At least 6 abortion facilities reopen in Texas after Supreme Court decision
At least half-a-dozen abortion facilities are reopening in Texas today, thanks to a Supreme Court decision forbidding the state from enforcing tighter health and safety regulations designed to protect women.
The 6-3 vote specifically waived the law's requirement that abortionists meet the same standards as other ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) until the law is fully adjudicated.
When that provision went into effect, it closed more than a dozen abortion facilities statewide. The decision – which was opposed by justices Scalia, Alito, and Thomas – allows those abortion facilities that cannot or will not meet higher standards to go back into business.
“I'm delighted that there has finally been some justice dealt this state,” Ginny Braun, director of the Routh Street Women's Clinic told the Houston Chronicle, pledging that her business “will go forward from today.”
Three Houston abortion facilities have reopened their doors: Surburban Women's Medical Center, Suburban Women's Clinic, and the offices of Dr. Yury Nosaville. Houston Women's Clinic is likely to reopen within the week.
These four facilities do not include two abortion offices the Supreme Court specifically exempted from a state mandate that abortionists have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles: Whole Women's Health in McAllen, and Reproductive Services abortion facility in El Paso. Those facilities have closed, reopened, then closed again. They now reopen for the second time.
Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, called the Supreme Court decision “a tremendous victory” in her “fight against Texas' sham abortion law.”
Not all of the abortion facilities that have closed since the law's adoption last July can or will open their offices again. The state can still enforce the admitting privilege requirement in less remote parts of the state. And some sold their buildings or laid off staff.
But for now, those in a position to capitalize on the ruling promise to do just that. “We're all shocked, to be honest,” Braun said, vowing that the remaining Texas abortion facilities – and any new ones that open while the restrictions are being waived – “will get the job done.”
The Chronicle reported that she had scheduled four abortions by 8:30 a.m. Some abortion providers perform as many as 45 abortions a day.
Pro-life leaders said the ruling benefits the abortion industry's profit margin at the expense of Texas women.
“Abortion politics has superseded authentic concern for the health and safety of women,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. “This is a shameful hour when ‘access,’ at any cost supplants safety and health. Should women stifle their concerns about assembly-line style abortions that prey on the most vulnerable women?”
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“Where are all the watchdogs of women’s health?” she asked.