Politics

History of Texas' abortion fight

Updated 4:14 PM ET, Thu December 1, 2016
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Texas has long been a hotbed of abortion protests, but the issue drew national attention in 2013 when new abortion restrictions were debated and then passed in the legislature. Above, opponents of the measure walk around supporters at the Capitol. Eric Gray/AP
It took not one but two special leglative sessions for the measure to pass; the first attempt was blocked following a lengthy filibuster by sneaker-wearing Sen. Wendy Davis in a near empty Senate chamber. Eric Gay/AP
In preparation for hours of speaking, Davis wore a pair of pink sneakers in place of her dress shoes. Her shoes became a symbol for abortion-rights activists. Eric Gay/AP
Opponents of the bill sat in the gallery holding hangers. Among the changes Davis and others opposed: requiring abortion clinics to become ambulatory surgical center and requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Eric Gay/AP
Davis said she was speaking for families whose "personal relationships with their doctor and their Creator" would be violated by the bill. Eric Gay/AP
Abortion-rights advocates celebrate the defeat of the measure on June 25, 2013, the last day of that summer's first special legislative session. Davis' filibuster, combined with protests by supporters, helped defeat the legislation at midnight. Erich Schlegel/Getty Images
As the second session was convened on July 1, 2013, Davis led a rally in support of women's rights to reproductive decisions. Erich Schlegel/Getty Images
Abortion-rights demonstrators gather at the state Capitol on July 1, 2013. Erich Schlegel/Getty Images
Supporters on both sides of the issue crowd into the rotunda of the state Capitol on July 1, 2013. Eric Gayy/AP
Anti-abortion demonstrators taped the word "life" over their mouths as they stood in the rotunda of the state Capitol in July 2013. Eric Gay/AP
Opponents of an abortion bill yell outside the Capitol in July 2013. Eric Gray/AP
Opponents of an abortion bill chant outside a hearing at the Capitol in July 2013. Eric Gray/AP
Abortion-rights activists march from the Capitol in July 2013. Eric Gay/AP
Supporters of an abortion bill listen to speakers at a July 2013 rally organized by the Texas Right to Life Organization. Erika Rich/AP
Anti-abortion activist Pamela Whitehead, right, argues with an abortion-rights activist in July 2013. Guillermo Hernandez Martinez/The Daily Texan/AP
Supporters of the measure react in the gallery of the Texas House after it was provisionally approved during the second special session on July 9, 2013. Eric Gay/AP
Opponents of the bill yell outside the Texas House after the bill was provisionally approved. Eric Gay/AP
On October 28, 2013, the day before the legislation was scheduled to take effect, a federal judge ruled that parts of it were unconstitutional. Above, state troopers look on as a group in Austin, Texas, protests the law. Eric Gay/AP
Three days later, on October 31, 2013, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the federal district judge's decision. Here, a woman holds her rosary beads as she prays on the sidewalk across the street from Planned Parenthood in Fort Worth, Texas. David Kent/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Getty Images
As the Texas case wound its way through the courts, a group from Texas joined an anti-abortion demonstration on the Mall in Washington on January 22, 2014 -- the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images
Meanwhile, Wendy Davis' 2013 filibuster propelled her to the Democratic Party's nomination for Texas governor. Here, she listens as Houston City Council member Ellen Cohen speaks about the law in October 2014, just weeks before Davis was defeated by Republican Greg Abbott. Eric Kayne/Getty Images
On the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade -- January 22, 2015 -- Evan Keimig of Houston, left, and Brandan Solcher of Sugarland, Texas, wear Vatican flags in front of the U.S. Capitol following a "March for Life" protest. Andrew Harnik for The Washington Post/Getty Images
The following month, college students and abortion-rights activists rallied on the steps of the Texas Capitol as the legislature met on February 26, 2015. Eric Gay/AP
In July 2015, Erica Canaut, center, and other anti-abortion activists rallied on the steps of the Texas Capitol to condemn the use of tissue samples obtained from aborted fetuses for medical research. Eric Gay/AP
Texas again became the focus of the abortion debate after a group produced a series of videos depicting Planned Parenthood officials appearing to talk about the price of fetal tissue. But an investigation into the allegations backfired on the accusers when prosecutors cleared Planned Parenthood -- and instead indicted two people involved in making the video. Above, one of the two defendants, Sandra Merritt, right, hugs a supporter after appearing in court to post bond on February 3, 2016. Eric Kayne/Getty Images
David Daleiden, the other defendant in the indictment over the videos, speaks to media and supporters after turning himself in the following day in Houston. Daleiden and Sandra Merritt are charged with tampering with a governmental record, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Both have pleaded not guilty. Bob Levey/AP
With the Supreme Court hearing on the Texas law approaching, Whole Woman's Health -- which is challenging the law -- held a gathering at a San Antonio clinic on February 9, 2016. Eric Gay/AP
In a dramatic ruling, the Supreme Court on June 27 threw out a Texas abortion access law in a victory to supporters of abortion rights who argued it would have shuttered all but a handful of clinics in the state. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been a proponent of new rules, slated to take effect December 9, that would require health care facilities to bury or cremate fetal remains. "I believe it is imperative to establish higher standards that reflect our respect for the sanctity of life," Abbott said in fundraising email. Spencer Platt/Getty Images