Current Legal Battle to Keep Texas Abortion Clinics Open Could Effect Change Across the U.S.

Posted June 24, 2015

MP3 Interview with Gretchen Borchelt, vice president for health and reproductive rights at the National Women's Law Center, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

abortion

Conservative legislatures and governors in many states across the U.S. have succeeded at whittling away at abortion rights over the past several years. This has occurred as the anti-choice movement has migrated from street protests – and from sometimes violent assaults on abortion clinics and staff – to pushing for suffocating state regulations.

Texas is a prime example. Two years ago, state Sen. Wendy Davis gained national prominence with a filibuster in an unsuccessful attempt to stop passage of anti-choice legislation. However, when the measure passed, and women's health providers in Texas filed appeals. In mid-June, the federal appeals court for the Fifth Circuit upheld the law, and now advocates are asking the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency ruling that would keep the clinics open pending a final ruling, if it chooses to hear the case. In 2012, Texas had 41 abortion clinics, serving most of the state. Now Texas has only 19 operating clinics, and that number would be reduced to 9 if the legislation takes effect.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Gretchen Borchelt, vice president for health and reproductive rights at the National Women's Law Center. Here, she describes the current state of abortion rights in Texas, and another case in Iowa where there was an attempt to prevent the use of telemedicine in which doctors can prescribe abortion pills via video link, a practice that Texas has outlawed.

For more information, visit the National Women's Law Center at nwlc.org; NARAL Pro-Choice America at prochoiceamerica.org; Planned Parenthood at plannedparenthood.org; National Organization For Women at now.org and National Partnership for Women and Families at nationalpartnership.org.

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