Monday, July 4, 2022

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July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.

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The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.

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From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Mainers Rally In Support of Roe v. Wade After Leaked Draft Opinion

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Wednesday, May 4, 2022   

Mainers gathered Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Portland, calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the right to have an abortion.

Politico obtained and released a draft majority opinion indicating that five of the nine high-court justices would vote to overturn the decision in the case Roe v. Wade. Legal abortion has been protected in Maine since the Reproductive Privacy Act of 1993.

Nicole Clegg, senior vice president for public affairs at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, said laws restricting abortions in states such as Texas have shown that limiting access to abortion doesn't reduce demand for it - but added that hurdles for those who may need to travel or find other workarounds to get the care they need.

"If Roe v. Wade is overturned, as we are expecting it will be," she said, "it will have a dramatic impact on people across the country and for providers like us, here in Maine, who will be a place where people can access care safe and legally."

Nearly three-quarters of Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, according to a Marquette Law School poll. Nearly 30% support overturning the decision.

Clegg said the Supreme Court has a long and storied history of granting rights to people when individual states have not always been willing to.

"When we think about advances around race and equality, marriage equality, the Supreme Court is the body that had to say that it doesn't matter where you live, these rights should apply to all," she said. "And so honestly, it's really shocking that we're in this moment right now, where that same body is willing to take away basic rights for people."

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, released a statement saying the draft opinion is inconsistent with what Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch indicated in their confirmation hearings. While Collins voted to confirm those two justices, she was the sole Republican to vote against Justice Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation in 2020, citing her concerns about how close the vote was to Election Day.


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