Abortion Clinics File Lawsuit Against Texas Over Abortion Restrictions

Grace Carr | Reporter

A slew of abortion clinics sued Texas Thursday, demanding that the state overturn what they allege are draconian and harmful restrictions on abortion.

Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, Fund Texas Choice, Texas Equal Access Fund, the Lilith Fund, the Afiya Center and Texas abortion doctor Bhavik Kumar are among the plaintiffs in the suit, The Austin Chronicle reports.

The lawsuit, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance v. Paxton, comes two years after a federal  judge nixed two Texas laws limiting abortion, ruling that the laws presented an unconstitutional burden on women seeking to abort. No court had limited Texas abortion restrictions for nearly two decades until the June 2016 ruling.

That Supreme Court’s ruling emboldened pro-abortion groups and presented a precedent that abortion organizations could challenge abortion restrictions in the future, resulting in Thursday’s lawsuit.

“We were able to leverage that new standard and use it to take a look historically at all of the laws that have been on the books for some time that cannot stand now,” Whole Woman’s Health CEO Amy Hagstrom Miller said, Politico reports. “It’s never been done before because we never had a win before like the one we had two years ago,” she added.

The abortion groups seeks to strike down the state’s laws requiring women to get a sonogram 24 hours prior to the abortion as well as restrictions on medication abortions. The groups are also advocating for the state to abandon its laws requiring doctors to provide information about alternatives to abortion and abortion risks, parent notification laws and requirements that abortion clinics report when an abortion results in a medical emergency. (RELATED: Planned Parenthood Worker Illegally Accessed Patient Records So He Could Text Her)

“Abortion patients and providers now face a dizzying array of medically unnecessary requirements that are difficult, time-consuming, and costly to navigate – sometimes prohibitively so,” the suit reads.

Whole Women’s Health and the other abortion organizations also want Texas to abandon its refusal to give students credit for interning or doing field work at abortion clinics. Texas abortion laws hurt women, minorities, immigrants and the poor the groups allege.

No major campaign involving dozens of abortion groups gathering together to attempt to overhaul Texas’ abortion laws had ever occurred until Thursday’s lawsuit.

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