STATE CAPITAL HIGHLIGHTS: Texas Supreme Court hears abortion ban challenge

The Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in a case that could decide whether medical exceptions to the state’s abortion ban are written clearly enough to protect pregnant women who face serious health risks, the Austin American-Statesman reported. The 22 plaintiffs include women who contracted sepsis while waiting to terminate a nonviable pregnancy and women who traveled hundreds of miles for abortions of a nonviable twin in order to protect the healthy fetus. An attorney for the plaintiffs argued the vague language in the law has left doctors unable or unwilling to perform abortions. An attorney for the state argued the law is clear and that doctors are responsible for denying abortions allowed during medical emergencies. “Some of these women appear to have fallen within the exception but their doctors still said no. That’s not the fault of the law, that’s a decision of the doctor,” Beth Klusmann, assistant solicitor general, said. An opinion in the case is likely to take several months.

Abbott: Battle continues over vouchers

As time runs out next week on the fourth special session, Gov. Greg Abbott said he will continue to fight for school choice, despite the Texas House once again decisively rejecting it when 21 Republicans largely from rural districts joined Democrats in stripping it from a $7.6 billion education bill. The Austin American-Statesman reported it is unclear what Abbott’s next move will be.


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