Supreme Court changes fuel moves to protect abortion access

It’s a vivid example of how abortion-rights groups are striving to preserve nationwide access to the procedure even as a reconfigured Supreme Court — with the addition of conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett — may be open to new restrictions.

Planned Parenthood has made recent moves to serve more women in Missouri and Kentucky, and other groups are preparing to help women in other Republican-controlled states access abortion if bans are imposed.

The clinic opened on Oct. 23 in a one-story building that had been a medical office and was renovated after Planned Parenthood purchased it. To avoid protests and boycotts that have beset some previous expansion efforts, Planned Parenthood kept details, including the clinic’s location, secret until the opening was announced.

Planned Parenthood says the health center will start providing abortions — via surgery and medication — sometime next year. Meanwhile, it is offering other services, including cancer screenings, birth control and testing for sexually transmitted infections.

Planned Parenthood closed its previous clinic in Lubbock, a city of 255,000 people, in 2013 after the Texas Legislature slashed funding for family planning services and imposed tough restrictions on abortion clinics.

That law led to the closure of more than half the state’s 41 abortion clinics before the Supreme Court struck down key provisions in 2016. There were no clinics left providing abortion in a region of more than 1 million people stretching from Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle south to Lubbock and the oil patch cities of Odessa and Midland.

Women in Lubbock faced a 310-mile (500-kilometer) drive to the nearest abortion clinic in Fort Worth.

Anti-abortion activists have been mobilizing to prevent the return of abortion services to Lubbock — and are not giving up even with the new clinic’s opening.

“Lubbock must not surrender to the abortion industry,” said Kimberlyn Schwartz, a West Texas native who attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock and is now communications director for Texas Right to Life.

Her organization has backed a petition drive trying to persuade the City Council to pass an ordinance declaring Lubbock a “sanctuary city for the unborn.” Abortion opponents hope that designation would lead to either enforcement efforts or lawsuits seeking to block abortion services.

Thus far, the City Council has declined to adopt the ordinance, but activists say they have enough signatures to place it on the ballot in a local referendum.

Texas is one of several red states where Planned Parenthood has sought to expand abortion access. Earlier this year, its health center in Louisville, Kentucky, began providing abortions after obtaining a license

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Bentley elementary school moves to online due to number of teachers quarantined

BURTON, MI — Due to the number of teachers currently quarantined, Bentley Community Schools’ Barhitte Elementary School will move to virtual learning for two weeks starting Monday, Nov. 2.

Students will return to Barhitte on Monday, Nov. 16, Superintendent Kristy Spann wrote in a Sunday, Nov. 1 letter.

The switch to remote learning comes after too many staff had to quarantine, Spann said. However, staff are still able to teach remotely.

Related: Michigan sets new daily record with 3,792 new coronavirus cases Saturday, Oct. 31

Parents whose child left his or her device at Barhitte will be able to pick it up from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Regarding food, you can pick up meals for the next two days tomorrow

Food pickup at Barhitte will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. After that, meal pickups will be on Wednesdays and Fridays at Bentley High school from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Michigan reported a record number of new daily coronavirus cases Saturday, Oct. 31, with 3,792 new confirmed cases of the novel respiratory virus statewide.

State health officials also confirmed 31 new coronavirus-related deaths Saturday – 20 of which were newly discovered through a vital records review.

Since the start of the pandemic, Michigan has confirmed 178,180 positive cases and 7,340 COVID-19 deaths, according to data updated Saturday by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. There also are another 19,226 probable cases and 359 probable deaths.

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See fall 2020 count day numbers for Genesee County school districts

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