Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:37 am
A handful of clinics in Texas have closed, or are planning to, just weeks after a controversial bill restricting abortions passed the state legislature.
Planned Parenthood says the closures will hurt the women who came to the clinics for general healthcare services. Anti-abortion groups say there are other doctors for the women to go to. So who's right?
Update (4:30) Both sides of the abortion issue were shocked after the State Health Services Council failed to vote on rules attached to the new law requiring clinics performing abortions to adhere to a new set of facility requirements.
"This was very unusual and unexpected and hasn’t happened for us in recent history as far as we can recall," said Carrie Williams with Texas State Health Services.
Though there was no vote taken, this will not prevent the law from taking effect.
Update: Gov. Perry is set to sign HB 2 in a ceremony this morning, July 18, at 9:30 at the state capitol.
Original Post: Thus far, no lawsuit against the State of Texas has been filed -- that would only come after Gov. Rick Perry signs the bill into law -- but even after the governor signs it, Terri Burke, the executive director the ACLU of Texas, said a lawsuit wouldn't be filed until 90 days later.
House Democrats stalled a vote on a set of abortion bills as long as they could this past weekend, forcing House Republicans to sit through dozens of amendments that ranged from changing the language of the bill to tactics that would have killed the legislation.
At just after 3 a.m. on Saturday, the House took a second reading vote on all abortion measures, which passed.
Planned Parenthood is headed back to court later this month over a 2011 law that excludes the group from being listed and funded by the state-run Texas Women’s Health Program.
In 2011 lawmakers at the state capitol along with Gov. Rick Perry set in place the laws that created the state-run Texas Women’s Health Program, which excluded groups like Planned Parenthood from being listed as a provider of women’s health because of their connection to abortion.
The state of Texas launched its Women’s Health Program this week. Texas is funding the program on its own because the federal government pulled money after the state blocked Planned Parenthood from participating.