Texas Women Sue After Being Denied Abortions When Their Lives Were in Danger
Shefali Luthra for 19th News reports that five women are suing the state of Texas after they had difficulty getting abortions following medical complications that in some cases threatened their lives. All five of them wanted to carry their pregnancies to term, but one of the women developed sepsis, and another had 101-degree fever by the time she was able to receive an abortion and developed PTSD as a result. Luthra highlights that they are the first people who have been denied abortions to challenge a state ban since Roe v. Wade was overturned. The women are seeking “clarity about what medical exceptions, if any, its three active abortion bans permit,” as well as a ruling that would give physicians the ability to determine when a patient might need an abortion for their own health and survival. Luthra notes that Texas’ abortion laws have exceptions to allow the procedure if it is deemed necessary to save a pregnant person’s life, but those exceptions are incredibly difficult to put into practice. PRRI finds that 64% of Americans support abortion legality in most or all cases and only 9% believe abortion should be banned in all cases.
The Dynamic That Could Decide the 2024 GOP Race
Ron Brownstein for CNN reports that the same fundamental dynamic that decided the 2016 Republican presidential primaries is back: “[E]arly polls of next year’s contest show the Republican electorate is again sharply dividing about former President Donald Trump along lines of education.” Brownstein notes that analysts have often described such an educational divide among primary voters as the wine track, for college-educated voters, and the beer track for those without degrees. Trump exploited the wine track/beer track divide by garnering considerable support from Republicans without a college degree. Research from PRRI finds that that Republicans without a college degree are more likely than those with advanced education to agree with such core Trump themes as the belief that discrimination against whites is now as big a problem as discrimination against minorities. Brownstein concludes: “[A]ssembling a coalition across the GOP’s wine-track/beer-track divide that’s broad enough to beat him remains something of a Rubik’s Cube, and the countdown is starting for the field that’s assembling against him to solve it.”
Texas Republicans Have Filed Dozens of Bills Affecting LGBTQ People
William Melhado of the Texas Tribune reports that Texas lawmakers this year are expected to debate several bills that could bring major changes to the lives of LGBTQ Texans, including when sexuality and gender identity are taught in schools, where people can perform in drag and what kind of healthcare is available to transgender children. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has made it a priority to pass measures that pertain to classroom instruction about LGBTQ people, the college sports teams transgender students can join, and medical treatments that can be provided to transgender youth. Melhado writes that Rep. TomOliverson wants to allow medical providers to decline treatment to any patient for religious views, moral philosophy or “ethical position,” except for during emergency or life-threatening instances. While House Bill 319 does not explicitly mention LGBTQ people, critics worry that the bill would allow doctors to turn people away because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. PRRI finds that the clash comes at a time when 72% of Texans support non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
Catholic Prayer App Hallow Platforming ‘Fringe Elements’ On Catholic Right
Sophia Smith Galer for VICE reports on a popular Catholic prayer app that has quickly risen in app store rankings and is platforming controversial right-wing Catholic figures. The Hallow app, with a $40 million investment backed by Peter Thiel and J.D. Vance, has been promoted by mainstream celebrities including actor Mark Wahlberg and Jim Caviezel, an actor who played Jesus in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, who has spoken at two QAnon conferences. Thiel was one of the big financial supporters of pro-Donald Trump candidates during the 2022 midterm elections. Lila Rose, the president and founder of Live-Action, an anti-abortion advocacy group with a significant social media presence, is also involved in Hallow. Dr Dheepa Sundaram, scholar of performance, ritual, and digital culture at the University of Denver, told VICE News the app appeared to offer “a religion marketing strategy that leverages the devotional needs of adherents to promote ideological and political ideas as part of authentic religious devotion.”
Read the full report “Americans’ Support for Key LGBTQ Rights Continues to Tick Upward” here.