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Family

Taxpayer funds don't go toward abortion — which makes this move by Congress a bit weird.

Making the Hyde Amendment permanent would be a big step backward for reproductive rights.

For the past 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has prevented federal tax dollars from paying for abortions.

While not a law, the amendment has become a routine addition to federal budgets — and a thorn in the side of reproductive rights advocates. For the most part, however, members of both parties have accepted its place in American politics and haven't put up too much of a fight so long as it remains merely a rider to be renewed on an annual basis and not a permanent law.

Pro- and anti-choice activists square off outside the Supreme Court in 2005. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.


On Tuesday, the House of Representatives will vote on a bill that would elevate the Hyde Amendment's status from budget rider to law.

On Jan. 13th, Rep. Chris Smith (R-New Jersey) introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act. It's expected the full House will convene to vote on the bill — which is likely to pass, as it did in 2013 and 2015.

Less certain, however, is what chance the bill stands in the Senate, where it has been voted down after passing the House in each of the previous two attempts. To make it through the Senate, 52 Republicans andeight Democrats would have to join forces to put the bill on the president's desk.

Rep. Chris Smith. Photo by Kris Connor/ Getty Images.

Should it pass both chambers of Congress, President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law, fulfilling a campaign promise.

In September, Trump made a series of pledges aimed at courting anti-choice activists. Among those promises were plans to nominate "pro-life justices to the U.S. Supreme Court," sign the so-called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act into law, defund Planned Parenthood "as long as they continue to perform abortions," and — yes — to make the Hyde Amendment permanent.

Early in the campaign, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders spoke out against the Hyde Amendment.

Trump signs an executive order designed to restrict aid to nongovernmental organizations that provide abortion and family planning services. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

You may be asking yourself why it matters whether or not something that's been in effect for 40 years becomes permanent or not — and that's fair.

The truth is the Hyde Amendment, while a consistent part of American life in the post-Roe v. Wade world, disproportionately harms the 15.6 million low-income women who rely on Medicaid for their health care. By making the prohibition permanent, it becomes significantly more difficult to overturn (which would, again, require a majority in the House, a supermajority of 60 votes in the Senate, and the signature of the president to change).

Planned Parenthood warns the Hyde Amendment may result in women foregoing necessities like electricity, heat, and food in order to save funds to pay for an abortion out-of-pocket. Additionally, it may lead to dangerous attempts to self-induce an abortion.

Making the Hyde Amendment permanent would be a step backward for reproductive rights. Call your representative and senators and urge them to vote "no" on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.