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Texas Abortion Clinics’ Future Unclear

Texas Abortion Clinics’ Future Unclear

Next stop, SCOTUS?

Today in New Orleans, attorneys for the State of Texas asked the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for an immediate stay to a previous ruling that disallows regulators from enforcing new laws against abortion providers.

Earlier this summer, U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the new laws were an unconstitutional undue burden on a woman’s right to seek an abortion. That District Court decision has blocked enforcement of the new law “against any abortion provider –- present or future.”

Via Bloomberg:

Texas accused Yeakel of making an end run around the appellate court’s 2013 decision that upheld Texas’s admitting-privileges rule, which requires that doctors gain permission to admit patients at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they perform abortions.

Women’s health advocates and clinics fighting the anti-abortion limitations said in court filings that letting Texas go ahead with the measures while it appeals would have a “catastrophic impact on the availability of abortion services” in the state.

“If a stay is granted, most of the remaining abortion providers would be forced to close overnight,” opponents of the law said in a filing asking the appeals court to deny the state’s request. “Many women’s constitutional rights would be extinguished before the appellate process ran its course, and their lives would be permanently and profoundly altered by the denial of abortion services.”

During todays’s hearing, Texas solicitor general Jonathan Mitchell argued that Judge Yeakel used the wrong legal standard to evaluate whether or not the new standards governing abortion clinics would prevent women from seeking the procedure. Yeakel held that the new standards would create an undue burden on “a significant number” of Texas women; the State, however, is arguing that precedent dictates a much higher standard:

The appeals court previously ruled that abortion restrictions are an unconstitutional burden only if they affect a “large fraction” of a state’s abortion patients, Texas’s lawyers said in court papers. The appellate judges set 150 miles as an acceptable distance for Texas women to travel to get the procedure.

Texas countered with its own evidence that 83 percent of women would still live within the acceptable 150-mile range, so that “no more than 1 out of 10 abortion patients” might be unconstitutionally burdened by increased travel distances.

“Driving distances of 150 miles are not an undue burden, and 10 percent is not a large fraction,” Texas said in its request.

For Yeakel’s ruling to be upheld, the Fifth Circuit will have to overrule its own, recent, precedent. They have previously held that although the government cannot “unduly” weigh down with regulations the right of a woman to seek an abortion, “…driving distance alone to get to a clinic never constitutes a substantial obstacle. No matter how far.”

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Comments

It’s a human life at every stage — from conception to natural, accidental, or premeditated death — without exception. Now that the self-evident fact of human evolution has been reestablished, let’s discuss how or if it is possible to reconcile the unilateral repeal of the unalienable human right to life for causes other than self-defense. Pro-choice is the creation of one moral hazard which cannot be trivially dismissed.

    Valerie in reply to n.n. | September 12, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    Google Roe v. Wade, and read the opinion. It answers that question.

      http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=410&invol=113

      “Logically, of course, a legitimate state interest in this area need not stand or fall on acceptance of the belief that life begins at conception or at some other point prior to live birth.”

      There may be more, but this seems to summarize the judgment. One or more judges believe that evolution of life from conception is an article of faith (i.e. “belief”) which is subject to, presumably, restrictions under the First Amendment. I refer to this doctrine of an alternative faith as “spontaneous conception”. There is no logical duality between life’s evolution from conception and approaching natural, accidental, or premeditated (e.g. abortion) death. The former marks the beginning, while the latter marks the end of our mortal existence. I thought this process was self-evident, but clearly it is not.

      It’s ironic that people who adopt the article of faith “evolutionary creation” are more likely to mischaracterize the evolution of human life. For the record, I recognize that both evolutionary creation and divine creation are articles of faith, which does not imply that either or both are false, but that neither can be observed or reproduced, and therefore neither are scientifically valid theories. People seem to be uncomfortable with restricting their frame of reference when it poses an obstacle to their faith, income, hopes, dreams, etc.

        n.n: There is no logical duality between life’s evolution from conception

        Minor point. The process is more properly called development.

          Development is a social term which obfuscates the process.

          Really, this isn’t controversial. Development is the correct term.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmental_biology

          Evolution usually refers to “the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations” or the theory that explains that process.

          Actually, it is controversial. Evolution is a term which describes both a secular process and an article of faith. Strictly speaking, evolution is a chaotic process. The principles of evolution describe definite practices which correlate to systemic functions of a chaotic process. Whereas evolutionary creation refers to an article of faith, which cannot be remedied through observation and reproduction in the scientific domain.

          n.n: Actually, it is controversial.

