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June 19, 2019

Doctors at Planned Parenthood of St. Louis, the only abortion clinic still operating in Missouri, will no longer perform two pelvic exams on patients, as mandated by the state earlier this month, CBS News reports.

Missouri's Republican-led government enacted a rule that forced doctors to perform a pelvic exam on women 72 hours before they have an abortion; already, doctors conduct pelvic exams right before the procedure. The clinic's medical director, Dr. David Eisenberg, told CBS News on Wednesday that after performing these extra exams over the last few weeks, "I have new evidence to say that 100 percent of the patients who I've taken care of who've undergone this inappropriate, medically unnecessary, unethical pelvic exam have been harmed by that. Because to do so, in my opinion, is just assault."

The doctors consider the pelvic exam conducted right before an abortion to be medically relevant, and will continue the practice. Last month, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit after Missouri's Department of Health and Senior Services refused to make a decision over whether to renew the clinic's license. A preliminary injunction is keeping the doors open, and a judge gave the state until this Friday to decide about the license. Catherine Garcia

June 4, 2019

With a vote of 237-187, the House on Tuesday passed the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, which offers a path to citizenship for more than two million undocumented immigrants, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

Under the measure, DACA recipients — also known as "DREAMers" — meeting certain requirements would receive 10 years of legal resident status. After finishing two years of military service or higher education or working for three years, they would be granted permanent green cards. The bill also protects immigrants who have temporary protected status or deferred enforced deportation, granted to people who have left certain countries due to natural disasters or war. Those who have been in the U.S. for at least three years and pass a background check would be able to apply for a green card immediately, and after five years, they could apply for citizenship.

Seven Republicans joined all 230 Democrats present to vote for the bill, which was first introduced in March. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she thinks Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will bring the legislation up in the Senate, as "there should be nothing partisan or political" about it. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the measure would cost more than $30 billion, The Washington Post reports. Catherine Garcia

May 30, 2019

President Trump tweeted on Thursday night that on June 10, the United States will impose a 5 percent tariff on all goods from Mexico, in response to the surge of migrants coming through the country in order to seek asylum in the U.S.

The tariff will remain in place "until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP," Trump tweeted. "The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied, at which time the Tariffs will be removed. Details from the White House to follow." Trump is expected to share more information on Friday.

Administration officials told The Washington Post earlier Thursday that some aides tried to talk Trump out of announcing his tariff plan, over concerns the move would hurt financial markets and make it harder to pass the USMCA trade deal. Catherine Garcia

May 29, 2019

The Louisiana state legislature on Wednesday passed a so-called "heartbeat" abortion ban, which Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has said he will sign.

Under the measure, abortions are illegal after an ultrasound can pick up the electric pulsing of what will become a fetus' heart, which can happen as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. There are no exceptions for cases of rape and incest, and doctors found guilty of performing abortions illegally would face up to two years in prison.

Edwards, who is up for re-election, has long touted his anti-abortion beliefs, and the bill is now headed to his desk. Anti-abortion activists are hoping that newly-enacted restrictions in Alabama, Missouri, Ohio, and other states will lead the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade. Catherine Garcia

May 23, 2019

The White House announced on Thursday night that President Trump has given Attorney General William Barr "full and complete authority" to declassify intelligence related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In a statement, the White House said Trump also "directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the attorney general's investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 presidential election." The White House claims this "will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions."

Trump has long called the Russia investigation a "witch hunt," and his allies insist the evidence used to launch the FBI probe was flimsy. Catherine Garcia

May 23, 2019

Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced movie producer who has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women, has reached a tentative $44 million settlement with the women, creditors, and the New York attorney general, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

The Weinstein Co. filed for bankruptcy last year, and lawyers told a bankruptcy court judge on Thursday that a deal has been reached, but not finalized. Under the proposed deal, the alleged victims, former Weinstein Co. employees, and studio creditors would receive $30 million, the Journal reports, with an additional $14 million going toward legal fees. The money would come from various insurance policies.

The New York attorney general's office filed a civil rights lawsuit in 2018, alleging that the Weinstein Co.'s board members and executives did not do enough to protect employees from Weinstein's misconduct; if the deal goes through, it would end the suit. Weinstein is also set to go on trial in September on rape and other sexual assault charges. He denies ever engaging in nonconsensual sex. Catherine Garcia

May 20, 2019

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) warned former White House Counsel Don McGahn on Monday night that if he ignores a congressional subpoena and refuses to testify before his panel on Tuesday, "the committee is prepared to use all enforcement mechanisms at its disposal."

Earlier Monday, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone notified Nadler that Trump had instructed McGahn to ignore the subpoena and skip the hearing. In a letter to McGahn, Nadler said "President Trump's order — which seeks to block a former official from informing a coequal branch of government about his own misconduct — is unprecedented," adding that this "does not excuse your obligation to appear before the committee."

Nadler listed several reasons why Trump cannot keep McGahn from testifying, including that "the president himself has already called your credibility into question." Nadler is referring to Trump tweeting earlier this month he "was NOT going to fire Bob Mueller," contradicting what McGahn told Special Counsel Robert Mueller. "In attacking your credibility and asking you to make public comments about these events, the president has not only further waived any possible privilege with regard to your testimony; he has also created substantial concerns about acts of witness intimidation and further obstruction of Congress' ongoing investigations," Nadler said. Catherine Garcia

May 15, 2019

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed into law on Wednesday a bill prohibiting nearly all abortion procedures in the state, with no exemptions for cases of rape or incest.

The measure, which passed the Alabama state Senate on Tuesday night with a vote of 25-6, makes performing an abortion a felony. This is the country's most restrictive abortion law, and only allows exceptions when a woman's health is at risk. Democrats tried to add an amendment to exempt rape and incest victims from the law, but the motion failed.

"To the bill's many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians' deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God," Ivey said in a statement. She also said the bill's sponsors "believe that it is time, once again, for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit this important matter, and they believe this act may bring about the best opportunity for this to occur." Catherine Garcia

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