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A Texas lawmaker is scrapping his effort to reveal the names of judges who permit teens to have abortions if they can't get the required consent from their parents, in favor of an even stricter measure.

Texas Republicans Set Sights On Minors Seeking Abortions

Apr 23, 2015
Todd Wiseman / Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

Two years after imposing stringent abortion restrictions, Texas Republican lawmakers have set their sights on changing a legal process that allows some minors to obtain abortions without their parents’ permission.

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The week before the 84th Legislature convenes, some lawmakers still aren’t sure which chamber they’ll be working in. And a federal appeals court is poised to determine the fate of the state’s same-sex marriage ban and part of the state’s new abortion law.

A part of a Texas abortion law — one that requires that any clinic performing abortions meet stringent, hospital-like medical standards — is on trial this week in a U.S. appeals court.

The effect of the law has already been dramatic in Texas. Before it passed, a year and a half ago, more than 40 clinics provided abortions in the state. Now there are about 17 such facilities. If this part of the law is reinstated, about 10 facilities would close, leaving vast distances between some residents and the nearest clinic.

Ben Philpott / KUT/Texas Tribune

The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked key parts of a 2013 law in Texas that had closed all but eight facilities providing abortions in America's second most-populous state.

Ben Philpott / KUT/Texas Tribune

The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked key parts of a 2013 law in Texas that had closed all but eight facilities providing abortions in the state.

Paul Moseley / The Star-Telegram

Five stories that have North Texas talking: power outages shutter schools across North Texas, the Dallas hospital treating Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan release details, RadioShack reaches a refinancing deal, and more.

Mark Graham/Cooper Neil / The Texas Tribune

Democrat Wendy Davis appealed to women voters Tuesday by highlighting differences between herself and Republican opponent Greg Abbott on the issue that launched her race for governor- abortion.

Davis, who’s pro-choice, is challenging Abbott’s history of opposing abortion in cases where a woman becomes pregnant because of rape or incest.

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In a new memoir, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis revealed she terminated two pregnancies. One, in 1996, involved a fetus that had developed a severe brain abnormality. The other was what is known as an ectopic pregnancy.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, is releasing a memoir Tuesday that’s already making headlines. In it, the mother of two reveals she twice terminated pregnancies because of health issues. 

Wendy Davis Memoir Details Two Terminated Pregnancies

Sep 6, 2014
Stephen Becker / KERA News

State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, reveals in her new book that she terminated two pregnancies for medical reasons, both more than 15 years ago.

In a copy of her memoir obtained by the San Antonio Express-News, Davis writes that her unborn, already loved third daughter had an acute brain abnormality. She and her husband chose to terminate the pregnancy in 1997 after doctors told them the syndrome would cause the baby to suffer and was likely incompatible with life.

Ben Philpott / KUT/Texas Tribune

A federal judge presiding over a lawsuit against new Texas abortion restrictions says he has a problem with anyone traveling 150 miles for medical care if the procedure could be done closer.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Next month, a dozen abortion clinics in Texas will close because they don't meet tough new standards outlined in the controversial abortion law that passed last summer. Planned Parenthood in Dallas will open its new facility -- which will be one of just seven clinics in the state that meet the new requirements. 

New Texas Law Led to Statewide Drop in Abortions, Report Says

Jul 23, 2014
Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

The number of abortions in Texas decreased by about 13 percent statewide and 21 percent in the Lower Rio Grande Valley following the passage of strict abortion regulations that went into effect last November, according to a report that academic researchers released Wednesday. 

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / Texas Tribune/Flickr

Two more Texas abortions clinics are closing because of new restrictions placed on the facilities by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Ten clinics have already closed because of a new law, which strictly limits where, when, how and from whom women can obtain abortions.

The Texas Tribune

She’s the likely Democratic nominee for Texas governor, but inquiring minds are asking: Where does Wendy Davis stand on medical marijuana? Abortion? And did she really fudge the details of her life story? She’s been making the rounds to clear all that up, including a profile that runs in The New York Times this weekend.

Abortion rights activists are working on a counterattack to the 200 bills that have passed in states across the U.S. since 2010.

In the past three years, Republican-led legislatures have backed bills to regulate abortions and the doctors and clinics that perform them.

Bills to ban abortions at 20 weeks are among the laws that cropped up three years ago and have now passed in about a dozen states. This year, North Dakota pushed to end abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy.

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A sharply divided Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed Texas to continue enforcing abortion restrictions that opponents say have led more than a third of the state's clinics to stop providing abortions.

The justices voted 5-4 to leave in effect a provision requiring doctors who perform abortions in clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Democrat Wendy Davis may be a candidate for governor, but Tuesday night in Dallas she became a central part of a debate among Republicans running for lieutenant governor.

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Planned Parenthood is asking the Supreme Court to place Texas' new abortion restrictions on hold.
 
The group says in a filing with the high court Monday that more than a third of the clinics in Texas have been forced to stop providing abortions since a court order allowed the new restrictions to take effect Friday.

A federal appeals court has granted a Texas request to reinstate restrictions on abortion providers after a lower court blocked the state from fully implementing the new law.

Texas abortion providers’ Monday victory was short-lived. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday reversed a federal district court ruling that found part of the state's new abortion regulations unconstitutional, meaning the provisions of House Bill 2 could take effect immediately if state officials choose to enforce them.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Fort Worth’s new Planned Parenthood center would have stopped offering abortions if the new Texas abortion law had gone into effect this week. A federal judge ruled that certain new abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature are unconstitutional and should not take effect. Outside the center, reviews were mixed.

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Five stories that have North Texas talking: An endangered black rhino will soon be put up for auction, the Texas abortion ruling generates big headlines, what Dallas was like leading up to the John F. Kennedy assassination, and more:

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Update, 7:52 p.m. Monday: A federal judge has ruled that new abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature are unconstitutional and should not take effect as planned on Tuesday. Texas officials immediately appealed the ruling, and the case could eventually head to the U.S. Supreme Court.

District Judge Lee Yeakel blocked one part of the restriction, while allowing another provision to stand.

Yeakel ruled that a state provision that requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility "places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus."

UpdateWith a federal judge blocking enforcement of a key restriction on abortion in Texas, here’s reaction from Gov. Rick Perry:

“Today’s decision will not stop our ongoing efforts to protect life and ensure the women of our state aren’t exposed to any more of the abortion-mill horror stories that have made headlines recently. We will continue fighting to implement the laws passed by the duly-elected officials of our state, laws that reflect the will and values of Texans.”

NARAL Pro Choice America President Ilyse Hogue:

"We are pleased but not surprised by this development. It has been clear from day one that the laws advanced by Governor Perry and others are unconstitutional and put women at greater risk. We will continue to fight to ensure all parts of this law, and other laws restricting women's health care options, which are clearly unconstitutional are defeated."


The fight over abortion in Texas is being played out in federal court, where abortion rights activists are challenging a new state law.

The measure bans abortions at 20 weeks, adds building requirements for clinics and places more rules on doctors who perform abortions. Some clinics have shut down, saying they can't comply with the law set to go into effect Oct. 29.

PolitiFact.com

On the day that state Sen. Wendy Davis announced her candidacy for governor, Texas Right To Life released an ad claiming that Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, "opposes any limits on abortion." 

PolitiFact Texas researched the claim and rated it "false."   Here's the analysis.  

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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