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LIVELY DEBATE, BUT NO RULING, IN TEXAS GAY-MARRIAGE CASE
Austin American Statesman – February 12, 2014
A federal judge said Wednesday that he will decide at a later, unspecified date whether Texas may continue prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying. Same-sex couples from Austin and Plano asked U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia to find that the state ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s right to equal protection under the law by stigmatizing their relationships and inflicting financial and emotional burdens that opposite-sex couples don’t face. But Mike Murphy, an assistant solicitor general in Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office, argued that the couples are trying to “rewrite over 150 years of Texas law” by asking courts to intervene in the democratic process. While 17 states have chosen to broaden the definition of marriage to include gay couples, “in other states, like in Texas, legislators and citizens have concluded that the better course is to preserve the traditional definition of marriage,” he told Garcia.
WENDY DAVIS CALLS ON GREG ABBOTT TO STOP DEFENDING SAME-SEX MARRIAGE BAN
Houston Chronicle – February 13, 2014
Sen. Wendy Davis said Thursday that she supports same-sex marriage and that Attorney General Greg Abbott, her presumed general-election opponent in the race for governor, should stop defending the state’s ban. “It’s my strong belief that when people love each other and are desirous of creating a committed relationship with each other that they should be allowed to marry, regardless of their sexual orientation,” Davis told the Express-News editorial board. Davis, D-Fort Worth, said she is “pleased” that the state’s constitutional definition of marriage, as being between a man and a woman, is under challenge in federal court.
WENDY DAVIS SAYS SHE’D BACK 20-WEEK BAN
Politico – February 12, 2014
After leading a 13-hour filibuster against an omnibus abortion bill last June, Texas Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis now says that she would support a 20-week ban on abortion that pays more deference to a woman and her doctor. She said she would have supported a bill that included only a 20-week ban, but that the other provisions — restrictions on abortion providers and clinics — majorly obstructed access to the procedure.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD IS HERE TO STAY, CEO SAYS
Ft. Worth Star Telegram – February 8, 2014
Abortion providers across Texas are facing new restrictions and pressure from the Legislature, but Planned Parenthood, which has been in Fort Worth for 76 years, isn’t going anywhere, the organization’s chief executive officer said. “Despite the challenges created by Texas politics, we are here today, and the Texas women, men and teens who depend on us, we are here for them. We are not going away and we are not giving up,” CEO Kenneth Lambrecht said Friday during the annual Planned Parenthood luncheon at the Omni hotel in downtown Fort Worth. “Here in Fort Worth, Texas, we are compliant with every single one of the laws they are throwing at us.”
TMB SUSPENDS HOUSTON PHYSICIAN
Texas Medical Board Press Release – February 14, 2014
On February 13, 2014, a disciplinary panel of the Texas Medical Board temporarily suspended, without notice, the Texas medical license of Houston physician Theodore M. Herring, Jr., M.D., after determining his continuation in the practice of medicine poses a continuing threat to public welfare The Board found between November 6, 2013 and February 7, 2014, Dr. Herring unlawfully performed 268 abortion procedures without holding active admitting privileges at a hospital that provides obstetrical or gynecological health care services located no further than 30 miles from the location at which the abortion is performed or induced in violation of Texas Health and Safety Code. On January 27, 2014, DSHS received and reviewed a Plan of Correction (POC) submitted by Dr. Herring to address the deficiencies cited by DSHS at a December 11, 2013 inspection, including, among other violations, the performance or induction of abortions without active admitting privileges at a local hospital. Dr. Herring’s POC indicated he was “obtaining active admitting privileges” and held an “admitting arrangement with two other physicians.” A “Complete Date” of August 31, 2014 was noted.
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