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Lawsuit to be Filed Against Most Draconian Part of New Texas Abortion Law

Abortion rights groups seek to block ambulatory surgical care center rule and to shield El Paso and McAllen abortion clinics from admitting privileges mandate.
by Published on
Access to Planned Parenthood

Update at 5:54 p.m.: We now have the official court filing of this suit. Read it for yourself.

Original post published at 1:40 p.m.: This afternoon in federal district court, a coalition of reproductive rights advocates and abortion providers announced their intent to file suit against the fourth and most draconian provision of Texas’ House Bill 2. The ambulatory surgical center requirement, which directs abortion clinics to upgrade their facilities to mini-hospitals, is set to go into effect on September 1. Abortion providers say that the renovations are so costly that fewer than ten clinics in Texas could afford to comply. The remaining abortion clinics in the state would close, forcing women in parts of Texas to travel up to 1,000 miles to access an abortion, say reproductive health advocates.

“There is no question that the politicians who passed this law intended this as the final blow in their assault on women’s constitutional right and ability to safely and legally end a pregnancy in Texas,” said Nancy Northrup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is litigating the suit on behalf of providers.

Today’s filing also requests a court order blocking the requirement that abortion providers at Whole Woman’s Health clinic in McAllen and Reproductive Health Services clinic in El Paso gain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The McAllen clinic recently closed because of doctors’ inability to gain privileges, leaving the entire Rio Grande Valley without an abortion provider. The El Paso clinic has been granted temporary hospital privileges but these are set to expire in May.

A third of abortion clinics in Texas have already closed as a result of the admitting privileges requirement of House Bill 2, which went into effect in November 2013. Last week the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the admitting privileges mandate is not unconstitutional, reversing the judgement of a lower district court. The appellate justices in New Orleans were not convinced that the extra travel mandated by clinic closures was unduly burdensome for rural Texas women seeking to access abortions.

 More details about today’s lawsuit to follow.

  • Guest

    texasOB writes, ‘Update at 5:54 p.m.: We now have the official court filing of this suit. Read it for yourself.’

    ?

    ok, i’ll go read journalism on another website then

  • Jack Hughes

    Since anti-abortion legislation is founded — at its root — on religious beliefs about when “human life” begins, challenges to abortion restrictions should be based on the explicitly enumerated First Amendment Establishment Clause rather than the unenumerated right to privacy.

  • 1bimbo

    time to take all state funding away from planned parenthood and give it to birth resource centers and adoption agencies

  • Jacqueline

    The extreme conservative republicans are just trying to hurt blacks and Hispanics. It’s a racial issue. I wouldn’t worry too much about abortion clinics closing, for main reason being, they are trying to keep non white from being the majority in the nation, but it’s only a matter of time before it quickly turns around on them, due to Hispanic population already at 51%. Soon, Hispanics will be leading as majority. Especially, now that Hispanic women will be having more babies, since they can’t get abortions easily. Anti abortion plan is soon to backfire. Can’t wait.

  • Jacqueline

    So, Hispanics will eventually have more control over this issue and their rights.

  • http://www.womens-clinics.co.za sam walter

    like stated earlier that the remaining abortion clinics in the state would close, forcing women in parts of Texas to travel up to 1,000 miles to access an abortion, how would you feel if it was your partner whose in need of having a legal abortion after being kidnapped and rapped while she was at the mall shopping? i suggest there should look into this matter once again before banning those clinics