Today the bad news broke that a federal appellate court has upheld 2013’s House Bill 2, the target of Wendy Davis’ filibuster, women be damned.
Texas’ stated purpose for enacting H.B. 2 was to provide the highest quality of care to women seeking abortions and to protect the health and welfare of women seeking abortions. There is no question that this is a legitimate purpose that supports regulating physicians and the facilities in which they perform abortions.
Largely, that’s the vague and unspecific reasoning behind the decision. Even the Republicans who passed this law brag that it’s an assault on abortion rights. Why did the court by the cookie-cutter, falsified claims of a Texas Legislature explicitly bent on making abortion illegal?
The question is not whether health and welfare are legitimate reasons for a law, but whether the law legitimately promote health and welfare. It doesn’t. It makes abortion largely inaccessible for Texas women, thus promoting self-abortion, forcing pregnancy on women and men who don’t want it, and all other extreme measures that you can see coming from an extremist law.
The fifth circuit is very conservative and this ruling was relatively expected. Those clinics are in grave trouble; the ambulatory center requirements in the law are as ludicrously expensive as they are unnecessary. The average Texas woman probably didn’t expect to have her choice rights swiped away from under her in 2013, and every Texas woman will now have far less access to exercising their American privacy rights. We’ll keep you posted on next steps here at BOR.