abortion

American Life League / Flickr Creative Commons

Houston found itself at the center of a political firestorm this week, when a grand jury investigating wrongdoing against Planned Parenthood instead indicted two abortion opponents.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images

With all the turmoil surrounding abortion rights in this country, sometimes it’s helpful to take a global view of things. The Guardian reports that, when it comes to accessibility of abortions, the U.S. falls somewhere in the middle. For example, it’s easier for a woman to get an abortion in Texas than it is in Northern Ireland. In Greece, however, abortions can be carried out on demand up to a limit of 12 weeks. 

Texas Tribune

New abortion laws went into effect in Texas on the New Year. Texas Public Radio has published an overview of the way the legislature has tightened restrictions for underage Texas women. State law already required those under 18 to get a sign-off from a parent before receiving an abortion. But a judge can circumvent the requirement if they think the parent will harm the young woman.

Tamir Kalifa / Texas Tribune

Two months ago Texas Republican leaders announced they would kick Planned Parenthood out of Medicaid. But the organization is still receiving state funds to provide health care for low-income women, reports The Texas Tribune. And now the state officials who called for cutting the funding have fallen silent.

Eric Gay / Associated Press

In Texas, the fight over abortion just grew more heated. The New York Times reports that state investigators showed up at Planned Parenthood centers in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Brownsville. The investigators asked the clinics to turn over private information about patients, including medical records and home addresses and phone numbers.

Emily Albracht / Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune reports that state health officials have adopted Republican guidelines that disallow abortion-affiliated groups from running abstinence-education programs in the state. New language Health and Human Services materials would prohibit entities even loosely affiliated with abortion providers from receiving any funding to teach abstinence. 

Patrick Michels / Texas Observer

Texans are being forced to wait longer to receive abortions than ever before, according to The Texas Observer. The number of abortion providers in Texas has fallen from 41 down to 18 since Republican lawmakers passed a restrictive law in 2013.

High Plains Residents Lack Access to Abortions

Aug 24, 2015
New York Times

When it comes to abortions, High Plains residents must travel farther than almost any other US citizens, reports the New York Times.  Amarillo residents must travel 234 miles to the nearest clinic. Many denizens of the Oklahoma Panhandle and Western Kansas must likewise travel over 200 miles to have the service performed. The national average outside Texas is 59 miles.

A judicial bypass is when a judge gives a minor permission to have an abortion without her parent or guardian's consent. The bill is authored by Democratic State Representative Geanie Morrison. She says she wants the judge to see the minor in person without exception. The minor would also need to show a government-issued ID, and would require more time to pass before the judge could consent to the procedure.

Gov Sam Brownback signed a bill into law that restricts the most common abortion technique. A similar bills looks like it will pass in Oklahoma. Missouri, South Carolina, and South Dakota has proposed similar bills.

The abortion procedure where instruments are used to grab and remove a fetus in pieces advanced from a Kansas House committee. The full Kansas House will now consider the bill.

mwaarchitects.com

After a federal appellate court ruling that Texas can enact its abortion restriction, a possible loophole in the law may have women looking to their doctors for the procedure according to a recent article from the Texas Tribune.

Ben Ramsey / Flickr Creative Commons

Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill this week requiring caregivers to notify women of the availability of perinatal hospice services for fetuses diagnosed with conditions incompatible with sustaining life after birth.  The perinatal hospice services provide support from the time of diagnosis through the infant’s birth and death according to a report from KGOU.

Lenzi Sheible/Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

Last year, Texas lawmakers passed House Bill 2, which made abortion rules even more stringent.  The procedure was banned after 20 weeks of gestation and physicians performing abortions were required to have hospital admitting privilege within 30 miles of an abortion facility.  Those changes reduced access to abortions across the state according to The Texas Tribune.

becketfund.org

Abortions were unregulated during the 1800s, and by the end of the 19th century, abortion was criminalized.