Dogwood Daily: Closing arguments in Virginia abortion trial
By Keya Vakil
June 6, 2019

Welcome to today’s edition of the Dogwood Daily. We’ve got a round-up of all the Virginia news that’s been happening coming right up. And if you’re a fan, please forward to three friends who need to know what’s going on in the Commonwealth and tell them to subscribe here

But First…

Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. In commemoration of the anniversary, the New York Times has a remarkable collection of photographs that we recommend checking out.

5 things you need to know today…

  1. Aftermath of Virginia Beach shooting continues to unfold – While funerals begin today for the victims of the Virginia Beach shooting and the city holds a memorial service tonight, the battle over gun safety is also beginning to heat up. Democrats are pushing to reform the state’s lax gun laws, but Republicans are standing firm in their opposition. Sen. Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach) accused the governor of detracting from the city’s time of grief by politicizing the tragedy, even though 91% of Virginians support requiring background checks for all gun buyers.

  2. Virginia aims to eliminate racial disparity in maternal mortality rates by 2025 – Black women are more than two times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related death in Virginia than white women, a disparity that Gov. Ralph Northam wants to eliminate by 2025. In a statement, Northam said it is a “worthy goal that is perfectly within reach, and I am directing leaders in my administration and in the healthcare and human services community to develop strategies to get us there by 2025.”

  3. Closing arguments begin today in Virginia abortion law trial – Closing arguments begin today in a trial that could have significant implications for abortion access in Virginia. The lawsuit, from the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the ACLU of Virginia seeks to strike down a series of laws that they say present women with “medically unnecessary and burdensome” obstacles to abortion. The judge in the case has already gone back and forth over the laws, giving both sides cause for hope and concern.

  4. Muslim school board candidate accuses police of discrimination and brutality -Abrar Omeish, a Muslim woman running for a seat on the Fairfax County School Board, is accusing the police of brutality and discrimination after she was pepper-sprayed and dragged from her car during a traffic stop. Omeish says the incident left her with a concussion. A Fairfax County police spokeswoman told the Washington Post Omeish defied more than a dozen requests to provide proper ID and resisted arrest, prompting the officer to use pepper spray. Omeish took responsibility for the traffic violation that led to the stop, but says the escalation was excessive and the result of a bias, a charge that the Fairfax Police Department is now investigating.

  5. Former Gov. McAuliffe continues campaign trail appearances – Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe has attended 29 campaign events in the last 30 days and is committed to 60 in June, but thinks he’ll do more than 100, according to an interview with WAMU. McAuliffe, the popular former Governor, has made it known that his goal to help Virginia Democrats flip control of the General Assembly this November, and his help has been welcomed by the state’s legislators. McAuliffe told WAMU that if Democrats won control of both the House and the state Senate progress could be made on “climate change, health care expansion, education funding, minimum wage, common sense gun restrictions…overnight.”
  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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