Planned Parenthood Is Suing Texas Over New Abortion Restrictions

Long before Wendy Davis laced up her pink Mizunos and stepped onto the floor of the Texas Senate for her historic filibuster, the passage of the sweeping abortion restrictions she was fighting against was a sure thing. Equally certain was that, once those restrictions passed, they would be challenged in court.

That's what happened today, when Planned Parenthood, along with 10 other abortion providers from around the state, including Dallas' Routh Street Women's Clinic, filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Greg Abbott in federal court.

The basic argument the plaintiffs lay out is that HB 2, the abortion law signed by Governor Rick Perry on July 18, imposes "medically unwarranted and burdensome requirements" for abortions in violation of patient's due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment.

The lawsuit makes no specific mention of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, but a similar argument formed the basis for that case.

Planned Parenthood takes particular aim at two provisions of the law set to go into effect on October 29, one requiring physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where the abortion is performed, and another restricting the use of the drug mifepristone for medically induced abortions.

The former, the suit says, would force the closure of than a third of the state's abortion facilities, including the only provider in Lubbock, Waco, Killeen, Harlingen and McAllen, and all three in Fort Worth, partly because of distance, partly because of the refusal of many hospitals to grant admitting privileges to abortion providers. This despite the fact that 0.3 percent of abortion patients require hospitalization, and logic holds that they would go to whichever emergency room is nearest, not where a doctor has admitting privileges.

The latter requires a doctor to administer abortion medication and cuts the time frame during which it can be given from 63 days to 49 days after the patient's last period, again for no justifiable medical reason. Research has found that mifepristone is safe enough to be self-administered. There are almost never complications.

Of course, no one ever seriously believed that HB 2 was about ensuring patient safety. It was about closing abortion clinics, just like laws that its predecessor bills in Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, all of which have been blocked by federal judges.

The same thing will no doubt happen in Texas. The question is, what will happen when the case, or one like it, inevitably makes it to the Supreme Court?

Planned Parenthood v Abbott

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20 comments
everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

The former, the suit says, would force the closure of than a third of the state's abortion facilities, including the only provider in Lubbock, Waco, Killeen, Harlingen and McAllen, and all three in Fort Worth, partly because of distance, partly because of the refusal of many hospitals to grant admitting privileges to abortion providers.

That one isn't much of a mystery -- most doctors consider elective abortions to be a violation of the hippocratic oath.  Only about 4% are willing to perform an abortion (with proper training).  I think we would all want hospitals to refuse to admit unethical doctors.

susanwilliams407
susanwilliams407

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Anonamouse
Anonamouse

Hmmm..... GOP opposes ACA and it's "Nazis", "Terrorists", "Holding America hostage" because of a law they don't like.

Libs oppose limits on abortion and its "principled", "freedom to choose", "a stand for individual rights" because of a law they don't like.

Right?  

Keith
Keith

What ever happened to the fiscally conservative side of the GOP? How much money has the state wasted on passing laws that they know will lead to expensive litigation that they are very likely to lose?

From preventing non-existent election fraud to saving patients from medically safe procedures, it just seems that they like to throw tons of money into the silk pockets of the state's lawyers. Why does the GOP waste money like a drunken liberal?

TexMarine
TexMarine

Odd. I thought they used all of their money to save lives.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Reread the article. The rate of hospitalization is very low. But, by closing the clinics with dumb rules, you force women into shady locations, and I bet the hospitalization rate would skyrocket. Roohoo for your side, eh...

roo_ster
roo_ster

Eric: 

You don't want women dying in the pest-infested clinics after being operated on by quacks who hospitals consider incompetent to be granted privileges, do you? 

Why do you hate women that much?

(Second try after first post went into the ether.)

roo_ster
roo_ster

Eric:

You don't want women dying in the pest-infested clinics after being operated on by quacks who hospitals consider incompetent to be granted privileges, do you?

Why do you hate women that much?

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@roo_ster The question being brought before the courts is not a moral one.  It is not a medical or religious question either.  It isn't about one side or the other hating women (even though both sides hysterically shriek that the other side hates women).  

No, the way I see it, this is a question of legality and Constitutionally guaranteed individual rights.  We cannot definitively point to the exact moment 'life' begins, when 'it' becomes a he or a she.  Some religions tell us one thing, others tell us something different.  Science provides its own theories on when life begins.  It is a question that cannot be answered with enough degree of certainty on any side of the argument.  It comes down to faith, or belief, in one's own definition of the term.  It's an individual thing, up to a point, and up to that point, we have no business making the decision for others.

Regulate abortion providers along the same safety and medical guidelines as other health care providers with similar risk factors.  Do dentists who perform oral surgery have to have admitting privileges in nearby hospitals?  To really prove the point, do birthing centers and home birth midwives have to have admitting privileges? (here's a hint, they CANT have admitting privilege, they're not doctors).  So what the law is saying is that we need super strict regulations and hospital access to abort babies, but to actually supervise the birth of a child, basically anyone, anywhere should be able to do it.  Why do Christians hate children so much?

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@roo_ster 

OK, could you show a single case of a "pest infested clinic" in Texas affected by the bill?

Also, while you are providing some credible support for your claims, could you tell us about any "quack who hospitals consider incompetent to be granted priviledges" that was employed at one of the Texas clinics?

otherwise, it is clear the need such as you cite for Texas HB 2 is non-existent, and as the lawsuit claims the bill was passed solely to prevent the women of Texas from exercising their rights.

why do you hate protecting people's rights that much?

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@RTGolden1 @roo_ster RTGolden makes the point very well.

If you go see a dermatologist to get a mole removed, you don't need a doctor with hospital priivieges. Medically speaking, an abortion is the equivalent of removing a mole. or dental surgery.

I'm pretty damn moderate. I tend liberal on social issues and conservative on fiscal ones. If this bill had been a simple ban on abortion after 20 weeks I'd have yawned at it. But it is obviously a de facto ban on abortion that will get overturned in court. Just not before several clinics close and it is tied up in court for a few years.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@RTGolden1 @roo_ster  

"I like your Christ very much, it is your Christians that I do not like.  They are so unlike your Christ." -- M Ghandi


Additionally, don't forget the 4th Amendment.  In the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, only a medical exam can establish pregnancy.


You are very correct about the debate when life begins.  It is a matter of faith.  The medical profession dances around this question by discussing "fetal viability outside of the uterus".

ElFlaco714
ElFlaco714

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @RTGolden1 @roo_ster The debate is not about faith.  Once conception occurs, a human being with distinct DNA is formed.  If it is not a human life with distinct DNA, then what is it?  A tomato?  We can debate the morality of what happens after that point, at one week, or one month, and so on.  But the fact that it is a human life is, IMHO, not a debatable point.

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