One-Third of Texas Abortion Providers Expected to Close After Fifth Circuit Ruling

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked a lower federal court’s injunction against part of a Texas anti-choice law, which experts say will now have the result of shuttering about a third of the state’s abortion clinics.

Abortion providers and reproductive rights groups had filed suit against the state, challenging parts of HB 2, the Texas abortion bill that was filibustered, ultimately unsuccessfully, by state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) in July. On Monday, Judge Lee Yeakel declared part of the law—the provision that requires abortion providing doctors to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals—to be unconstitutional. The Fifth Circuit decided otherwise late on Thursday. This means that any abortion facility that is not staffed by a doctor who has admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility will not be able to provide legal abortion care.

Researchers at the Texas Policy Evaluation Project testified during court proceedings that the admitting privileges provision would block 22,286 Texans from accessing legal abortion. Because of lengthy application processes and abortion stigma, as well as religious objections to the procedure on the part of certain hospitals and hospital boards, abortion providers in Texas said during court proceedings that they have been unable to obtain the required admitting privileges in the time allotted after the law passed, and in many cases expect to be rejected outright.

One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit is Amy Hagstrom Miller, the CEO at Whole Woman’s Health, which runs five abortion facilities in Texas. As the decision from the Fifth Circuit came down, she tweeted that she was “devastated.”

The decision was not unexpected, however. The Fifth Circuit is one of the nation’s most conservative courts, comprised in part of one judge who has garnered praise from Rush Limbaugh, and openly anti-choice Judge Edith Jones, who has been accused of “making denigrating statements against minorities and people with mental disabilities,” and who has been put under review by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

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  • badneolib

    Plunder is groundless because. ..

  • victordesabata

    Can you please provide a link to the order from the 5th circuit…or at least say the 3 judges involved? More details would make this a better report…

  • Horation_Tobias_HumpleDinK

    Crazy how these people can sleep at night, they got to be sociopaths. Well, people in Area just got to make sure they vote for Wendy Davis or better yet protest, mass protest. Pretty tragic how one court found it unconstitutional and the other did not- and essentially doesnt care about the constitution. Think it really getting to a point where State Rates shouldnt over right basic or universal human rights (even if you excluded Abortion which really is one) .

  • WebAntOnYouTube

    This is horrible. Once again Conservatives are screwing women over. Oh how I hate them. Well, on to the Supreme Court. Let it decide this case and the fate of abortion rights in the state of Texas and beyond.

  • nlcatter

    of course it “is aimed at violating right” , the 5th circuit is made up of religious MORONS

  • Ďakujem

    This move will achieve nothing but more unwanted babies.