Author Topic: Texas anti-abortion bills would protect abnormal fetuses, slash Planned Parenthood funding  (Read 198 times)

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Offline Elderberry

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Houston Chronicle by  Andrea Zelinski Jan. 29, 2019

Texas lawmakers have filed more than a dozen bills that would further restrict abortion rights, including an outright ban on abortion and legislation that would forbid Texas cities from contracting with Planned Parenthood - possibly the next step in pulling government funding from the women’s health group that’s also an abortion provider.

While top state officials say they’re largely swearing off divisive social issues this legislative session in favor of focusing on school funding and property tax relief, advocates on both sides of the abortion debate are getting ready for the next round.

Texas is one of the leading states in the nation for curtailing access to abortion. Both the governor and lieutenant governor have reiterated their support for protecting the unborn in the past week. Newly appointed House Speaker Dennis Bonnen has a sterling record of supporting anti-abortion legislation.

The last U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding Texas abortion restrictions came in 2016 when the high court ruled 5-3 that Texas cannot require abortion providers to obtain hospital admitting privileges, or force their facilities to adhere to the same regulations as ambulatory surgical centers. The court found the restrictions - which led to closure of half of the state’s abortion clinics — too burdensome and made access to the procedure unconstitutionally difficult for women.

Shortly after the ruling, Texas lawmakers went on a new tack by mandating the burial or cremation of aborted fetal and embryonic matter. Lawmakers in 2017 also banned a common second-trimester abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation, although doctors say the procedure is the safest for women. On another front, Texas is trying to kick Planned Parenthood out as a qualified Medicaid provider for non-abortion related health care services for low-income people. All three cases are awaiting action in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

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