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Federal appeals court reinstates most of Texas' abortion restrictions

Posted by on Oct. 31, 2013 at 9:10 PM
  • 4 Replies

 

A federal appeals court issued a ruling Thursday reinstating most of Texas' controversial new abortions restrictions, just three days after a federal judge ruled they were unconstitutional. 

The decision by the panel of judges at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals means as many as 12 clinics won't be able to perform the procedure starting as soon as Friday.

The panel said the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital can take effect while a lawsuit moves forward. The restrictions could take effect Friday.

The panel left in place a portion of District Judge Lee Yeakel's order that prevents the state from enforcing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocol for abortion-inducing drugs in cases where the woman is between 50 and 63 days into her pregnancy. Doctors testifying before the court had said such women would be harmed if the protocol were enforced.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had made an emergency appeal to the conservative 5th Circuit, arguing that the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges is a constitutional use of the Legislature's authority.

Abbot said in a statement Thursday that "this unanimous decision is a vindication of the careful deliberation by the Texas Legislature to craft a law to protect the health and safety of Texas women."

Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers had argued that the regulations did not protect women and would shut down a third of the abortion clinics in Texas.

The court's order is temporary until it can hold a complete hearing, likely in January. The restrictions are among the toughest in the nation and gained notoriety when Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis launched a nearly 13-hour filibuster against them in June. 

The law also bans abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy and beginning in October 2014 requires doctors to perform all abortions in surgical facilities.

During the trial, officials for one chain of abortion clinics testified that they've tried to obtain admitting privileges for their doctors at 32 hospitals, but so far only 15 accepted applications and none have announced a decision. 

Many hospitals with religious affiliations will not allow abortion doctors to work there, while others fear protests if they provide privileges. 

Many have requirements that doctors live within a certain radius of the facility, or perform a minimum number of surgeries a year that must be performed in a hospital.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

by on Oct. 31, 2013 at 9:10 PM
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Replies (1-4):
Schauseil
by Bronze Member on Oct. 31, 2013 at 9:15 PM
I'm ok with the part that requires doctors to preform in a surgical setting and have hospital privileges. That really is for safety. What they need to address now is the ability of doctors to get said privileges.
JanuaryBaby06
by Gold Member on Oct. 31, 2013 at 9:17 PM

It's Texas, did anyone really expect any different?

sillygirl83
by Member on Nov. 1, 2013 at 3:18 PM
1 mom liked this

goodAwesome news.

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Nov. 1, 2013 at 3:25 PM
2 moms liked this

Score one for babies.

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