Legal Wrap: Reproductive Rights Groups Continue to Challenge HB 2


Legal Wrap is a weekly round-up of key legal reproductive rights and justice news.

After a devastating decision from the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upholding two provisions of Texas’ anti-abortion law, HB 2, including the requirement that doctors who provide abortions have admitting privileges at a local hospital and restrictions on medication abortion, reproductive health-care advocates filed a new lawsuit challenging the portion of the law that requires abortion providers to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers.

Now that a federal appeals court has allowed the State of Kansas to strip Planned Parenthood of family planning dollars, anti-choice lawmakers want the reproductive health-care provider to pay the state’s legal fees for the appeal as well.

A federal judge ruled that Ohio must recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state. The ruling doesn’t go so far as to require Ohio to allow same-sex marriages in the state, but it is another important victory in the marriage equality cause.

Indiana is the latest state to try and restrict private insurance companies from covering abortion care.

Alabama lawmakers want to make it harder for minors to access abortion care.

Meanwhile, a federal judge set a May 19 trial date in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Alabama’s hospital admitting privileges law.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a temporary emergency injunction blocking a lower court’s order that allowed severe new restrictions on medication abortion in Arizona to take effect.

Reproductive justice advocates issued this thoughtful, powerful response to those new calls questioning the sterilization consent requirement under Medicaid.

West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a bill that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks in the state.

But go ahead and add Mississippi to the list of states advancing 20-week abortion bans.

Louisiana, on the other hand, borrowed from Texas and advanced its own omnibus bill packed with abortion-related restrictions.

In South Dakota, Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed a bill that outlaws sex-selective abortions after lawmakers claimed the practice is a problem in the state, due in part to an influx of Asian immigrants.

Missouri Republicans showed there’s nothing “pro-life” about being anti-abortion, as lawmakers there introduced dozens of abortion-related restrictions while rejecting the much-needed Medicaid expansion for low-income residents of the state.

On a positive note, a judge dismissed the “depraved heart” murder charge against Rennie Gibbs, the young Mississippi woman who faced life in prison after delivering a stillborn baby. Now, let’s hope prosecutors come to their senses and abandon plans to try and re-indict Gibbs.

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