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From Health Law Daily, October 15, 2014

Texas restrictions on abortion clinics blocked

By Patricia K. Ruiz, JD

The Supreme Court has blocked a Texas law requiring physicians at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and requiring clinics to meet the standards of an ambulatory surgical center. In its order, the Supreme Court removed the admitting privileges requirement for clinics located in McAllen and El Paso and blocked completely the ambulatory surgical center requirements.

House Bill (H.B.) 2 had drastically reduced the number of abortion clinics in the state. Reportedly, had the Supreme Court allowed the law to stand, all but eight of the abortion clinics in Texas would be forced to close, requiring women to travel more than 150 miles to reach the nearest abortion clinic. Previously, a district court enjoined the enforcement of H.B. 2, but the Fifth Circuit lifted the injunction, reasoning that the conclusion that clinics would be likely to close was not supported and that the law did not pose a substantial burden on the rights of women in Texas who choose abortion (see Injunction reversed, Texas restriction on abortions upheld, March 31, 2014).

“Tomorrow, 13 clinics across the state will be allowed to reopen and provide women with safe and legal abortion care in their own communities,” said Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) President Nancy Northup, according to reports. “This fight against Texas’ sham abortion law is not over.” The attorneys for CRR told the Supreme Court, “If the stay entered by the Fifth Circuit is not vacated, the clinics forced to remain closed during the appeals process will likely never reopen.”

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