The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 1:00 am


Alabama abortion ban advances

Associated Press

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama is close to approving a near total ban on abortion after the state Senate passed a measure that would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony.

If signed into law, it would be the most stringent abortion restriction in the country. “Our bill says that baby in the womb is a person,” said Republican Rep. Terri Collins, the bill's sponsor.

State senators voted 25-6 for the bill that had overwhelmingly cleared the House of Representatives this month. The legislation now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey, who will decide whether to sign the bill into law. Ivey has not publicly said whether she will sign the bill if it's approved by lawmakers.

Emboldened by conservative justices who have joined the Supreme Court, abortion opponents are seeking to spark a legal challenge they hope could cause the court to revisit Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Montana governor seeks presidency

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced Tuesday that he is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, distinguishing himself among nearly two dozen candidates as the field's only statewide elected official to win a state that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

The 53-year-old governor is running as a centrist Democrat who has advanced party values while navigating a Republican legislature and a GOP-leaning electorate. Bullock made his candidacy official in a video that capped months of speculation fueled by his political activity in Iowa, which hosts the nation's first presidential caucus next February.

'Bathroom bill' sponsor wins race

A state senator best known as the sponsor of a headline-grabbing “bathroom bill” that voided anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people won Tuesday's Republican primary in a special election for a congressional seat vacant since last year's race was deemed tainted by fraud.

Sen. Dan Bishop topped nine other GOP candidates seeking the 9th Congressional District nomination. The Charlotte attorney raised the most in campaign contributions, seeded with $250,000 from his personal accounts. Now, with his primary win, Bishop faces Democrat Dan McCready in the Sept. 10 general election.

President touts new energy plan

President Donald Trump showcased his “America First energy policy” on Tuesday during a trip to Louisiana designed to highlight his administration's efforts to increase liquefied natural gas exports and boost the country's energy infrastructure.

Trump toured the outskirts of a $10 billion export terminal that will liquefy natural gas for storage and shipping. The process involves cooling gas vapor to a liquid state. Sempra Energy announced Tuesday ahead of Trump's visit that the Louisiana plant has will begin shipping to global markets in the next few weeks.

“Under my administration we have ended the war on America energy and ended the economic assault on our wonderful energy workers,” Trump said.

Barriers at border set to be replaced

The U.S. government plans on replacing barriers through 100 miles of the southern border in California and Arizona, including through a national monument and a wildlife refuge, according to documents and environmental advocates.

The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday again waived environmental and dozens of other laws to build more barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border. Funding will come from the Defense Department following the emergency declaration that President Donald Trump signed this year after Congress refused to approve the amount of border wall funding he requested.

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