don't mess with texas women

Court upholds anti-choice law that would leave Texas with only 7 abortion clinics

A court ruling out today dealt a terrible blow to abortion access in Texas

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld major pieces of Texas’s controversial abortion law, delivering another win for the state’s conservative leaders.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that two of the law’s requirements — that abortion providers must seek admitting privileges to nearby hospitals and that facilities must be upgraded to meet the standards of an outpatient surgical center — can go into effect for all but one facility.

“In plain terms, H.B. 2 and its provisions may be applied throughout Texas,” the 5th Circuit Court wrote about the law.

In even plainer terms, the court ruled — for the second time — that Texas’s devastating anti-choice restrictions that have been tied up in the courts for the last couple years will soon be allowed to go into full effect, leaving the second most populous state in the nation with only seven abortion clinics, all located in major metropolitan areas.

After the circuit court’s first ruling, the Supreme Court stepped in to temporarily block the ruling from going into effect. Now the Center for Reproductive Rights and Texas abortion provider Whole Women’s Health will appeal the ruling. And given that the 5th Circuit Court has demonstrated multiple times that it has no respect for reproductive rights, they’re prepared to take their appeal all the way to Supreme Court.

“Not since before Roe v. Wade has a law or court decision had the potential to devastate access to reproductive health care on such a sweeping scale.” CRR president, Nancy Northup, said in a statement. “The Supreme Court’s prior rulings do not allow for this kind of broadside legislative assault on women’s rights and health care. We now look to the Justices to stop the sham laws that are shutting clinics down and placing countless women at risk of serious harm.”

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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