Politics roundup: What does Alabama’s abortion ban mean for Roe v Wade?


Alabama has signed a law banning abortion after six weeks, but will it hold up against Roe v Wade and the United States courts?

Abortion bans generate controversy

This week, Alabama passed a bill that would effectively outlaw abortions after six weeks. In Missouri, the state senate approved a similar measure that would ban abortions after eight weeks. For many people who might be pregnant, these deadlines equate to an outright ban on abortion.

Pregnancies are counted from the first day of a person’s last period. This means that, for two weeks of the that time, a person is not actually pregnant. By the time someone reaches six weeks, they may still think their cycle is delayed. The most observant, even paranoid individual might not have enough time to realize what’s happening and then legally get an abortion in these states.

The Alabama bill includes penalties for doctors who perform abortions within the state, such as jail time up to 99 years. It includes exceptions for pregnancies that carry a high risk for the health of the gestating parent, as well as ones in which the fetus has a “lethal anomaly”. However, a bill introduced by Alabama Democrats that would introduce further exceptions for victims of rape and incest was struck down by the state Senate.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey acknowledged that the bill was passed in an effort to challenge the nationwide Roe v. Wade ruling, the landmark 1973 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that abortion was legal in all 50 states. Now, many worry that Roe v. Wade is in trouble, though the truth of the matter may be somewhat more complicated than a series of legal challenges.

If the bill remains unchallenged, the law will go in effect in six months. That’s a big “if”, though. As of this writing, both the ACLU and Planned Parenthood have stated that they will file challenges to Alabama’s new law.

With Roe v. Wade as the established precedent, it is all but certain that all lower courts, like Alabama’s federal courts, will have to declare the new state law unconstitutional. Assuming Alabama files challenges to these decisions, the case could make it all the way to the 11 Circuit Court of Appeals. After that point, however, the state can only ask the Supreme Court to consider the issue. Whether or not the case makes it further depends on the Supreme Court Justices themselves.

With nearly 50 years of precedent backing up Roe v. Wade, that may be a tough call. Many judges, regardless of their particular political leaning, are reluctant to mess with established Supreme Court decisions. Then again, with White House-approved conservatives such as Brett Kavanaugh on the bench, established procedure may be out of consideration.

So, though the intricacies of the legal system may make it tough to enforce both Alabama’s and Missouri’s prospective laws, this is no time for abortion defenders to rest on their laurels.

Huawei spat with White House could threaten trade talks

Hauwei, the Chinese telecommunications giant, may be doing well financially, but it has faced serious governmental pressure in recent months. That sort of thing will happen, at least if the company in question may or may not be an extension of the Chinese intelligence and espionage community.

In the U.S., the President went so far as to declare a national emergency in response to Huawei’s actions in America. The company was added to the “entity list” of the Bureau of Industry and Security, itself under the aegis of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This essentially makes it so that Huawei will have a hard time doing business with U.S. entities. Any U.S. companies wanting to work with Huawei officially will have to get the go-ahead from the BIS first.

Why the big fuss? For one, the U.S. and China are stilled locked in a seemingly endless trade dispute, which has now tied up billions of dollars in trade between the two nations. The current troubles could make the already shaky talks even worse. The United States has also maintained that Huawei has stolen trade secrets from the American T-Mobile company.

Huawei has stated that this move will only hurt the United States, making it lag behind in technological advancement while the rest of the world enjoys 5G networks and increased internet access.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove has not expressed much concern over the telecom giant. His remarks, in an introduction to a report from a British think tank, followed news that Prime Minister Theresa May was prepared to let Huawei provide part of the 5G network for the United Kingdom.

Dearlove argues that the move could put sensitive parts of the nation’s network at significant risk. China, he says, has already positioned itself as an intelligence-gathering force through its tech companies. Huawei, meanwhile, said that the report and Dearlove were both “short on facts”. As of now, British officials say no one has made a final decision regarding Huawei’s role in the U.K.’s 5G network.

Immigration changes may be ahead for U.S.

The United States has seen great, sweeping changes to its immigration policies over the past couple of years. Currently, Executive Order 13769 bans travels from a number of Muslim-majority countries, though the text of the order doesn’t necessarily state that the ban is biased against Muslim people. Even then, the move has been colloquially referred to as a “Muslim ban”, since, you know, everyone understands what it’s really about.

This time, a new change to U.S. immigration may be in the works, thanks again to a spate of fear and misinformation. The plan will decrease interest in family-based immigration in favor of more employment-focused green card approvals. Family immigration would be restricted to children and spouses. The number of permits wouldn’t change, but the “type” of person allowed into the country would.

Under the current system, immigration officials actually work to a formula. The sort-of quota allows for 12 percent of immigrants to be granted entry due to their skills, with 66 percent allocated to family members of current residents, and 22 percent humanitarian, or asylum-based, applicants. The proposed system would change that formula to 57 percent skill, 33 percent family, and 10 percent humanitarian. Immigrants would also be required to learn English and civics as a condition of their entrys.

And, finally, your palate cleanser

You have likely already heard of the Met Gala, which most recently focused on “camp”. The concept is notoriously tricky to nail down for anyone. To be fair, some attendees seemed to get it, but it’s hard to entirely forgive the lack of guests like the ur-campsters John Waters and Angelyne.

Ultimately, the notion of camp is up to you. But, if you want a place to start, Susan Sontag’s “Notes on Camp” should be at the top of your list. Some of the objects in the exhibit were directly referenced in Sontag’s 1964 essay, which made things a bit easier for Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton.

Related Story. Jordan Peele, J.J. Abrams plan to fight the “heartbeat bill” while still filming in Georgia. light

Campy movies are pretty decent way to spend a night or weekend, too. John Waters is the natural place to begin, with films like Pink Flamingos. Maybe we should consider the concept of pink lawn flamingos, while we’re at it. Does that seem like it fits? No? We’ll let you discuss amongst yourselves.