Can I Live?
About that Abortion Thing
This week, women’s reproductive rights made their way back into national headlines as conservative states enforced—or attempted to enforce—legislation that would dictate what women can legally do with their pregnant bodies. First up, Georgia passed a bill that would make most abortions after six weeks illegal for medical professionals to conduct. Six weeks is often when a heartbeat is first detected, so anti-abortion groups consider that the point at which the embryo is an actual person whose life deserves preservation. Critics to this bill challenge this timing, however, given that many women do not know they are pregnant that soon. In their eyes, this would basically force women to carry out pregnancies that they may not want. Next door neighbor Alabama attempted to pass a “heartbeat bill” of their own this week which would have allowed them to take the cake for having THE most restrictive abortion law nationally. What sets them apart? Women who conceived by rape or incest would also be forced to carry out a pregnancy after the six week period. Their bill is currently stuck in the state Senate after Republicans attempted to include the rape or incest clause without a proper vote from their Democrat counterparts. The law is expected to pass in the coming week.
A couple important things to note: Medical professionals are expected to bear the burden of these laws and face jail time, not the women themselves. In Georgia, a violation can bring up to 10 years in prison. Also, both bills are expected to be challenged on the grounds of Roe v. Wade, but conservatives are betting on the new right-leaning Supreme Court to see things their way. More updates to come.
Trump this Week: A Simplified Recap
We are officially “muhf*ckin’ tied” from trying to keep up with your president (yep, yours!) and this never-ending Russia drama. Here’s a brief recap of the last 7 days:
· The House voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for not completing his testimony regarding his treatment of the Russia investigation findings.
· Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin finally answered multiple calls for him to run Trump’s tax returns with a predictable “NAH.” He cited shaky legal grounds on which the requests were made. Interestingly enough, info from 45’s 1985-1994 returns show that he lost a whole $1 billion from his business dealings during that time. The massive losses allowed him to avoid paying income taxes for most of that period.
· In a rare move that can be considered disloyal to the President, Senate Republicans have subpoenaed Donald Trump, Jr. to testify again about his contacts with Russians during the 2016 elections. Apparently, his initial testimony doesn’t match up with what’s in the Russia report.
Are you following? Basically Trump and his team are crossing their arms and turning away from everything that Congress is doing. Time will tell whether this strategy will make all of his problems go away.
Rising star Pete Buttigieg calls out white identity politics for contributing to a national “crisis of belonging” and effectively excluding anyone who doesn’t fit in that category. It’s super obvious, but say it again for the people in the back, Pete!
First Stacey, now Kamala. Some Congressional Black Caucus members seem to think a Biden-Harris ticket is the winning formula for 2020. Does Joe Biden need a token Black running mate to increase his chances of getting Black votes? Also, should Kamala Harris relegate herself to VP status for the greater good?
Blavity rolled out a list of political commentators that will keep it all the way real during the 2020 election. Are you following any of them?
Around the Diaspora
South Africa held their presidential election last week and it looks like the party of Nelson Mandela is still the top pick among its voters despite waning support.
Venezuela’s opposition leader is now trying to establish relations with the U.S. military. How much more will everyday citizens become collateral damage from potential U.S. involvement?
American Airlines ends Caribbean Airlines’ monopoly on providing nonstop flights between JFK and Guyana. JetBlue is also expected to fly to Georgetown by 2020.
Culture that Pops
Will the real super heroes please stand up? Kanye’s wife may be getting all of the media coverage, but the Black women who are actually working to free inmates across the country want to make sure you know their names too.
That Rihanna reign just won’t let up. Everyone’s favorite Bad Gal just announced her new fashion line in partnership with LVMH and, unsurprisingly, she’s making history.
Meet these Black pilots who saw a diversity issue within the aviation industry and set out to change it.