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Posts Tagged ‘Texas Department of State Health Services’

Making vaccination information public

I support this. While most parents in Texas vaccinate their children, the number of parents opting out of immunizations for non-medical reasons is on the rise. Since Texas changed its laws to allow parents to opt out citing a conscientious objection, the number of unvaccinated children has shot up more than 1,700 percent in 13 […]

House hears “fetal remains” bill

Seriously? [House Bill 35] would create a registry of organizations that can help pay for burial or cremation of fetal remains. That way, the cost associated with burials would not fall on women, [bill author Rep. Byron] Cook said. The measure would not apply to miscarriages that happen at home. “Let me be clear: this […]

“Fetal remains” rule blocked

Good. U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks ruled Texas cannot require health providers to bury or cremate fetuses, delivering another blow to state leaders in the reproductive rights debate. On Friday afternoon, Sparks wrote in his ruling that Texas Department of State Health Services’ fetal remains burial rule’s vagueness, undue burden and potential for irreparable […]

SB6 will hurt people

It will hurt transgender people, who despite what Dan Patrick would have you think, are people like you and me. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has said his so-called bathroom bill isn’t discriminatory because transgender people can update their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity. However, statistics obtained by the Observer from the Department of […]

“Fetal remains” rule still on hold

Take all the time you need. As he considers a final ruling on the state’s fetal remains burial rule, U.S. District Court Judge Sam Sparks is delaying the start date of the rule for at least another three weeks. On Wednesday afternoon, after attorneys for the state of Texas and the Center for Reproductive Rights […]

The religious objection to the “fetal remains” rule

It may not be your religion, but who are we to tell people of sincere religious faith what to do? “The Satanic Temple believes burial rites are a well-established component of religious practice. In addition, members of The Satanic Temple believe in the inviolability of the body and, as such, these rules contradict our fundamental […]

“Fetal remains” rule put on hold

Good. A federal judge has delayed Texas’ fetal remains burial rule until Jan. 6. Judge Sam Sparks ruled Thursday afternoon that the Texas Department of State Health Services would have to push back its start date for requiring health providers to bury or cremate aborted fetuses. The agency had originally slated the rule to go […]

“Fetal remains” lawsuit filed

As expected. Today the Center for Reproductive Rights filed new litigation against the state of Texas over unconstitutional new regulations that mandate the burial or cremation of embryonic and fetal tissue that results from abortions, miscarriages, or ectopic pregnancy surgery – regardless of the woman’s personal wishes or beliefs. The politically-motivated rules are designed to […]

“Fetal remains” lawsuit in the works

Get ready. Health providers and abortion clinics have less than two weeks to figure out how to comply with Texas’ new fetal remains rules — that is, if a lawsuit doesn’t halt the process first. Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder of abortion provider Whole Woman’s Health, said she is working with the Center for Reproductive Rights […]

The costs of the “fetal remains” rule

This is going to cost a lot of people a lot of money. State health officials have contended that the “minimum costs in complying with the rules” would total $450 a year per health care facility, arguing that those costs would be offset by the elimination of the cost of landfill disposition. But Michael Land, […]

“Fetal remains” rule goes into effect

Cue up that next lawsuit. Texas’ proposed rules requiring the cremation or burial of fetal remains will take effect Dec. 19, according to state health officials. Despite intense outcry from the medical community and reproductive rights advocates, the state will prohibit hospitals, abortion clinics and other health care facilities from disposing of fetal remains in […]

We’re going to be fighting about vaccinations for a while

I wish it weren’t so, but it is. Texas is one of 18 states that allow non-medical exemptions to the vaccines required for school attendance. California had a similar law allowing non-medical exemptions, until last year when it enacted a law that has one of the strictest requirements in the country after a 2014 outbreak of measles traced […]

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 […]

Black women face much higher risk of pregnancy-related death in Texas

Any time you’re being compared to a third world country, it’s not a good thing. Black women bear the greatest risk for pregnancy-related death in Texas by far, according to a much-awaited new report, commissioned because the state rate resembles that of many Third World countries. The report, which follows the publication of a national […]

