Special session begins in Texas for late-term abortion ban

posted at 1:21 pm on July 1, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Ready for Round Two in Texas?  The state legislature meets today in special session, although it may not meet for very long, thanks to the holiday weekend.  The bill to ban abortions after the 20th week of gestation and to require abortionists to meet the same standards as other ambulatory surgery clinics will get introduced into House and Senate committees in Austin, and then probably wait for any action until next week:

Round two of Texas’ fierce ideological battle over abortion limits was set to begin Monday, less than a week after a Democratic filibuster and hundreds of raucous protesters threw the end of the first special session into chaos.

The Legislature’s Republican majority has vowed to pass wide-ranging abortion restrictions quickly and easily this time, even as opponents mobilize for more protests.

Don’t expect a repeat of last week’s chaos.  Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst plan to bring more security to keep the legislature from getting hijacked by a mob, as happened last week:

The scene was chaotic enough that Sen. Donna Campbell, a New Braunfels Republican, called for the gallery to be cleared. With lawmakers now heading back, she said, “I believe more presence by law enforcement will help keep disruptive behavior from thwarting the democratic process.”

She said more families may turn up to express their views and “every Texan’s voice deserves to be heard. Not just the noisiest and unruliest.”

A repeat scene seems unlikely. Texas Department of Public Safety state troopers provide security at the Capitol, and department spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger said the agency doesn’t discuss its plans.

“However, when necessary, we will adjust our security measures as a situation merits,” she said.

Some of the same protesters already have planned a rally at the state Capitol on Monday, but there may not be much action for them to see. Both the House and Senate could simply gavel in long enough to assign committees to hear new versions of the bills they plan to pass, then adjourn for the rest of the week that includes the July 4 holiday.

The Washington Post also notes that the next time won’t be like the last time:

Welcome to day one of Texas’s special legislative session, in which a heated debate over abortion that burst onto the national radar last week will pick up where it left off.

But this time, the story is likely to end differently. Equipped with more time, GOP majorities and renewed urgency, Republicans are poised to pass a measure to tighten abortion restrictions that state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) successfully blocked last week, catapulting onto the national radar.

One major reason Republican plans to pass the measure — which would would ban abortions after 20 weeks and require doctors to have hospital admitting privileges, among other things — in the previous session were foiled: Time was not on the GOP’s side. Gov. Rick Perry (R) added the the abortion debate after the session was already underway. This time, he’s established it as a priority from the outset.

“In the last session it was handled very poorly [by Republicans],” said Rice University political scientist Mark Jones. “There was a coordination problem across the board.”

By the time the measure was on the verge of a vote last week, Davis was able to stall it by launching an filibuster spanning hours. She won’t be working with a similar timetable this go around.

The enhanced security means enhanced scrutiny of those in attendance.  On Friday, Dewhurst told me that his office was reviewing the security video of the Senate after hearing reports that members of the media may have incited the gallery to riot, and that arrests could be made.  That interview got picked up by the Dallas Morning News, which got an update from Dewhurst’s office that no crimes were committed by journalists:

Update at 3:27 p.m. from Gromer Jeffers Jr.: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said Saturday that there was no reason to go after reporters for helping to incite opponents of a controversial anti-abortion bill.

“There was so much agitation about what happened on Tuesday night. I had my staff go back and look at the video and I’m pleased, I’m pleased that, although I’ve been told by many different people that they thought they had seen different members of the press who were trying to incite the crowd, the staff told me they couldn’t see anyone,” Dewhurst said. “That’s what I know about of the Texas press corps, who I respect.”

“We couldn’t see anyone that had done anything that they shouldn’t be doing, so the case is closed,” Dewhurst said.

Updated 10:15 a.m.  Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s office says after reviewing the video tapes, it has concluded the media acted appropriately the night of the Senate filibuster and won’t be arrested after all. A spokesman said Saturday the Republican lieutenant governor instructed his staff to look at the video after someone told him reporters were cheering on protesters in the gallery who disrupted the legislative proceedings. “He had his staff review tapes and was happy to learn that the media conducted themselves in a matter consistent with the decorum of the Senate chamber,” said Dewhurst spokesman Travis Considine. “He has a deep and abiding respect for the Texas press corps.”

