Tag Archives: Missouri

United States and Iran Help China Push Global Executions to 10-Year High

Lawmakers in southern U.S. states accused of demonstrating “a chilling commitment” to state-sponsored murder alongside “a callous intent to invest resources in the taking of human life.”

By Jon Queally. Published 5-29-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: AFSC/CC

The number of executions worldwide hit a nearly 10-year high in 2023 thanks to a surge in state killings by Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, and the United States.

A new global report published by Amnesty International documents that the death penalty was imposed on 1,153 people last year, though the total is believed to be significantly higher due to the secrecy surrounding China’s penal system. The international human rights group believes “thousands” of people were executed by the Chinese government, but the exact figure is not known.

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Federal Dicamba Ruling Called ‘Vital Victory for Farmers and the Environment’

“The court today resoundingly reaffirmed what we have always maintained: The EPA’s and Monsanto’s claims of dicamba’s safety were irresponsible and unlawful,” said one plaintiff.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-6-2024 by Common Dreams

CUPPED LEAVES — Soybeans showing the cupped leaves which are a symptom of dicamba injury. File photo. (U of A System Division of Agriculture)/flickr/CC

In what one plaintiff called “a sweeping victory for family farmers and dozens of endangered plants and animals,” a federal court in Arizona on Tuesday rescinded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2020 approval of the highly volatile herbicide dicamba for use on certain genetically engineered crops.

In a 47-page ruling, U.S. District Judge David C. Bury found that the EPA failed to comply with public notice and comment requirements under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), legislation passed in 1947 to protect agricultural workers, consumers, and the environment.

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Florida Abortion Rights Defenders Surpass Target for Ballot Measure

Supporters of the Florida measure—similar to other initiatives across the country—say they are “confident that voters will approve our amendment.”

By Jessica Corbett. Published 1-5-2024 by Common Dreams

Screenshot: CBS News

As of Friday, Florida residents and groups fighting for a state constitutional amendment to limit government interference with abortion care have collected enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot this November.

The proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution states that “no law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider.”

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Post-Dobbs Bans Leave 14 States With No Abortion Clinics

A new analnysis shows how “abortion bans, extremist harassment, and the financial realities of operating community-based clinics make it increasingly difficult for independent clinics to stay open.”

By Brett Wilkins Published 12-5-2023 by Common Dreams

Stop Abortion Bans Rally in St Paul, Minnesota May 2019. Photo: Lorie Shaull/flickr/CC

Scores of independent reproductive health centers have been forced to close or stop offering abortion care, with 14 states now having no abortion clinics, a report published Tuesday revealed.

Abortion Care Network (ACN) released its annual Communities Need Clinics report, which details how “abortion bans, extremist harassment, and the financial realities of operating community-based clinics make it increasingly difficult for independent clinics to stay open” after the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court canceled half a century of federal abortion rights in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization a year-and-a-half ago.

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State Spying Poses ‘Roadblock’ for Interstate Seekers of Abortion, Transgender Care: Report

“Digital surveillance data makes profiling easy and suggests that travel data will be weaponized to identify new targets for healthcare prosecutions and investigations.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 7-18-2023 by Common Dreams

Automated license plate reader (ALPR/LPR) cameras scan license plates of cars crossing into Pensacola Beach, Florida. Photo: Tony Webster/flickr/CC

A report published Tuesday details how digital surveillance can be used by police and prosecutors to criminalize patients seeking abortion and gender-affirming healthcare outside their home states.

The report—entitled Roadblock to Care: Barriers to Out-of-State Travel for Abortion and Gender-Affirming Care—was authored by the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP), a New York-based privacy and civil rights group. The publication comes as Republican-controlled state legislatures pass a wave of abortion and gender-affirming healthcare bans, forcing people seeking such care to travel out of state.

