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Back in February, the Trump administration announced that it would be making the global gag rule on abortion truly global by implementing it right here in the United States. The new rule will bar family planning centers that refer patients to abortion providers from receiving Title X funding. The $286 million will instead be given to "faith-based" groups like Obria that, uh, pretty much just provide pregnancy tests for people who apparently don't know you can get pregnancy tests at the dollar store, and tell people about the rhythm method and adoption, for people who are somehow unaware that those things exist as well.

It's bad. It's ... it's really, really bad. And it's set to go into effect on May 3.

But (PHEW) we may be granted a reprieve. Late on Tuesday night, after hearing arguments from Planned Parenthood, the American Medical Association, and a coalition representing 20 US states and the District of Columbia, US District Judge Michael J. McShane, an Obama appointee, announced that he would grant a preliminary injunction against the new rule. The judge also granted a preliminary injunction against another stupid new rule that would prohibit Title X family planning centers from being housed in the same place as abortion providers. He says he will issue a formal opinion soon.

Via The Oregonian:


McShane said the so-called "gag rule'' -- barring physicians from referring patients who don't want to continue their pregnancies to an abortion provider -- prevents doctors from behaving like medical professionals.

The judge also found that it would create a class of low-income women who couldn't receive a full range of medical care options, foster a "geographic vacuum'' in reproductive health care clinics and likely cause an increase in abortions due to more unwanted pregnancies.

He said the rule, which is set to go into effect May 3, represents an "arrogant assumption'' that government is better suited to direct health care instead of providers.

Damn, Judge McShane gets it.

Attorney Andrew M. Bernie, who represented the federal government in the lawsuit, tried to argue that the rule would not cause any "irreparable harm" and also that it wasn't politically motivated at all. Which, duh, is absolute bullshit.

And the judge was more than happy to call him out on it.

"We are looking for good health outcomes. Are these rules going to bring about good health outcomes?'' McShane repeatedly asked Bernie.

McShane presented a hypothetical scenario, saying if he went to his doctor and asked for a vasectomy and his doctor referred him only to a fertility clinic, "that would seem insane to you, right?''

The judge said the government hadn't provided him with any data to counter medical experts' assertions that restricting medical professionals from discussing all reproductive health options with patients would result in increases in unwanted pregnancies, use of ineffective contraceptives and increases in sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.

WHOOO. Anyone know if this judge is single? Asking for a friend. Who is me.

Bernie then tried to argue that the new statute is a totally reasonable extension of Section 1008 of the Title X statute, which prohibits Title X funds from being used to perform abortions (which is a terrible statute in and of itself).

This has been an easy thing to push through, because most Americans who do not work in non-profits have no idea how non-profits even work. Which is fair. I think most of us don't know how a lot of jobs we've never had work. But because of this, unscrupulous types have convinced people that it is somehow possible that Title X funds are being used to provide abortions or to do things like "keep the lights on" which then aids in the abortion performing.

This is not true. Here's how it actually works. Someone writes a grant, saying, "We need X amount of money for condoms, X amount of money for birth control, X amount of money for breast exams, etc., etc., this is how we plan to use this money, this is the population we serve, yadda yadda yadda."

Then, when the year is up, the organization has to send a report back showing the receipts and detailing the impact the grant has had. This is what that report looks like. The things Title X pays for are not things that Planned Parenthood would otherwise have to pay out of pocket for (which is not to say that they wouldn't, but that this has nothing to do with any kind of profit margin). They are providing a service to the government, and doing a thing the government cannot do themselves because the government does not own its own family planning services. That is the basic purpose of all federal grants to non-profits -- we have determined that this benefits us as a nation, we can't do it ourselves, so we're going to give you the money to do it for us.

Taking away Planned Parenthood's Title X funding does not hurt Planned Parenthood's "bottom line." It hurts the people who benefit from Title X funding. If I were to give you 100 condoms to give away each month and then stop doing that, your financial situation is going to be exactly the same as it was before I said "Hey, go hand out these condoms for me." The people who would be impacted by that would be the people who were getting my donated condoms.

We are currently in the middle of a pretty goddamn severe ob-gyn shortage in America and more than half of the counties in the country do not even have one, never mind one that actually takes Medicaid or ACA insurance as Planned Parenthood does. It is, perhaps, not the smartest idea to go around making rules that put up barriers to people getting that care. It's good to know that there are people out there fighting against this, and a relief to see that at least one judge has found in their favor so far. Because if this does go through, a lot of people are going to be royally screwed.

[The Oregonian]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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