Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Federal Court Holds Trial in Case Challenging Texas Abortion Restrictions
ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Center for Reproductive Rights in Court to Block Law That Would Prevent Thousands of Women from Obtaining Abortion Care
AUSTIN, Texas – A federal district court today is holding a trial in a case filed last month against a state law that would prevent more than 22,000 women each year from obtaining safe and legal abortion care. The lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Texas, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of more than a dozen women’s health care providers.
“If this law is allowed to take effect it will have a devastating effect on women throughout the state. In Texas and across the country politicians are trying to prevent women from accessing safe and legal abortion, and it must stop,” said Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.
The provisions being challenged in court today require abortion providers to unnecessarily obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, and they severely restrict the use of medication abortion. The admitting privileges requirement could force at least one-third of the state’s licensed health centers that provide abortion to stop providing that service. No other medical professionals are required to have admitting privileges.
“This bill was intended from the start to limit women’s medical options rather than promote women’s health,” said Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas. “The people of Texas opposed this law as a political tool that insulted the intelligence and undermined the well-being of women and their families, and the courts should make sure that the law is never allowed to take effect.”
For more information on this case, please visit: www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom/planned-parenthood-v-abbott
Dallas News - Trailblazers blog: Court takes on state’s new sweeping abortion law, by Christy Hoppe:
Abortion providers sought to derail a new Texas law before it goes into effect next week, telling a federal court on Monday that it could harm women’s health by shuttering clinics and forcing women to take abortion pills in outmoded ways with greater risks.
“It turns back the clock two decades,” testified Dr. Paul Fine, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast.
But Texas Solicitor General Jonathan Mitchell said the law does not place undue burdens on abortion patients. And in a change from supporters who have always said the law is about protecting the health of women, Mitchell said that is only part of the equation. . . .