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What You Need to Know About the Legal Fight Against Admitting Privileges for Abortion Providers in Texas

Category: Abortion, State Fights

Texas Abortion Emergency Access Fund

Tags: Abortion, Texas, Filibuster, HB 2, Admitting Priviledges, Courts

Last week, we wrote about the status of Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s fight to stop the extreme and dangerous anti-women’s health law that was rammed through by Governor Rick Perry and his cronies this past July (after two special sessions, a citizen filibuster, and a Texas-sized standoff). 

Alongside the Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood Federation of America took to the courts to try and prevent two components of this extreme and dangerous measure from taking effect: a requirement that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges within 30 miles of the facility and the provision related to medication abortion.

Since then a few things have changed…

After a three-day trial, a federal judge had issued a temporary ruling (an injunction) to keep the admitting privileges provision from going into effect. The ruling judge, Lee Yeakel, said in his ruling, the admitting privileges requirement has “no rational relationship to improved patient care” and place “an undue burden on a woman seeking an abortion.” But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit disagreed and issued an “emergency stay,” allowing the law to take effect immediately and setting a date to hear Planned Parenthood’s case in January.

no rational relationship to improved patient care

Less than 24 hours after court ruling took effect, women who made the complex and deeply personal decision to have an abortion were showing up for their doctors’ appointments and being turned away.  Understanding the emergency women faced, Planned Parenthood Federation of America appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, to stop this extreme and dangerous law from being enforced in Texas while the lawsuit challenging it proceeds.

On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood Federation of America received a response.

By a 5-4 vote, the Court refused to reinstate the injunction, which means that safe and legal abortion will continue to be virtually impossible for one-third of Texas women in need to access as Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s appeal of the original ruling continues.

While this is deeply disappointing, the fight is far from over.  Planned Parenthood heads to court in January, and will take every step to protect the health of Texas women. Your rights shouldn’t depend on your zip code, and right now this extreme and dangerous law is blocking women in Texas from getting a safe and legal medical procedure that has been constitutionally protected for 40 years.  We won’t let it stand.


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