abortion | KERA News

abortion

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.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

In Dallas on Monday, Attorney General Greg Abbott defended a new state abortion law being challenged in federal court this week.

State of Texas

The Texas attorney general's office says new abortion limits seek to expressly protect fetal life -- not just the safety of the woman terminating a pregnancy.

Advocacy groups have sued in federal court to block as unconstitutional parts of an abortion law that threw the Legislature into chaos over the summer. A judge is hearing arguments in court today in Austin.

Republican Party of Texas

The Republican Party of Texas has wasted no time in trying to pin a liberal label on Democrat Wendy Davis who announced her bid for governor Thursday.

Dane Walters / KERA News

Today, on her first full day as a candidate for governor, State Senator Wendy Davis, will make her case to business leaders at the Fort Worth Rotary Club. Advisers say it’s important for the Democratic contender to combat the “liberal” label opponents want to pin on her.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Next week State Senator Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, will officially tell us whether she plans to run for governor.

State Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa says Davis hasn't confided in him but he thinks he knows what she’ll say.

The Texas Senate spent another late night debating some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the nation. But this time, things turned out as expected.

Senators voted 19-11 to send the bill to Gov. Rick Perry for a signature. The Texas Tribune reports that thousands of protesters outside the Capitol erupted after the decision. But inside the chamber there was none of the raucous yelling and chanting that ran the clock out on the bill two and a half weeks ago.

In a major victory for the anti-abortion movement, the Texas state Senate passed a sweeping bill early Saturday that has become a flashpoint in the national abortion debate. Gov. Rick Perry is expected to sign it in short order.

But the fight is not over. Abortion rights supporters say that the new law attempts to overturn Roe vs. Wade in Texas, and that's why they plan to take their fight to the courts.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Update, Saturday 11 a.m.: Pro-abortion-rights protesters say they don't believe the DPS statement about feces and urine, and the Texas Tribune couldn't find a single DPS officer who reported confiscating bodily fluids.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

The “Stand With Texas Women” bus tour parked in the middle of a sea of orange in Fort Worth Wednesday night.

Senator Wendy Davis along with other North Texas Democrats and hundreds of pro-choice activists gathered to rally for women’s rights.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Republicans in the Texas House have passed the bill that bans most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.  It’s now headed to the Senate, where it is also expected to pass.

Knowing they don’t have enough votes to stop the bill, pro-choice Democrats are taking their fight to the streets. Their “Stand With Texas Women” road trip”  stopped in Dallas Wednesday morning.

Veronica Zaragovia / KUT News

The Texas House of Representatives has approved new abortion limits less than two weeks after Senate Republicans failed to finish work on the bill amid a filibuster and raucous protests.

Shelley Kofler, KERA

Final approval from the Texas House could come as early as today for a ban on most abortions beyond 20-weeks of pregnancy. 

officer.com

The Texas House unanimously passed a memorial resolution this morning honoring Hood County Sheriff's Deputy Lance McLean this morning. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT News

The steps of the state Capitol were awash in orange and blue Monday night as the Texas House prepares for the abortion bill to come to the floor Tuesday.

After pro-choice activists packed the Capitol and helped kill abortion restrictions two weeks ago, the right-to-life crowd is leaving nothing to chance.

Hundreds of people filed paperwork to testify on SB 1, so while public comment began Monday before noon, it didn't wrap until early Tuesday morning.

Texas Legislature Online streaming

More than 1700 people lined up this morning to speak before the Senate Health and Human Services committee on a bill that would add new abortion restrictions in Texas.

After an all-afternoon (and almost all-night) hearing, a Texas House committee approved the abortion restrictions that protesters and filibustering state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) stalled last week.

Texas Legislature Online streaming / Texas Tribune

Nearly 2,000 people have signed up to speak for or against House Bill 2 -- which would add new abortion restrictions in Texas.

The first witness did not get the microphone until more than an hour of Tuesday's committee meeting had passed. Panel members spoke first to question the bill's author, Parker's Jodie Laubenberg, a North Texas Republican.

LeAnn Wallace / YNN

Less than a week after protesters and Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, ran the clock out on a tough new abortion bill, they were back Monday -- this time clad in orange.

But their opponents, too, returned for the start of the second legislative special session. And with an iron grip on the Capitol, Republicans vowed not to allow the bill to fail this time around.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

Abortion activists are expected to be front and center as the battle over abortion restrictions resumes in Austin today.

Gov. Rick Perry is blaming an unruly "mob" and a senator's filibuster for killing a bill this week that would have further restricted Texas abortions. 

The governor found a receptive audience for his message Thursday at the  National Right to Life Convention in Dallas. 

Texas Governor Rick Perry's office / Flickr

Gov. Rick Perry had some harsh words Thursday for pro-choice protesters and state Sen. Wendy Davis, the Fort Worth Democrat whose 10-hour filibuster helped kill a bill restricting abortions.

KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports from the National Right to Life Convention in Dallas that Perry said the crowd at the Capitol “hijacked the democratic process.” Here's a video of his speech:

Texas Tribune

Those celebrating the legislative defeat of new abortion restrictions in Texas had a short-lived victory.  Governor Rick Perry has called a new, 30-day special session beginning Monday where legislators will likely vote again on the same measures.

Bonica Ayala / bonicaayala.com

Anyone who tuned into Tuesday night’s filibuster drama knows just how important a role the crowd played, yelling and shouting at one point for 15 minutes straight. Lawmakers may have been able to pass Senate Bill 5 if not for the din under the dome.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

A victory for those opposing new abortion restrictions in Texas may be short-lived.

Gov. Rick Perry has asked state lawmakers to take up strict new abortion rules in a second special session to start Monday.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

From Austin to Hollywood to the White House, Wendy Davis had the political world riveted Tuesday night with her marathon filibuster of bill that would have given Texas one of the toughest abortion laws in the nation. Turns out the 50-year-old Democrat is no stranger to political, and life, battles.

Dallas Morning News colleague Christy Hoppe provides a timeline of events that concluded in a raucous public display in the Senate gallery. The loud outburst essentially extended Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster and ran out the clock on signing the abortion bill before the midnight deadline. Question now: Will Governor Perry call another special session?

State Senate/Texas Tribune

Update, 6:20 a.m.: Fort Worth Democrat Wendy Davis started it. A raucous, roaring crowd of spectators finished it. And when the dust finally cleared about 3 a.m., Texas Republicans admitted it: One of the strictest anti-abortion bills in the nation didn't get the required Senate vote by a midnight deadline.

Outnumbered Democrats declared victory after the daylong (and nightlong) drama. But their win could be shortlived: Gov. Rick Perry, who called the 30-day special session that ended at midnight, could do the same thing again. No official word came by early Wednesday morning on whether he would.

State of Texas

Senator Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, says she’s prepared to filibuster to block new restrictions on abortion. 

Early this morning the House passed a bill that would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Senate Republicans who favor the restrictions were unable to suspend the rules to vote on the restrictions this afternoon. 

That puts the Republicans in a race against the clock to pass the restrictions before the special session ends tomorrow at midnight.

The Senate takes up the contentious abortion issue again at 7:00 tonight.  

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