Though the number of anti-choice laws enacted in states across the United States fell to 27 last year, from 52 in 2013, the country still deserves an overall “D” grade for access to abortion services, according to a report released Wednesday by NARAL Pro-Choice America.
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.
The regulatory process set in motion by the vote can take up to two years to complete, but could result in the effective reversal of the law, which threatens to close the state’s 18 abortion clinics.
Wednesday’s ruling declared a 2013 law that requires all abortion clinics meet the same architectural requirements as surgical centers unconstitutionally singled out a Lafayette clinic for closure.
Cincinnati is a metropolitan area of more than two million residents, and if state Republicans get their way, it will become the nation’s largest urban area without a single abortion clinic.
Following the passage last week of Amendment 1, the Republican-dominated Tennessee legislature will move forward with anti-choice laws as soon as possible, a state GOP lawmaker said.
In two separate orders, the state’s highest court blocked new hospital admitting privileges requirements and restrictions on medication abortions from taking effect while trials challenging their legality proceed.