WASHINGTON – The House Friday gave final approval to a bipartisan gun-reform bill that is the first major federal gun safety legislation in decades, voting just hours after the measure cleared the Senate.
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By Neetish Basnet Cronkite News
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court ruled Friday that there is no constitutional right to an abortion in the U.S., overturning nearly 50 years of precedence and returning the power to regulate abortions to the states.
PHOENIX – In the wake of Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade – eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion – Planned Parenthood Arizona announced it has shut down its abortion services, effective immediately, while it sorts through “Arizona’s tangled web of conflicting laws.”
Abortion opponents, meanwhile, said “life has won a great victory.”
“We are working diligently with our team of attorneys to understand Arizona’s tangled web of conflicting laws so we can ensure that our patients know what their rights are and how to access legal abortion,” Brittany Fonteno, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Arizona, said at a virtual news conference Friday.
The ruling, Fonteno said, will “serve to further our country’s disgraceful legacy of racism and discrimination, because it will have the greatest impact on Black, Indigenous, Latino and other people of color, young people and rural communities.”
She urged Arizonans to protest the court’s 6-3 decision.
“We have never before lost a constitutional right in the history of this country,” Fonteno said.
Thousands of protesters heeded the call and gathered at the Arizona Capitol on Friday night. Many carried signs decrying the Supreme Court’s ruling, with messages such as “My Body, My Choice,” as well as many more strongly worded messages. The crowd marched around the Capitol ground chanting, “Abortion is our right. We won’t give up this fight,” and other abortion-rights messages that had been distributed on small cards, and members of several groups, including event organizers Planned Parenthood, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and Radical Women, shared their frustration with the ruling.
But the activists were met by a smaller group of abortion opponents who displayed signs of their own or crosses.
The groups stayed peaceful until about 8:45 p.m. when, according to AZ Family, the Arizona Department of Public Safety deployed tear gas to scatter demonstrators who were banging on the glass of the Senate. DPS said the gas was also deployed at Wesley Bolin Plaza.
Abortion opponents: ‘Life wins’
As abortion-rights groups were preparing to take to the streets, abortion opponents were all smiles and tears of joy during a media conference Friday afternoon at the Arizona Family Counseling clinic in Phoenix.
“Today, life wins,” said Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy. “Roe will not see 50 (years), and we’re a better nation for it. The court’s decision rights a deadly decades-old wrong. Life is a human right, and we can no longer deny the humanity of the unborn child.”
State Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, shared similar sentiments.
“Many of us in this room have been waiting for this moment,” Barto said. “Life has won a great victory through prayer, unity and 50 years of perseverance.”
The court’s ruling Friday in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization paves the way for Arizona’s 15-week abortion ban to take effect. Signed by Gov. Doug Ducey in March, the law bans abortions after 15 weeks of gestation, except in a medical emergency. The law will take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns its current session, which is considered imminent.
“Attorneys general have a solemn responsibility to defend the most vulnerable among us, and that’s exactly what we did today,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Repubican who’s running for governor. “I look forward to seeing the issue returned to elected representatives where it belongs. As Americans, we believe in the dignity and value of every person.”
Ducey tweeted on Friday morning:
“Roe v Wade was a poorly-reasoned ruling that had no Constitutional basis. The Supreme Court has made the right decision by finally overturning it and giving governing power back to the people and the states.
“I am proud that Arizona has been ranked the most pro-life state in the country. Here, we will continue to cherish life and protect it in every way possible.”
But others see the ruling and its effects as an affront to women.
‘My heart honestly is breaking’
The medical director of Planned Parenthood Arizona, Dr. Jill Gibson, called the decision and political pressure to limit the availability of abortions “devastating.”
“Today’s decision will be felt the hardest by Arizonans who already face discriminatory and systemic obstacles to health care,” she said, including people with disabilities, people who live far from the city, young people and undocumented people. “My heart honestly is breaking because this decision will cause immense suffering for women, and for their families – we will see desperation.
“Taking away access to abortion isn’t a theoretical talking point. This is real life for our patients. Our patients will now have to go to centers that are out of the state, they will struggle to find someone to watch their children so they can travel, they will have to beg for time off work from the two or three jobs that they’re holding down in order just to make their ends meet.”
Here is your Cronkite News lineup for Friday, June 24. If you have questions on news stories from the Phoenix bureau, please contact Managing Editor for Digital Julia Thompson at 602-543-4610 or email@example.com, while questions about stories from our Washington bureau should go to Steve Crane at 202-684-2398 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Sports story questions can be directed to Paola Boivin at email@example.com. Clients who want to use Cronkite videos can find clean versions, and scripts, for download in a Dropbox – if interested, contact Managing Editor for Broadcast/Executive Producer Heather Dunn at 602-430-8764 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for access. Stories promised for today, along with photos and links to multimedia elements, will post to our client site at cronkitenews.jmc.asu.edu/clients.Continue reading “Cronkite News Digest for Friday, June 24”
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By Neetish Basnet Cronkite News
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s latest attempt to combat rising gas prices might be running on empty.
