Alabama abortion bill passes state Senate, up for governor approval

Alabama's near-total abortion ban is not officially in effect as the bill awaits Gov. Kay Ivey's signature; U.S. orders government employees to leave the Iraq embassy.
26:33 | 05/15/19

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Transcript for Alabama abortion bill passes state Senate, up for governor approval
And. Everybody welcome to the return might ABC's Devin Dwyer Washington great to have you with us on this Wednesday a lot to get into including some major developments in the abortion battle. But in this country ramping up in some southern states hot and elsewhere that are passing restrictive measures also those new warnings about Iran. We talk about those today with congressman Tulsa Gabbert she's ahead. Also take a trip out two Montana were Mary Alice parks got an exclusive one on one today with governor. I Steve Bullock of course just entered the presidential race so we'll hear from him coming up but we start. With the abortion battle which is playing out now and ground zero Alabama the state overnight becoming. I'm the first to pass the most restrictive anti abortion measure in the United States at great depth outlaws all procedures of all kinds except. In a select number of cases when the life of the mother is at risk Rupert a Republican governor Kay Ivey is expected to sign the bill shortly. Is sure to spark a legal fight and are making Keeley. ABC news reporter in New York has been covering this story and the abortion battles in this country for quite some time she joins us now making great to see you so. This Alabama measure passed overwhelmingly and it's being celebrated now by pro life groups big time. It is it's Alabama's. Bill that was passed Tuesday night in the senate that was the latest bill latest state where they put a restrictive abortion ban in place. That. Senate voted 25 in favor of the bill and seven against would only three abstentions so it obviously passed overwhelmingly. That follows after that the Alabama house of representative passed it. Lasts just two weeks ago. And they passer with a 74 members voting in favor as well. In May at one of the things that's so interesting about this bill. Which is on nearly a blanket abortion ban is that the supporters of the bill said they explicitly. Want the Supreme Court to take this up this is gone in for the Supreme Court. Right absolutely investment that's the pure intention of this bill I actually spoke to that initialed a house bill sponsor. Terry Collins last week and she told me in no uncertain terms they wanted to go to the Supreme Court. She sent that they crafted the language specifically it's about they didn't include any exceptions like. Exemptions in the cases of rape and incest which are so commonly included an abortion pills. They decided to avoid all that in the hopes that they talk really about. Be the heart of the matter that they think is the Roe vs. Wade decision it's about whether or not a it a personhood essentially is that. Yet as if they're open to re litigate the personhood matter of course plant here heard a vs KC another big case in 92 found that that states can't impose. Undue burdens on women seeking access two abortion services before 24 weeks hard to see how this isn't an undue burden but. We'll see if it makes it to the court but you've also looked at the bigger picture here Megan's put this into some context Alabama isn't the first state. This year two go big on abortion this is part of a flood of litigation headed toward the court because of its new conservative majority. Absolutely there are a number of conservative states where they've punished but they've passed various restrictions on abortions or abortion bans. In the hopes that they get legal challenges and make it to the Supreme Court Chile a matter of which shake ups their first third and three heart beat and so called part B bands which. Bans abortion at the point of fetal of a fetal heartbeat being detected and then also Mississippi has a band where they. They ban any abortions after fifteen weeks into her pregnancy but that already got slammed down. In court as saying that. To get looked at before Alabama but certainly a fight you'll continue to follow making canoeing force in New York. That thanks so much meg and moving on now to the new threat emerging from the Middle East and from Iran we've been talking a lot about it. Here this week overnight ABC news has learned now that the White House that the congressional leaders top congressional leaders the so called gang of eight. The leaders of both party will now receive. A confidential classified briefing on these threats we've been hearing about. Hot tomorrow up on Capitol Hill meanwhile the State Department has announced they are shutting down effectively closing. The US embassy in Iraq because of these threats leaving all non essential personnel. To evacuate. Evacuate their both sides yesterday Iran and the United States president trumps and they're not looking for war. But it certainly is feeling much more dangerous are we Martinez's over at the Pentagon. He's been tracking the latest developments here Louis this. This evacuation of nonessential personnel from the embassy one of the largest