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Supreme Court preserves access to abortion pill

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The Supreme Court issued its first major ruling on abortion in two years. And former President Donald Trump returns to Capitol Hill, holding separate meetings with Senate and House Republicans. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Friday, June 14, 2024.

Supreme Court preserves access to abortion pill

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of the abortion pill Mifepristone on Thursday, June 13. That means the commonly used drug will remain widely available. 

Last year alone, Mifepristone was used in nearly two-thirds of all abortions in the U.S. 

The nine justices ruled abortion opponents lacked the legal right to sue over the FDA’s approval of the medication because they are not directly impacted by Mifepristone being on the market for others. 

This marks the high court’s first abortion case since Roe v. Wade was overturned two years ago. 

The Supreme Court is also considering another abortion case centering on whether a federal law on emergency treatment at hospitals overrides state abortion bans in rare emergency cases when a pregnant woman’s health is at risk. 

Senate Republicans block Democrats’ bill to protect IVF access nationwide

Senate Republicans blocked legislation Thursday that would codify in vitro fertilization nationwide after Democrats forced a vote on the matter. The bill failed to advance in a vote of 48 to 47. It needed 60 votes to move forward. 

Just two Republicans voted in favor of the bill: Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. 

Others in the GOP said the Democrats’ legislation was unnecessary as there are no restrictions to IVF in any state. Democrats were pushing to guarantee IVF protections in case states were to ever try and prohibit it in the future. 

Thursday’s vote came after a landmark ruling by Alabama’s Supreme Court earlier this year, saying frozen embryos are children and those who destroy them can be held liable for wrongful death. The ruling put a stop to treatments for a week while the state quickly worked to clarify its reproductive laws protecting IVF patients and doctors. 

Republicans have signed on to a scaled-back version that would cut off Medicaid funding for states if they banned IVF, which Democrats say does not go far enough to protect access. 

Trump makes first visit to Capitol Hill since Jan. 6 riot

Former President Donald Trump was back on Capitol Hill Thursday — for the first time since the Jan. 6, 2021 riot — as Republicans welcomed the presumptive 2024 GOP presidential nominee. It also marked the former president’s first visit to Washington since he was convicted of 34 felony counts by a New York jury at the end of May. 

Trump spent about an hour each with House and Senate Republicans delivering remarks, fielding questions and discussing issues like Russia, immigration, tax cuts and other priorities for a potential second term. 

“We have to get elected,” Trump said during a press conference. “We have to take this, this beautiful place, and we have to make it really something very special again. Right now — it’s not special right now. It’s being scorned and being used as an example of when they look at the crime on the streets, when they look at all of the problems that we have, they’re using us as a bad example of democracy.” 

Hamas official says it is not known how many hostages are still alive

As negotiators continue to try to finalize a deal between Israel and Hamas for a cease-fire and hostage release, a senior leader for Hamas says they don’t know how many of the hostages are still alive. There are said to be 120 hostages who have not returned home since the initial attack on Oct. 7, 2023, by the terrorist group. 

Israel believes more than 70 of the 120 hostages are still alive. 

In an interview that aired Thursday, June 13, with CNN in Beirut, Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan was asked about the fate of the hostages. 

“I don’t have any idea about that,” Hamdan said. “No one has any idea about this.” 

Hamdan said the latest cease-fire proposal, announced by President Joe Biden last week and backed by the United Nations Security Council, was a “positive step” but did not meet Hamas’ demands to end the war. 

“We need a clear position from Israel to accept a cease-fire, a complete withdrawal from Gaza, and let the Palestinians determine their future by themselves,” Hamdan said. 

The latest cease-fire plan called for the release of the hostages and the full withdrawal of Israeli troops in three phases. 

Previously, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called some of Hamas’ proposed changes to the ceasefire plan “unacceptable.” 

Day 2 of G7 summit to focus on immigration

Friday is the second day of the G7 summit in Italy and world leaders are turning their attention to immigration. President Biden and the other G7 leaders will be joined by leaders from other nations including Brazil, India and Turkey.  

The gathering will also focus on global conflicts and the spread of artificial intelligence with Pope Francis set to deliver a speech on AI to the group. Ongoing issues like climate change and China also will be discussed. 

On the first day of the summit Thursday, attendees promised tens of billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine as its war with Russia continues. President Biden also signed a 10-year security agreement with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 

Reports: Big 12 exploring selling name rights to title sponsor

We are all familiar with college football bowl games having sponsors — like the Allstate Sugar Bowl or the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl. Now, reports indicate a naming rights partnership might be on the way not for another game, but a conference. 

