Federal Appeals Panel Upholds Texas Abortion Restrictions


A panel of judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled two previously challenged restrictions of Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law to be constitutional in an opinion released Thursday.

Planned Parenthood, along with a group of independent abortion providers and civil rights groups, had challenged two parts of the four-part HB 2: one requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at local hospitals and another mandating that medication abortion be prescribed according to 14-year-old Food and Drug Administration protocols.

One of the abortion providers who brought the suit told RH Reality Check that she was “not surprised” by the ruling. The Fifth Circuit panel, which ruled on HB 2, included Judge Edith Jones, who has previously upheld Texas’ mandatory sonogram law, expressly stated that she’d like to see Roe v. Wade overturned, and in 2004 called abortion “risky.” The court has also previously upheld Texas’ exclusion of Planned Parenthood from providing care to tens of thousands of Texans in its now-defunct Medicaid Women’s Health Program.

“The state is using women’s bodies and women’s lives in a political football game,” said Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO of Whole Woman’s Health, a group of abortion providers with locations in Texas, Minnesota, and Maryland. She told RH Reality Check that “Texas women deserve the right to the same safe and professional health care that women receive all across America.”

The conservative and Republican lawmakers who championed HB 2 said it would increase the health and safety of Texans who seek abortions by mandating that doctors be cleared by a hospital before they are allowed to perform abortions. Critics of the law said that would put too much power in the hands of potentially hostile hospital boards whose main interest lies in drumming up business through doctors who admit patients—something abortion providers rarely do because of the overall safety and simplicity of legal abortion.

But the Fifth Circuit found that HB 2 “on its face does not impose an undue burden on the life and health of a woman,” even though it requires Texans to travel hundreds of miles round trip, and make multi-day trips, to legal abortion facilities. The part of the law which requires Texas abortion providers to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers was not challenged in this suit; come September it is expected to close all but six—or potentially seven, if a new Planned Parenthood clinic in San Antonio is able to open at that time—legal abortion providers in the state.

“The legislators lied when they said this law wouldn’t close clinics,” said Hagstrom Miller.

She continued, “This law has closed clinics. This law has denied women access to safe care. This law is now and will in the future do great damage to the health-care infrastructure in the State of Texas.”

The only two legal abortion clinics in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley recently closed their doors due to HB 2′s restrictions, and another clinic closure in East Texas has left the region with no legal abortion providers between Houston and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In a statement released after the ruling, Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry called the law “good news.”

“Today’s court decision is good news for Texas women and the unborn,” he said, “and we will continue to fight for the protection of life and women’s health in Texas.”

The three-judge panel did rule, however, that HB 2 could not be enforced against doctors “who timely applied for admitting privileges under the statute but are awaiting a response from the hospital.” The court did not go further to specify what constitutes a “timely” application for privileges.

The next step in the case will be for Planned Parenthood to appeal to the entire Fifth Circuit court, rather than just the panel that ruled Thursday. After that, the case is expected to make its way to the Supreme Court.

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  • red_zone

    Uh, NO, Perry.

    You are condemning women to sickness, death and lives of poverty. You are forcing women in abusive relationships to stay with men who would hurt them because they found themselves pregnant and had nowhere to turn. You are creating MORE poverty, more unhealthy families and more children who will not get services because you saw fit to take them away.

    Fate has a strange and twisted way of coming down on such people as yourself. And it will HURT you in more ways than you could ever imagine.

    • alfie0077

      Perry and the rest of the Catholic traitors are destroying the USA bit by bit.

      Religion is all the same, failed.. It is based on fear, ignorance and magic.
      If you have the dogma, yes you can even talk to smoke, or invisible folks in the sky.
      The Vatican is having a hissy about the Constitution and equality to all. The Vatican cannot allow the Constitution to be the supreme document. They cannot destroy a nation if it has an educated populace.
      Pilosi is Catholic, Boehner is Catholic, Kerry is Catholic, Biden is Catholic. Paul Ryan is Catholic. Half R, and Half D.
      Hey, this is the entire top echelon of the USA.
      DO NOT VOTE FOR CATHOLICS
      There are supposedly “two” parties, R and D. There is a third party, and it is of equal numbers to the Rs and Ds, and it is the C party. (actually, the C party is winning because the Rs and Ds are fighting each other instead of supporting the Constitution). The Catholics are a third of congress and senate. They also have “god before nation” which is “Vatican before the USA. They are joined across both parties At this moment, they have installed 6/9 in the SCOTUS. They are in lockstep and are keeping the borders open, and free debit cards to every illegal alien Catholic invading terrorist that comes to the USA. It is time the USA citizens recognize that the Vat-i-can has destroyed every nation it kisses. The Cs in the elected offices of the USA are intent in making the USA just as failed as every nation south of the US border. The SCOTUS recently stated in a decision that Corporations are “people” and can put unlimited funds into politics. This opens the gates for more Catholics to be put into office. Vote the Cs out of office and save the nation.
      The Vatican is the largest “corporation” on earth. The amount “contributed” to candidates that are “good Catholics” is out of sight.
      Reposted and hope you do the same
      Caution: Catholics live in a haystack of failure and will seek the needle of success which they think refutes all the above. Failure is failure, and they will unsuccessfully deny it.

    • KingMeIam

      Nothing is stopping you from opening up an abortion clinic that will comply with the new law. That is…if you cared about women. So get to it skippy.

      • Lieutenant Nun

        Same tired old argument. Try something new, cupcake.

        • Jennifer Starr

          He doesn’t know anything new. He just repeats the same tired talking points over and over and over, and then whines and gets aggressive when he’s passed over for slightly more interesting trolls.

          • red_zone

            Because it’s the only way for him to feel like he matters at all.

          • L-dan

            He’ll be back under a new nym again shortly.

            Do they really think they don’t give themselves away as the same person in no time? People write and speak with recognizable patterns. It takes a *lot* of training to break those patterns consistently over any length of time.

          • Lieutenant Nun

            That is exactly what Don Hudzinski would say, ‘L-dan’. > <

          • L-dan

            Only with fewer words and less sign of intelligence, judging from the history. :p

            Nice new one yourself. Punny.

          • Lieutenant Nun
          • L-dan

            Nice!

          • Jennifer Starr

            I love your new nym :)

      • red_zone

        I don’t live in Texas, little one.

        Thing is, the law as it’s written, is utterly pointless. What is demanded is unnecessary and pointless, but it was written with the specific intention of shutting down clinics, namely in areas where the poverty rate is highest.and hospitals are not readily accessible.

        How many children and families do you think will suffer, hmm? How many women do you think won’t find out they have cancer until it’s too late? How many children will suffer with illness because their parents can’t take them to the doctor, because the clinic where they normally went when they got sick is gone? How many families will have to struggle even harder because their ONLY ACCESS TO MEDICAL CARE WAS TAKEN AWAY BY PEOPLE WHO DON’T CARE ABOUT THE BIGGER PICTURE, BUT ONLY ABOUT WHAT WILL MAKE *THEM* FEEL BETTER? How many people will fall deeper into debt, into poverty because YOUR delicate little weak feelings were put above their most basic needs?

        But you LIKE watching the poor suffer because it’s the only thing that makes you feel better about yourself. Misery loves company and you need to feel superior by oppressing the weak by any means necessary . You’re existence, as it stands, has no meaning. You have never done anythong for anyone that did not directly benefit yourself and if it doesn’t you want to see it gone because all you see is yourself.. All you do is destroy anything that makes you uncomfortable without regard to the wider harm it causes to numerous others. Which only shows you have no empathy, Those such as you are the reason those such as these most vulnerable suffer.

        The only value you carry is for yourself and how YOU feel. You aren’t out to make the world a better place for anyone but YOURSELF. If anyone suffers for it, then for you it’s a small price to pay. In your mind, they DESERVE to suffer just for existing. They’re in your way and anyone who tries to stop you is ‘evil’. How DARE they not cater to YOUR feelings and discomfort! How DARE they demand to be treated as human beings! How DARE they try to stop you from doing what you want to protect themselves! You’ll show them, right?

        Yes, you did. You showed us what a selfish monster you are.

        But… this won’t likely last. We’ll just see what the Supreme Court says.

        • KingMeIam

          Oh, you don’t live in Texas? Well allow me apologize. I’m sorry that I thought you cared about women everywhere and not just in your state.

          • red_zone

            I DO care, little one. I care, unlike you. And of course, like the little coward you are, pass over the rest of the post. because you know it’s true. You want to believe you matter.

            Sorry, it’ clear you never did. that you would suppress the welfare and rights of women to decide what to do about their health shows how weak you are.

