Abortion

Wendy Davis for Governor

AUSTIN — The battle over abortion in Texas returned to the floor where Democrat Wendy Davis staged a nearly 13-hour filibuster as the Senate on Tuesday approved eliminating coverage for the procedure under plans purchased through the federal marketplace.

The measure is not unique: More than two dozen states already have similar bans for coverage obtained through the Affordable Care Act, and abortion-rights groups have expressed surprise that Texas isn’t on that list already.

But it was notably the first bill related to abortion — a quiet issue so far in Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s first legislative session — that the Republican-controlled Senate has passed since Davis’ filibuster in 2013 catapulted her to national stardom and her supporters packed the Capitol.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas lawmaker is scrapping his effort to reveal the names of judges who permit teens to have abortions if they can’t get the required consent from their parents, in favor of an even stricter measure.

Carrollton Republican Rep. Ron Simmons’ legislative director Zach Flores said “ongoing conversations” led him to pull his proposal from a Wednesday committee hearing. State law for years has allowed judges to grant abortions to girls younger than 18 in extreme cases, but the law also mandates that most information on the cases remain confidential.

Texas Considers More Abortion Limits After Clinic Closures

Apr 29, 2015
David Martin Davies / TPR News

AUSTIN — Two years after Texas adopted sweeping abortion restrictions despite Wendy Davis’ star-making filibuster, Republicans are pushing a smaller encore of additional limits for new Gov. Greg Abbott to sign within the next month.

New battlegrounds over abortion access for minors and insurance don’t pack the same impact of a 2013 measure that would leave as few as eight abortion facilities in Texas if a federal appeals court upholds stringent new clinic standards. That decision is potentially still weeks out.

But while other conservative states such as Kansas and Tennessee have moved to the front line of national abortion politics, Texas Republicans are signaling they are far from finished. One bill up for discussion Wednesday would hold doctors or counselors criminally liable if they were found to have coerced a woman into ending a pregnancy. It was proposed by a first-term Republican who says she was pressured into an abortion as a teenager.

Ryan E. Poppe

A Senate committee at the State Capitol has taken up a bill that would allow Texas to opt out of coverage for abortions under insurance plans purchased through the Affordable Care Act, but some members of the Senate State Affairs Committee see the bill as an effort to make abortions uninsurable.

Heated Abortion Debate In Texas House Affects Health Agency Bill

Apr 24, 2015
Wikipedia Commons

Debate on legislation to re-evaluate a state health agency morphed into a fight over abortion in the Texas House on Thursday, and the bill was pulled down after a pair of anti-abortion amendments were added to the bill over the author’s objections. 

The amendments, authored by state Rep. Matt Schaefer, R-Tyler, included one that would ban abortions of fetuses with genetic abnormalities after 20 weeks. Democrats and the bill’s author, state Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo, had objected, complaining the amendments weren’t relevant to the bill. 

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