Abortion

Abortion Law Lawsuit
6:48 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Plaintiffs Hope Judge Rules Parts of Texas Abortion Law Unconstitutional

L-R: Amy Hagstrom Miller of Whole Woman's Health, Janet Crepps of The Center for Reproductive Rights and Sarah Wheat of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas speak to reporters after day one of the abortion lawsuit hearing on Oct. 21, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT

A lawsuit attempting to block parts of a new restrictive abortion law is expected to wrap up today. Plaintiffs hope the judge will find certain provisions of the law unconstitutional. 

Plaintiffs -- including Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, Whole Woman's Health and the Center for Reproductive Rights -- are challenging two key provisions of the abortion law, arguing each creates an undue burden on women seeking an abortion, which makes each unconstitutional.

One requires the physician to give two rounds of abortion-inducing medication to the patient in person. The second requires physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where they perform the abortion.

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Women's Health
3:04 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Interview: College-Age Women Hardest Hit by Texas Health Cuts

Abortion rights supporters, gathered on the first day of the second special session at the 2013 Texas Legislature.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

After sparking raucous protests and a famous filibuster, new restrictions on abortion in Texas captured the nation’s attention this summer. But the fight over abortion and women’s health is not new in Texas.

In a new piece for The Austin Chronicle, investigative reporter Jordan Smith examines how the fallout from the abortion fight impacts care options for college-aged women. Her article, “From ‘Abstinence-Only’ to Plan Z” is part of a nationwide day of reporting on women’s health and reproductive issues.  

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Politics
6:36 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Lawsuit Against Texas Abortion Law Gets Trial Date in Federal Court

State Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, speaks before the July 2013 launch of the "Stand With Texas Women" statewide bus tour of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. It was a campaign against House Bill 2.
Veronica Zaragovia, KUT

Planned Parenthood – together with several other groups -- filed a lawsuit, Planned Parenthood v. Abbott, in a federal court in Austin on Sept. 27. The aim is to block certain provisions of a new Texas law that restricts abortions.   

The preliminary injunction hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 21 before U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin. 

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Texas Abortion Law
4:27 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

You May Now Comment on Texas' New Rules for Abortion Clinics (Update)

People, some purposely in orange, came to testify before the Texas State Health Services Council on rules written by the health department that specify what abortion clinics must do to operate legally in Texas. The meeting took place on Aug. 28, 2013.
KUT News

Update: As of today, new specific rules regulating Texas abortion facilities are available for public comment.

The rules were drafted in response to House Bill 2, the abortion-restricting Texas law that Gov. Rick Perry signed in July. As the department that regulates abortion clinics in Texas, the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) wrote the specific rules after interpreting the Legislature’s intent.

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Texas Abortion Law
10:41 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Advocates File Lawsuit to Block Abortion Restrictions

A protest inside the Texas Capitol on June 12, 2013, as the legislature approved new restrictions on abortion. Advocates have filed a lawsuit to block the restrictions from taking effect.
Gabriel Cristóver Pérez for KUT News

The next stage in abortion rights advocates’ efforts to block implementation of strict new regulations on the procedure in Texas began on Friday, as the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union and a group of abortion providers across the state filed a lawsuit in federal court.

“Today's lawsuit is a united strike back against the hostile politicians who have made clear their willingness to sacrifice the constitutional rights, health and even lives of Texas women in support of their extremist ideological agenda,” Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement. 

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Agenda Texas
9:33 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Women's Clinic Closed in Wake of Texas Law Offered More Than Abortions

Cadence King stands at the gate of the now closed Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan.
Ben Philpott for KUT News

A handful of clinics in Texas have closed, or are planning to, just weeks after a controversial bill restricting abortions passed the state legislature.

Planned Parenthood says the closures will hurt the women who came to the clinics for general healthcare services. Anti-abortion groups say there are other doctors for the women to go to. So who's right?

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8:16 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Four Abortion Clinics Close In Wake Of Texas' New Regulations

Four abortion clinics are preparing to close in the coming months as a result of stricter requirements imposed by a new state law regulating abortion. The Dallas Morning News reports that one of the main obstacles the clinics face is a requirement that doctors who perform the procedure obtain admitting privileges at hospitals. The clinics that will close are in Bryan, Harlingen, San Angelo and Midland. Two others closed earlier this year.
AUSTIN - At least four abortion clinics in rural Texas and possibly three more are preparing to close, hobbled by a state law that requires the clinics to meet tougher medical standards.
Agenda Texas
3:45 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Wendy Davis Looks Back at Filibuster, Ahead to 2014 Elections

Sen. Wendy Davis says she feels “encouragement” from fellow Dems to seriously consider a run for higher office.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

With about 1,500 bills passed during its four legislative sessions, the 83rd Texas Legislature could be remembered for a number of things.

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Texas
12:39 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

While Texas Restricts Abortions, Mexico Braces for a Boom

Women and girls cross the U.S. border into Nuevo Laredo, Mexico every day trying to put an end to their pregnancies. The one room clinic of Dr. Celia Gomez is one of the first clinics people find right across the border checkpoint.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

This week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a law banning abortions after 20 weeks.

It also increases requirements for clinics and doctors that provide abortions. Clinics have a little over a year to upgrade to ambulatory surgical centers. Several clinics are expected to close, leaving women in poor and rural areas the most affected.

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Politics
11:19 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Gov. Perry Signs Texas' Sweeping Abortion Bill Into Law

Gov. Rick Perry shakes hands with State. Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, one of the sponsors of House Bill 2, on July 18, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a controversial bill into law this morning.

"It is a happy, celebratory day, and so many of you in this audience are the reason we're here today," Perry said. "In signing House Bill 2, we celebrate and further cement the foundation on which the culture of life in Texas is built upon."

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Politics
5:30 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

The Abortion Debate is Affecting Texas Politics, Left and Right

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is one of a handful of Texas politicians using their recognition from abortion debates this legislative session to further upcoming campaigns.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Last week, the Texas Senate passed  House Bill 2, restricting abortions in Texas. Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign it in coming days, and the Texas Department of Health and Human Services is already gearing up to start implementing the changes. But even with that battle lost, some Democrats have dared to dream about what the abortion battle could mean for the 2014 elections.

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Politics
7:50 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Public Input Sought for Rules on Texas Abortion Clinics' Upgrade

The Texas Department of Health Services will seek public input as it drafts the rules for the state's abortion clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center standards.
Image courtesy Daquella Manera at flickr.com

Now that House Bill 2 has passed and awaits Governor Rick Perry’s signature, a long process will begin to determine how the new, stricter standards for abortion clinics will be implemented. 

The Texas Department of Health Services will be in charge of writing rules for how abortion clinics in Texas will need to upgrade.

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Politics
12:30 pm
Sat July 13, 2013

Photos: Over Protest, Senate Passes Abortion Bill; Tampons Confiscated From Gallery Watchers

An unidentified woman has her bag searched by a DPS officer outside the Senate chambers. Those looking to get inside the gallery had tampons, along with
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update: The Senate has given a final vote to pass House Bill 2, passing it 19-11.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst asked Senators that  "whether you're Christian, whether you're a person of faith, that we not forget to love each other." He said he felt goose bumps by seeing the orange and blue shirts in the gallery.

Update: The fate of House Bill 2 has been decided for now. The Texas Senate voted preliminarily 19 to 11 to pass the measure, without any amendments.

They need to give the bill a final vote before it would go to Gov. Rick Perry's desk for a signature.

In the last stretch of the night, senators gave most of their most impassioned statements when they gave their closing remarks.

  • View a photo gallery of the day's events in the slideshow player at the top of this page.
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Agenda Texas
5:30 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Abortion Bill Hogs Spotlight from Other Session Priorities

Based on stories coming out of the Texas Capitol, you might think the current 30-day special legislative session is about one thing, and one thing only: abortion.

But there are actually two other subjects on the agenda for this session:

  • Transportation Funding
  • Juvenile Justice
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Politics
7:14 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Texas Senators Push for Family Planning Support

Members of the Senate HHS Committee say restricting abortions still leaves lots of issues to address.
KUT News

Members of the Texas Senate committee that voted today to increase restrictions on abortion also say they want more support for preventive care, family planning and adoption services in Texas.

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Politics
6:17 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Both Sides on Texas Abortion Bill Welcome Future Legal Challenges

Opponents and supporters of House Bill 2, the Texas omnibus abortion bill, say they expect good to come out of a legal challenge in federal court.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

A familiar sound filled the Texas House on Wednesday morning – the voting bell, applause and protesters.

House Bill 2 passed, 96 to 49 nays, and it's also expected to pass the Senate, late this week or early next. Opponents of the new abortion restrictions say regardless, it will end up in court.

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Politics
11:17 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Texas House Approves Abortion Restrictions

State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, at the front microphone answers questions from a line of lawmakers during the July 9, 2013 debate on House Bill 2, a restrictive abortion measure.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Update: The House passed HB 2 on a vote of 96 to 49 this morning. The bill will be sent to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee this week for a vote, and the bill could be sent to the Senate floor for a full vote as early next week. 

Update (10:00 a.m.) Last night the House passed HB 2 on second reading by a vote of 98 to 49. The bill, which would limit access to abortions across Texas, is set for a third and final reading today in the House.

If passed, the bill will head across the Capitol rotunda to the Senate, and it could be sent to a committee as soon as this week. Below you can watch the live stream of the vote from our reporting partners The Texas Tribune.

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PolitiFact
6:20 am
Wed July 10, 2013

PolitiFact: Is Abortion the Second Most Common Surgery?

Gov. Rick Perry recently said that abortion is the second most common surgical procedure in the United States. But is abortion even medically considered surgery?
KUT News

Last week, Gov. Rick Perry said on a radio program that abortion was the second most common surgical procedure performed in the United States.

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Politics
4:55 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Watch: Abortion Rights Advocate Gets Personal - Then Gets Kicked Out

There's been countless explosive moments in Texas' ongoing legislative battle over abortion — but few moments like this posted to YouTube. 

Yesterday, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 1, which would restrict abortions across Texas. Some 13 hours of testimony later, committee chair Sen. Jane Nelson called on abortion rights advocate Sarah Slamen, whose two minutes included pointed descriptors of the committee members themselves – language that got her ejected.

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Politics
9:06 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Comprehensive Sex Ed Proposed in Response to Texas Abortion Debate

As part of the abortion debate - galvanized by Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster - Democratic lawmakers want to teach Texas students comprehensive sex education.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Texas has one of the highest teen birth rates in the country.  According to a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute, in 2008, Texan teens had 85 pregnancies per 1,000 women 15-19 years old.

And while protests and hearings continue around Senate Bill 1 — the bill that would limit access to abortions in Texas — some Democratic state lawmakers have filed two bills that would make changes to health and sex education.

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