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Unnecessary Restrictions on Abortion Care: How Democracy Side-Stepping Sausage Is Made, Texas-Style


Written by Andrea Grimes for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post. Next week, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Council will consider whether to adopt new abortion reporting requirements in the state--requirements that are being proposed at the behest of a Republican politician who failed to get his desired requirements passed through democratic means in the state legislature last year. Tea Party-endorsed Rep. Bill Zedler wants the state to collect more personal information about abortion-seeking women and increase vague "complication" reporting requirements for abortion providers. The Texas HHSC is considering the new requirements as a kind of consolation prize to Zedler, who tried and failed to pass the requirements as an amendment to the Texas law that bars Planned Parenthood (and other "abortion affiliates") from participating in the Medicaid Women's Health Program in the state. "The amendment wasn’t added," Department of State Health Services press officer Carrie Williams told RH Reality Check in April, "but at the time HHSC and DSHS agreed to look at the additional requirements and determine what elements could possibly be adopted by rule." RH Reality Check filed a public information request for correspondence between Rep. Zedler's office and the DSHS to find out how the department came to be catering to one anti-choice Republican's demands. Documents show the answer is simple: mighty politely, in true friendly Texan style. Zedler's office asked for what it wanted, and DSHS did its best to comply with their requests. Continue reading....