Ryan E. Poppe

An abortion rights group representing clinics in Texas has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take up its lawsuit against the state's admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center laws.  Nancy Northup with the Center for Reproductive Rights said it’s clear the state’s 2013 law was intended to close clinics.

Saying that he wants to emphasize mercy, Pope Francis announced that during the church's upcoming holy year, he will allow all priests to forgive women who have had abortions.

In a letter published Tuesday, Francis said he understands that some people approach abortions with "superficial awareness." But for others, it's a struggle that deserves deep reflection. The pontiff concludes:

The scene in front of clinics where abortions are performed is often tense, with clinic workers escorting patients past activists waving signs and taking photographs.

But increasingly, another drama is unfolding out back. There, abortion opponents dig through the trash in search of patient information.

From Texas Standard:

Planned Parenthood is under scrutiny over their alleged involvement in fetal tissue research. The Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, has now released three different secretly recorded videos of Planned Parenthood employees discussing fetal tissue. While the videos don’t provide any concrete evidence that Planned Parenthood is illegally profiting from fetal tissue donation, critics say the video certainly raises questions about how fetal tissue donation is done.

Planned Parenthood

In a letter, Planned Parenthood of Texas rejected a senate committee’s invitation to share details about whether or not any of their clinics are profiting from the sale of fetal tissue samples.  The emergency hearing was part of an on-going legislative investigation regarding a series of undercover videos featuring Planned Parenthood executives discussing the issue.