TX Clinics Win Short-Term Victory Against Efforts to Limit Choice
Texas clinics received a temporary reprieve last Monday from state health officials' demand that they promise, in writing, to stop performing abortions or face the loss of all public funding. Federal District Judge Sam Sparks granted a temporary restraining order against the Texas Department of Health (TDH), which had demanded signed pledges from clinics by 5 p.m. on June 30, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The restraining order exempts the organizations from submitting the pledges for now, and a hearing scheduled for July 25 will determine whether the order will stay in place permanently, the Star-Telegram reported.
Six Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas filed suit against the state on June 26, claiming that TDH's demand and Rider 8, the law that requires the pledge, illegally punish clinics for providing abortions, the Austin Chronicle reported. If the law is upheld, Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates will lose $13 million, most of which they would have spent on providing preventive and routine care, like mammograms and Pap smears, to low-income women, according to the Chronicle. "The funds affected by Rider 8 are not used to provide abortion," said Peter Durkin, chief executive of Planned Parenthood's Houston clinic, according to the Daily Texan . "The money is used to prevent abortion through education and providing access to contraception. It is also used to provide medical services that keep these women healthy."
Rider 8 is only one of several anti-choice measures passed in the recent Texas legislative session. And Texas is not the only state that has attempted to deprive Planned Parenthood of funding. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Missouri's law withholding state funds from Planned Parenthood affiliates there, according to the Texan. But Planned Parenthood's attorney, Jim George, points out that the Texas law interferes with federal funding as well, which is unconstitutional, reports the Texan.
5/27/2015 California Passes Reproductive FACT Act - The California State Assembly passed the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act yesterday.
AB 775, or the FACT Act, passed 48-25 in a vote, and requires that unlicensed facilities in California that provide pregnancy-related services disclose that they are not licensed medical providers. . . .
5/26/2015 Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage - Over the weekend, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to pass a national referendum legalizing same-sex marriage.
Ireland became the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through popular vote on Friday. . . .