On Wednesday, the State of Texas presented its first witnesses in a federal court hearing concerning the latest legal challenge to HB 2, the state’s omnibus anti-abortion law.
On Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Myron Thompson didn’t just block an Alabama admitting privileges requirement. He also made a powerful case for how targeted regulations of abortion providers further stigmatize abortion providers and patients.
The closure leaves the state with just three clinics that provide abortion care.
A new law in South Dakota bans the practice of so-called sex-selection abortion, while in Indiana two new laws went into effect, banning private insurance coverage of abortion care and mandating that abortion providers obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health recently asked Planned Parenthood facilities in the state to submit transfer agreement and admitting privileges information, even though the state currently does not require clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. A spokesperson said a department employee was acting on his or her own.
A Dallas hospital tried to revoke two doctors’ admitting privileges because they provide legal abortion care, but the two parties have now settled out of court.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill into law Wednesday that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, among other medically unnecessary requirements for clinics in the state.
One bill would ban abortion providers from teaching sex education in public schools, while the other would require women seeking an abortion to receive information written by the state about the alleged mental health risks associated with the procedure.
The road ahead for abortion providers and their allies to not only preserve George Tiller’s specialized service, but simply to stay open, is hardly an easy one. But many of those who knew Dr. Tiller as a colleague and friend are no doubt fortified by remembering one of his favorite sayings: “Attitude is everything.”
On Thursday, a state judge heard arguments in a case challenging a 2012 law that severely restricts medication abortion and exposes doctors to felony prosecution for failure to comply.