By Dave Andrusko
Abortion proponents in Texas are in court today to again challenge provisions of the state’s multi-faceted HB 2, the law that in an earlier form was temporary stymied by the June 2013 filibuster of pro-abortion “icon” State Senator Wendy Davis, now running for governor.
The part of the law that requires abortion clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers does not go into effect until September 1.
But the Center for Reproductive Rights is also trying, once again, to overturn another section of HB 2 which requires that abortionists have admitting privileges in a nearby hospital when the inevitable complications arise.
The CRR has lost this challenge before but argues it can come back based specifically on how it has affected abortionists and pregnant women seeking abortions in the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso.
There are two other provisions in HB 2. One addresses how chemical abortifacients are administered. The law requires the abortionist be in the same room as the woman receiving the chemical abortifacients (which is not the case with so-called ‘web-cam” abortions) and that abortionists follow the protocol approved by the FDA for the use of the two-drug “RU-486” abortion technique. That was upheld by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The remaining provision—The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act—was never challenged. Abortion advocacy groups have been very reluctant to challenge a law that protects unborn babies capable of feeling pain.
Austin-based U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel is hearing today’s challenge. Last October Yeakel sided with the plaintiffs in their challenge to the requirement that abortionists have admitting privileges in a hospital within 30 miles.