Abortion

Politics
6:30 am
Mon July 8, 2013

After Abortion Bill Hearing, Rally, March Planned at Texas Capitol

Melissa Tucker, left, signs up to testify at the hearing for Senate Bill 1, a restrictive abortion bill, on July 8, 2013 at the State Capitol.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

A Texas Senate committee will take up a bill this morning that regulates and restricts abortions, which has sparked people on both sides of the bill to organize events at the Capitol to express their opinions.

Participants at a rally this evening on the south steps of the Capitol this evening have a message.

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Politics
10:00 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Audio: Filibuster Fallout and Gov. Perry's Exciting Future Plans

The Tribcast Crew review the week's big political moments
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

TribCast: Filibuster Fallout and Exciting Future Plans by KUT News

On this week's Texas Tribune Tribcast, Reeve Hamilton, Evan Smith, Ross Ramsey and KUT's Ben Philpott discuss the fallout from last week's filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), the Voting Rights Act, the effort to impeach a university regent, and Governor Rick Perry's coming announcement of "exciting future plans."

Agenda Texas
12:42 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

What's In the Texas Abortion Bill

Tuesday night's committee hearing was the latest opportunity for people on both sides of the bill to show support.
Veronica Zaragovia

The battle over abortion legislation in Texas has gotten lots of national attention --from a filibuster to record-breaking crowds of protestors on both sides, it’s the noise about the bill that’s taken center stage.

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Politics
12:01 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

House Committee Cuts Off Debate, Passes Texas Abortion Bill (Update)

Stephanie Argos, left, and Griselda Melgares of Katy, Texas, came to the Capitol to support House Bill 2 on July 2, 2013.
Veornica Zaragovia for KUT News

Update: A Texas House panel voted early this morning along party lines to pass a bill to put more restrictions on abortion in the state. While the committee heard hours of testimony, more than one thousand people who signed up to speak, weren’t given the opportunity.

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Politics
12:13 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

After Rallies, 3 Signs of Ramped Up Security on Capitol Grounds

Abortion-rights supporters gather in the morning of the first day of the second special session of the 2013 Texas Legislative Session.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

In the wake of last week and yesterday's rallies at the Capitol, the security detail under the dome has made some distinct changes to deal with large scale protests as the second special session begins.

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Politics
6:00 am
Tue July 2, 2013

After the Rally, What’s Next for Texas Legislature's Abortion Debate

Sen. Wendy Davis speaking yesterday. “For years too many Texas politicians have tried to boost their careers by bullying women who need help with their health care," Davis said.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Texas lawmakers are back in Austin for a second special legislative session. The first one ended last week with protests and a late night filibuster to block abortion legislation. And the short time off between sessions has only galvanized activists on both sides of the issue.

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Politics
7:15 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Abortion Bill Scheduled for Texas House Panel Hearing Tuesday

Taria Hollett of San Antonio, left, and Jessa Barniol of Austin, came to the Texas State Capitol on July 1, 2013 to show support for the abortion legislation of the second 2013 special session.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

After the sound of the gavel, the Texas House marked the start of the second 2013 special session, adjourning less than an hour later. 

But, before the lower chamber adjourned, a number of Democrats lined up at the back microphone to question what lies ahead for HB 2, a bill that would restrict abortions in Texas.

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Politics
3:59 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Photos: Protests at the Capitol (Updated)

Vicky Whynott of Houston prays near a tapestry showing the Virgin Mary as Anna Meadows of Austin, wearing blue, looks on in the rotunda of the Texas Capitol on July 1, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

As the Texas Legislature's second special session begins, protestors have descended upon the Capitol to demonstrate both for and against new abortion restrictions that lawmakers will consider. Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protestors have been milling around the Capitol to let lawmakers know where, and with which side, they stand.

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Politics
5:42 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Passion Around Abortion Debate Sparks Support for TX Politicians

State Sen. Wendy Davis and Gov. Rick Perry are reaching out to supporters around the abortion legislation debate.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

What happens when the whole world tunes in to watch the end of a Texas legislative session? In the few days since the first 2013 special session ended last week -- and the new one that starts today, Texas politicians have been using the abortion issue to raise money or assess how much support they have.  

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83rd Texas Legislature
5:40 am
Mon July 1, 2013

As New Special Session Starts, So Does Debate Over 'Blocker Bills'

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

In the Texas legislature, every rosebush has a thorn.

So-called rosebush bills, or blocker bills, have a unique role that allow senators to delay a debate on a bill, or block a bill’s movement altogether.

It’s typically a tactic used by the legislative minority, but two bills filed by Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, could serve as hurdles for lawmakers in the second special session that begins Monday.

