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Biden budget overturns decades-old ban on federal funding for abortions

President Biden’s proposed 2022 budget lifts a decades-old ban on federal funding for most abortions.

The big picture: Presidential budgets rarely survive intact even with broad support within the party. Many Republicans and some Democrats will push to keep the amendment, named after the late Republican Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois. It became law in 1976 and has been renewed every year since.


But House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) has said this is one of her priorities.

Context: Biden campaigned on the promise of overturning the Hyde Amendment, which disproportionately impacts low-income women and many women of color who receive health coverage through government-sponsored plans like Medicaid.

  • Biden previously supported the amendment but reversed course in 2019. "If I believe health care is a right, as I do, I can no longer support an amendment that makes that right dependent on someone's ZIP code," the then-presidential candidate said.

What they're saying: “Today’s budget marks a historic step toward finally ending the coverage bans that have pushed abortion care out of reach and perpetuated inequality for decades,” Georgeanne Usova, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement, The Hill reports.

  • “With abortion access under unprecedented attack around the country, lifting discriminatory barriers to care is a matter of racial and economic justice that cannot wait," she said, adding: "No one should be denied abortion care because of where they live, how much money they have, or how they get insurance.”

“Once a supporter of policies that protect the lives of the unborn and their mothers, President Biden today caters to the most extreme voices within his party," the anti-abortion group, the Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement.

  • "The majority of Americans remain opposed to taxpayer-funded abortion," the statement continued. "We urge our congressional allies to be fearless in fighting to preserve the common-ground Hyde principle and to reject any budget that omits vital pro-life protections."

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

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Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

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Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

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Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

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"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

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What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

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