Hundreds flood state capital in Austin to Protest SB5 which will cripple Reproductive Rights
A lot of drama is jumping off in Texas around the issue of abortion..Late last week we saw hundreds of people come from as far away as 500 miles to Austin to protest new Draconian bills that would severely cripple Reproductive Rights in the Lone Star State.. A number of bills have been bundled under a bill Sb5..Here’s a break down of this via Think Progress.
SB 5 combines several attacks on women’s reproductive into one omnibus measure. It would impose unnecessary burdens on abortion providers, force most of the abortion clinics in the state to close their doors, and criminalize abortions after 20 weeks (although one Senate version of the legislation removed the 20-week ban). Anti-choice lawmakers hope that the special session will give them the opportunity to push through SB 5, since its separate provisions failed to advance during the regular legislative session this year.
But Texas voters don’t actually want any more restrictions on abortion in their state. After conducting a survey among a representative sample of state residents between June 17 and 19, the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner (GQR) found that 63 percent of registered voters think the Lone Star State already has enough anti-abortion laws on the books. Seventy one percent think the legislature should be more focused on the economy and jobs instead of social policies to police women’s reproductive rights.
We caught up with long time activist Carmen D Llanes to get the full rundown of whats going on. Carmen who also sits on the local board of Planned Parenthood gave us the full 4-11 on the current fights. She noted that the state has defunded clinics which are the life blood for many who live in small towns and that the end result has been people having to drive more than 500 miles to get medical attention. She also spoke about the cut backs on women being able to get birth control.
She also explained the political landscape of Texas. She noted that most of the people living there are not far-right Red wingers.. but because of the way heavily populated centers with people of color and left leaning folks have been redrawn, its very difficult for a political sea change to happen. She noted how in some districts the lines are drawn so that they stretch in small slivers for more than 400 miles just to ensure a right leaning outcome in elections ..There are major fights about this in court and many Texans are not lying down allowing this to go unchallenged. In fact in many places you are seeing changes. I wont take up too much of your time.. You can peep the Hard Knock radio interview below w/ Carmen D Llanes
Day one of the George Zimmerman trial in Sanford, Florida was an eventful one. Its shaping up to be a trial that will define race relations and confidence in the justice system for a generation that was too young or not around during the OJ Simpson trial which was almost 20 years ago..You can see all the shenanigans being pulled by the defense attorney to either cause mass confusion by muddying the waters so that the aggressor becomes the victim and the deceased who is Trayvon Martin is made to be the aggressor.
During the proceedings which was peppered with the defense making ‘Knock Knock’ jokes and the prosecution opening up with colorful language used by Zimmerman, we saw the defendant looking like he was about to fall asleep at any moment. It was a pitiful sight to say the least, but one that seems designed to draw sympathy from the all-white female jury.
We caught up with Professor Kimberely Ellis aka Dr Goddess who is covering the trial for Sirisu XM’s Make it Plain show.. She gave her insight and analysis of today’s case..Check out our Hard Knock radio interview below..
The Supreme Court will decide the fate over millions
***Update*** The Supreme Court just ruled in favor of corporations..5-4.. You won’t be able to sue over racial and sexual harassment..
Today the Supreme Court will likely hand down a decision to determine the fate of gay marriage.. Later this week they will also hand down decisions on affirmative action.. Both are important cases and will keep everyone talking… There are a few other cases we should be aware of that will have even more far-reaching impact..
The first case was already ruled on, last week where the SCOTUS made it very difficult to bring a class action lawsuit.. The case they ruled on involved small merchants banning together to stop the tyranny imposed upon them by credit card companies. In this case it was American Express. If there’s an issue each small merchant must handle it through arbitration…There is no way to deal with a problem that may be systemic..This is important and I hope folks take heed, because this sets precedent for what has been an effective weapon to push back on corporate over reach..
The other case they will decide upon will make it harder for employees to sue on the basis of racial and sexual harassment.. What the US Chamber of commerce and others are pushing for is for a redefinition of what it means to be a ‘supervisor’… They want it to specifically to mean someone who can hire and fire.. So if you are on a job and have a co-worker who is ‘supervising’ you and causing you grief, it will be hard to bring a lawsuit for a ‘hostile’ work environment.. Workplaces are already difficult to deal with, this will now make it shear hell. An article in today’s Think Progress breaks it down like this:
The law provides very robust protections to employees who are harassed by their supervisors, but it is drastically more difficult for an employee to win a racial or sexual harassment lawsuit if they have only been harassed by coworkers. In the later case the worker must show that their employer has “been negligent either in discovering or remedying the harassment.” For this reason, it matters a great deal who qualifies as a “supervisor” for purposes of sexual harassment law. If the word is defined too narrowly, it could encompass employees who have the power to intimidate their victims into keeping their harassment secret.
I hope folks stay abreast of such rulings and understand that its rulings like these that favor corporations that will impact us for decades to come.. We already see the impact in places where we have work at will rules and in other places where union organizing is damn near outlawed..