Judge Blocks New Wis. Abortion Law; Texas Rallies Draw Thousands

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Judge Delays Enforcement Of Wisconsin Abortion Law
After a hastily called hearing, a federal judge Monday put a 10-day freeze on a new state law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have hospital-admitting privileges. In a 19-page opinion issued Monday evening, U.S. District Judge William M. Conley cited a "troubling lack of justification" for the law and said he would stay enforcement of the admissions provision until July 18, a day after a more deliberate courtroom hearing scheduled before him next week. … Conley's ruling does not affect a separate provision of the new law requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion (Stein, 7/9). 

The Associated Press: Judge Blocks New Wisconsin Abortion Law
Conley granted the order following a hearing in a lawsuit filed Friday by Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and Affiliated Medical Services. It alleged the requirement would unconstitutionally restrict the availability of abortions in the state, violates the U.S. Constitution's due process guarantee and unconstitutionally treats doctors who perform abortions differently from those who perform other procedures. The restraining order will remain in place pending a fuller hearing July 17 (Bauer, 7/8).

The Associated Press: Thousands Flock To Texas Capitol Over Abortion
Texas Republicans pushed ahead Monday with aggressive efforts to pass tough new abortion restrictions they failed to approve last month, scheduling a House vote as thousands flocked to the Capitol for an anti-abortion rally and a marathon public hearing about the legislation. Activists for and against the proposed restrictions descended on the Capitol for the hearing that started at 10 a.m., wearing their signature colors. About 2,000 anti-abortion demonstrators in blue staged a Capitol evening rally that heavily invoked God and Biblical teachings (Vertuno, 7/8).

Texas Tribune: Activists Rally To Speak On Abortion Bills
"Tonight, it's not so much that the eyes of Texas are upon you," [Former Arkansas Gov. Mike] Huckabee told the crowd, which was dressed in blue. "It's that the eyes of America are on Texas." ... If passed, the legislation would ban abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization, require physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, make abortion facilities meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers and impose new regulations on the administration of abortion-inducing drugs (Luthra, 7/8).

Dallas Morning News: Hundreds Testify For, Against Sweeping Abortion Bill, As Sides Rally At Texas Capitol
The battle over the measure has drawn national attention as the latest front in the war over the divisive social issue. ... Earlier, at a hearing before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Democrats sharply questioned the Republican author of the measure on its key provisions. They argued that his primary goal is to restrict access to abortions in Texas. Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, insisted he’s trying to protect the health of women seeking an abortion (Stutz, 7/8).

North Carolina Health News: Opposition To Recent Abortion Bill Drives Many Protestors
In what was probably the largest Monday protest yet at the General Assembly, two thousand or more people gathered to express their grievances with the legislature. And many said they were there because of an abortion bill passed by the Senate last week (Hoban, 7/9).

PBS NewsHour: New Abortion Restrictions Reignite Culture Wars
States across the country are advancing legislation that advocates say restrict abortions, a re-ignition of the culture wars ahead of the midterm elections and key gubernatorial contests in 2014. The movement is something that's been slowly building at the state level for years, beginning when Republicans captured larger majorities in legislatures as part of the 2010 tea party wave that returned them to control of the House (Bellantoni and Burlij, 7/8).

Bloomberg: Abortion Foes Guide States In Pushing New Restrictions
When Bette Grande, a state representative in Fargo, North Dakota, wanted to make it illegal for a woman to end a pregnancy after learning her unborn child would suffer from Down syndrome or another chromosomal abnormality, she turned to a trusted source [Americans United for Life]. ... So far in 2013, 17 states have enacted 45 new curbs on abortion. In addition to providing legislative language and data, the group created a state ranking system to stoke an anti-abortion arms race of sorts (Hirschfeld Davis, 7/9).

Politico: Marco Rubio In Tough Spot On Abortion
Urged by anti-abortion rights groups and Republican lawmakers to take up their cause, [Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.] is mulling over introducing legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks nationally — just a few days after he helped pass a comprehensive immigration bill that created waves among conservatives. But there’s one major difference between the star Republican’s lead role on immigration and his potential abortion action. The abortion bill is most likely going nowhere in the Senate (Everett, 7/8).

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