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  1. NEWS • Politics Written by Yunisa DELGADO-FLORES • June 30th, 2022 — 6:20AM San Andreans' stances on the Roe v. Wade repeal Following Roe v. Wade's repeal, along with the responses to Senator Adrian Rossi's Preservation of Life Act, Minority Leader Senator Diana Jones and the SADEMs reveal their alternative; a constitutional amendment. Senator Adrian Rossi (R) and Senator Diana Jones (D), the authors of the two combating bills — image edited by Harold Kim, LSDN, June 30th 2022 Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case held in the Supreme Court that guaranteed access to abortions nation wide, was repealed on Friday, June the 24th, following the ruling of Dobbs v. Jackson in a ruling of 6-to-3. Justices Kavanaugh, Barret, Gorsuch, Alito, Thomas and Roberts voted to repeal the ruling whereas Justices Sotomayor, Kagan and Breyer voted against. Now, senators and citizens of San Andreas must decide on how our state should treat abortions. The Republican Party of San Andreas’ Senator Adrian Rossi submitted their bill to the senate, the Preservation of Life Act 2022, on the 23rd of May. A month prior to the repeal of Roe v. Wade. If the bill were to pass and were to come into effect, citizens would be able to sue women who undergo the procedure as well as the medical practitioners who perform abortions for a minimum of $10,000 as well as any legal costs incurred. A person would be liable to pay $10,000 for each abortion performed or induced Abortions, under this law, would only be available without the threat of civil action if a fetal heartbeat isn’t detected or if the physician believes that an abortion is necessary due to a medical emergency. The act also provided exemptions when the patient was impregnated through rape, sexual assault, incest, or through another traumatic sexual crime. A fetal heartbeat is most commonly found via ultrasound within six weeks into pregnancy, however it can be found as early as five weeks, Medical News Today reported. In a study conducted by Amy M. Braum and Katherine A. Ahrens for Matern Child Health, published in 2018, they found that women remain unaware of their pregnancies until between 5 and 6 weeks gestation. A total of six states have introduced and passed laws that limit abortions to six weeks since last menstrual period. However, only three of them are currently enforced. The rest are facing either temporary or permanent freezes from court orders. The three states that have passed such bills are Texas, Ohio and South Carolina. South Carolina’s abortion restriction notably includes exceptions for abortions caused by rape, incest, and lethal fetal anomalies regardless of a fetal heartbeat. During the initial hearing for the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee (HELP) within the San Andreas Senate, held on June the 5th, SADEM’s Minority Leader Diana Jones expressed her concerns surrounding using a “fetal heartbeat” as a cutoff point. The Preservation of Life Act of 2022 is similar to a law passed by the Texas Legislature in 2021; the Texas Heartbeat Act. The Texas Heartbeat Act likewise enables citizens to sue medical practitioners for carrying out abortions once a fetal heartbeat is found. The Texas Heartbeat Act was the first act of its kind where citizens were able to sue others for abortions, essentially deputizing them, which led to more Senators from states like Oklohoma, Idaho, and now San Andreas to model their own acts after it. Much like with the Texas Heartbeat Bill, citizens of other states may levy suits against those in this bill. The first case brought to the courts in Texas suing a medical practitioner for carrying out an abortion was by an Arkansas man. Criticism has been levied against the Republican Party and Senator Rossi for the Preservation of Life Act. One person who made their grievances known was the Los Santos County District Attorney Terentiy Schwetz. DA Schwetz released a press statement condemning the act and dubbed the discussions surrounding the act in the senate chamber as “ludicrous.” “My office steadfastly stands against any legislation that purports to 'preserve life' by taking away freedoms which exist under Roe v. Wade - and frankly, even if Roe v. Wade were overturned, my office would STILL support the right of women to have access to abortions.”, wrote Schwetz on June the 10th. “I took office with an oath to preserve the constitutional rights of San Andreas citizens, and I hold that if this bill passes it will be a terrible day for our beautiful state and a grave violation of our State's constitution.” While the bill makes no note of any criminal action being taken against the women nor practitioners who either perform or induce abortion, Schwetz acknowledged that, if that were to change, his office wouldn’t prosecute. He wrote that “We certainly would never prevent women from exercising their rights as it concerns decisions regarding their own bodies” The Chairman of the Republican Party, Jonathan Spencer, later condemned the District Attorney through a party press release. The party contested Schwetz’s claim that victims of violent sexual crimes were vulnerable under the Preservation of Life Act, citing section V (e) of the act. Section V (e) aims to nullify the law in cases where violent sexual crimes were committed. "I find it very amusing that the District Attorney's office is clearly commenting on a bill that they haven't bothered reading, which begs the question, did the District Attorney read the bill?”, wrote Chairman Spencer. DA Schwets listed victims of violent crimes as one of two noted reasons why abortions shouldn’t be restricted. He wrote in his press release that “we have women who cannot afford the burden of being a mother, we have victims of violent sex crimes, we have people who could not support children who seek this process in order to ensure that if they make the decision to have a baby, they can eventually properly support them.” Criticism also came from Senator Rudy Benson (R). Senator Benson initially supported the bill as a co-sponsor, however, as criticism grew against the bill, his office released a statement deeming the bill unconstitutional and expressed his intent to vote against the bill. “While I am a proud Republican, I have always made clear that I am a moderate and will not give into political extremes.”, Senator Benson wrote. “I have a duty to my constituents and cannot in good consciousness endorse such a draconian and unconstitutional proposal. Let me be clear. I, Senator Benson, will not be the vote that gets this terrible proposal passed.” Chairman Spencer and the SAGOP later released a press statement condemning Benson following his statement, where Spencer claimed that Benson expressed support to them in private. Spencer dismissed the claims that the law itself is unconstitutional due to the difficulties of it being challenged in a court of law. Spencer wrote that "Senator Benson, of all people, should know the most, having called the bill unconstitutional when I know very well that the law will be extremely difficult to challenge in court due to its unique enforcement mechanism, which prohibits state officials from enforcing the law and instead authorizes private individuals to sue anyone who performs or assists in an abortion.” The Texas Heartbeat Act has faced numerous challenges in court from pro-choice groups, however the courts in Texas has allowed the act to stand. One of the difficulties that this challenged against this act faces, as well as the difficulties that challenges against the Preservation of Life Act would face if passed, is that, due to state officials not enforcing the bill and enforcement is placed upon private citizens, court justices and attorneys cannot be sued on the grounds that the act isn’t constitutional. The SAGOP's bill is currently awaiting a hearing from the senate’s HELP committee. The hearing remains unscheduled, and the senate is seeking healthcare professionals to weigh in with expert advice during the hearing. During the first hearing on the Preservation of Life Act, which was held on June the 9th, Senator Jackie Lu expressed her support for the bill where she said “as long a fetus has a heartbeat, it's alive.” In a previous statement written for the Daily News however, given on May the 15th, Lu cited socioeconomic reasons as to why a woman may wish to seek abortion and expressed her desire to keep abortions accessible for these reasons. She wrote that “We will not be denied the authority to make choices about our own bodies. I will not stop working until everyone, and I mean everyone, regardless of poverty, zip code, or race, has access to safe, legal, and accessible abortions. If [women] are not prepared. How can you maintain a child if you are still in education with over more than $50,000's in student debt? The correct response is no; you cannot.” The San Andreas Democratic Party as a whole expressed their stance against the bill on June the 24th, where they shared and supported Democrat Senator Kaoru King-Yagami’s (D) post on Facebrowser. The SADEM’s social media page wrote “Every woman has the right to choose” as well as a brief sentence reaffirming the party's pro-choice stance alongside King-Yagami’s post. Senator King-Yagami wrote from his Facebrowser account that he will “fight to the bitter end” to ensure a woman has access to abortions. He wrote “I would like to make it abundantly clear; I believe in a woman's right to choose. I will fight to the bitter end for a woman's right to make the choices about anything to do with her bodily autonomy.” SADEM’s Minority Leader in the Senate, Diana Jones, called upon other republican senators to vote against the Preservation of Life Act in a press release on the repeal of the Roe v. Wade ruling. “The San Andreas State Senate currently faces a Republican majority, and while Republican Chairman Jonathan Spencer and President Pro Tempore Adrian Rossi have made their stances clear, I have faith the other Republican senators of the senate to block their attempts at taking women's rights away. “ In the same press release, Minority Leader Jones announced her and the party’s intent to submit a bill to amend the San Andreas Constitution to include provisions to secure abortions; intending to give the same securities provided from the ruling from Roe v. Wade. “I will move to enshrine women's rights to have an abortion in our own state's constitution. Abortion has been a constitutional right for half a decade, and I will fight to keep it that way. My office stands with women. We believe abortion care is health care and we will not stop working to defend these most basic, and truly personal freedoms.” For a law to pass in the San Andreas senate, it would need a majority of senators to rule in favor. There are currently six republican and four democrat senators. If senators vote according to party lines, where Republicans vote in favor and Democrats vote against, the Republican's Preservation of Life act will most likely pass through the senate and the Democrat's bill to amend the San Andreas Constitution would be expected to fail. However, with Senator Benson (R) expressing their intent to vote against, and Senator Lu (D) stating their support for the republican's bill on the 5th, the bills' future remain uncertain. Comments are enabled: Username: Comment:
  2. NEWS • Politics Written by Yunisa DELGADO-FLORES • May 19th, 2022 9:35AM Abortion and religion, thoughts by Edward Ulf, Senator Lu and GOP's Jonathan Spencer The debate surrounding abortion in the state of San Andreas rages strong. Democrat Senator Jackie Lu, SAGOP Chairman Jonathan Spencer and former senator Edward Ulf shares their thoughts about religion, while Spencer and Lu gives details as to their plans for future legislation. Edward Ulf (left), Senator Jackie Lu, (middle) and SAGOP Chairman Jonathan Spencer (right) - courtesy of Edward Ulf, the office of Jackie Lu, and Jonathan Spencer respectively. Edward Ulf, back in late 2021, proposed a bill dubbed the Woman's Health Act of 2021. The act served as a piece of legislation that aimed to protect women's access to abortion clinics; enshrining the Roe vs. Wade ruling into law. Roe vs. Wade is a US Supreme Court case which ruling still is felt to this day. The ruling deemed state legislation that forbade abortion without regard to a fetus’ development, a woman’s health or to be unconstitutional. This, in addition to a ruling made in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey which strengthened the case, meant states cannot give a blanket ban abortion nor make legislature or institutional policies to create any 'undue burden' for women who wish to carry out an abortion. However, due to a leaked opinion draft which shown that the majority of Justices intend to reverse it, many worry for its future. The Women’s Health Act of 2021, if passed, would have locked the Roe vs. Wade ruling into the San Andreas legislature. Since the act did not pass, there is no legislation currently within San Andreas that either protects or, if Roe vs. Wade were to be overturned, restricts abortion. The bill failed to reach the floor. Senator Adrian Rossi, majority leader of the Senate (R), reported that the reason for this was due to the existing ruling still withstanding. “The Women's Health Act of 2021 did technically fail though it wasn't voted on the floor.”, Sen. Rossi shared in a previous written statement to the Daily News. “This is because the case-law of Roe vs. Wade exists, and that was simply a restatement. Therefore, other bills were given priority as there were many important pieces that we focused on.” Edward Ulf however alleges that the reason for the bill’s failure was due to alleged negligence from a state attorney, as well as alleging due to his fellow senators neglecting to remember. “It was ignored and put away on the shelf despite it getting voted out of the committee and into the floor but stopped there because the state attorney ‘wanted to review’ it.” Edward Ulf told the Los Santos Daily News. “She did. Did not tell anyone about it. Then when attempts [were] taken to get it voted on, it was again shelved because ‘nobody remembers that it was voted to the floor’.” The Daily News has reached out to the office of the State Attorney for a comment on May the 16th. ADDED 05/22/22 10:15PM by Chief Editor Yunisa Delgado-Flores The State Attorney's office issued a response to Edward Ulf the following week to this article being published. The response denied the claims that the bill was left indefinitely in review. "In regards to the Women's Health Act of 2021, the bill was merely put on hold for 24 hours to be reviewed by the State Attorney's Office, which consisted of my staff reviewing it to ensure it had all it needed to continue. It was released back to the committee to continue onto the Senate floor with full knowledge of both the Democratic and Republican parties, and their respective leadership." The State Attorney's office further distanced itself from Ulf's claims, saying that his allegations are "complete hearsay". "If Senator Ulf wished for the Women's Health Act of 2021 to be taken back onto the State Senate floor, he should've brought it back up on behalf of his constituents." Senators and leaders from both parties have announced an intent to submit legislature surrounding abortion, however the contents of either drafts remain unknown. In a prior statement from SAGOP Chairman Jonathan Spencer to the Daily News, he stated that he and his party will submit a bill that includes ‘bipartisan points’ and says they are “seeking to make it as fair as possible to men and women across San Andreas” “I'm unable to comment on it at the moment due it being unfinished currently, and would prefer to comment on it in its fullness at a later date once it's complete. However, I would like to make clear we are indeed including bipartisan points in our draft and are seeking to make it as fair as possible to men and women across San Andreas.” Sen. Rossi, when asked about the SAGOP's plans for future bills in a previously written statement, noted how the SAGOP's legislation for abortion would only be submitted if Roe vs. Wade were to be reversed. "To further answer your question, the GOP does plan to submit a bill regarding abortion should the Court overturn Roe v. Wade." In an interview with Senator Jackie Lu (D), when asked if there are any plans for any bills to be introduced surrounding abortion, she stated that she “intends to do something about it.” “Women