Mimi Nguyen Ly


The political action committee of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, is planning to invest $45 million or more into efforts aimed at flipping control of the Republican-led Senate and unseating President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

The multi-million dollar funding will go toward “large-scale” campaigns with print, radio, television, direct-mail ads, and neighborhood canvasses, according to The Hill.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Planned Parenthood said that its campaign will reach across 50 states to “to take back the Senate, the White House, state legislatures, and defeat harmful ballot measures across the country.”

“The stakes are higher than ever, and we’re coming out more powerfully than ever with the largest investment we’ve ever made,” Kelley Robinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes, told The Hill.

While the campaign will span across the United States, the abortion provider is focusing on nine key swing states in its initial spending: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Robinson said that Planned Parenthood’s message may have the potential to “mobilize women and people of color to vote in 2020.”

“We know we’re going to have a critical role mobilizing those folks to win back the Senate and expand the path to 270 to win back the presidency,” she told The Hill.

According to the outlet, Planned Parenthood plans to tell Americans that there is a “coordinated attack” among Republicans in state legislatures, Congress, and the White House to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that hamstrung states’ ability to restrict abortion.

Twelve states have passed laws restricting abortion access this year, some aimed at provoking a Supreme Court review of Roe v. Wade.

In addition to slamming the prospect of overturning Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood in its blog post also denounced Trump’s recent rule changes with regard to the federal government’s Title X family planning program.

In August, Planned Parenthood left the federal Title X program due to the Trump administration’s new rules, which “prohibit the use of Title X funds to perform, promote, refer for, or support abortion as a method of family planning.”

Planned Parenthood in its blog also flagged a recently-announced abortion case as having the potential to yield “a decision that could defy precedent and make the protections of Roe v. Wade virtually meaningless.”

The Supreme Court announced on Oct. 4 that it would take a major abortion case related to abortion access—the first abortion case since the appointment of conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which shifted the court to the right.

illion announcement, March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said in a statement cited by Fox News: “It is unfair to force Americans to subsidize through their tax dollars this partisan political organization bent on electing pro-abortion politicians.”

Mancini also alleged that Planned Parenthood is “a political advocacy group with a focus on expanding abortion,” and as such, the multi-million dollar funding is “no surprise.”

Roe v. Wade

The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision established that it is part of a woman’s “right to privacy” to undergo abortion (pdf). States can only ban abortion after “viability,” meaning “potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid.”

The Supreme Court’s 1973 decision said that if unborn children are persons, then they have the right to life. The ruling determined that unborn children are not persons, but acknowledged that “if this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’s right to life would then be guaranteed specifically by the [Fourteenth] Amendment.”

This year, five states passed laws banning abortion when a fetal heartbeat—which can manifest as early as six weeks into pregnancy—can be detected: Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, and Louisiana.

Missouri on May 24 signed into law an eight-week ban on abortion. Arkansas on March 15 and Utah on March 25 both signed into law a ban after 18 weeks, with certain exceptions. Alabama signed into law on May 15 a measure that makes abortion a felony in nearly all cases—the exception being for cases where abortion is needed to prevent a serious health risk to the mother.

Other states have passed different laws around abortion. North Dakota signed into law on April 10 a ban on the abortion methods of dilation and evacuation. Indiana on April 24 signed a law that bans the same abortion procedures as well as procedures for second-trimester abortions, and allows doctors to choose not to perform an abortion.

None of the abortion laws are currently in effect.

Title X

The Title X program was established in the 1970s under Ronald Reagan’s administration and provided funding for family planning projects for mostly poor people. Several years later, then-President Bill Clinton amended the rules such that Title X recipients were not just allowed, but were required to refer patients to abortion providers.

In reinstating almost similar rules to what was brought in under Reagan, the Trump administration stated in May that the rules would “ensure that taxpayers do not indirectly fund abortions.”

The rules also require “clear financial and physical separation between Title X and non-Title X activities.”

Planned Parenthood is estimated to have received about a quarter of all Title X funding. The abortion provider says it had served more than 40 percent of patients in the Title X program. Having left the program, Planned Parenthood is expected to lose some $60 million—less than 4 percent of its revenue, which in the fiscal year of 2018 reached close to $1.7 billion.

Zachary Stieber and Reuters contributed to this report.