According to multiple outlets, the Big 12 conference is exploring selling its naming rights to a title sponsor. This would be the first deal of its kind, reportedly worth hundreds of millions of dollars. 

Reports say the conference would drop “Big” from its name and keep the “12”, and with the Allstate insurance company being the current frontrunner as a potential sponsor, the conference could end up being called “the Allstate 12” conference. 

Talks are ongoing, as this upcoming season, the Big 12 will see more teams joining the conference — creating a 16-member league. 

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[KARAH RUCKER]

IN A UNANIMOUS DECISION — THE U.S. SUPREME COURT REJECTED A CHALLENGE TO THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION’S REGULATION OF THE ABORTION PILL MIFEPRISTONE THURSDAY. 

THAT MEANS THE COMMONLY USED DRUG WILL REMAIN WIDELY AVAILABLE. 

LAST YEAR ALONE, MIFEPRISTONE WAS USED IN NEARLY TWO-THIRDS OF ALL ABORTIONS IN THE U-S. 

THE NINE JUSTICES RULED ABORTION OPPONENTS LACKED THE LEGAL RIGHT TO SUE OVER THE F-D-A’S APPROVAL OF THE MEDICATION  

BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT DIRECTLY IMPACTED BY MIFEPRISTONE BEING ON THE MARKET FOR OTHERS. 

THIS MARKS THE HIGH COURT’S FIRST ABORTION CASE SINCE ROE V. WADE WAS OVERTURNED TWO YEARS AGO. 

THE SUPREME COURT IS CONSIDERING ANOTHER ABORTION CASE… CENTERING ON WHETHER A FEDERAL LAW ON EMERGENCY TREATMENT AT HOSPITALS OVERRIDES STATE ABORTION BANS IN RARE EMERGENCY CASES WHEN A PREGNANT WOMAN’S HEALTH IS AT RISK. 

SENATE REPUBLICANS BLOCKED LEGISLATION THURSDAY THAT WOULD CODIFY IN VITRO FERTILIZATION NATIONWIDE AFTER DEMOCRATS FORCED A VOTE ON THE MATTER. 

THE BILL FAILED TO ADVANCE IN A VOTE OF 48 TO 47. 

IT NEEDED 60 VOTES TO MOVE FORWARD. 

JUST TWO REPUBLICANS VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE BILL — LISA MURKOWSKI OF ALASKA AND SUSAN COLLINS OF MAINE. 

OTHERS IN THE G-O-P SAID THE DEMOCRATS’ LEGISLATION WAS UNNECESSARY AS THERE ARE NO RESTRICTIONS TO IVF IN ANY STATE. 

DEMOCRATS WERE PUSHING TO GUARANTEE IVF PROTECTIONS IN CASE STATES WERE TO EVER TRY AND PROHIBIT IT IN THE FUTURE. 

THURSDAY’S VOTE CAME AFTER A LANDMARK RULING BY ALABAMA’S SUPREME COURT EARLIER THIS YEAR — SAYING FROZEN EMBRYOS ARE CHILDREN AND THOSE WHO DESTROY THEM CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR WRONGFUL DEATH. 

THE LAW PUT A STOP TO TREATMENTS FOR A WEEK WHILE THE STATE QUICKLY WORKED TO CLARIFY ITS REPRODUCTIVE LAWS – PROTECTING IVF PATIENTS AND DOCTORS. 

REPUBLICANS HAVE SIGNED ON TO A SCALED-BACK VERSION THAT WOULD CUT OFF MEDICAID FUNDING FOR STATES IF THEY BANNED I-V-F — WHICH DEMOCRATS SAY DOES NOT GO FAR ENOUGH TO PROTECT ACCESS. 

FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP WAS BACK ON CAPITOL HILL THURSDAY — FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE JANUARY 6-TH, 20-21 RIOT — AS REPUBLICANS WELCOMED THE PRESUMPTIVE 20-24 G-O-P PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE. 

IT ALSO MARKED THE FORMER PRESIDENT’S FIRST VISIT TO WASHINGTON SINCE HE WAS CONVICTED OF 34 FELONY COUNTS BY A NEW YORK JURY AT THE END OF MAY. 

TRUMP SPENT ABOUT AN HOUR EACH WITH HOUSE AND SENATE REPUBLICANS DELIVERING REMARKS, FIELDING QUESTIONS AND DISCUSSING ISSUES LIKE RUSSIA, IMMIGRATION, TAX CUTS AND OTHER PRIORITIES FOR A POTENTIAL SECOND TERM. 

