Lawmakers Gird For New Abortion Fight As Texas Special Session Convenes

Texas lawmakers resume debate on proposed abortion legislation as the state legislature opens a special session Monday. Republicans say they will quickly pass new abortion restrictions despite opponents' efforts. Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office projected that a House bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks would increase Medicaid costs by as much as $400 million.

Dallas Morning News: Texas Lawmakers Resume Debate Monday On Abortion Bill Derailed By Wendy Davis Filibuster
With the raucous ending to their last special session still fresh on their minds, Texas lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday to resume debate on proposed abortion restrictions that have stirred emotions across the state and nation. Less than a week after a Democratic filibuster killed a far-reaching abortion bill on the Senate floor, the Legislature will answer Gov. Rick Perry’s call to try again to pass the GOP-backed measure over vigorous objections from Democrats and abortion rights groups. The House and Senate will begin work Monday afternoon, just after a Capitol rally sponsored by the Texas Democratic Party to oppose the abortion bill (Stutz, 6/30).

The Associated Press/USA Today: Texas Lawmakers Are Back, And So Is Abortion Fight
Round two of Texas' fierce ideological battle over abortion limits was set to begin Monday, less than a week after a Democratic filibuster and hundreds of raucous protesters threw the end of the first special session into chaos. The Legislature's Republican majority has vowed to pass wide-ranging abortion restrictions quickly and easily this time, even as opponents mobilize for more protests (7/1).

The Texas Tribune: DPS, Abortion Activists Preparing For Renewed Debate
Less than a week after their shouts and screams effectively derailed a vote on a restrictive new abortion law, reproductive rights advocates are already getting organized for the special session. But when proceedings begin anew on Monday, state leaders will be better prepared -- and are working with state security to prevent further disruption (Aaronson and Luthra, 6/29).

Politico: Wendy Davis: Perry, Dewhurst Advancing Abortion Bill 'To Step Up The Political Laddar'
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis blasted Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Sunday for using the 20-week abortion ban legislation in Texas to advance their own political ambitions. "I think really what’s happening here, Bob, is politicians are using this issue to boost their own political aspirations, their own political ambitions,” she told host Bob Schieffer Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation" (Schultheis, 6/30).

St. Louis Beacon: On The Trail: Texas Fracas Familiar For Veterans Of Missouri's Abortion Battles
Last week's spectacle in the Texas Senate got national attention, but some Missouri politicos may have experienced déjà vu while watching a livestream of Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster against an abortion bill (Rosenbaum, 7/1).

Abortion issues in Kansas, California and Iowa also make news --

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Federal Judge In Kansas Refuses To Block Parts Of State's Sweeping New Anti-Abortion Law
The chief federal judge in Kansas refused Sunday to temporarily block parts of a new state abortion law, including a requirement that providers' websites link to a state site with information they dispute. But U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil’s ruling Sunday in a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood came after a state judge ruled Friday in a separate challenge that Kansas couldn't enforce the website requirement for now (6/30).

Los Angeles Times: Protesters Hit Home Of Hoag Doctor Who Opposed Abortion Ban
About 50 to 100 antiabortion protesters wrote messages in chalk and shouted slurs outside the home of a Newport Beach obstetrician who was one of the doctors to oppose Hoag Hospital's decision to eliminate elective abortions. The protest late Thursday outside the Dover Shores home of Dr. Richard Agnew, a Hoag Hospital-affiliated physician, was led by a group of protesters who mostly appeared to be in their early teens and wrote messages in chalk that included "neighborhood serial killer" and "This house was built from blood" (Williams and Cowen, 6/28).

Des Moines Register: Iowa Medicine Board Takes Step Toward Banning Remote Abortions
The Iowa Board of Medicine on Friday took an initial step toward enacting rules barring Iowa doctors from administering abortions via videoconference. Responding to a petition seeking new state regulations on the practice, the board voted 8-2 to initiate the state’s rule-making process. The action does not write a ban into law, but clears the way for a public comment period and ensures a final vote by the board later this year (Noble, 6/29).

Meanwhile, from Capitol Hill -

Politico: CBO: GOP Abortion Bill Would Raise Deficit
Nearly every single House Republican voted last week to increase government spending and push the nation further into debt — all to limit abortion access for some women. The official budget scorekeeper of Congress says the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks, would increase Medicaid costs by as much as $400 million (Sherman, 6/28).

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