Starting September 1, abortion clinics in Texas will have to meet a new tougher standard. They will have to be ambulatory surgical centers. It’s another measure of House Bill 2, the abortion law passed a year ago in a special legislative session.

This week abortion providers in Texas went to federal court looking to prove that the new standard is unnecessary and puts a substantial burden on women in Texas looking to legally terminate a pregnancy.

The judge presiding over the case of the second federal lawsuit against the newest Texas abortion law has extended the trial to give plaintiff attorneys more time to come up with evidence that is not based in emotion and can be considered quantifiable. 

Austin Federal District Judge Lee Yeakel told attorneys that he wants them to point to specific evidence showing why the regulation that would require all clinics to become ambulatory surgical centers should be overturned. 

Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

While attorneys argued the merits of the ambulatory surgical standard of House Bill 2, the new Texas abortion law, protestors on both sides of the issue rallied outside the federal courthouse in Austin.

Anti-abortion rights groups in blue shirts sang church hymns and prayed while abortion-rights groups chanted and carried signs around the perimeter of the building.

Members with the Abortion Rights Freedom Ride carried the pictures of women they say died as a result of being denied access to an abortion.

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.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Texas Matters: As Congress comes up on summer break there is still no solid solution in place for what to do with the unaccompanied minors coming into Texas. There are several plans up for proposal but even Texas Democrats disagree with each other. Also on this show: According to one report, the number of abortions in Texas has dropped since last year's passage of a new abortion law.

Congress running out of time for border/immigration solution