Tuesday, June 09, 2015

U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals court upholds Texas abortion limits

On Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton claimed victory for life and women’s health in the Lone Star State after a federal court upheld House Bill 2, passed in the second special session of the 83rd Legislature. He issued the following statement:

“HB 2 both protects the unborn and ensures Texas women are not subjected to unsafe and unhealthy conditions. Today’s decision by the Fifth Circuit validates that the people of Texas have authority to establish safe, common-sense standards of care necessary to ensure the health of women. Abortion practitioners should have no right to operate their businesses from sub-standard facilities and with doctors who lack admitting privileges at a hospital. This ruling will help protect the health and well-being of Texas women. I am proud to have both supported this law in the legislature and defended it in the courts.”

Americans United for Life cheered Tuesday's decision as a step toward "safeguarding maternal health and protecting women from substandard abortion facilities and practices."

“Texas has struck a decisive blow for women’s health and safety against a predatory abortion industry,” Dr. Charmaine Yoest, the group's president and CEO, said.

Governor Greg Abbott released a statement following the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ unanimous ruling that the State of Texas may require all but one abortion clinic to meet HB 2’s requirements.

“This unanimous decision is a vindication of the careful deliberation by the Texas Legislature to craft a law to protect the health and safety of Texas women,” said Governor Abbott. “I am pleased with the Fifth Circuit’s decision to uphold HB 2 and the State of Texas will continue to fight for higher-quality healthcare standards for women while protecting our most vulnerable - the unborn.”

"In plain terms, H.B. 2 and its provisions may be applied throughout Texas, except that Supreme Court precedent requires us to partially uphold the district court’s injunction of the ASC requirement as applied to the Whole Woman’s Health abortion facility in McAllen, Texas, and to uphold the district court’s injunction of the admitting privileges requirement as applied to Dr. Lynn when he is working at the McAllen facility,” the 5th Circuit Court wrote about the law.

Specifically addressing women in El Paso, the court wrote they could simply leave the state and travel to New Mexico if they wanted to have an abortion.

"The closest Texas abortion facility that will remain open is in San Antonio, over 550 miles away.

"There is an abortion facility approximately twelve miles away in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Prior to H.B. 2, more than half of the women who obtained abortions at the Santa Teresa facility were from El Paso. The State argues the closure of the El Paso abortion facility will not impose an undue burden because women in this area can travel to the Santa Teresa facility," the ruling states."

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