KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Texas Protesters, Lawmakers Ready For Committee Clashes On Abortion Bill

Protesters and lawmakers gird for a new day of debate on Texas' proposal to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy as well as enact regulations some activists say will shutter all but a few of the state's abortion clinics.

Politico: Texas Abortion Drama Set To Resume
When it comes to abortion politics, it could be a long, hot summer. In Texas, things heated up on Monday with a pro-abortion rights rally on the steps of the state Capitol and are expected to reach scorching temperatures on Tuesday, when members of the public will have the opportunity to sound off for hours before a Texas legislative committee over a bill that would effectively close nearly every abortion clinic in the state as a result of stricter regulations and ban the procedure after 20 weeks (Glueck, 7/1).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Texas' Abortion Fight Begins Anew As Lawmakers Convene 2nd Special Session, Recess For Week
State troopers lined the halls of the Texas Capitol, and 5,000 protesters rallied outside against proposed abortion legislation, as lawmakers convened Monday for a second special session that Republican leaders pledged wouldn't descend into chaos like the first. The Texas House and Senate each met for less than an hour before recessing for the week. That was just long enough to schedule new committee hearings for the proposed restrictions that would make Texas one of the toughest places in the nation for women to get abortions (7/1).

Dallas Morning News: Thousands Of Texans Urge Lawmakers To Give Up On Abortion Bill
Thousands of abortion-rights supporters greeted lawmakers as they convened another special session Monday to take up a list of hotly debated abortion restrictions, with Republicans vowing to move quickly to enact legislation derailed last week. A rally in front of the Capitol featured Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth. She became a national hero to women's rights groups last week when her filibuster helped halt the abortion bill despite solid GOP majority support in the House and Senate (Stutz and Martin, 7/1).

ABC News: Texas Abortion Ban Limits More Than Abortions
Republican lawmakers in Texas are hell-bent on passing a bill that will eliminate nearly every abortion clinic in the state. They're probably going to succeed. The filibuster tactic that thwarted their June attempt at the last minute is unlikely to work in July's special legislative session, because lawmakers have another month to pass the law -- and this time around, they've placed it at the top of their agenda (Deruy, 7/1).

ABC News: 5 Things To Watch As Texas Lawmakers Debate Anti-Abortion Bill Again
For Democrats in Texas hoping to prevent an anti-abortion bill a second time from passing through the state legislature, time will be both an enemy and a friend. Republicans now have a second special legislative session devoted almost exclusively to passing a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks and impose regulations that would shutter all but six abortion clinics in the state, giving them plenty of time to overcome Democratic objections to the bill. But they can also count on Democrats to make those days as painful for them as possible (Phillip, 7/2).

In other news -

MPR News: Number Of Abortions In Minnesota Lower Each Year
The number of abortions performed in Minnesota each year continues to drop. A report released Monday from the Minnesota Department of Health shows that the number of abortions performed in Minnesota dropped from just over 11,000 in 2011 to about 10,700 in 2012, a decrease of three percent. Data show the number of abortions has dropped consistently over a six-year period. Opponents abortion and proponents of abortion rights are hailing the report (Williams, 7/1).

Des Moines Register: Brandstad Supports Ban On 'Webcam Abortion'
Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday he supports banning the dispensing of abortion medication via telemedicine. The Iowa Board of Medicine voted last Friday to initiate the rulemaking process to ban health care providers from examining patients via video-conferencing technology and remotely dispensing abortion-inducing drugs (Noble, 7/1).

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