TX Senate Committee Proposes New Abortion Restrictions
The Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed new legislation yesterday that would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a local hospital within thirty miles. The bill was proposed by Senator Larry Taylor (R) of Galveston.
"Requiring hospitals to credential and grant privileges to doctors who provide outpatient services is time consuming and expensive for the hospital," said Stacy Wilson, a representative of the Texas Hospital Association. A potential issue with the legislature is that many hospitals have a religious affiliation and would not grant admitting privileges to doctors who perform abortions.
Similar TRAP (Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers) laws requiring hospital admitting privileges have been passed in Mississippi and Alabama. The bill in Alabama was signed into law by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley last week. In Mississippi, the sole abortion clinic in the state has been trying to gain admitting privileges at local area hospitals to comply with a 2012 law, but has been denied by every hospital within a 30 mile radius. The state was trying to close the clinic when a federal judge extended a temporary injunction that prevents the state from closing the clinic until the constitutionality of the law can be determined in a current pending lawsuit against the state of Mississippi.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .