The majority of abortion providers in Texas filed a petition in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday requesting the full panel weigh on the constitutionality of the state legislature’s strict abortion legislation that was passed last session.
On March 27, the three-judge panel upheld provisions requiring providers have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic and ordered them to follow the Food and Drug Administration’s more stringent guidelines on abortion-inducing drugs.
As The Texas Tribune reports, Justice Edith Jones wrote that Texas’ “articulation of rational legislative objectives, which was backed by evidence placed before the state Legislature, easily supplied a connection between the admitting-privileges rule and the desirable protection of abortion patients’ health.”
The plaintiffs are requesting the court stay the law’s implementation until the full panel reviews the ruling, citing that federal courts have issued injunctions over similar laws in Alabama, Mississippi, and Wisconsin.
“The three-judge panel’s ruling on March 27 failed the women of Texas, and severely limits a woman’s access to safe and legal abortion in vast regions of the state,” wrote Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Action Fund, in a statement. “This hardship further impacts women who have already lost access to birth control and preventative health care at the hands of a small group of politicians who are trying to impose their beliefs on all Texans.”
After the ruling, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit challenging an upcoming provision that clinics be certified as ambulatory surgical centers.
By the time all the provisions of the law are enacted, just six clinics that provide abortion are expected to remain open in the state. Twelve have already shuttered.