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Appellate Court Decision Means Texas Abortion Clinics Will Close Immediately

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Texas requirements for abortion clinics, forcing them to shut down again.

Terrible news for Texas women. All this means is that more women will die trying to get an illegal abortion. It won't shut down the number of them performed.

MaddowBlog:

In the past year, about half of Texas’s clinics that provide abortion have already closed, since a separate portion of the law was allowed to go into effect by the Supreme Court. The provision at issue requires all abortions to take place in ambulatory surgical centers, or expensive mini-hospitals that cost over $1 million to construct.

George W. Bush appointee Judge Jennifer Elrod, writing for the Fifth Circuit, wrote that the district court judge had overreached because “in our circuit, we do not balance the wisdom or effectiveness of a law against the burdens the law imposes.” She conceded, “We do not doubt that women in poverty face greater difficulties.” But Elrod argued the court was required to find that a “large fraction” of women would be affected by the law, even as she noted that the number of affected women in rural Texas was 900,000. In a partial dissent, Obama appointee Stephen A. Higginson pointed out that the existing clinics would now have to ”increase by at least fourfold the number of abortions they perform annually.”

“Today’s ruling has gutted Texas women’s constitutional rights and access to critical reproductive health care and stands to make safe, legal abortion essentially disappear overnight,” said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represented clinics against the law.


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