On Monday in Texas a federal judge ruled as unconstitutional and blocked enactment of the key hospital admitting privileges provision in the Texas anti-abortion which would have shut the doors on abortion clinics across the state and denying needed medical care to the women of Texas.
U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel also struck down a provision which created a possible obstacle between the patient’s doctor and the patient in determining best procedures for medication-induced abortion.
The decision is yet another ruling finding the republican far-right agenda unconstitutional; an agenda which has cost the tax payers on the federal, state and local levels billions of dollars nationwide.
In this case, Judge Yeakel determined that the State’s provision requiring hospital admitting privileges was unconstitutional as it creates undue burden for women seeking an abortion.
The judge wrote, “The court finds that the hospital admitting-privileges provision of the act fails both prongs of the undue-burden test with regard to any woman seeking an abortion previability, therefore, the court concludes that Planned Parenthood’s facial challenge to this provision may be maintained and the provision is unconstitutional.”
In addition, the judge ruled against the state concerning the Texas law’s requirement that doctors strictly follow a Food and Drug Administration procedure for the medication-induced abortion.
“The medication abortion provisions may not be enforced against any physician who determines, in appropriate medical judgment, to perform a medication-abortion using the off-label protocol for the preservation of the life or health of the mother,” he remarked.
In his conclusion, Judge Yeakel stated,
“Based on the above, the court will render a final judgment declaring that the admitting privileges provision of House Bill 2 does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the State in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman’s health and, in any event, places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her. The court will enjoin enforcement of that provision. Although the medication abortion provisions do not generally place an undue burden on a woman seeking an abortion, they do if they ban a medication abortion where a physician determines, in appropriate medical judgment, such a procedure is necessary for the preservation of the life or health of the mother. The court will so declare and enjoin enforcement of those provisions in such instance.”
The restrictive abortion law, signed by Texas governor and former presidential candidate Rick Perry was brought to national attention in June when State Senator Wendy Davis spent 13 hours straight under strict Texas filibuster rules to block a vote of the law. While she and a crowd of protesters were able to keep the vote from passage in the June legislative session, Governor Perry called a special July session in order to pass the unconstitutional bill.