Federal Court Blocks Part of Texas Abortion Law Preceding Immediate State Appeal


A federal judge blocked part of Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law, HB 2, late on Friday, ruling that its restrictions on Texas abortion providers—requiring them to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers—are unconstitutional.

Without the court’s injunction, HB 2 could have reduced the number of Texas abortion providers to eight.

“The act’s ambulatory surgical center requirement places an unconstitutional undue burden on women throughout Texas,” ruled Judge Lee Yeakel, who also determined that the portion of the law that requires abortion-providing doctors to obtain hospital admitting privileges is unconstitutional as it applies to doctors in El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley; those doctors also brought claims against the state in a lawsuit filed this summer.

One abortion provider said that she had already begun the process of reopening her shuttered clinic in McAllen, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley, following Yeakel’s ruling. Amy Hagstrom Miller of Whole Woman’s Health said her group is “trying to reopen McAllen within as early as 48 hours from now,” as abortion-providing doctors in the Valley no longer must obtain hospital admitting privileges in order to provide legal abortion care.

“The evidence has been stacking up against the state and against the politicians who so cynically passed these laws in the name of safety,” said Hagstrom Miller on a press call Friday evening. She said she was at her Fort Worth clinic—a licensed abortion clinic, but not an ambulatory surgical center—when they received the news that Yeakel had declared the ASC provision unconstitutional. Her staff, she said, “just let out a giant cheer.”

In his ruling, Yeakel questioned the credibility of witnesses for the State of Texas, which defended the law as constitutional and whose experts testified that HB 2’s ASC requirements were medically necessary. He also expressed dismay at the involvement of a North Carolina anti-choice activist, Vincent Rue, who assisted state experts in crafting their testimony.

The State of Texas immediately appealed Yeakel’s ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has overruled Yeakel in past rulings pertaining to HB 2. Until the Fifth Circuit stays Yeakel’s ruling, however, existing Texas abortion clinics may continue providing care without making hospital-like upgrades to their facilities.

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  • thedoorisajar

    Good news.

  • lady_black

    Very good news for Texas women.

  • Shan

    “The act’s ambulatory surgical center requirement places an unconstitutional undue burden on women throughout Texas,” ruled Judge Lee Yeakel, who also determined that the portion of the law that requires abortion-providing doctors to obtain hospital admitting privileges is unconstitutional as it applies to doctors in El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley;”

    Finally! Someone with some sense.

  • roccolore

    The Kermit Gosnell Fan Club must be cheering because the Democrats want more abortion mills with more Kermit Gosnells.

    • Shan

      Whoah, wait! Nobody told me we were doing Drunk Bumper-Stickers tonight!

      • fiona64

        I know, right? If we had the Anti-Choice Buzzword Bingo drinking game going, we’d all be dead of alcohol poisoning.

        • Shan

          If we’re ever playing that and Rita shows up, we’d have to switch out all our bingo cards. She requires a special set.

          • fiona64

            Oh, yes. We would need special Rita cards with phrases like “lively presence” and “little daughters in the womb.” The Myintx set, before she was banned for trolling here, would have included “RESPONSIBILITY” and “SICKO.”

    • thedoorisajar

      It is our dream. Pro choice just wants to kill women. How insightful you are!!

      /snark

    • Arekushieru

      Nope, that’s YOUR ilk as you have been told many times, before. I guess you must agree with us, though, because no matter how many times we have provided irrefutable evidence that YOU are wrong, you still cannot provide evidence to back up your claims. That’s the hallmark of a LOSER.

      Abortion mills? Since abortion comprises only three percent of the total services that Planned Parenthood provides and those services actually DO save lives compared to Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which advocate the death of women through the third deadliest medical condition for women WORLDWIDE, and is pretty much ALL they offer, from here on in, I will refer to them as kill mills, since they are DEFINITELY worse than what abortion could EVER do.

      • roccolore

        You are the loser who defends Kermit Gosnell. No Crisis Pregnancy Center ever kept an unclean facility or was charged with covering up rapes like Planned Parenthood. Of course, ignorant Gosnell supporters don’t care.

        • thedoorisajar

          CPCs lie to women.

        • Arekushieru

          Nope, Kermit Gosnell was COMPLETELY as anti-choice as you. No Planned Parenthood ever kept an unclean facility NOR did the doctors like Carhart and Tiller who were actually PRO-Choice. You wanted the rape victims to report the crime to the authorities and be further abused or DEAD because of it? Of course. I forgot. Your ilk does NOT care about women, IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER.

