Texas Abortion Groups Continue Attack on State's Pro-life Laws

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Posted: Jun 20, 2018 7:30 PM
Texas Abortion Groups Continue Attack on State's Pro-life Laws

The fight over abortion law in Texas is making news again.

Last year, the United States Supreme Court struck down the pro-life Texas law requiring that abortionists have admitting privileges at hospitals, and ensuring that abortion facilities adhere to the same building codes as ambulatory medical clinics.

The 2013 law had been a victory for the pro-life movement, resulting in over half the state’s abortion clinics being shuttered.

Now, a pro-abortion group is using that 2016 ruling in an attempt to have a number of additional pro-life laws, which have been on the books for decades, repealed.

Woman’s Whole Health, a chain of Texas abortion clinics and the plaintiff in the original 2016 case against the state of Texas, have just filed another lawsuit. This time, the clinic is targeting a number of laws that place what are considered to be standard restrictions on abortions: the requirement that only doctors (as opposed to clinic staff) perform abortions, standards for licensing, required ultrasounds in which the mother is shown the image of her baby, and mandatory 24-hour waiting periods.

The lawsuit is also seeking to legalize telemedicine abortions, where a mother communicates with her doctor via teleconferencing. This practice is currently illegal in the state of Texas.

Last year’s Supreme Court ruling was based upon the idea that any benefits arising from the law in question did not justify the obstacles to abortion access it presented. Woman’s Whole Health believes this decision opened the door for arguing that any number of abortion restrictions are, on these grounds, also unconstitutional.

But a spokesman for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton isn’t so sure. He says that, on the contrary, SCOTUS has upheldsimilar requirements in the past, and writes off this latest lawsuit as nothing more than a “radical pro-abortion agenda.” Spokesman Marc Rylander goes on to say that, "Abortion providers have been complying with the laws being challenged in this case for years. They are common-sense measures necessary to protect Texas women from unhygienic, unqualified clinics that put women's lives and reproductive health at risk."

Perhaps it is not so surprising, then, that Woman’s Whole Health has been accused of a number of safety violations over the years. A Texas Department of State Health Services report detailed offenses that occurred at the abortion chain between 2011 and 2017. These included a failure to disinfect and sterilize instruments that were used from woman to woman, products of conception being examined while contaminated instruments were being cleaned in the same room, and suction machines with rusty spots, which would have made infection more likely.

As for the current lawsuit Texas, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, Catherine Glenn Foster, is hopeful. In an interview with Catholic News Agency, she said she “expects the federal courts involved in these lawsuits to recognize these critical interests and protect the lives of women seeking abortion through reasonable, constitutional health and safety regulations.”

Pro-abortion lawsuits, like the one currently brought by Whole Woman’s Health, cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year.