This Week’s Under-reported News Summary – Sept. 13, 2023

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Mexico’s Supreme Court eliminates all federal criminal penalties for abortion
  • North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia making it harder for ex-felons to vote
  • Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's private equity backer linked to Jeffrey Epstein

In a historic ruling, Mexico’s Supreme Court threw out all federal criminal penalties for abortion, ruling that national laws prohibiting the procedure are unconstitutional and violate women’s rights, overturning a law that dates back to the 1930s. Mexico joins several other Latin American nations, including Argentina, Uruguay, and Cuba in legalizing abortion in a socially conservative region dominated by the Roman Catholic Church. The ruling legalizes abortion in all federal health facilities which provides healthcare to 70 percent of the population. However, 20 of Mexico’s 32 states still criminalize abortion.

(“Mexican High Court Decriminalizes Abortion at Federal Level,” Wall Street Journal, Sept. 6, 2023; “Mexico Decriminalizes Abortion, Extending Latin America Trend of Widening Access,” Associated Press, Sept. 6, 2023)

Early in 2023, advocates for restoring voting rights for convicted felons were making progress. State legislators in Minnesota and New Mexico passed laws to create a pathway for formerly convicted felons to win back their voting rights, after being released from prison. Over the last decade, some 1.5 million former convicted felons have won back their voting rights. But in recent months, state officials in North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia have taken steps to make it far more difficult for people with felony convictions to register to vote, leading to lawsuits filed by voting rights activists.

(“In Reversal Some States Make it Harder for People with a Felony Conviction to Vote,”, Aug. 7, 2023)

Arizona U.S. Sen. Krysten Sinema, who recently left the Democratic party to become an Independent has long been backed by the private equity industry and Wall Street Hedge fund executives. When Sinema first ran for the Senate in 2018, she was funded by Leon Black, then CEO of Apollo Global Management. Two years later, Black was forced out due to his close ties to Jeffrey Epstein, accused of running an infamous sex trafficking ring. Now Black has been accused of raping a 16-year-old girl, 20 years ago, and the U.S. Senate is investigating Black’s $150 million payment to Epstein for estate planning and tax services.

(“Private Equity Billionaire Tied to Jeffrey Epstein, led Industry Backing for Krysten Sinema,” The Intercept,  Aug. 3, 2023; “Sinema Outraised by Gallego as Re-election Decision Nears,” Politico,  April 14, 2023)

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