The ruling, passed down from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, will bring the number of available clinics down to eight. The new law will take effect immediately in Texas.
A decision to leave at least 13 of those clinics open was reversed by a “panel of conservative judges” on Thursday night, meaning women in Texas woke up to harsher abortion restrictions than they previously faced.
From Think Progress:
Thursday’s decision is the latest installment in the battle over HB 2, the package of abortion restrictions that Texas lawmakers approved last summer despite gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis’ infamous filibuster against the legislation. An earlier provision of the law, which started going into effect last fall, requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges from local hospitals, an unnecessary business arrangement that has forced half of the state’s clinics to close their doors already. Another portion of HB 2, which requires abortion clinics to make costly renovations to bring their building codes in line with ambulatory surgical centers, will now also take effect.
The eight clinics left are only in major cities like Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston. Most of the state, however, will be left without clinics for hundreds of miles.
Medical experts have repeatedly spoken out against Texas’ new law, saying that the requirements won’t do anything to improve abortion clinics. Abortion is already an incredibly safe medical procedure that’s less risky than colonoscopies, gallbladder surgery, knee replacement surgery, or giving birth to a child. Both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) oppose requiring abortion providers to get hospital admitting privileges. ACOG also opposes imposing additional building code requirements on clinics.
Nonetheless, these type of restrictions are rapidly advancing throughout the country. Known as the “Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers,” or TRAP, these laws have particularly taken root in Southern states, where an estimated 8.6 million women of reproductive age may soon be left with just 12 abortion clinics across five states.
And so continues the war against women’s reproductive rights. It’s a sad day in Texas.
SOURCE: Think Progress | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty