The U.S. Supreme Court Upheld a Key Part of Texas' Abortion Law, but Not without Rancor

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When the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and more than a dozen health care providers took Attorney General Greg Abbott to court in September to challenge Texas' new anti-abortion law, they weren't trying to tackle the entire law. Instead, they narrowed in on a few key provisions that were supposed to take effect in October.

A key provision in the law, and one major focus of the lawsuit, is a requirement that all abortion providers must have admitting privileges at a local hospital, access that's difficult obtain if you're working at a small clinic in the middle of nowhere. According to Planned Parenthood, that provision would have forced one-third of abortion clinics in Texas to shut down. And yesterday the provision got a temporary go-ahead from a deeply divided U.S. Supreme Court.

"While we are deeply disappointed, this isn't over. We will take every step we can to protect the health of Texas women," Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards said in a statement.

On October 28, U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel struck down the admitting-privileges measure.

But the injunction and was soon lifted by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. That sent it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled 5-4 yesterday that it will allow the restriction to stay in effect, forcing some clinics to close.

Justice Stephen Breyer, one of four justices who dissented against the ruling, agreed that doctors who don't have the admitting privileges would have no choice but to stop offering abortions. Breyer added that while the state denied that tens of thousands of Texas women would be stranded, "it provides no assurance that a significant number of women seeking abortions will not be affected."

The 5th Circuit Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the entire case early next year.

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23 comments
hayleegill
hayleegill

Legal Abortion: the Sign of a Civilized Society

 http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org/civilize.html

Abstract: This paper outlines some of the harsh realities about the incidence and safety of legal versus illegal abortion in the modern world. Countries where abortion is legal are compared to countries where it is illegal to highlight the shocking injustice being done to women who do not have access to safe, legal abortion. That, and the tragedy of unwanted children, highlights the far-reaching health and social benefits of legalized abortion.

fracquestions
fracquestions

Once again, the CONservatives (who constantly tell us they favor less government, and especially less federal government) are working their asses off to take away rights and freedoms from citizens based entirely upon their own Neanderthal religious beliefs. CONservatives do not believe in government regulation for corporations - they just believe in government regulation of the lives of private citizens.

hayleegill
hayleegill

I want to know why the courts continue trying to make laws that affect our rights as a person. That's all I've been hearing about is new laws that say what I CANT do. When does it stop? When does the government get out of the peoples business?


holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Heard on the radio SCOTUS punted it back to the 5th Circuit on the grounds it had to play out there first.  

I think they'll slap it down if it gets to them once it clears the appellate level.

The state of Texas does not require similar procedures (eg colonoscopies) like this to be so restricted.  It's an abuse of equal protection, equal application of the law.

ruddski
ruddski

"... providers must have admitting privileges at a local hospital, access that's difficult obtain if you're working at a small clinic in the middle of nowhere.", --- Access isn't an issue of distance.

fracquestions
fracquestions

@hayleegill It will stop when the people of the United States rise up and make it stop! we did that in 1776!

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@holmantx 

Texas does not require birthing centers to comply with the same restrictions.

oh, but these are all in the cause of better women's health care don't you know?

ruddski
ruddski

"Admitting privileges", not "access". whoops.

hayleegill
hayleegill

@everlastingphelps @hayleegill It's better for abortion clinics to be wide open than for kids of the mothers who were too young to have them suffer and run around in gangs killing people or robbing or doing drugs. 

hayleegill
hayleegill

@everlastingphelps @hayleegill Whoever made the law isn't the point. The point is there are new laws every day to tell civilians what we can't do. It's more paperwork for companies and if they make abortions illegal, women will only go to people who don't know what they're doing to get them performed and people will die. 

ruddski
ruddski

Isn't that the responsibility of the Executive Branch now?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@mavdog @holmantx 

Single party over-reach has been the downfall of many administrations.

Wendy Davis is looking more and more . . mercurial to me.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @ruddski Right, its an issue that most abortionists have serious ethical issues that most hospitals won't touch.

hayleegill
hayleegill

@everlastingphelps @hayleegill No, that's not racist. It's stats. When you come from a low income household because your mother is unable to support a kid, you are more susceptible to dysfunction and more than twice as likely to be a delinquent. This can occur whether you are white, black, asian, anything.



everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @hayleegill @everlastingphelps Ahh, yes, the old racist "they're just aborting future gang members (aka "minorities").  

As for the "women will only go to people who don't know what they are doing" that is what is happening now.  These regulations are all safety regulations to protect women who get injured by malpractice in the abortions.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@MaxNoDifference @holmantx @mavdog

mer·cu·ri·al  [mer-kyoor-ee-uhl]  

1.changeable; volatile; fickle; flighty; erratic: a mercurial nature.

2.animated; lively; sprightly; quick-witted.

I'm warming to her.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps

your asserted "most abortionists have serious ethical issues that most hospitals won't touch"  the article doesn't address this point. I must ask if you meant to say what you said? or did you not read the article? it has zero to do with your comment....

the article regards the ethical issues of a doctor who refuses abortion services to a patient. the doctor has committed to providing care to their patient. the artcle asks are doctors who refuse to provide abortion services acting unethically?

not an easy answer. imho the physician should not be obligated to perform the abortion, but is obligated to make certain the patient is able to have the procedure done by another physician.

nevertheless, you cannot show that hospitals see physicians who perform abortions as having "serious ethical issues", and not wanting to grant them priviledges on that reason.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

 @mavdog @everlastingphelps @ruddski From the Journal of Medical Ethics:

http://jme.bmj.com/content/22/2/115.full.pdf

That there were not enough physicians willing to provide abortion services is not unique to this hospital. Although the demand for abortions remains fairly constant, fewer and fewer physicians are willing to perform them or even to learn the relevant skills; indeed, as of 1991, "eighty-three per cent of US counties [had] no abortion provider".


mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@everlastingphelps @ruddski

most abortionists have serious ethical issues that most hospitals won't touch

I doubt you can cite any credible source for that assertion.

thousands of doctors in Texas do not have any connections or admitting priviledges with any hospital. they run clinics and practices which do not need an association with a hospital.

btw did you know that the Texas Hospital Association opposed the requirement in HB 2 on admitting priviledges, and their reasons have ZERO to do with your ficticious "ethical issues"?

ruddski
ruddski

The link provided above states that doctors "who perform abortions [must] have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the clinic..."

If this wording is correct, then the law is flawed. 30 miles, in Texas???

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