embassies in the world seems like a really big deal. Nine days and it's a significant move on the part of the US State Department. I need in order to protect its personnel he said and it's one of the world's largest entities for the United States. I'm and so therefore they want to make sure that their personnel nonessential personnel. Are taking care of and so that's well and that's whether ordering the partial evacuation of these individuals and Alan. And we tell her breakdown force what intelligence. We know about so far as weight when it comes to these threats lot of talk about the threats present front the other day said. It's so serious you don't even want to know about it but what do we know about it. Below we do know is that there are specific threats that we're the Iran. Passing on information to its proxies these are Shiite militias either in Iraq Syria and Lebanon essentially saying you can you can attack. American forces in the Middle East he weighed yet in Iraq he had in Syria or attacking US ships forces in the area that's what led to two this income. T live sending the aircraft carrier into sending those bombers. Two cutter to deter Iran from pushing through probably heard from senior US official is just a short time ago. Ways that they are seeing more information more intelligence on the continued to flow from Iran. Tito's proxy groups essentially closes saying I'm gather more resources. But none specific information about an imminent attack. Or and that timing of an attack it's more about. Urging them to attack but that is significant because that's kind of the information flow that we're seeing. And now we've seen as recent and sit in with those four freighters up the coast of United Arab Emirates. US officials say indications are that there was an Iranian proxy eager that was responsible for placing and external charges on the water line in these vessels from the loved action may be five to ten feet. In them so more intelligence being gathered on that but that's kind of the strain that's coming in right now. Yeah and the big question is how well the United States held Saudi Arabia and others respond as bad intelligence picture becomes clear who emerging as thanks so much we. A caught up just a short time and grow with one of the members of the senate. Excuse me the house armed services committees congresswoman told C Gabbert of Hawaii. An Iraq War veteran herself also running for president of the United States a talk to her. About the Iran threat in what she do about it. Congressman it's so great to see you we just heard from Louis Martinez a little bit about the threat picture right now coming from Iran. Have you been briefed on that intelligence and do you buy the threat the administration is plain out. There hasn't been a comprehensive presentation of the intelligence that the administration. Keep citing this is something that's necessary for us in congress to see. What we have heard so far has been shallow and superficial. At best what we're seeing instead are actions coming from president trump and his administration. Who led by John Bolton. That hard dangerously escalating us closer and closer towards a devastating war with Iran. Do you do you think they're exaggerating. The threat do you think as someone who served in Iraq you know well the lead up to the Iraq War do you see parallels here is this. Something that are we three made it do you okay. Did this in this is the problem united served in the army National Guard now for over sixteen years. Still currently serve as a major had served in congress now fervor six years. On both the foreign affairs and the armed services committees. And went through this same thing in Iraq go a war that. Was championed by eight people like John Bolton who lied to us in the American people saying. You know Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction he's gonna give them to al-Qaeda. Evidence that turned out to be false. But that led us to a devastating war in Iraq that took over. 4000 American service members lives injuring many more. Killing and injuring at countless Iraqis. And strengthening terrorist groups like ices and al-Qaeda. The reality of what we're seeing here is it appears John Bolton is using that same playbook once again. To lead our country into war with Iran a war that. The American people need to understand would be far more costly. And devastating than anything that we saw. In the war in Iraq costly on American lives. Costly in terms of tax Payer dollars that would pay for this war. Costing the lives of the Iranian people and and those in the region. Who would be. Dealing with the consequences. Of this war what to speak of and exacerbated refugee crisis that we see across Europe. That the president says he'd be open congresswoman open to talking to Ron and sitting down with them to try to defuse this it. Would you be open to something like out of your president. Absolutely. The only way to prevent. War is to have these direct negotiations to have these meetings. Whether they be with friends or adversaries or potential adversaries. It is in the best interest of the American people. Our national security. And in the interest of peace to be able to have these engagements. Seeing war ultimately as. The very very last resort we are nowhere. Near that and to my knowledge there hasn't been any of these kinds of direct negotiations. Between this administration and the Iran there on in government. Foreign policy as you know hasn't been a big topic yet on the campaign trail that could change now that Joseph Biden of course has gotten to the race is as you know as one of the front runners. And foreign policies his strong suit I know your eager to have a debate on this subject. What distinguishes your foreign policy from his tell our younger audience what what would be your calling card. You know like I said as a soldier. I understand the importance of our national security and huge responsibility that a president has to serve. As commander in chief I've also seen an experience the cost of war firsthand. And I'm committed as commander in chief. To end at these wasteful regime change war as the likes of which we have seen in Iraq. And Libya and Syria and which we are seeing this administration trying to pushing carry out in countries like Venezuela. And Iran I would end those wasteful regime change wars. Works and this new Cold War and nuclear arms race. And take the trillions of dollars that we have wasted on these wars in programs and that will continue to waste unless we make this policy change. And invest those limited resource is. The hack into serving the needs of the American people things like health care. Education infrastructure protecting our environment affordable housing the needs that the American people have are great. I would change our foreign policy to make it so that it is one that keeps the American people safe. And that truly serves the interests of the American people. Finally were quickly before let's ago congress are and we've got to ask your question that a lot of the male candidates. I have been asked so far this this campaign you know Joseph Biden even handed asked if he would commit to having a woman. On his ticket. It seems to be the question of the week what do you think about having to women. On the democratic presidential ticket point one. I think that be just fine I think most most people in this country the voters of this country. Are most interested in looking at who is the best qualified to serve them. As president and commander in chief that's why I'm running for president and why I'm offering to serve them and that way. Tulsa Gabbert congresswoman of Hawaii a four time congress from and also democratic. I candidate for president of the United States and points when he congressman thank you so much for dress and ABC news life. Thank you. Turning now to a significant. Milestone in health care policy in this country we head out west. A to Washington State where this week that state became the first in the nation to introduce a universal public option. Inside the private health insurance system so it a government run. Health insurance plan that's available to everybody governor Jay in flee the Democrat. Out there who is also running for president signed it into law. I'm we're joined other state senator David frock who sponsored the bill and helped design legislation car state senator great to see you. Joining us via Skype think you so much for coming in. Ops a lot of fascination with this plan the first of its kind in the nation a lot of discussion as to whether. It might be a model for the country tell us about it how you came up with that how works. Well we're facing on Washington State's the same problems that here based Arab country in the individual market that's relatively small part of our. Health insurance market leader in Washington we've done a good job of it standing under the Affordable Care Act. But basically. People who are in this market only about 4% of our people. Art are seeing really high up premiums that high deductibles and the goal of this bill. Is two. Ringing in a state contract it plans that date with standardized benefits. That will drive down cost and so that the very simple bullets as I said. Throughout the debate in this bill is lower premiums and lower deductibles would people purchase this insurance prop. So is this basically a response to lose to high prices on the Obama care marketplace isn't it would with the Washington State plan in effect be cheaper than the Obama care plan. Well we think it will drive down cost and and have some competitor oppressors here and be or exchange marketplace for sure. I would say that the you know where it's really in response in many ways to trump administration policies that we well. We're driving up costs in this market because in their reduce cost sharing in reinsurance changes that they made. But we decided to take that step up princely propose that we had good. Support throughout and we are able to to get this through and are excited for what the prospects. Of lowering deductibles and cost sharing for people and also hopefully seeing premiums BI have produced in this in this space. Hopefully it to at least 10%. The projector projection certainly our interest in that it's uniting your state by some accounts did that the premium will be 10%. Cheaper than current plans that are out there because of those caps are talking about also this. Plan a be available for anybody and everybody to buy if they wanted to at any time. How's it been received out there Washington stated it is a blue state how folks spend night and then they're talking about this plan. Well I think the main issue that we had really the only issue. That we had on the plan was how are we actually belong to you. Drive down cost and I think what the plan if you look at it in stick a step back what it really reflects. Is a larger sentiment that the government has to be more involved. In finding ways to reduce costs and health care system we've done it through some pharmaceutical blood cost transparency programs at your as well. And this is another way to rescue to drive down. Premiums and we've done it by pegging our reference rates opera provider reimbursement to Medicare but all at a much higher rate than Medicare. A 160% of Medicare on Agha on average that was the most controversial part about the bill. But we think I would look at the data we think that will work we don't think that's going to distort. The a small group marketplace in other marketplaces as well. I'm let me be clear we don't I don't think that this is the ultimately answer I do think we need to have a universal system. Nationally. And that's where I hope we're gonna go but for what we can do now look at in the administration watch and we think this is a very important first. Yes certainly it a steppingstone perhaps to some of the other proposals that governor Hensley and others have have put out there on the campaign tree on Anderson at eight other states. Are actually looking at following the proposal. David frock that you laid out there's a very interest in stuff thank you so much state senator David proctor Washington State. Out now with the first. Ever state public health insurance option in the marketplace a great to see you sir thank you great thank you for having me. Turning now to in ABC news live exclusive we got one and want access with the newest democratic presidential candidate in the race this week governor Steve Bullock. Of Montana and are steamed. Deputy political director Mary Alice parks got to spend some time with him out in Montana just the past 24 hours Sendak joins us live now mirror outskirts as he is so. Would you guys do together and what you learn about steeple at that people should know. Well first it seemed like a really typical morning he had spotted there in his workout clothes drinking copy of the newspaper. His teenage daughter had or AP calculus study materials out on the table. Cheerios and a homemade Mother's Day cards. But of course is anything but to the Paula dad was the governor and he had just moments before a science and press send. I and his of dish so lots beginning at presidential race I was pretty incredible to get that level of acts fast. To see a presidential candidate in his home and to talk to him about. His nervousness. His excitement. But also some of the areas where he plans to draw some sharp contrast with some of the other Democrats in the race. So take a look at what I'd our partner. Look. First thing you have to do is cybergolf negative sides and things. So this is the son do you that is document that actually makes me. An official count. Excited ago later that morning. Not really I mean. Are. He this big. But this is and that is John Bennett partners morning excited this morning really excited about being share what we. Done what we can do. It feels. Casual around the table he this type I would feel to announce that there is running for president. I think that's absolutely. Announcing other candidates our minds that and it's the minds that they. Change the world you work. Me fell through its affairs I think. Yes. We're. But smoke and it's. So in the spirit at an exam can I do you like a lightning round Paula crazy. Like that you're right now I couldn't I couldn't. Yeah Abbas let's talk right. From my perspective we gotta talk about how it is we're not winning in these places instead of getting rid of that exchange for an art. I'm actually argued in front in the US Supreme Court wanna believe its non political. I think when senator McConnell although Garland that showed will be different site open to options to make sure that we don't politicize the court. And you're expanding Medicaid what I can't prop I think. Access and affordability for the two things we've really got to focus in Montana we've increased the access. Temper some more of our population has Medicare expansion. And we've. Crackdown affordability from prescription benefit managers pharmacy benefit managers to high risk pools. And there are way east to get there without Medicare crawl. Governor Bullock says that his success winning in a red state provides a road map now for his presidential campaign. Still he's going to have to convince voters that he can replicate what he did a Montana nationwide. It. It's a beautiful spot it is beautiful spot and you look out. Which cosic all of this public way so it's all running trails Thorsten wanna. My favorite spot from running because used to live just right over there were still. A real house and the kids were boundaries mr. Group loop but Democrats clubhouse are often asked how they can relate and all the country. You're making this pitch that you can relate to rural America. But what do you