      • Arekushieru

        Nothing is stopping YOU from preventing these illegal restrictions from forcing women to comply with laws that will only ever make THEIR bodies a commodity. That is… if you cared about ANYONE other than yourself, and other men, as an EXTENSION of that self. So get to it skippy. But, of course, I forget, anti-choicers (or rather anti-lifers), prefer that responsibility be a card that can only be played on OTHERS, NOT themselves.

        Also, how do you EXPECT someone who is living in poverty to be able to access the resources needed to do just that? Methinks you are just speaking out of your privileged ASS, again.

        • KingMeIam

          So, in other words, you’re not going to donate more money to threse clinics to help them comply with the law to make abortions safer and so they can stay open because you’re selfish and don’t care about the women on Texas. Got it.

          By the way, only Kermit Gosnell supporters are in favor of abortions without restrictions and or safety measures. Are you a Kermit Gosnell supporter Arekushieru?

          • red_zone

            The majority of abortions take place in the first trimester and are safe. There are various methods used, but are rarely, if ever such that all those ‘new requirements’ demanded in the bill were even necessary. They were done specifically to burden the clinics and make it too expensive for them to operate A late-term abortion is FAR more expensive and invasive and I doubt any of the clinics closed performed those. The people who most use those clinics are those in under-serviced areas i.e. the poorer communities. Those changes would have increased cost burden on those poor and the clinics couldn’t do that.

            But now, with those clinics closed, the poor will suffer. Which is what you want. It’s all for your benefit, not theirs.

            Gosnell preyed specifically on women in areas with no access to healthcare and abortion services.They would not have turned to him if they were not desperate for aid and many of these women were likely undocumented immigrants, so he targeted them because they were more vulnerable. But where else COULD they go, with no clinics or healthcare services available in their area? People like Gosnell have popped up in places where they would best profit; in the poorest and most vulnerable regions of the country to people who would not get help otherwise. Before abortion was legal, before it was legal to even SPEA of birth control, the Gosnell’s were EVERYWHERE and they could be anyone. A doctor, a nurse, neighbor, friend… even a beloved relative. These people existed because there was a need. Someone like Gosnell existed because there was an empty place for such services and he, despite his criminal actions, filled that hole by offering the very services that desperate, vulnerable woman were looking for. Women will always be looking for an abortion and now, they will take even greater risks to get one in areas where the clinics are now no longer available.

            This law doesn’t stop people like Gosnell. it gives them free reign; it CREATES them because the law, as it stands now, gives them plenty of innocent victims to exploit and lots of areas to choose from. The law will not stop people like Gosnell. it will encourage them to go to places where the services were taken away.

            The next Gosnell case will be in Texas, in one of the poorest regions of the state. Possibly the Rio Grande. Just imagine… all those countless, impoverished women, with no access whatsoever to reproductive care becaue the state saw fit to burden them down un needless costs under the pretense of ‘making them safe’ but just took them away all together.Where will they go no, with no other clinics or hospitals close by and all the others options too far away that will cost them nearly twice or even three times as much?

            Wouldn’t this make a PERFECT place for someone like Gosnell to set up shop? To hire a few people, then send word out into the community about a ‘skilled physician’ who will take care of them for a low cost? How many women-from their teens to their forties-will flock to that doctor who can help them? He’ll likely make a decent profit off them, too. He’ll promise to terminate unwanted pregnancies and will likely do so successfully. Even if some women end up suffering, How many of those he’s treated will actually tell any one in authority? After all, HE’S there and the clinics that would have helped them aren’t. Why would they rat out quite possibly the ONLY person around who is willing to do for them what the state has not?

            How many women will die and how many families will suffer because of this law? I can’t even BEGIN to imagine.

            The law won’t stop unsafe abortion. it will make it skyrocket. But since it’s in the poorer areas, the state won’t care. Neither, clearly do you.

          • KingMeIam

            ” Gosnell preyed specifically on women in areas with no access to healthcare and abortion services.”

            How many Planned Parenthood clinics are in Philadelphia?

            Nice try.

          • L-dan

            And are you still beating your wife, kiddo? Seriously, that sort of question is one of the oldest tricks in the rhetoric for trolls handbook.

            Canada works pretty well without restrictions on their abortions, safe for those in place for medical procedures in general. That latter means that there are the same safety measures in place as there are for other comparable medical procedures.

