Tag Archives: procedure

House committee advances anti-abortion bills outlawing the procedure in Texas

Shannon Najmabadi

This article originally appeared on The Texas Tribune: Main Feed

Bills restricting abortion, including one that bans procedure as early as six weeks, get initial Texas Senate OK

The Texas Senate gave initial approval Monday to a half-dozen bills that would restrict access to abortion, including a priority measure that could ban abortions before many women know they are pregnant.

The measures are among the earliest bills to be debated by the full Senate — whose presiding officer, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick[1], has given two abortion proposals top billing[2] this session. Each piece of legislation must be voted on again in the upper chamber and then go through a similar process in the House before becoming law.

Senate Bill 8[3] would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected, which can be as early as six weeks, according to a legislative analysis[4]. The bill has an exception for medical emergencies but not for rape or incest.

The bill would also let anyone in Texas sue an abortion provider if they believe they violated state laws, regardless of whether they had a connection to someone who had an abortion or to the provider. A person who knowingly “aids or abets” others getting abortions prohibited under state law could also be hit with lawsuits, according to a bill draft.

“We’re setting loose an army of people to go sue somebody under a bill that will likely be held unconstitutional,” state Sen. Nathan Johnson[5], D-Dallas, said. “They could be sued over and over and over again having to pay $ 10,000” which is the minimum proposed damages in the bill.

Similar “heartbeat bills” have been passed in other states but have been blocked by the courts.

State Sen. Bryan Hughes[6], R-Mineola, the lead author of SB 8, said unique legal language in the bill makes him believe it will be upheld. It’s intended to “protect our most vulnerable Texans when the heartbeat is present,” he said.

Senate Bill 9[7], another Patrick priority, would bar nearly all abortions if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision or otherwise altered abortion laws. It would create a possible fine of $ 100,000 for doctors who perform abortions after the law goes into effect. Sen. Carol Alvarado[8], D-Houston, said the fine for sexual assault in Texas has a $ 10,000 maximum.

“Why would we punish a doctor who performs an abortion on a victim of rape or incest more than the actual rapist?” she asked.

“I would say that the problem here is not the amount of the fine on the doctor but on a rapist,” state Sen. Angela Paxton[9], SB 9’s author, responded.

Other legislation given initial approval Monday would bar later-term abortions in the case of severe fetal abnormalities — closing what the bill’s authors have likened to a “loophole[10]” and forcing people to carry ill-fated or unviable pregnancies to term, according to experts and advocates. Women in that situation would be provided with information about perinatal palliative care, or support services, which they may not have been aware of, the bill’s author said.

Another bill, Senate Bill 394, would bar pill-induced abortions after seven weeks. Guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration approve the use of abortion pills up to 10 weeks. Nearly 40% of abortions performed on Texas residents in 2019 were medication-induced, according to state statistics.

Most abortions in Texas are banned after 20 weeks. Women seeking an abortion must get a sonogram at least 24 hours before the procedure, and their doctor must describe the sonogram and make audible any heartbeat.

Dozens of abortion-related measures have been filed this legislative session, including one that would open up abortion providers to criminal charges that carry the death penalty. Anti-abortion activists have urged lawmakers to challenge the Roe v. Wade decision, citing the new conservative makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court. Nearly every Republican in the Senate has signed on as an author of SB 8, one of Patrick’s priorities, as has Brownsville Democrat Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr[11]., who said Monday he believes life begins at conception.

A seventh abortion-related bill debated by the Senate on Monday would require a contractor to offer counseling and other resources to a person seeking an abortion. That person would receive a pin to verify she received the offer, and the pin would then be destroyed, said Paxton, the bill’s author. Earlier bill drafts said the woman would get an identifying number that would be stored in a state database.

Sen. Sarah Eckhardt[12], D-Austin, asked what services the women would be referred to — pointing to how poor most parents must be to qualify for Medicaid in Texas. A parent with one child would need to make less than $ 200 a month to qualify, the strictest criteria of any state, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation[13].