HE THEN SPOKE TO REPORTERS —  

FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP 

“We have to get elected. We have to take this, this beautiful place, and we have to make it really something very special again. Right now, it’s not special right now. It’s being scorned and being used as an example of when they look at the crime on the streets, when they look at all of the problems that we have, they using us as a bad example of democracy.” 

[KARAH RUCKER]

AS NEGOTIATORS CONTINUE TO TRY TO FINALIZE A DEAL BETWEEN ISRAEL AND HAMAS FOR A CEASEFIRE AND HOSTAGE RELEASE –  A SENIOR LEADER FOR HAMAS SAYS THEY DON’T KNOW HOW MANY OF THE HOSTAGES ARE STILL ALIVE. 

THERE IS SAID TO TO BE 120 HOSTAGES WHO HAVE NOT RETURNED HOME SINCE THE INITIAL ATTACK ON OCTOBER 7TH BY THE TERRORIST GROUP. 

Israel believes more than 70 of the 120 hostages are still alive. 

IN AN INTERVIEW THAT AIRED THURSDAY WITH CNN IN BEIRUT  – HAMAS SPOKESMAN OSAMA HAMDAN (HAHM-DEN) WAS ASKED ABOUT THE FATE OF THE HOSTAGES. 

“How many of those 120 are still alive?” 

OSAMA HAMDAN | HAMAS SPOKESPERSON 

“I don’t have any idea about that. No one has any idea about this.” 

[KARAH RUCKER]

HAMDAN SAYING THE LATEST CEASE-FIRE PROPOSAL ANNOUNCED BY PRESIDENT BIDEN LAST WEEK AND BACKED BY THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL WAS A “POSITIVE STEP” BUT DID NOT MEET HAMAS’ DEMANDS TO END THE WAR. 

OSAMA HAMDAN | HAMAS SPOKESPERSON 

“We need a clear position from Israel, to accept a cease-fire, a complete withdrawal from Gaza, and let the Palestinians determine their future by themselves.” 

[KARAH RUCKER]

THE LATEST CEASE-FIRE PLAN CALLED FOR THE RELEASE OF THE HOSTAGES AND THE FULL WITHDRAWAL OF ISRAELI TROOPS IN THREE PHASES. 

EARLIER THIS WEEK – SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN CALLED SOME OF HAMAS’ PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE CEASE-FIRE PLAN “UNACCEPTABLE.” 

FRIDAY IS THE SECOND DAY OF THE G-7 SUMMIT IN ITALY AND WORLD LEADERS ARE TURNING THEIR ATTENTION TO IMMIGRATION. 

PRESIDENT BIDEN ALONG WITH THE OTHER G7 LEADERS WILL BE JOINED BY LEADERS FROM OTHER NATIONS INCLUDING BRAZIL, INDIA, AND TURKEY.  

THE GATHERING WILL ALSO FOCUS ON GLOBAL CONFLICTS AND THE SPREAD OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WITH POPE FRANCIS SET TO DELIVER A SPEECH ON AI TO THE GROUP.  

ONGOING ISSUES LIKE CLIMATE CHANGE AND CHINA ALSO WILL BE DISCUSSED. 

ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE SUMMIT — ATTENDEES PROMISED TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN AID FOR UKRAINE AS ITS WAR WITH RUSSIA CONTINUES. PRESIDENT BIDEN ALSO SIGNED A 10-YEAR SECURITY AGREEMENT WITH UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY. 

WE ARE ALL FAMILIAR WITH COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL GAMES HAVING SPONSORS – LIKE THE ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL OR THE CHEEZ-IT CITRUS BOWL. NOW REPORTS INDICATE A NAMING RIGHTS PARTNERSHIP MIGHT BE ON THE WAY – NOT FOR ANOTHER GAME – BUT A CONFERENCE. 

ACCORDING TO MULTIPLE OUTLETS – THE BIG 12 CONFERENCE IS EXPLORING SELLING ITS NAMING RIGHTS TO A TITLE SPONSOR.   

THIS WOULD BE THE FIRST DEAL OF ITS KIND – REPORTEDLY WORTH HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. 

REPORTS SAY THE CONFERENCE WOULD DROP “BIG” FROM ITS NAME AND KEEP THE “12” –  

AND WITH THE ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY BEING THE CURRENT FRONTRUNNER AS A POTENTIAL SPONSOR – THE CONFERENCE COULD END UP BEING CALLED “THE ALLSTATE 12” CONFERENCE. 

TALKS ARE ONGOING – AS THIS UPCOMING SEASON THE BIG 12 WILL SEE MORE TEAMS JOINING THE CONFERENCE – CREATING A 16-MEMBER LEAGUE.