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Appeals Court Upholds Most of Texas HB2 Abortion Law

www.flickr.com/photos/mirsasha/ (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

A federal appeals court has decided to uphold portions of a controversial Texas abortion law. As KUT’s Veronica Zaragovia reports, the U-S Supreme Court had temporarily blocked those portions until the Fifth U-S Circuit Court of Appeals made its decision yesterday. 

The ruling upheld two provisions. Texas clinics must meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers except for one in McAllen. And abortion doctors in Texas have to receive admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. The judges at the Fifth Circuit made very specific exemptions for a clinic in McAllen – it’s the only one in the Rio Grande Valley.

"This law HB 2 is a complete sham. It is meant to over-regulate clinics to the point they’re no longer able to operate," Busby said. 

Heather Busby is with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, which lobbied against the 2013 Texas law, House Bill 2.

But Joe Pojman with the Texas Alliance for Life is happy with the decision.

"No woman should have an abortion that puts her health and safety at risk," Pojman said.

Plaintiffs in the case also had wanted to exempt a clinic in El Paso, but the judges ruled that women there can travel to New Mexico.

Roughly half of the state’s abortion clinics have closed since the 2013 law went into effect. The Center for Reproductive Rights says today's ruling means only 7 could remain open.  Abortion providers will appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.