House Bill 2 Provisions Unconstitutional
The Texas Tribune is reporting that U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel has blocked implementation of 2 provisions in House Bill 2.
Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the provision requiring doctors performing an abortion to have admitting privileges in Hospitals within 30 miles would “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.”
On the other House Bill 2 provision he stated according to The Texas Tribune that,
a second provision requiring women to follow a federally-approved regimen for drug-induced abortion — as opposed to a more commonly used evidence-based regimen — would not generally place an undue burden on women seeking abortions. But he said it would be unconstitutional for the state to ban a woman from having such an abortion if it was in a physician’s “appropriate medical judgment.” Yeakel’s ruling allows a physician to use the evidence-based protocol for drug-induced abortions in certain situations that present a risk to the health and safety of the mother.
The judge said he believes that his decision will be appealed to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. That court has been friendly to those states wanting to restrict abortion. The case will likely end up in the Supreme Court.
Four Planned Parenthood affiliates, Whole Woman’s Health, and other abortion providers have asked the court for an injunction. They want to block implementation of the two provisions of House Bill 2. These provisions would otherwise come into effect on Tuesday October 29th, 2013.
The provision that limits abortion to 20 weeks gestation remains. The requirement that clinics meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers also remains.
This should be helpful to Senator Wendy Davis, Texas candidate for governor. In the short term it proves her filibuster was based on law.