Federal court upholds Texas abortion restrictions

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A federal district court has upheld Texas’ new restrictions on abortion clinics.

In a decision Thursday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s ruling that said a couple of the provisions in the Texas law were unconstitutional.

The higher court’s opinion upheld the requirements that a lower court deemed unconstitutional — specifically the mandate that abortionists have admitting privileges in nearby hospitals and that the administration of abortion-inducing drugs comply with Food and Drug Administration protocols.

The ruling had one caveat, that the requirements may not be enforced against abortionists who already applied for admitting privileges but are still waiting to be accepted by hospitals.

“[T]he district court’s judgment is REVERSED and RENDERED for the State of Texas, except that the admitting privileges requirement, § 10(b), may not be enforced against abortion providers who timely applied for admitting privileges under the statute but are awaiting a response from the hospital,” the opinion read.

A slew of abortion providers lead by Planned Parenthood initiated the lawsuit last year.

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards called the decision “terrible.”

“The latest restrictions in Texas will force women to have abortions later in pregnancy, if they are able to get to a doctor at all,” she said. “This court ruling is not the last word.”

The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List cheered the decision and slammed Planned Parenthood for its attacks on the law.

“It is an outrage that America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, would seek to undo this and other safety standards aimed at protecting women,” group president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. “The consequences of championing abortion masked as ‘women’s health care’ have already proved tragic in state after state.

The restrictions overturned Thursday were part of the legislation that made Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis a household name when she filibustered the bill last summer.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry called the decision “good news.”

“The people of Texas have spoken through their elected leaders and in support of protecting the culture of life in our state,” he said in a statement. “Today’s court decision is good news for Texas women and the unborn, and we will continue to fight for the protection of life and women’s health in Texas.”

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