should assert their rightful place in society.”, wrote Sen. Jackie Lu. “And I have not and will not forget about them; We will not be denied the authority to make choices about our own bodies. I will not stop working until everyone, and I mean everyone, regardless of poverty, zip code, or race, has access to safe, legal, and accessible abortions. “If [women] are not prepared. How can you maintain a child if you are still in education with over more than $50,000's in student debt? The correct response is no; you cannot.” When reached out for a comment regarding what he believes the senate should do in regards to abortion legislature, Edward Ulf was highly critical of the current make-up. "I suggest they, both sides, actually bothers to talk to the people they are supposed to represent instead of going to bars, clubs, yachts or hang out in their Mansions in Vinewood." Ulf wrote in their statement to the Daily News. "I suggest they worry less about the stakeholders and what people will think about them and work towards a better future for the entire state." Edward Ulf currently serves as the CEO for a local web-hosting company named Dot IT Hosting. Dot IT Hosting’s and Ulf's stance on the topic of abortion was shared through a public post on its Facebrowser page on May the 5th, two days after the leak. A screengrab of the post by Dot IT Hosting and Edward Ulf from Dot IT's Facebrowser page, May the 19th 2022 One of the core issues surrounding abortion is the religious ramifications where differing religious views - both within Christianity, between religions, and between theists and atheists - debate at what point a fetus is considered to have life, and whether or not abortion is equal to the act of killing. SAGOP Chairman Spencer equates abortion to “murder”, citing the federal legislature Unborn Victims of Violence Act, and explains how his religious beliefs has shaped this opinion. "Even though the victim is yet to be born, it is unethical to kill an innocent human being. Unborn babies are considered human beings by the US government." Spencer detailed how exactly the Unborn Victims of Violence Act operates. "Under federal law, anyone intentionally killing or attempting to kill an unborn child should 'be punished... for intentionally killing or attempting to kill a human being', according to the federal Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which was enacted 'to protect unborn children from assault and murder.' The act also states that an unborn child is a 'member of the species homo sapiens.' Multiple states have passed similar fetal homicide laws." In accordance of Roe vs. Wade, the Unborn Victims of Violence Act specifically excludes abortion. It notes that the legislature cannot be used to prosecute either the woman undergoing the procedure or the medical practicioner performing it. Spencer’s argument for abortion equaling murder also derives from a biblical standpoint, where he notes how the language used in the bible doesn’t distinguish between a fetus and an infant. “The killing of a human being contradicts God's word; the Bible does not distinguish between fetuses and babies, using the Greek word brephos to refer to both an unborn child and an infant. God recognizes a newborn by the time he or she is conceived, as Jeremiah 1:5 demonstrates: ‘Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee.’” Spencer explained to the Daily News in a written statement last week. “The Sixth Commandment of the Bible’s Old Testament, ‘Thou shalt not kill’ (Exodus 20:13), applies to all human beings, including unborn babies.” Democrat Sen. Jackie Lu however, a fellow Christian, holds a different perspective. They believe that God would be understanding as to the reasons a woman would want and need to get an abortion. “I am a religious person, but I am confident that God understands why we think this is a good idea” Lu shares. “Having children is a life-altering decision, not a simple choice. And when you can't even say anything about it, the situation gets quite nightmare-like. It will make your life 10 times more difficult, so I think it's a fantastic idea for women to be able to remove it. "I believe that rituals and customs contribute to local culture and are an integral part of who we are, but we must abandon those that are obstructive and demeaning." Pillbox Medical Center, Alan Kim. May the 15th 2022 Former Senator Edward Ulf stands with an atheistic viewpoint, where he dismisses the notion that religion should be regarded in abortion legislature. “Personally? I follow the consensus of the scientific community, when there is a heartbeat.”, Edward Ulf shared when questioned about what point he believes a fetus has life. In an ultrasound, a heartbeat can be discovered as early as five and a half weeks after gestation, but is usually found six and a half to seven weeks in. He ended with “I do not believe religion should have any say in this.” Sen. Rossi’s resolution to condemn the US Supreme Court leaker, Resolution 28, is set to take the floor towards the end of this week. Editor's Note: 22/05/2022. 10:15pm At the time of this article being released, the state's attorney's office was unable to provide a comment regarding allegations of negligence from Edward Ulf. This evening, at 6:00:AM, the state's attorney's office issued the following response. The article has been amended to include these comments, read as the following: Comments are enabled: Username: Comment: ((monster is the GOAT))
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