Nevertheless, it’s clear that the leadership in Texas won’t be caught by surprise this time.  Expect to see plenty of protests outside the legislature, and something a lot closer to business as usual inside of it.

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careful everyone.. if you happen to like Italian food.. or French art.. or the British legacy of common law…

Armin Tamzarian on July 1, 2013 at 2:54 PM

will label you a closet socialist.. because finding something less crazed, let alone praiseworthy in Europe marks you as tainted..

When did it get decided that citing examples was selling out?

You can admire the good or least, less terrible things in someone to shame those who share their politics but are wildly more extreme, or else what CAN you use to reach them?

Pretty please?

yeah,.. that’ll work/sarc

mark81150 on July 1, 2013 at 3:24 PM

I like all of those things.
At least a little bit.
I must be a full-on rabid progressive!

22044 on July 1, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Personally I think all those in favor of abortion should have one done on them and to them.
Lead by example.

By the way I am all for Pro-Choice.

Choice 1 ladies: say no or use protection. Saying no works 100% of the time. Remember those condoms are made overseas where the quality control is not always up to snuff.

Choice 2 ladies: If the wrong choices are made above then choose to raise the child singly or in a marriage or place the child up for adoption.

Hard choices? Yeah. So what. The rewards down the road more than make up for it.

My son’s biological mother made a wrong Choice 1 but a right Choice 2 and now her mistake calls me “Daddy” and my wife “Mom” so go f-u-c-k yourself!

Bubba Redneck on July 1, 2013 at 3:35 PM

“Wendy” blocked NOTHING, water-carrier.

PJ Emeritus on July 1, 2013 at 3:40 PM

When Obamacare was passed, without cheating, btw, this crowd staunchly defended the yahoos out spitting on Congressmen.

urban elitist on July 1, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Coming to a Hospital near you…

” Some hospitals have resorted to bartering with one another to secure even a small supply of nutrients, and many are rationing.

“It almost makes me cry—our patients are starving because of drug shortages. How can this happen in this country?” says ASPEN past president Jay Mirtallo, a professor of clinical pharmacy at Ohio State University. “In the last three years, there hasn’t been one PN product that hasn’t been in short supply. I’ve traveled all over the world talking about parenteral nutrition, and our colleagues in Europe, South America, and Asia just look astounded and ask how this can be such a significant problem when they have no issue whatsoever in any of their countries.”

Why haven’t you heard about the shortages? Most people haven’t. Many hospital administrators, doctors, and even NICU nurses are unaware that patients are being shortchanged. What’s more, several hospital staff members say that “virtually none” of the patients or their parents know that their intravenous nutrition is so incomplete that they may be in danger of serious deficiencies….

One national survey found that the shortages cost hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars a year in labor expenses, because they have to increase staffing to monitor inventories and try to locate supplies or devise alternatives…

Other hospitals have turned to “gray market” vendors: private, unauthorized suppliers who acquire shortaged drugs and nutrients—or what they claim are shortaged drugs—and sell them to hospitals at huge markups, in one case more than 8,400 percent.

“We have some real concerns about the safety of using drugs you purchase through the gray market,” Cohen says. “How were they stored? Where did they get it from? Was it in someone’s car? Is it counterfeit? Is it diluted down? All of these things have actually happened.”

In the last five years, all of the five companies that make most of the generic injectables in the US had manufacturing problems and suspended production.

“It’s a recipe for disaster,” says Erin Fox, who directs the University of Utah Drug Information Service. “These companies have really let the American public down by choosing to not have a backup plan. They don’t care if they run out of something that’s lifesaving, because to them it’s a business.”

In 2010, a chemotherapy-drug shortage was traced to three manufacturers, one of which closed its plant. Clinics had to turn patients away because they were out of the drugs. Public outcry led to a media firestorm, and cytarabine, the most important chemotherapy drug to treat leukemia, returned to the market after 11 months…

But this time around, nutrients have slipped through the cracks. Policymakers don’t understand the significance of IV nutrients, health advocates say. “It was seen as a sexy news article when it was chemo and infants and children couldn’t get their cancer drugs,” says Bona Benjamin, medication-use quality-improvement director at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). “But this is just as sad or worse.”

