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    A day after the Supreme Court’s bombshell ruling overturning Roe v. Wade ended the constitutional right to abortion, emotional protests and prayer vigils are turning to resolve as several states enact bans and both supporters and foes of abortion rights map out their next moves. A Texas group that helps women pay for abortions has halted its efforts while evaluating its legal risk under a ban it says will disproportionately hurt poor and minority women. Mississippi’s only abortion clinic is continuing to see patients while awaiting a 10-day notice that will trigger a ban. Some elected officials are vowing to protect women’s access to abortion, while opponents of the procedure say their fight is far from over.

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    Pope Francis is urging families to shun “selfish” decisions that are indifferent to life as he closed out a big Vatican family rally a day after the U.S. Supreme Court ended constitutional protections for abortion.Francis didn’t refer to the ruling or explicitly mention abortion in his homily Saturday. But he used the buzzwords he has throughout his papacy about the need to defend families and condemn the “culture of waste” that he believes is behind the societal acceptance of abortion.Francis has strongly upheld church teaching opposing abortion, equating it to “hiring a hitman to solve a problem.” At the same time, he has expressed sympathy for women who have had abortions and has made it easier for them to be absolved of the sin of abortion.

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    President Joe Biden has signed the most sweeping gun violence bill in decades. The bipartisan compromise seemed unimaginable until a recent series of mass shootings, including the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school. The House gave final approval Friday, following Senate passage Thursday, and Biden acted just before leaving Washington for two world leader summits in Europe. The legislation will toughen background checks for the youngest gun buyers, keep firearms from more domestic violence offenders and help states put in place laws that make it easier for authorities to take weapons from people adjudged to be dangerous. Most of its $13 billion cost will help bolster mental health programs and aid schools

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    A U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a New York gun law could mean big changes thousands of miles away in Hawaii, which has strict restrictions on carrying firearms. In 2020, Hawaii had the nation’s lowest rate for gun deaths. Chris Marvin is a Hawaii resident with the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety. He's concerned minor scuffles over things like surf spots could escalate if more people are carrying guns in public because of the high court decision. As Marvin says, “Guns and aloha don't mix." Hawaii and California are among states with strict laws limiting carrying guns in public. Those laws will now need to be loosened.

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    Maine Attorney General Aaron Frey says religious schools seeking to take advantage of a state tuition program must abide by state law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. He says that could deter some of them from participation despite a Supreme Court decision this week. The high court ruled that Maine can’t exclude religious schools from a program that offers tuition aid for private education in towns that don’t have public schools. One of the attorneys who successfully sued says the state can balance the interests of all parties if elected officials “are genuinely committed to that task.”

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    A day after the Supreme Court’s bombshell ruling overturning Roe v. Wade ended the constitutional right to abortion, emotional protests and prayer vigils are turning to resolve as several states enact bans and both supporters and foes of abortion rights map out their next moves. A Texas group that helps women pay for abortions has halted its efforts while evaluating its legal risk under a ban it says will disproportionately hurt poor and minority women. Mississippi’s only abortion clinic is continuing to see patients while awaiting a 10-day notice that will trigger a ban. Some elected officials are vowing to protect women’s access to abortion, while opponents of the procedure say their fight is far from over.

    A 5-month-old girl has been shot to death while sitting in the rear of a car in Chicago. Chicago police and the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office identified the child as Cecilia Thomas. She was struck in the head when shots were fired from another vehicle. She later died at a hospital. Police said a 41-year-old man in another vehicle was in good condition at a hospital after suffering a gunshot wound near his eye. No arrests have been made. The baby is among the youngest victims of gun violence in Chicago. She would have turned 6-months-old in four days, according to Natalia Derevyanny, a spokeswoman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

    Mitt Romney isn’t up for reelection this year, but his name is surfacing in Republican primaries throughout the nation. Candidates are using the label “Mitt Romney Republican” to frame opponents as insufficiently conservative and enemies of the Trump-era GOP. Candidates have employed the concept in attack ads and talking points in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In Romney's home state Utah, Republican challengers taking on incumbent congressmen are using the attack, even though Romney won overwhelmingly only four years ago. The fact that Romney remains potent attack fodder reflects his singular position in politics and ongoing divisions within the Republican Party.

    Pfizer says tweaking its COVID-19 vaccine to better target the omicron variant is safe and boosts protection. Saturday's announcement comes just days before regulators debate whether to offer Americans updated booster shots this fall. The current COVID-19 vaccines still offer strong protection against hospitalization and death. But protection against infection has dropped markedly with the omicron variant, and now its even more transmissible relatives are spreading. Pfizer says either an omicron-targeted booster or a combination shot that mixes the original vaccine with omicron protection substantially increases protection. Rival Moderna hopes to offer a similar combination shot.

    The Supreme Court’s decision to end the nation’s constitutional protections for abortion has catapulted businesses of all types into the most divisive corner of politics. A rash of iconic names including The Walt Disney Company, Facebook parent Meta, and Goldman Sachs announced they would pay for travel expenses for those who want the procedure but can't get it in the states they live in. Others including J.P. Morgan Chase, Starbucks and Yelp reiterated past pledges they would cover travel expenses. But of the dozens of big companies that The Associated Press reached out to, many like McDonald's, PepsiCo and Walmart remained silent, underscoring how divisive the issue is.

    And so, the interminable wait after the leak of the decision overturning Roe v. Wade has come to an end — nearly two months in which abortion and all of its complexities have been have been hashed and rehashed, while the U.S. Supreme Court was silent. Throughout, much of the focus was on who would suffer the most if abortion was widely illegal. Women in many places were already forced to travel long distances to undergo the procedure, and children in the states with the toughest abortion laws got the least support from states. Both sides waited, some with fear, others with expectations, for the decision that arrived Friday.

    When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York’s tight restrictions on who can carry a handgun, condemnation erupted from liberal leaders and activists. But some public defenders, often allies of progressive activists, have praised the court’s ruling, saying gun-permitting rules like New York’s have long been a license for racial discrimination. The defense lawyers say that by making it a crime for most people to carry a handgun, New York and a few other states have ended up putting people — overwhelmingly people of color — behind bars for conduct that would be legal elsewhere.

    Democratic officials across the nation hope to harness their party's collective outrage and sadness to improve their political outlook this fall after the Supreme Court's stunning decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Abortion was an afterthought for much of the year for many voters. It was overshadowed by record gas prices, surging inflation and President Joe Biden’s low popularity. But on Friday, a Supreme Court majority of conservative justices ensured that abortion would be a central issue in U.S. politics for the foreseeable future. Polling shows that relatively few Americans wanted to see Roe overturned.

    U.S. national soccer team star Megan Rapinoe is among a group of leading sports figures who have expressed anger over the Supreme Court’s decision to strip the nation’s constitutional protections for abortion, decrying an erosion of rights that women have had for a generation. Billie Jean King, who just celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, is also dismayed by the decision. Women playing for teams, including NWSL's Racing Louisville and the WNBA's Dallas Wings, will be directly impacted by the decision.

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