Author: Mimi Nguyen Ly

Source: The Epoch Times: Planned Parenthood Announces $45 Million Campaign in Efforts to Unseat Trump, Flip Senate

President Donald Trump announced that a deal has been reached between the United States and Mexico late June 7, after officials from the two countries met for the third day of talks at the U.S. State Department.

“I am pleased to inform you that the United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico,” Trump wrote on Twitter late June 7.

Trump wrote that the tariffs that had been scheduled to go into effect on June 10 against Mexico have been indefinitely suspended.

“Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border,” he continued. “This is being done to greatly reduce, or eliminate, Illegal Immigration coming from Mexico and into the United States.”

Trump had threatened to impose import tariffs starting at 5 percent on June 10 if the Mexican government did not agree to do more to tackle an increase in mostly Central American migrants crossing Mexico to enter the United States.

A “U.S.-Mexico Joint Declaration” released by the State Department late June 7 outlined the details of the deal, saying the United States “will immediately expand the implementation” of a program that returns immigrants who cross the southern border to Mexico while their claims are adjudicated.

Mexico will “offer jobs, healthcare, and education” to those people, “according to its principles,” the agreement stated.

Mexico has also agreed, it said, to take “unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration,” including the deployment of the Mexican National Guard throughout the country, starting June 10, especially on its southern border with Guatemala.

And Mexico is taking “decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks,” the State Department said.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said in Washington his team had resisted the United States’ requests to send deported Guatemalans to Mexico. He said he was satisfied with the deal, Reuters reported.

“I think it’s a fair balance because they had more drastic measures and proposals at the start and we reached some middle point,” he said.

Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard exits the U.S. State Department to speak to reporters after a meeting between United States and Mexican officials on immigration and trade in Washington on June 6, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

The two countries will continue discussions, to be completed in 90 days, on further steps, according to the declaration.

Recent Events

On June 6, Mexico offered to send up to 6,000 members of its national guard to secure its southern border with Guatemala, in a bid to curb the rising influx of illegal immigrants.

The Mexican Finance Ministry on the same day also said they blocked the bank accounts of 26 people for their alleged involvement in human trafficking. In a statement, the ministry’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) said it froze the accounts due to “probable links with human trafficking and illegal aid to migrant caravans.”

The two countries began their meeting on June 5 for discussions led by Vice President Mike Pence in Washington. Pence on the morning of June 6 told reporters that Mexico needs to do more to address the illegal immigration situation, though he noted that the previous talks were positive overall.

“We welcomed the efforts of the Mexican officials to offer solutions to the crisis at our southern border, but we need Mexico to do more,” he said before departing on an Air Force Two.

Swift Change

Trump had indicated on June 4 at a press conference in London that “it’s more likely that the tariffs go on,” and that he was expecting to put tariffs on Mexican goods starting June 10 unless more migrants traveling to the United States-Mexico border from Central America were interdicted by Mexico.

But on June 5, Trump sounded more optimistic the tariffs could be avoided, saying Mexico was starting to take his demands seriously.

“I think they want to do something. They’re sending their top people,” he said during a visit with the Irish prime minister in Ireland.

Those top people were Mexico’s foreign minister and ambassador to the United States, who were set to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence at the White House.

Trump had said earlier that Democrats have forced him to take action against Mexico because they aren’t willing to fix the United States’ immigration laws that are fueling the immigration crisis.

“Border arrests for May are at 133,000 because of Mexico & the Democrats in Congress refusing to budge on immigration reform,” he tweeted.

Customs and Border Protection recently released the number of migrants illegally crossing the border in May, showing a 13-year high of 144,278.

“We need to work with Mexico on this problem,” Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told The Hill.

He said that at any given time, there are 100,000 migrants moving through Mexico to get to the U.S. border.

“This is a very overt movement. It uses commercial bus lines. These are organized criminal organizations that are smuggling humans,” he said. “In Chiapas, there’s about a 150-mile stretch where most of these crossings occur between Guatemala and Mexico. We need them to interdict these folks at the point of origin crossing their border.”

Holly Kellum, Bowen Xiao, Reuters, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Author: Mimi Nguyen Ly

Source: The Epoch Times: Trump Announces United States and Mexico Deal to Address Illegal Immigration, Calls Off Tariffs

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