(PRESS RELEASE) Texas state officials have filed an appeal and requested an emergency stay with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in an attempt to immediately overturn yesterday’s federal court ruling permanently blocking a measure that would have made safe and legal abortion services for one-third of women in Texas virtually impossible to access.
The blocked provision—which was scheduled to take effect on October 29—would have required abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, forcing many doctors to immediately stop providing abortion and denied thousands of women access to safe care. In striking down the measure as unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said “the admitting privileges provision of House Bill 2 lacks a rational basis and places an undue burden on a woman seeking an abortion.”
Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO at the Center for Reproductive Rights:
“After a federal court rejected this underhanded restriction as clearly unconstitutional, the state’s appeal can only be seen as a measure of the extreme animosity of anti-choice Texas politicians toward the health and rights of women in their state.
“We hope the court will continue to keep this harmful provision blocked through the course of this appeal and carefully consider the devastating and immediate impact this restriction would have on Texas women."
The lawsuit, Planned Parenthood v. Abbott, was jointly filed on September 27 on behalf of more than a dozen Texas health care providers and their patients by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Texas law firm George Brothers Kincaid &, Horton.
If the admitting privileges provision of HB2 were to take effect, it could force at least one-third of the state’s licensed health centers providing safe and legal abortion today to immediately stop providing that service. Access to safe and legal abortion would have been completely eliminated in vast stretches of Texas, including the cities of Fort Worth, Harlingen, Killeen, Lubbock, McAllen, and Waco.