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Eli Lilly and Co. and the administration of President Joe Biden have condemned Indiana’s new ban on abortions. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement Saturday said Indiana's Republican legislators have “put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians rather than women and their doctors.” Lilly says it's concerned the law will hinder the company's and Indiana’s “ability to attract diverse scientific, engineering and business talent from around the world.” The law lifts the ban in cases of rape or incest and to protect the life and physical health of the mother. It takes effect Sept. 15.
Every year, the fins of as many as 73 million sharks are sliced from the backs of the majestic sea predators, their bleeding bodies sometimes dumped back into the ocean where they are left to suffocate or die of blood loss. But while the barbaric practice is driven by China, where shark fin soup is a symbol of status for the rich and powerful, America’s seafood industry isn’t immune from the trade. A spate of recent criminal indictments highlights how U.S. companies, taking advantage of a patchwork of federal and state laws, are supplying a market for fins that activists say is as reprehensible as the now-illegal trade in elephant ivory once was.
A Massachusetts bill aimed at recasting the state’s gun laws in the wake of last month’s Supreme Court ruling making it harder for states to limit access to firearms was approved by lawmakers Monday. Democratic leaders — who have pledged to draft tougher legislation when they come back into formal session next year — said the bill would bring state law in line with the high court ruling that found a New York law restricting carrying licenses, similar to Massachusetts law, was unconstitutional. The language was shipped to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker in the early morning hours, when lawmakers ended their formal session.
Anti-abortion groups are looking to the courts, lawmakers and elections to facilitate more abortion restrictions and bans after a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June left the issue up to states. After a half-century of pushing for restrictions, social conservatives are in a new place: Defending bans in court. And while several states already had deep restrictions queued up ahead of the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, abortion opponents are looking to lawmakers in others to follow suit. The outcomes of elections across the country in November could be key to whether they can accomplish those aims.
Some Democratic candidates in statewide down-ballot races have decided to make abortion access key to their campaigns. They're doing so even when it may not have an obvious connection to the office. A Connecticut state treasurer candidate is airing ads in which she promises to “lead the crusade” for abortion rights and to push companies in which the state invests to fund abortion access. A Wisconsin treasurer candidate has asked donors to help her “fight to codify Roe.” A state auditor candidate in Ohio likes to remind voters that his role on the state's political mapmaking commission could also influence abortion access.
Tribes in South Dakota are working with a rural Massachusetts museum to return hundreds of items believed to have been taken from ancestors massacred at Wounded Knee Creek in 1890. It’s a recent example of efforts to repatriate human remains and other items to tribes nationwide. A federal database shows some 870,000 items that should be returned to tribes by law are still in the possession of colleges, museums and other institutions across the country. The holdings include nearly 110,000 human remains. The University of California, Berkeley tops the list, followed closely by the Ohio History Connection.
Judges have blocked abortion bans set to take effect this week in Wyoming and North Dakota amid lawsuits arguing that the bans violate their state constitutions. A judge in Wyoming on Wednesday sided with a firebombed women’s health clinic and others who argued the ban would harm health care workers and their patients, while a North Dakota judge sided with the state’s only abortion clinic. The court action puts those states among several where judges have temporarily blocked “trigger laws” meant to go in effect when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The Wyoming law was set to take effect Wednesday. The North Dakota law was set to take effect Thursday. Elsewhere hundreds protested an abortion ban bill that advanced in the West Virginia Legislature.
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris says Indiana’s proposed abortion ban reflects a health care crisis in the United States. She met Monday with Democratic state legislators on the first day of a contentious special legislative session in Indiana. Harris traveled to Indianapolis as several thousand people on both sides of the issue filled Statehouse corridors and lined sidewalks surrounding the building. Indiana’s Republican Senate leaders last week proposed banning abortions with limited exceptions — in cases of rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother. Indiana is one of the first Republican-run states to debate tighter abortion laws following the U.S. Supreme Court decision last month overturning Roe v. Wade.
Tunisians are heading to the polls to vote on a new constitution. The controversial initiative has been spearheaded by Tunisian President Kais Saied that critics say will formalize his power grab in the North African nation. Supporters of the president believe the new constitution will solve Tunisia's political deadlock, while others warn it could pave the way back to the autocracy that Tunisians overthrew in 2011. If approved, the new constitution gives the president all executive powers and removes key checks and balances of his power. One critic says the proposal could threaten the rights and freedoms Tunisian citizens.
Across the U.S., numerous Republican-governed states are pushing for sweeping bans on abortion. But there also is a coinciding surge of concern in some Democratic-led states that options for reproductive health care are dwindling due to expansion of Catholic hospital networks. These are states such as Oregon, Washington, California, New York and Connecticut, where abortion will remain legal despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. Concerns there pertain to services like contraception, sterilization and certain procedures for handling pregnancy emergencies. These services are widely available at secular hospitals but generally forbidden, along with abortion, at Catholic facilities.