Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Supreme Court 'Hail Mary' for Texas Abortionists

After yesterday's 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding the 2013 Texas law (House Bill 2) resulting in closure of all but a fraction of the state's once-burgeoning abortion industry, abortionists' last hope is the U.S. Supreme Court, which has once already halted the new law.  H.B. 2, which requires abortion clinics to be as clean and safe as hospitals, dominated the mainstream media in July 2013 when Texas state Senator Wendy Davis, a.k.a. "Abortion Barbie," blocked inevitable passage of the bill for a few hours.
"Abortion practitioners should have no right to operate their businesses from sub-standard facilities and with doctors who lack admitting privileges at a hospital."
-- Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General
For background, read the entire saga of the court battles of H.B. 2.

Also, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Texas Yanks Abortionist's License for 268 Killed

Texas Abortion Rate Plunges, Liberals Fume

9th Circuit Court Strikes Abortion Bans, Supreme Court Next

Abortionists Forced to Risk All in Supreme Court

-- From "Federal appeals court backs strict Texas abortion law" by John Bacon, USA TODAY 6/9/15

The Center for Reproductive Rights said it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices had put the 2013 law on hold last year, sending it back to the appeals court for review.

Small clinics claimed they can't afford the high cost of such upgrades [to hospital safety standards]. The center said the ruling puts all but seven abortion clinics in the state at risk of closure.

[Yesterday's] ruling reversed a lower court's injunction blocking the state's admitting privileges requirement except as applied to a single doctor [in McAllen, Texas]. The provision already has been blamed for closure of about half the state's abortion clinics.

The number of abortion clinics operating in Texas has fallen from 41 before the law was passed in 2013 to less than 20 today.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Court upholds key parts of Texas' strict anti-abortion law" by Paul J. Weber, Associated Press 6/10/15

Owners of traditional abortion clinics, which resemble doctor's offices more than hospitals, say they would be forced to close because the new rules demand millions of dollars in upgrades they can't afford. That would mark the second large wave of closures in as many years in Texas, which had 41 abortion clinics in 2012, before other new restrictions took effect that require doctor admitting privileges.

Texas will be able to start enforcing the restrictions in about three weeks unless the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to halt the decision, said Stephanie Toti, an attorney for the [Center for Reproductive Rights]. Only seven abortion facilities in Texas, including four operated by Planned Parenthood, meet the more robust requirements.

If the law takes effect, some women in the state would live hundreds of miles away from a Texas abortion provider. But that argument didn't sway the three-judge panel making the decision for the New Orleans-based appeals court, which is considered one of the most conservative in the nation. The judges noted that a New Mexico abortion clinic was just across the Texas border, and said clinic owners in Texas failed to prove that a "large fraction" of women would be burdened.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Court Upholds Texas Limits on Abortions" by Manny Fernandez and Erik Eckholm, News York Times 6/9/15

In addition to the surgical standards, the court upheld a requirement that doctors performing abortions obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of a clinic. The court said that except as applied to one doctor working in McAllen in South Texas, the provision did not put an unconstitutional burden on women seeking abortions.

Under the 1973 Roe v Wade decision and later cases, the Supreme Court has permitted a wide array of abortion regulations, including waiting periods and parental consent for minors, but said states may not impose an “undue burden” on the right to an abortion before a fetus is viable outside the womb.

“Texas’ stated purpose for enacting H.B. 2 was to provide the highest quality of care to women seeking abortions and to protect the health and welfare of women seeking abortions,” the Fifth Circuit ruling read. “There is no question that this is a legitimate purpose that supports regulating physicians and the facilities in which they perform abortions.”

In the case of the McAllen [Texas] clinic, the sole abortion provider in the Rio Grande Valley, Tuesday’s decision held that the distance of 235 miles or more to the nearest clinic did pose an undue burden. For now, at least, the Fifth Circuit panel exempted that clinic from aspects of the surgical-center and admitting-privileges requirements. But Amy Hagstrom Miller, the chief executive of Whole Woman’s Health, which runs the McAllen facility and was one of the abortion providers that sued the state, said the organization was evaluating whether the ruling would permit the clinic to continue operating.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Federal court ruling could close half of Texas' abortion clinics" by Brittney Martin, Austin Bureau, The Dallas Morning News 6/10/15

In conjunction with a 2011 law that requires women to view a sonogram 24 hours before having an abortion, Texas abortion restrictions are some of the toughest in the country.

The regulations are spelled out in more than 100 pages of state statute and include specific room and doorway sizes, sterilization systems and male and female locker rooms for staff. Estimates are that building or renovating a facility to meet the state’s requirements could cost between $1 million and $3.5 million.

This was the second challenge to a law that also bans abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, requires that physicians have admitting privileges at a local hospital, and tightens regulations on abortion-inducing drugs. The state has spent more than $790,000 defending the law.

Planned Parenthood South Texas plans to build a clinic in San Antonio that meets all of the state’s requirements, but a spokeswoman for the organization stopped short of confirming Tuesday whether that facility is open yet.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Court Upholds Texas Pro-Life Law Closing Abortion Clinics, Saving 10,000 From Abortion" by Steven Ertelt, 6/9/15

Planned Parenthood did not challenge the law’s prohibition on abortions that take place at 20 weeks or later, a provision based on evidence that demonstrates the baby can feel pain at that stage. Pro-life Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed the omnibus HB 2 bill into law in July 2013.

This case is expected to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. [Americans United for Life] Vice President of Legal Affairs Denise Burke, writing in The Federalist, predicted in January 2015 that the high court would eventually review the life-affirming provisions of Texas House Bill 2 and, in doing so, could dramatically change America’s abortion landscape. Notably, the Supreme Court has never ruled on the constitutionality of comprehensive health and safety standards for abortion facilities.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

In addition, click headlines below to read previous articles:

Abortion Clinic Closings Set Record; Abortionists Admit Defeat

Abortionists Lament Ever-greater State Limits

Abortion Rate Declines, Democrats Want More Access

Pro-life Laws Sweep America; Liberals Battle Back

Abortionists Battle to Kill Without Clinics

Also read Physicians Force New York Times to Admit 22-week Fetus is a Baby!