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Abortion Ultrasound Bill: Anti-Choice Activist Twists Facts On Hardball



Last night, Chris Matthews hosted a “Hardball” debate about Virginia’s new bill that would require a woman considering an abortion to have a transvaginal ultrasound. During the debate, Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the ultra-conservative Susan B. Anthony List, twisted and turned various facts by suggesting that the majority of women support being legally required to have this highly-invasive and expensive procedure, and caught falsely claiming that women only had to have an ultrasound “offered” to her — when the Virginia law would force her to undergo the procedure.

But first, a quick note about who Susan B. Anthony was, via Wikipedia:

Susan Brownell Anthony (February 15, 1820 – March 13, 1906) was a prominent American civil rights leader who played a pivotal role in the 19th century women’s rights movement to introduce women’s suffrage into the United States. She was co-founder of the first Women’s Temperance Movement with Elizabeth Cady Stanton as President. She also co-founded the women’s rights journal, The Revolution. She traveled the United States and Europe, and averaged 75 to 100 speeches per year. She was one of the important advocates in leading the way for women’s rights to be acknowledged and instituted in the American government.

The Susan B. Anthony List, “dedicated to electing candidates and pursuing policies that will reduce and ultimately end abortion,” co-opted Susan B. Anthony’s name, with no clear indiction of what her views on abortion are. Disgusting.

Back to “Hardball.”

First, Dannenfelser was caught in falsifying facts by Matthews when she stated, “all that is involved here is saying that 24 hours ahead of time, that that ultrasound be available and offered to the woman,” according to the MSNBC-provided transcript, below.

Matthews interrupted her, as any quality journalist would have, to clarify that the law requires that ultrasound be performed, not be made available to her, as in, “Would you like a mint?”

Then Dannenfelser told Matthews that “the reason the majority of women in Virginia and across the country support this is that they believe in that vulnerable spot in a difficult place, that more information is better,” also according to the MSNBC-provided transcript, below.

Apparently, Dannenfelser has polling that no one else is privy to, because we have poll after poll after poll that states that a majority of women — and in some polls, men too — do not want the law to be involved in her decision to have an abortion, and certainly do not want the government foxing her to have a medically-unnecessary and invasive procedure, like a transvaginal ultrasound.

Dannenfelser also falsely claimed that having an ultrasound was “vital” for the health of the woman — certainly not true. Were it true, doctors would demand a the procedure and there would be no need for a law.

Even Matthews slams Dannenfelser, asking, “Why are you pushing a bill you don’t understand the ramifications of?”

Of course, Dannenfelser does not support the Obama administration’s mandate to have all employers offer contraception services free of charge. Because as the head of a women’s organization dedicated to eliminating abortions altogether, having contraception — which would reduce the number of abortions desired — is not acceptable. She’s against it.

It’s a woman’s right to choose — not the Republican Party’s right to tell.

Majorie, if you have to twist facts to make your point, you don’t have one. Shame on you. Lord knows Susan B. Anthony is rolling in her grave knowing you represent her good name.

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>;>;>; next door to here in virginia, nearly 1,200 protesters descended on the state capital to protest legislation working its way to the governor that would require a woman to get an ultrasound before having an abortion. legally requiring an ultrasound violates the doctor/patient relationship. the ultrasound is a tool for informed consent before having an abortion. virginia is now the focus of this fight and could join seven other states at least where women are already legally required to have an ultrasound before an abortion. texas, law there states the provider must describe the image. in virginia, the bill as written now would require the ultrasound be done, but not that the woman view it. coming on the heels on access to contraception, is the virginia fight another example of the placing undue burden on women’s care. margeny denifeld joins us. cynthia, you go first. what’s wrong with this legislation requiring an ultrasound before an abortion?

>;>; everything, chris. republicans have been bludgeoning the administration with government intrusiveness. the affordable care act is supposed to be so intrusive. what is more intrusive than man mandating a medical procedure for a woman? one that is not medically e necessary? what is more intrusive of government than getting in the relationship between a woman and her doctor? i can’t imagine an episode of greater government overreach than that.

>;>; margery, your thoughts about why it would be important for the legislature to require this ultrasound before an abortion?

>;>; this is a matter of giving a woman more information that she needs to make a decision that’s fully informed. listen. these ultrasounds are standard procedure. planned parenthood’s hotline in virginia says that as well. all that is involved here is saying that 24 hours ahead of time, that that ultrasound be available and offered to the woman.

>;>; i thought the law said they have to have it.

>;>; the information. you have to have the ultrasound, yes. it’s not true that there’s no medical value in it.

>;>; just so the person watching the show understands the issue here. is the issue whether this is required by law or not?

>;>; this is required by law.

>;>; if you win.

>;>; that is right. if we win. and the actual image is offered to the woman. she doesn’t have to look at it. it’s not true there’s no medical necessity. that’s why it’s a standard procedure.

>;>; what’s the medical advantage of having an ultrasound?

>;>; women have died and had all sorts of complications from abortions when the jes talgs age was not determined.

>;>; hang on a minute. if in fact planned parenthood already does this, why is the law necessary? if a doctor believes that the procedure is medically necessary, a doctor will do it.

>;>; because a woman deserves to see it.

>;>; but if it is not medically necessary, the government has no business telling a doctor he or she must perform this intrusive procedure when it’s not medically necessary.

>;>; the information is vital. there are other standard procedures required by government. this one is certainly vital for her health and her fully-informed decision.

>;>; i’m not going to take cynthia’s side, although i agree this should be a concern that people should have. there ought to be an ownous on the ones that want the law. a woman decides to have an abortion. she makes the decision. it’s legal. under the law in the first trimester. why should you get in the way of that decision once she’s made that decision? why should she be required to jump through hoops to do it?

>;>; the reason the majority of women in virginia and across the country support this is that they believe in that vulnerable spot in a difficult place, that more information is better. and making — one decision is a medical decision. one is about the contentious difficult decision about what’s happening in an abortion. an ultrasound speaks to that. it’s science. it’s a scientific opinion backing up a medical reality.

>;>; what percentage of women decide not to have an abortion after seeing an ultrasound?

>;>; why are you pushing the bill then?

>;>; i understand that women– i know that women think they should have that information. if they want the information, they should have it.

>;>; if women thought —

>;>; they are in a difficult spot. listen. they get all kinds of other information about every other aspect of everything that’s going to happen in a procedure. this is arguably another human being.

>;>; do you think abortion should be outlawed?

>;>; of course, i do. it’s another human being. but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

>;>; is this another way of beginning the process of outlawing it?

>;>; this truly is about giving a woman a fully-informed decision about what’s actually going on.

>;>; cynthia, last thought here. i want to move on to a larger question on women’s health. what do you think this means, cynthia? that this is being pushed.

>;>; it’s harassment. it’s harassment because the groups who are pushing this don’t want women to have the right to decide. it’s extremely condescending to suggest that women have not thought deeply about this. prayed about it, talked to family. if they wanted more information, they could certainly ask the doctor for it.

>;>; why should an abortionist in the first place do it? why should information that he’s going to get not be offered to the woman? that’s all that’s happening in virginia.

>;>; let me ask you a question. the insurance companies are required to carry without co-pay coverage for birth control. isn’t that going to radically reduce the number of abortions in this country? birth control? the fact that poor women, working women will get it free. they will be inclined to provide themselves with birth control and avoid abortions?

>;>; regardless of the answer to that question, the ends don’t justify the means. this is actually what this presidential debate, this is what this freedom of information is about. it’s about freedom. and for —

>;>; so radically reducing the number of abortions in this country is not a good end?

>;>; of course, it’s a good end.

>;>; it could be achieved by birth control.

>;>; but a mandate to require abortions?

>;>; the availability at no cost will encourage women to use it. it would seem to me because it’s free and made available in their insurance programs. won’t that radically reduce the number of abortions?

>;>; no. look. 100% access is what women have now. requiring — mandating that on individuals that don’t believe in abortion causing drugs is a restriction of religious liberty and should not be about it. that’s what we’re talking about. .

>;>; cynthia, thank you for your knowledge and passion as always.

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Dominion Wins ‘Blockbuster Victories’ Against Fox News – Last Legal Issue Will Be Decided by a Jury: Report



Dominion Voting Systems won what are being called “blockbuster victories” Friday afternoon when a judge ruled the company suing Fox News for $1.6 billion in a major defamation lawsuit had met its burden of proof that Rupert Murdoch‘s far-right wing cable channel had repeatedly made false statements.

The final, and likely greatest legal issue Dominion will have to prove will be actual malice. That issue will be decided in a jury trial, Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric M. Davis ruled Friday, according to Law & Crime.

Unlike previous cases, Fox News will reportedly not be able to argue the on-air statements its personalities made were opinion.

CNN legal analyst and Brookings senior fellow Norm Eisen calls Friday’s decision a “huge win for Dominion on their summary judgment motion against Fox News.”

READ MORE: Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’

“Dominion won partial summary judgement that what Fox said about them was false! Now they just have to prove actual malice and damages,” Eisen says. “Meanwhile Fox’s motion was totally denied.”

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, an MSNBC contributor adds: “Dominion’s evidence Fox made false statements with reckless disregard  is as strong as any I’ve seen.”

The judge was very clear in his ruling.

“While the Court must view the record in the light most favorable to Fox, the record does not show a genuine issue of material fact as to falsity,” Judge Davis wrote. “Through its extensive proof, Dominion has met its burden of showing there is no genuine issue of material fact as to falsity. Fox therefore had the burden to show an issue of material fact existed in turn. Fox failed to meet its burden.”

READ MORE: ‘Propaganda Network’: Media Reporter Says Dominion Filing Exposes Fox News as ‘Void of the Most Basic Journalistic Ethics’

Attorney and MSNBC host and legal analyst Katie Phang points to this key passage in Judge Davis’ ruling.

Court watchers and news junkies are familiar at this point with the massive legal filings Dominion has made in which it exposed how Fox News knowingly made false statements regarding the 2020 presidential election. Those filings, each hundreds of pages, also detail internal Fox News communications and bombshell conversations between the company’s top personalities, executives, and even Chairman Rupert Murdoch.


Image of Rupert Murdoch via Shutterstock

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Capitol Police Issue Warning Over Possible Trump Protests ‘Across the Country’



The U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant at Arms on Friday jointly issued a statement warning they “anticipate” Trump protests across the country. The statement is not time-specific, and it states it has no information on “credible threats,” but some Democratic offices are allowing staffers to work from home Friday and Tuesday.

“The Sergeant at Arms and United States Capitol Police (USCP) anticipate demonstration activity across the country related to the indictment of former President Trump. While law enforcement is not tracking any specific, credible threats against the Capitol or state offices, there is potential for demonstration activity. USCP is working with law enforcement partners, so you may observe a greater law enforcement presence on Capitol Hill,” the statement reads.

“The SAA and USCP are monitoring the potential nationwide impacts to Senate state offices,” it adds.

The House Sergeant at Arms was conspicuously absent from the statement. Speaker Kevin McCarthy has control over that office.

READ MORE: Trump Trial Could Go Well Into the 2024 Election – Or Possibly Even Past It: Former Prosecutor

Additionally, Axios is reporting, “several House Democrats are allowing staffers to work from home as a safety precaution,” noting that “the memory of Trump supporters ransacking the Capitol on Jan. 6 is still fresh on the mind.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) is allowing staff to work from home for safety reasons. She told Axios, “I don’t ever want to see a Jan. 6 again.”

“I’ve been in the Trump hate tunnel, Donald Trump has gone after me, and quite frankly I don’t have security. I don’t have entourages.”

She’s not the only Democrat to raise concerns.

“Much of the language from the former President and his devotees is similar to what inspired Jan. 6th,” U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips said. “I’m concerned about safety for my colleagues and my staff.”

READ MORE: ‘Lighting the Match’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Blasted for Off the Rails Rant Defending Trump

Meanwhile, House Republicans are issuing full-throated support for Trump and calling for protests.

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who was called out by name in a six-page letter Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sent to Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan Friday morning, announced she will be in New York on Tuesday to support Trump when he is arraigned. She has posted several tweets since Trump was indicted.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy issued a statement Thursday seemingly designed to gin up rage and action in the MAGA base.

“Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election. As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump. The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.”


Image by Elvert Barnes via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump Trial Could Go Well Into the 2024 Election – Or Possibly Even Past It: Former Prosecutor



Donald Trump, and all of America, could spend the next 18 months – or longer – engrossed in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s trial of the ex-president, and that could bring the trial close to Election Day.

That’s according to a former prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, Charles Coleman, who is now a civil rights attorney and MSNBC legal analyst.

Asked by MSNBC’s Chris Jansing, “How long typically might a case like this take?” Coleman offered a two-tiered answer.

“A case like this is usually going to take a year or a year and a half,” Coleman said.

That could be through September of 2024.

READ MORE: ‘Lighting the Match’: Marjorie Taylor Greene Blasted for Off the Rails Rant Defending Trump

“Wow,” a surprised Jansing replied. “So it’s going right up into the campaign.”

“Absolutely,” agreed Coleman. “But it’s important to understand I said a case ‘like this.’ This particular case, I expect may take longer because I am anticipating a number of different legal maneuvers by Donald Trump’s defense team.”

That theoretically means into October of 2024, or longer.

“I do see motions to dismiss at a number of different terms, more likely than not to the point that the judge probably will ultimately end up admonishing them and telling them stop filing motions to dismiss. I think that that’s going to happen,” Coleman explained.

“I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, I do believe that we are going to see an attempt to try to change the venue, in this case outside of somewhere in the five boroughs. All of that is going to extend the time deeper and deeper into election season.”

READ MORE: Manhattan DA Unleashes on Jim Jordan With Stern Warning: You May Not ‘Interfere’ With Trump Prosecution

Reuters agrees, reporting Friday morning, “any potential trial is still at minimum more than a year away, legal experts said, raising the possibility that the former U.S. president could face a jury in a Manhattan courtroom during or even after the 2024 presidential campaign, as he seeks a return to the White House.”

And because “Trump’s case is far from typical,” Reuters notes, his trial could extend “past Election Day in November 2024.”





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