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‘Can’t Win, So They Cheat’: GOP Tries to Keep Abortion Rights Off Ballot After Big Losses

“Republican lawmakers pushing these efforts want 41% of voters to block ballot initiatives that 59% of voters support. This is not democracy.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 4-24-2023 by Common Dreams

Stop Abortion Bans Rally in St. Paul, Minnesota on May 21, 2019. Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

Last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court ended the federal right to abortion, voters in Kansas, California, Michigan, Vermont, Kentucky, and Montana used the ballot initiative process to show their support for reproductive freedom, both by defeating GOP-backed anti-abortion measures and approving constitutional amendments aimed at preserving abortion access.

Those losses for anti-abortion Republicans and their wealthy backers have led the party to ramp up its attacks on the ballot initiative process itself in several states.

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‘Despicable and Dangerous’: Missouri Republicans Vote to Defund State’s Public Libraries

“First they ban books, now they go after libraries. What will be next?”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 4-12-2023 by Common Dreams

Children and parents participate in an event at the St. Louis Public Library in this photo dated April 11, 2023. (Photo: St. Louis Public Library/Facebook)

Literacy and civil liberties defenders on Wednesday excoriated Republican state lawmakers in Missouri after they gave their final approval to a budget that would completely defund the state’s public libraries and other essential services.

In addition to cutting the $4.5 million allocated for public libraries in Missouri’s $45.6 billion state budget, the final package approved on Tuesday cuts all government support for diversity initiatives, childcare, and pre-kindergarten programs, Heartland Signal reports.

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Democratic AGs Fight Back Against GOP Attacks on Abortion Pill Access

“In a time when reproductive healthcare is under attack, our group of 23 attorneys general strongly believe we should be encouraging companies and providers to offer easily accessible, safe, and confidential healthcare as broadly as possible.”

By Julia Conley.  Published 2-16-2023 by Common Dreams

Mifepristone The pill is one of two used in medication abortions. Photo: Robin Marty/flickr/CC

Warning that Republican-led states have launched an effort to keep millions of people from accessing lifesaving medications, 23 Democratic state attorneys general on Thursday sent a letter to officials at CVS and Walgreens to assure the pharmacies that they can legally dispense and mail mifepristone and misoprostol, the pills used in medication abortions.

The attorneys general of Oregon, California, and Washington spearheaded the letter two weeks after their Republican counterparts in 20 states told the pharmacies that they could be in violation of the Comstock Act, dating back to the 1870s, if they deliver the pills to patients by mail. Continue reading

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Direct democracy can force governments to better represent the people – but it doesn’t always work out

The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to a push for citizens initiatives to enshrine abortion rights.
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

 

Susan Stokes, University of Chicago

In August 2022, a statewide referendum in Kansas saw citizens overwhelmingly reject a plan to insert anti-abortion language into the state’s constitution. It comes as a slew of similar votes on abortion rights are planned in the coming months – putting the issue directly to the people after the Supreme Court struck down the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

But are referendums and citizens initiatives good for democracy? It may seem like an odd question to pose on International Day for Democracy, especially at a time when many feel democracy is imperiled both in the U.S. and around the world. Continue reading

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Inescapable ‘Abortion Deserts’ Coming as Idaho, Tennessee, and Texas Trigger Bans Set to Take Effect

“Tomorrow, millions more people will lose abortion access across the nation,” warned the leader of one reproductive rights group.

By Jessica Corbett  Published 8-24-2022 by Common Dreams

Around 3000 people met outside the Minnesota state capitol building to protest against laws banning abortion on May 21, 2019. Photo: Fibonacci Blue/flickr/CC

A leading reproductive rights organization on Wednesday reiterated the need for action to protect abortion access at the federal level in anticipation of three more “trigger laws” set to take effect in Idaho, Tennessee, and Texas.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in June, anti-choice state lawmakers have moved to further restrict reproductive freedom—ramping up the GOP’s already “unprecedented” attacks on the right to choose. Continue reading

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