Abortion

Johannes Jander/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Houston Democrat Rep. Jessica Farrar is calling on the State Auditor’s Office to review a $1.6 million state grant awarded to a group she says funnels money to an unlicensed medical provider with an anti-abortion agenda.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will hear testimony on a new rule that could affect abortion providers and those seeking such services. The new state rules would require abortion clinics to bury or cremate any fetal tissue from a miscarriage or abortion – even at the earliest stages of pregnancy. HHSC proposed the change four days after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas' abortion restrictions passed in 2013.

This hearing is the last chance for the public to give comments on the proposed regulations. More than 80 people signed up to testify at the hearings, including Trisha Trigilio, attorney for the ACLU of Texas. She says the requirements would single out abortion clinics for disposal that wouldn’t apply to any other medical procedures.

 


Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

Health care providers, funeral operators and women's rights activists on Thursday are expected to tell Texas health officials that a rule requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains will do little to improve public health and could be burdensome to women who miscarry and those seeking abortions.  

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

This Friday is the last day state health officials are taking public comment on an updated informational booklet they put together. It’s given to abortion providers, who are then required to give it to women seeking the procedure. Abortion rights advocates have long criticized the booklet because it contains medically inaccurate information.

Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

In a new effort to regulate abortion providers, Texas health officials are proposing rules that would require abortion providers to cremate or bury fetal remains.

The new rules, proposed by the Health and Human Services Commission, would no longer allow abortion providers to dispose of fetal remains in sanitary landfills, instead allowing only cremation or interment of all remains — regardless of the period of gestation. Abortion providers currently use third-party special waste disposal services.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

The Texas Women’s Health Program has been a little rocky for the past few years. Ever since the state kicked out providers like Planned Parenthood, the program has been struggling to provide reproductive health care to all the low-income women it’s supposed to serve. But state health officials have been working on improving the program. And after getting some feedback from around the state, state health officials say they are launching some big changes this Friday.


Beth Cortez-Neavel/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas politicians were quick to send out tweets and press releases reacting to the Supreme Court's decision Monday, ruling 5-3 that a 2013 Texas law restricting abortion procedures placed an “undue burden” on people who seek care. The social media flurry broke down predictably along party lines. 


Beth Cortez-Neavel/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that part of a 2013 Texas law restricting abortion procedures is "unconstitutional."

House Bill 2 required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Each clinic also had to meet the standards of hospital surgical facilities. The law also banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and the abortion pill misoprostol.

The law garnered national attention during former Sen. Wendy Davis’s 11-hour filibuster in June 2013. The ensuing court case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, asked whether these new admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center requirements on abortion providers within the state posed an “undue burden” on women.

 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

It’s been six months since a law went into effect that changes the rules for judicial bypasses – that's when a judge allows a minor to have an abortion without getting consent or notifying an adult. These bypasses are mostly sought by young women who fear abuse or can’t locate a parent or guardian. Advocates say this legal tool is vital to the young women who use it. But, since a law passed last year, it’s been harder than ever to get them.


Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

Last year a series of secretly taped and heavily edited videos were released showing Planned Parenthood officials appearing to discuss the sale of fetal tissue harvested from abortions. Those videos have since been discredited, but that hasn't stopped Republican leaders in the Texas Legislature from calling a series of hearings to review the state's rules for the use of fetal tissue. 


Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

It’s only been about three weeks since the Federal Drug Administration changed the label for the country’s most widely used abortion drug, mifepristone. In Texas, advocates expected this would be a big deal, because Texas law mandates physicians administer the drug exactly like it says on the label—even though those methods weren’t common medical practice.


Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

A simple label-change from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration could have a sweeping impact on access to medication abortions in Texas. The federal agency announced on Wednesday it’s updating how the pill — not an emergency contraceptive like Plan B, but a medication taken to induce abortions — should be administered.


The Texas Tribune

During oral arguments Wednesday in a case challenging the constitutionality of Texas’ abortion restrictions, U.S. Supreme Court justices focused on what role the rules played in closing dozens of clinics, and probed the state’s justifications for the law.

Miguel Guitierrez Jr./KUT

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The case is a challenge to a controversial Texas law proponents say makes abortions safer in the state. It could set new limits for what kind of regulations state lawmakers can impose on abortion providers.


Tim Faust

T-shirts give us the chance to show the world who our favorite sports teams are, what amusement park rides we’ve survived, and now, whether we believe that U.S. Senator and GOP Presidential primary candidate Ted Cruz was the Zodiac Killer. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Hundreds of thousands of Texas women may have attempted to self-induce abortions, according to a “first of its kind” study released Tuesday by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP). The study, which estimates between 100,000 and 240,000 women have attempted self-induction, also indicates that these rates of self-induction may be higher in Texas than in other U.S. states. 


