January started off with conservatives across the country focusing legislative efforts on—what else—curbing abortion rights.
The 84th Texas Legislature convened this week, with a new batch of lawmakers, lobbyists, and elected officials poised to defend some of Texans’ most cherished freedoms: baked goods and the public possession of unlicensed handguns.
RH Reality Check Senior Political Reporter Andrea Grimes interviews reproductive justice activists from Texas’ Rio Grande Valley who traveled to New Orleans this week to witness the proceedings at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law, HB 2.
At stake is the question of whether Texas’ remaining legal abortion clinics—16 currently operate in the state, down from 41 a little more than 18 months ago—will be allowed to stay open without making costly renovations or leasing new facilities to comply with hospital-like standards imposed by state lawmakers in 2013.
Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion access law, which in part requires abortion providers to operate as mini-hospitals, will return to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals this week.
The emails show Texas’ key consultant putting words into the mouths of the state’s so-called expert witnesses, attempting to persuade them to selectively exclude data that did not match his anti-choice bias, and, in one case, walking extremely close to the line of outright ghostwriting what were supposed to be independent reports.
Staff members at the last remaining legal abortion clinic in the Rio Grande Valley have been repeatedly left without a job in the wake of flip-flopping court decisions.
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 series of orders from the Roberts Court in both voting and abortion rights cases is setting the stage for a future battle over the role of the federal courts in checking lawmaker bias.
“Tomorrow, thirteen clinics across the state will be allowed to reopen and provide women with safe and legal abortion care in their own communities,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, in a statement following the ruling.