Dozens of college students and reproductive justice activists met with lawmakers in Austin Thursday morning, asking them to support comprehensive sex ed, increase access to legal abortion care, and give doctors more leeway to make medically sound decisions about their patients.
Democratic Texas lawmakers who have proposed a handful of new reproductive rights bills said Thursday that they know they have an uphill legislative battle, but that they refused to back down while anti-choice Republicans push for more restrictions on abortion care, sex education and reproductive health access.
Texas’ penal code explicitly exempts pregnant individuals from being punished for harming their own fetuses. But that hasn’t stopped prosecutors from charging them with child endangerment for using drugs while pregnant.
A little more than half of the Texas abortion clinics that were forced to shutter earlier this month have reopened for legal abortion services following a Supreme Court ruling handed down Tuesday.
Attorneys for the State of Texas told the Roberts Court that closing all but eight clinics in the state is an “inconvenience” but not an undue burden on abortion rights.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans announced Thursday that it would deny Texas abortion providers’ request for the entire court to re-hear a year-old challenge to the state’s omnibus anti-abortion law.
A West Texas abortion provider could face disciplinary consequences for following the mistaken advice of the Texas Department of State Health Services, which wrongly informed Hilltop Women’s Reproductive Clinic over the weekend that it was exempt from the state’s omnibus anti-abortion law.
On Friday, a panel of judges from the Fifth Circuit will consider whether the State of Texas should be allowed to immediately enforce the provision of HB 2 requiring abortion facilities in the state to meet the building requirements of ambulatory surgical centers.
Without the court’s injunction, HB 2 could have reduced the number of Texas abortion providers to eight.
In a matter of days, five of Texas’ eight legal abortion providers will operate under the Planned Parenthood banner, a special irony in light of state lawmakers’ professed hatred for the provider.