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Planned Parenthood’s Alexis McGill Johnson & More Advocates Tell How You Can Help Texas Women

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Texas women are being forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term after the state virtually banned abortion. Here’s how you can help them go out of state for abortion services.

A 14-year old who got pregnant after her 17-year-old cousin talked her into having sex. A young woman who was infected with HIV at birth, and accidentally got pregnant then was terrified of infecting her own baby. These are just two of the heartbreaking cases that Kenya Martin, a former abortion clinic counselor recalls dealing with in her work at a busy clinic in Houston.

Both these young women did end up having abortions to end their unwanted pregnancies. But today in Texas, under the state’s virtual abortion ban, with no exceptions for rape or incest, they would be denied that option. Today, they would be forced to carry these pregnancies to term, unless they had the resources to travel hundreds of miles to leave the state to legally undergo more procedure at a clinic.

Alexis McGill Johnson (Courtesy of Alex McGill Johnson/Planned Parenthood)

Sadly, thousands of Texas women won’t have the financial resources to escape what Alexis McGill Johnson calls a “perverse”, and “destructive” law. McGill Johnson is the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She describes the new law, called SB8, which empowers any American to sue anyone they suspect may have aided and abetted an abortion, as “just incredibly pernicious and dangerous.”

“Texas has given private citizens the right to deny other people their constitutional right, this is just what is so alarming”, McGill Johnson points out to HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview.

It’s this novel form of law which relies on “vigilantes” to sue anyone they think has helped a woman who gets an abortion, for a $10,000 payment plus court fees, that gave the Supreme Court the excuse to allow the law to stand.

Now, despairing women in Texas who are carrying unwanted pregnancies and miss the 6 week cut off for a legal abortion are begging the staff at abortion clinics for advice on where to go and how to get financial help.

“These clients (of the abortion clinics) that are now calling abortion funds (organizations that help Texas women go out of state for abortions) are desperate”, Kenya Martin, tells HollywoodLife. She works for one of these funds called the National Network of Abortion Funds. “The funds are working overtime and right now we are fundraising specifically for women in Texas, because of what is going on… and we’re seeing a lot of supporters, a wave of solidarity amongst people and women coming together realizing that we are losing our right to bodily autonomy.”

Caroline Duble, the Political Director of Avow, an abortion advocacy group in Texas, reports that her organization is “doing everything we can to raise as much money as possible” to get people out of state.

She tells HollywoodLife that when it became clear that the Supreme Court was not going to strike down Texas’s law, despite its unconstitutionality since Roe v Wade was still the law of the land, Avow prepared to help Texas women who were stranded with unwanted pregnancies.

She urges anyone who wants to help Texas women who need abortions and can no longer get them in the state, to donate to abortion funds. “We also need people donate to organizations like ours who will be endorsing candidates in 2022. We are working very hard to push a new leadership in Texas that actually represents us.”

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Women’s March in Houston, Texas In Opposition Of Texas Abortion Ban (Reginald Mathalone/NurPhoto/Shutterstock)

To donate to an abortion fund to help Texas women go to neighboring states for an abortion go to the National Network of Abortion Funds and search under the state of Texas.

“Think of the impact that low income patients are going to be experiencing right now”, points out McGill Johnson. “A great majority of people who have abortions are parents already, so they know full well, the impact of bringing another person into the family and how it will impact their economic resources.”

Planned Parenthood is one of the several groups now suing Texas to block SB8. Another group in the lawsuit is the ACLU of Texas as well as the national ACLU ( American Civil Liberties Union ). The Justice Department has also sued to stop the law from being enforced. It was successful at winning an injunction against the law from U.S. District Judge, Robert L Pitman. However, the state of Texas appealed to the extremely conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which removed Pitmans’ injunction. The Justice Department appealed this, but the 5th Circuit allowed the law to remain in place. Now, as of Oct 15, the Justice Department has announced that it will ask the Supreme Court for an emergency halt.

American women are still supposed to have access to lawful abortions throughout the United States. The groundbreaking Roe V Wade case decided in 1973 remains the law of the land. It protected the rights of women in all states to have safe  and legal abortions.

