Less than a week ago, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals in the Fifth Circuit upheld two provisions of the new Texas law, confirming that these provisions do not pose an undue hardship on women seeking abortions. Unsettled by the ruling, abortion activists are now attacking the law by filing suit against additional regulations in HB2.
The first provision requires abortion facilities to meet the same safety and structural requirements as ambulatory surgical centers. The New York abortion advocacy group, Center for Reproductive Rights, is representing nine abortion committers in the suit filed in federal court today. The plaintiffs want a court order to block this requirement. Additionally, the suit readdresses the requirement for hospital admitting privileges by requesting exemptions for Whole Women’s Health clinic in McAllen and a reproductive services clinic in El Paso.
HB 2 requires abortionists to secure admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of each facility at which they commit abortions. Claiming that these two clinics provide services to “underserved” areas in Texas is the latest ploy for this request, indicating that abortionists may not be able to secure privileges at a nearby hospital and thereby, women who suffer abortion complications would be endangered if not transferred to a hospital.
Since the passage of HB2 in the summer of 2013, fifteen abortion clinics in Texas have either stopped committing abortions or have shuttered their doors completely. The abortion industry argues in the filing that adhering to higher standards will leave less than 10 abortion clinics open in Texas.
Texas Right to Life fully supports requiring abortion clinics to meet the same standards that are already required of other surgical centers in Texas. Both the majority of Texans and Texas legislators backed the regulations and supported the law’s intent to protect women from the type of abortionist unable to meet basic healthcare standards.