Abortion

Politics Makes Abortion Training In Texas Difficult

Jun 21, 2016

Every year, more than 100 new obstetrician-gynecologists graduate from a Texas residency program and enter the medical workforce. Theoretically, all have had the opportunity during their four years of residency to learn about what's called "induced abortion" — named that to distinguish it from a miscarriage. But the closure of abortion clinics in Texas — more than 20 since 2013 — has made that training increasingly difficult.

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Ryan E. Poppe

Even though no clinics in Texas collect fetal tissue during an abortion to donate to research groups and medical schools, it hasn’t stopped state lawmakers from examining the state laws and procedures concerning the issue.

Jennifer Allmon is an associate director with the Texas Catholic Conference and was asked by the House Committee on State Affairs to address the issue at Thursday’s hearing.

Donald Trump said women who undergo abortions should be punished if the procedure is made illegal. In an interview for a town hall meeting to air on MSNBC Wednesday night, Trump said "there has to be some form of punishment" for women.

While most Republican officeholders and candidates oppose abortion rights, few have publicly stated positions on whether there should be legal penalties for women who have abortions. Most believe it is the physicians who perform them who should be prosecuted.

The fate of the controversial Texas abortion law is in the hands of the Supreme Court, and a decision isn't expected before June. But how this particular law reached the high court and how its opponents have gathered evidence to strike it down represent fresh twists in an acrimonious national debate stretching back to the 1970s.

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