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Posts Tagged ‘abortion’

The next abortion lawsuit should be on its way

We were warned it would need to happen. Despite intense outcry from the medical community, reproductive rights advocates and funeral directors, Texas isn’t budging on a proposed rule to require the cremation or burial of fetal remains. Following an initial public comment period that sparked medical concerns and a legal threat, Texas health officials have […]

Auditor asked to investigate Heidi Group health care grant

Good. The left-leaning nonprofit Progress Texas is asking the state auditor’s office to investigate a $1.6 million state contract awarded to an anti-abortion group under the state’s new Healthy Texas Women program. […] The Heidi Group does not currently provide medical services or employ medical staff, but founder Carol Everett has said that her group […]

Texas finds a new way to be hostile to women’s health

I feel like it must be someone’s job somewhere to come up with stuff like this. A group led by an anti-abortion advocate appears to be one of the largest recipients of state funding from the “Healthy Texas Women” program, which lawmakers recently created to help women find health care services paid for by the […]

More on the “fetal remains” rule change

It’s stupid, harmful, unnecessary, expensive, and almost certainly in violation of the SCOTUS ruling in Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt. But other than that, no biggie. In the aftermath of a car accident in 2014, Denee Booker was told by her doctor that the child she was carrying had died in utero. To avoid complications, […]

Get ready for the next abortion lawsuit

Expect it in a couple of months. Texas’ proposed rules requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains “will almost certainly trigger costly litigation,” reproductive rights lawyers say. In a letter to the Texas Department of State Health Services, lawyers with the Center for Reproductive Rights on Monday argued that the new rules — proposed at […]

If we can’t ban it, we’ll BS about it

The “it” in question is of course abortion, with the state of Texas lying to women about its effects and risks. Death and infertility were just two of the risks a doctor described to Kryston Skinner when she chose to have an abortion last year. The 23-year-old knew it wasn’t the right time for her […]

Harris County DA drops charges against video fraudsters

Disappointing, to say the least. Criminal charges against the anti-abortion activists behind undercover recordings of a Houston Planned Parenthood facility were dismissed Tuesday. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the videographers who infiltrated Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, had been charged with tampering with a governmental record, a second-degree felony charge that carries up to 20 years […]

What next for voter ID?

Rick Hasen, writing in Slate: The trial court was ready to throw out the entire law, but the 5th Circuit said such a remedy went too far. The court held that when a trial court finds a law has a discriminatory effect under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, it has to keep as […]

State finally releases abortion data

It’s exactly what you’d expect. The Texas Department of State Health Services has released the state’s 2014 abortion data after weeks of allegationsthat the agency had been intentionally withholding the numbers. The 2014 data is significant because it is the first year to reflect the impact of Texas’ anti-abortion law, House Bill 2, on abortion […]

Wendy Davis takes a victory lap

As well she should. Wendy Davis, the woman whose 11-hour filibuster focused national attention on Texas’ efforts to restrict abortion access in 2013, celebrated Monday when the Supreme Court ruled that the state law was unconstitutional. “I’m overjoyed,” Davis said in an interview with MSNBC. “I have to tell you, I was fighting back tears […]

SCOTUS strikes down HB2

Hallelujah. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed Texas abortion providers a major victory by overturning Texas’ 2013 abortion restrictions. On a 5-3 vote, the high court overturned restrictions passed as part of House Bill 2 in 2013 that required all Texas facilities that perform abortions to meet hospital-like standards — which include minimum sizes […]

Where’s the abortion data?

The ACLU would like to know. With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to decide the biggest abortion case in nearly a decade, the ACLU of Texas is demanding that the Department of State Health Services “stop concealing” abortion statistics for 2014 and make the information public. In a letter sent Wednesday to department Commissioner John […]

Misdemeanor charge dropped against video fraudster Daleiden

Just the misdemeanor charge, not the felony. A Harris County judge has dropped one of the criminal charges against an anti-abortion activist who was indicted after making undercover recordings of a Houston Planned Parenthood facility. David Daleiden, one of the videographers who infiltrated Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, had been charged with the very crime he […]

Just waiting on SCOTUS’ HB2 ruling

We’ll know by the end of the month, one way or the other. In the next few weeks the U.S. Supreme Court, in one of the most significant reproductive rights cases in more than two decades, is expected to determine the future of abortion access in Texas and possibly for other states across the country. […]

SCOTUS punts on birth control lawsuit

Wow. Zubik v. Burwell was supposed to be an epic showdown over the power of religious objectors to limit the rights of others. A sequel to the Court’s 2014 decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Zubik involved regulations expanding women’s access to birth control that the conservative justices appeared to endorse in Hobby Lobby — even […]

Use of abortion pill rises

Until the Lege reconvenes, anyway. There’s been a sharp increase in the number of Texas women who are using the abortion pill to end their pregnancies now that federal officials have eased restrictions on the drug, according to officials at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas. Until recently, the number of women seeking medically induced abortions […]

Video fraudsters to go to trial

All righty then. David Robert Daleiden, 27, and his colleague, Sandra Susan Merritt, 63, both of California, have rejected a plea deal that would have effectively put an end to the criminal charges against them, their lawyers confirmed Friday. “I don’t advise my clients to accept responsibility for cases that they haven’t done anything wrong […]

It’s a conspiracy!