            Do you think the current batch of laws actually has anything to do with safety? Expert testimony says otherwise.

            If they do, why aren’t comparable outpatient procedures being similarly scrutinized? hmm, it’s almost as if safety isn’t the actual point of these laws.

          • KingMeIam

            You think Canada works well without restrictions? You do realize that restrictions on abortions are what made what Kermit Gosnell did “murder” instead of just another late term abortion (which is legal in Canada?), right?

            “why aren’t comparable outpatient procedures behind similarly scrutinized?”

            Because a colonoscopy doesn’t involve ending a human existtance. Show me the Kermit Gosnell of the colonoscopy world and then maybe we should talk about more stringent restrictions on colonoscopy providers.

          • Lieutenant Nun

            Gosnell did not perform abortions. He delivered live neonates and killed them. He would have also gone to jail in canada.

          • KingMeIam

            Ok, then the women that went to him to murder their babies should go to jail.for being an accomplice to murder.

          • Lieutenant Nun

            Lady black has already explained this to you at great length. Patients are not responsible for the actions of their doctors.

            Tut tut. You should know better.

          • KingMeIam

            Sorry, but unless those women went to Gosnell with the expectation of delivering a baby ….and not extinguishing it, then they wert complicit in murder…both paying for murder and planning the childs murder by seeking out an “abortion” provider willing to murder their child.

          • Lieutenant Nun

            This has already been covered. They were completely ignorant and could not predict what he would do.

            Find something new to troll about. Even Hector st Clare is more exciting than you.

            If you can succeed in creating some original material I will acknowledge your existence. Until then, don’t wear yourself out, five:)

          • Jennifer Starr

            My desk chair has more personality than he does.

          • KingMeIam

            Ignorance is no excuse to murder.

          • red_zone

            You opinion on abortion does not equate to actual fact. Just because that’s how YOU FEEL doesn’t make you right, nor is it right to deny access to women who decide to get an abortion.

          • Arekushieru

            NOR, as R0Chambeau would have us believe, are women not only not responsible for preventing the actions of men, the burden for correcting the mistakes of misogynists is not to be laid SOLELY on the shoulders of women (someone else said something similar on a different thread re: Hobby Lobby and conscientious objections; I believe, so the premise is not something that should be attributed to me, just so ya know!).

          • L-dan

            There were plenty of medical restriction unrelated to term limits that made Gosnell’s shop a horror show. Unlicensed personnel, non-sterile equipment, not actually having the skills for late term abortions so he just killed newborns instead…etc.

            And if we’re focusing regulations based on the “it’s a person!” argument, well why in the world are we talking about non-existent safety concerns?

    • alfie0077

      If you have the dogma, yes you can even talk to smoke, or invisible folks in the sky.

      The Vatican is having a hissy about the Constitution and equality to all. The Vatican cannot allow the Constitution to be the supreme document. They cannot destroy a nation if it has an educated populace.

      Pilosi is Catholic, Boehner is Catholic, Kerry is Catholic, Biden is Catholic. Paul Ryan is Catholic. Half R, and Half D.

      Hey, this is the entire top echelon of the USA.

      DO NOT VOTE FOR CATHOLICS

      There are supposedly “two” parties, R and D. There is a third party, and it is of equal numbers to the Rs and Ds, and it is the C party. (actually, the C party is winning because the Rs and Ds are fighting each other instead of supporting the Constitution). The Catholics are a third of congress and senate. They also have “god before nation” which is “Vatican before the USA. They are joined across both parties At this moment, they have installed 6/9 in the SCOTUS. They are in lockstep and are keeping the borders open, and free debit cards to every illegal alien Catholic invading terrorist that comes to the USA. It is time the USA citizens recognize that the Vat-i-can has destroyed every nation it kisses. The Cs in the elected offices of the USA are intent in making the USA just as failed as every nation south of the US border. The SCOTUS recently stated in a decision that Corporations are “people” and can put unlimited funds into politics. This opens the gates for more Catholics to be put into office. Vote the Cs out of office and save the nation.

      The Vatican is the largest “corporation” on earth. The amount “contributed” to candidates that are “good Catholics” is out of sight.

      Reposted and hope you do the same

      Caution: Catholics live in a haystack of failure and will seek the needle of success which they think refutes all the above. Failure is failure, and they will unsuccessfully deny it.

