By Rachel L. West, MSW, LMSW
On Monday a federal judge declared a portion Texas’ House Bill 2 unconstitutional. The law, which was passed and signed into law by Governor Perry in July, would have required doctors at clinics to have admitting privileges to nearby hospitals. Such a mandate would have resulted in the majority of the state’s abortion clinics shuttering their doors.
The law was scheduled to go into effect on October 29th. According to the Texas Tribune the state has already appealed the case to the 5th Circuit US Court of Appeals.
The state immediately appealed the court’s ruling, meaning the case heads to the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which has recently upheld numerous laws that restrict abortion. “We appreciate the trial court’s attention in this matter,” Lauren Bean, a spokeswoman for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, wrote in a statement. “As everyone — including the trial court judge — has acknowledged, this is a matter that will ultimately be resolved by the appellate courts or the U.S. Supreme Court. (source).
Reproductive justice advocates immodestly took to Twitter to applaud the ruling.
“Bad news for Rick Perry, good news for #Texas women: We’re just getting started,” tweeted PPact & Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards.
“Glad to see TX fed judge rule in favor of women’s health instead of playing political games with it. The fight does not end here,” US Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) responded after hearing the news.
The section of HB2 that made abortion after 20 weeks illegal in Texas still stands but the ruling also blocks a section of the law that dictated how doctors where to prescribe medication that could be used to terminate a pregnancy.
The medication abortion provision may not be enforced against any physician who determines, in appropriate medical judgment, to perform the medication-abortion using off-label protocol for the preservation of the life or health of the mother. (source)
You can read the decision below. You can click here to find out more about the role social work practice plays in the reproductive justice movement.
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