Tuesday, November 1, 2016

How Rich: Texas Baby Killer Wendy Davis: Pro-Choice Group Wants Texas to Pay Up While Gov. Abbott Promises More Pro Life Law's:

An irony of ironies: Texas taxpayers, pro-choice or not, might have to pay the Center for Reproductive Rights’ legal bill, in addition to the money the Lone Star State spent to defend abortion restrictions that were found to be unconstitutional.

At the same time, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is promising an avalanche of new abortion restrictions out of the Texas Legislature in 2017.

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a request Oct. 11 for more than $4.5 million in legal fees accrued during its court battle with the state of Texas over abortion restrictions that were struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in June.

The request covers expenses accumulated by the nonprofit Center for Reproductive Rights and its pro bono co-counsel during more than two years of litigation in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The case challenged a Texas law that the center’s attorneys said was nothing but a sham designed to shut down most of the abortion clinics in the state.

Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the restrictions that were part of HB2, a 2013 law, had threatened to close 80 percent of the 40-plus abortion clinics in the state.

She said many of the shuttered clinics remain closed, exacerbating what Northup described as an already desperate women’s healthcare crisis in Texas, where family planning budgets have been slashed and the maternal mortality rate has doubled to become the worst in the developed world.

Northup was more than pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision that rejected HB2. But she said legislators violated the public trust by approving the restrictive abortion regulations. Center for Reproductive Rights attorneys and staff, she said, spent thousands of hours fighting “Texas’ blatantly unconstitutional law,” and claimed that is a bill that needs to be paid.

“Time and again, politicians in Texas have proven to be as reckless with taxpayer dollars as they are with the health and well-being of the people they serve,” Northup said. “The substantial expense of successfully bringing this fight to the U.S. Supreme Court is just one consequence of Texas’ decision to defend this sham law, which denied women their basic rights and shuttered clinics that are still struggling to reopen.”

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