The Supreme Court this week delivered its strongest affirmation of a women's right to abortion in years. By a margin of 5-3, it struck down two key provisions of a Texas law restricting the procedure.

In a decision striking down key aspects of a Texas abortion law Monday, the Supreme Court cast doubt on similar laws in nearly two-dozen states.

The Supreme Court has overturned a Texas law requiring clinics that provide abortions to have surgical facilities and doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The law was predicted to close many clinics and further reduce availability of abortion in Texas; the court has ruled the law violated the Constitution.

Abortion is one of the more common procedures performed in the U.S., more common even than appendectomy. But as clinics in Texas close, finding a place in the state where medical residents training to be OB-GYNs can learn to do abortions is getting harder.

Politics Makes Abortion Training In Texas Difficult

Jun 21, 2016

Every year, more than 100 new obstetrician-gynecologists graduate from a Texas residency program and enter the medical workforce. Theoretically, all have had the opportunity during their four years of residency to learn about what's called "induced abortion" — named that to distinguish it from a miscarriage. But the closure of abortion clinics in Texas — more than 20 since 2013 — has made that training increasingly difficult.

Women who want an abortion in deeply conservative Texas have slightly more choice these days than they had a few months ago. In March, the Food and Drug Administration simplified rules on abortion medication, allowing patients to take the standard regimen of abortion drugs later in a pregnancy.

The mosquito-borne Zika virus has sparked a debate about abortion in both Latin America and the United States.

The virus has been directly linked to a birth defect that results in an abnormally small head and brain damage. In Latin America, where many countries have strict bans on abortion, some citizens and government officials are asking whether such bans should be reconsidered, at least in infected mothers.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has signed a bill that makes his state the second to ban abortion because of a fetal abnormality. The measure also criminalizes the procedure when motivated solely because of factors such as the fetus's sex or race.

The fate of the controversial Texas abortion law is in the hands of the Supreme Court, and a decision isn't expected before June. But how this particular law reached the high court and how its opponents have gathered evidence to strike it down represent fresh twists in an acrimonious national debate stretching back to the 1970s.

After hearing oral arguments on what could be one of the most important abortion cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in decades, NPR's Nina Totenberg says that the only thing that is certain is that Justice Anthony Kennedy will cast the deciding vote.

As expected, Nina says, the three conservatives and four liberals on the court stuck to their positions for and against a Texas law that puts restrictions on abortions.

The Supreme Court decided Friday to hear a challenge to a 2013 Texas law that has already forced the closure of more than half of the state's 40 clinics that perform abortions and could result in the closure of a dozen more.

Jessica Robinson

Abortion services providers say the Supreme Court’s ruling on a 35-foot “buffer zones”around Massachusetts clinics won’t have much effect in the Northwest.

Neither Washington, Oregon nor Idaho has the kind of law that the high court deemed unconstitutional. Clinics in the region rely on other measures aimed at protesters.

Washington's attorney general says public hospital districts that provide maternity care must also provide equivalent abortion services.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued an opinion Wednesday in response to an inquiry from a state lawmaker. The ACLU and other advocacy organizations have been concerned about hospital mergers involving religious health organizations, worried that more secular hospitals would end up following religious rules.

Fate of abortion coverage bill uncertain in Olympia

Feb 25, 2013

OLYMPIA, Wash. − A bill to require insurance companies to offer plans that cover maternity services and abortions passed the Washington House Friday. It is unclear, however, whether the legislation will make it through the Senate’s Republican-majority caucus. Majority Leader Rodney Tom has said he doesn’t want to vote on divisive social issues.

In the House debate, Rep. Laurie Jinkins said this bill would provide options for abortion coverage after the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented.

An Idaho woman challenging her state’s anti-abortion laws has not received much attention from groups on either side of the abortion debate. But for the first time, one group is holding a rally to support her. It’s in Seattle Wednesday .

Jennie Linn McCormack of Pocatello, Idaho was arrested last year after local police learned she had terminated a 20-week pregnancy at home.

POCATELLO, Idaho - An Idaho woman arrested for inducing her own abortion is taking her case to federal court. Jennie Linn McCormack was charged last year under an obscure Idaho law for ending her pregnancy with RU-486. She joins an increasing number of women who get the so-called abortion pill off the internet.

McCormack’s attorney says he’s willing to take the challenge all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, neither pro-choice nor pro-life groups are paying attention to the case.

In the session that begins next week in Olympia, the Washington Legislature will consider a bill that would require private insurance companies the cover maternity care to also pay for abortions.

The Seattle Times reports abortion rights groups will announce details at a news conference Sunday in Seattle.

An Idaho woman who was prosecuted on felony charges for ending a pregnancy is now challenging state anti-abortion laws in federal court. It's the first constitutional challenge to a so-called "fetal pain" law that several states passed recently.

Police in Pocatello, Idaho, said Jennie McCormack ordered medication online to terminate her pregnancy at around 20 weeks. Under a 1972 state law, however, it's illegal to have an abortion unless it's performed by a doctor.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington's first official candidate for governor in 2012 says he supports a parental consent requirement for abortion. Republican Rob McKenna weighed in on several hot button social issues in an interview Thursday.