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Government/Politics

Abortion-Rights Group Wants High Court To Take Up Its Case Against Texas

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Ryan E. Poppe
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Activists outside federal courthouse in Austin

An abortion rights group representing clinics in Texas has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take up its lawsuit against the state's admitting privileges and ambulatory surgical center laws.  Nancy Northup with the Center for Reproductive Rights said it’s clear the state’s 2013 law was intended to close clinics.

“Leading medical experts are on record against HB 2 for imposing medically unnecessary requirements on women’s healthcare services.  And HB 2’s lead sponsor, Texas State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, makes no secret of her agenda, saying, 'I am so glad Texas always takes the lead in trying to turn back what started with Roe v. Wade,'" Northup explained.

Northup said Texas’ law is a violation of Casey vs. Planned Parenthood, a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that faulted the State of Pennsylvania for one of its abortion restrictions that court said limited and even cut off women’s access to an abortion.

In June, the US 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the state's ambulatory surgical center requirement. Two weeks later, the Supreme Court put that ruling on hold pending the outcome of an appeal before the court, which allowed clinics in smaller cities like McAllen to re-open.

Cynthia Meyers with the Texas Attorney General’s Office says the AG is ready for a fight before the high court.

“We will continue to defend the law to protect the health and safety of women and ensure that abortion clinics in Texas meet basic standards,” Meyers said.

Attorneys for the Center for Reproductive Rights argue allowing the law to go into effect would close 10 of the state’s 19 clinics, leaving women in South and West Texas to have to travel hundreds of miles for an abortion.