January started off with conservatives across the country focusing legislative efforts on—what else—curbing abortion rights.
The legislation targets a procedure called dilation and evacuation (D and E), which is often used during second-trimester abortions. Depending on the language of the bill, it could ban all surgical abortions in the state past 14 weeks’ gestation, or even earlier.
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.
If anti-choicers truly cared about women to the degree they claim, surely they would treat abortion procedures just like any other reproductive health need—and leave decisions about safety and comfort up to women and their doctors.
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.
Why are states continuing to pass abortion restrictions based partly on erroneous theories that abortion harms women? And why are state attorneys general calling as expert witnesses some of the very people who proffered these spurious notions to state legislatures in the first place?
South Carolina lawmakers, in their first opportunity to pre-file bills ahead of the 2015-2016 legislative session, last week submitted at least eight anti-choice bills to be taken up next year, featuring an array of radical abortion restrictions pushed by anti-choice legislators across the country.