Update: We will add press statements as we receive them at the bottom of the post.
Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the full provisions of HB2 can go forward, a decision that will close all but seven abortion clinics in Texas.
As a result, nearly one million Texans now face a minimum of 300-mile round-trip journeys to access their constitutionally protected health care.
In August 2014, a federal district court had permanently blocked the most onerous provisions of the back-door abortion ban. The requirement that every facility meet the requirements of an ambulatory surgical center was specifically designed to shutter clinics and deny women physical access to abortion services.
The Center from Reproductive Rights released the following statement:
- Today’s ruling allows the state’s requirement that every reproductive health care facility offering abortion services meet the same building requirements as an ambulatory surgical center (ASC) to go into effect immediately—a provision which amounts to a multi-million dollar tax on abortion services and will close all but seven abortion providers in the state.
The ruling also stays the district court’s injunction against the admitting privileges requirement as it applies to two of the state’s hardest-hit communities in the Rio Grande Valley and West Texas—a provision that has already closed approximately half the state’s abortion clinics.
Major medical groups oppose HB2, including the American Medical Association and American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Medical experts confirm that legal abortion care in the U.S. is extremely safe, with fewer than 1 percent of patients requiring treatment at a hospital.
This ruling is the desired effect of Rick Perry and the Republican Legislature, who passed this law not to promote safety but rather deny Texans their basic reproductive rights.
Texans cannot expect policies that respect the bodily autonomy of all women unless we choose this November to elect leaders that respect women.
We will have more on this ruling as the story develops.
Uodate 6:03 p.m.: Senator Wendy Davis released the following statement on the ruling:
Women should be able to make these deeply personal decisions without the intrusion of politicians like Greg Abbott, who supports making abortion illegal even in cases of rape and incest.
Meanwhile, Greg Abbott is celebrating the closure of all but 7 abortion clinics in Texas:
BREAKING: We just won this round on HB2 in the Court of Appeals. More news soon. #txlege
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 2, 2014
Update 6:26 p.m.: Senator Leticia Van de Putte released the following statement:
Limiting access to health care is never the responsible answer. Women’s health care decisions are best left to women, their families, and their doctors, not their government. Dan Patrick and politicians, who support making abortion illegal even in cases of rape and incest, need to stop getting in between Texas women and their health care.
Update 6:40 p.m.: Ugh, gross:
- Lauren Bean, spokeswoman for the Texas Attorney General’s Office, said in a statement, “This 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.”
They always find a woman to speak in favor of the anti-woman rulings, don’t they.