Teen Abortion Rate Rises Despite Strict Texas Regulations

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Alexandra HartJuly 13, 2017 4:41 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

For years, Texas Republicans have pointed to defunding Planned Parenthood as a way to reduce abortions. But a new study says those measures have backfired.

Miami University Economics Professor Analisa Packham studied how family planning cuts impacted teenagers specifically. She found that in the three years following the 2011 cuts to Texas’ family planning budget, the teen abortion rate rose 3.1 percent. It also found that teen *births rose three-point-four percent.

The 2011 cuts slashed public funding for family planning by about two-thirds, resulting in the closure of more than 80 womens’ health clinics.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is expected to announce he’s running for reelection Thursday in San Antonio. It would mark the four-year anniversary of the announcement of his first run for governor.

Abbott’s most recent campaign finance report boasted a war chest of over $39 million. That’s the kind of cash necessary to run a statewide race in Texas.

Abbott currently has no major Democratic or Republican challenger. If he wins, this would be his second term in office.

A federal appeals court has ruled that the EPA can’t delay an Obama-era rule governing methane emissions. Environmental activists are hailing the decision as a rare victory against the Trump Administration. And they’re optimistic about what the decision could mean for future rulings.

Houston Public Media’s Travis Bubenik  has more:

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the EPA didn’t have the power under the Clean Air Act to delay the methane rule.

Environmental groups have also sued to stop the rollback of rules dealing with air pollution on federal lands, landfill emissions and other issues.

Bakeyah Nelson with Air Alliance Houston says the win in the methane case has made groups like hers more hopeful than they were a couple weeks ago.

“We haven’t had many wins recently … it’s promising and it’s hopeful that maybe some of the same arguments that were made in this case could be carried over to those cases as well,” Nelson says.

Tracy Hester, Environmental Law Professor at the University of Houston, says the methane ruling might not directly influence other court cases,

“But it is gonna be pretty persuasive, and it points direction to the way the court – at least the D.C. Circuit – is thinking on these issues,” Hester says.

Hester says the ruling isn’t a slam dunk for environmentalists, because the case only deals with the EPA’s power to stop regulations from going into effect.