A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a controversial state law requiring nearly all Texas facilities that perform abortions to operate like hospital-style surgical centers.

If the ruling stands, abortion providers say another dozen could close in the next few weeks. They say that would leave nearly a million women at least 150 miles from the nearest abortion provider.

Since the law first passed in 2013, about half the state's 40 clinics have shut down.

Ryan E. Poppe

A panel of judges at the US 5th Circuit Court has upheld most of the restrictions contained within Texas’ 2013 controversial abortion law, but this is not the end of the road for clinics that have sued the State of Texas.

Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

WASHINGTON — Republicans finally won House approval Wednesday for a late-term abortion ban after dropping rape provisions that provoked a rebellion by female GOP lawmakers, forcing party leaders into an embarrassing retreat.

As with the original bill, the new measure permits abortions for minors who were victims of incest — if the assault is reported to police or government agencies serving targets of child abuse. It allows no exemption for adult victims of incest.

The near party-line 242-184 vote was a victory for abortion opponents and a relief for top Republicans. Yet the path to passage took months of negotiations among anti-abortion groups, female lawmakers and party leaders, underscoring how tough it will be for the GOP to satisfy abortion foes while retaining support from women voters for next year’s elections.

Texas House Votes To Restrict Court-Ordered Teen Abortions

May 14, 2015
David Martin Davies / TPR News

AUSTIN — After a long and at times heated late-night debate, the Texas House on Wednesday approved a proposal that would severely tighten restrictions on a process that enables teens to have abortions in extreme cases when they can’t get the required parental consent.

Victoria Republican Rep. Geanie Morrison said her measure is intended to “improve protection of the minor girl and ensure that parental rights are protected.”

The law governing the so-called judicial bypass process had gone untouched since becoming statute in 1999, but it has been targeted by anti-abortion groups during the current legislative session, which ends June 1. Under the law, girls younger than 18 may get a judge’s permission to have an abortion without telling their parents if they meet certain strict criteria.

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AUSTIN — Abortion is again seizing the spotlight at the Texas Capitol — but largely only in small doses that haven’t drawn the kind of heated debate and high emotion that dominated last session.

The House heard minimal discussion Wednesday before voting to mandate that abortion clinic personnel undergo training to prevent human and sex trafficking. The idea is that workers will better be able to spot it if any of their patients became pregnant after being forced into the sex trade.