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Is The New Abortion Law In Texas A Step Backwards?

The Texas Appeals Court recently upheld a law that will result in the closing of the majority of abortion facilities in the state. Is this new law a step backwards for the women of Texas?

a full 92% of writers and pundits say yes
see all 12 opinions below

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Is The New Abortion Law In Texas A Step Backwards?  

Writers and pundits who say or about the topic, "Is The New Abortion Law In Texas A Step Backwards?"
last 24 hours | usatoday
Voices: Will tough Texas abortion law spread to other states? - USA TODAY

"...But the potential is certainly there. More than 30 states currently have laws similar to Texas', including rules requiring abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and for clinics to meet ambulatory surgical centers standards, says Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute, a Washington-based group that advocates for reproductive rights.Starting as far back as the mid-1970s, states began enacting laws that have slowly gnawed at Roe v. Wade, Nash says. Then in 2011, states filed a flurry of laws focused on requiring abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers or outpatient surgery centers. To date, 24 states, including Texas, have passed such laws.I began covering the Texas law in 2012, watching it grow from debates in the Texas Legislature to former state Sen. Wendy Davis's famous red-shoe, 11-hour filibuster to try to block the bill to then-Gov. Rick Perry's signing it into law and the ensuing closing of clinics...." see full article

1341 days ago | bigthink
A New Fight in Texas May Rekindle Abortion Dispute at the Supreme Court - Big Think (blog)
"...A legal challenge to House Bill 2 was successful in federal district court. Reducing the number of clinics in the state by more than half constituted an undue burden on the constitutional right of Texas women to end their pregnancies. But earlier this week, a three-judge panel on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the lower court and kept most of those clinics closed. The district judge had ignored a Fifth Circuit precedent, they wrote, and misapplied the undue burden standard. Women in El Paso do not have to drive all the way across the state to secure abortions, they explained, as a clinic over the border in New Mexico is a mere 12 miles' drive away.With hundreds of new abortion regulations pending in state legislatures around the country, it seems inevitable that the Supreme Court will be called on to clarify the "undue burden" test that Justice O'Connor laid out in 1992. If the justices agree to hear the Texas case or another challenge making its way through the lower courts, a year from now the scope of abortion rights could be hanging in the balance the way same-sex marriage is today...." see full article

1342 days ago | nytimes
The Effects of Texas' Abortion Laws - New York Times

"...For pregnant women in Texas who are in poor health, impoverished, victims of violence, young, alone, or not ready or not wanting to have a baby, access to a safe and legal abortion is severely at risk.Because of the upholding of the abortion law known as House Bill 2, more women will have to travel farther and crowd the handful of remaining facilities for abortions.This is a passive-aggressive decision masked as providing women with only the highest level of health care.Many women will not have the means or support to visit the limited number of facilities within the approximately 24 weeks of pregnancy when abortion is still an option. This bill will usher in more self-inflicted and back-room abortions and will undermine the choice afforded to women by Roe v. Wade...." see full article

1343 days ago | nytimes
Texas Ruling on Abortion Leads to Call for Clarity - New York Times

"...But major medical associations say these measures do not benefit patients. The clinics and their supporters say the law is a barely disguised effort to curb abortions.At issue in the Texas law and many others is the undue burden standard laid out by the Supreme Court in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which legal experts call the most important abortion decision since Roe v. Wade in 1973.The ruling held that the State may enact regulations to further the health or safety of a woman seeking an abortion, but may not impose unnecessary health regulations that present a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion. ..." see full article

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1344 days ago | theguardian
Texas abortion law ruling: Latinas more likely to avoid clinics and self-terminate - The Guardian

"...But amid calls from doctors that low-income and undocumented women would be affected the most, opponents of the Republican-backed law have said they will ask the US supreme court to consider powers which they say could leave women across the vast expanse of Texas with access to just a handful of clinics, forcing them to travel more than 100 miles to seek an abortion.DeFrates said undocumented women are unable to travel across the state for abortion care, because passing through internal border checkpoints outside cities such as Falfurrias, Del Rio and El Paso means they would risk deportation. Undocumented families are literally landlocked, DeFrates said. When you eliminate clinics that were south of those internal checkpoints, you limit access to care. ..." see full article

1345 days ago | npr
Court Decision On Texas Abortion Law Could Hasten Clinic Closures - NPR

"...The impact of the law, even before this ruling, has been devastating, says Amy Hagstrom Miller who heads Whole Woman's Health, which owns several clinics in Texas and is a plaintiff in the case."So many women and families don't know where to go, don't know what the law is, think abortion is illegal, are confused about the status of their rights throughout the state," Miller says.There could also be some confusion in the legal world. The very same 5th Circuit appeals court ruled differently on a similar law in Mississippi, saying that women there had a constitutional right to an abortion in the state where they live.That could make it more likely that the Supreme Court will step in to decide this case, providing the biggest test of abortion rights in decades...." see full article

1345 days ago | huffingtonpost
The Texas Abortion Decision And The Right's 'Women's Health' Gambit - Huffington Post

"...AUL has even taken to claiming that it is fighting "back-alley" abortions, using a term synonymous with the dangerous world of illegal abortions before Roe to justify its attacks on legal abortion providers. They claim that laws like that in Texas will shut down unscrupulous providers like Philadelphia's notorious Kermit Gosnell. What they don't say is that every safe clinic they shut down creates an opening for criminals like Gosnell and could even lead desperate women to attempt abortions on themselves, like the woman in Georgia who was arrested for murder this week after trying to terminate her own pregnancy. What these self-proclaimed "women's health" advocates want is a return to a world where no woman can access safe and legal abortion. But in the meantime, they'll settle for eliminating access for those who don't have the means to afford it. Yesterday's decision in Texas puts them one more step along the way...." see full article

1345 days ago | ibtimes
After Texas Abortion Law, Women Head To Louisiana For Medical Procedure ... - International Business Times
"...Texas patients themselves were likely to run into roadblocks, as well. Louisiana has a law that requires women to attend an in-person counseling appointment at least 24 hours before the procedure. This forces nonresidents to stay overnight, said Vicki Saporta, president and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, a group of abortion providers in Washington.Scheduling is even more complicated. Many doctors have private practices on the side and may not be available for an increased number of appointments. After the Texas ruling, they may have to prioritize patients later in their pregnancies, making some residents and visitors alike wait for care, Saporta said...." see full article

1345 days ago | huffingtonpost
The Texas Abortion Decision and the Right's 'Women's Health' Gambit - Huffington Post (blog)

"...This -- closing abortion clinics while chipping away at Roe in the courts -- is the goal of legislation like that in Texas. But, of course, Republican leaders aren't mentioning in this in their praise of the Fifth Circuit's decision. Instead, Attorney General Ken Paxton reacted to the ruling by calling it "a victory for life and women's health" and Gov. Greg Abbot called it "a vindication of the careful deliberation by the Texas legislature to craft a law to protect the health and safety of Texas women." Both are doing exactly what Dannenfelser would like them to do -- using the rhetoric of "women's health" to promote positions that undermine abortion rights.This strategy is hardly a secret. Ever since the Supreme Court in Planned Parenthood v. Casey upheld the core abortion protection of Roe but gave states the latitude to impose abortion restrictions that do not put what the court called an "undue burden" on women, anti-choice groups have been seeking to push the limits as far as they will go. "Women's health" rhetoric is a key part of this strategy. The anti-choice legal group Americans United for Life (AUL) offers model bills to state legislators with titles like the "Abortion Patients' Enhanced Safety Act," which suggests restrictions similar to those imposed in Texas. (AUL says it worked with Texas legislators to draft the bill.) In fact, a district court judge striking down part of Texas' law last year called out the law's proponents for attempting to hide its true purpose...." see full article

1345 days ago | jezebel
Appeals Court Upholds Most of HB2, Texas' Terrible Anti-Abortion Law - Jezebel
"...In a sweeping and fairly disastrous opinion for reproductive health in Texas, a three-judge panel on the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld nearly every part of HB 2, an extremely restrictive law that could make safe, legal abortion access virtually impossible in the state. All but eight abortion clinics in the state will have to close. Texas has a population of more than 26 million people. HB 2 was first passed in 2013, but hasn't gone into effect because it's been in litigation until now. (State Senator Wendy Davis filibustered against it, as you probably recall, but her opponents in the Legislature simply scheduled a special session the following week and passed it then.)..." see full article

1346 days ago | fusion
Court upholds Texas' extreme abortion law - Fusion
"...HB2 was hotly debated when it was introduced, with detractors saying that supporters' claim that the bill protects women is bonkers. Critics also point out that less invasive procedures aren't subject to such strict laws so claims that hospital-like facilities are need for abortions don't hold water...." see full article

1346 days ago | slate
Are Pro-Choice Forces Reaching the End of the Line? - Slate Magazine (blog)

"...HB2 has been an emblem of legal bad faith from the moment it was conceived. Proponents claim that the regulations, which require abortion clinics to meet ambulatory surgical center standards even if they only hand out abortion pills are there to protect women's safety. It's unlikely that anyone sincerely believes that, since abortion is already 14 times safer than childbirth. In addition, the first wave of clinic shutdowns in Texas has already led to women choosing to forgo safe abortions in favor of buying abortion pills on the black market. All this is known and well-documented. But anti-choicers pushed for this law anyway, because legitimate safety concerns were never actually at issue.This bad faith is baked into the court's decision. As my colleague Mark Stern reports, the court signed off on forcibly shutting down an El Paso clinic on the grounds that women could go to New Mexico for abortions. If you really believe that abortions are unsafe unless performed in a clinic with a "full anesthesia machine," why would you send women to a state that, by your own measure, is treating women's health recklessly? (Driving for hours during this stressful time is, it's worth noting, not an unrisky activity.)..." see full article

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