Federal Judge Issues Ruling on Texas Abortion Law
A federal judge has blocked a provision in the new Texas abortion law, and part of another provision. The law was set to go into effect tomorrow, but US District Judge Lee Yeakel blocked two parts of the law that Planned Parenthood challenged, ruling them unconstitutional.
Namely, Yeakel blocked a provision in the law requiring that doctors performing abortions must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of where they perform abortions. He also partially blocked a provision that requires women seeking drug-induced abortions to follow a federally-approved drug regimen, but did not rule that provision unconstitutional.
Attorney General Greg Abbott is campaigning for governor in Brownsville, TX today unveiling his "Working Texans" jobs plan. We have already reached out to him for comment. Texas has signaled that it will immediately appeal the decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Some will claim that the judge's decision somehow vindicates state Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster of the law, but the majority of it still stands after today's ruling. The state's ban on abortions after five months still stands. The new regulation that abortion clinics in Texas must meet the standards of ambulatory surgical clinics also still stands.
While Planned Parenthood and its allies continue to denounce the law as "radical," states they control have gone radical in the other direction. California, for instance, recently passed a law allowing non-physicians to perform abortions. Critics accuse California Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democrats of "trivializing" abortion by reducing the credentials necessary for abortionists.