week, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel is presiding over the lawsuit brought by Whole Woman’s Health and other abortion providers challenging the provision in House Bill 2 requiring abortion facilities in Texas to meet the safety standards of ambulatory surgical centers, or ASCs. It also raises an objection to a requirement that abortion doctors have nearby hospital admitting privileges and regulations on drug-induced abortions as they are applied to two abortion facilities — one in McAllen and one in El Paso.
If the state is successful in defending HB 2, and we believe it will be, the ASC requirement will go into effect on Sept. 1. A number of abortion facilities — estimated at three-quarters of those currently in operation — will choose not to comply or will be unable to comply and will cease performing abortions. Several new abortion-performing ASCs have already been announced. More may follow.
Though it is not our preference, the reality will be that after HB 2 goes fully into effect, abortion will remain readily available in Texas to the vast majority of women who might consider it. Including new centers in development, there will be at least nine large ASC abortion facilities in almost all of the major cities where abortion was available before HB 2 went into effect, including Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio.
We believe that women who decide to have an abortion will receive a significantly improved standard of care because the smaller abortion facilities that do not meet the ASC safety requirements will close. That is the reason we and other pro-life organizations strongly support HB 2.
We also believe the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will find HB 2 to be constitutional under this challenge, just as three female judges of the court did in March in Planned Parenthood v. Abbott, when they upheld the admitting privileges and drug-induced abortion regulations.
The U.S. Supreme Court does not allow Congress and state legislatures to ban most abortions. The end of legal abortion, performed tens of thousands of times each year in our state, is simply not in the foreseeable future. However, the Supreme Court does allow states to ensure that the abortions are performed in a manner that does not endanger the health and safety of women. Continue reading on TribTalk.
By: Joe Pojman