Attorneys for abortion-rights groups and the Texas attorney general’s office are in court today to argue the constitutionality of another component of Texas' controversial abortion law, House Bill 2.
The first challenge to the law addressed the constitutionality of requiring doctors at clinics performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. That lawsuit is still at federal appellate court pending appeal. The second challenge is of the ambulatory surgical center requirements for facilities that perform abortions.
“So we’re challenging that as a medically unjustified law, which is going to needlessly shut down clinics and impose great burdens on women who need to either travel to major cities to obtain abortion services or who won’t travel at all,” said Esha Bhandari, staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Bhandari said this component forces everyday clinics to become miniature hospitals. She said if they fail to prove the law is unconstitutional, then more clinics will close.
“Which means the number of clinics available to women in Texas will immediately drop off to somewhere below 10," Bhandari said. "And that’s a huge drop off for a state as large as Texas and all those surgery centers will only be located in major urban areas.”
The ambulatory surgical center requirement takes effect September 1.