News you actually want to know, and what you can do to make a difference.
Welcome to your daily roundup of good news about good people, how you can help make a difference — and a picture of President Obama (and Santa!) because you deserve it.
Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf promised that he would veto an extreme anti-choice bill that his state's Republican-controlled legislature sent to his desk. The bill sought to ban abortion at 20 weeks, making it a felony for doctors to perform abortions after that cut-off.
And Wolf kept his word, and offered a powerful declaration in support of women's equality and autonomy in so doing.
Connecting the GOP's assaults on reproductive rights to the seemingly daily stories amplifying the #MeToo movement, Wolf noted that "[Republican] politicians are sending the message that women are less than full partners in our civil society & that they should not have the right to make their own health decisions."
He slammed the "cruel legislation" as an "assault on the doctor-patient relationship." And he recalled his time volunteering at Planned Parenthood with his wife and hearing from providers and patients about the violation that bills like this embody.
I will veto #SB3 because I stand with every woman in Pennsylvania who deserves to make her own health decisions. And I will veto any bill that puts a check on women’s rights in Pennsylvania. -TW (9/9)
— Tom Wolf (@WolfForPA) December 18, 2017
"We thank Governor Wolf for standing strong to protect women’s health and rights," said Cecile Richards, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. "This bill would threaten women’s safety and punish doctors for using their best medical judgment. As recent events in Pennsylvania show, it’s essential that we continue to elect champions who will protect women’s access to safe, legal abortion."
"Each of us deserves the opportunity to control our lives at the most basic level: our bodies, our families, and our life’s path, including whether and when to become a parent," she added.
Trump and his fellow Republicans are determined to force their tax scam bill onto the country, even though poll after poll shows just how unpopular it is.
50 percent of respondents said their taxes will go up under the Republican scheme, and 55 percent of people earning less than $50,000 a year say the same.
And Americans aren't buying the GOP spin:
Just 17 percent of the public say the current plan is a genuine attempt to reform the tax system while 35 percent say the push to pass this is bill is driven mainly by Republicans’ desire to obtain a political victory. Another 35 percent say both reasons are equally at play.
Further, a majority of the country "say that middle class families have not benefited at all from [Trump’s] policies."
The only people who will benefit from this bill are those who are least in need of it. And working families know it.
It is still possible to save the crucial net neutrality regulations which guarantee a free and open internet for all. Senate Democrats are doing their part, and the ACLU wants you do to the same:
— ACLU (@ACLU) December 14, 2017
Call your members of Congress and make your voice heard.
Federal judge tells the Trump admin to stop blocking undocumented teens from accessing abortion services
The Trump administration infamously engaged in an overreach of power by trying to prevent a young undocumented immigrant from obtaining an abortion in October. The administration lost in that case, and now the same judge who smacked them down before has ruled against the White House in regard to two more undocumented teens whose reproductive rights have been attacked.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan ordered the federal government to allow two pregnant teens in U.S. immigration custody — known as Jane Roe and Jane Poe — to have the abortions they are seeking.
The teens "will both suffer irreparable injury in the form of, at a minimum, increased risk to their health, and perhaps the permanent inability to obtain a desired abortion to which they are legally entitled," Chutkan wrote.
She put the ruling on hold for 24 hours to allow the Justice Department time to appeal it — and, to no one's surprise, they did, to both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the Supreme Court.
Hopefully the courts will see reason as they did before, and allow these two young women to access the health care that is their right.
Because the Trump administration keeps trying it, we've all got to send a clear message.
Tell Scott Lloyd, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, to stop blocking access to safe abortion services for young immigrants.
Health care is a human right, and abortion is health care. Full stop.
The GOP's attack on voting rights has only ramped up in the Trump era, complete with the mendaciously titled "Election Integrity Commission" run by Mike Pence and notorious voter suppression crusader Kris Kobach.
And of course, those efforts end up hitting minority voters the hardest — voters who would be more likely to vote for Democrats.
After the horror of the 2016 election, it is clear that the right to vote has never been of greater importance, and simultaneously under greater threat. So 2018 must be the year that voter suppression efforts are defeated once and for all.
Let America Vote has a thorough and informative guide to just how to do that.
The guide has all the information you need about the different types of suppression efforts and the policies you can fight for, and a lot of opportunities to get involved in whatever way you can.
"As President Obama has said, 'The most important title is not president or prime minister; the most important title is citizen.' So let’s get to work and make sure that as citizens we do everything we can to protect our democracy."
A lot of Republicans in Congress seem willfully deaf and blind to the urgent pleas of DREAMers.
So perhaps a Christmas message — and a little bit of necessary sarcasm — might get through to them instead.
"You know, it reminds me of the Christmases of my youth. We'd decorate the Christmas tree, play music, leave cookies out for Santa. Then Santa would come down the chimney, and he'd tell all of us children, 'If you weren't born here, get the f**k out!'"