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Meanwhile, in Opposite Land…

Wednesday, May 3, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* North Carolina

Republican lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly have reached a deal on legislation that would place restrictions on most abortions after 12 weeks.

Assuming the agreement holds, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina, who has worked to enshrine abortion rights, would be unable to block the legislation due to a veto-proof GOP supermajority in the state that was reached last month after a Charlotte-area Democrat switched parties.

Senate Bill 20, dubbed the “Care for Women, Children and Families Act,” bans any licensed physician from performing surgical abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy. It provides exceptions in the case of rape and incest through 20 weeks of pregnancy or in the event of a “life-limiting anomaly” through 24 weeks. […]

The bill would additionally prohibit any health care provider who objects to abortion “on moral, ethical, or religious grounds” from being required to participate in medical procedures that would result in an abortion.

* Florida via Politico

Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature agreed on Tuesday to shield the publicly-funded travel records of Gov. Ron DeSantis, giving his administration a way to block inquiries from the media and political opponents ahead of an expected run for president.

The far-reaching bill would not only apply to DeSantis’ future movements but also could be used retroactively to deny access to information on trips he’s already taken.

GOP legislators muscled the bill through just days after lawmakers agreed to change state law to ensure that DeSantis doesn’t have to resign if he becomes the Republican nominee for president. Taken together, the moves by the GOP-controlled Legislature pave the way for DeSantis to more easily jump into the presidential race and prevent further scrutiny of his travel.

The House approved the bill by an 84-31 vote along long strict party lines — and there were four votes above the required two-thirds threshold needed to enact a public records exemption since Florida has some of the strongest open records laws in the country. Republicans gained supermajorities in the House and Senate last November at the same time voters overwhelmingly elected DeSantis to a second term.

* More from Florida

Deborah Dorbert’s son Milo died in her arms on March 3, shortly after he was born, just as her doctors had predicted he would. […]

She said her pregnancy was proceeding normally until November, when, at 24 weeks, an ultrasound showed that the fetus did not have kidneys and that she had hardly any amniotic fluid. Not only was the baby sure to die, her doctors told her, but the pregnancy put her at especially high risk of preeclampsia, a potentially deadly complication.

Her doctors told her it was too late to terminate the pregnancy in Florida, which bans nearly all abortions after 15 weeks. The only options were to go out of state to get an abortion or to carry the baby to full term, and Dorbert and her husband didn’t have the money to travel.

What followed was an agonizing 13 weeks of carrying a baby she knew would die and worrying about her own health. It left Dorbert with severe anxiety and depression for the first time in her life.

* Louisiana

Louisiana legislators joined the national debate on if transgender minors should have access to gender affirming care. The debate was a long and tense debate over conflicting statistics and passionate pleas from the transgender community.

HB463 State Rep. Gabe Firment, R-Pollock, would punish doctors who provide gender affirming care which includes hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgery to minors. Already parents have to give permission for kids to get the care.

Firment made claims people are against the bill because it makes them a profit and claimed a lot of the statistics from doctors who treat transgender kids are not accurate. […]

Discussion from those in favor of the bill talked about kids regretting their transition and misinformation spread about the percentage of transgender people de-transitioning. The percentage point varied from speaker to speaker. Proponents for the bill brought in two young women who have testified across the country about having negative experiences transitioning young and have de-transitioned.

Parents of transgender kids talked about how it is already a years-long process to get access to hormones and surgery is in most cases off the table for kids. One parent said the conversation around the hormones being prescribed without care is not what they experienced and his child even struggled to get access to the treatment.

* Texas

A Texas bill calling for the abolition of the position of elections administrator in Harris County is inching closer and closer to final passage after a Monday vote moved the legislation out of the Texas House Elections Committee. Senate Bill 1750 already passed the Senate on April 18. House Bill 3876, an identical piece of legislation, will be up for debate in the House Chamber.

The measures call for the “abolition” of election administrators in counties with populations larger than 1,000,000—a metric that only applies to Harris County, which Republican state lawmakers have taken a keen interest in in the aftermath of the 2022 midterm elections.

Local and conservatives have keyed in on paper ballot shortages and a number of voting machine malfunctions that were reported at a small number of polling locations on Election Day— incidents that prompted a district judge to extend voting by 1 hour at Harris County polls. Since then, the Harris County Elections Office report concluded that they couldn’t determine if potential voters were pushed away because of the issues at polling centers.

