NEW ORLEANS - Once again, Texas has some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country. This, thanks to the U.S Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling to uphold the law first implemented by then Governor Rick Perry back in 2013. The appeals court in New Orleans is considered one of the most conservative in the nation and proved that Tuesday.
The Texas law requires all abortion clinics in the state to meet hospital-like standards. This is detrimental to the majority of facilities across the state. Places like Planned Parenthood and other privately funded clinics will no longer be allowed to perform the procedure that so many women often desperately seek.
Heather Busby, the Executive Director for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas says, "If they can’t make it illegal they’re going to make it inaccessible. The people that that hurts the most are the ones that are most vulnerable."
Only a handful of clinics in the state meet these standards, which would make getting an abortion a difficult process -- forcing many women to travel hundreds of miles to reach a facility that complies with the law.
Christine Melchor, Director of Houston Coalition for Life, says, "Abortion is not safe, the baby always dies and we just want women to know that there's never a reason to choose abortion. There's so much help available to them in the city and in the state."
Abortion advocates were granted one small triumph. The three-judge panel granted the request that will allow the Whole Woman`s Health Center in McAllen an exemption.
The clinic will not have to comply with a part of the law that states all doctors who perform abortions must have admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30-mile radius of the clinic.
Our state's new governor Greg Abbott, said he is pleased with the court's decision, "The state of Texas will continue to fight for higher-quality healthcare standards for women while protecting our most vulnerable - the unborn"
As for what happens next, this legal fight is likely far from over. The Center for Reproductive Rights - the people who filed the suit opposing the original Texas bill, can now request that the case be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
A heated debate that in the end - will never satisfy all the parties involved.
Governor Abbott Statement On HB 2 Ruling
AUSTIN – 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.”
Lt. Governor Patrick Statement on Abortion Ruling
AUSTIN – "As a senator, I was a co-author of the legislation comprised of three bills, (one by Senator's Glenn Hegar, Dan Patrick and Bob Deuell). I was always confident the federal courts would stand behind this legislation protecting life.
"This is the second victory for us at the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. This circuit also upheld the sonogram bill, which I was proud to help write and pass in 2011.
"This session we passed four more bills that will continue to keep Texas as the leader in the nation in protecting life."