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Planned Parenthood withdraws from Title X funding so it can keep referring patients for abortions; an attack in Afghanistan leaves some worried of more violence if the US pulls out.
Planned Parenthood rejects Title X funding
- Planned Parenthood has decided to reject Title X funding rather than complying with a new Trump administration abortion rule. [Reuters / Brendan O’Brien]
- Earlier this year, the Trump administration released a new rule that would bar organizations receiving Title X funding — the only federal funding for family planning — from providing abortion referrals. Planned Parenthood, which serves about 40 percent of Title X recipients, immediately pushed back and called it a “gag rule.” [BuzzFeed News / Dan Vergano]
- Planned Parenthood was left with two choices: no longer referring abortions or rejecting about $60 million in federal funding. The organization chose the latter. [Politico / Alice Miranda Ollstein]
- This doesn’t mean that the organization will lose all of its federal funding, as it receives about $500 million from Medicaid a year (according to 2017-2018 records). But some services will undoubtedly have to be cut, experts say. [NYT / Pam Belluck]
- The lack of funding could affect about 1.5 million people, many who receives services other than abortions such as birth control and STD testing. Some patients will experience delays in treatment, while some will lose all access, according to Planned Parenthood. [The Daily Beast / Emily Shugerman]
- Planned Parenthood and other organizations don’t just see this as an attack on abortions. They said the new rule is also an attack on reproductive health care because it is targeting contraception as well, especially because anti-abortion group Obria –– which is against hormonal contraception –– received a $1.7 million grant. [Vox / Anna North]
- There is still a small chance that the rule could be overturned, as it is currently being weighed in a federal appeals court. For now, however, the administration is free to enforce it. [AP / David Crary and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar]
Kabul wedding attack leaves at least 63 dead
- A suicide bomber at a wedding in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul killed at least 63 people and injured about 182 more: the deadliest attack in the city so far this year. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]
- The attack, which the Islamic State claims responsibility for, has left the surviving bride and groom in shock as they mourn their family members and friends. [Al Jazeera / Ali M Latifi]
- The attack comes at a particularly delicate time: the US and Taliban are finalizing a peace deal and there are hopes that the US will slowly begin to withdraw troops as the Taliban will finally begin negotiating with the Afghan government. [AP / Rahim Faiez and Cara Anna]
- The Taliban has denied any involvement with the bombing and publicly condemned it, but not everyone believes their hands are totally clean. And even if the Taliban were innocent, they’ve been responsible for several deadly attacks in Afghanistan, which did not stop during the US-Taliban peace talks. [BBC]
- Why did ISIS attack? While the presence of ISIS is still fairly small, the group has continuously fought the Taliban, the larger and older rival organization. If the Taliban does reach a deal with both the Afghan government and the US, ISIS is eager to take that as an opportunity to become the main opposition in the country and attract Taliban defectors — thus expanding their influence. [The Guardian / Jason Burke]
- Some critics argue that the US shouldn’t withdraw from Afghanistan because it could make the country ripe for breeding terrorist organizations and wreck havoc for Afghans citizens. [Vox / Zeeshan Aleem]
- The Trump administration, however, remains optimistic about the peace deal: Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad, the US top negotiator, tweeted that a peace deal would put the country in a better position to defeat ISIS. President Donald Trump is eager to reach a deal before the 2020 presidential election, and so the talks continue for now. [CNN / Nick Paton Walsh]
- NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was accused of fatally choking Eric Garner in 2014, has been fired. [CNN / Mike Hayes, Meg Wagner, and Veronica Rocha]
- One of the many ways China is trying to combat the Hong Kong protests: stirring up nationalist sentiments by spreading disinformation on social media, according to Twitter and Facebook. [NYT / Kate Conger]
- A funeral was held for the first glacier in Iceland to disappear. Experts predict that all of the land’s ice will be gone in 200 years. [AP / Seth Borenstein]
- DePop puts a cool spin on thrifting –– one that has gotten Gen Z shoppers hooked. The online platform is a retail store, community and aesthetic wonderland all-in-one. [The Cut / Matthew Schneier]
- The internet was charmed by Marium, an orphaned dugong in Thailand that enjoyed cuddling with her caregivers — all while displaying a smile on her face. The eight-month-old sea mammal, however, was found dead with plastic in her organs and bruises, potentially from an aggressive male trying to mate with her. [NPR / Amy Held]
“We will not be bullied into withholding abortion information from our patients. Our patients deserve to make their own health care decisions, not to be forced to have Donald Trump or Mike Pence make those decisions for them.” [Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood’s acting president and CEO, on the organization’s decision to withdraw from Title X funding]
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