Written by Ed Sterling Friday, 12 September 2014 07:47
AUSTIN — U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Aug. 29 struck down two provisions in House Bill 2, legislation passed by the Texas Legislature in the second special session of 2013, amending the state Health and Safety Code to restrict access to abortion services.
Yeakel wrote, “A state’s legislature cannot purport to act to abrogate the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution,” and concluded the following provisions in the law put an unconstitutional burden on women: — That a physician performing or inducing an abortion must, on the date the abortion is performed or induced, have active admitting privileges at a hospital that is located not further than 30 miles from the location at which the abortion is performed or induced. — That the minimum standards for an abortion facility must be equivalent to the minimum standards adopted for ambulatory surgical centers.
Also, Yeakel wrote, the two provisions would act together “to create a scheme that effects the closing of almost all abortion clinics in Texas that were operating legally in the fall of 2013” and thus, “the overall effect . . . is to create an impermissible obstacle as applied to all women seeking a pre-viability abortion.” The case was brought by regional abortion providers in this state who joined together as plaintiffs, seeking to prevent those two provisions of the amended law from taking effect on Sept. 1.