Republican Lt. Governor Dan Patrick forced a 30-day special session of Texas’s state legislature starting July 17 in order to pass by now infamous bathroom legislation to prohibit transgender people from using bathrooms that align best with their gender, reports Becca Andrews.
But the state’s conservative lawmakers also are prepared to pass several bills aimed at limiting women’s reproductive rights.
“The state has long been an epicenter of the abortion wars — Roe v. Wade was first filed there,” notes Andrews. “And the landmark Supreme Court ruling from June 2016, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, focused on a Texas omnibus law… that required physicians to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and clinics to be outfitted like hospitals.”
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is committed to passing at least three bills during the special session: Senate Bill 4, which would ban state agencies from doing business with health care groups that provide abortions; Senate Bill 8, which would require women to pay additional insurance premiums for non-emergency abortions; and Senate Bill 10, which would require detailed reports on any abortion complication be submitted directly to the state within 72 hours.
Currently, Texas has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology,