All Politics Are Local

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When Hospitals Put Patients Last

04.17.2014

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Update: A state judge just temporarily reinstated the two doctors\' admitting privileges. But the fight is far from over. The case is still moving forward. We will continue to keep you updated.

 

A Dallas hospital has chosen to discriminate against two good doctors rather than protect women’s health.

Two weeks ago, the hospital revoked the doctors’ admitting privileges, specifically because—and they said as much—they provide abortion services.

That’s illegal, and our partners* are fighting against the hospital’s decision in court.

Here’s what the hospital told them:

“[Your] practice of performing [abortions] is disruptive….[and] creates significant exposure and damages to [our] reputation within the community.”

It’s insane for a hospital to deny women care because it believes performing abortions “damages” its reputation. This lawsuit will remind the hospital—and the Texas government—that it must put women’s health first.

Right now, Texas law requires doctors providing abortion to have admitting privileges at a local hospital—a requirement with far-reaching and dangerous consequences.

As we’re seeing in Dallas, hospitals can discriminate against providers. And if enough providers are denied privileges, clinics will close. Women seeking essential reproductive health care will have nowhere to turn.

This is no hypothetical “worst-case scenario.” Patients in McAllen, TX, for example, must drive 300 miles roundtrip just to see a doctor since their only local clinic has been forced to close.

We’ve already filed a lawsuit on behalf of the McAllen clinic, and we’re in the appeal stages of yet another legal battle over Texas’s admitting privileges requirement. Now we’re putting everything we’ve got to winning all three of these crucial court battles.

*The two physicians are represented by Debevoise &, Plimpton LLP.

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