Tag Archives: Alabama

New Data Reveals ‘Alarming Escalation’ of Threats Towards Abortion Facilities

“Anti-choice individuals and groups have been emboldened by the rhetoric of President Trump, Vice President Pence, and other elected officials.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-24-2019

“It is time for the demonizing of abortion providers and their patients to end,” said The Very Reverend Katherine Ragsdale, interim president and CEO of NAF. (Photo: ACLU)

As reproductive rights face continued attacks on the state and federal levels, just-released data reveals an “alarming escalation” in violence and harassment aimed at abortion providers and those seeking their services.

The statistics (pdf), reflecting incidents in 2018, were released Friday by the National Abortion Federation (NAF). Continue reading

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‘This Is Not A Drill’: Amid GOP Attack, Pro-Choice #StopTheBans Rallies Take Place Nationwide

“Now more than ever, we must unite against this unprecedented attack on our fundamental rights and freedoms…Because we are in the fight of our lives.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-21-2019

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue speaks at a #StopTheBans rally in Washington, D.C., aimed at ending the Republican Party’s attacks on abortion rights. (Photo: NARAL Pro-Choice America)

A week after the Alabama legislature sparked outrage that spread across the country with its approval of a near-total ban on abortion care in the state, reproductive rights advocates across the country are holding “Stop the Bans” rallies on Tuesday to demand that state Republican lawmakers end their attacks on abortion rights.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Women’s Law Center, and Planned Parenthood were among dozens of national groups that began planning a #StopTheBans Day of Action last week after extreme anti-choice laws were passed both in Alabama and Missouri. By Tuesday morning, more than 500 direct actions were planned in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Continue reading

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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Smacks Down GOP Gerrymandered Congressional Map

Decision hailed as ‘major victory for all Pennsylvanians’

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 1-22-2018

Thanks to the new decision, said the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, “The new maps could result in a delegation that more closely resembles the will of Pennsylvania’s voters.” (Photo: Penn State/Flickr/cc)

Pennsylvania’s high court on Monday ruled that the state’s gerrymandered congressional map “clearly, plainly, and palpably” violates the state constitution and ordered the state to draw up a new map to be used in the primary.

“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court today ruled in favor of voters choosing politicians rather than politicians choosing voters, and that is major victory for all Pennsylvanians,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause, which filed an amicus brief in the case. “The court order will result in new maps in time for the 2018 election so that voters will not be forced to face a fourth congressional election under these unconstitutionally gerrymandered congressional districts.” Continue reading

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‘Hoop After Hoop’: How Gulf Coast States Are Playing Politics with Women’s Health

“It’s just plain irresponsible for politicians to keep forcing doctors to go court just to ensure that they can provide the care that women need.”

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-3-2016

John Bel Edwards

John Bel Edwards. Photo:YouTube

Women on the Gulf Coast continue to face concerted attacks on their right to healthcare, as Louisiana passed new abortion restrictions this week and the ACLU sued Alabama over several recently enacted, draconian laws.

On Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed into law a bill banning the abortion procedure known as “dilation and evacuation” or D&E—which women’s health experts say is the safest and most common method of abortion for women in their second trimester of pregnancy. Continue reading

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Exxon Gets Sued by Conservationists and Legal Help from Conservatives

As attorneys general of Texas and Alabama pledge to assist oil giant with fraud probe, conservation group files first lawsuit since cover-up revealed

By Nadia Prupis, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 5-17-2016

The lawsuit "aims to hold ExxonMobil accountable for decades of dishonesty." (Photo: Johnny Silvercloud/flickr/cc)

The lawsuit “aims to hold ExxonMobil accountable for decades of dishonesty.” (Photo: Johnny Silvercloud/flickr/cc)

An environmental group has filed the first non-governmental lawsuit against ExxonMobil since the fossil fuel giant’s campaign of misinformation was exposed last year.

The Boston-based Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) announced Tuesday that it served a formal notice against Exxon for its decades-long effort to suppress information about climate change and spread public doubt about the impacts of greenhouse gases. CLF launched an investigation against the corporation after InsideClimate News exposed its cover-up in 2015, and found Exxon to be endangering New England communities by misleading regulators over the climate-readiness of its facilities. Continue reading

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Alabama Makes Photo IDs Mandatory for Voting, Then Shutters DMV Offices in Black Counties

The ‘decision to cut out ID services to almost all counties with a majority black population is discriminatory and wrong,’ says ACLU of Alabama.

Written by Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 10-1-15.

"Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed," writes columnist John Archibald. (Photo: Denise Cross Photography/flickr/cc)

“Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed,” writes columnist John Archibald. (Photo: Denise Cross Photography/flickr/cc)

Some observers say that Alabama’s move to close dozens of drivers license offices is a discriminatory move that could trigger a civil rights probe.

Here’s why: in 2011 lawmakers approved a voter ID law requiring a government-issued ID to vote, and the 31 offices the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency set for closing—which the agency said was due to the $11 million cut in the new General Fund appropriation—will take a disproportionate hit on counties that are majority African-American.

Columnist John Archibald writes that “Alabama just took a giant step backward.”

“Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed. Every one,” he continues, writing that the state “might as well just send an invitation to the Justice Department.”

“It’s not just a civil rights violation,” Archibald writes. “It is not just a public relations nightmare. It is not just an invitation for worldwide scorn and an alarm bell to the Justice Department. It is an affront to the very notion of justice in a nation where one man one vote is as precious as oxygen. It is a slap in the face to all who believe the stuff we teach the kids about how all are created equal.”

Columnist Kyle Whitmire makes similar charges, writing:

Depending on which counties you count as being in Alabama’s Black Belt, either twelve or fifteen Black Belt counties soon won’t have a place to get a driver’s license.

Counties where some of the state’s poorest live.

Counties that are majority African-American.

[…] When the state passed Voter ID, Republican lawmakers argued that it was supposed to prevent voter fraud. Democrats said the law was written to disenfranchise black voters and suppress the voice of the poor.

Maybe, maybe not.

But put these two things together — Voter ID and 29 counties without a place where you can get one — and Voter ID becomes what the Democrats always said it was.

A civil rights lawsuit isn’t a probability. It’s a certainty.

On its Facebook page, the ACLU of Alabama writes that the “decision to cut out ID services to almost all counties with a majority black population is discriminatory and wrong.”

“Before the Supreme Court struck down key provisions in the Voting Rights Act last year, something like this would have had to be reviewed by the Department of Justice. This is why we need to stand together and show our lawmakers that we need an update to the Voting Rights Act, and we need it now,” the organization continued.

In its Health of State Democracies assessment issued in July, which includes voting equality among the criteria, the Center for American Progress Action Fund ranked Alabama dead last, giving the state an “F” for how it fared on accessibility of the ballot.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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