Posts Tagged ‘legal

TEXAS: Omnibus Anti-Choice Abortion Bill Now in Special Session. Help Stop It.

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Excerpt follows:

There are, very likely, going to be even more people in Texas who are going to be turned away from abortions VERY SOON. Yesterday, there was VERY bad news:

Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday added new abortion regulations to the Legislature’s special session workload, measures long pushed by conservatives that could signal two weeks of fierce ideological debate after an unusually harmonious regular session.

The governor’s office asked lawmakers to consider imposing more controls on abortion, abortion providers and facilities. […]

But Perry made it clear Tuesday he hasn’t forgotten the issues close to the hearts of his conservative base, saying in statement: “The horrors of the national late-term abortion industry are continuing to come to light, one atrocity at a time. Sadly, some of those same atrocities happen in our own state.”

“In Texas, we value all life, and we’ve worked to cultivate a culture that supports the birth of every child,” Perry said. “We have an obligation to protect unborn children, and to hold those who peddle these abortions to standards that would minimize the death, disease and pain they cause.”

During a special session, lawmakers can only consider topics Perry directs them to work on. Still, in hopes the governor might add abortion to the call, Republican Sen. Bob Deuell, a physician from Greenville, already filed a bill requiring abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers.

If approved, it would mean that 90 percent of abortion clinics statewide would either have to spend millions to upgrade their facilities or shut down.

The bill is Senate Bill 5 (SB5), introduced by state senator Glenn Hegar.

Here are how special sessions work in Texas:

The purpose of aspecial session is to focus attention on a particular problem or to respond to a particular crisis. These sessions may last no more than thirty days and may only consider agenda items specified by the Governor. This places a premium on the precise wording used when the Governor calls for a special session.

Because special sessions are supposed to be used to deal with crises, they have more lax rules for voting. They don’t need a quorum and this can pass with a simple majority of whoever is there. There is a REAL fear that this bill will pass, nearly destroying access to abortion in the state of Texas.

Governor Perry’s press release about adding the abortion issue to this special session.

Last night, Lilith Fund, the abortion fund that services south and central Texas, tweeted what exactly SB5 will legislate (it’s horrific):

The Texas Legislature has decided to include abortion in its special session. SB 5 would close all but 5 clinics in our 268,000 square-mile state, regulate medication abortion (the abortion pill) almost out of existence, and ban abortions after 20 weeks, hurting lower-income women in particular.


Read the rest:


Written by messwatx

2013/06/15 at 5:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Texas proposes one of nation’s “most sweeping” mobile privacy laws

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If signed into law, cops would finally need a warrant to get location data.

by Cyrus Farivar – Mar 6 2013, 7:37pm CST

If the bill passes Austin, Texas could lead the nation in mobile privacy protection.

Privacy experts say that a pair of new mobile privacy bills recently introduced in Texas are among the “most sweeping” ever seen. And they say the proposed legislation offers better protection than a related privacy bill introduced this week in Congress.

If passed, the new bills would establish a well-defined, probable cause-driven warrant requirement for all location information. That’s not just data from GPS, but potentially pen register, tap and trace, and tower location data as well. Such data would be disclosed to law enforcement “if there is probable cause to believe the records disclosing location information will provide evidence in a criminal investigation.”

Further, the bills would require an annual transparency report from mobile carriers to the public and to the state government.

Under current federal case law and statute, law enforcement generally has broad warrantless powers to not only track suspects in real-time based on their phone data, but also to access records of where and when calls were made or text messages were sent or received—and all of this is provided by the carriers.

“Location information can reveal a great deal about an individual’s professional and personal life—her friends and associates, her participation in political or religious activities, her regular visits to a health clinic or support group, and more,” said Chris Conley, an attorney with the ACLU of Northern California.

“That’s why we think it is essential that the government get a search warrant, approved by a judge, before demanding this kind of information from cell phone providers. The Texas bill would require just that. In addition, the Texas bill would also require companies to report how often they receive such demands from law enforcement and how much information they disclose. This kind of transparency is essential to carry on an informed dialog about appropriate law enforcement powers in the modern world.”


Written by messwatx

2013/03/07 at 12:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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