The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (AFP) – The Texas senate late on Friday approved a bill setting some of the strictest limits on abortion in the United States, just weeks after a filibuster by opposition Democrats dramatically thwarted the measure.

The bill — similar to the one that state Senator Wendy Davis helped block in a 13-hour filibuster on June 25 — was approved 19-11, with one Democrat joining the Republican majority, local media reported.

Davis became a national hero for Democrats and supporters of abortion rights. Pro-choice advocates filled the spectator gallery Friday and held rallies outside, but were unable to prevent the bill from being approved.

Republican Governor Rick Perry has vowed to sign the bill into law.

“Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life,” Perry tweeted. “This legislation builds on the strong and unwavering commitment we have made to defend life and protect women’s health.”

The bill includes a ban on abortions starting at 20 weeks after conception, unless the woman’s health is in imminent danger.

It sets strict requirements for doctors performing abortions and mandates that a doctor must be present when a woman takes a pill to induce an abortion.

Texas media reported that police scuffled with noisy protesters who resisted eviction from the spectator gallery. Some protesters even chained themselves to the railing to avoid being dragged out.

During the June 25 session a raucous gallery crowd was key in preventing the vote from being held on time.

During that vote there were too many activists for police to control, but on Friday the capitol was swarming with state troopers.

Police also checked bags and took out items that could be thrown, including bottles suspected of containing excrement and urine, the Houston Chronicle reported.

“I listen to the word of God in this issue,” said Republican Senator Dan Patrick, a supporter of the bill. “Are we a nation that stands for a Judeo-Christian ethic, or are we not?”

Democrat Royce West vowed a legal challenge on the Senate floor. “There will be a lawsuit. I promise you,” West said, raising his right hand as if taking an oath, according to local media.

Pro-choice activists say the new measure will force all but five of Texas’s 42 abortion providers to close.

Abortion has been legal in the United States since the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case.

However, in recent years conservatives in state and local offices have passed several measures aimed at curbing the practice.

In the first half of 2013 measures restricting abortion have been approved in 18 U.S. states, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice research group.

Arizona, Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Kansas and Wisconsin have passed legislation similar to the Texas measures restricting abortion, though some are tied up in court challenges.

Despite heated opposition to the procedure from social conservatives, polls consistently show that a majority of Americans support legalized abortion.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Meadows

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Legal experts including a Harvard professor and a top election and voting rights attorney are weighing in on Sunday night's bombshell report from Rolling Stone naming members of Congress and the Trump administration who were involved in the planning and organizing of the January 6 rally and/or "Trump's efforts to overturn his election loss," according to two of the planners of the "Stop the Steal" rally.

Keep reading... Show less

Reps. Lauren Boebert, Louie Gohmert and Andy Biggs

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Several House Republicans—exactly the ones you would guess—were involved in planning meetings for protests on January 6 as Trump supporters tried to block the certification of the 2020 election and with it, Donald Trump's loss, two sources have detailed to Rolling Stone.
Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}