In the aftermath, a number of Houston Republican candidates who lost their races filed lawsuits against the county, alleging that those issues led to them losing on election day. They have requested to overturn the election results and redo their races.

* Montana

A judge ruled on Tuesday against a Montana legislator who had sought a court order allowing her to return to the House of Representatives after she was barred during an escalating standoff over her remarks on transgender issues.

The lawmaker, Representative Zooey Zephyr, was ousted from the Republican-controlled chamber last week after making impassioned comments against a ban on hormone treatments and surgical care for transgender minors. The remarks led Republicans to silence her during debates on other legislation, prompting protests and arrests.

Ms. Zephyr, a Democrat from Missoula who is transgender, filed the lawsuit on Monday arguing that her rights had been violated, along with those of her 11,000 constituents. “I’m determined to defend the right of the people to have their voices heard,” she posted on Twitter. A spokeswoman for the state’s Republican attorney general called the legal action “political activism masquerading as a lawsuit.”

Judge Mike Menahan, who served in the House as a Democrat before being elected to the state’s First District Court a decade ago, said in a five-page order issued late Tuesday that he did not have the authority to intervene in the legislative dispute.

* Zephyr has been working outside the House chamber

On Thursday, Zephyr started working on a bench just outside the House floor the day after her censure, although the Speaker first tried to stop her from using the space to work. On Monday, women who identified themselves as wives of legislators but did not wish to provide their names, sat on the bench Zephyr had been working on– one of them had a name tag that read Beth Hinebauch, which identified her as the wife of Sen. Steve Hinebauch, R-Wibaux. Darin Gaub, director of Montana’s Freedom Caucus Network, also sat on the bench. The women denied that they were making a statement by sitting on the bench, but said they were aware that Zephyr had been working there. They asked where else they could go, although seats were available outside the Senate Chamber.

Zephyr tweeted in response to the bench she’d been using being occupied, saying “some folks showed up early this morning and sat on the public benches near the entrance to the House, so Seat 31 has moved.”

“I’m up and ready to work. Plus, I hear stand desks are all the rage these days.”

* Kansas

As officials strain to discern the impact of a sweeping proposal enacted last week that could affect transgender Kansans in virtually every facet of life, the clearest effect could well be on identification documents, such as driver’s licenses and birth certificates. […]

The bill has the impact of effectively counting transgender individuals for data collection purposes based on their sex assigned at birth, as well as requiring a whole host of state agencies to do the same. The bill also could restrict transgender individuals to using public facilities that align with their sex assigned at birth. […]

A spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Revenue said the agency was reviewing the bill ahead of July 1 and “will take the time to review the language as it pertains to the driver’s license act and make adjustments as necessary.”

Advocacy groups have urged transgender and gender non-binary Kansans to change their driver’s license or birth certificate before July 1, if they had considered doing so previously.

* South Carolina

Democrats in the South Carolina Senate turned debate about a bill to set guidelines for history curriculum on subjects like slavery and segregation into discussion about why the body can’t take a vote on a hate crimes bill.

South Carolina and Wyoming are the only states in the U.S. without a law allowing extra punishment for hate crimes — which a judge or jury determines were motivated by hate over someone’s race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or physical or mental ability.

For the past three years, a hate crimes bill has made it through the South Carolina House and to the Senate floor, only to stop there. The outlook for the bill this year is grim. The Republican-dominated chamber has not held any debate or brought the proposal up for a vote despite the support of survivors of a racist attack that killed nine at a Charleston church, in addition to business leaders.

“You look at the news all day long, I think we can agree, hate is all around us. Hate exists. So why is this bill more important than the hate crime legislation?” Democratic Sen. Kevin Johnson asked.

“This bill actually has the potential to address hate,” said Republican Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, about allowing students to come to their own conclusions based on facts about the history of slavery and segregation. “That bill doesn’t. That bill isn’t going to change how people act.”


  1. - Jerry - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 12:02 pm:

    Wow how the Republican has changed. From Conservative, Limited Government to Far Left Socialists.

  2. - Roadrager - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 12:13 pm:

    Post-democracy is gaining speed in an awful lot of places, and I fear we are past the point of turning it back. Like all of this is bad, bad stuff, and the only earnest defenses for it are “The people I voted for are doing it” and “It owns the libs.”

