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(114,904 posts)
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 12:15 PM Jun 2016

On Eve of SCOTUS Abortion Decision, Texas Accused of Suppressing Key Data

The Supreme Court is expected on Monday to announce its decision on Texas' abortion law, in what could be the most consequential ruling on the issue in a generation. The question: Do new requirements on abortion providers pose an unconstitutional "undue burden" on Texas women?

But among the reams of evidence presented to the high court and the public debate in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, something is still missing: A full, official account of the initial impact of the law on Texas women.

A state employee with knowledge of the annual data Texas collects on abortion spoke to NBC News and is accusing state officials overseeing the Department of Health Services of intentionally blocking the information and instructing staff members to mislead people who ask for it. Because fact-finding traditionally ends after such a case goes to trial, long before it reaches the Supreme Court, the justices may or may not have considered it. But in the court of public opinion, the data could potentially undermine Texas' official argument that its requirements pose no particular burden on women.

First catapulted to the national stage by then-state Sen. Wendy Davis' pink-sneakered filibuster, the law has a bundle of abortion restrictions. Local abortion clinics have asked the Supreme Court to block two of the rules: that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at local hospitals and that even early procedures, including "medication abortions" that involve only taking two pills, take place in expensive ambulatory surgical centers.

Saying they are unable to comply with the admitting privileges provision — in one border town, McAllen, no hospital would even send abortion providers an application — about half of the clinics in Texas have already closed since 2013. If the Supreme Court allows the other requirement to go into effect, only nine or 10 clinics will be left in a state with 5.4 million women of reproductive age. '



I urge you to read the whole story. The details are damning.
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On Eve of SCOTUS Abortion Decision, Texas Accused of Suppressing Key Data (Original Post) cali Jun 2016 OP
More from the article. cali Jun 2016 #1
SpokesLIAR. BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #9
Abortion is an issue that no longer seems of important to DUers, if one goes cali Jun 2016 #2
It is important to this DUer. Aerows Jun 2016 #3
I worried about the outcome before Scalia died katmondoo Jun 2016 #5
And beyond personal autonomy, it affects women's economics. Ilsa Jun 2016 #10
Precisely. n/t Aerows Jun 2016 #11
^. n/t BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #37
It is still important to me. The election is sucking all the air out of the room. alfredo Jun 2016 #30
That's right. Seems DUers don't care about laws that target WOMEN for extreme suffering, even DEATH BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #8
yes, that passed my mind as I wrote that. cali Jun 2016 #12
Kick. BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #14
+1000 smirkymonkey Jun 2016 #22
thank you, Blanche. You speak for me. cali Jun 2016 #23
When did we loose our voice? Silver_Witch Jun 2016 #41
Hmmm...we haven't lost our pice...it just doesn't often get heard. BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #44
Broad Brush bullshit. trumad Jun 2016 #35
Or getting called for using phrases similar to Ilsa Jun 2016 #13
Maybe I'm too jaded, but it seems the Woman demographic BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #15
Yeah, sorry my gay rights got in the way of your abortion rights justiceischeap Jun 2016 #36
This DU feminist cares a lot about women having the ability to control their reproduction. lark Jun 2016 #18
And me, too! MyOwnPeace Jun 2016 #24
I think some people are just burned out with DU passiveporcupine Jun 2016 #21
It has been a real distraction from important issues such as women's rights and the environment. alfredo Jun 2016 #31
It is important to some of us Crash2Parties Jun 2016 #29
For the record BlueCollar Jun 2016 #32
This Texas statute was the entire reason for Wendy Davis to make her famous filibuster and no_hypocrisy Jun 2016 #4
This is very interesting. herding cats Jun 2016 #6
Of course the gee oh pee lackeys are hiding and lying about data. BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #45
we are now understanding why there are only eight justices currently on the scotus spanone Jun 2016 #7
K & R for exposure. SunSeeker Jun 2016 #16
With only 8 SCJ's on the bench, Kennedy is the tipping vote. Fla Dem Jun 2016 #17
Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I'm guessing that Kennedy cali Jun 2016 #20
God/dess I hope its 5-3! liberalla Jun 2016 #28
And senate democrats awoke_in_2003 Jun 2016 #25
Totally agree! Silver_Witch Jun 2016 #42
^ BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #47
I remember a time awoke_in_2003 Jun 2016 #48
Ohhh, you MUST read "Amusing Ourselves to Death" BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #49
I will look that up awoke_in_2003 Jun 2016 #52
:) BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #53
I will try to sneak it in.... awoke_in_2003 Jun 2016 #54
Lol! BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #55
When I am in reading mode awoke_in_2003 Jun 2016 #56
I do the same thing, only classic literature and poetry don't figure in, BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #57
I just recently awoke_in_2003 Jun 2016 #58
Kick mcar Jun 2016 #19
k&r csziggy Jun 2016 #26
K&R Meldread Jun 2016 #27
I care LittleGirl Jun 2016 #33
FWIIW I think The Hype about Trump and Brexit took up much of the headlines here. Ford_Prefect Jun 2016 #34
kicking mopinko Jun 2016 #38
We won 5-3 alfredo Jun 2016 #39
5-3 BlueCollar Jun 2016 #40
Thanks for posting this... kag Jun 2016 #43
thank goodness SCOTUS acted correctly. and damn the woman-hating gestational slavers. niyad Jun 2016 #46
^ BlancheSplanchnik Jun 2016 #50
. . . . niyad Jun 2016 #51


