Last month, a federal judge temporarily blocked Kansas from enforcing new licensing regulations that sought to shut down the state’s three abortion clinics. Proponents of the new standards — which are far more stringent and specific than what the state currently requires of hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers ? argued that stricter licensing requirements would help improve women?s safety, a notion the judge challenged before issuing a stay of the regulations.
Now, attorneys representing the Kansas abortion providers suing the state over the rules are alleging that officials drafted the regulations “without independently compiling data or studies on how the new rules would make the procedures safer for the women seeking them”:
Teresa Woody, a Kansas City, Mo., attorney representing two Kansas doctors who perform abortions, said Friday that the providers don’t think the state can show it has a medical justification for the new regulations. [...]
Health department officials have said they based their regulations on rules from other states, most notably Arizona and Texas. KDHE spokeswoman Miranda Myrick said Friday that both state and federal guidelines for hospitals, clinics and other facilities are based on an assumption that they will “result in a higher level of care.”
“In developing these regulations, KDHE looked to resources that used established, industry-accepted standards of care in clinical settings that have been developed over many years,” she said in an email, adding that such standards are “grounded in evidence.”
Indeed, the rules were issued so hastily, it’s difficult to see how officials could have had time to study any of their implications. The state legislature passed the standards in April and Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) signed it into law on May 16. Kansas’ Department of Health and Environment issued the final version on June 17 and informed clinics that they would have to comply with the rules by July 1.
Since Brownback became Governor in 2010, anti-choice lawmakers in Kansas have passed bills that “banned abortions after 21 weeks based on the disputed notion that fetuses can feel pain then; required minors seeking an abortion to obtain the notarized written consent of both parents or a legal guardian; restricted private insurance coverage for abortions; and redirected federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood to other health care agencies.? Earlier today, a federal judge blocked the state’s law to defund Planned Parenthood, agreeing that the family-planning organization would ?suffer irreparable harm while its challenge to the law works its way through the courts.”
An insured family in Orlando has had to declare bankruptcy because of the high out-of-pocket health care costs of caring for their newborn daughter. Sadly, the Sutherland’s child, Ellie, died two months before her fourth birthday. “To this day,” Simon Sutherland said, “we still have creditors calling us, wanting to talk to Ellie. They’ll say things like, ‘We want to discuss how she’s going to take care of this overdue bill.’ I just lose it.” Watch local news coverage of the story:
– Shivani Parikh
ThinkProgress filed this report from the Western Conservative Summit in Denver, CO.
Last week, journalist Eli Lake reported that, in order to glean a perspective on Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s prospective foreign policy, sources repeatedly told him he “should talk to Frank Gaffney.”
Gaffney told Lake that his work and that of the neoconservative think-tank he runs, the Center for Security Policy, were “a resource she has tapped.” Gaffney described Bachmann as a “friend” with whom he’d shared his Team B II report alleging that the Obama administration has been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood (in fairness to the Obama administration, Gaffney accuses just about everyone he disagrees with — including the organizers of the conservative CPAC conference — of being part of the Islamist group).
In an exclusive interview with ThinkProgress at the Western Conservative Conference in Denver, CO, Gaffney again described Bachmann as a friend and said he hadn’t been officially advising her since she declared her run for the GOP nomination. But he did say he could count on Bachmann to work at cleansing the country of the pernicious influence of the Muslim Brotherhood:
GAFFNEY: As worrying as the violent jihad is, there is at least as much to be concerned about with respect to the stealth jihad. And you need to understand who’s engaged in pursuing that and the techniques that they’re using and the progress that they’re making. [...]
THINKPROGRESS: Do you think [Bachmann] takes the threat seriously and understands the gravity?
GAFFNEY: I think she does, yeah. I think there are less candidates that seem less seized with it or at least acquainted with the problem. But I’m hoping that in the course of this campaign it will be something that is really a clarifying time [...]
THINKPROGRESS: She might be able to uproot some of this Brotherhood infiltration that we’ve seen?
GAFFNEY: If she were elected president she probably could. If she’s not and she’s an effective candidate she can. I think the point is to have as many other candidates become knowledgable and conversant and using their time on the campaign trail to educate people.
You can almost hear Members of Congress now, with President Bachmann’s blessing, hauling Americans into hearings to ask: “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood of the United States?”
So which other of Gaffney’s conspiracy theories can we expect to see a President Michele Bachmann pursue? His flirtation with birtherism? His contention that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan will impose Shariah law on the U.S.? Or that now-C.I.A. chief Gen. David Petraeus is submitting to Shariah?
In 2007, wind power received federal subsidies, as defined in a new Energy Information Agency report requested by pro-fossil Republicans, “of approximately 1.4 cents per kilowatthour,” Lowell Feld reports at Scaling Green. “In 2010, this figure — excluding ARRA money — fell to just 0.14 cents per kilowatthour, a decline of 90 percent. Solar power subsidies per unit of output also fell during that time period, by about 9 percent. Overall, clean power (defined as wind, solar and geothermal) subsidies per unit of output fell by a whopping 66 percent between 2007 and 2010.”
A fire destroyed adjacent downtown buildings Saturday, claiming six apartments, a warehouse and the local headquarters of a political organizing group just 10 days before an election. [...]We Are Wisconsin is the organization coordinating the independent, non-party and non-candidate expenditures favoring Democrats in the recalls. La Crosse is the center of one of the three must-win districts for Democrats, where Jennifer Shilling is challenging Republican Dan Kapanke.
Residents in the apartments all escaped safely, said Dave Vaslow, who manages the Jay Street building. Some cats are still missing. [...]
The La Crosse headquarters for We Are Wisconsin, a left-leaning political action committee, was a total loss, said group spokesman Kelly Steele.
It is too early to say whether or not foul play was involved. The police are still investigating. However, two things are certain. First, this is going to severely hinder Democratic efforts in the Shilling versus Kapanke recall election. Second, if we don't win Shilling versus Kapanke, then there is no viable path to winning the recall campaign overall.
The local office of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin also had to be evacuated because of the fire. "Volunteers were literally carrying canvass packets, computers, etc out of the office," Gillian Morris of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin told me.
Whether there was foul play or not, this is a time we have to step up and help fill the resource gap caused by this tragedy. Please, contribute $1 to all of the Democratic candidates on the Orange to Blue page.
If Congress splits town after they pass this bill, maybe we can all celebrate by reviving the "burn your AARP card" party. We're certainly going to keep it alive, so that when the cuts start coming or seniors don't get their cost-of-living increases,[...]
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Everything is on the table for that committee, everything including entitlement reform and tax reform. And let's be clear, the president thinks, as you know, that the biggest possible overall accomplishment in terms of deficit reduction is a desirable goal as long as it's balanced
He looks forward too, through the process set up by that committee, to having that debate about what our priorities are. If we need to, as legislated through this deal, find another $1.2 to $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts, how are we going to do that? Are we going to do it by asking sacrifice only of middle-class Americans? Or seniors? Parents of children who are disabled? Or are we going to ask others, including oil and gas companies, corporate jet manufacturers, or the wealthiest Americans share in the sacrifice. I think that is, again, a debate he's looking forward to.
Hey, we're going to make sure the disabled AND the oil companies pay. It's bipartisan. And when we're done being bipartisan, maybe Republicans will let us say something about jobs.
The Gold Report: You wrote last summer that “the global macroeconomic picture does not look good,” citing high unemployment in the U.S. and Europe that would likely be driven higher by increased taxes and decreased government spending in the face of serious sovereign debt problems. Sounds a little like Groundhog Day. You could say the same thing today. How are you feeling about the global economy now?
Brent Cook: I think we’re still sinking. The issues I mentioned last year are still here and, if anything, have gotten worse. Debt problems in Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain have only been compounded. Rating agencies have downgraded them all and the U.K. is facing systemic economic troubles as well. I . . . → Read More: Brent Cook: $1,600 Gold=Big Money for Mid-Caps
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Buried in a post by Jonathan Chait is this shocker.[...]
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The main event in Wisconsin, when six Republican state senators face recall general elections, takes place on August 9. However, Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity is sending Democrats in some of those districts absentee ballots with instructions to return them by August 11. Politico has the story of blatant vote suppression:
Americans for Prosperity is sending absentee ballots to Democrats in at least two Wisconsin state Senate recall districts with instructions to return the paperwork after the election date.
The fliers, obtained by POLITICO, ask solidly Democratic voters to return ballots for the Aug. 9 election to the city clerk "before Aug. 11."
A Democrat on the ground in Wisconsin said the fliers were discovered to be hitting doors in District 2 and District 10 over the weekend.
"These are people who are our 1's in the voterfile who we already knew. They ain't AFP members, that's for damn sure," the source said.
A "1" in a voterfile is someone who a campaign considers a lock to vote for their side. So, Americans for Prosperity is intentionally giving hardcore Democrat voters bad election information in an attempt to trick them into not voting.
Disgusting, to say the least. Sign up at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's website to make phone calls to get voters accurate election information. You have to create an account to take part, but you can volunteer no matter where you live.