          • roccolore

            You Democrats are the real “anti-choicers” who attack women who choose NOT to abort. You Democrats are the woman-haters. Ever notice how just about every pro-abortion doctor is male? Gosnell is going to burn in hell and you can join him.

          • goatini

            //You Democrats are the real “anti-choicers” who attack women who choose NOT to abort. //

            Oh really? Then prove it – you won’t be able to. We’re not the ones who stalk, harass and bully women attempting to obtain LEGAL medical care. We’re not trying to strip away women’s rights to bear children. And we’re not murdering obstetricians and OB clinic workers in cold blood.

          • StudentHealer

            You do know, roccolore, that no pro-choice* advocate believes anything you say, right? At this point, you’re pulling fairy tales out of your, well… you’re making no sense at all.

            *We are called “pro-choice” because we believe that women deserve care and support and respect in her reproductive choices… to carry out a pregnancy, to terminate a pregnancy, or to remain childless altogether. But you know that already. You’re just making things up in a desperate attempt to discredit people you don’t like.

            So, I guess be careful when you’re lighting your candles for all the used tampons that absorbed what could have become a pregnancy – the flame may spark an inferno amid all the Straw Men you’ve been flinging about.

          • Ella Warnock

            Moar histrionics!!! Not enough eleventiies11!!!11! Try hardr plz kthx.

          • thedoorisajar

            Skeet skeet skeet

          • Nessie

            In that case, care to explain why it is primarily Democrats who support workplace accommodations for pregnant and breast feeding workers, paid maternity and paternity leave, anti-pollution laws(air and water pollutants are known to negatively impact fetal development), and affordable prenatal care for all?

          • Arekushieru

            Nope. My mother is Pro-Choice BECAUSE she chose to have me. Guess what, I am glad she had the CHOICE not to abort. You are the ones who attack women who CHOOSE to abort. Therefore, by your OWN logic, REPUBLICANS are woman-haters. Thanks for proving my point, though! Oops.

            Yeah, every Pro-Abortion and Pro-Life doctor is male. Because they’re anti-choice, like you and Gosnell. However, Pro-Choice doctors are in the main, majority male, because your ilk still likes to try to keep women suppressed.

            Wow, wishing me to burn in hell along with Gosnell, how Pro-‘Life’ of you. See, that’s how I know this isn’t about life, but hating women. Btw, hell, as YOU see it, doesn’t exist, even according to the Bible. You don’t read the Bible, i take it. Fucking typical.

          • roccolore

            Gosnell is one of yours. You made sure the media covered up his acts. Democrats like you are the woman-haters who think women should only think with their “lady parts” as Joe Biden would call them.

          • Arekushieru

            Nope. How could THAT be if RHRC, a decidedly Pro-CHOICE organization, was reporting on Gosnell and Bingham’s crimes LONG before you fetus freaks came along? Oops.

            More REPUBLICANS have an aversion to actually using the correct terminology to describe a woman’s genitalia. Again, OOPS?

            So, not only READING comprehension, but LOGIC, as well, are not your strong suits, eh? AW.

          • blfdjlj

            You’re raising good points as to how anti-choicers describe female genitalia as “lady parts”.

          • fiona64

            Put down the crack pipe, Rocco.

          • goatini

            //You made sure the media covered up his acts. //

            Wrong. RHRC started reporting on Gosnell’s crimes in 2010. You know, 3 years before the fetus freaks started screaming “WHY IS NO ONE REPORTING ON THIS?!?!?!!!” RHRC has 14 pages of search results on articles on criminal Gosnell and his crimes, from 2010 to present. You’re lying and you can’t prove your lie.

          • Shan

            Ugh, these people repeat the same BS over and over like that’s going to make it true.

          • lady_black

            We control the media? ROFLMAO.

          • roccolore

            So why didn’t many of the major networks and newspapers cover the Gosnell case?

          • Shan

            Were you living outside the USA in 2011?

          • lady_black

            All of them did.

          • lady_black

            NOPE. Absolutely false. Everyone here knows I have children. I’ve never been attacked for having children, and in fact, most of us do have children.

          • fiona64

            You Democrats are the real “anti-choicers” who attack women who choose NOT to abort.

            You’re a funny little troll, I’ll give you that. Those who force abortions are just as anti-choice as you.

            Do you think that all pro-choice women have had abortions and have no children? If so, you’re also a complete ignoramus.

        • goatini

          //No Crisis Pregnancy Center ever kept an unclean facility//

          Nor provided any medical care.

