Top 10 Reproductive Rights Stories

In 2016, the fight for reproductive rights went all the way to the Supreme Court

Hundreds of pro-choice and anti-choice activists gathered at the U.S. Supreme Court steps during oral arguments for the Texas abortion law case, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, in March. (Photo by Mary Tuma)

1) Supreme Court Victory The U.S. Supreme Court ruled two major parts of the state's 2013 House Bill 2 unconstitutional. The Chronicle was in D.C. to cover the mom­ent; see "U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas' Anti-Abortion Law HB 2," June 27.

2) Forced Burials The Center for Repro­ductive Rights filed a lawsuit Dec. 12 to stop a state health department rule that forces Texas women to either cremate or bury their fetus after an abortion or miscarriage, regardless of the gestation period. On Dec. 15, U.S. Federal Judge Sam Sparks granted a temporary restraining order blocking the law from going into effect until Jan. 6.

3) Kicking Out Planned Parenthood Texas health officials delivered their finalized plans to kick PP out of Medicaid enrollment right before the holidays, blocking access to life-saving services for thousands of women.

4) Maternal Deaths Skyrocket Two separate studies showed an alarming spike in maternal deaths in Texas. See "Texas Maternal Mortality Rate Soars," Sept. 9.

5) Playing Politics With Taxpayer Money The state health department handed a $1.6 million medical services contract to anti-choice figure Carol Everett, spurring Democratic lawmakers and progressive groups to call for an investigation into the grant process. At least two of the recipients will be anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers, Everett told the Chronicle.

6) State-Mandated Propaganda Doc­tors now must hand abortion-seeking women a booklet rife with factual errors, including a suggested link between abortion and breast cancer. Officials injected even more anti-choice junk science into the "Woman's Right to Know" pamphlet this year.

7) More Barriers Post-HB 2 According to the UT-Austin based Texas Policy Evalu­a­tion Project, abortion-seeking women have faced a combination of substantial barriers as a result of HB 2, including increased travel distances, higher out-of-pocket costs, and decreased access to medication abortion.

8) Investigation Backfire A Harris Co. Grand Jury indicted anti-abortion activists with the Center for Medical Progress – the shady front group who filmed discredited "sting videos" – rather than Planned Par­ent­hood Gulf Coast over allegations of unlawful misconduct.

9) Payback for the Facts When a report came out that the 2012 move to kick Plan­ned Parenthood out of a life-saving preventative health program has led to less contraception access and more Medicaid births, the state health department and Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, slammed the peer-reviewed New Eng­land Journal of Medicine study.

10) Release the Stats After the ACLU of Texas accused the state health department of withholding abortion statistics, the department released data revealing that the number of abortions fell after HB 2, and that Latinas were disproportionately impacted, reaffirming previous research.

For more, check out our War on Women's Health page.

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More Reproductive Rights
With Rosie's Law, Austin Legislators Aim to Restore Abortion Coverage
With Rosie's Law, Austin Legislators Aim to Restore Abortion Coverage
Sheryl Cole, Sarah Eckhardt introduce bicameral legislation that would expand health insurance coverage for abortion care

Mary Tuma, Jan. 29, 2021

5th Circuit Strikes Down Texas Anti-Choice Law
5th Circuit Strikes Down Texas Anti-Choice Law
Judges say law would have forced women into "painful, invasive, and experimental" procedures

Mary Tuma, Oct. 23, 2020

More by Mary Tuma
Texas Senate Speeds This Year's Abortion Bills Through Lege
Texas Senate Speeds This Year's Abortion Bills Through Lege
GOP lawmakers push half-dozen anti-choice bills restricting abortion care, access

April 2, 2021

Lege Ticker: Someone Has to Pay the Post-Storm Electric Bill
Lege Ticker: Someone Has to Pay the Post-Storm Electric Bill
The price is right?

March 19, 2021


House Bill 2, Center for Reproductive Rights, Jane Nelson, Carol Everett, Reproductive Rights

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