Leading pro-abortion groups filed a lawsuit Friday that seeks to stop Texas’ new law that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The law, signed by Gov. Rick Perry (R) in July, was passed in a special session of the legislature after a filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) and rowdy abortion advocates blocked a first vote for passage.
According to Steve Ertelt at LifeNews, the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood v. Abbott, was filed jointly on behalf of abortion businesses by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Texas firm George Brothers Kincaid & Horton. Whole Woman’s Health, which owns abortion clinics in Austin and four other Texas cities, is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.
“Any one of these restrictions would have a devastating impact across the state of Texas,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
The lawsuit requests the court to block the provisions of Texas House Bill 2 before they take effect October 29, including a requirement that physicians who provide abortion must obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital to protect women who suffer from botched abortions. In addition, the lawsuit addresses requirements that abortion facilities not put women’s health at risk by using outdated methods of dispensing the RU 486 drug that are against FDA guidelines.
The lawsuit does not address, however, the new law’s requirement that abortion facilities meet the same basic health and safety standards that other medical centers must meet.
Upon the signing of the bill into law, Perry said:
Today’s signing builds on our continued commitment to protecting life for more than a decade. This is an important day for those who support life and the health of women in Texas. Signing HB2 further solidifies the foundation on which the culture of in Texas is built.
In July, a Huffington Post poll found Americans support a ban on late-term abortions starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy by almost a 2-1 margin.
“By a margin of 59 percent to 30 percent, respondents to the new poll said they would favor a federal law banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy,” Huffington Post reported.