Abortion Rights Groups Ask Appeals Court to Reverse Ruling on Texas Law

Apr 10, 2014

Abortion rights advocates have filed a petition asking a federal appeals court to reconsider its stance on a part of Texas' new abortion law.

The groups that filed the petition include the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights. They’re asking the full Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider whether it’s constitutional to require abortion doctors to receive admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics.

In October, a federal district court in Austin struck down that requirement, but two weeks ago, a panel of judges of the appeals court in New Orleans ruled the provision is constitutional.

The owner of abortion clinics in McAllen and Beaumont closed each down last month, citing the hospital privileges requirement as the reason. More than 10 Texas clinics have closed since the law went into effect.

Right now, Tennessee and Utah require abortion doctors receive admitting privileges. A number of states, including Alabama, North Dakota and Wisconsin, enacted similar laws, which are currently blocked pending final court decisions.