Backed by the Center for Reproductive Rights, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, a group of women’s health clinics in Texas are suing the state to overturn parts of a recent law cutting abortion access.
The stringent abortion restrictions that were signed into law by Texas Gov. Rick Perry after Senator (and potential gubernatorial candidate) Wendy Davis’ filibuster temporarily shut down the state Senate include a bevy of limitations designed to rid the Lone Star State of abortion clinics. Besides including a provision that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks, it also requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a local hospital and that they follow new protocols when administering abortion pills. It’s these latter two parts of the law that these clinics had filed a federal suit against.
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said,
Politicians are interfering with the personal medical decisions of women who already have the least access to birth control and preventive health care.
Pro-choice advocates hope a judge will bar the two requirements that are scheduled to go into effect on October 29. Defendants in the suit are not challenging the 20-week abortion ban at this time.
An attorney in the case, Jim George, told reporters Friday:
You can only do so much at once […] the immediate problem we’re facing here is that there are large parts of the population of Texas that would be effectively precluded from ever getting an abortion.
Four abortion clinics have already announced they will be forced to close because of the new law.
Despite the harsh laws put forth against abortion access in Texas recently, the women’s health clinics and their legal supporters aren’t the only ones in favor of giving women some choice and respect in their reproductive decisions. Even Gov. Perry’s own wife, Anita, recently admitted abortion is a personal decision:
That could be a woman’s right, just like it’s a man’s right if he wants to have some kind of procedure […] the older I get, there are two sides of every nickel. God made us our own individuals, and I can believe, you can believe, what you want to believe.
Anita Little is the associate editor at Ms. magazine. Follow her on Twitter.