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    Texas Abortion Clinics’ Future Unclear

    Texas Abortion Clinics’ Future Unclear

    Next stop, SCOTUS?

    Today in New Orleans, attorneys for the State of Texas asked the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for an immediate stay to a previous ruling that disallows regulators from enforcing new laws against abortion providers.

    Earlier this summer, U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the new laws were an unconstitutional undue burden on a woman’s right to seek an abortion. That District Court decision has blocked enforcement of the new law “against any abortion provider –- present or future.”

    Via Bloomberg:

    Texas accused Yeakel of making an end run around the appellate court’s 2013 decision that upheld Texas’s admitting-privileges rule, which requires that doctors gain permission to admit patients at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they perform abortions.

    Women’s health advocates and clinics fighting the anti-abortion limitations said in court filings that letting Texas go ahead with the measures while it appeals would have a “catastrophic impact on the availability of abortion services” in the state.

    “If a stay is granted, most of the remaining abortion providers would be forced to close overnight,” opponents of the law said in a filing asking the appeals court to deny the state’s request. “Many women’s constitutional rights would be extinguished before the appellate process ran its course, and their lives would be permanently and profoundly altered by the denial of abortion services.”

    During todays’s hearing, Texas solicitor general Jonathan Mitchell argued that Judge Yeakel used the wrong legal standard to evaluate whether or not the new standards governing abortion clinics would prevent women from seeking the procedure. Yeakel held that the new standards would create an undue burden on “a significant number” of Texas women; the State, however, is arguing that precedent dictates a much higher standard:

    The appeals court previously ruled that abortion restrictions are an unconstitutional burden only if they affect a “large fraction” of a state’s abortion patients, Texas’s lawyers said in court papers. The appellate judges set 150 miles as an acceptable distance for Texas women to travel to get the procedure.

    Texas countered with its own evidence that 83 percent of women would still live within the acceptable 150-mile range, so that “no more than 1 out of 10 abortion patients” might be unconstitutionally burdened by increased travel distances.

    “Driving distances of 150 miles are not an undue burden, and 10 percent is not a large fraction,” Texas said in its request.

    For Yeakel’s ruling to be upheld, the Fifth Circuit will have to overrule its own, recent, precedent. They have previously held that although the government cannot “unduly” weigh down with regulations the right of a woman to seek an abortion, “…driving distance alone to get to a clinic never constitutes a substantial obstacle. No matter how far.”

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    Comments


    You have to love their conflicting arguments:

    1) its a simple procedure, like having a tooth yanked. So simple that we could operate out of a shopping center.

    2) but making us relocate to be near an ER is an undue burden.

    Which is it?

    It’s pretty clear from the comments that the restrictions are meant to limit abortion, not to protect mothers.


       
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      n.n in reply to Zachriel. | September 13, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      The priorities are two-fold: mother and child. However, with the normalization of elective abortion (i.e. premeditated murder), the priority has shifted to protect the child. This is a direct consequence of the pro-choice doctrine adopted by a minority of Americans, which has lead to the willful termination of around 2 million human lives annually. It also serves to protect the mother, when the reality of boutique clinics became patently obvious following the exposure of Gosnell’s clinic of horrors.

        n.n: It also serves to protect the mother, when the reality of boutique clinics became patently obvious following the exposure of Gosnell’s clinic of horrors.

        Safety doesn’t require what is being advocated in terms of clinics.


           
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          n.n in reply to Zachriel. | September 13, 2014 at 3:11 pm

          Actually, it does. The clinic can prepare and improvise to care for the mother, but not for a child which survives a botched termination. However, more importantly, the life of the child needs to be recognized as equal to the mother. Attempts to hide the reality of abortion in clinics only serves to perpetuate the dissociation of abortion and life in the public mind.

            n.n: Attempts to hide the reality of abortion in clinics only serves to perpetuate the dissociation of abortion and life in the public mind.

            As we said, the purpose of the law isn’t the protection of the mother, but to make acquiring an abortion as difficult as possible.


       
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      Ragspierre in reply to Zachriel. | September 13, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Which comments? The ones here, or the ones during debate of the law?

      The ones here are relevant to what? Nothing having anything to do with the law, certainly.

      Care to hazard a prediction on how the 5th will hold?

        Ragspierre: the ones here, or the ones during debate of the law?

        By politicians. By those supporting the law.


           
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          Ragspierre in reply to Zachriel. | September 13, 2014 at 2:47 pm

          Put. Them. UP.

          Where’s your prediction on the holding by the 5th?

            Ragespierre: Where’s your prediction on the holding by the 5th?

            The law will probably be upheld. Generally, the courts have deferred to the legislature when it comes to defining what is a reasonable restriction.

            The law will result in the closing of more than half the clinics in Texas, and there is no evidence it will do anything to improve women’s health, or that these clinics have higher rates of complications. Despite the pretense, making acquiring an abortion as difficult as possible is the goal.

    Zach, interesting that you think the comments on a website define what the restrictions of a bill are. Where did you go to school? You should demand a refund.

    Ever seen any reporting on botched abortions? Of course not, even though they are common. These clinics do not have the resources on site to save a woman’s life, hence the need to relocate closer to a hospital. When you daughter bleeds to death on some table in West Texas, you’ll understand.

      Fen: Ever seen any reporting on botched abortions?

      Yes. Most abortion procedures are very safe.

      Fen: Of course not, even though they are common.

      How common? What are the rates of fatality or serious injury for first trimester abortions? Do you know?

      Would you support having hospitals offer abortions? Currently, many hospitals avoid offering admitting privileges because of the social and political ramifications.

    Ragspierre: a good law can do more than one thing at a time

    Of course, but as your comment makes clear, the health of the mother isn’t your primary concern, or you would support having abortions being done in hospitals.


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