The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday upheld a controversial Texas law that requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at area hospitals in order for their facilities to remain open.
The panel of judges upheld nearly all of the provisions of the Texas law, which was passed in 2013, and will likely lead to the closure of all but eight of the state’s abortion clinics, reports the LA Times.
The legislation banned most abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy, and required abortion-inducing drugs to be administered in the presence of a physician. Abortionists must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic, and their facilities must meet the same building requirements, and be stocked with the same equipment, as ambulatory surgery centers.
The 5th Circuit overturned the ruling of U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, who struck down the surgical center requirements across the state as well as that of the admitting privileges for two clinics last year. Then-Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, however, filed an appeal against that ruling.
The only exception the panel made was for a facility in McAllen, Texas – which, the court said, was due to the fact that it is the only abortion facility in the area.
In a statement to Breitbart Texas regarding the court’s decision, Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said, “The Fifth Circuit decision is a huge step towards protecting the health and safety of women throughout Texas, by upholding common-sense regulations demanding that abortionists obtain admitting privileges at hospitals in order for their facilities to remain open.”
“By forcing abortion facilities to abide by this law, the Court correctly recognized that safety standards trump political rhetoric demanding access to abortion, however unsafe and subpar it may be,” she continued. “There is no right to an unsafe abortion, and for abortion advocates to promote a lower standard of care for women, just to ensure the sacred cow of abortion remains intact, is morally indefensible.”
Concerned Women for America CEO and president Penny Nance said in a press statement, “For too long abortion providers have been providing women with substandard care while claiming that abortions were safe. Finally, in Texas, they will not be able to put profits above the health and well-being of their patients.”
“Texas abortionists will no longer be able to give lip service to safety; they will finally be held accountable,” Nance added. “Surgical instruments will be properly sterilized, and paramedics will be able to get patients on gurneys in case of emergencies. These standards, which most Americans would have believed to already be in effect, will now be required.”
However, Nancy Northrup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a press statement that the decision amounted to a “broadside legislative assault on women’s rights and healthcare.”
“Once again, women across the state of Texas face elimination of safe and legal options for ending a pregnancy, and the denial of their constitutional rights,” she said.