Next Round of Abortion Fight Begins;
Cruz Defiant on ABC, CNN Sunday Shows;
Cruz Returns to Texas for Events;
1,000+ Attend Alamo Gun Rally
Good evening from Austin.
Sorry we are late.
Going through the Ted Cruz clips today was particularly taxing.
The new AP & Coaches polls:
10. Texas Tech
14. Texas A&M
19. Oklahoma State
9. Texas Tech
13. Oklahoma State
15. Texas A&M
Here’s the late brief:
NEXT ROUND IN ABORTION FIGHT BEGINS
AP’s Chris Tomlinson reports:
The next round in the fight over Texas’ abortion restrictions begins this week, with Planned Parenthood challenging the law in federal court and a state agency transforming the law into regulations.
A judge will hear arguments Monday over whether enforcement of the law should be stopped until abortion rights advocates have a chance to argue their case at trial. The Texas attorney general’s office will argue the law doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution and should be enforced.
The law restricts how, when and where a woman can obtain an abortion in Texas and was the subject of Fort Worth Sen. Wendy Davis‘ nearly 13-hour filibuster that brought her national attention. Thousands of protesters opposing and supporting the bill converged on the Capitol in June and July until the Republican-controlled Legislature eventually passed the measure. No other subject has attracted such large protests at the Capitol in at least 30 years.
Beginning Oct. 29, the law requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges within 30 miles of the clinic, that they follow strict instructions for pill-induced abortions and that they only perform abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy if health of the mother is in danger or the fetus is not viable.
Starting next October, the law also requires all abortions take place in an ambulatory surgical center — a mandate that could leave only a handful of clinics open in the nation’s second most populous state.
Supporters say the multiple layers of the law are designed to stop as many abortions as possible. The authors of the measure have all said they would like to see abortion banned completely, but have argued that the law once known as House Bill 2 will protect women’s health, despite opposition from the Texas Medical Association, Texas Hospital Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
In court papers, Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers argue the law has little to do with medicine and will deny women access to a legal abortion in large swathes of the state. They’ve asked Judge Lee Yeakel to delay enforcement of the admitting privileges requirement and the restrictions on medical abortions because they violate a woman’s right to an abortion and the doctor’s rights to work and apply the safest standard of care to their patients.
Federal judges in other states have found problems with similar provisions, but the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has supported most of Texas’ attempts to limit abortions. If Yeakel imposes a temporary injunction, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott will immediately appeal that decision to the conservative New Orleans-based court.
If the law goes into effect as proposed, abortion clinics in Fort Worth, Harlingen, Killeen, Lubbock, McAllen and Waco will all have to close due to the admitting privileges requirement. No abortion clinics will be operating east of Waco or west of Interstate 35.
Planned Parenthood is also calling on supporters this week to tell the Department of State Health Services what they think about the proposed regulations for abortion clinics that will take effect Oct. 1, 2014. The deadline to comment is Oct. 27.The draft rules would present a major challenge for abortions clinics that want to remain open. Abortion clinics are already heavily regulated and inspected in Texas and the rule that they meet ambulatory surgical center requirements adds a second layer of regulation.
For instance, abortion clinics are subject to unannounced inspections, while surgical centers are not. Abortion clinics will also have to meet national standards for sterility, operating room size and corridor width, even if the only abortions they perform are induced by taking a pill and sending the woman home. And while older surgical centers are not required to update facilities to meet newer standards, existing abortion clinics that do not meet the new standards must be closed.
Currently there are only six ambulatory surgical centers that perform abortions in Texas, all of them in major metropolitan areas. If all of the new rules were to come into effect on Oct. 29, only four abortion clinics would remain open, but the legal and regulatory fights over Texas abortion laws have just begun.
CRUZ ON ABC & CNN SUNDAY SHOWS
CRUZ’S WEEKEND AND EARLY WEEK
On Saturday Sen. Cruz spoke to the Texas Medical Association in Austin (here’s the TT report) and the Texas Federation of Republican Women in San Antonio.
On Monday night, Sen. Cruz will speak to the King Street Patriots at a “Welcome Home” event.
