Ohio appeals SBA List’s legal win, abortion groups target pro-life Republicans, and more
With election day barely more than a month away, Planned Parenthood and EMILY's List are making waves in Maine and Wisconsin governor races. And Supreme Court decisions on life are at play in Vermont and Utah, while Virginia and California continue to engage in the marriage fight.
The Susan B. Anthony List won a court victory against an Ohio law that banned "lies" in political advertising. Now the state of Ohio is appealing that ruling. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that the SBA List had standing to sue against a law restricting alleged "lies" in campaign speech. SBA was sued because it said then-Rep. Steve Driehaus, an Ohio Democrat, was not pro-life because he voted for the Affordable Care Act. Driehaus said that voting for ObamaCare was not the same as voting to fund abortions. However, it has come to light that the Affordable Care Act is illegally funding abortions. Legal observers believe the appeal has little chance of succeeding.
EMILY's List is putting $1.2 million behind Democrat Mary Burke in Wisconsin's gubernatorial race. In 2013, Burke said she opposes a law requiring pregnant women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, a bill signed by Governor Walker. Burke is currently being outspent by the GOP in her race against embattled incumbent Scott Walker. EMILY's List's support will go a long way towards evening out the spending.
Planned Parenthood's political arm has launched an attack on Maine's Republican governor, Paul LePage, for making cuts to so-called "family planning" fund. Like Walker, LePage has been angering liberal opponents almost since he was elected. And that has earned the ire of Planned Parenthood, who is backing opponent Congressman Mike Michaud. According to Planned Parenthood, Michaud stands with the abortion giant, while LePage is harming women. LePage did not mince words when asked about the ad. "I think they're wrong," LePage said. "And I tell you why, and this is my position on Planned Parenthood...The state of Maine has more people dying than being born."
Governor Jerry Brown has recently signed several pieces of legislation related to life and family. The first prevents forced sterilization as a method of birth control for female prisoners, unless the woman's life is in danger or she needs one for medical treatment. The bill stipulates a second opinion must be procured. The bill was signed in response to dozens of women being sterilized to keep welfare costs down.
Another bill signed by Brown would require health insurance plans to cover abortifacients, sterilization, and contraceptives.
A third that may receive his signature would give preferential treatment to LGBT-owned businesses in negotiating public contracts -- the same status given to racial minorities and others. Business would have to show that they are 51 percent-owned by so-called homosexual, bisexual, or transgender individuals. Publicly traded organization would have to show that 51 percent or more of shares are owned by LGBT persons.
It's not just federal employees who are facing attention for pornography on the job. In Pennsylvania, eight former employees of the state Attorney General's office sent or received pornographic emails on their official accounts. One employee sent 400 pornographic emails on the job. Governor Tom Corbett's spokesperson has decried the pornography, which was viewed in violation of office policy, and says the governor did not know it was going on. The current AG is a Democrat. The pornography was found during an investigation of child abuser and former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
Democrats in the Michigan legislature have introduced a bill that would require insurance companies to pay for abortions. However, the bill faces Republican-led chambers in the state legislature, and a Republican governor.
Burlington officials have dropped their 35-foot barrier around abortion clinics in light of the Supreme Court's McCullen v. Coakley decision this summer. But that doesn't mean they've given up on restricting the speech of pro-life counselors. Officials are currently in discussion with Planned Parenthood representatives to see what options are available. Planned Parenthood is pushing for a bubble zone around individuals, but a city attorney said that would likely be problematic in light of the Supreme Court decision.
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Governor Terry McAuliffe, whose Attorney General has refused to defend the state's marriage law, told attendees at a Human Rights Council fundraiser that his state "will have" gay "marriage" sooner rather than later. While McAuliffe has praised changing the redefinition of marriage, the state's House of Delegates is hiring lawyers to defend the state's ban in court. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide on marriage laws in its 2015 session.