The Pro-Life Movement Embraces Science

The first time Ashley McGuire had a baby, she and her husband had to wait 20 weeks to learn its sex. By her third, they found out at 10 weeks with a blood test. Technology has defined her pregnancies, she told me, from the apps that track weekly development to the ultrasounds that show the growing child. “My generation has grown up under an entirely different world of science and technology than the Roe generation,” she said. “We’re in a culture that is science-obsessed.”

Activists like McGuire believe it makes perfect sense to be pro-science and pro-life. While she opposes abortion on moral grounds, she believes studies of fetal development, improved medical techniques, and other advances anchor the movement’s arguments in scientific fact. “The pro-life message has been, for the last 40-something years, that the fetus … is a life, and it is a human life worthy of all the rights the rest of us have,” she said. “That’s been more of an abstract concept until the last decade or so.” But, she added, “when you’re seeing a baby sucking its thumb at 18 weeks, smiling, clapping,” it becomes “harder to square the idea that that 20-week-old, that unborn baby or fetus, is discardable.”

Scientific progress is remaking the debate around abortion. When the U.S. Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade, the case that led the way to legal abortion, it pegged most fetuses’ chance of viable life outside the womb at 28 weeks; after that point, it ruled, states could reasonably restrict women’s access to the procedure. Now, with new medical techniques, doctors are debating whether that threshold should be closer to 22 weeks. Like McGuire, today’s prospective moms and dads can learn more about their baby earlier into a pregnancy than their parents or grandparents. And like McGuire, when …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

The House Voted to Avert a Shutdown—But It Might Not Be Enough

The House on Thursday evening narrowly passed a bill that would keep the federal government open for nearly another month amid an impasse over immigration. But the proposal may be doomed in the Senate, where Democrats and a small contingent of Republicans could block the bill and send the government into a shutdown beginning at midnight Friday.

After an anxious day of arm-twisting and negotiations, Republican leaders were able to persuade enough of there members to go along with a stopgap bill many in the party plainly despised. Rather than fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, it merely kicks the budget debate forward another month. In a largely futile bid for Democratic support, the bill reauthorizes the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years. But it lacked several other Democratic priorities, most notably a permanent legal status for young immigrants who face the threat of deportation once President Trump ends the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in early March. A group of Democrats voted for the measure, known as a continuing resolution, only after it was clear that Republicans were going to be able to pass it on their own.

The bigger drama for much of the day was whether a collection of defense hawks along with conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus would band together to sink the bill on the Republican side. Complicating the leadership’s effort was Trump himself, who tweeted in the morning his opposition to including a long-term extension of CHIP in a short-term spending bill. The White House was later forced to clarify that the president supported passage of the bill to avert a shutdown.

Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, chairman of the conservative group, told anyone who would listen that Speaker Paul Ryan and his team lacked the votes to pass …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

The Trump-Russia-NRA Connection: Here’s What You Need to Know

Did a shadowy Russian banker close to Vladimir Putin illegally give money to the National Rifle Association to support the presidential campaign of Donald Trump? That’s the subject of an active FBI investigation, according to an explosive report by McClatchy.

Here’s what you need to

This article originally appeared on The Trump-Russia-NRA Connection: Here’s What You Need to Know

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Source:: Rolling Stone – Latest Politics News

How Trump Will Try to Minimize a Government Shutdown

A government shutdown under Donald Trump might look very different from the one that occurred under Barack Obama.

When conservatives in Congress refused to fund the government in 2013, among the first and most visible victims were tourists who had planned trips to national parks, museums, and monuments. Vacations were ruined and weddings cancelled. The Obama administration even placed barricades around memorials on the National Mall, infuriating Republicans who accused the president of maximizing inconvenience to stoke the public’s anger at Congress.

The Trump administration is planning another approach. Even if the House and Senate fail to fund the government by a midnight-Friday deadline, national parks, monuments, and memorials won’t shut down completely—and some might remain fully accessible to the public.

“We fully expect the government to remain open. However, in the event of a shutdown, national parks and other public lands will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures,” said Heather Swift, a spokeswoman for the Department of the Interior. “The American public and especially our veterans who come to our nation’s capital should find war memorials and open-air parks open to the public. Additionally, many of our national parks, refuges, and other public lands will still try to allow limited access wherever possible.”

The department doesn’t have a list of what will remain open and what won’t, but the general rule is that the sites that require the least staffing will be the most accessible. Prime examples in Washington are the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, and the World War II Memorial; tourists can see all four without stopping first in a visitor’s center or passing through a manned security gate. Across the country, many parks have concessions that are privately operated, and those that don’t require assistance from federal employees—such as by …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics