DOJ Says It Will Protect Texas Abortion Clinics That Come “Under Attack”
A number of other groups, businesses, and governments are also denouncing Texas’ massively restrictive abortion law in a deliberate effort to skirt or influence the reversal of its effects.
Garland Promises To Protect Clinics
Attorney General Merrick Garland said Monday that the U.S. Department of Justice will utilize the powers of the federal government to protect Texas-based abortion clinics that come “under attack” following the state’s recent enactment of a restrictive abortion law.
“We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction, or property damage in violation of the FACE Act,” he said.
The FACE Act, signed into law in 1994 by then-President Bill Clinton, prohibits the use or threat of force against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services. It also bars people from physically obstructing others seeking or performing such services and prohibits property damage of related facilities.
Garland additionally affirmed Monday that the DOJ is exploring “all options” to challenge the Texas abortion law, which is now considered the most restrictive of any U.S. state given that it bans abortions for any pregnancy at least six weeks along. That’s notable since many women don’t actually learn that they are pregnant until after the six-week mark, and the law makes no exemptions for cases of rape or incest.
As controversial as this law is, it’s also been praised by Republicans. In fact, Republicans in at least seven other states have now suggested changing their abortion laws to mirror that of Texas’. They likely won’t be the last either; Many experts predict that even more copycat bills will be introduced in state legislatures in the near future.
Still, Democrats, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Ca.), have pledged to fight the law. Pelosi specifically indicated that later this month, she plans to call a vote on legislation that would give Americans the right to abortion under federal law. Though it could clear the House, it’s unlikely to pass through the Senate given that Republicans still have the power of the filibuster on their side.
Other Groups, Businesses, and Governments Protest Texas Law
A number of other groups, businesses, and governments are also now taking deliberate steps to undermine the law.
For example, on Thursday, the dating app Bumble announced that it has created a relief fund for people seeking abortions in the state.
The same day, the Match Group CEO Shar Dubey told her Texas-based employees that she would personally create a fund for both them and their dependents to “help cover the additional costs incurred” from seeking out-of-state care.
Around the same time, both Uber and Lyft made commitments to pay 100% of the legal fees for any of their drivers who are sued under the law, which allows citizens to file lawsuits against people if they “aid and abet” someone who gets the procedure.
In addition to those businesses, the Satanic Temple — which unlike its name suggests, does not worship Satan and instead advocates for the separation of church and state — has filed a letter asking the FDA to allow its members legal access to the abortion pill. In the letter, the temple argued that abortion is a religious ritual of the organization, and therefore, it should be considered a faith-based right.
“The battle for abortion rights is largely a battle of competing religious viewpoints, and our viewpoint that the nonviable fetus is part of the impregnated host is fortunately protected under Religous Liberty laws,” Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves said in an email to the San Antonio Current.
On a more political level, the city of Portland is planning to hold a vote Wednesday on whether to ban trade and travel with Texas until the law is overturned. There, citizens wouldn’t actually be barred from going to Texas. The law would only make it so that state employees couldn’t go there for business trips.
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (CNN) (SACurrent)
White Supremacist Propaganda Reached Record High in 2022, ADL Finds
“We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said.
White supremacist propaganda in the U.S. reached record levels in 2022, according to a report published Wednesday by the Anti-Defamation League’s Center of Extremism.
The ADL found over 6,700 cases of white supremacist propaganda in 2022, which marks a 38% jump from the nearly 4,900 cases the group found in 2021. It also represents the highest number of incidents ever recorded by the ADL.
The propaganda tallied by the anti-hate organization includes the distribution of racist, antisemitic, and homophobic flyers, banners, graffiti, and more. This propaganda has spread substantially since 2018, when the ADL found just over 1,200 incidents.
“There’s no question that white supremacists and antisemites are trying to terrorize and harass Americans with their propaganda,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “We cannot sit idly by as these extremists pollute our communities with their hateful trash.”
The report found that there were at least 50 white supremacist groups behind the spread of propaganda in 2022, but 93% of it came from just three groups. One of those groups was also responsible for 43% of the white supremacist events that took place last year.
White supremacist events saw a startling uptick of their own, with the ADL documenting at least 167, a 55% jump from 2021.
