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Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks Implementation of Controversial Texas Anti-Abortion Law, State To Appeal Against Ruling

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Protest

In a new twist to the Texas anti-abortion law, a federal judge Wednesday issued an order urging the state not to implement the legislation which prevents women from abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

According to a CNN report, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Pitman approved the Joe Biden government’s plea to keep the controversial Texas anti-abortion law on hold. This order by Pitman means that women and doctors who indulge in abortion activities will not face any more legal action by Texas, which is the nation’s second-most populous state.

Shortly after the court order, the Texas attorney general’s office expressed its intent to take on the order, reported Washington Post.

‘Unprecedented and Aggressive Scheme’

District Judge Pitman rebuked Texas lawmakers for enacting an “unprecedented and aggressive scheme to deprive its citizens of a significant and well-established constitutional right.”

The new anti-abortion law, the strictest in the nation, came into effect on Sept. 1, 2021.

While announcing the order Wednesday, Pitman stated: “Women have been unlawfully prevented from exercising control over their lives in ways that are protected by the Constitution.”

Vehement Protests

Since it came into effect, the new law faced vehement protests from women, doctors, and human rights activists. A Texas doctor, Alan Braid, made a public declaration, writing a column in the Washington Post that he defied the new law by performing an abortion on a woman. Lawsuits were filed against him soon after.

Texas Anti-Abortion Law protest

People protesting against controversial Texas’ Anti-Abortion Law at Texas Capitol in Austin. Image credit: Twitter

The unusual part of the Texas anti-abortion law is that it allows anybody from the citizenry to file a lawsuit against a doctor or a woman and if the person successfully sues them after a fetal heartbeat is detected, he/she will be rewarded a huge sum of at least $10,000. However, the state law enforcement agencies will not get involved in filing such cases.

The reality is that in most cases many women do not get to know whether they are pregnant at six weeks of pregnancy.

Interestingly, the law does not have any provision for rape or incest. Though it allows abortions citing health issues, it permits termination only if the pregnancy puts the mother’s life at risk.

“This Court will not sanction one more day of this offensive deprivation of such an important right,” Pitman stated in the order, Reuters reported.

Biden Administration Welcomes The Ruling

White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement late Wednesday, saying that the Biden administration welcomes the ruling.

“Tonight’s ruling is an important step forward toward restoring the constitutional rights of women across the state of Texas,” she said, adding: “The fight has only just begun, both in Texas and in many states across this country where women’s rights are currently under attack.”

After a week of protests since the Texas anti-abortion law came into effect, the Justice Department stepped up to sue the Texas state administration on September 9 and sought the intervention of the court, seeking an injunction against the law.

The Biden administration argued during an Oct. 1 hearing that the new measure violates the constitutional right of women which was rendered by the Supreme Court in 1973 while announcing the verdict in the historic Roe vs Wade case that gave the U.S. women the right to abortion until a fetus is viable – that is, able to survive outside the womb – which is usually between 22 and 24 weeks into a pregnancy.

However, when the new anti-abortion law was passed in the Texas State Legislature, surprisingly, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the law to come into effect in a 5-4 vote powered by conservative justices.

Uncertain

But it is still uncertain whether Pitman’s order will affect access to abortions in the state — or if it will at all.

In a press release, the ACLU of Texas, the civil rights body of people, said it is not sure about how Wednesday’s order and the state’s appeal will affect procedures in the state.

“Though the court’s ruling offers a sigh of relief, the threat of Texas’ abortion ban still looms over the state as cases continue to move through the courts. We already know the politicians behind this law will stop at nothing until they’ve banned abortion entirely,” Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project said in a statement cited by Texas Tribune.

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Florida News

Florida Congressman Supports ‘Natural Immunity Is Real Act’ – Latest Push Opposing Vaccine Mandates

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Florida Congressman Daniel Webster has co-sponsored a bill — called Natural Immunity is Real Act — introduced by Tennessee Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger. The bill is the latest push against vaccine mandates by federal health officials as it requires federal agencies to take into account naturally acquired immunity from previous COVID-19 infections when issuing any rules or regulations aimed at protecting from the deadly virus.

Photo Credits: unsplash.com

What is Natural Immunity Is Real Act?

A group of House Republicans launched the Natural Immunity is Real Act on Monday, Click Orlando reported.

According to Webster, he is supporting the bill because peer-reviewed studies and federal health experts acknowledged that those who have recovered from COVID-19 have natural immunity protection.

Webster also said that the bill is just a way of saying that there are other options for protecting the people against the virus than just the vaccine.

The Florida Congressman also said that though he endorses and supports the COVID-19 vaccines, he is openly against vaccine mandates and federal regulators must accept other protections from the virus.

“This is not anti-vaccine, [it’s] just a realization that there are other things going on out there and we have to accept there are other immunities from having the disease,” he was cited as saying by the outlet.

Members Of Medical Community Oppose The Bill

Pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Akinyemi Ajayi expressed his disagreement over the bill.

“Here is the problem with the whole natural immunity argument, and it’s the fact that quite frankly today none of us can look you in the eye if you have not been infected with COVID at all and say if you get COVID it will be a mild infection you don’t have to worry about it,” Ajayi said.

Ajayi added that even though some natural immunity protections are developed from a repeat infection, it is unclear how long the protection lasts. He believes that there is provable way to identify natural immunity.

The bill introduced, however, does not include details of how the natural immunity will be identified.

The Natural Immunity Is Real Act has already been introduced in the senate, the same week that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a request for a special session over vaccine mandates.

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Florida News

Florida Man Faces $50 Daily Fine Over Hanging ‘Trump Won’ Banner Outside His Home

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A Florida man faces a $50 daily fine for displaying a banner outside his home that reads “Trump has won,” a reference to the former Republican President Donald Trump.

Photo Credits: flickr.com

Plans to Place ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Banner

Part-time resident Marvin Peavy will be charged by the Walton County, Florida, a $50 daily fine beginning on Oct. 25 if he doesn’t take down the banner from outside of his home, Newsweek reported.

Peavy said he also plans to install a banner that says “Let’s Go Brandon,” which is a phrase the conservatives have mixed with “F*ck you, Joe Biden,” — a clear insult to President Joe Biden.

According to the county, the part-time resident’s banner violates signage regulation in Peavy’s home at the 30A scenic corridor. The corridor is also a part of a beachside route, famous for its natural beauty.

As per the county’s legal code, political signages must be removed 15 days after political campaigns conclude.

Further, Peavy’s banner, according to county officials, also violates a section of the code prohibiting homes from putting up “(s)treamers, feather flags, pennants, ribbons, spinners and other similar devices” that might undermine the corridor’s natural beauty.

According to Northwest Florida Daily News, Peavy has no plans of taking the banner down, saying that he can easily pay the fine and others offered to pay it on his behalf.

But his attorney told Charles Cronin, Walton County Code Enforcement Officer, that Peavy knows of the violation and would take the banner down soon, the report said.

Peavy Defends Himself: ‘How Many Trumps Do You Know?’

The display of the banner is to annoy “seaside liberals” and “the 1 percent leftists,” Peavy was quoted as saying by Newsweek. Peavy has also claimed that the banner may indicate Trump’s self-proclaimed golfing championships and not the recent election.

He also stated that the banner may refer to others, not the former president, asking, “How many Trumps do you know?” The banner is also “just a statement” for Peavy, and “not political,” the report said.

He is set to sue the county for breaching his First Amendment Right.

Peavy’s Financial Support To Trump During 2020 Election

Back in the 2020 campaign season, Peavy had donated more than $9,000 to different Trump and Republican-related groups, according to the records from the Federal Election Commission.

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Florida News

Florida Gov. DeSantis Threatens Biden Administration With Lawsuit Over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has threatened to sue the Biden administration over the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

His comments came during a press conference Thursday on the monoclonal antibody treatments that he worked on to have it more accessible in the state.

DeSantis: I Think Mandate Is Going To Lose In Court 

At the press conference, DeSantis said that he thinks that the mandate is going to lose in court. He added that Florida would contest any such mandate from the Biden administration “immediately,” and that any lawsuits from the state would be filed in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Fox News reported.

The governor also stated that the state would fight “immediately” any mandates of such that would be given by the Biden administration. He also added that any lawsuit from Florida would be filed in the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Governor Ron DeSantis Photo Credits: Flickr.com

“We think the state of Florida has standing to do it…We also know businesses that we’re going to work with to contest it,” the governor said.

DeSantis also mentioned that the state has a responsibility at a state level to do anything to protect its constituents from mandates that would affect them such as losing their jobs.

DeSantis Vs Biden

De Santis and President Joe Biden have different stand regarding vaccine and mask mandates. The latter, soon after taking office, issued a mask mandate on federal grounds while DeSantis banned mask mandates in the state of Florida.

In the previous month, Biden had announced that all businesses that have over At a hundred workers would have to vaccinate their employees or conduct weekly testing. The announcement included the mandate that employers must pay their employees for the time they spent off work getting the vaccine and recovering from any side effects.

Vaccination Rates In The U.S.

The country has already administered 407 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Currently, 189 million or about 57% are fully vaccinated while nearly 218 million or 66% have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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