With Attorney General Greg Abbott now advising the Texas National Guard about the legal side of their refusal to process federal same-sex couple benefits, a group of House Democrats are urging Maj. Gen. John Nichols, the head of the Texas National Guard, to rescind his decision and start processing the benefits.
But the issue is more complex than you might imagine.
The Democratic Caucus in the Texas Senate has submitted a letter to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst requesting that lawmakers be allowed to study how family planning and better women’s health services could help reduce the number of abortions.
The Democratic Caucus wants to know how much actual funding goes into women’s healthcare and family planning.
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, said a study of these issues leading up to the next legislative session would reduce unplanned pregnancies and the need for abortions.
Thousands of people swarmed to the state capitol to cheer on state lawmakers on both sides of the abortion debate, and what some thought would be mayhem turned out to be a peaceful but loud rally both inside and outside the capitol.
Mounted police in riot gear watched over the crowds at the rally, but were not needed after all.
Inside, pro-life groups sang "Amazing Grace" over and over, following a press conference from mothers who had had an abortion that went wrong and who now wanted more restrictions for abortion providers.
Texas Matters: The battle over abortion hit a boiling point in Texas this week and it all started with a 13-hour filibuster attempt by Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, which was cut short, continued with Sen. Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio challenging the Republican (male) dominance of the floor, which finally pushed the room into a frenzy with one ruckus crowd of supporters. This did not sit well with the governor.
Parents, students and several lawmakers crowded into the governor's press room to witness Gov. Rick Perry signing legislation into law that changes the state’s public education system.
While there were a handful of bills on hand, the one that stood out most was a bill that reduces the number of high-stakes exams students are required to take from the current 15 standardized tests down to five.