“So we’re going to spend $ 7 million annually for somebody who is less qualified than their doctor to give them advice on something that they probably aren’t eligible for?” she asked Paxton.

Paxton said the bill could connect women to support services like housing, resume development, child care and adoption services, and said it could help women who would prefer to carry their pregnancy to term if the circumstances were different.

“If she wants to call” and ask for her code, she can get it and just hang up, Paxton said.

References

  1. ^ Dan Patrick (www.texastribune.org)
  2. ^ billing (www.ltgov.texas.gov)
  3. ^ Senate Bill 8 (capitol.texas.gov)
  4. ^ a legislative analysis (capitol.texas.gov)
  5. ^ Nathan Johnson (www.texastribune.org)
  6. ^ Bryan Hughes (www.texastribune.org)
  7. ^ Senate Bill 9 (capitol.texas.gov)
  8. ^ Carol Alvarado (www.texastribune.org)
  9. ^ Angela Paxton (www.texastribune.org)
  10. ^ loophole (capitol.texas.gov)
  11. ^ Eddie Lucio Jr (www.texastribune.org)
  12. ^ Sarah Eckhardt (www.texastribune.org)
  13. ^ Kaiser Family Foundation (www.kff.org)

Shannon Najmabadi

Prince Philip leaves hospital after heart procedure

The 99-year-old had been hospitalized since being admitted to the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London on Feb. 16, where he was treated for an infection.

LONDON, UK — Editor’s Note: The video above is from March 4, 2021.

Britain’s Prince Philip left a London hospital on Tuesday after being treated for an infection and undergoing a heart procedure.
Philip, 99, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, had been hospitalized since being admitted to the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London on Feb. 16, where he was treated for an infection.
He was later transferred to a specialized cardiac care hospital, St. Bartholomew’s, for a short stay, before returning to King Edward VII’s.
Photographers standing outside the door of the private hospital captured his departure. Buckingham Palace has not yet commented on the matter.
Philip’s illness is not believed to be related to the coronavirus. Both Philip and Elizabeth received COVID-19 vaccinations in January and chose to publicize the matter to encourage others to also take the vaccine.
This is a developing story.
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Prince Philip undergoes procedure for heart condition

It said he is expected to remain in the hospital for ‘treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days.’

LONDON, UK — Prince Philip has had a successful heart procedure at a London hospital and is expected to remain for several days of “rest and recuperation,” Buckingham Palace said Thursday.

The palace said the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II “underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.”
“His royal highness will remain in hospital for treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days,” the palace said in a statement.
Philip, 99, has been hospitalized since being admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital in London on Feb. 16, where he was treated for an infection. On Monday he was transferred to a specialized cardiac care hospital, St. Bartholomew’s.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, said Wednesday that Philip’s condition was “slightly improving.”
“We’ll keep our fingers crossed,” said Camilla, who is married to Prince Charles, eldest son of Philip and the queen.
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Philip’s illness is not believed to be related to the coronavirus. Both Philip and the monarch received COVID-19 vaccinations in January and chose to publicize the matter to encourage others to also take the vaccine.
Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, retired in 2017 and rarely appears in public. Before his hospitalization, Philip had been isolating at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the queen.
Although he enjoyed good health well into old age, Philip has had heart issues in the past. In 2011, he was rushed to a hospital by helicopter after suffering chest pains and was treated for a blocked coronary artery.
The longest-serving royal consort in British history, Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
His illness comes as the royal family braces for the broadcast of an interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
Meghan and husband Prince Harry quit royal duties last year and moved to California, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media.
Relations between the couple and the palace appear to have become increasingly strained. On Wednesday, the palace said it was launching a human resources investigation after a newspaper reported that a former aide had accused Meghan of bullying staff in 2018.
RELATED: Buckingham Palace to investigate after Meghan accused of bullying staff
In a clip from the pre-recorded Winfrey interview, released by CBS, Winfrey asks Meghan how she feels about the palace “hearing you speak your truth today?”
“I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there was an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” the duchess says.
“The Firm” is a nickname for the royal family, sometimes used with affection and sometimes with a note of criticism.
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