Sophie Novack

Sophie is the public health reporting fellow at the Observer. She previously covered health care policy and politics at National Journal in Washington, D.C. You can contact her at [email protected].

By Sophie Novack:

Protesters gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court as judges consider oral arguments in the Texas House Bill 2 abortion case, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.
Health Care

Judge Temporarily Halts New Texas Abortion Ban

In his ruling, Judge Lee Yeakel said that unless Roe v. Wade is overturned, he will continue applying the constitutional standard of no “undue burden” on women.

In a rebuke to state lawmakers, a federal judge in Austin temporarily halted a law passed by the Legislature in May that bans a common second-trimester abortion procedure. In his ruling, released late Thursday, District Court Judge Lee Yeakel said that unless Roe v. Wade is overturned, he’s obliged to use the standard of "undue burden" to determine the constitutionality of abortion laws. Read More

Greg Abbott accepted the Site Selection Governor's Cup in March, but neglected to mention the behind-the-scenes corporate handouts that made Texas a frontrunner for the honor.
Health Care

Despite Self-Congratulation, Lawmakers Did Virtually Nothing about Maternal Mortality Crisis

Governor Greg Abbott said he was “committed to doing everything we can to combat the maternal mortality rate,” but lawmakers ignored specific recommendations to reduce pregnancy-related deaths.

Jen Reel From the way the governor and top Republican lawmakers have been talking, you’d think the Legislature was taking bold steps toward solving the state’s alarming maternal mortality crisis. “It is unacceptable that Texas continues to have a high … Read More

Criminal Justice

Compassionate (Ab)use: Family Battles Texas over Medical Marijuana

The Zartlers have gone through a veritable pharmacy of prescription drugs, but they say medical marijuana is the only thing that stops Kara from hitting herself.

Mark Zartler measures how well his 17-year-old daughter, Kara, is doing by what he calls a “hit test” — counting the number of times she hits herself on a given day. Kara, who has severe autism and cerebral palsy, has … Read More

Protesters gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court as judges consider oral arguments in the Texas House Bill 2 abortion case, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.
Health Care

Lawsuit Filed Against New Texas Abortion Law

The Trump presidency and possible changes to the Supreme Court raise the stakes for the state’s next abortion fight.

One year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Texas’ sweeping 2013 anti-abortion law that closed the majority of clinics in the state, reproductive-rights attorneys are challenging a major provision of the new Senate Bill 8, signed into law by … Read More

Health Care

Texas Bill Would Revoke Medical Licenses of Doctors Who Perform Abortions

A measure proposed in the special session would ban physicians from providing almost all abortions.

A bill filed in the Texas Legislature’s special session would revoke the licenses of doctors who perform abortions in the state, with limited exceptions. The measure, filed by far-right Representative Valoree Swanson, R-Spring, would expand the “prohibited practices” that result … Read More

Health Care

Texas Mother ‘Deathly Afraid’ of Medicaid Cuts Under GOP Health Plan

Patients, families, doctors, and advocates gathered at a health care town hall with Congressman Lloyd Doggett on Sunday.

For Diane Kearns, the current debate over health care reform comes down to this: “Medicaid saved Dean’s life.” Dean is her son, she explained to several hundred people at a town hall meeting in Austin this weekend. He has cerebral … Read More

Border

Five New Laws that Will Likely Get Texas Sued (Or Already Have)

The Texas Legislature passed at least 5 arguably unconstitutional bills this year, and the special session hasn’t even started.

Infighting, red-meat politics and parliamentary revenge characterized this year’s Texas Legislature. Amid the fray, legislators failed to reauthorize basic state agencies such as the Texas Medical Board, which is why Texans now face the gloomy fate of another 30-day session … Read More

Articles
Top