Second Lawsuit Filed Challenging Sections Of Texas Abortion Law

Apr 2, 2014

The Center for Reproductive Rights and other abortion-rights groups have filed a second lawsuit challenging another component of the Texas new Abortion Law that passed last summer in a special session.

This second lawsuit challenges requirements that all clinics become ambulatory surgical centers in order to operate in the State of Texas.

"If that is allowed to take effect in September, the vast majority of Texas abortion providers would either have undertaken massive expensive renovations or close their doors entirely," said Nancy Northup, the president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. "Fewer than ten providers would remain in the state that has a female population of 13 million.”

Amy Hagstrom-Mill is owner of Whole Women’s Health and is one of the suit’s plaintiffs.  She says most clinics will not be able to afford the cost of renovations.

Hagstrom-Miller says, “An ASC (ambulatory-surgical center) costs upwards of $450 to $500-per square foot and that is at least 2 to 3-million dollar build”

Last week the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the State of Texas in a separate lawsuit filed by the group, which challenged the constitutionality of the state’s requirement that all doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

The group is taking a second stab at hospital admitting rights provision of the law. Stephanie Toti, the lead attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the first lawsuit challenged the admitting privileges requirement on a statewide basis, but this one deals with South and West Texas specifically.

The last clinic performing abortions in the Rio Grande Valley closed in March due to the new restrictions, and the last remaining clinic in El Paso is expected to close next month.