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Politics Today: Democrats Pressure Weiner, Iowa Advances Nation's Toughest Abortion Law, And More

Tracy Bloom |
June 9, 2011 | 3:40 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Embattled congressman Anthony Weiner is being pressured by members of his own party to resign his congressional seat in the wake of an online sex scandal.

Among the House Democrats who have called for the scandal-plagued congressman's resignation: Arkansas Rep. Mike Ross, Indiana Rep. Joe Donnelly, Maine Rep. Michael Michaud Massachusetts Rep. Niki Tsongas, North Carolina Rep. Larry Kissel, Pennsylvania Rep. Allyson Schwartz and Utah Rep. Jim Matheson.  

And those in the Senate who want Weiner to resign: Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor and Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy (Chairman of the Judiciary Committee).

While members of Congress may want Weiner to resign, a majority of his constituents want him to keep his seat, according to a newly released NY1-Marist poll. The poll shows that 56 percent of registered voters in Weiner's New York district do not want him to resign, while 33 percent want him out of congress. Another 12 percent are unsure if he should resign.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's spokesman denied a Reuters report Thursday that said she may step down from the Obama Administration next year in order to take over as head of the World Bank.

Politico reported that it received an e-mail from Clinton's spokesman essentially saying, "'It's Grade A' BS."

The Iowa House of Representatives on Thursday passed what amounts to the nation's toughest restriction on abortion, banning the procedure after 18 weeks of gestation.

The Huffington Post reported: "Five other states currently have laws banning abortions after 20 weeks, which begins the moment the egg is fertilized. The language of the Iowa measure -- an amendment to the state's current infanticide law -- defines the 'gestation period' as beginning at the date of a woman's last menstrual period, which effectively shortens the time frame by around two weeks for most women."

Under the law--which must first still be implemented--physicians who perform abortions after 18 weeks could face up to a 10-year prison sentence and a $10,000 fine, unless the mother's life is at risk. The law would not allow exceptions for victims of rape or incest, or if the pregnancy poses a non-life threatening health issue to the mother.

An aide to Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords says the congresswoman is struggling to communicate five months after she was shot in the head during an assassination attempt outside a Tucson supermarket.

"She is borrowing upon other ways of communicating," Pia Carusone, Giffords' chief of staff, said in an interview with The Arizona Republic. Her words are back more and more now, but she's still using facial expressions as a way to express. Pointing. Gesturing. Add it all together, and she's able to express the basics of what she wants or needs. But, when it comes to a bigger and more complex thought that requires words, that's where she's had the trouble."

Carusone also addressed whether or not Giffords will run for reelection, saying the only timetable to decide whether Giffords will be May 2012, when petitions are due.



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