(114,904 posts)
1. More from the article.
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 12:28 PM
Jun 2016


"The data is not final. If the data were final, we would release it. We hope to have it finalized soon," said Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman for the department.

But according to the state employee, who provided emails and screenshots to NBC News that appear to corroborate the timeline, the abortion statistics were in the final stages months ago. In fact, according to this individual, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of ongoing employment there, in December 2015, researchers in the relevant department were actually told to get the information ready sooner than the usual 15 months.


In a June 15 letter, the ACLU of Texas, which first referred the state employee to NBC News, wrote, "Rather than responding honestly and claiming a legal basis for withholding the 2014 statistical tables, it appears that your agency has chosen to hide the truth." The letter continued, referring to Texas' state public records law, "Lying in response to Public Information Act requests would subvert the purpose of the Act, whether or not there is an arguable legal basis for withholding information."

Asked to respond to these allegations in detail, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services wrote in an email in part, "The 2014 tables are under review, and we hope to have them finalized and released soon. For the last several years, Texas abortion data was typically finalized and published between March and June."

Minutes later, when NBC News followed up specifically to repeat claims that the data release was being intentionally delayed and employees were told to pretend they were not yet ready, the only answer was an out-of-office message.



(114,904 posts)
2. Abortion is an issue that no longer seems of important to DUers, if one goes
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 12:48 PM
Jun 2016

by response to threads about it.

This will be a momentous decision for women's rights- or further abrogating them.



(39,961 posts)
3. It is important to this DUer.
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 12:56 PM
Jun 2016

This is a horrible move for the health of Texas women and an erosion of the right to personal autonomy.


(6,454 posts)
5. I worried about the outcome before Scalia died
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 01:15 PM
Jun 2016

Now I don't know. Scalia was anti Abortion so I knew how he would vote. Worried again.


(61,683 posts)
10. And beyond personal autonomy, it affects women's economics.
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 01:51 PM
Jun 2016

There isn't enough assistance in Texas to help make up for the financial burden, including lost wages, career advancement, daycare, etc, when you aren't allowed to control how and when you reproduce. Having control of one's reproduction is one of the most important factors in managing personal finance.


(20,219 posts)
8. That's right. Seems DUers don't care about laws that target WOMEN for extreme suffering, even DEATH
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 01:50 PM
Jun 2016

for WOMEN. Only women.

But sure, let's post hundreds of thousands of protest threads against pizza and cake shops.


(20,219 posts)
14. Kick.
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 02:08 PM
Jun 2016

Ing. A lot of people in the ass.

I am so sick of the apathy towards what happens to women.

Oh wait, there were hundreds of thousands of posters concerned about women's rights---to show their t*ts.
Yes, if it's a critical human rights issue that may abrogate boob-showage, you can count on progressives to stand up for us!


(20,219 posts)
44. Hmmm...we haven't lost our pice...it just doesn't often get heard.
Mon Jun 27, 2016, 11:40 AM
Jun 2016

Well, we're changing that, I guess. It is changing. But so slow. Other issues usually grab attention first.

Funny how there are more posts to this thread arguing with other posters about focus of concern. If there's so much concern for women's lives, why did whoever not reply to the issue in the OP.


(61,683 posts)
13. Or getting called for using phrases similar to
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 01:55 PM
Jun 2016

"Family/religious rejection causing self-loathing".

Sometimes I think DU is only about one demographic at a time. Maybe this week will be "Women of reproductive age" demographics week.