Biden on Wednesday urged lawmakers to suspend gasoline and diesel taxes on both federal and state levels for at least three months, in hopes of providing consumers direct relief from soaring prices at the pump.
PHOENIX – The number of people experiencing homelessness is rising in Maricopa County, and with it the need for affordable housing. Enter Threshold, which intends to change the housing dynamic by inviting landlords to be part of the solution.
WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court is expected to hand down a ruling restricting or overturning abortion rights within a matter of days, but Phoenix Dr. DeShawn Taylor has been getting ready for months.
“I’ve been doing this since the Supreme Court took up the case to begin with because in my mind, I felt that, why would the Supreme Court take up the case (if) they weren’t going to seriously consider overturning Roe V. Wade,” Taylor said, referring to the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision that recognized a right to an abortion.
WASHINGTON – Advocates welcomed the announcement this week that pay for federal firefighters will increase by as much as $20,000 this year, what one official called a potentially “life-changing” step for the chronically underpaid crews.
PHOENIX – As the audience screamed its enthusiasm, the click of heels echoed across the hall. Indigenous drag queens took the stage to perform classic pop songs – gratefully accepting dollar bills from fans in the front row.
The Heard Museum, renowned for showcasing Indigenous art from around the world, opens its doors free of charge on the first Friday of each month. This month, First Friday showcased the museum’s inaugural Native Drag Show, which was limited to Indigenous queens, to celebrate Pride Month.
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By Tracy Abiaka Cronkite News
WASHINGTON – Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers told lawmakers investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection Tuesday about the Trump campaign’s persistent, and increasingly questionable, efforts to pressure state officials into overturning the 2020 elections.
PHOENIX – The latest supply chain problem – a shortage of feminine care items – has prompted Arizona advocates to renew calls for “period equity” to ensure that menstrual products are accessible and affordable for all.
PHOENIX – Members of the Arizona Education Association gathered Tuesday at the state Capitol to again ask lawmakers to funnel a bigger chunk of the state’s $5 billion budget surplus into public schools.
WASHINGTON – It took more than two years for news of the Emancipation Proclamation to reach the last enslaved people in Texas – and it may take as long to win wide acceptance for the new federal holiday marking that event.
Juneteenth, designated a federal holiday just last year, meant a day off for most federal workers Monday, but not for workers in half the states, including Arizona. It was recognized by some cities, but not by others, and just 30% of private businesses this year gave their workers the day off.
FLAGSTAFF – Springs are immensely important to Arizona’s ecosystems and its people, and springs can tell us a lot about both, according to Abe Springer, whose Northern Arizona University research team studies spring water and groundwater and their effects on the environment.
For the past 10 years, the professor of ecohydrogeology and a team of NAU researchers, including graduate students, have monitored and collected data from springs throughout the Coconino National Forest and the Grand Canyon National Park. The versatility of springs allows graduate students to study effects on Arizona’s ecosystems and economies while contributing to our understanding of climate change. Continue reading “‘Springs are sentinels’: NAU team studies how spring water affects ecosystems”
EDS: A previous version of this story misstated, in the ninth graf, Valdovinos’ age when he talked with a Marine recruiter, as well as the nature of that recruiter’s relationship to Valdovinos’ high school. The story below has been corrected, but clients who used earlier versions are asked to run the correction found here.
Slug: BC-CNS-Dreamer Drama,890
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By Tracy Abiaka Cronkite News
NEW YORK – Tony Valdovinos is sitting outside New World Stages, a performing arts complex in Manhattan where his life story has been taking center stage in the musical “¡Americano!” for weeks now.
The former Arizona resident is talking about the need to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – what he calls a “saving grace” in his life – and the role his story plays in that fight. And he’s talking about meeting Barack Obama. Again.
TEMPE – Palm trees, bushes and succulents line Orange Mall in the heart of Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. Water trickles across rocks next to the walkways, which are studded with shaded spots for students to gather. Some noisy birds and a chorus of skateboards whizzing across the pavers break the silence.
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By Daisy Gonzalez-Perez Cronkite News
WASHINGTON – It wasn’t a great job – dishwasher – but Mario Montoya was happy because it was his first job and because he needed money for the prom.
But Montoya was happy for another reason, too: The undocumented Mesa resident was only able to work because he was one of the first beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program when it took effect 10 years ago.
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By Morgan Fischer Cronkite News
WASHINGTON – A plain shirt, a pin, a number.
For the past 41 days, basketball legend Dawn Staley has posted that photo to her social media accounts, just one part of the outpouring of support for Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner, who has been held in a Russian jail since Feb. 17.