The rationing pits patient against patient, forcing health-care practitioners to decide who gets a critical nutrient and who has to go without. Says Mirtallo: “I can’t imagine another time in my professional life when we were accepting the unacceptable.”

But is it the manufacturers’ fault?

A 2012 report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform places much of the blame on the FDA. The report says that because the agency ramped up inspections and sent a flurry of warning letters, “four of America’s five largest manufacturers of generic injectable products” simultaneously shut down 30 percent of their manufacturing capacity.

FDA officials have responded that the increase of warning letters was only a “modest fluctuation” that didn’t correlate with the dramatic increase in shortages.

But records show that the number of warning letters related to drugs and biologics nearly doubled between 2009 and 2010, from 34 to 60, before falling to 48 the next year. The recent surge in shortages began in 2010.

The House committee report doesn’t mention the reasons the FDA cautioned the manufacturers. At some facilities, the agency found mold on the walls, open containers of urine, and metal chips in vials—serious problems, to be sure. An examination of FDA inspection letters reveals dozens of additional infractions. But the report notes that a review of the violations “did not find any instances where the shutdown was associated with reports of drugs harming customers.”

A March 2013 committee follow-up letter—which was obtained for this article but has not been made public—directs the FDA to turn over documents and appear for a briefing “in order for the Committee to understand how FDA is managing the drug shortage crisis.”

“It appears that FDA failed to properly balance regulatory benefits and regulatory costs when the agency took actions that effectively shut down a significant amount of manufacturing capacity at most of America’s major producers of generic injectable drugs,” the congressional letter states.

The letter echoes an accusation in the original report that the FDA knew as early as mid-2011 that its enforcement measures might lead to shortages. That’s when FDA warning letters began to mention shortages, instructing manufacturers to contact the agency before making a decision that would result in a drop-off in production…”

http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/people/children-are-dying/indexp4.php

workingclass artist on July 1, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Group Tied To Planned Parenthood Paying People To Protest For Abortion In Texas…

(Craig’s List Ad posted 6/29 at link)

Sounds like they are going to astroturf the special session Rick Perry called to pass the pro-life bill Wendy Davis filibustered.

Via Townhall:

… I called the number listed on the advertisement to get more information and was told this campaign is directly working with Planned Parenthood to bolster their efforts. As a reminder, Planned Parenthood is a tax-exempt, tax payer funded organization that performs more than 330,000 abortions every year.

http://weaselzippers.us/2013/07/01/group-tied-to-planned-parenthood-paying-people-to-protest-for-abortion-in-texas/

Astroturf…It’s what’s for Dinner

workingclass artist on July 1, 2013 at 4:13 PM

The left’s going to be trolls anyway, I’d amend the bill to the 18th week just out of spite… let alone saving that many more lives.

Gingotts on July 1, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Ha! I said change it to 19 weeks yesterday for the same reason.

cptacek on July 1, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Armin Tamzarian on July 1, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Must have got that blocked drain free of baby body parts at your in-laws’ clinic, eh? Some free time before you have to go back and mop up the blood off the floor?

cptacek on July 1, 2013 at 4:17 PM

I haven’t read the details of this story. Is it the 20 week limit the pro-abortionists object to or is it the clinical standard practice requirements? I can understand them protesting the time limit. Hard core pro-abortionists don’t care if babies are aborted moments before birth. But I truly do not see why anyone would object to abortion clinics having to follow the most routine and common standards for medical facilities. Aren’t these the same people who demand special licensing for tattoo parlors and barbers? I’d sure as heck want some assurance that the person sticking a speculum and scissors up my hoo-haa knows how to use an autoclave.

RobertE on July 1, 2013 at 4:28 PM

I haven’t read the details of this story. Is it the 20 week limit the pro-abortionists object to or is it the clinical standard practice requirements? I can understand them protesting the time limit. Hard core pro-abortionists don’t care if babies are aborted murdered moments before after birth. But I truly do not see why anyone would object to abortion clinics having to follow the most routine and common standards for medical facilities. Aren’t these the same people who demand special licensing for tattoo parlors and barbers? I’d sure as heck want some assurance that the person sticking a speculum and scissors up my hoo-haa knows how to use an autoclave.