  3. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 12:19 pm:

    Nice to see that the State of Florida continues to weaponize their government and use all of the powers of the state to crack down on any opposition. You know what that’s called? Yeah, I bet you do.

    As for Texas, it’s just more Republican efforts to attempt to take away the right of people to vote and put themselves in a position to determine the outcomes of elections. Don’t like the outcome? Well then lets just have a do-over.

    Why anyone would continue to affiliate themselves with the Republican Party is beyond me.

  4. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 12:20 pm:

    When Americans tell pollsters that the country is on the wrong track, this is the stuff they are talking about.

  5. - 48th Ward Heel - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 12:22 pm:

    So much for the Sunshine State.

    I don’t suppose we could get comments from all the statehouse Republicans who emailed this morning about Illinois Democrats’ corruption and lack of ethics?

  6. - JS Mill - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 12:26 pm:

    The net effect of this legislation is that states where freedom exists should enjoy some growth as they leave totalitarian states.

  7. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 12:43 pm:

    –The bill would additionally prohibit any health care provider who objects to abortion “on moral, ethical, or religious grounds–

    Interestingly, there is no bill or allowance for the beliefs of those who do not object to abortion.

    Another case of the unsaid being more revealing than the said.

  8. - Lurker - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 12:43 pm:

    I’m quite confused on the DeSantis travel thing. Are they excluding all travel, including if taxpayer dollars were used? Are all Florida politicians now going to be able to non-disclose? This just seems so un-GOP. It is the exact opposite of how a fiscal-conservative should think.

  9. - Grandson of Man - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 12:51 pm:

    “Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature agreed on Tuesday to shield the publicly-funded travel records of Gov. Ron DeSantis”

    So much freedom from the freedom and liberty party, with all the bans and shielding of records. Total gaslighting operation. No wonder Trump respects and admires Putin and Kim.

  10. - Roadrager - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 1:10 pm:

    ==This just seems so un-GOP. It is the exact opposite of how a fiscal-conservative should think.==

    It’s also very “un-GOP” to crusade against one of the largest revenue-generating private corporations in the state because they mildly disagreed with you that one time, but, you know.

    Fun trick: “Fiscal conservatives” tend to only flex their fiscally conservative bona fides when Democrats are in charge. Otherwise, trough’s open, boys, everybody step on up. I believe there may be some relevant local examples to this fascinating phenomenon.

  11. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 1:40 pm:

    Actually compared to the EU and most of the rest of the civilized world that severely restrict abortion after around 12 weeks , it is Illinois and the blue states that are in opposite land.

  12. - Roadrager - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 2:07 pm:

    The Bears aren’t moving to Brussels, Pierre.

  13. - Suburban Mom - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 2:10 pm:

    ===Actually compared to the EU and most of the rest of the civilized world that severely restrict abortion after around 12 weeks===

    Now tell me about their access to high-quality, low-cost birth control, prenatal care, and post-natal care, including in many countries home visits from nurses who will help with your laundry when you have a new baby. Also the subsidies provided to families with children, and the high-quality universal childcare. Even the boxes full of baby clothes and supplies that Finland famously gives every single family, including high-quality winter gear.

    Also, you are incorrect in the plain statement. Most EU countries allow abortion on broad social groups up until 18-24 weeks, and after that it is easily accessible for the mother’s health. Very few abortions in the United States are performed after 20 weeks for reasons OTHER than the mother’s health or the non-viability of the fetus — except where abortion care is inaccessible and it can take weeks to get an appointment.

    So yes, if the US broadly legalized all abortions to about 20 weeks, made abortions easily available for health reasons thereafter, provided universal health care including birth control, prenatal and postnatal care, AND a national subsidy for children and high-quality universal childcare, I expect the abortion rate would drop.

    Great cherry-picking with you as usual, LP.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 2:16 pm:

    - LP -

    Now do gun control in the EU.

    Cherry picking to a want to control women’s bodies will lead, hopefully, to a shrinking of the MAGA Trump cult where it can decide the zealots are not helping society… or elections.

  15. - Jocko - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 2:34 pm:

    ==set guidelines for history curriculum on subjects like slavery and segregation==

    While leaving the guidelines for discussing the Civil War and Reconstruction vague (and pro-confederacy).

  16. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 2:37 pm:

    No cherry picking whatsoever, each county was listed on the chart.

    The US is the outlier on abortion worldwide.

    The GOP is bringing abortion restrictions more in line with where they already are in most other countries.

    We are one of only seven nations out of 198 that allow elective, on demand abortions after 20 weeks

    Right on target as usual OW

    The EU also probably hates the Bears as much as you do

  17. - JS Mill - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 2:44 pm:

    =- LP -

    Now do gun control in the EU.=

    I suspect you will get crickets, as usual.

    Between your points and @suburban mom’s outstanding rebuttal, I am just going to drop the mic right here…

  18. - Jerry - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 2:52 pm:

    LP: since you believe a Woman’s body is regulated by the Government, shouldn’t a Man’s body be subject to the same?

    For instance, expanding the Hyde Amemdment to include ED meds. Income and work requirements verified before dispensing the medication. Some Republicans have said Abortion is not a medical procedure, are ED meds the same?

  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    ===The GOP is bringing abortion restrictions===

    Women in the United States want their rights.

    Telling women they can’t control their bodies because the EU says so is an odd flex…

    … the same odd flex that folks who want 2nd Amendment rights… amirite?

    “How dare the EU tell us we can’t have guns”

    Cherry picking.

    ===Right on target as usual===

    You should tell women that restricting their rights is ok.

    Voters are disagreeing with you, and the EU.

    ===hates the Bears===

    Aw, that’s adorable. Your constant lobbying for the Bears, are you on their payroll?

    (Tips cap to - JS Mill -)

  20. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 3:01 pm:

    So, in short..,

    - LP - believes that women are subjected to limited rights to their bodies, but guns are protected more than women and their rights… because freedom.

    How is it freedom to restrict women’s rights?

  21. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 3:01 pm:

    So you are claiming the abortion policies in Illinois are actually not extreme and significantly more permissive than the EU and the most of the rest of the civilized world?

    And OW hits it out of the park with his assertion that all pro lifers are MAGA Trump supporters but I but I haven’t seen Cardinal Cupich at any rallies.

    Maybe you can explain the correlation between gun control and abortion, I don’t see a connection.

    I have also never complained about any restrictions on guns and don’t plan to.

  22. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 3:03 pm:

    I wish I could personally apologize to Deborah Dorbert for this barbaric treatment.

  23. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 3:05 pm:

    Do yourselves a favor and go look into that story out of Montana.And there are some bench pictures.

    If you wonder what old female bullies look like you will find out.

  24. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 3:20 pm:

    Do you live in the suburbs of Helsinki Suburban Mom?

    Strange you would bring up Finland in a debate about abortion.

    Finland repealed a law enacted in 1970 last year that required two doctors to sign off on an abortion.

    Now it is just one but abortion is still severely restricted after 12 weeks

  25. - MisterJayEm - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 3:45 pm:

    “Actually compared to the EU and most of the rest of the civilized world that severely restrict abortion after around 12 weeks , it is Illinois and the blue states that ̶a̶r̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶o̶p̶p̶o̶s̶i̶t̶e̶ ̶l̶a̶n̶d̶ give women control over their own bodies.”

    Guilty as charged.

    – MrJM

  26. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 3:50 pm:

    Jerry I don’t have an issue with ED

    You are free to advocate for passing whatever law you want on that subject.

    Are you against public health being regulated by the government with regards to immunization and vaccines or are you just cherry picking abortion restrictions after 12-16 weeks?

  27. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 4:00 pm:

    - LP -

    So a woman seeking an abortion after 12 weeks, according to you, would be committing a criminal act if that was the law?

    It’s a yes or no.

  28. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 4:07 pm:

    ==Actually compared to the EU and most of the rest of the civilized world that severely restrict abortion after around 12 weeks , it is Illinois and the blue states that are in opposite land.==

    We’re not the EU or the rest of the world. As someone who loves to quote polls I would think you would know that abortion rights polls well in this country. And I would have thought that the last election would have taught you that your viewpoint on abortion isn’t supported by a majority of the country. But I’m guessing you knew that already and just chose to do what you normally do, which is to be dishonest.

  29. - Demoralized - Wednesday, May 3, 23 @ 4:07 pm:

    Sorry. That was me above

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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