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More Than 600 Google Employees Demand Abortion Care Protections

More than 650 Google workers have signed a petition lobbying for the company to create policies that would protect and provide support for employees and consumers seeking abortion care.

hulu

Following Backlash, Hulu Will Begin To Accept Political Advertisements

After facing political backlash from Democratic leaders following their rejection of advertisements on hotly contested topics like abortion, gun control, and the Jan. 6 insurrection, Hulu is now going back on their decision and announced they will allow the ads, effective immediately.

“After a thorough review of ad policies across its linear networks and streaming platforms over the last few months, Disney is now aligning Hulu’s political advertising policies to be consistent with the Company’s general entertainment and sports cable networks and ESPN+,” Disney, the owner of Hulu, told Axios on Wednesday.

With the acceptance, Hulu is now more aligned with other Disney properties like ESPN and FX Networks. However, Disney also stated they still reserve the right to ask clients for edits or alternative creative “in alignment with industry standards.”

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The ads, which run on other popular media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, NBCUniversal, and Roku, were originally rejected by the service back on July 15, according to The Washington Post. The Democratic campaign groups attempting to place the ads on Hulu, as well as ABC and ESPN, were told the rejection was for “content-related” issues.

According to Hulu’s advertisement guidelines, advertisements that take “a position on a controversial issue of public importance (e.g. social issues)” are not allowed. The streamer’s guidelines also note that political ads are reviewed on a “case-by-case basis.”

Hulu had previously forced New York congressional candidate Suraj Patel to cut abortion and gun control topics from his advertisements earlier this month and replace them with “non-sensitive issues” like climate change and education.

“Our path to victory runs through making sure we can reach so many of these disaffected younger people,” Patel told Jezebel. “This ad is a very important part of that, and Hulu is an incredibly important part of reaching that audience.” Patel’s campaign team sent Hulu a letter demanding them to end their “unwritten policy” on “censoring” a campaign advertisement before it could be aired.

“We are at an absolutely critical time in our nation’s history. How are voters supposed to make informed choices if their candidates cannot talk about the most important issues of the day?”

Responses on social media aimed at Hulu’s latest rejection were particularly intense and widespread, with #BoycottHulu hitting the number one spot on Twitter Tuesday morning.

“Hulu’s censorship of the truth is outrageous and offensive. Voters have the right to know the facts about MAGA Republicans’ extreme agenda on abortion – Hulu is doing a huge disservice to the American people,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) tweeted.

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Unlike regular broadcast channels, which are bound by the FCC to run spots from candidates, streamers have more flexibility when it comes to both the issues at hand, as well as the candidates attempting to advertise.

woman

From Joe Burrow To Dick’s Sporting Goods, Athletic Icons Weigh In On Roe V. Wade Decision

With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, hundreds of athletes have taken to their platforms to voice their support of legal abortions, while wondering how the future of sports could be impacted by the reversal. Meanwhile, sports companies have taken significant steps to help assist their employees during an uncertain time in health care.

row vs wade

Roe Vs Wade Overturned, Experts Warn Maternal Mortality Rate Will Rise In US 

The Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe vs Wade last week in a 6-3 decision, officially revoking the constitutional right to an abortion in the United States. Experts are now saying that pregnancy-related deaths will almost certainly increase, especially among people of color. 

Rachel Hardeman, a reproductive health equity professor and researcher at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, spoke on the issue: 

“There are going to be more people who are forced to carry a pregnancy to term, which means that there’s going to be a greater number of people who are at risk. More pregnancy means more likelihood of deaths.”

Current state bans could lead to an additional 75,000 births every year for those who won’t be able to access abortion, according to one experts estimate. The bans will also likely impact younger and poorer people of color at a much higher rate.

Currently in America, for every 10,000 births, 23.8 people have died from either pregnancy or childbirth-related causes, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

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More than half of the US states are likely to ban abortion following the fall of Roe.

“The truth of the matter is, it’s already hitting people [of color] harder than others – that’s been the reality,” said Monica McLemore, an associate professor of family healthcare nursing at University of California, San Francisco.

“Black people in the US were already 3.5 times more likely than white peers to die because of pregnancy and childbirth, according to one study looking at data from 2016-2017, and 2.9 times more likely,” according to a CDC analysis in 2020. 

“Because Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities are going to be disproportionately impacted by lack of access to abortion services, it’s going to exacerbate the maternal mortality racial gap that we’ve already seen in the United States,” Hardeman said.

“It’s translating into not getting the care they need, which can be a matter of life and death. And racism also takes an immense physical toll, so by the time that person becomes pregnant, they are at less optimal health than their white counterparts who haven’t experienced racism across the life course.”

The cumulative and chronic effects of living in America as a person of color increases stress, which can also affect reproductive health. “We know that the stress pathway is what leads to infant mortality, preterm birth, and other outcomes,” Hardeman said.

“We have to be thinking about the Scotus decision and abortion bans generally as a racist policy, because the burden will fall the hardest on Black pregnant people, it’s going to fall hard on Indigenous people and other people of color, people living in rural areas as well and people of lower socioeconomic status,” Hardeman continued.

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“The supreme court decision on Friday and bans on abortion instituted at the state level disproportionately harm people of color and reinforce a system of inequity and, frankly, of white supremacy.”

“If you think about why people get abortions, it’s often because it’s not safe for them to stay pregnant,” Stevenson said. “The people who are currently having abortions are very likely to actually have higher rates of pregnancy-related deaths and maternal mortality than the people who are currently giving birth.”

Having an abortion is “much, much, much safer than staying pregnant”, Stevenson said. 

Current research indicated that childbirth is 14 times more deadly than having an abortion. 

