abortion | KERA News

abortion

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.  

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Gov. Rick Perry has added proposed legislation tightening abortion regulation and a mandatory life sentence for murders committed by 17 year olds to the agenda of Texas' special legislative session. 

Texas put its new, state-funded Women’s Health Program on hold today, just hours before the retooled program was set to launch. And that means Planned Parenthood will continue getting state money to provide health care to women -- at least for the moment.

Tim Baker / flickr

Texas is in a stand-off with the federal government over a program that provides contraception and reproductive check-ups for low-income Texas women. A new Texas rule would exclude Planned Parenthood clinics from participating.

Jay Rishel (cc) flickr

A federal appeals court has denied a request to reconsider a lawsuit challenging a Texas law that requires doctors to perform a sonogram before an abortion.

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the suit on behalf of doctors saying the state Legislature had passed a law that wrongly dictates how a doctor deals with a patient.

The rule requires a doctor to conduct a sonogram, describe the features of the fetus and play aloud the fetal heartbeat whether the woman wants it or not. The doctor must also conduct the sonogram 24 hours before performing the abortion.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum tried to fire up conservative supporters in North Texas yesterday. He’s hoping to build a three-state win Tuesday night and stoke his campaign bank account in the process. KERA’s Shelley Kofler has more on how Santorum is building on a theme of morality and faith.

Texas can go ahead and enforce its controversial “sonogram law” while opponents challenge it in court. KERA’s BJ Austin says a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state and overturned a lower court “stay”.

jmtimages (cc) flickr

Following arguments over redistricting before the U.S. Supreme Court, the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas says the state might be forced to hold two primary elections.

Gage Skidmore (cc) flickr

Governor Perry has filed an emergency order in federal court to require Virginia’s Board of Elections to place his name on the ballot for the state’s Republican presidential primary.

Perry did not meet Virginia’s requirement of ten thousand signatures of registered voters, with 400 from each of its 11 congressional districts.

Yesterday, the Governor filed a lawsuit against the Board of Elections and the Republican Party of Virginia.

Today he filed the “emergency motion.” Perry claims Virginia’s requirements violate his freedoms of speech and association.

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