Oh, noes! Planned Parenthood is in cahoots with the Harris County DA! Run for your lives! The anti-abortion activist accused of falsifying records to secretly videotape Planned Parenthood officials in Houston is accusing the Harris County district attorney’s office of illegally colluding with the nonprofit. The allegations were raised in court documents filed Thursday seeking […]

More troubles for the Planned Parenthood video fraudsters

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. Investigators with the California Department of Justice on Tuesday raided the home of David Daleiden, the anti-abortion activist behind a series of undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood, the activist said. Authorities seized a laptop and multiple hard drives from his Orange County apartment, Daleiden said in an email. The […]

FDA makes medical abortion safer

Good news, at least until the Legislature reconvenes. Texas women will be able to obtain medical abortions later into their pregnancies under newly approved changes by the federal Food and Drug Administration. The FDA on Wednesday announced revised rules for drug-induced abortions — a method used early in a pregnancy — that will increase the […]

Local Planned Parenthood joins lawsuit against the video fraudsters

Good. A Texas-based Planned Parenthood affiliate on Thursday moved to join a federal lawsuit filed in California against the anti-abortion group behind undercover videos of the organization’s clinics. The lawsuit, filed in a San Francisco-based federal court in January, alleges the Center for Medical Progress engaged in conspiracy, fraud and other activities that violate organized […]

Once more with SCOTUS and birth control

Here we go. In another major case concerning Texas women’s reproductive care, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday will consider if the right to religious freedom is broad enough to completely exempt nonprofits with religious objections to birth control from providing women access to it through their insurance plans. The case, formally known as Zubik […]

The New Mexico abortion option

This should come as a surprise to no one. Though abortions among residents are down the number of out-of-state women traveling to New Mexico for abortions has grown significantly over the past three years. According to state Department of Health data, about 20 percent of the roughly 4,500 abortions performed in New Mexico in 2014 […]

How much more “undue” does it need to be?

HB2 is doing exactly what it was intended to do. A new report released Thursday shows Texas abortion patients traveled farther for services and experienced higher out-of-pocket costs following the closure of more than half of the state’s legal abortion providers in 2014. The closures came after the implementation of parts of Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion […]

SCOTUS also blocks Louisiana anti-abortion law for now

Forgot to note this over the weekend. The Supreme Court handed down a brief order Friday allowing four Louisiana abortion clinics to reopen after they were closed due to a recent decision by a conservative federal appeals court. Last week, an especially conservative panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit […]

Oral arguments before SCOTUS on HB2

From Texas Monthly: It’s been a circuitous journey for HB2, the omnibus abortion bill the Texas Legislature passed 2013. Suits have been filed, the law has been overturned, appeals have been made. A collection of Texas abortion clinics, led by Whole Woman’s Health, filed the most debated lawsuit, which is aimed the broader provisions of […]

SCOTUS to hear HB2 oral arguments

It’s the big one. Before Wendy Davis took to the floor of the Texas Senate for an 11-hour filibuster that ultimately failed to stop sweeping new restrictions on abortion, there was Casey. Shorthand for Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court case reaffirmed a woman’s right to an abortion but gave states more […]

The Scalia effect on current cases

The Trib highlights a few cases pending before the Supreme Court that could be affected by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Texas abortion law On March 2, the court will hear oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, which challenges Texas’ 2013 abortion law. Beyond deciding the constitutionality of a law that could […]

Federal judge smacks video fraudsters

That’s gonna leave a mark. In a sharp rebuke, a federal judge on Friday issued a preliminary injunction ordering abortion opponents not to release videos they had secretly made at meetings of abortion providers, and he added that the opponents’ claims that such organizations were illegally selling fetal tissue were baseless. In the ruling, Judge […]

Video fraudsters offered probation

First the one, on Wednesday. A California woman charged last week for her role in the production of undercover videos at a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic will be offered probation, a Harris County prosecutor said in court. Sandra Susan Merritt, of San Jose, Calif., appeared in court Wednesday morning on charges of tampering with a […]

How the tables got turned on the video fraudsters

A must read. Planned Parenthood’s legal strategy was in some ways similar to how corporations facing major white-collar criminal investigations often cooperate closely with prosecutors to try to influence the outcome. From the start, Planned Parenthood and its Houston lawyer Josh Schaffer settled on a strategy of cooperating with investigators, said Rochelle Tafolla, a spokeswoman […]

Grand jury indicts Planned Parenthood video fraudsters

Sweet. A Harris County grand jury investigating allegations that a Planned Parenthood clinic in Houston illegally sold the tissue of aborted fetuses has cleared the organization of wrongdoing and instead indicted two anti-abortion activists behind the undercover videos that sparked the probe. Secret videographers David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were both indicted on charges of […]

Planned Parenthood sues over those anti-abortion sting videos

Game on, indeed. Planned Parenthood is suing the people behind the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), the anti-abortion group that released a series of misleading videos this summer claiming that the women’s health organization sells fetal tissue for profit. “The people behind this fraud lied and broke the law in order to spread malicious lies […]

Two abortion stories

The amicus briefs are being filed in the HB2 case. The Obama administration on Monday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a Texas abortion law that has shuttered nearly half the clinics in the state, saying the Republican-backed regulations would harm rather than protect women’s health. […] If allowed to take full effect, […]