          Um, no. There’s no controversy concerning the meaning of the terms.

          In biology, evolution refers either to the process of evolution or to the theory that explains that process (even if you reject the theory). Development refers to the process by which a fertilized egg grows into an adult of a species.

      In view of all this, we do not agree that, by adopting one theory of life, Texas may override the rights of the pregnant woman that are at stake. We repeat, however, that the State does have an important and legitimate interest in preserving and protecting the health of the pregnant woman, … and that it has still another important and legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of human life. These interests are separate and distinct. Each grows in substantiality as the woman approaches term and, at a point during pregnancy, each becomes “compelling.”

      This means, on the other hand, that, for the period of pregnancy prior to this “compelling” point, the attending physician, in consultation with his patient, is free to determine, without regulation by the State, that, in his medical judgment, the patient’s pregnancy should be terminated. If that decision is reached, the judgment may be effectuated by an abortion free of interference by the State.

      They argue in terms of “potential life”. I argue that term is deceptive and is incompatible with the actual evolution of human life. Their perspective relies on the doctrine of spontaneous conception, which is a false myth accompanied by a variable faith. There is no logical dual between evolution of life from conception until birth, and from any point after birth until natural, accidental, or premeditated death.

      Roe vs Wade creates a moral hazard by failing to address reality as it is and not as some people would prefer it to be. Essentially, they shifted the burden of moral reconciliation to another generation. The “equalization” of women has come at an unprecedented cost to human morality and fitness.

    Fiftycaltx in reply to n.n. | September 13, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Holy, Holy, Holy, great god almighty. Uh, your religious superstitions do NOT TRUMP an individuals RIGHT to an abortion, IF SHE SO CHOSES! And the BOGUS Texas laws WILL be struck down. Abbott and the others are just playing to the biblethumpers. And WASTING millions of Texas Taxpayers DOllars in the meantime.

      Bullocks. Stop whining about CHOICE.

      You knew that intercourse had a risk of pregnancy and you CHOSE to take that risk.

      You also knew that birth control in not 100% effective, yet you CHOSE to take that risk too.

      You want to be treated as an equal? Then start taking responsibility for your CHOICES.

      Ragspierre in reply to Fiftycaltx. | September 13, 2014 at 12:09 pm

      “It really is TOO BAD that OTHER PEOPLE’S ACTIONS aren’t subject to YOUR APPROVAL!”

      See, you make punking you SOOOOOO easy. The people of Texas, through representative democracy, passed those laws you call “bogus”. They aren’t, of course. You just don’t have the wit to do more than call names.

      Nobody has the right to take the life of another human being as a matter of convenience. And there should be no extra-constitutional human beings. How’d that work out last time the Supremes tried that?

      Tell us where this hate-twisted stuff comes from. There are a lot of people here who might be able to help if we knew the source of your sickness.

        mariner in reply to Ragspierre. | September 13, 2014 at 8:55 pm

        I still hope to see the day when abortion is understood as the 21st-century slavery: a monstrous evil that people accept by refusing to face what it is.

“Many women’s constitutional rights would be extinguished before the appellate process ran its course, and their lives would be permanently and profoundly altered by the denial of abortion services.”

should be

“Many women’s unborn children would be extinguished before the appellate process ran its course, and their lives would be permanently and profoundly altered by the provision of abortion services.”

There, I fixed it.

I simply cannot fathom why some women are fixated on killing their own offspring. That is barbaric.

    Fiftycaltx in reply to nordic_prince. | September 13, 2014 at 9:53 am

    It really is TOO BAD that OTHER PEOPLE’S ACTIONS aren’t subject to YOUR APPROVAL! Maybe if they were all in the same snake handling “evangelical” religious superstition, you could “approve” and no doubt, PROFIT from their approval.

      Ragspierre in reply to Fiftycaltx. | September 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      You poor bigoted idiot.

      What makes you think (HA!) calling people you don’t know ridiculous names and ascribing to them crazy memes is useful?

      Whadda moron…

      fiftycaltx: “I need sex so bad I’m willing to kill for it”

      Given the choice between moderating your sexual appetite or murdering your own child. Just incredible.

      And the you caterwaul for Civil Rights. Priceless.

    Since we cannot predict the outcome of a chaotic process, it is incumbent upon civilized people to err on the side of life. Life is an exercise in risk management. Normalizing genocide should be an unacceptable means to mitigate the risk. Selective genocide is equally abhorrent.

Does it ever occur to raging liberals like BHO that being born to a single mother he had every chance of being aborted? The only thing that stood in her way was…. I am not sure that it was readily and safely available. But he would have never existed. WHat a happy thought.

You have to love their conflicting arguments:

1) its a simple procedure, like having a tooth yanked. So simple that we could operate out of a shopping center.

2) but making us relocate to be near an ER is an undue burden.

Which is it?

It’s pretty clear from the comments that the restrictions are meant to limit abortion, not to protect mothers.

    The priorities are two-fold: mother and child. However, with the normalization of elective abortion (i.e. premeditated murder), the priority has shifted to protect the child. This is a direct consequence of the pro-choice doctrine adopted by a minority of Americans, which has lead to the willful termination of around 2 million human lives annually. It also serves to protect the mother, when the reality of boutique clinics became patently obvious following the exposure of Gosnell’s clinic of horrors.

      n.n: It also serves to protect the mother, when the reality of boutique clinics became patently obvious following the exposure of Gosnell’s clinic of horrors.

      Safety doesn’t require what is being advocated in terms of clinics.

        Actually, it does. The clinic can prepare and improvise to care for the mother, but not for a child which survives a botched termination. However, more importantly, the life of the child needs to be recognized as equal to the mother. Attempts to hide the reality of abortion in clinics only serves to perpetuate the dissociation of abortion and life in the public mind.

          n.n: Attempts to hide the reality of abortion in clinics only serves to perpetuate the dissociation of abortion and life in the public mind.

          As we said, the purpose of the law isn’t the protection of the mother, but to make acquiring an abortion as difficult as possible.

    Ragspierre in reply to Zachriel. | September 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Which comments? The ones here, or the ones during debate of the law?

    The ones here are relevant to what? Nothing having anything to do with the law, certainly.

    Care to hazard a prediction on how the 5th will hold?

      Ragspierre: the ones here, or the ones during debate of the law?

      By politicians. By those supporting the law.

        Ragspierre in reply to Zachriel. | September 13, 2014 at 2:47 pm

        Put. Them. UP.

        Where’s your prediction on the holding by the 5th?

          Ragespierre: Where’s your prediction on the holding by the 5th?

          The law will probably be upheld. Generally, the courts have deferred to the legislature when it comes to defining what is a reasonable restriction.

          The law will result in the closing of more than half the clinics in Texas, and there is no evidence it will do anything to improve women’s health, or that these clinics have higher rates of complications. Despite the pretense, making acquiring an abortion as difficult as possible is the goal.

Zach, interesting that you think the comments on a website define what the restrictions of a bill are. Where did you go to school? You should demand a refund.

Ever seen any reporting on botched abortions? Of course not, even though they are common. These clinics do not have the resources on site to save a woman’s life, hence the need to relocate closer to a hospital. When you daughter bleeds to death on some table in West Texas, you’ll understand.

    Fen: Ever seen any reporting on botched abortions?

    Yes. Most abortion procedures are very safe.

    Fen: Of course not, even though they are common.

    How common? What are the rates of fatality or serious injury for first trimester abortions? Do you know?

    Would you support having hospitals offer abortions? Currently, many hospitals avoid offering admitting privileges because of the social and political ramifications.

      Ragspierre in reply to Zachriel. | September 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm

      “Most abortion procedures are very safe.”

      What an odd thing to say. They almost always kill someone.

        Zachriel: It’s pretty clear from the comments that the restrictions are meant to limit abortion, not to protect mothers.

        Ragspierre: What an odd thing to say. They almost always kill someone.

        Case in point.

      Abortion procedures are not safe. They result in greater than 100% fatality. The child rarely survives termination attempts through decapitation, dismemberment, poisoning, etc. While rare, the mother may suffer the same fate as her child. The law is intended to improve the health of the mother and offer safe haven to children who survive attempted abortions.

Ragspierre: a good law can do more than one thing at a time

Of course, but as your comment makes clear, the health of the mother isn’t your primary concern, or you would support having abortions being done in hospitals.

    Ragspierre in reply to Zachriel. | September 14, 2014 at 10:35 am

    And nobody said otherwise, liar.

    What MY concern is is of no relevance to the passage of the law, as I said above. Setting up your lie.

    You should have shut up by now, but you really can’t seem to do that.

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