  • alfie0077

    Tx is just another failed Catholic hellhole now.

    Religion is all the same, failed.. It is based on fear, ignorance and magic.
    If you have the dogma, yes you can even talk to smoke, or invisible folks in the sky.
    The Vatican is having a hissy about the Constitution and equality to all. The Vatican cannot allow the Constitution to be the supreme document. They cannot destroy a nation if it has an educated populace.
    Pilosi is Catholic, Boehner is Catholic, Kerry is Catholic, Biden is Catholic. Paul Ryan is Catholic. Half R, and Half D.
    Hey, this is the entire top echelon of the USA.
    DO NOT VOTE FOR CATHOLICS
    There are supposedly “two” parties, R and D. There is a third party, and it is of equal numbers to the Rs and Ds, and it is the C party. (actually, the C party is winning because the Rs and Ds are fighting each other instead of supporting the Constitution). The Catholics are a third of congress and senate. They also have “god before nation” which is “Vatican before the USA. They are joined across both parties At this moment, they have installed 6/9 in the SCOTUS. They are in lockstep and are keeping the borders open, and free debit cards to every illegal alien Catholic invading terrorist that comes to the USA. It is time the USA citizens recognize that the Vat-i-can has destroyed every nation it kisses. The Cs in the elected offices of the USA are intent in making the USA just as failed as every nation south of the US border. The SCOTUS recently stated in a decision that Corporations are “people” and can put unlimited funds into politics. This opens the gates for more Catholics to be put into office. Vote the Cs out of office and save the nation.
    The Vatican is the largest “corporation” on earth. The amount “contributed” to candidates that are “good Catholics” is out of sight.
    Reposted and hope you do the same
    Caution: Catholics live in a haystack of failure and will seek the needle of success which they think refutes all the above. Failure is failure, and they will unsuccessfully deny it.

    • Arekushieru

      Um, illegal alien Catholic invading terrorist? And, as failed as every nation south of the US border? Wha? You DO realize that you’re blaming the countries that were colonized for their colonization, right? That’s how CANADA (and I, myself, am a white Canadian who readily acknowledges how that status makes her privileged) works, by segregating First Nations Catholics from the rest of the countries Catholics because they are seen as somehow lesser because of the victimization done TO them.

      • alfie0077

        So you sidestepped. What are the “successful” nations south of the USA? (Again, there are none.) And the Vatican has had a monopoly on everything south of the USA since “colonization” and conquest by the conquisquedores

        • Arekushieru

          I wasn’t sidestepping anything. I was addressing the points I took issue with. Apparently, you have a problem with that. And you ARE doing some sidestepping of your own, of the point I made, entirely. But, whatevs, right?

          There are quite a few successful nations south of the USA. Just because they don’t look like YOU S of A, doesn’t mean they’re ‘failed’. Besides, you’re the one who made the claim, so you provide the name. Kthxbainow!

          • alfie0077

            name one of the “successful” nations south of the USA. How many people from that “successful” nation are “immigrating” to the USA as a result of the “success” of the nation they are deserting? What is a kthx…. or whatever? They are still illegal alien Catholic invaders,

          • Arekushieru

            Uh, please do as I asked and provide at least one name of the so-called ‘failed’ countries and then provide proof that citizens are fleeing from their country en masse *because* of that failure. (Also, you seem to have very little grasp of the correct usage of the term ‘failure’ as someone who understands what failure means would know that those fleeing a country under those terms would be fleeing FROM a situation NOT OF THEIR OWN MAKING, and, yet, you STILL blame them for that very thing.) Until you do, I don’t have to do fuck all. And is reading not your strong suit? What does k usually stand for and what does thx usually stand for? Hmm, that still might be too hard for you…. Lemme give you a hint: Okay and thanks. I know, huge hint, but it looked like you needed it!

      • alfie0077

        I see separation by failure and success. I failed to find any success in any Catholic nation. Perhaps you can give a successful Catholic nation name and the reason for the success. And Quebec is not a “nation” and is certainly a failure.

        • Jennifer Starr

          Texas abortion restrictions. Try posting about that.

          • alfie0077

            I support the Constitution of the USA. Yes, the Tx thing is one that I have posted on.; There is also something called the second amendment, and also the 14th amendment, for equality for all. I am not picky when it comes to the Constitution, I support ALL of it.