(20,219 posts)
15. Maybe I'm too jaded, but it seems the Woman demographic
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 02:10 PM
Jun 2016

Is always low on the human rights list around here...and everywhere.


(14,040 posts)
36. Yeah, sorry my gay rights got in the way of your abortion rights
Mon Jun 27, 2016, 07:38 AM
Jun 2016

As a woman, who also happens to be gay, both issues matter to me. But don't be pissed because people on DU started getting upset because the LGBTQ community was being blatantly discriminated against. It wasn't all that long ago that DU was blaming the LGBTQ community for election losses.

The reason people may not appear to be so vocal about women's rights is because they may not think they're really in danger of losing them --whereas the LGBTQ community was on the verge of getting them.


(23,050 posts)
18. This DU feminist cares a lot about women having the ability to control their reproduction.
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 02:41 PM
Jun 2016

That's one of many thousands of reasons I would never vote Repug.


(16,909 posts)
24. And me, too!
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 04:35 PM
Jun 2016

So many issues, yet they are all important. Don't feel slighted because yours isn't pushed at any given time, just keep up the fight!


(8,175 posts)
21. I think some people are just burned out with DU
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 02:56 PM
Jun 2016

The primary was so intense for so long and I think many of us need a break now. I hope that's all it is.


(6,017 posts)
29. It is important to some of us
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 10:02 PM
Jun 2016

Our family would be minus one mom and all our kids if not for a timely D&C years and years ago.


(3,859 posts)
32. For the record
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 11:10 PM
Jun 2016

It is important to this Texas DUer.

I give more money to Planned Parenthood and the Texas Freedom Network than I do to the National Party.

Hopefully SCOTUS will call out the Religious Right for what it is when they make their ruling.


(45,956 posts)
4. This Texas statute was the entire reason for Wendy Davis to make her famous filibuster and
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 01:01 PM
Jun 2016

to run for governor.

Even if the federal appellate decision is upheld by the USSC and its effect is limited to the jurisdiction of the federal circuit in which it's in, other states will be emboldened to pass their own statute in hopes of banning abortion without actually criminalizing the procedure.

I saw this coming this time of year in 1992 with the Webster decision.

herding cats

(19,557 posts)
6. This is very interesting.
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 01:23 PM
Jun 2016
three data points are potentially relevant to the Supreme Court case. At oral argument, Justice Anthony Kennedy apparently referred to Grossman's data when he asked the Texas solicitor general about the finding that "this law has really increased the number of surgical procedures as opposed to medical procedures, and that this may not be medically wise."

A separate provision of the law, not before the court, specifically restricted the method Kennedy referred to as "medical procedures," or medication abortion. Women had to make up to four separate visits to a clinic, faced a smaller window of availability, and a higher, potentially riskier dosage of the pills involved. For women whose nearby clinics have closed, the additional visits in particular would have posed a potentially unconstitutional burden.


(20,219 posts)
45. Of course the gee oh pee lackeys are hiding and lying about data.
Mon Jun 27, 2016, 11:44 AM
Jun 2016

Glad this came out...luckily the last minute before it was too late. (If I understand correctly).

Fla Dem

(23,513 posts)
17. With only 8 SCJ's on the bench, Kennedy is the tipping vote.
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 02:29 PM
Jun 2016
Wed Mar 2, 2016
Key justice Kennedy wavers as Supreme Court confronts abortion


The outcome appeared to be in the hands of Kennedy, who often casts the deciding vote in close rulings. In past abortion cases, he has backed a fundamental right to abortion while supporting some restrictions.

The court was shorthanded with only eight justices following the Feb. 13 death of conservative Antonin Scalia, leaving the liberals and conservatives evenly divided.

The best that supporters of the law could hope for would be a 4-4 split that would let stand a lower-court ruling that affirmed the Texas regulations but set no nationwide legal precedent on whether other states could enact similar measures.

However, such a ruling leaving the Texas law intact could encourage other states with anti-abortion legislatures to pass similar laws.

Kennedy specifically asked for more data.

Kennedy at one point suggested sending the case back to a lower court to get further evidence on the law's impact, including an assessment of the ability of existing Texas clinics to meet the demand for abortions.

Even if Texas withheld data, not sure there is anything that can be done, The case has already been argued. Someone with more knowledge than me might know if additional information can be offered or is there anything like a mistrial at the Supreme Court level? Can the government ask for a do over because Texas withheld data?



(114,904 posts)
20. Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I'm guessing that Kennedy
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 02:48 PM
Jun 2016

will be the vote that makes it 5-3.