“We have to be thinking about the fact that because we live in a society where access to resources is based on racism and race, there are people who are not going to be able to access the services that are available.”

McLemore emphasized that direct action is what’s needed in order to protect the people in states that will be banning abortions. 

“Congress could act right now and render Scotus’s decision irrelevant by enshrining reproductive rights into national law. If this Congress doesn’t, she said, the six in 10 Americans who support abortion rights should vote for a new Congress that will,” she explained.

“We need an all-hands-on-deck approach here – with brilliance, not fear.”

Supreme Court Abortion Roe v Wade

Following Unprecedented Supreme Court Abortion Leak, Investigation Set To Unfold

On Monday, Politico published a leak of the Supreme Court’s initial draft majority opinion — written by Justice Samuel Alito — that shows the plan of overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark abortion ruling that has stood for 49 years.

Should the Supreme Court go ahead with their ruling, it could lead to abortion bans in more than half of all states and have massive impacts on this year’s midterm elections.

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The decision isn’t set in stone. Politico noted justice deliberations on major issues like Roe V. Wade have been fluid in the past, and that opinions can change during the drafting stage. The court’s ruling will not be final until it’s published sometime within the next two months.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito stated in the draft. “It’s reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey [Planned Parenthood v. Casey] have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

The draft leak, which is comprised of 98 pages and dated to February, is an unprecedented situation, as few leaks of any kind regarding SCOTUS are extremely rare. The report had instant repercussions across the country, with pro-choice protests occuring in cities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Los Angeles.

Given the Supreme Court’s structure, a planned ruling like this doesn’t come as a surprise. Thanks to former President Donald Trump’s swearing in of three justices — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett— during his tenure, SCOTUS now holds a conservative majority of 6-3.

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The fierce mixed reactions to the planned ruling have also put Politico at risk for their leaking. According to the Associated Press, the publication has told staff members to be “extra vigilant” amidst tightened office restrictions.

Politico stated the copy of the draft was received from a source who was “familiar with the court’s proceedings.” The document’s authenticity has been confirmed by Supreme Court Chief John Roberts, who also announced an investigation into the leaking.

“To the extent this betrayal of the confidences of the Court was intended to undermine the integrity of our operations, it will not succeed. The work of the Court will not be affected in any way.”

Roberts said the court routinely shares drafts of opinions internally long before the rulings are ever officially published, noting that procedure is an “essential” part of the court’s work. Roberts also stressed that court employees — from justices to law clerks — are intensely loyal to the rule of law and upholding trust to the court,  and that the leak was a “egregious breach of that trust.”

Like the leak, the investigation set to come down upon the court is uncharted territory. Many GOP members have called for FBI and federal prosecutor involvement, while Roberts has yet to even appoint a person to conduct the investigation.

According to Politico, many legal experts explained the disclosure is unlikely to result in a criminal charge unless certain circumstances — such as an exchanging of payment — can be proved. Instead, the whistleblower is likely to face punishments that would essentially result in a professional career blow, from firing to disbarment.

 United Nations Health Expert Condemns US Over Threat To Abortion Rights 

Special rapporteur for the United Nations, Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, is calling on the US Supreme Court to uphold the right to abortion in America. Dr. Mofokeng is arguing that the US is risking undermining international human rights laws and are indirectly threatening the right to a safe abortion for other countries around the world. 

Dr. Mofokeng is one of many global observers whose main job is to travel the world and defend human rights. She argues in a brief filed in a US court that by overturning abortion rights, the nation would be violating international human rights treates that were ratified by the US; including the convention against torture, and forcing a woman to carry their pregnancy to term, regardless of the personal risk for the mother and child. 

In an interview, Mofokeng told the media she could have “filed a brief on abortion rights, in any other court, in any other abortion case, globally. However, the US courts are dealing with the direct threat posed to abortion rights in the supreme court’s upcoming session.

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“We have this joke among us that when the US sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold. So we know that politically that what happens in the United States… does have an impact in precedents elsewhere in the world.”

Roe vs Wade is the famous 1973 court case that gave Americans the constitutional right to an abortion in privacy. At the time, the case invalidated numerous state abortion bans and restrictions, and allowed individuals to terminate a pregnancy up to the point where the fetus can survive outside the womb; around 24 weeks. 

“If that gets overturned, it has catastrophic implications, not just for the US. I fear overturning Roe would embolden global attacks on reproductive rights.”

Mofokeng’s  most recent UN report outlined “the challenges Covid-19 posed to reproductive rights, and how colonialism continues to impact global policies on reproduction, from sterilization to abortion bans.”

“It means that even those people who are conservative, who are anti-rights, in any country in the world, will actually now start referencing the US court as an example of jurisprudence that should be followed, and this is why this is so dangerous.”

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“If Roe … [were] overturned, many US states will implement bans or near-bans on abortion access that will make individual state laws irreconcilable with international human rights law. This would cause irreparable harm to women and girls in violation of the United States’ obligations under the human rights treaties it has signed and ratified,” Mofokeng’s brief argued.

“The denial of safe abortions and subjecting women and girls to humiliating and judgmental attitudes in such contexts of extreme vulnerability and where timely health care is essential amount to torture or ill treatment.”

In one recent analysis, the Guttmacher Institute found “26 states are certain or likely to outlaw abortion should Roe be overturned.”

“The rise in global anti-gender and anti-women’s rights is such that people will grasp at anything that seems to make their case solid, and  the case before the supreme court now relies on non-medical, non-scientific misinformation,” said Mofokeng.

“It means we have a risk of now having global jurisprudence – or at least influences in the global world – using jurisprudence that’s ill-informed. And that’s very dangerous, to undo the court’s decisions takes decades, sometimes a lifetime, – and that’s why it’s dangerous.”