With final arguments and questioning now complete, it is now up to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court in New Orleans to decide whether or not the new Texas abortion clinic restriction law is constitutional.
Kyleen Wright, who is the president of the anti-abortion group Texans for Life, was inside the courtroom in New Orleans and said based on the questions federal judges had, the law, in her opinion, stands a good chance of being upheld.
"They were very skeptical that this ever rose to the level of emergency that they created," Wright said.
From beer bills and a kumbaya legislative sessions to abortion bills and protests, Texas Public Radio takes a look back at some of 2013 legislative highlights.
The 83rd Legislature had several phases, the first of which was what has been commonly called the Texas lawmakers "kumbaya" session, where Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, was able to pass legislation with bipartisan support for a bill that gives Texas beer makers an opportunity to sell their craft beyond their brew pubs.
Abortion rights activists are working on a counterattack to the 200 bills that have passed in states across the U.S. since 2010.
In the past three years, Republican-led legislatures have backed bills to regulate abortions and the doctors and clinics that perform them.
Bills to ban abortions at 20 weeks are among the laws that cropped up three years ago and have now passed in about a dozen states. This year, North Dakota pushed to end abortions at around six weeks of pregnancy.
Less than a week after the start of the New Year, attorneys for abortions rights groups and attorneys with the Texas attorney general’s office will once again face off in the case arguing the merits of Texas’ new abortion law and its constitutionality.
Esha Bhandari, an attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, said late last week they made their arguments against the new abortion restrictions to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to spend some time today talking about issues in health, particularly in the developing world. Later, we're going to hear what it's like to be a trauma doctor in one of Africa's most populous and, yet, still underserved areas. And, hint, her house calls involve a helicopter. That's just ahead.
Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 5:33 pm
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block abortion restrictions that are included in a new Texas law that was enacted after vigorous debate this year. The law is the subject of an ongoing legal battle.
Texas officials have defended the law in lower federal courts, with Planned Parenthood and other opponents winning an initial victory that was overturned days later by a U.S. Court of Appeals.
Attorneys for a group of abortion rights groups and clinics have asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency order to overturn the ruling by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court, which overturned an initial decision on parts of Texas' new abortion restriction law and allowed those restrictions to take immediate effect.
The ruling by the Fifth Circuit allowed two restrictions to take effect: Doctors at clinics performing abortions must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, and doctors must provide patients with FDA guidelines when prescribing the abortion drug RU-486.