Appeals court decision upholds controversial Texas abortion law

DALLAS, Oct. 3 (UPI) —

On Thursday, a federal appellate court ruled on the side of Texas when it upheld a controversial abortion law.

The ruling marks the end of a year long battle in the court system.

Thursday’s ruling forces thirteen abortion clinics in the state to close immediately.

The decision by the three judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans gives Texas permission to require all abortion clinics in the state of Texas to meet the same building, equipment and staffing standards as hospital-style surgical centers.

Those standards — according to providers — were unnecessary and costly.

However, the state argued they improved patient care.

Now that the thirteen clinics are closing overnight it leaves the state with only 8 abortion clinics — all in major metropolitan areas.

Texas has 5.4 million women of reproductive age, which is the second most in the country.

Nancy Northup, the president and chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights said "ruling has gutted Texas women’s constitutional rights and access to critical reproductive health care, and stands to make safe, legal abortion essentially disappear overnight."

In July 2013, Texas passed one of the toughest abortion laws in the country, despite a marathon filibuster by Democratic state senator Wendy Davis.

Davis is now running for governor.