Center for Reproductive Rights staff attorney, David Brown, appeared on ABC’s This Week in a feisty segment discussing the recent ruling out of Texas in which a federal judge deemed unconstitutional the new restrictions imposed by HB2. The Honorable Lee Yeakel stated in his decision that “the overall effect of the provisions is to create an impermissible obstacle” to women seeking abortions.
Brown, who is part of the legal team challenging the Texas legislation, expressed confidence that the judge’s ruling will be upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, if and when they hear this case.
“We know that for the past 42 years the federal courts have consistently reaffirmed the rule laid down in Roe v. Wade that abortion is a fundamental right of women to choose,” he remarked.
Host Martha Raddatz spoke to both Brown and National Right to Life Committee President Carol Tobias. Tobias was dismissive of the federal judge’s assertion that the new restrictions—which would shutter the vast majority of Texas’s abortion clinics—place an undue burden on women in need of abortion services.
“It’s actually an undue burden . . . on the abortion facilities,” claimed Tobias.
The new restrictions require abortion clinics to meet hospital-level building and equipment standards. Anti-abortion groups claim that these new measures are intended to protect women, but as Raddatz pointed out in the news segment, both the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology say that these standards are not needed for safety.
In his commentary, Brown affirmed that “the goal of this legislation is to shutter these clinics,” pointing out that the legislative director of Tobias’s own organization admitted several months ago that abortion is one of medicine’s safest procedures.
A rattled Tobias did acknowledge that the restrictions are not just about safety, they are also aimed at restricting access to abortion.