say to a voter and an LA in New York City about how you relate to their. Yeah in. You know I've lived in those hairs it would call it try to settle Los Angeles with the law school worked. In New York really people want the same things that we want a safe community. Decent good schools police can do better for kids grandkids some people could call this the fly over. Part of the country right if all the flyover states are sort of don't feel like the Democratic Party can connects with them even if we win we'll never be able to backed government. All right see saw it here first Mary Alice park Steve Bullock signing the papers to run for president. In his running shorts and then there was Mary Alice says he came to the finish under F secure the stopwatch there with you when he was how fast as he actually run. They asked about aligned around with him I wouldn't like Aaron no way acted keep up with the governor he was pretty fast. Yeah. It was it was great sounds great to see of the UI outstanding president. It now what we won't compare I mean mile times right now here in the briefing room. But really greats ever else thank you so much I know you're coming back to be back with us here tomorrow. Attorney now. To a story that deserves a little bit more attention to that we are could put a spotlight on here in the briefing room today. It's systemic. Discrimination in the adoption and Foster care system in our country and our wanna Zack I was up on Capitol Hill today because the story is getting a little bit of. Star power tin and tagging along a yeah how well they're the 120000. Children right now that are waiting for adoption in the Foster care system and most of those agencies. Our faith based institutions that are are placing them and in ten different states. There is legal. Discrimination against LG BTQ couples people based off of their marital status and even faced off with their religion in South Carolina people who are Catholic or Jewish. Have been told them they aren't able to adopt based off the that pride it. Faith of that Foster care agency and so I was speaking with a comedian and I was speaking with a queer eye host. Alex mop and and c'mon row brown who are. He's famous for being and a host of queer right time attention and you're really losing using their voice two to advocates for what they have in their family take a listen. Community. Share with our viewers and the problem. Bags. Kids are facing an assistant and that parents you want to adopt are facing if they don't fit. A traditional. Look there are 400000 kids in the Foster care system in any one given time. 100000 of those kids are up for adoption nobody wants them over the age of three nobody wants the boy that African American yanks and you adopt is an African American I and he agent my husband is white person is black. We look like the last two minutes from it's a small world. This state is saying to me because I am a single man because decades there are issues. So let me just make sure Anderson this is your biological sons brought rather yeah right I'm you're already here already have family already have. Them the biological mother supports. You having him and bringing him into and keep your family officially yet but the state got. It's a different any time you allowed someone discriminating against. Giving a child opportunity that every child deserves its status that would only child deserves. Love and support and it's it's. If this is not something that we should be arguing. And the problem DeVon really goes both ways not only four. Four nontraditional families who want to welcome child into their home. But also for LG BTQ you who. In some states it's still legal to have that to have conversion therapy which has been widely debunked it's it's been shown to increase depression in. Suicidal tendencies among among those children. And that can still happen in some of these states so. Both foreign that children who are in the system and for families who want to be connected with them they were all there on a hell advocating for the every child deserves a family act which was introduced initially. In 2017 as a bipartisan. Bill he didn't receive traction before us is in the house this it was introduced in both the house in the senate in the Janet different senator Kirsten Gillibrand is the sponsor of it she's looking for. He Republican cosponsor doesn't have that yet and they. They feel optimistic. That this is actually a bipartisan issue that our country has evolved in our understanding that. Families are more diverse then then. Then the Leave It to Beaver sort of traditional family that Foster system adoption system need to catch it absolutely and ends up and who can argue with the idea that. Every child deserves an uplifting note something to follow lot of Zack always good to have you with us great to see you today great to have you with us here in a briefing Arab. On this very busy Wednesday I hope you follow all the stories we talked about today and the ABC news app downloaded if you don't have it you can watch us. The live there are also track the latest are reporting 1247. From ABC news. We're back here tomorrow 3:30 eastern time on got to norm Washington Gupta CNN's.

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