Attorneys for a group of abortion rights groups and clinics have asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency order to overturn the ruling by the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court, which overturned an initial decision on parts of Texas' new abortion restriction law and allowed those restrictions to take immediate effect.
The ruling by the Fifth Circuit allowed two restrictions to take effect: Doctors at clinics performing abortions must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, and doctors must provide patients with FDA guidelines when prescribing the abortion drug RU-486.
As he promised before a decision was even announced, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed an appeal on the federal judge's ruling that two components of Texas’ new abortion law are unconstitutional.
Federal District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled yesterday afternoon that the abortion clinic regulation contained in the new law requiring doctors at facilities that provide abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 minutes of the clinic is unconstitutional.
Attorneys in the federal case challenging sections of Texas’ new abortion clinic law have given their final arguments for why the new clinic restrictions are, or are not, constitutional. The rest is now up to Federal District Judge Lee Yeakel, who said he will provide his decision by the morning of Oct. 28.
Attorney Janet Creps, who represents the Center for Reproductive Rights in the filing, said this may only be the first step in what looks to be a long battle.
The federal trial started today over the Texas abortion clinic restrictions that passed during this summer’s special session. Both sides have agreed to a bench trial, making the presiding judge, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, the final decision maker.
Lawyers from Planned Parenthood are trying to block the law from taking effect, saying portions of the law make access to abortion services for women in South and West Texas impossible.
The Center for Reproductive Rights has confirmed the group’s first day in federal court will be Oct. 21.
The center is one of three groups who, along with several abortion clinics in the state, filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop two components of the Texas abortion law: One, a requirement that all doctors performing abortion have admitting rights at a hospital no more than 30 miles away, and two, that doctors provide patients with FDA guidelines when prescribing the drug RU-486.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 10:37 am
A handful of clinics in Texas have closed, or are planning to, just weeks after a controversial bill restricting abortions passed the state legislature.
Planned Parenthood says the closures will hurt the women who came to the clinics for general healthcare services. Anti-abortion groups say there are other doctors for the women to go to. So who's right?
Update (4:30) Both sides of the abortion issue were shocked after the State Health Services Council failed to vote on rules attached to the new law requiring clinics performing abortions to adhere to a new set of facility requirements.
"This was very unusual and unexpected and hasn’t happened for us in recent history as far as we can recall," said Carrie Williams with Texas State Health Services.
Though there was no vote taken, this will not prevent the law from taking effect.