AUSTIN – Recounting the state’s central place in a decades-long battle, reproductive health care advocates in Texas today called upon the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a draconian law that undermines the court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 establishing the right to abortion. Read More

UPDATE: It appears Sen. Nelson and other anti-abortion Republicans got their pound of flesh. One of the state researchers who was a co-author on the report noted below is stepping down from his job. Here’s the chilling lesson for state workers: politicians don’t want to hear the facts about how their policies are hurting women and families. And when you tell the facts, you could be forced from your job.

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Texas Republicans apparently don’t like it when facts interfere with their political jihad against abortion and women’s reproductive health care. So now they’re attacking researchers who dare to report those inconvenient facts.

This month a report in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that Texas saw substantially fewer women obtaining long-acting birth control after the state dropped Planned Parenthood from the state women’s health program in 2013. As an Associated Press story notes, the report’s authors say the drop by about a third in claims for long-acting birth control — such as contraceptive implants, intrauterine devices and contraceptive shots — may explain an increase in births among poor families in Texas.

Republicans and anti-abortion pressure groups have argued that shutting down Planned Parenthood’s participation in the health program has had no negative consequences. Now they’re furious that people can… Read More

Texas state Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington, is foot-stomping mad that a Harris County grand jury has handed down indictments against two anti-abortion activists who helped make doctored videos attacking Planned Parenthood. The same grand jury essentially cleared Planned Parenthood of outrageous charges that the organization was illegally selling tissues from aborted fetuses.

Rep. Zedlers used Twitter in his dishonest temper tantrum:

Planned Parenthood illegally sells baby parts = praise & taxpayer funding. Exposing it = felony charges. Disgraceful!!!

— Bill Zedler (@Bill_Zedler) January 26, 2016

Planned Parenthood illegally sells baby parts = praise & taxpayer funding. Exposing it = felony charges. Disgraceful!!!

So Zedler continues to promote a lie that the grand jury has already discredited. Moreover, his contempt for the law couldn’t be clearer. Zedler apparently has no problem with individuals who break the law in the promotion of a lie and political agenda that he supports. That’s the real disgrace, Rep. Zedler.

Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton also are promoting the same deceitful agenda. Both released statements on Monday (here and here) insisting that the state’s own “investigation” of Planned Parenthood will continue, facts be damned.

Their war on the the… Read More

The religious right’s vicious and deceitful attack on Planned Parenthood — part of a long war on abortion and other other reproductive health care services for women — appears to be backfiring in a big way.

Last year anti-abortion activists released a number of deceptively edited, undercover videos that suggested Planned Parenthood was illegally selling tissue from aborted fetuses. Religious-righters and their political allies — like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — demanded that authorities investigate and prosecute Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood officials strongly denied the charges and pointed out that the videos had been edited in a way designed to smear and embarrass the organization. Moreover, they argued that the video makers used fake government IDs and made other false representations in order to get into private conference and health care clinics when making the videos.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office did launch an investigation, but it turns out that grand jurors in Houston appear to believe Planned Parenthood instead of the lies coming from anti-abortion fanatics.

A Harris County grand jury has declined to indict Planned Parenthood officials in Houston. Instead, the grand jury has handed down indictments against two people involved in making the videos. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were indicted on charges of tampering with a government document.… Read More

Just Texas, a project of the Texas Freedom Network, sent out the following press release today:

Clergy from diverse faith traditions across Texas are calling on Gov. Greg Abbott to stop interfering with the freedom of women to see providers of their choice for health screenings, family planning and other reproductive health care services.

“Women have a moral and legal right to decide for themselves which health care providers they will see,” said the Rev. Valda Jean Combs, an associate minister at Brentwood Baptist Church in Houston. “As faith leaders in our communities, we cannot be silent when politicians interfere with that freedom and risk leaving vulnerable women without access to the basic care they need and deserve.”

Combs is one of more than 50 faith leaders who have signed on to an open letter to Gov. Abbott on the issue. Today’s public release of the letter, which is available here, comes as Gov. Abbott tries to enforce a ban on Medicaid funding for health care services provided at Planned Parenthood clinics. Planned Parenthood has filed a lawsuit challenging the funding ban. An initial hearing in the federal court case is pending.

Gov. Abbott and other… Read More

SIECUS

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