ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
48°
Thunderstorms
H 73° L 63°
  • cloudy-day
    48°
    Current Conditions
    Thunderstorms. H 73° L 63°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    51°
    Afternoon
    Thunderstorms. H 73° L 63°
  • cloudy-day
    45°
    Evening
    Cloudy. H 66° L 28°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg news on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg traffic on demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Krmg weather on demand

00:00 | 00:00

White House touts new office that would protect conscience rights of doctors

Reinforcing its strong connection with social conservatives, the Trump administration announced Thursday a new federal office to protect medical providers refusing to participate in abortion, assisted suicide or other procedures on moral or religious grounds.

Leading Democrats and LGBT groups immediately denounced the move, saying “conscience protections” could become a license to discriminate, particularly against gay and transgender people.

The announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services came a day ahead of the annual march on Washington by abortion opponents, who will be addressed via video link by President Donald Trump.

HHS put on a formal event in the department’s Great Hall, with Republican lawmakers and activists for conscience protections as invited speakers.

The religious and conscience division will be part of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, which enforces federal anti-discrimination and privacy laws.

Officials said it will focus on upholding protections already part of federal law.

Violations can result in a service provider losing government funding.

No new efforts to expand such protections were announced, but activists on both sides expect the administration will try to broaden them in the future.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

  • We may have found a different use for the oxygen mask on airplanes. The New York Post says, on a flight from Dubai to Amsterdam, a man wouldn't stop, to put it nicely, decompressing his cabin. He was passing gas, repeatedly, despite the men who had the bad luck to be sitting next to him telling him to stop. It was apparently bad enough that they got into a fight and the plane made an emergency landing. They were kicked off the plane along with two women who are completely baffled, because they say they don't even know the men. You can read more about the story here.
  • No one’s counting their chickens just yet, but there’s hope among some Oklahoma lawmakers that a new budget proposal might be able to overcome the (thus far) insurmountable barrier of a 75-percent supermajority. There’s no handy nickname yet for the plan, which includes modifications to many of the elements of the “Step Up Oklahoma” proposal which went down to defeat last week in the House. But some lawmakers are cautiously optimistic that this time, they’ve got a plan that can actually pass. The question now becomes: Will the GOP House leadership bring it to the floor for a vote? Rep. Eric Proctor (D-Tulsa) tells KRMG that longtime State Auditor Gary Jones was a key architect of the new proposal. Jones, a candidate for Governor, also has GOP street cred, as he’s the longest-serving state party chairman in Oklahoma history. The plan has bipartisan support; indeed, Proctor said Friday, he believes all 28 Democrats in the House will vote for it. “Democrats are ready to deliver every member of our caucus for it,” he told KRMG. “Republicans would need to bring 48 of their 72 members.” And while that’s not a slam dunk by any means, it’s an obtainable goal in the eyes of many lawmakers. The main bullet points: An increase to 5% for the first 36 months in the gross production tax on oil and natural gas wells ($200 million) A 75-cent per pack tax on cigarettes ($130 million) A 6-cent increase per gallon on diesel, 3 cents per gallon on gasoline ($113 million) A cap on itemized deductions ($107 million) A hotel/motel tax ($50 million) Ball and Dice gaming reform ($22 million) Proctor said the plan would pay for a $5,000 annual pay raise for teachers, plus raises for other state employees who haven’t seen raises in a decade or more. “The way we see it, it’s a more fair. It spreads out the burden of the taxes not just on the working poor and middle income families, but across all economic spectrums. We believe it’s more fair, and equitable, and just,” Proctor said. “From what I’m hearing from friends on the other side of the aisle, I think if we put this plan on the board, it passes,” he added. “Now the question is gonna be: Are we going to be allowed to vote on it or not?”
  • A South Pacific cruise was interrupted by brawls apparently caused by a 23-member family who threw punches at other passengers, some of whom said they locked themselves in cabins to escape three days of violence. The Carnival Legend arrived in its home port of Melbourne on Saturday, a day after a family was offloaded in an unscheduled stop in Eden, New South Wales in Australia. Police said they were investigating the incident and the operator apologized for the “disruptive behavior” by the group that was removed from the cruise liner. The “big Italian family” spent days attacking Australians aboard the ship, with people “getting strangled and punched up,” passenger Lisa Bolitho told reporters. “Very violent, they were full-on attacks,” she said. She also questioned the ship’s management, quoting the captain as saying, “‘What do you want me to do about it — throw them overboard?’” Cellphone video footage purportedly of the brawl on Friday shows security guards fighting and trying to separate passengers amid shouting and kicking.
  • A 30-year-old man died of injuries after a shooting in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood that police believe involved an Uber Eats driver. >> Watch the news report here Police say Ryan Thornton, 30, ordered food from the app to be delivered to the Concorde Condominium on Pharr Court South late Saturday. At 11:30 p.m., Thornton walked away from the delivery car with his order.  Police said words may have been exchanged, and that's when shots were fired from the delivery car. The driver took off in a white Volkswagen.  One of the people WSB-TV's Lauren Pozen spoke with lives close to where the incident happened. The person, who didn't want to be identified, said he heard five gunshots go off outside his apartment.  >> Read more trending news  Thorton died at Grady Memorial Hospital.  If you’ve never heard of Uber Eats, it’s a smartphone app that many people use to order take-out. Uber told WSB-TV that it has a 'no weapons' policy for its drivers.  As the search for the driver continues, this shooting has those who use the app a little hesitant to continue to do so.  'Something needs to be done to further the safety of Uber Eats and make us feel safe,” said the man who lives near the scene. Uber said a statement that it is shocked and saddened by the news and is working with the Atlanta Police Department. 
  • Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said Sunday he will take steps to bolster local school safety by training those who work there. Jones posted to social media that his office will offer free conceal-and-carry classes to a limited number of teachers in Butler County. He also said training on how to react during school shootings would be provided. He said the details would be coming soon online at the Butler County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. Jones said Saturday he has “been saying this for years” as he tweeted a Fox News story that Polk County, Florida, Sheriff Grady Judd said it would be a “game changer” to allow some handpicked teachers to carry firearms in the classroo Jones, in a video posted Thursday, urged local schools to act now to improve school security in the wake of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school on Wednesday. He said local schools should stop doing fire drills and allow armed former police and military veterans into buildings to help protect students.