The Stew Reporting on government and politics

Fearsome fundamentals

Politics | Democrats are drawing a pro-abortion line in the sand
by Anne K. Walters & Lynde Langdon
Posted 11/21/19, 05:39 pm

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a top candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, declared that her party stands for abortion in Wednesday’s primary debate. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow asked Warren about Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a fellow Democrat who signed a bill protecting unborn babies from abortion in his state after they have a detectable heartbeat, and whether there was room in the party for a someone like him.

“Protecting the right of a woman to be able to make decisions about her own body is fundamentally what we do and what we stand for as a Democratic Party,” Warren said, calling abortion a matter of “human rights” and “economic rights.”

Her comments underscore the radicalism of the Democratic Party on the issue. On Monday, the Democratic Attorneys General Association announced it would not endorse candidates for office unless they publicly commit to supporting abortion.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said the attorneys general group’s “litmus test underscores the extremism of the modern Democratic Party on abortion. Long gone are the days of ‘safe, legal, and rare.’”

A recent survey by the pro-life group Americans United for Life (AUL) found most Americans hold much more moderate beliefs about abortion than Warren and the other 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. At least 70 percent of the people surveyed said they support laws that hold abortionists and abortion facilities to the same safety standards as doctors and hospitals.

AUL sponsored the survey in October after the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would hear the case of a Louisiana law that requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. That law took effect in 2014, before Edwards became governor of the state, but during his tenure he has signed two landmark bills to protect unborn babies from abortion. Edwards won reelection Saturday.

At Wednesday night’s debate, Warren initially dodged the question of whether she thought Edwards belonged in the Democratic Party. When pressed by Maddow, Warren said, “I’m not here to drive anyone out of this party. I’m not here to try to build fences. But I am here to say this is what I’ll stand for as president of the United States.”

In October, Planned Parenthood announced it would spend $45 million supporting Democratic and other pro-abortion candidates in the 2020 election cycle.

Associated Press/Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth Associated Press/Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange demonstrate outside Westminster Magistrates Court in London in October.

Assange’s reckoning draws closer

Swedish prosecutors dropped rape and sexual assault charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday, removing an obstacle to the United States prosecuting him for leaking classified information.

Assange spent nearly seven years holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden on the charges. He feared the Swedes would hand him over to the United States.

After Ecuador withdrew his asylum earlier this year, British authorities arrested Assange for jumping bail. Swedish officials reopened the case against him but concluded the evidence in the alleged rape in 2010 was now too old to proceed.

“I would like to emphasize that the injured party has submitted a credible and reliable version of events,” Swedish prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson said. “Her statements have been coherent, extensive and detailed; however, my overall assessment is that the evidential situation has been weakened to such an extent that there is no longer any reason to continue the investigation.”

A U.S. grand jury indicted Assange in May on 18 counts, including conspiring to obtain classified information and disclosing classified material after working with U.S. Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning to acquire reams of classified documents.

If Sweden had moved forward with the charges against Assange, British officials would have needed to determine which extradition request would take precedence. —A.K.W.

Associated Press/Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta Associated Press/Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta The U.S. Capitol in Washington

Temporary funds

Congress has passed a short-term spending bill to keep the government funded until next month, leaving unresolved questions about the 2020 budget, especially funding for a wall along the U.S. southern border with Mexico.

Since the 2020 fiscal year began on Oct. 1, the federal government has operated under short-term resolutions that hold spending at existing levels as Democrats and Republicans work on the details of financial allocations for the entire year. The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a stop-gap measure that funds the government until Dec. 20, with the Senate approving it on Thursday and sending it on to President Donald Trump, who is expected to sign it.

Though Trump signed a budget earlier this year setting overall spending, Congress must still pass a series of bills allocating the funds for government departments and agencies. Republicans have pushed for Congress to separately advance appropriations for defense, including a military pay raise, and other areas. But Democrats are holding out for an agreement on all 12 spending bills, with the largest stumbling block over funds related to border security. —A.K.W.

Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  • news2me
    Posted: Fri, 11/22/2019 03:26 pm

    I hope Trump doesn't give Pelosi what she wants. It won't make her change her mind about her coup.  Pelosi wants to become the 1st woman president no matter how she gets it. 

    Can't Trump give a pay hike to the military separately? 

    We should not be paying for walls for other countries.

    Why can't DC just spend money where our country needs it instead of adding junk to our debt?

    Why do we have money for foreign powers to put in their pockets while our military and old people can barely make ends meet?

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