RobertE on July 1, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Fixed.

rottenrobbie on July 1, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Is it the 20 week limit the pro-abortionists object to or is it the clinical standard practice requirements?

RobertE on July 1, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Yes.
They don’t want the medical facilities standards because it’s hard to do that when you’re killing babies at a frantic pace. Plus, it will cost them some of that hard-earned cash.

GWB on July 1, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Is it the 20 week limit the pro-abortionists object to or is it the clinical standard practice requirements?

RobertE on July 1, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Realistically, they have a knee jerk opposition to any ‘limits’ on abortion.

When pushed, most will agree that the 20 week limit is not unreasonable (more than 1/3 of babies are viable within a week or two of that), but then they claim the ‘new’ standards will make abortion less available. The push back on that, of course, is the whole point of pro-abortionists is to make abortion safe (“No back alley abortions!”), so why wouldn’t they want basic medical standards (such as having a dr. available in case a woman starts to bleed out, or a baby comes out alive) enforced?

If all else fails, show them photos of the women mutilated and killed by Gosnell- even if they don’t care about the babies’ severed feet, that should shut them up.

LASue on July 1, 2013 at 5:09 PM

When Obamacare was passed, without cheating, btw, this crowd staunchly defended the yahoos out spitting on Congressmen.
urban elitist on July 1, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Lying doesn’t help your argument.

Obamacare was stopped and dead as a bill not once, not twice but three times. The Democrats in the senate unconstitutionally gutted a house bill and replaced it with Obamacare because taxing legislation couldn’t originate in the Senate… Except that was NEVER the point of the gutted house bill. When it still wouldn’t pass the house, Obama and Pelosi held the confessional session open, browbeating, blackmailing and outright buying votes until it was passed. The bill then was DEEMED passed by President Obama so it wouldn’t have to go back through the Senate.

The entire process was a farce and travesty of constitutional process.

But now I know that the next time congress tries this then the Tea Party shouldn’t protest peacefully on the lawn while Pelosi smarmily walks trough the crowd with her oversized hammer and then claiming racist epithets were thrown at her…

The Tea Party should commence with a citizens filibuster.
You want anarchy pal? You got it.

Skywise on July 1, 2013 at 5:19 PM

workingclass artist on July 1, 2013 at 4:13 PM

You can log on and report this ad as “spam”. (hint, hint)
http://austin.craigslist.org/npo/3866256094.html

avagreen on July 1, 2013 at 5:27 PM

’m pleased that, although I’ve been told by many different people that they thought they had seen different members of the press who were trying to incite the crowd, the staff told me they couldn’t see anyone,” Dewhurst said.

Not buying it.

rrpjr on July 1, 2013 at 7:54 PM

When Obamacare was passed, without cheating, btw, this crowd staunchly defended the yahoos out spitting on Congressmen.
urban elitist on July 1, 2013 at 2:23 PM

…still?….after so long?…pathetic!

KOOLAID2 on July 1, 2013 at 8:01 PM

Aw. She wore her dusty shoes for nothing.

SouthernGent on July 1, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Dewhurst is a bit of a media hog and he and Perry screwed up on this legislation big time. Having said that I’m confident that this time it will go through. Texas isn’t Wisconsin. We play tough here and don’t put up with this liberal garbage. We know the Proggies are behind all of this and they won’t get another chance to act like fools. This legislation WILL pass. Bank on it!

neyney on July 1, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Pro-life Texans are saying, “Oh, if everyone’s invited to this party, this will be fun!”

Davis’s crew might not enjoy the pep rally it seemed to want before.

bmmg39 on July 1, 2013 at 11:46 PM

All the libs want is the freedom to abort their own children, then use the “education system” to indoctrinate ours.

Keep it up, morons, all part of your effort to depopulate the Earth to save it from global warming?

PJ Emeritus on July 2, 2013 at 8:54 AM

The party of stupid rides again! YEE-HAWWWW!

MJBrutus on July 2, 2013 at 12:49 PM

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