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These Are Trump's 7 'Forbidden Words'

Leaving a meeting of top officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday, a CDC analyst in attendance who spoke anonymously to reporters described being briefed on a Trump administration dictum of “forbidden words” that the public health agency was told not to use in any official capacity in documents.

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Unbelievable: Trump's 7 Banned Words

Donald Trump’s administration has reportedly banned the Center for Disease Control from using seven words and phrases, including “science-based” and “transgender,” in documents it is working on for next year's budget.

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The Latest Anti-Choice Move: Try to Take Custody of a Woman's Fetus

States have tried all sorts of things to prevent women from having abortions. They’ve enacted waiting periods, ultrasound laws and parental notifications. They’ve passed laws that force doctors to lie to women and force women to visit with ideological zealots. Some legislators have even attempted to make women get a man’s consent before obtaining the procedure – a paternalistic permission slip to access their legal rights.

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'Fetal Personhood' Is Religious Right's New Dangerous Word Trap in Abortion Debate

What does it mean to be a person? For the anti-abortion group Personhood USA, a “person” is present from the moment a sperm penetrates an egg, and members are fighting to have their definition encoded into law. Online coaching tools for abortion opponents use the term person interchangeably with human or human being. Are they interchangeable? Does it matter?

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Pregnant, Brain-Dead Woman Forced to Stay on Life Support to Incubate Fetus

A brain-dead woman is being kept on life support against hers and her family’s wishes so her body can incubate her unborn baby, Huffington Post reported.

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Bogus Child Abuse Charges for Pregnant, Drug-Using Women (Hard Times USA)

Editor's note: America has a long history of treating the poor like criminals, from legislation banning the transportation of poor people across state lines to anti-vagrancy laws that could land you in jail if you didn't have a job or a home. We've come to rely on the criminal justice system to deal with the poor, even as more and more Americans fall into poverty. The following article is part of a series that looks at the diverse ways our country criminalizes poverty, including laws targeting the homeless, the surveillance of welfare recipients, the re-emergence of debtor prisons, and extreme policing tactics like stop-and-frisk.

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A Fetus Is Not a Person if it Costs us Money, Says Catholic Church

You know how the Catholic Church is always going on and on ... and on and freakin' on ... about the sanctity of life and also a bunch of vague concepts about liberty 'n stuff? We can't have abortion because every sperm is sacred. We can't have insurance coverage for women's health care because something about Taco Bell and freedom. We can't even fund cancer screening because apparently Jesus was cool with women dying of undetected breast cancer.

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Michigan Governor Approves Atrocious Abortion Bill All About "Protecting Fetuses" Over Women

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has approved a controversial package of abortion restrictions that will limit abortion access for women who live in rural areas, require doctors to prove that mentally competent women haven’t been “coerced” into their decision to have the procedure, and enact unnecessary, complicated rulesfor abortion clinics and providers. The governor signed HB 5711 into law on Friday despite widespread protests against the omnibus anti-abortion measure.

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Michigan Republicans Offer a Tax Credit for Fetuses After Cutting Tax Credits for Children

"Come January," reports the New York Times, "more than two-thirds of the states will be under single-party control, raising the prospect that bold partisan agendas." That's one way of putting it. In Michigan, where Republicans hold a super-majority in the state legislature, we can see how that may play out in the redder states, as lawmakers toy with the idea of a $160 tax credit for fetuses starting at 12 weeks of gestation.

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Don't Pregnant Women Have Rights Too? Woman Booted From Bar for Having a Baby Bump

One evening late last week, Michelle Lee was at a suburban Chicago bar with some friends, drinking a glass of water and eyeing the pizza menu. It was a seemingly calm, normal night out with the ladies. And yet, 15 minutes after Lee and her friends arrived, a bouncer approached Lee and asked her to leave.

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Is a Stillbirth an Act of Murder? Maryland Law Says So

Christy Lynn Freeman, a 37-year-old, Ocean City, Md., woman, was recently charged with murder after delivering a stillborn child under Maryland's as-yet-untested Viable Fetus Act of 2005.

Worcester County prosecutor Joel J. Todd charged Freeman with murder and a district court judge held her without bail for allegedly performing her own late-term abortion. Though these charges were eventually dropped, Freeman's case illustrates the coercive potential of legislation that gives fetuses rights at the expense of women.

Freeman arrived at Atlantic General Hospital by ambulance on July 26, bleeding profusely. She denied that she had ever been pregnant, but doctors found a placenta and an umbilical cord inside her body. Later, she admitted that she had given birth to a stillborn fetus at home.

After questioning Freeman at the hospital, police searched her home and found the recently stillborn infant and three older sets of fetal remains in and around her property.

The medical examiner's preliminary report confirmed Freeman's story that the 26-week-old fetus was born dead. Nevertheless, Freeman was charged with first- and second-degree murder and manslaughter for allegedly inducing the stillbirth.

Maryland's Viable Fetus Act provides for prosecution for the murder of a viable fetus if the perpetrator "intended to cause the death of the viable fetus, intended to cause serious physical injury to the viable fetus, or wantonly or recklessly disregarded the likelihood that the person's actions would cause the death of or serious physical injury to the viable fetus."

The prosecutor maintained that Freeman's self-abortion "wantonly or recklessly disregarded" the possibility that her actions would kill the fetus.

However, even if Freeman induced a self-abortion, the law explicitly exempts pregnant women who kill their own fetuses. "Nothing in this section applies to an act or failure to act of a pregnant woman with regard to her own fetus," the statute reads.

On July 31, the authorities announced that Freeman admitted to killing at least one live infant that she delivered in secret several years ago.

Prosecutors dismissed the murder charges for the stillbirth on August 2. She is now facing ordinary murder charges for killing a live infant. Although prosecutor Joel Todd told reporters that Freeman was being charged for killing an infant born alive in 2003, the charging document says that the infant died in 2004. (Todd's spokesperson could not be reached for comment.)

Thirty-six states have some kind of fetal homicide law on the books. While Maryland's law applies only to viable fetuses, at least 15 states extend fetal homicide protection from conception. In state legislatures around the country, anti-abortionists have fought for laws that recognize the killing of fetuses as criminal acts on the grounds that full-fledged personhood begins in utero.

Freeman isn't the only woman to face murder charges for a pregnancy loss. Theresa Lee Hernandez of Oklahoma has spent the last three years in jail awaiting trial for "murder" after a late-term pregnancy loss. Her son was stillborn at 32 weeks gestation. When the son tested positive for methamphetamine, Hernandez was charged with murder.

In June, National Advocates for Pregnant Women sent an open letter to Oklahoma District Attorney David Prater, urging him to drop the charges against Hernandez. Signatories included the Oklahoma State Medical Association and the America Public Health Association. Prater issued a statement that he had no intention of dropping the charges.

In the wake of the Freeman case, some abortion foes are calling for Maryland to eliminate the maternal exemption. An editorial in the August 7 Washington Times lamented the Maryland law's exclusion for pregnant women as evidence of the "lock of abortionism on American government and a reflection of the continued unprotection of the unborn."

It would have been fitting if Christy Freeman's case had been the first legal test of the Viable Fetus Act. Proponents of the legislation insist that these bills protect women from abuse, rather than restrict access to abortion. Yet, Freeman's case shows how prosecutors can use such laws to punish a "misbehaving" pregnant woman and criminalize a kind of abortion in the process.