Court upholds strong Texas abortion regulations

Court upholds strong Texas abortion regulations

Pro-life advocates took encouragement from a federal appeals court’s decision upholding a Texas law that strengthened health and safety requirements for the state’s abortion clinics and barred late-term abortions.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser praised the court for “upholding this common sense measure to safeguard women from unscrupulous abortionists.”

“It is an outrage that America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, would seek to undo this and other safety standards aimed at protecting women,” she said in a March 27 statement criticizing the law’s opponents.

On Thursday a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously overturned a lower federal court's decision blocking provisions of the law.

The law, H.B. 2, required abortion clinics to abide by health requirements equivalent to those of other outpatient surgical clinics. The provisions require doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

The law also prohibited abortions after 20 weeks of gestation except in cases where a pregnant mother faces a risk to her life or a serious health risk. It was passed in a special session in late 2013 following contentious media coverage focused on the filibuster of pro-abortion rights Democratic State Sen. Wendy Davis, who is now a Texas gubernatorial candidate.

Supporters of the legislation argued that such health and safety regulations were necessary for the health of both the mother and the child, particularly given high profile cases of malpractice in other states. They cited the case of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell in Pennsylvania, whose negligent sanitation and safety protocols contributed to the deaths of several patients.

The law was challenged by Planned Parenthood and other Texas abortion providers. They said the health regulations would close down most abortion clinics in the state.

In October 2013 federal District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the law was unconstitutional. Texas appealed the decision, making its oral arguments before the Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans in January.

The appeals court rejected the district court's ruling that the health regulations “imposed an undue burden in a large fraction of the cases,” saying that the evidence presented to the lower court “demonstrates that if the admitting privileges regulation burdens abortion access by diminishing the number of doctors who will perform abortions and requiring women to travel farther, the burden does not fall on the vast majority of Texas women seeking abortions.”

Dannenfelser attributed the law’s passage to abuses at abortion clinics.

“From Kermit Gosnell’s ‘house of horrors’ to one Planned Parenthood’s ‘meat market style’ abortions, last year the nation’s eyes were opened to the tragic reality of what goes on inside America’s abortion facilities," she said.

“Thankfully, pro-life legislators in Texas took notice and sought to protect women from such negligence and brutality in their state,” she continued.

“The consequences of championing abortion masked as ‘women’s health care’ have already proved tragic in state after state.”

The law has contributed to the closure of about one third of the abortion providers in Texas, where 19 abortion clinics remain open, Reuters reports.


Voices

Iowa and us in a Year of Mercy

Kathryn Jean Lopez

It was in the general-purpose room of St. Francis of Assisi Church in West Des Moines that Donald Trump made his last pitch to Iowa voters, inside a caucus room. He wanted to make sure people remembered that not only will he build the wall on our border with Mexico, but that he’s the only candidate who will make Mexico pay for it.

Events

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February 6, 2016

  • Saturday, February, 6

    Second Annual Sisters of Notre Dame Nun Run 5K & 1-Mile Fun Run, 8 a.m., Hosted by the Sisters of Notre Dame and La Reina High School and Middle School in Thousand Oaks. Course starts on Dover Avenue in Thousand Oaks and finishes in front of La Reina School. Open to runners and walkers of all ages and ability levels. Professional chip timing technology will be provided to 5K runners by Vendurance Sports. Participants will receive a free T-shirt (while supplies last); pancake breakfast available after the race. Pre-registration is $35 per person for the 5K, and $25 for the 1-Mile. All proceeds support the Sisters of Notre Dame Life and Ministry Fund, allowing the sisters to continue their ministries in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. For more information, contact Chloe Vieira at cvieira@sndca.org, or visit sndca.org/nunrun. 

    Math Competition for Middle School Students & Problem-Solving Workshop for Teachers, 7:45 a.m., Don Bosco Technical Institute, 1151 San Gabriel Blvd., Rosemead.A mathematics competition for fifth through eighth grade students. The 44th annual event will offer awards for the highest scoring individual and teams. Participants must register by Feb. 2 atwww.boscotech.edu/events. Space is limited. The cost is $8 per individual and $5 per person for teams of four or more, up to 15. Check-in begins at 7:45 a.m.; one-hour test starts at 9 a.m. Free activities offered and food available for purchase. Award ceremony follows the competition at 11 a.m. For more information, contact Valeria De Luna at MathCompetition@boscotech.edu.

     

    San Fernando Regional Day of Prayer for the RCIA, 1 - 4:30 p.m., St. John Baptist De La Salle Church, 16555 Chatsworth St., Granada Hills. An afternoon of prayer for those who will celebrate the Rite of Election and Call to Continuing Conversion this Lent. Catechumens, candidates, sponsors and team members will come together in prayer with Bishop Joseph V. Brennan. To register or for more information, contact Sandy Cole at (818) 368-1514 or dre@sjbdls.org.

     

    Second Annual Valentine's Dinner/Dance, 7 p.m., St. James School - O'Gorman Center, 4625 Garnet St., Torrance.Dance music from the 50's to the present; $20 per person. Proceeds will benefit our seminarians. For more information, call the parish office at (310) 372-5228, or Ely at (310) 944-3355.  

     

    Snowflake Swing Dinner/Dance, 6 p.m. to midnight,St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1523 Golden Gate Ave., Los Angeles. Great food, door prizes and dancing (assorted music), featuring the LA Trio. Tickets $25; RSVP by Feb. 2. For reservations, call Liza at (323) 664-1305 or Renee at (213) 413-3036. 

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