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Abortion, Remembering Joe Sample, and Frontier Jazz Orchestra: Houston Matters for Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014

Abortion rights supporters and opponents in Texas are awaiting a ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in an ongoing legal battle over an abortion law Texas legislators passed last year. The law, as written, requires (among other provisions) that all clinics providing abortions in Texas meet the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers. […]

Abortion rights supporters and opponents in Texas are awaiting a ruling from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in an ongoing legal battle over an abortion law Texas legislators passed last year.

The law, as written, requires (among other provisions) that all clinics providing abortions in Texas meet the same standards as hospital-style surgical centers. Lawyers for those clinics argue that requirement is arbitrary and cost-prohibitive, and has forced a number of clinics to close, limiting access to such services for women in much of the state. Last month, a federal judge in Austin agreed, and struck down the provision.

The State of Texas appealed, and on Friday, lawyers for the state and for clinics that provide abortions made their cases to the 5th Circuit, which could rule at most any time.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk with Houston Public Media News 88.7’s Carrie Feibel, who was in New Orleans last week to hear arguments before the 5th Circuit. We also consider the political and legal implications of this case, as we talk with University of Houston Assistant Professor of Political Science Brandon Rottinghaus, and Nicole Casarez, a Visiting Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Houston Law Center. And we welcome your thoughts too.

Also this hour: We talk with Adam Paz, Director of Technology for the 2014 MEST Conference taking place here In Houston today. MEST stands for medicine, energy, space, and technology. The conference brings together representatives of each discipline here in Houston to encourage collaboration.

Plus: We remember jazz pianist and composer Joe Sample. The longtime Houstonian died Friday at the age of 75. We listen back to highlights from our conversation with Sample in 2013.

And: The Houston-based Frontier Jazz Orchestra is performing in town later this week. Jacqui Sutton is the lead vocalist and bandleader. She joins us to talk about the group’s blend of jazz, bluegrass, and orchestral/chamber music.

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