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Agenda Texas
8:41 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Rules Fight Looms Over Texas Legislature's Latest Special Session

Se. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, addressing abortion-rights supporters after Sen. Wendy Davis’ filibuster. Lawmakers will head back to the Capitol on Monday to continue the debate of controversial abortion regulations that ended the first special session.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry is fond of special sessions. Since 2000, he's called for 11 special sessions as governor. And, after the legislative fireworks in the final hours of the last special session, Gov. Perry called yet another special session, bringing lawmakers back to Austin to address transportation, criminal justice and abortion regulations not covered last session's call.

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Politics
4:56 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

The Wendy Davis Filibuster Has Already Affected Rick Perry's Political Future

Sen. Wendy Davis in the Senate Chambers this week. A new special session, relating to abortion, will begin on Monday.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry went after State Sen. Wendy Davis today in a speech to a national anti-abortion group in Dallas over Davis’ 11-hour filibuster this week that helped block an abortion bill from passing.

Perry said her own birth and life under difficult circumstances — Davis was born to a single mother and was herself a single mother at age 19 — should have taught her to take Perry’s side on the issue.

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Politics
10:01 am
Thu June 27, 2013

After Filibuster, Texas Abortion Restrictions Back for Round 2

Abortion rights protestors at the Capitol this week. Another special session will deal with abortion, as well as transportation funding and juvenile sentencing.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry has added abortion restrictions, transportation funding and criminal justice legislation to his call for the second 2013 special session, on the heels of the abortion bill’s failure a day ago.

Republicans tried to get a vote out on Senate Bill 5 before midnight Tuesday, the session’s last day. But they attributed the failure of the abortion-related measure to the activists in the galleries.

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Politics
8:42 am
Thu June 27, 2013

PolitiFact: 'Pants on Fire' for Texas Rep's Rape Kit Claim

A Texas lawmaker said the evidence-collection kits are like the medical procedure known as dilation and curettage.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Do so-called rape kits in Texas include an internal surgical procedure similar to abortion? That’s what a Republican legislator recently  suggested in a House debate.

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Politics
4:29 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Perry Calls New Special Session: Abortion, Transportation & More

Protesters hoped Tuesday night would be the end of the GOP's latest bill restricting abortion in Texas - but now it doesn't look that way.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon, KUT News

Just hours after Senate Democrats were able to use parliamentary procedure and loud advocates to block passage of an abortion bill, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has announced he's calling lawmakers back to Austin for a second special session beginning July 1st.

On the agenda so far, abortion legislation that regulates the procedure and clinics, transportation funding and the creation of a life with parole sentence for juveniles convicted of capitol murder.

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Politics
7:24 am
Wed June 26, 2013

How Cheering Activists Defeated the Texas Abortion Bill

State Sen. Wendy Davis in the Senate chamber last night. A raucous crowd disrupted the last 10 or so minutes of the Legislature's special session, after Sen. Davis' filibuster ended.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Hundreds of supporters in orange shirts were at the Texas Capitol throughout the day on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, hoping to watch State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, successfully filibuster Senate Bill 5

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Politics
5:30 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Wendy Davis Filibuster Ends; Abortion Bill Defeated (Update)

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, beginning her filibuster this afternoon.
Credit Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Update: It's clear this morning that the vote to pass SB 5 came too late. The filibuster by State Sen. Wendy Davis was successful. Davis took to twitter with the news:

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Politics
7:35 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

After Warnings, Texas Senator Keeps Filibuster Going Against Abortion Bill

People of all ages lined up throughout the floors of the Texas Capitol for a chance to step inside the gallery and see the filibuster in action on June 25, 2013.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

The filibuster of the 2013 special session filibuster took an emotional detour, temporarily.

Earlier today, Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, helped State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, with a back brace. Sen. Davis has been standing because she launched a filibuster this morning to kill an abortion-related measure, Senate Bill 5.

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Politics
2:34 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

What's Next for SB 5, the Abortion Bill in the Texas Legislature

Abortion rights advocates blanketed the Capitol in orange this weekend. Protests and hours of debate will come down to a final vote in the Texas Senate.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

You're probably aware of Sunday night's marathon hearing on an omnibus abortion bill in the Texas Legislature.

The bill would restrict abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require all clinics to be certified as ambulatory surgical centers and require abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. After a vote this morning, that bill is out of the House and in the Senate, where a few things could happen to either pass or block the bill before the special session ends midnight Tuesday. So let's go over a couple of the scenarios:

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Agenda Texas
8:58 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Texas House Passes Restrictive Abortion Bill (Update)

Republicans mill around empty House floor after marathon abortion debate. Democrats could show back up later this morning.
Ben Philpott

Update: House members voted 95 to 34 to pass Senate Bill 5. Now it’s back to the Senate, which already approved the bill, but will have to vote on it again – because its initial version didn’t include the abortion ban after 20 weeks.

Lawmakers are running out of time to take action during this special session. It ends tomorrow at midnight. There’s talk of a filibuster in the Senate to run out the clock.

Update: House gaveled in just after 9 a.m. A handful of Democrats have showed up.

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