Too many kids are not getting vaccinated

We let this happen, thanks to the fervor of a vocal minority. The number of Texans who exempt their children from vaccination for non-medical reasons rose nearly 9 percent last school year, continuing a now 12-year-long trend that public health officials worry could eventually leave communities vulnerable to outbreaks of preventable diseases. The new numbers […]

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 […]

State settles birth certificate lawsuit

Good. After undergoing mediation, the state of Texas has reached an agreement with undocumented families in a lawsuit over its denial to issue birth certificates to children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants. The state will clarify and expand the types of secondary forms undocumented immigrants can use to prove their identity, according to […]

First baby affected by Zika born in Texas

Won’t be the last, unfortunately. A baby boy born with microcephaly in Harris County is the first Zika-affected infant in Texas, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced Wednesday. The baby’s mother contracted Zika in Colombia, and the baby was infected in the womb, according Umair Shah, executive director of Harris County Public Health. […]

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 […]

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 […]

What do you get when you cut off funds for HIV testing?

You get no HIV testing, of course. When Texas abruptly ended its $600,000 HIV prevention contract with Planned Parenthood’s Houston affiliate in late December, state health officials promisedthat there would be no interruption in services. The Department of State Health Services parceled the money out to three county health departments in the Houston area and […]

Another look at AirBnB

Interesting. The hotel industry is starting to object. On Wednesday, a report funded by a national trade group claimed some Airbnb hosts function illegally and operate essentially as full-time hotels without the same health and safety oversight. It also says they can reduce the number of affordable options for full-time renters. The home-rental site has […]

Transgender people can now get correct birth certificates

Excellent news. Last week, Texas began giving trans people the option of sealing their old birth certificates and issuing new ones, according to Dallas attorney Katie Sprinkle. Previously, Texas issued amended certificates and those were only issued with a surgeon’s letter. Now, Texas is sealing old records and issuing new birth certificates with a court […]

State cuts off funds to Planned Parenthood for HIV testing

Seriously? Amid an ongoing battle over Planned Parenthood’s participation in the state Medicaid program, Texas health officials are cutting off funding to a Planned Parenthood affiliate for an HIV prevention program. In a notice received by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast late Monday, an official with the Department of State Health Services informed the Houston-based provider […]

Birth certificate denials only started happening recently

Funny how these things work, isn’t it? Texas has for seven years said it won’t accept Mexican identification cards when issuing birth certificates for children of people in the United States illegally. But it doesn’t appear to have stepped up enforcement until recently, amid mounting political pressure to get tougher on immigration, records obtained by […]

Oral arguments in birth certificate lawsuit

Here we go. U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman heard oral arguments in a lawsuit filed by a group of undocumented parents and their U.S.-citizen children against the state Department of State Health Services, which has effectively blocked the children from obtaining birth certificates. The families allege that the department has violated the children’s constitutional rights […]

Counting the number of same sex marriages in Texas

Fewer than I’d have guessed, but still a decent amount percentage-wise. Statewide, an estimated 2,500 same-sex couples have received marriage licenses in Texas since the [Obergfell] ruling. There is no exact accounting of how many same-sex marriage licenses have been issued in Texas or Tarrant County because gender is no longer listed on licenses. But […]

State issues new guidelines for birth and death certificates

That was quick. The state has issued new guidelines for filing and changing vital records to recognize same-sex marriage status, as ordered by a federal judge in San Antonio In a court advisory filed late Wednesday, the Texas Attorney General’s Office and the Texas Department of State Health Services said they believe the new guidelines […]

Paxton gets a deadline

Better stick to it. In an order late Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia also instructed Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office and the Texas Department of State Health Services to approve all pending applications for death and birth certificates involving married gay couples by that date. The judge is holding both agencies to their […]

Paxton avoids contempt hearing

He accomplished this by folding like a lawn chair on the issue of same-sex death and birth certificates. Wednesday’s contempt of court hearing for Attorney General Ken Paxton and a state health official was canceled Monday after state officials agreed to allow death certificates to acknowledge same-sex marriages, a lawyer involved in the case said. […]

State Health Services department finally amends that death certificate

Good. Complying with a federal court order, Texas has issued an amended death certificate acknowledging a Conroe man as the husband of a same-sex spouse who had died in January. The men had been married in New Mexico in 2014, when Texas still banned gay marriage. Shortly after the change was made Thursday night, state […]