The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that a strict 2013 law dreamed up by Texas legislators that leaves just eight abortion clinics open in Texas is lawful.
The law, called HB 2, requires abortion clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center standards and requires doctors who work in the clinics to have admitting privileges to a hospital.
Both Attorney General Ken Paxton and Governor Greg Abbott used the occasion to mansplain' that they know what is best for women's health, but were mum on women's reproductive rights.
“This unanimous decision is a vindication of the careful deliberation by the Texas Legislature to craft a law to protect the health and safety of Texas women,” Abbott says in a statement. “I am pleased with the Fifth Circuit’s decision to uphold HB 2 and the State of Texas will continue to fight for higher-quality healthcare standards for women while protecting our most vulnerable - the unborn.”
Paxton says the ruling protects women.
“HB 2 both protects the unborn and ensures Texas women are not subjected to unsafe and unhealthy conditions. Today’s decision by the Fifth Circuit validates that the people of Texas have authority to establish safe, common-sense standards of care necessary to ensure the health of women," Paxton says in a statement. "Abortion practitioners should have no right to operate their businesses from sub-standard facilities and with doctors who lack admitting privileges at a hospital. This ruling will help protect the health and well-being of Texas women. I am proud to have both supported this law in the legislature and defended it in the courts.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Executive Director Heather Busby says the appeals court is placing ideology above the law and fails to recognize the undue burden the law has on access to safe legal abortion in Texas.
"Your zip code should not determine your health care. No Texan should have to travel hundreds of miles to access health care," Busby says in a statement. "Many Texans will not be able to end their pregnancies safely because they do not have the time or resources it takes to travel long distances to abortion clinics. My heart breaks when I think of the hundreds of thousands of Texans whose health and safety has been compromised by this devastating decision.”
Social media reports indicate that the plaintiffs will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.