A three-judge panel has overturned a previous ruling blocking implementation of Texas’ new abortion restrictions.
Last month, the State of Texas appealed a U.S. District Court decision blocking the new restrictions, saying that the court’s application of the “undue burden” standard was improper. The Fifth Circuit panel agreed with the state’s argument, keeping consistent with their own precedent regarding what constitutes an unconstitutional restriction on a woman’s right to seek an abortion.
Predictably, abortion advocates are crying foul. Via USA Today:
“Today’s ruling has gutted Texas women’s constitutional rights and access to critical reproductive health care and stands to make safe, legal abortion essentially disappear overnight,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the group.
Among the law’s provisions is the requirement that clinics performing abortion procedures upgrade to certain hospital-type equipment, which Northup’s group calls “a multimillion-dollar tax on abortion services.”
“Texas Republicans are forcing women’s health clinics to close,” said Lisa Paul, spokeswoman for the Texas state Democratic Party. “This will not only deny women their right to choose, but also reduces their access to prenatal care, cancer screenings, mammograms, and annual wellness visits.”
Some legal experts are confident that an en banc hearing before the Fifth Circuit will yield a different result, but this argument ignores the Court’s own precedent, which rejects the idea that requiring women to drive further to seek an abortion constitutes a substantial obstacle.
Whether or not the Circuit agrees to re-hear the case, it’s almost certain that Texas’ abortion laws—and those of other states—will soon get their day before the Supreme Court.
You can read the full opinion here:
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.