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Texas Matters: HB2 - The Abortion Battle Continues

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Ryan E. Poppe
/
TPR News

This week the U.S. 5th  Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Texas and some of the harshest restrictions on abortion in the country. 

These are the abortion rules that former Texas Senator Wendy Davis filibustered against but were eventually passed in a 2013 special session.

Commonly referred to as HB2 the rules require abortion physicians to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and the clinics must meet the standards of the hospital-style surgical center. It also bans abortion after 20 weeks and restricts the use of the abortion pill RU4-86.

One part of Texas did get a carefully carved out exception in the ruling in the Rio Grande Valley. That exception was granted because the Valley is isolated and many of the residents do not have the means to travel to San Antonio – the closest city where a legal abortion is available.

We are going to hear from both sides with their reaction to the ruling – and how they expect this will play out in Texas and in the U.S. Supreme Court but first in 2013 I traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to see how the abortion rules impacting residents – and found that some women were finding ways to terminate pregnancies without the help of a doctor.

David Brown is a staff attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is representing abortion providers in the case against the Texas abortion law.

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Joe Pojman is the executive director of the Texas Alliance for Life. The organization helped draft the original language for HB 2. The organization helped draft the original language for HB 2 which restricts abortion in Texas with some of the toughest rules in the nation. Unless the Supreme Court intervenes the rules go into effect on July first.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi