Monday, September 30, 2013

Texas being sued over Provisions in their New Abortion Law

National women’s rights groups and Texas abortion clinics filed suit on Friday in federal court in Texas, seeking to block provisions of a new state law that they said would have “dramatic and draconian effects” on women’s access to the procedure. 
The suit targets two provisions of a sweeping anti-abortion law that Texas adopted in July. The rules are scheduled to take effect on Oct. 29. 
The first is a requirement that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Many medical experts say the rule, which was passed in the name of safety, is medically unnecessary and that the requirement cannot be met by clinics in smaller communities.
In a telephone news conference on Friday, Texas clinic owners said that the rule may force one-third of the state’s 36 abortion clinics to shut down, leaving large areas of the state without ready access. 
The second requires the use in so-called medication abortions of what many doctors called an outdated, less effective and more dangerous drug protocol. Under guidelines based on research studies, the two-drug combination is widely used through the ninth week of pregnancy and accounts for about one in five abortions nationwide.
Under the Texas law, clinics would have to follow, instead, a regime described in the original Food and Drug Administration approval in 2000. Based on initial studies, it required doses three times those of the current protocol and an extra visit to the clinic and was recommended only through seven weeks of pregnancy. 
Similar laws are under litigation in several other states and in most cases have been blocked. In Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota and Wisconsin, courts have said that requiring physicians to have admitting privileges was an unjustified obstacle to abortion rights. 
Courts in North Dakota and Oklahoma have struck down laws imposing the earlier drug protocol for medication abortions, but one remains in effect in Ohio. 
Friday’s lawsuit does not challenge two other hotly disputed provisions of the Texas law — a requirement that all abortion clinics meet the costly architectural and staffing standards of ambulatory surgery centers and a ban on nearly all abortions at 20 weeks after conception, based on the disputed theory that the fetus can feel pain at that point.
Read the full story HERE.

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