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Blogs comment on lawsuit challenging Texas fetal tissue burial rules, misinformation in Texas' biased pre-abortion booklet and more

Read the week's best commentary from bloggers at Jezebel, Slate's "XX Factor" and more.


"Center for Reproductive Rights sues Texas over fetal tissue burial requirement," Stassa Edwards, Jezebel: "The Center for Reproductive Rights [CRR] has filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas arguing that the state's recent implementation of rules requiring [that] hospitals and other health care facilities bury or cremate fetal tissue is unconstitutional," Edwards writes. According to Edwards, "Women's health advocates have long maintained that Texas's rules, as well as similar laws in states like Indiana, have no medical purpose and are implemented solely to hinder the work of abortion clinics." In the lawsuit, filed on behalf of Whole Woman's Health and other abortion providers, CRR asks the court for "'declaratory and injunctive relief' from the 'unconstitutional requirements,'" Edwards writes. She notes that according to the lawsuit, the rules violate the Supreme Court's recent ruling striking down medically unnecessary provisions in the state's omnibus antiabortion-rights law (HB 2), and "endanger women's health and claim 'public health' as little more than a pretext to shut down abortion clinics." However, despite the lawsuit, Edwards writes that conservative state lawmakers are seeking to codify the rules into law and pass additional abortion bans in the next legislative session (Edwards, Jezebel, 12/12).

What others are saying about the abortion-rights movement:

~ "Oklahoma City's first new abortion clinic in 40 years," Ms. Magazine/Care2.


"The craziest lies in Texas' nutty anti-abortion booklet," Mark Joseph Stern, Slate's "XX Factor": Texas "compels women to read [a] strange little pamphlet before moving forward with [an abortion] in an effort to dissuade them from terminating their pregnancies," Stern writes, noting that the latest version of the booklet "is filled with propaganda and misinformation designed to terrify women out of getting an abortion." Stern outlines "three especially risible lies" in the booklet, including debunked or unproven claims that getting "an abortion increases your risk of breast cancer," infertility and depression. In addition, the booklet refuses to acknowledge "that abortion is exponentially safer than childbirth" and instead "lists a parade of (extremely rare) horribles that, it states, could result from an abortion." According to Stern, there is "[f]airly little" to "learn from the mendacity" in the booklet, as "[w]e already knew that Texas does not trust women to make their own informed decisions and that the state would happily lie to women in order to trick them into carrying a pregnancy to term." He concludes that the booklet shows that "Texas' endless stream of anti-abortion" efforts "has survived its latest Supreme Court defeat" (Stern, "XX Factor," Slate, 12/9).

What others are saying about the antiabortion-rights movement:

~ "Why we shouldn't call it 'pro-life' but 'anti-choice,'" Elizabeth Strassner, Bustle.


"Ohio legislature passes another anti-abortion bill -- and a few other horrible things," Stern, Slate's "XX Factor": The Ohio Legislature's move last week to approve a bill (HB 493) that could ban abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy just before approving a separate 20-week abortion ban (SB 127) "suggests that the earlier ... bill wasn't a ridiculously unconstitutional scream into the void, but rather a clever tactical maneuver," Stern writes. He explains that Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), who opposes abortion rights, "has previously suggested that he might not sign an outright ban in light of the inevitable constitutional challenges." According to Stern, "Kasich hasn't yet indicated his views on" the first bill, which "seemed to put him in a tough spot: Sign it, and he'll lose in court; veto it, and he'll irritate his anti-abortion supporters." However, according to Stern, "The new bill changes the political calculus in Kasich's favor," by affording him an opportunity to sign antiabortion-rights legislation while still vetoing the earlier bill. "Unfortunately for Kasich, it's not clear whether the 20-week ban can survive constitutional scrutiny," Stern writes. He explains, "Under current precedent, the government is still barred from banning the abortion of non-viable fetuses altogether, and 20 weeks is several weeks shy of viability," which means the 20-week ban "remains constitutionally suspect" (Stern, "XX Factor," Slate, 12/9).

What others are saying about abortion restrictions:

~ "7 times reproductive rights in America took steps backward in 2016," Natasha Guzmán, Bustle.