On April 10th, opponents of new Texas abortion laws submitted a request to the 5th U.S. Circuit of Appeals for reconsideration of the judge panel review held last month, as reported by American-Statesman. The law requires all abortion clinic doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. Signed into law July 2013, restrictions are effective September 1st.
Huffington Post reported the panel did not feel the law placed “undue burden on the life and health of women.” The three-judge appellate panel overturned the ruling U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel of Austin, who deemed the law unconstitutional by limiting women’s access to safe abortions. They further stated that 90 percent of Texas women are within 100 miles of a hospital, despite the closings of the abortion clinics.
A doctor with admitting privileges is recognized as a staff member with the ability to admit patients to their hospital of residency. In case of any complications, the clinic doctor will be able to continue caring for their patient. Supporters of the restrictions argue for women’s health protection and the necessity of surgical procedures in case of a medical emergency.
Another restriction states all abortions must take place within a surgical facility. Nearly a third of Texas abortion clinics have closed, mostly in rural areas. At this time, only 19 clinics are open for a population of 26 million. Other state legislatures such as Oklahoma and Louisiana are submitting similar restrictions.
Reuters reported Planned Parenthood is opening a surgical abortion clinic worth $5 million dollars. The targeted completion date is set for September, in time for the new laws to go into effect. The facility will be based in San Antonio and one of six fully equipped abortion clinics in Texas. Other clinics fulfilling the new regulations by September 1st are in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston.