Appeals Court Upholds Texas Law That Will Close Most of State’s Abortion Facilities

Planned Parenthood pic -- MidlandNEW ORLEANS — An appeals court has upheld a Texas law that is expected to result in the closure of most of the state’s abortion facilities, overturning a lower court ruling that found the statute to be unconstitutional.

As previously reported, the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights had filed suit earlier this year to challenge two regulations imposed by H.B. 2, including the requirement that abortion facilities comport with the standards of surgical centers. Those who opposed the law stated that the requirement would be too costly for the majority of abortionists, in some cases meaning upwards of $1 million dollars in upgrades.

In August, U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel, appointed to the bench by then-President George W. Bush, declared the surgical center standards regulation unconstitutional, asserting that it was created by “a brutally effective system of abortion regulation that reduces access to abortion clinics, thereby creating a statewide burden for substantial numbers of Texas women.”

“The ambulatory-surgical-center requirement is unconstitutional because it imposes an undue burden on the right of women throughout Texas to seek a previabilty abortion,” he wrote in his 21-page decision. “The practical impact on Texas women due to the clinics’ closure statewide would operate for a significant number of women in Texas just as drastically as a complete ban on abortion.”

But Texas officials appealed the ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana, which overturned Yeakel’s decision on Thursday. The three-judge panel consisted of Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod, appointed by then-President George W. Bush, Judge Jerry E. Smith, appointed by then-President Ronald Reagan, and Stephen A. Higginson, appointed by Barack Obama.

“Without any evidence on these points, plaintiffs do not appear to have met their burden to show that the ambulatory surgical center provision will result in insufficient clinic capacity that will impose an undue burden on a large fraction of women,” the decision, written by Judge Elrod outlined.

The court did not necessarily sanction the closure of abortion facilities, as it concluded that mothers in the state will still be able to obtain an abortion, although they will need to travel farther for the procedure. Reports state that seven to eight abortion facilities will be able to remain due to the ruling, down from the current 19 that are open.

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“The reality is that elective abortions will continue to remain readily available in Texas; that’s not our preference, but that’s the reality,” Joe Pojman, executive director of the Alliance for Life, told reporters. “Because there are seven very large ambulatory surgical centers that provide abortion in the major metropolitan cities women will still have ready access to elective abortions.”

Facilities are expected to remain in the major cities—Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin.

Lauren Bean, spokesperson for Attorney General Greg Abbott, praised the Fifth Circuit’s decision following its release.

“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,” she said.

According to reports, there were just over 40 abortion facilities in the state just two years ago, but other regulations, such as the recent hospital admitting privileges requirement, were significant factors in their closing. A number of locations were unable to comply as area hospitals refused to partner with abortionists. Those regulations were also challenged, but were upheld by the courts.

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  • Jeffery Kinkead

    Abortion clinics and the people that support them are bringing Gods wrath on America:
    American Holocaust:

    • James Grimes

      53 million murders so far under the guise of women’s rights??? When will the craziness stop? Yet, in spite of all known evils to this atrocity, people will still try to justify these murders. 53,000,000.

      • Jeffery Kinkead

        You’re right James and it won’t stop until people get their hearts right with God…

      • WorldGoneCrazy

        Sadly, I think it is now 57 million, James. 🙁

        • James Grimes

          Very sad. And those who continue to support this are playing Satan’s blind fools.

    • Seth Lester

      But like you quoted in Timothy, our responsibility is to forgive these
      people, to show love to them, and to make a world that helps them. There are a
      good portion of women that get abortions because they think that they can’t
      afford a child that resulted from their mistake in having sex too soon.

      Our goal should be two-fold: bring back morals, and start loving sinners. If
      these women had better morals, they would understand the value of their body
      and would keep their treasure locked away for one man which would result in
      fewer unplanned pregnancies. Then if we took care of our poor, our single
      parents, and our elderly instead of having big houses decorated with lavish
      artworks, nobody would fear an unplanned pregnancy, because that child would betaken care of.

      If we stopped working for money, and stopped trading money for goods and
      services, the wicked Central Bank and corrupt Federal Reserve (which isn’t
      federal at all) would be shut down and poverty would go away, because the
      reason why there’s people starving even though they are working hard is because everyone’s efforts are being used to line the pockets of the 1% who live like gods, rather than provide for their families.

      A day’s wages of $2 at 25 cents/hr (those quarters now sell for $17-$244) could
      buy 12 eggs, 1lb of bacon, 4lbs of sugar, gallon of vitamin D milk, 5 gallons
      of gas, and you could still go out to the movies afterward. Simply put, with
      two incomes, and good saving efforts, you and your spouse could have a new home and a new car in just 3 years and you could afford a year at Harvard with the leftover money. How long does it take the average 2 income family to pay off
      their mortgage?

      If men would stop trying to pass on their God-given responsibilities since it
      is written, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food,” we would then have an abundance of food. We could work with nature to have our own Eden, though it would be hard work, in such a paradise, life is encouraged, and abortion would be seen as the horrible thing that it is. Shutting down clinics
      doesn’t fix the problem since it just makes worse solutions for mothers who
      feel they can’t handle their children, who may now die getting rid of one they
      can’t afford, leaving behind a single parent with kids he can’t afford on a
      single income.

  • robertzaccour

    Praise the lord! Thank you God!

  • robertzaccour

    I think that many of the people that are pro choice are guilty of it themselves and don’t want to think about the consequences of their actions so they try to justify them instead. There is forgiveness in Jesus if you repent and give your life to Him and he will cast your sins as far as the east is from the west. You don’t have to live in fear and shame anymore.

  • Conservative Dasilva

    This women’s rights issue is madness, why does murdering an innocent child make you feel more empowered? , the liberals and this feminist are opening the door to the lords judgment, yes God is love, but dont be fooled, the lords judgment is real, he is merciful , the last time i checked murder is still a sin.

    • James Grimes

      The abortionists should be happy that God isn’t giving them what they deserve – for now. In the end, His judgment will be His final act to these sinners. BTW, Feminism is a pathetic mindset where women think they can usurp God’s established order. Empowerment? For what end?