Saturday, September 28, 2013
Challenge to Texas Abortion Restrictions Garners National Media Attention
The challenge to portions of Texas's hydra-like abortion law, brought by a coalition of national reproductive rights organizations, is getting lots of media attention:
The New York Times: Rights Groups and Clinics Sue Texas Over Provisions in Its New Abortion Law, by Erik Eckholm
The Washington Post: Texas abortion providers sue over new limits, by Juliet Eilperin
NPR - The Two-Way blog: Women's Health Groups Sue Texas Over Its New Abortion Law, by Bill Chappell
Reuters: Planned Parenthood sues Texas over abortion restrictions
MSNBC: Planned Parenthood takes Texas abortion laws to court, by Irin Carmon
Texas isn't the only state to have passed these kinds of restrictions recently, and indeed courts have already blocked similar restrictions elsewhere. Admitting privileges requirements have been enjoined in Mississippi, Alabama, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Laws requiring adherence to the outdated FDA protocol for medication abortions were enjoined in North Dakota and Oklahoma (in a case the Supreme Court may review this term), although a federal appeals court upheld Ohio's similar law in 2012.
Texas's law is unique, however, in combining so many different restrictions in one measure (North Dakota went on a similar rampage this year but passed its restrictions in piecemeal fashion). Additionally, state senator Wendy Davis's famous filibuster of the omnibus bill helped to focus the nation's attention on Texas. Finally, the bill would have a Texas-sized impact if allowed to take effect: as many as one-third of the state's clinics could be forced to close, leaving large areas of the state without a provider.