Abortion ruling stirs debates - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Abortion ruling stirs debates

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A federal judge says the new Texas abortion restrictions violate the U.S. Constitution.

The ruling came only hours before the new restrictions were to be put in place, keeping dozens of abortion clinics open.

"It's a mixed bag, but I would definitely say it's a victory for the women of Texas," said Heather Busby, the Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas.

She's been fighting to make sure every woman has the right to make personal decisions about pregnancy and abortion for nearly two decades.

Busby added, "I've seen first-hand the obstacles that laws like this place in front of women who are the most vulnerable in this state."

The federal judge says the regulations violated the rights of abortion doctors to do what they think is best for their patients and would unreasonably restrict a woman's access to abortion clinics.

Carol Everett said, "It was found to be constitutional in other states. Why in the world would this judge rule this way, at this time?"

Lawyers for abortion providers argue a requirement that doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic would force the closure of a third of the clinics in Texas.

Carol Everett used to work for an abortion provider, but now is part of the pro-life movement as the founder and CEO of the Heidi Group.

"A doctor who does not have admitting privileges has something in his background that has affected that and that is someone who is not qualified to do 10- 12 surgeries an hour on a woman," said Everett.

"The admitting privileges position is very damaging and I'm glad to see it struck down as unconstitutional," added Busby.

 

The federal judge's ruling allows the state to regulate how a doctor prescribes an abortion-inducing pill, but blocks the provision requiring them to follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocol in all cases.

"We were disappointed that the medical abortion provisions were not struck down," admitted Busby.

Everett said, "We know of four women in Houston, in the last year, who've had four medical abortions before they finally had one surgical abortion to complete...They have extended those drugs far beyond what they were ever supposed to be. That is not healthcare for women."

The judge's order is a final decision, setting the groundwork for the 5th Circuit to review the merits of the law.

Other portions of House Bill 2 include a ban on abortions after 20 weeks and a requirement that all abortions take place in a surgical facility.

Neither of these were part of this lawsuit.

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