Propaganda was found in every U.S. state except for Hawaii, and events were documented in 33 states, most heavily in Massachusetts, California, Ohio, and Florida.
“The sheer volume of white supremacist propaganda distributions we are documenting around the country is alarming and dangerous,” Oren Segal, Vice President of the ADL’s Center on Extremism said in a statement. “Hardly a day goes by without communities being targeted by these coordinated, hateful actions, which are designed to sow anxiety and create fear.”
“We need a whole-of-society approach to combat this activity, including elected officials, community leaders, and people of good faith coming together and condemning this activity forcefully,” Segal continued.
See what others are saying: (Axios) (The Hill) (The New York Times)
Adidas Financial Woes Continue, Company on Track for First Annual Loss in Decades
Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company.
Adidas’ split with musician Kanye West has left the company with financial problems due to surplus Yeezy products, putting the sportswear giant in the position to potentially suffer its first annual loss in over 30 years.
Adidas dropped West last year after he made a series of antisemitic remarks on social media and other broadcasts. His Yeezy line was a staple for Adidas, and the surplus product is due, in part, to the brand’s own decision to continue production during the split.
According to CEO Bjorn Gulden, Adidas continued production of only the items already in the pipeline to prevent thousands of people from losing their jobs. However, that has led to the unfortunate overabundance of Yeezy sneakers and clothes.
On Wednesday, Gulden said that selling the shoes and donating the proceeds makes more sense than giving them away due to the Yeezy resale market — which has reportedly shot up 30% since October.
“If we sell it, I promise that the people who have been hurt by this will also get something good out of this,” Gulden said in a statement to the press.
However, Gulden also said that West is entitled to a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Yeezys per his royalty agreement.
Adidas announced in February that, following its divergence from West, it is facing potential sales losses totaling around $1.2 billion and profit losses of around $500 million.
If it decides to not sell any more Yeezy products, Adidas is facing a projected annual loss of over $700 million.
Outside of West, Adidas has taken several heavy profit blows recently. Its operating profit reportedly fell by 66% last year, a total of more than $700 million. It also pulled out of Russia after the country’s invasion of Ukraine last year, which cost Adidas nearly $60 million dollars. Additionally, China’s “Zero Covid” lockdowns last year caused in part a 36% drop in revenue for Adidas compared to years prior.
As a step towards a solution, Gulden announced that the company is slashing its dividends from 3.30 euros to 0.70 euro cents per share pending shareholder approval.
Adidas has labeled 2023 a “transition year” for the company.
“Adidas has all the ingredients to be successful. But we need to put our focus back on our core: product, consumers, retail partners, and athletes,” Gulden said. “I am convinced that over time we will make Adidas shine again. But we need some time.”
See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Times) (CNN)
Immigration Could Be A Solution to Nursing Home Labor Shortages
98% of nursing homes in the United States are experiencing difficulty hiring staff.
The Labor Crisis
A recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper has offered up a solution to the nursing home labor shortage: immigration.
According to a 2022 American Health Care Association survey, six in ten nursing homes are limiting new patients due to staffing issues. The survey also says that 87% of nursing homes have staffing shortages and 98% are experiencing difficulty hiring.
The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) outlined in their paper that increased immigration could help solve the labor shortage in nursing homes. Immigrants make up 19% of nursing home workers.
With every 10% increase in female immigration, nursing assistant hours go up by 0.7% and registered nursing hours go up by 1.1% And with that same immigration increase, short-term hospitalizations of nursing home residents go down by 0.6%.
Additionally, the State Department issued 145% more EB-3 documents, which are employment-based visas, for healthcare workers in the 2022 fiscal year than in 2019, suggesting that more people are coming to the U.S. to work in health care.
However, according to Skilled Nursing News, in August of 2022, the approval process from beginning to end for an RN can take between seven to nine months.
Displeasure about immigration has exploded since Pres. Joe Biden took office in 2021. According to a Gallup study published in February, around 40% of American adults want to see immigration decrease. That is a steep jump from 19% in 2021, and it is the highest the figure has been since 2016.
However, more than half of Democrats still are satisfied with immigration and want to see it increased. But with a divided Congress, the likelihood of any substantial immigration change happening is pretty slim.