wants To Weaponize Abortion

House GOP grapples with abortion messaging after Alabama law. Politico: “Republicans wanted to weaponize abortion against vulnerable Democrats in 2020, but a wave of strict bans across the country has upended their strategy, leaving them scattered and mostly mute. Before Alabama passed its law, Republicans had made clear they would make abortion a central issue in the next election. They had homed in on a host of state laws expanding access to abortion, seizing specifically on a New York bill that Republicans inaccurately claimed would legalize ‘infanticide.’ The conservative Republican Study Committee — the largest GOP caucus in the House — circulated talking points to its members about how they should defend the lack of exceptions for rape and incest in the Alabama law and other state bills, according to Vice News. ‘Committing a second violent act with abortion to a woman who has already been victimized by an act of rape or incest could physically or psychologically wound her further,”’the document states. “’very single child should be afforded the opportunity to live, regardless of how they were conceived.’ Democrats are already seizing on the memo, characterizing it as an ‘attack on women.'”

DOJ Criminalizes Those Who Help Migrants

Extending ‘zero tolerance’ to people who help migrants along the border. NPR: “Arrests of people for harboring, sheltering, leaving food and water or otherwise protecting migrants have been on the rise since 2017, when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors to prioritize cases covered under the harboring statute. Scott Warren, a 36-year-old college geography instructor from Ajo, Ariz., works with a group called called No More Deaths or No Mas Muertes. The group’s volunteers leave water and food for migrants traversing the Arizona desert. Warren was arrested in 2017 and faces three felony counts including conspiracy to transport and harbor migrants. In its complaint, the government claims Warren was seen talking to two migrants who sheltered in Ajo. ‘It is scary to be intimidated like this and to be targeted but there really is no choice,’ said Warren. He believes the government is violating his right to religious freedom by criminalizing his spiritual belief that mandates he help people in distress.”

SCOTUS Declines Challenge To Inclusive Bathroom Policy

‘Enormous Victory for Transgender Students’ as SCOTUS declines to hear challenge to inclusive bathroom policy. Common Dreams: “LGBTQ individuals and rights groups celebrated Tuesday as the U.S. Supreme Court left in place a lower court ruling in favor of a Pennsylvania school district’s policy to allow trans students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. In 2016, the Boyertown Area School District, located about 45 northeast of Philadelphia, began allowing transgender students to use facilities of their choosing—along with allowing all students access to private facilities. The following year, students backed by the conservative Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom challenged the policy, claiming it violated their right to privacy. ‘This lawsuit sought to reverse that hard-won progress by excluding transgender students from school facilities that other students use,’ said Ria Tabacco Mar, senior staff attorney with the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project. ‘That would have increased the stigma and discrimination that transgender students already face.'”

House Dems Introduce Women’s Health Protection Act

House bill would stop state attacks on abortion access. The Intercept: “On Wednesday morning, congressional lawmakers announced the introduction of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which pushes back against the flood of abortion restrictions and outright bans on access that have been moving at a record pace through state legislatures. The bill ‘enshrines’ in federal law ‘a woman’s right to receive abortion services and a provider’s right to perform abortion,’ said Rep. Judy Chu, a lead sponsor of the bill. ‘Our bill finally puts a stop to the state-based attacks that anti-abortion advocates have been trying to use to undermine or even reverse Roe.’ The bill, which has been introduced before, would block states from placing any medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion care — from medically-inaccurate informed consent requirements to gestational bans. “It prohibits any non-medical restrictions on our bodies — that means no heartbeat bills, no requirements that clinic doors be a certain width, no waiting periods or unnecessary ultrasounds. It means no abortion bans,’ Chu said. And it affirms ‘our rights to our bodies, our rights to make our own medical decisions, and our rights to choose what is best for us and our families.'”

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