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 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.”

US Special Envoy To Haiti Resigns Over ‘Inhumane’ Expulsions Of Haitian Migrants 

The Biden Administration’s special envoy to Haiti resigned this week after citing “inhumane large-scale expulsions of Haitian migrants to their homeland,” which has already been ravaged by natural disasters, and civil unrest. 

Daniel Foote was appointed to the envoy position back in July after Haiti’s president was assassinated. An envoy refers to a messenger or representative, especially one on a diplomatic mission, within the government. Beyond the recent headlines regarding the harsh treatment Haitian migrants have been enduring, Foote was known for often complaining about the lack of urgency coming from Washington when it came to improving Haiti’s conditions and infrastructure after so many natural disasters. 

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Foote wrote Secretary of State Antony Blinken this week, stating that he was “stepping down immediately with deep disappointment and apologies to those seeking crucial changes.”

“I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs to daily life.”

“Our policy approach to Haiti remains deeply flawed, and my policy recommendations have been ignored and dismissed, when not edited to project a narrative different from my own,”  he wrote

One official within the White House claimed that Foote had consistently tried to have a greater oversight presence in Haiti, especially when it came to policies that would improve the nation’s infrastructure. The administration consistently told Foote his requests were not appropriate, according to the official who chose to remain anonymous. 

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The White House and Biden Administration has been under major fire in recent weeks when it comes to Haiti. Many Democrats and immigration rights activists have gone online to condemn the government for expelling thousands of Haitians without a chance to seek asylum; which violated American principles.

Even more recently, images were blasted all over social media showing Border Patrol agents on horseback using aggressive tactics against Haitian migrants, including a whip, leading many to make the obvious comparison to slavery and the power dynamics that still exist within the American system to this day. 

US officials are currently ramping up their deportation efforts and organizing to get seven expulsion flights from the US to Haiti a day; this would mark one of the swiftist and large-scale expulsions from the US in decades, and in the middle of a worldwide health crisis. 

“When someone who is tasked with Haiti policy at the highest level resigns because recommendations are ignored and dismissed it’s not only troubling, but shows you this administration does not tolerate anyone who won’t go along with their distorted view of the facts. Dan Foote is a world class diplomat who refuses to be told what to do. I wish more foreign service officers had his courage to stand up and call out their bosses,” said Damian Merlo, a Republican strategist who has worked for years on Haiti policy and is now a registered lobbyist for the country’s government. 

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Trump Defies His Administration’s Health And Safety Procedures With Indoor Campaign Rally  

President Donald Trump spoke to thousands of his supporters in an indoor Nevada venue this Sunday, despite the Governor and his own administration’s numerous health and safety procedures put in place to avoid gatherings of this size. Trump has been hosting a series of outdoor rallies within the past few months in order to keep his campaign going in the midst of a global health crisis, however, this weekend’s most recent event showed just how seriously Trump and his administration are actually handling this pandemic. 

The event was in Henderson, Nevada, inside a facility of Xtreme Manufacturing, and as it was being planned government officials predicted it would be violating the state’s restriction on gatherings of more than 50 people. Trump has already received major backlash for his administration’s mishandling of the pandemic, and as the death toll in the US hits nearly 200,000, an indoor rally of more than 6,000 individuals shows that Trump isn’t exactly listening to his country’s thousands of healthcare providers. 

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This also isn’t the first indoor rally that Trump has hosted during the pandemic that’s led to some major controversy, and even worse, and increase in case numbers. Back in June Trump hosted a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which made headlines for its underwhelming attendance. However, two weeks after that rally the city of Tulsa saw a massive spike in coronavirus cases. The cases were able to be directly linked to the rally after multiple campaign staffers and Secret Service agents tested positive as well. 

About 6,200 individuals attended the rally this past Sunday, and while that number may seem staggering to those of us who have been quarantine, the attendance was actually projected to be much larger; Trump blamed the “low” number of supporters on “radical protesters and intense backlash from the media,” regarding hosting a large gathering in the middle of a pandemic. 

The City of Henderson warned the Xtreme Manufacturing venue ahead of the rally that they would be violating numerous state and nationwide regulations if they chose to host the event. Spokesperson Kathleen Richards recently spoke with the media about the preliminary warnings they tried to issue to get the event cancelled. 

“The City of Henderson has issued a compliance letter and verbal warning to the event organizer that the event planned would be in direct violation of the state’s Covid-19 emergency directives.”

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Large live events must also now be pre-approved by the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, however, the city never received notice that this rally was approved prior to it occuring. This could potentially lead to Xtreme Manufacturing losing their business license. When questioned about this rally before its occurrence, the Trump administration remained relatively general with all their answers. 

They claimed that every attendee would get their temperature checked and would be provided a mask that they would only be encouraged to wear. However, when one checks Xtreme Manufacturing’s website, their Covid-19 restrictions seem even stricter than the state’s: “We have restricted meetings and gatherings to no more than 10 people in large areas, and when possible, to attend meetings by telephone or video conferencing.”

No spokesperson working for the company/venue has offered any sort of explanation regarding the rally yet. However, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolat took to Twitter to blast the president for his irresponsibility regarding this event. 

“Trump’s reckless and selfish actions are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada. The rally is an insult to every Nevadan who has followed the directives, made sacrifices, and put their neighbors before themselves.”

Other members of Joe Biden’s administration also called out Trump for his lack of plan to fix the pandemic, and lack of acknowledgement that it’s actually as serious as it is. Other locations that previously were planning on hosting Trump rallies in the future have since cancelled due to state limitations on crowd sizes.