The last two abortion clinics in Texas' Rio Grande Valley along the Mexican border are closing today. New restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature last year require that doctors at abortion clinics obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Well, many hospitals have been reluctant to grant those privileges, and as NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports, today's closures have women's health advocates concerned.
The last remaining abortion clinic in the Rio Grande Valley closed its doors this week as a result of House Bill 2, the abortion clinic restriction law passed by the legislature during 2013’s special session.
The Department of State Health Services announced Friday the closure of a women’s health care clinic in Houston that performed abortions in violation of the state's new restrictions for such facilities.
According to records obtained from Texas Medical Board, Dr. Theodore M. Herring Jr. performed 268 abortions at A Affordable Women's Medical Center between Nov. 6, 2013 and Feb. 7, 2014 without admitting rights at a nearby hospital, a restriction now required under the new Texas abortion law.
The medical board has also revoked Herring's medical license.
During his appearance at the Rally for Life event at the state capitol this morning, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott took the opportunity to criticize Wendy Davis, his likely opponent in the general election, and her supporters.
Abbott made sure to emphasize recent remarks allegedly made by Battleground Texas organizers about his disability.
The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a case testing the constitutionality of buffer zones at abortion clinics.
Fourteen years ago, the court upheld Colorado's 8-foot "floating" buffer zones around individuals to protect patients and staff entering and exiting these clinics. Since then, buffer zones have prevented demonstrators from closely approaching patients and staff without permission.
But the issue is back before a different and more conservative Supreme Court.
A new class of restrictive abortion laws, passed in recent years in a swath of states, hinges on the argument that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation.
But the fetal pain assertion, viewed skeptically by many scientists, hit a bump Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a lower court ruling striking down an Arizona law that criminalized abortions at 20 weeks.
The state's ban asserted that "unborn children feel pain during an abortion at that gestational age." Federal courts last year also blocked similar "fetal pain" laws in Idaho and Georgia.
Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 1:28 pm
Pope Francis, criticized by some conservative Catholics as not speaking out forcefully against abortion, said Monday that the practice is "horrific" and evidence of "the throwaway culture."
In an annual speech known as the pontiff's "State of the World" address, Francis told diplomats and journalists gathered at the Holy See that it "is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day."
Hunger, he said, is a threat to world peace, noting that food, like human life, is being discarded as unnecessary.
"The justices on Monday declined to reconsider a lower court ruling that the law violates a woman's constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy before a fetus is able to survive outside the womb.