Texas Bills for 2013 Include Medication Abortion Restrictions, Women's Health Program Changes

November 14, 2012 — Texas lawmakers on Monday pre-filed more than 200 bills for the 2013 legislative session, including one that would restrict medication abortion and another that would allow affiliates of abortion providers to continue participating in the state's Women's Health Program, KVUE reports (Wiggins, KVUE, 11/12).

State Sen. Dan Patrick (R) submitted a bill that would require physicians who offer medication abortion to file extensive paperwork and sign detailed contracts with emergency department physicians and hospitals (Tomlinson, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 11/12). A similar bill (SB 97) failed during the last legislative session.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Lon Burnam (D) filed a bill (HB 58) that would change state law to remove language banning abortion providers or their affiliates from participating in WHP (KVUE, 11/12).

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas filed a lawsuit to remain in the program after the state moved to enforce the law (Women's Health Policy Report, 11/9). Burnam's measure would allow the organization to remain in the program (KVUE, 11/12).

During the 140-day legislative session that begins Jan. 8, the bills will be sent to committees to determine whether they will advance to the full Legislature for consideration (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 11/12).