What you missed in politics this week: Oct. 25
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    Cowboy Boots & Contraceptives

    What’s the news?

    Texas officials have decided to defund Planned Parenthood, dropping the clinics from the State’s Medicaid Program, which provides over 85 percent of the organization’s funding.

    So why is this happening now?

    Texas Governor Gregg Abbott cites the recent controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood’s alleged selling of fetal tissues that came to light earlier this year. The scandal began when the Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, released undercover videos that claim to reveal Planned Parenthood employees illegally selling fetal tissues. Planned Parenthood, after conducting an investigation, claims that the videos are misleading due to editing and the organization denies allegations about profiting from selling fetal tissues from abortions. Abbot said in a statement “The gruesome harvesting of baby body parts by Planned Parenthood will not be allowed in Texas and the barbaric practice must be brought to an end."

    Wait, Texas can do this? 

    Texas will most likely face legal pushback from the federal government, as Louisiana did when they attempted to defund their state’s Planned Parenthood clinics. Those opposed to the decision argue that female citizens have a right to choose from any qualified healthcare provider funded by Medicaid.

    How do the Texans of Northwestern feel about this?

    Isabella Soto, a freshman in Medill from McAllen, Texas, said that this decision will disporportionately hurt the women of her hometown, many of whom are low-income or undocumented. 

    "It’s really a huge blow to women in Texas, because now you are going to have to be going to clinics that won’t have the nonjudgmental care that Planned Parenthood provides," Soto said. "They will have to go to clinics where they are not pro-choice and you’ll be forced to carry out your pregnancy even if you physically are unable to. It’s a dangerous situation and it’s really discouraging as a Texan to be hearing that kind of stuff." 

    Meg Biederman, a freshman in Medill from Austin who went to school with Govenor Abbot’s daughter for 12 years, said he was disheartened by the position. 

    “Having met him, I didn’t really expect him to go so far right.," BIederman said. "I’ve never really suspected that this would happen and it’s really devastating to a lot of women. A lot of women I know in fact are really upset who have utilized the services before.”

    No bid for Biden

    What’s the news?

    Despite his recent rise in “Joementum” , Vice President Joe Biden announced Oct. 21 that he will not be entering the presidential race.

    Why no Joe?

    Appearing along with President Obama in the Rose Garden, Biden said Wednesday that he believes he’s “out of time [..] necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination”. Recently suffering the loss of a son, Biden has often emphasized a need to address this personal tragedy before stepping into the spotlight of a national election.

    So it’s bye-bye Biden?

    Biden made sure to mention that although he won’t be seeking the presidency, “he will not be silent” during the 2016 election cycle. According to the VP, “our nation will make a tragic mistake if we [..] attempt to undo the Obama legacy” and he will strive to preserve the progress made by the Obama Administration as the Democratic Party crowns its next candidate.

    What do NU students think?

    According to School of Communication freshman Jamie Kuhn, who works in NU’s political science department, Biden made the right decision. “I think there’s enough competition between Hillary and Bernie right now and we don’t need a third competent candidate.” Kuhn said. With Jim Webb also dropping out the race, it seems the Democrats will be down to four choices (Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley, and Chafee) come primary season.


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