House Committee Reverses July 10 Release of UNFPA Funds
One week after approving the Lowey-Kolbe amendment which set a July 10 deadline for the release of $34 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the US House Appropriations Committee narrowly reversed its vote 32-30 passing an amendment by Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) to drop the July 10 deadline and cap the UNFPA Fiscal Year (FY) 2002 funding at $34 million. Setting instead a July 31, 2002 deadline for President Bush’s determination of UNFPA’s alleged role—unsubstantiated to date—in forced abortions in China, the Tiahrt amendment according to the Wall Street Journal, dangerously grants the President "substantial discretion" over the funds, irrespective of the State Department’s investigative report expected in June.
Opponents criticized that the delay of UNFPA funds has already caused the agency to make cut backs in programs and personnel. According to UNFPA spokesperson Stirling Scruggs, the US hold "could mean 2 million unwanted pregnancies, 800,000 induced abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths, and 77,000 infant and child deaths." Echoing earlier statements by UNFPA denying that it funds any programs that perform forced procedures or uses any US funds for its programs in China, Alan Guttmacher Institute government affairs director Susan Cohen stated, "This is about an agency that has nothing to do with abortion, that has nothing to do with coercion."
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .