Appeals Court Upholds Texas Abortion Law

abortion warsIn what is seen as a serious blow to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in the state of Texas, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday to uphold tough new abortion restrictions that have caused the closure of nearly 20 clinics around the state.

Fox is reporting that a panel of judges at the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court judge who said the new law violates the U.S. Constitution and serves no medical purpose. The appeals court disagreed, saying that the law “on its face does not impose an undue burden on the life and health of a woman.”

The court also asserted that higher standards for an abortionist are, in fact, justified:

“During these proceedings, Planned Parenthood conceded that at least 210 women in Texas annually must be hospitalized after seeking an abortion.  Witnesses on both sides further testified that some of the women who are hospitalized after an abortion have complications that require an Ob/Gyn specialist’s treatment.”

The new rules, which will ban all abortions after 20 weeks, also calls for safety standards at abortion clinics to be the same as other ambulatory surgical centers. In addtion, the new law requires that RU-486 abortions be performed according to FDA safety standards, and requires doctors who perform abortions to be qualified to treat life-threatening complications after botched abortions, and to have admitting privileges at a local hospital.

Since some portions of this law have been permitted to go into effect, women’s health has certainly been spared with the closure of clinics such as four Whole Woman’s Health abortion facilities that were forced out of business because conditions were so deplorable they were cited by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Rather than backing common sense safety regulations such as these, Planned Parenthood and the U.S. abortion industry which rakes in billions of dollars every year, has vigorously opposed them. They say that because of the latest court ruling, “safe and legal abortion will continue to be virtually impossible for thousands of Texas women to access.”

“The latest restrictions in Texas will force women to have abortions later in pregnancy, if they are able to get to a doctor at all,” Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Votes, said in a statement.

In spite of the fact that a majority of women in Texas and throughout the U.S. support more safety regulation of abortion clinics, the 5th Circuit’s decision is likely to be appealed and end up in the U.S. Supreme Court where liberal justices have already indicated a desire to hear the case.

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Perry hailed the ruling in a statement released by his office.

“The people of Texas have spoken through their elected leaders and in support of protecting the culture of life in our state,” he said. “Today’s court decision is good news for Texas women and the unborn, and we will continue to fight for the protection of life and women’s health in Texas.”

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