On Tuesday, Sen. Cruz will hold a small business roundtable event at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and then speak at the North East Tarrant Tea Party.
1,000+ ATTEND GUN RALLY AT THE ALAMO
TT’s David Maly reports:
More than a thousand people, many sporting rifles and other long guns, turned out at the Alamo on Saturday for a protest over local, state and federal gun restrictions, according to organizers’ estimates.
The event focused mainly on a Texas law that prohibits the open carry of handguns, though it also referenced gun laws across the nation. The event was organized by Open Carry Texas, Come and Take it America and Carry Texas, according to C.J. Grisham, a spokesman for Open Carry Texas.
Current Texas law allows owners of long guns and several other types of guns to openly carry, while handgun owners must conceal their weapons.
Grisham said that while most attendees were from Texas, the rally also drew participants from as far away as Florida.
Several politicians and political candidates spoke at the event including Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, a candidate for lieutenant governor; Matt McCall, a Republican candidate for Congress; and Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Kathie Glass.
Patterson focused on safety in his remarks, saying that allowing all licensed gun holders to openly carry their weapons creates a safer environment.
“The folks who seek the permit are the folks by petition that are law abiding,” Patterson said.
Patterson said mass shootings and other gun-related crimes tend to occur in areas where guns are scarce.
“They go to where they know the guns are prohibited,” Patterson said.
He urged members of the crowd to not direct any anger over current gun laws toward law enforcement officers.
“Any anger you have, focus it at the lawmakers,” Patterson said. “Those are where the violations of our liberty come from. It’s not the cop on the street.”
Grisham said the event was spurred on after San Antonio police gave three members of Open Carry Texas disorderly conduct citations roughly a month ago while displaying rifles in open sight at a Starbucks.
Grisham and Roger Zuniga, a spokesman for the San Antonio Police Department, said those citations are currently pending trial.
Zuniga said the San Antonio Police Department didn’t use any additional officers for security around the event, though it did shuffle around officers in the downtown area. He said no incidents occurred surrounding the event.
McCall argued that federal restrictions on gun owner licensing are overly restrictive.
“It says if you are a veteran with any PTS in your file, it is a crime to own a firearm,” McCall said, referring to post-traumatic stress disorder. “It is the same with women who have been raped with PTS.”
Glass remarked on the federal government shutdown in her speech, saying a state focus is needed to address issues across the board including gun restriction.
“Washington is broken,” Glass said. “The two-party system is broken. We have got to chart a new course away from government.”
The rally’s speeches lasted for several hours. At around 1 p.m., event organizers encouraged attendees to venture into the downtown area with their weapons displayed or march to a town hall event at a nearby park.
Murdoch Pizgatti, founder of Come and Take it America, said he thought the event was a tremendous success, as it served as an example of people peacefully gathering together and openly carrying their weapons.
“This was a public education showing that this can be done without incident, so in two years, when the Legislature is in open session, this event will be talked about when those bills are on the floor,” Pizgatti said.
He said the groups hope to spur on the legalization of open carry for all guns in the next legislative session. An event similar to Saturday’s rally is being planned for Austin in the near future, he said.
– Nolan Ryan appears in TV ad urging voters to support Prop 6, the water fund.
2013 / 2014 / 2016:
– TM’s Brian Sweany’s cover story on gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Greg Abbott (R-TX).
– SAEN/Chron’s Peggy Fikac’s weekly column (behind paywall) is on the slow start to the development of the statewide Democratic ticket for 2014.
Other stories of interest:
– Sen. Cruz says HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius should be fired.
– A joint op ed on the Joint Processing Center from Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.
– An epic selfie.
– Kobe Bryant does not believe he is the 25th best player in the NBA.
– Well played, Ohio State band.
– Earl Campbell reflects on Bum Phillips.
– Bum Phillips’ Memorial is set for Oct. 29
– Are the Cowboys already $31 million over the 2014 NFL Salary Cap?
– Guess who Brett Favre has on his NFL fantasy team…
BLOGS (from the left)
BLOGS (from the right)