By: Madlin Mackelburg

AUSTIN – Anti-abortion advocates in Texas got nearly everything on their wish list this year as Republican leaders feuded over bathroom use and other issues geared at shoring up conservative bonafides.

Three of the twelve bills that passed during the special legislative session enacted regulations targeting abortion — amplifying the success anti-abortion advocates saw in the regular session when lawmakers adopted a sweeping proposal banning multiple procedures and further regulating providers.

By: Amarillo Globe News

There are as many as five abortion-related pieces of legislation in the current special session of the Texas Legislature that have a degree of influence from the Amarillo area.

While none have become law yet, hope springs eternal.

State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, recently tweeted how he voted for five abortion-related bills supported by Texas Alliance for Life. Indeed, Seliger is an author or co-author of four of the aforementioned bills.

In the Texas House, state Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo, is a co-author of all five bills. State Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo, is an author or co-author of two bills, including being the author of House Bill 214.

By: Emma Platoff

Thousands of advocates have flooded the federal government with comments this week, weighing in on whether it should reverse an Obama-era decision to strip Texas of millions in federal funding for a health care program that excludes abortion providers and their affiliates.

The number of comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Texas’ request has doubled in recent days, from 9,000 earlier this week to over 18,000 as of Friday afternoon, hours before the public comment period ends. The deadline comes as a new report from the liberal Center for Public Policy Priorities suggests the state’s decision to exclude Planned Parenthood from the program was responsible for stripping health care access from 45,000 women.

The federal government has historically declined to give Medicaid funding to states that don’t allow patients to choose between “any willing provider.” In 2011, Texas ousted abortion providers from the Medicaid Women’s Health Program, which the Obama administration argued violated federal law, leading to an end to federal funds.

By: John Savage

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Tuesday filed a legal brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to overturn a ruling that blocked Texas from cutting off state Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.
“Texas acted to cut off major taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood because of its repugnant conduct,” the brief states. “Clear indications of Planned Parenthood’s adjustment of abortion procedures to procure and sell fetal body parts for research should be enough to reverse a district court’s egregious ruling.”