San Antonio, TX, United States (4E) – The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas has struck down the provision of the state’s 2013 anti-abortion law requiring abortion clinics to have ambulatory surgical center standards at par with hospitals.
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Friday ruled that the provision is unconstitutional because it would cause many abortion clinics to close and restrict women’s rights to access to the procedure.
The ruling averted closure of seven of the state’s 19 abortion clinics on Monday, when the law’s ambulatory surgical center provision was to take effect.
Yeakel said the provision intends to close existing abortion clinics.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is moving to appeal the ruling before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which has already upheld other provisions of the law.
The said law that Gov. Rick Perry signed in 2013 has two other abortion restrictions that were challenged in court by pro-abortion advocates. They are the requirements that physicians performing abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and that the allowable gestational period for an abortion be reduced from 24 to 20 weeks.
In April, the Center for Reproductive Rights announced its lawsuit against that law’s provision requiring physicians performing “surgical abortions” to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and requiring certain compliance protocols relating to the administration of drugs inducing medication abortions.
Yeakel also had ruled that abortion clinics in McAllen and El Paso be exempt from the requirement that abortion clinic doctors have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.