Following a hearing today, a U.S. District Judge refused to allow an El Paso abortionist to continue abortions without admitting privileges required by recently passed House Bill 2.
District Judge Lee Yeakel has a history of ruling against Pro-Life legislation; however, he was not persuaded that Dr. Richter, who commits abortions at Reproductive Services in El Paso, should be allowed to operate under sub-par medical standards simply because his abortion clinic is located in what he claimed is an “underserved area” of the state.
Yeakel’s decision follows the historic ruling by an all-female, three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit just last month. That ruling upheld the constitutionality of the provision that requires all abortionists to secure and maintain privileges at a local hospital, as well as follow higher standards for chemical abortions. As a result of the ruling by the three-judge panel, Planned Parenthood recently requested a rehearing of the case before the full fourteen-judge panel of the 5th Circuit court.
In the shadow of a seeming defeat, Reproductive Services and five other abortion centers filed another lawsuit on April 2nd, challenging additional requirements of House Bill 2. The lawsuit asks for two exemptions: (1) to render the ambulatory surgical center structural standards provision unconstitutional, and (2) immunity from the admitting privileges rule for two abortion centers in South Texas and El Paso.
Texas Right to Life is pleased that Judge Yeakel denied the abortion industry’s pandering for special treatment. This very lawsuit proves that abortion centers are more concerned about their bottom line than they are about the health and safety of Texas women. Texas Right to Life will provide updates when Judge Yeakel issues a ruling on the request for an exemption from the ambulatory surgical center provision.