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Becca Aaronson

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Proponents of the new abortion regulations in Texas say they improve safety standards to protect women's health at facilities that perform abortions. Abortion rights advocates argue that they've endangered women's safety and imposed on their constitutional right to an abortion.

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Abortion opponents are calling attention to the availability of abortion procedures across the state, hoping to prove new regulations haven't created an undue burden on women.

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The closure of nine of 32 family planning clinics in the Rio Grande Valley — a result of the state Legislature's decision to cut family planning financing in 2011 — has compounded the struggles of low-income, Latina women trying to access reproductive health services.

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A quarter of Texas abortion providers suspend services after the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted an injunction by a federal district court that would have halted implementation of a state law requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

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Less than 24 hours before new abortion regulations were set to take effect in Texas, a U.S. District Court judge blocked the implementation of two provisions challenged by abortion providers, ruling that they could place an undue burden on women and are therefore unconstitutional.

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The Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition has raised concerns that a bipartisan effort to restore access to family planning services by expanding a state-run primary care program isn’t shaping up as planned. 

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The number of claims filed for medical and family planning services in the new state-run Texas Women's Health Program has dropped since the state ousted Planned Parenthood from it and set up its own program without federal financing, according to figures from the Health & Human Services Commission.

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The Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism provides grants of $2,500 to $10,000 for reporting on critical health issues facing underserved communities.

 

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