In Fight Over Abortion Access in Texas, a New Focus Emerges

Just one day before provisions of a new Texas anti-abortion law were set to take effect and close at least 24 clinics in the state, a federal judge blocked a portion of the law and brought into focus the emerging front-line battle over abortion rights in the United States.

HB 2, the omnibus anti-abortion bill that Republicans rammed through after three special sessions this summer, contains a number of restrictions on abortion rights and access, including hospital admitting requirements for abortion practitioners, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protocol requirement for medication abortions, and a ban on abortions after 20 weeks. Shortly after its passage, some provisions of the law were challenged in a trial that lasted nearly three days and was full of medical testimony as to the effect of the law. Specifically, Planned Parenthood and a number of plaintiffs challenged the law’s hospital admitting privileges requirement and the provision that medication abortions follow FDA protocol. While both of these aspects of the law regulate abortion providers and their medical practices, and both were buttressed by the state with claims of concern for pregnant women and valuing fetal life, only one—the state’s admitting privilege requirement—was found unconstitutional. And the difference came down to brick-and-mortar clinic access.

Read more at RH Reality Check.