Ben Johnson


New lawsuit filed to stop enforcement of Texas pro-life law and save state from ‘darkness’

Ben Johnson

AUSTIN, TX, April 2, 2014 ( – Abortion advocates today have filed a second lawsuit against Texas H.B. 2, asking a judge to halt the enforcement of a law they say could close another dozen abortion facilities statewide.

Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and Texas abortion providers sued to strike down regulations that require abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their offices, and that demand all abortion facilities meet the same health and safety standards as other ambulatory surgical centers.

If enforced, the industry warns, the state of Texas could be reduced to having only six abortion facilities by September – or seven, if a $5 million Planned Parenthood in San Antonio is completed on time.

After a lengthy court battle, an all-female panel of the Fifth Circuit Appeals Court upheld the law last Thursday.

Now, the Center for Reproductive Rights is suing to prevent the law from being enforced.

Nancy Northrup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said that her group “filed this lawsuit to stop the second-largest state in the nation from plunging millions of women back into the darkness and grave danger of illegal abortion that Roe v. Wade was supposed to end.”

There is no question the abortion industry is hemorrhaging. There were 36 abortion facilities in the state when H.B. 2 was passed last summer. The Texas Tribune estimates there are now 22 licensed abortion facilities, 18 of which advertise that they perform abortions.

By seeking to halt enforcement, the New York-based CRR is following a model that proved successful in neighboring Arizona. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, halted the enforcement of an Arizona pro-life law restricting the use of RU-486.

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CRR and Whole Woman's Health, which has abortion offices in three Texas cities, are apparently not challenging the Texas law's provisions requiring medication abortions to conform to FDA guidelines.

The pro-life law limits abortions to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, but that provision has not been challenged in court.

Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor, is defending the law.

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