        • goatini

          Initial reports of Gosnell’s crimes were published in RHRC in 2010, and neither RHRC nor any reproductive justice defenders ever “supported” or “defended” criminal Gosnell.

          http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2010/02/24/roundup-everyone-deserves-safe-medical-care/

        • StudentHealer

          Actually, I was taken to a CPC at age 17…and they were pretty unsanitary. They asked me to pee in a cup, so I asked for some gloves. They said they “didn’t have any”. And when the woman who “counseled” me used the plastic dropper to put the urine on the test, she DIDN’T WEAR GLOVES.

          Got any other lies you’ve been taught by anti-choicers that you need help with? There’s a whole wealth of real life experience around here!

          • lady_black

            Speaking as a nurse, you were ok not wearing gloves and so was the person doing the test. Urine is sterile unless you have a urinary infection. I understand the “ick” factor. I’m also assuming hand-washing facilities were available. I would feel perfectly comfortable performing those tasks without gloves. I would definitely wear gloves for blood or feces. Urine is pretty safe to handle without gloves.

          • StudentHealer

            Well, I was 17 at the time, lol. At this point in my life (33 and doggedly working through classes to be a physician’s assistant), I can deal with my own urine as long as I can wash my hands afterwards (unless I’ve got some kind of open cut or something, because ouch). But I’d still prefer to not handle another person’s urine without gloves. Now though, it’s not just the ick-factor (lol). It’s more of a SH-takes-every-possible-precaution-even-if-not-completely-necessary-factor.

            I suppose at that age, in a place that presented itself as so “medical”, I was surprised that the CPC didn’t have gloves at all… and then the idea that they were less-than-sanitary has stuck. To be fair, there was plenty of other physically icky and emotionally disgusting practices going on there… and the lack of gloves was the *least* of their issues!

        • lady_black

          CPCs are not medical clinics.

        • fiona64

          No Crisis Pregnancy Center

          is a medical clinic. There. I finished the sentence for you.

          Oh, Lila Rose is a liar, too.

    • goatini

      Criminal Gosnell was not a provider of safe, legal pregnancy terminations. Go peddle your BS over at notorious perjurer Stanek’s cesspool.

      • roccolore

        How is Jill Stanek a liar?

        • fiona64

          Well, first she opens her mouth and then dishonest words come out. That’s how Jill Stanek is a liar.

  • StealthGaytheist

    Excellent news!

  • blfdjlj

    Some militant anti-choice groups are against HB2 as well, because they see it as peddling the myth that abortion should be safe.

    • Shan

      Really? Which ones?

      • blfdjlj

        Abolish Human Abortion. They believe that using the “women’s safety” argument to restrict abortion is unacceptable, because it suggests that the maiming of a woman from an abortion is worse than the death of an embryo/fetus: https://www.facebook.com/AbolishHumanAbortion/photos/pb.146273698771986.-2207520000.1409435674./748400855225931/?type=1&theater

        That group doesn’t hide its religious fundamentalism, and goes out of its way to denigrate rape victims, Holocaust survivors, and everyone else who does not conform to their ISIS-like agenda.

        • Shan

          Wow.

        • thedoorisajar

          They are consistent, actually.

          If abortion is really murder, as every PLer states, then why be concerned about the safety of the heartless killers?

          • Shan

            Like the people who don’t care that prison inmates regularly get beaten and abused, fed maggot-infested food and raped. Everybody takes it so for granted that prisoners are going to get raped at some point that people make JOKES about it. They’re criminals, so they deserve it apparently.

  • fiona64

    Excellent news! Now to make sure the anti-choice, murdering “sidewalk counselors” keep their distance.

    • catseye

      MACE, maybe?

      • Shan

        Seriously. If you’re just standing at the bus stop or making your way down any OTHER public sidewalk and a whackaloon started following you or blocking your path and screaming at you, would the cops even *blink* at you for macing them? And yet the SCOTUS gives First Amendment protection to the whackaloons outside abortion clinics. It’s surreal.

        • catseye

          Patients also need to record the whackaloons’ actions on their cell phones, so they can prove that they were being threatened.

          • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

            Excellent idea. And even better yet, they need to provide cellphones to each escort, who will hand them to a client and tell the client to record what is happening to them.

            That not only empowers the client. It provides direct evidence of harassment from the clients point of view.

            Take a look at BabySaverServant. But only if you have a strong stomach. This is what the SCOTUS calls counseling.
            http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/2014/08/are-they-prostitutes-asks.html

      • http://plumstchili.blogspot.com/ Plum Dumpling

        Urinate on their shoes?

        • catseye

          They might enjoy that. <|;-P

        • Shan

          No, risk of being charged with public indecency. Not worth it. ;-)