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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in legal rights
SCOTUS Strikes Down Texas's Abortion TRAP law

Three years ago, I sat up most of the night in front of my computer, watching the debate on HB2, one of the nation's most restrictive abortion laws, live-streamed from the floor of the Texas Legislature. That was the night of Wendy Davis's courageous filibuster, and although I had been unable to drive to Austin to be part of the Unruly Mob in person, I was glued to the proceedings. In between watching debate, tweeting out and Facebooking links, and talking to my fellow activists who were terrified that this bill would pass and essentially end access to abortion and other forms of reproductive healthcare in Texas, I was silently thanking my high school debate coach for teaching me parliamentary procedure and how to "flow" debates. In the end, the Republican senators broke the chamber rules and voted the bill in just past midnight. Another special session would be called, and the bill would become law. It effectively closed the majority of abortion providers in Texas -- many of which also provided other vital healthcare.

Today, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) struck down that law, citing two provisions -- that all abortion providers meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, and that all abortion providers have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles -- as placing an undue burden on those seeking abortion care. 

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The Maetreum of Cybele is seeking donations to fund its continuing legal fight to have its tax-exempt status recognized by the Town of Catskill.  I was in court when a panel of appellate judges (New York's second-highest jurists) heard testimony which led to a ruling in the Maetreum's favor, one which was covered by the likes of Forbes and the New York Law Journal.

Like many small towns in this state, Catskill is apparently loathe to take a property off the tax rolls.  Both state and federal governments continue to heap unfunded mandates on local municipalities, which must also manage rising health-care costs and a tax cap which ensures that the revenue will never keep up with the costs without cutting what the law will allow, such as programs for senior citizens and other "discretionary" expenses.

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