Meanwhile, despite that, abortions are once again banned in Texas.

“There are judges who are openly hostile to abortion access, sitting on the Fifth Circuit and sitting obviously in the Supreme Court”, Drucilla Tigner, political strategist at the ACLU of Texas, tells Hollywoodlife. “And while judges take an oath to uphold the Constitution, and that is their job to interpret the law and to follow precedent, we know that judges have different views. And with the current makeup of the Supreme Court, it’s very uncertain about how they’re going to react to fundamental rights.” The Supreme Court now has a 6-3 majority of very conservative judges, 3 of them appointed by Donald Trump).

Tigner fears for the women of Texas and other states under Republican control, since the Supreme Court will consider another challenge to Roe v. Wade from Mississippi this fall.

In Texas, with the current 6 week abortion ban law, “They’re really making a ruling on abortion access, because abortion is now functionally banned in Texas. And even if they aren’t striking at Roe right now, they’re striking the essence of Roe by allowing an abortion ban to stay in effect… it feels pretty dire”, says Tigner.

McGill Johnson of Planned Parenthood warns that Texas is not the only state that is “at our door step”. “These are about 25 states that have legislatures that are poised to essentially copycat this legislation.”

“It is astounding that the Supreme Court allowed a clearly unconstitutional ban to take effect”, McGill Johnson says.

Despite Caroline Duble’s despair that “the courts abandoned us” and that “it feels like the Texas government is just looking up new ways to kill us everyday”, she doesn’t want people to say, “oh screw, Texas”.

“The message I want to send the world is don’t abandon us. These are people here who are fighting with everything we have and we need your support. We need your funding. We need your attention. We need you to uplift what is happening here”, asserts Duble. “It’s a very difficult period for women and queer people who need access to abortion.”

To help Texas’s women, donate to the National Network of Abortion Funds.

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Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck Caught Snuggling At LA Lakers Game – Sweet New Photo

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Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck Caught Snuggling At LA Lakers Game – Sweet New Photo

Bennifer fans were gifted a Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez sighting at the Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers game.

What’s a sports game without a Bennifer sighting? Not a very good one at all. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck sat courtside at the game between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. The two were all smiles as they held hands and enjoyed the basketball game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

J.Lo, 52, and Ben, 49, were also featured on the Jumbotron, per game goers on Twitter.

No, you aren’t in a 2002 time warp: following their split in 2004, Jennifer and Ben rekindled their romance in May, ushering in a new Bennifer era for a new generation. The reconciliation came after the singer split from fiancé Alex Rodriguez in April.

The romance has been growing strong ever since: the two have gone on vacation together, celebrated their birthdays, and spent time with each other’s children over the holidays. J.Lo shares twins Max and Emme, 13, with ex-husband Marc Anthony, while Ben shares Violet, 16, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 9, with ex-wife Jennifer Garner.

In his Wall Street Journal profile published on Dec. 1, Ben called the reconciliation “beautiful” and reveled at the beauty of second chances. “I can say that it’s definitely beautiful to me,” he said. “And it is a good story. It’s a great story. And, you know, maybe one day I’ll tell it. I’ll write it all out. And then I’ll light it on fire.”

“I am very lucky in my life in that I have benefited from second chances, and I am aware that other people don’t even get first chances,” Ben continued. “I’ve definitely tried to take advantage of that. I haven’t always been successful, but in cases in which I have, they’ve turned out to be the defining aspects of my life.”

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez (Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock)

As for whether a Bennifer engagement could happen again, J.Lo revealed in November that she’s open to marriage amidst her romance. While fielding questions on TODAY about whether she’d consider getting married again, she said, “Yeah, I guess. You know me, I’m a romantic. I always have been.”

She quipped about her previous marriages to Ojani Noa, Cris Judd, and Marc, “I’ve been married a few times. I still believe in happily ever after for sure. One hundred percent.”

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‘RHOC’s Shannon Beador Teases Her ‘Tough’ Feud With Emily Simpson & Gina Kirschenheiter

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Shannon Beador dishes on the new season of ‘Real Housewives of Orange County,’ sharing the details of her feud with co-stars Emily Simpson & Gina Kirschenheiter.

The Real Housewives of Orange County just dropped its epic Season 16 premiere on Dec. 1, and fans are already talking about the drama heating up between the West Coast ladies! To dish on the forthcoming drama, orange-holder Shannon Beador, 57, spoke with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY about what’s to come between she and her co-stars — more specifically, with Emily Simpson, 45, and Gina Kirschenheiter, 37. “I think that with me, there are some issues and it is true,” she shared of her conflict with her co-stars. “They’re two. They’re a team. It’s two against one in certain parts of the show. We have our issues. Early on. Really early on.”

Shannon Beador (MediaPunch/Shutterstock).

For the mother-of-three, she added how “difficult” it can be for her to navigate her relationship with someone when there’s “fighting” or “drama” in the mix. “[I]t’s hard for me. It’s not like I say, ‘Oh we’re done filming’ and take it out of your mind,” she shared. “When I pushed that plate […] in that scene [during Season 12], I cried for two months. ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I acted that way.’ It really affects me. But now I’m good with it. Time heals everything.”

That last mention of healing had us wondering about her current status with her cast. Had time healed everything with Emily and Gina? “Yes, I’m in an OK place with everyone on the cast,” she revealed. “Go figure.”

Emiy Simpson & Gina Kirschenheiter
Emily Simpson & Gina Kirschenheiter (KCR/Shutterstock).
As far as her relationship with other cast members goes, Shannon shared how she was actually “excited” for the return of “Fancy Pants” Heather Dubrow, 52, after the two faced their ups and downs over the years. “Yeah, we did have a rocky past in my very first season on the show, but after we reconciled and worked things through, we were always in what I consider to be in a good place,” she shared. “I was very excited to have her back.”

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs every Wednesday at 8pm ET on Bravo.

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Cardi B Rocks Skintight Sparkly Pink Dress At People’s Choice Awards — Photos

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Cardi B dazzled in a sparkling pink dress at the ‘People’s Choice Awards,’ presenting actress Halle Berry with her ‘People’s Icon’ award.

Cardi B looked positively stunning on Tuesday when she strutted her stuff at the People’s Choice Awards in a form-fitting, sparkling pink dress. The “Money” rapper showed off her show-stopping curves in the bustier-style gown which featured a sweetheart neckline and was covered in square-shaped sequins. The mother-of-two opted for a signature Cardi look for her hair, wearing it dark and beautifully curled while pairing the dress with strappy silver heels and minimal jewelry.

Cardi B stuns in a sparkling pink dress at the 2021 ‘People’s Choice Awards’ (Todd Williamson/E! Entertainment/NBC).

The “WAP” rapper presented actress Halle Berry with her “People’s Icon” award at the event, and the two shared some sweet photos together backstage. Halle, for her part on the red carpet, echoed her Catwoman past in a blue sparkling, skin-tight jumpsuit that zipped down to show off her décolletage. She accessorized her look with silver pointed-toe Jimmy Choo pumps and dazzling drop Djula earrings, pulling her hair up in a structured, yet tousled bun.

While accepting her award, Halle shouted out her little ones in a tender speech. “My two little kids, they have to lose so much time with their mommy because I get to go work and do what I love, so thank you Nahla, thank you Maceo — I hope you find something in life that you can love and you can do with as much vigor and as much zest as I do what I do. I love you guys,” she said.

Halle Berry & Cardi B
Halle Berry & Cardi B share a smile at the 2021 ‘People’s Choice Awards’ after Cardi presented the actress with the ‘People’s Icon’ award (Todd Williamson/E! Entertainment/NBC).

Cardi seemed to be the perfect person to present Halle with her award, since the two have become quite the BFFs lately. Back in November the pair came together for a video called “5 Rounds.” During the segment, Cardi dished about how she met the actress. “[L]et me tell you this tea,” Cardi tweeted, “her skin is so soft…I wanted to bite her shoulder.” We’d chuckle at the unexpected comment, but with Cardi, expect the unexpected! 

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