As to your questions, I can only make a fairly uneducated guess that the decision has been made and will stand.



(34,582 posts)
25. And senate democrats
Sun Jun 26, 2016, 07:13 PM
Jun 2016

have allowed the republicans to stop any potential replacements with only a whimper. They should be bringing up republican obstructionism every time a camera is in front of their face. If this ruling doesn't go our way, some of the blame gets dropped in Harry Reid's quisling lap



(1,820 posts)
42. Totally agree!
Mon Jun 27, 2016, 10:15 AM
Jun 2016

Very tired of dems not supporting women's rights! If people really don't want abortion they need to promote education and provide FREE bith control to everyone,man and woman, in this country!

Seriously ....


(20,219 posts)
47. ^
Mon Jun 27, 2016, 11:52 AM
Jun 2016

I think there would be more support of women's lives if media showed real consequences of forced birthing in women's lives. Social understandings are so very much shaped by media.

But because of deeply embedded taboos and deeply embedded romanticism regarding motherhood and children, people don't want to be confronted with realities.

And people who create media don't tend to think these difficult thoughts--if it doesn't affect them personally, or if acknowledgement could hurt revenue, the subject is effectively censored.



(34,582 posts)
48. I remember a time
Mon Jun 27, 2016, 01:52 PM
Jun 2016

when people were calling TV and idiot box. I always laughed at that. But thinking about it, the TV seems to have done just that- produce a lot of idiots.


(20,219 posts)
49. Ohhh, you MUST read "Amusing Ourselves to Death"
Mon Jun 27, 2016, 09:50 PM
Jun 2016

By Neil Postmann.

Seriously, it was ahead of its time. Predicted in the 70's exactly what's going on now.



(34,582 posts)
54. I will try to sneak it in....
Mon Jun 27, 2016, 10:14 PM
Jun 2016

shouldn't be a problem, I am only reading The Count of Montecristo and The Poetry of Robert Frost right now.



(34,582 posts)
56. When I am in reading mode
Tue Jun 28, 2016, 12:50 PM
Jun 2016

I am usually juggling 4 or 5 at a time, so this is the perfect time to add another



(34,582 posts)
58. I just recently
Tue Jun 28, 2016, 07:34 PM
Jun 2016

decided to get into poetry to expand my horizons. I got some DH Lawrence, Dylan Thomas, and Robert Frost. I am on the lookout for Pablo Neruda. I have been meaning to read CoMC for ages, and am finally getting around to it.


(8,276 posts)
33. I care
Mon Jun 27, 2016, 06:45 AM
Jun 2016

Which is one of the reasons why when my spouse was looking for a new job, I told him in no uncertain terms, don't even consider Texas or anywhere in the south for that matter.


(7,854 posts)
34. FWIIW I think The Hype about Trump and Brexit took up much of the headlines here.
Mon Jun 27, 2016, 06:53 AM
Jun 2016

I think I saw 3 times as many Brexit headline remarks as those over Orlando. I don't know about the DU dynamics of interest vs. fear vs. those with agendas to drive or obscure discussion vs. the frequency of posting new items but I only saw this headline in the best threads listing, near the bottom of that list, 18 hours after it was posted.

Sunday is my slack day as far as controversy goes and I am getting quite tired of some of the side effects of the as yet unending Primary Season (up to 3 calls to Jury a day since the rule changes) which to say nothing of my own growing contempt for those who continue to insist on party purity without room for real discussion of issues such as this one.

I have watched the slow crawl from the shadows of the vile creatures who enabled the bill at the heart of this case. They have been emboldened for years by the promise of funds unending from the Kochs and others. They have been coached in the structure and the terms of this legislation by the same terrorist coordinators that have been stirring up hatred of LGBT people, Muslims and Liberal thought.

If we cannot have genuine national healthcare how can we set standards nationally for what is correct and unarguable about abortion and reproductive care? This case is an example of what happens when we do not. It seems to me that Congress is far too compromised to act appropriately. Likewise the DOJ has been far too distracted protecting investment bankers and looking for international terror to pursue the apparently more mundane domestic conspiracy of those who would disable Federal government and our access to its services and protections.

In this case women and children and families and men (well some of us at least) are victimized almost as severely as anyone murdered this year by those who claim they are somewhat closer to God. That the abusers find excuse for their fears and their actions in an excess of religious zeal says more than I can about their need to control what and who they cannot tolerate or manipulate.

How many headlines in the MSM has anyone seen about this SCOTUS decision?

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