KUT News

The U.S. Supreme Court will review a case next year that challenges a Texas abortion measure signed into law in 2013. Justices will use what’s called the undue burden test to decide whether the law’s requirements are constitutional or not.


Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Setting up what could be a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to take up a legal challenge to Texas’ 2013 abortion law, which could shut down about half of the state’s 19 remaining abortion clinics.

Image via Flickr/Johannes Jander (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Yesterday, a new undercover video was released by the anti-abortion group targeting Planned Parenthood. Shot in Austin, the video shows a doctor describing methods used to perform later-term abortions.

Veronica Zaragovia, KUT News

An abortion clinic in El Paso has reopened and resumed scheduling appointments after closing in April of 2014.

This clinic is a plaintiff in a case that could go before the Supreme Court in a lawsuit involving state restrictions on abortion facilities and doctors passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013 and adopted into law the same year.


Photo by Jarekt/wikimedia commons

A group of health care providers is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review its challenge against a Texas abortion law. Earlier this year, a federal appeals court upheld two provisions of the 2013 law, but the Supreme Court allowed the provisions to go on hold while the plaintiffs appealed the lower court’s decision.  

Tamir Khalifa/Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday endorsed new laws to further tighten restrictions on Texas abortion providers, including a proposal that likely would bar fetal tissue donation.

Flickr/cellculture (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Planned Parenthood is under scrutiny over their alleged involvement in fetal tissue research. The Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, has now released three different secretly recorded videos of Planned Parenthood employees discussing fetal tissue. While the videos don’t provide any concrete evidence that Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting from fetal tissue donation, critics say the video certainly raises questions about how fetal tissue donation is done.

Tamir Khalifa/Texas Tribune

From the Texas TribuneUpdated July 15, 2:45 p.m.:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday his office would investigate Planned Parenthood after an anti-abortion group released an undercover video showing a Planned Parenthood executive discussing how to preserve an aborted fetus's organs for medical research. 

“The Office of the Attorney General has launched an official investigation into Planned Parenthood following the release of a video that details the organization’s calculated slaughter of human babies to maximize the available body parts they plan to sell," Paxton said in a statement.

Eric Schlegel for the Texas Tribune

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked some elements of Texas' House Bill 2, which puts new restrictions on abortion clinics in the state. Abortion providers say the rules in question, which were to go into effect July 1, would have forced as many as 10 abortion clinics to close.

That would have left Texas with as few as eight abortion clinics, mostly in big cities.

Alexa Ura / Texas Tribune

A federal appeals court is allowing several disputed elements of Texas’ HB2 abortion law to go into effect.

Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

A bill (House Bill 3994) that would add restrictions to how minors can bypass the state’s parental consent law to get an abortion was approved by the Texas Senate today.

What’s called the judicial bypass bill received plenty of roadblocks from opponents, however. 

Before the bill was even brought up for a vote, opponents in the Senate had hours’ worth of questions about what the bill would require a minor and a judge to do.

House Will Take Up Abortion Insurance Coverage Ban

May 25, 2015
Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: In a dramatic turn of events, the House Calendars Committee on Sunday night reversed course and sent a controversial bill prohibiting health insurance plans sold on the Affordable Care Act's marketplace from covering abortions to the full chamber for a vote.

Earlier in the night, the committee voted not to place Senate Bill 575 by Republican Sen. Larry Taylor on the lower chamber’s calendar for Tuesday — the last day a Senate bill can be passed by the House. After fireworks on the House floor instigated by a lawmaker who believed he had entered into an agreement to get the bill to the full chamber, the committee reconvened and reconsidered its vote. 

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Minors seeking to obtain abortions without parental consent would face more restrictions under a bill that received preliminary approval Wednesday from the Texas House.

After about four hours of debate and a barrage of failed amendments by Democrats, the House passed House Bill 3994 by Republican state Rep. Geanie Morrison of Victoria on a 98-47 vote. The measure would enact several restrictions on “judicial bypass,” the legal process that allows some minors to obtain abortions without their parents’ permission. The measure now awaits final approval by the House before it can go to the Senate.

Texas law requires minors to obtain consent for an abortion from at least one parent. But if obtaining an abortion could endanger the minor, she can look to the courts for judicial bypass to obtain the abortion without parental consent.

Abortion Coverage Would Get Dropped Under Texas Bill

May 6, 2015
msjacoby/flickr

On Tuesday, the Texas Senate tentatively passed a bill that would prohibit abortion coverage under many health insurance plans. It could get final approval today.

The bill would only allow coverage for abortions in cases where there’s a medical emergency. State Sen. Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood) says his measure gives Texans who don’t support abortion the choice not to pay for others to get the procedure.

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