Is Texas Covering Up After-Birth Abortions? – By William Saletan MARCH 21 2014 11:27 AM


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Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, at the National Right to Life convention, June 27, 2013.
Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images

Texas is a pro-life state. If you sell drugs that kill unborn babies—or, to be a bit more technical, if you offer nonsurgical abortions using an FDA-approved combination of mifepristone and misoprostol—the state will demand lots of information from you. It will also provide information about you to the public. Citizens are entitled to know what you do.

William SaletanWilliam Saletan

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right. Follow him onTwitter.

If, however, you sell drugs to the state for its favorite pro-life activity—killingfully born people who have murdered others—the state will protect you. It will hide your complicity, even under direct questioning.

Texas law is full of rules for abortion clinics. Section 139.4 of the state health and safety code requires clinics to report to the state each “patient’s year of birth, race, marital status,” “the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child,” “the date, if known, of the patient’s last menstrual cycle,” “the number of previous induced abortions of the patient,” and the “method used to dispose of fetal tissue and remains.”Section 171.063 requires the doctor to furnish

a telephone number by which the pregnant woman may reach the physician, or other health care personnel employed by the physician or by the facility at which the abortion was performed or induced with access to the woman’s relevant medical records, 24 hours a day to request assistance for any complications that arise …

The state keeps individual medical records private. But it releases other information. Under section 245.005, “Information regarding the licensing status of an abortion facility is an open record … and shall be made available by the department on request.” Under section 139.6, the state must make “available to the public … the date of the last inspection of the facility,” and it must “maintain a toll-free telephone number that a person may call” to get information about licensing, inspections, and incidents.

Texas files notice of appeal in marriage equality case – KATIE MCDONOUGH – THURSDAY, FEB 27, 2014 9:13 PM UTC


Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott wasted no time appealing Wednesday’s equal marriage ruling

Texas files notice of appeal in marriage equality case

Following in the footsteps of Republican lawmakers in Utah and Oklahoma, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Attorney General (and Republican gubernatorial candidate) Greg Abbott have filed a notice of appeal against a Wednesday court ruling declaring the state’s ban on marriage equality unconstitutional.

As reported by the San Antonio Express-News, Perry and Abbott are named as defendants in the appeal asking for a preliminary injunction against the ruling.

Perry announced his intent to appeal immediately following the Wednesday ruling. “Texans spoke loud and clear by overwhelmingly voting to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman in our Constitution, and it is not the role of the federal government to overturn the will of our citizens,” he said in a statement. “The 10th Amendment guarantees Texas voters the freedom to make these decisions, and this is yet another attempt to achieve via the courts what couldn’t be achieved at the ballot box. We will continue to fight for the rights of Texans to self-determine the laws of our state.”

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia declared Texas’ ban on equal marriage and the state’s refusal to recognize the unions of gay couples married in other states to be unconstitutional. In his ruling, Garcia argued that both bans violate the equal protection and due process clauses of the 14th Amendment.

More to come as the story develops.