Several Texas abortion restrictions that could have resulted in the closing of over a dozen clinics in the state were thrown out by a federal judge who sided with the clinics.
The judge ruled in favor of the clinics who filed a suit against the anti-abortion bill that Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed in 2013. This bill, if the restrictions hadn’t been ruled against, could have left Texas with only seven abortion facilities come Monday.
U.S. district Judge Lee Yeakel wrote a 21-page ruling in which he explained that the overall effect that the bill would have had was that of creating impermissible obstacles for all women who would have desired a pre-viability abortion.
This trial is only one of many such battles in the wave that is sweeping cross the United States. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican who is most likely to become governor in 2015, vowed to uphold the law (which would have specific requirements of abortion facilities).
In Texas, abortion facilities would be forced to meet hospital-level operating standards. According to bill supporters, such standards would only protect women’s health.
Since the Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 by the United States Supreme Court, abortions have been a constitutional right for all citizens. However, many Texan abortion clinics (as other clinics have) are calling the bill signed by Gov. Rick Perry another back door effort meant to outlaw abortions.
Amy Hangstrom Miller, CEO of Whole Woman’s Health commented on the court’s decision saying that these attempts represent an undue burden for all women, not just Texas women and that thankfully, the court agreed and ruled in favor of the clinics.
Whole Woman’s Health would have been one of the many clinic operators to have been affected if the restrictions of the bill hadn’t been struck down. Miller added that evidence has been gathering against those politicians who have cynically been trying to pass such laws in the name of safety.
Eighteen licensed abortion clinics would have been shuttered by the requirements that the bill contained: mandatory operating rooms and air filtration systems.
In 2013, many other clinics no longer offer abortions after another part of the bill mandated that doctors working at the clinics also have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
The fifth U.S. Circuit Court in New Orleans has already approved this particular part of the bill, but the State disagrees with the court ruling and will be seeking immediate relief by attempting a second reversal, Abbott spokeswoman Lauren Bean revealed.