Federal Judge Strikes Texas Admitting Privileges Provision

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel overturned that portion of a Texas law which requires the abortionist to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic. The Texas provision is virtually identical to one in Wisconsin’s Sonya’s Law which requires admitting privileges. The Wisconsin provision has been temporarily restrained and a trial will take place on November 25 and 26 before U.S. District Judge William Conley in Madison. The provision in Sonya’s Law requiring ultrasound prior to abortion was not challenged and is in effect.

Judge Yeakel stated in his decision that “the act’s admitting-privileges provision is without a rational basis and places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.” Planned Parenthood and its allies claimed, in challenging this provision, that it would close one-third of Texas abortion clinics because abortionists cannot obtain admitting privileges. Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin claims that the Wisconsin admitting privileges provision, if upheld, will force two Wisconsin abortion clinics to close and force a third to operate at 50% capacity.

Admitting privileges are important to address the critical health needs of women who suffer complications from abortion and need admission to a hospital. The woman deserves to have a medical professional available who has knowledge of the procedure which caused her complications in order to protect her health and life.

Judge Yeakel allowed the provision in the Texas law which prohibits abortion after 20 weeks based on the pain the child experiences from the abortion to go into effect today.

The fight over admitting privileges reveals the callousness and greed of the abortion clinics. Having to close their doors trumps the protection of women — and that says a lot.

Barbara Lyons

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