(PRESS RELEASE) A federal judge will hear testimony and arguments today in a legal challenge to block two harmful and unconstitutional provisions of a recently enacted law that threatens to dramatically reduce women’s ability to access safe and legal abortion in Texas if allowed to take effect.
The lawsuit, Planned Parenthood v. Abbot, was jointly filed on September 27 on behalf of more than a dozen Texas health care providers and their patients by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Texas law firm George Brothers Kincaid &, Horton.
“The devastating and severe consequences this law would have on Texas women couldn’t be clearer,” said Janet Crepps, senior counsel and lead attorney on the case for the Center for Reproductive Rights. “We are confident that the court will continue to uphold the constitutional protections of women's reproductive rights that have been in place for nearly four decades and see these provisions for what they truly are: underhanded attempts to choke off access to essential health care.”
The women’s health care providers have asked the court to block the provisions of Texas House Bill 2 with the most immediate, and indeed very far-reaching, impact on women’s health before they take effect October 29, including:
- A requirement that physicians who provide abortion must obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. This requirement would not provide any health benefit to patients, as abortion is an extremely safe procedure with less than half of one percent of patients seeking care at a hospital following the procedure. Abortion providers in Texas adhere to numerous regulations to uphold patient safety in the rare event of complications. This requirement could force at least one-third of the state’s licensed health centers providing safe and legal abortion today to stop providing that service next month. It would completely eliminate access to safe and legal abortion in vast stretches of Texas, and end services in Lubbock, Fort Worth, Waco, McAllen, Harlingen, and Killeen.
- Restrictions on the use of medication abortion that would require a woman to follow an inferior, outdated, and less effective protocol—despite the fact that women in the United States have been safely and legally using medication abortion to end an early pregnancy for over a decade.