Weekly News Roundup, May 8th-15th

Medina Dasayev - Teen Aspect - May 15th
Pro-life demonstrators watch as pro-choice supporters chant in front of fencing around the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. (AFP via Getty Images)
 

Threats to Roe v. Wade


On May 2nd, 2022, Politico, a political journalism company, leaked a Supreme Court draft opinion acknowledging recent legislative changes, specifically statewide, in reference to abortion. The document continues by stating that abortion is not “implicitly protected by any constitutional provision” and was “egregiously wrong from the start” with “damaging consequences”, and thus “must be overruled”. This document’s legitimacy was confirmed by the Supreme Court on May 3rd by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. In response to this, national concerns have arisen over the possible results of this action; Protests have sprung out around the country, even at the homes of Supreme Court justices. As a result of this leak, most conservative states have begun to draft restrictive legislation against abortion, such as Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma, which has gone so far as to pass a bill that criminalizes abortion completely. It has been estimated that after the deciding vote on Roe v. Wade, an overturn would mean that at least 26 states would either ban or heavily restrict abortion, possibly without the exception of rape and incest. Republican leaders have also brought up the possibility of removing sex education from schools. Despite this, Democrat-led states, such as California and Colorado, have assured that they will protect abortion rights and would expand them to out-of-state citizens as well, with little worry about medical bills.


Abortion Bill


The Women’s Health Protection Act, a bill meant to protect women’s abortion rights and an attempt to respond to the expected ruling of Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court, failed in the Senate failed on May 11th. President Biden responded to the vote, 49-51, stating that this bill has failed at a time when women’s constitutional rights are being threatened and that the Biden administration will continue to try to protect abortion rights.


U.S. Economy


In the first three months of 2022, the U.S. economy felt the hit of inflation and labor shortages, leading to a shrink in the economy by 1.4%. The estimated annual growth rate has also seen a decrease as claimed by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. With gas and food prices significantly increasing, economists warn of a possible economic recession threatening the United States in the upcoming months.


Ukraine and Russia Conflict


With ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Biden has been pressing for a relief bill to help Ukraine. This was supported by the House on May 10th with a significant vote of 368-57 in favor of a $40 billion dollar relief bill to Ukraine. Representatives in favor of this bill argue that this bill not only helps Ukranian citizens, but also protects democracy and strengthens U.S. national security, while those opposing, mainly Republicans, argue that this is spending money that the U.S. government does not have. The prolonged conflict between the two nations does not seem to be coming to an end, with both sides buffing up their military, Ukraine with the most foreign aid. Despite a strong challenge put up by Ukraine, Russia has continued its attacks. In Putin’s Victory Day speech on May 9th, he encouraged Russian support for the war with Ukraine by commending soldiers for protecting their “motherland”. To show the United States’ support for Ukraine, Jill Biden took a Mother’s Day trip to Ukraine where she met with Olena Zelenska, President Zelensky’s wife, at a refuge in a town that has long been under the invasion of Russian troops. Biden has focused her time there helping displaced women and children of the war.


Elon Musk


Since Elon Musk’s claim to buy Twitter on April 14th for $44 billion dollars, he has stated his plans for the platform. These plans include making Twitter “politically neutral”, possibly creating a cost for users, and reversing the ban on Trump’s Twitter account. In response to this, Trump has claimed that he will not return to Twitter even if he was to be allowed back on. On May 13th, however, Musk announced that the deal is on hold regarding fake/spam accounts on Twitter. In response to this, Twitter’s stocks dipped. Musk remains confident that the deal will go through despite this.

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