WASHINGTON – The Feminist Majority Foundation applauds U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel’s decision Friday striking down parts of a Texas anti-abortion law.
The court deemed unconstitutional a provision of House Bill 2 that would have required Texas abortion clinics to meet the stringent building code requirements of ambulatory surgical centers – a provision that would have caused most of the state’s remaining clinics to close.
“A woman’s constitutionally-protected right to seek out a safe and legal abortion should not hinge on the width of a doorway,” said Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal. “Access to abortion and birth control is under attack across the nation. No other outpatient service has been made to adhere to these medically unnecessarily and harmful requirements. We will not rest until women’s access to constitutionally-protected reproductive services are available to all women. These TRAP laws, if allowed to go into effect, will surely cost some women their lives.”
“We are pleased Judge Yeakel once again recognized this law for what it is – an unconstitutional burden on the rights of women and abortion providers in Texas,” said duVergne Gaines, director of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s National Clinic Access Project.
“We commend abortion Texas providers like Amy Hagstrom Miller for continuing to fight against these relentless, unconscionable and unconstitutional attacks. Women’s lives are on the political cutting board.”
Today, Judge Yeakel rightly acknowledged the “undue burden” the requirements would have placed on the shoulders of women seeking safe and legal abortion services in Texas. In just over a year, HB 2 has effectively reduced the number of abortion clinics in the state from 41 to barely more than a dozen. Across the nation, TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws like HB 2 are undermining women’s access to truly comprehensive reproductive health care.
The first stages of HB 2 went into effect in November 2013 and severely restricted women’s access to abortion. The bill currently prohibits abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, requires doctors to obtain hospital-admitting privileges and, as of September 1, would have required abortion clinics to spend millions of dollars in unnecessary renovations to meet the surgical center requirements.###