Texas Appeals Court Reinstates Abortion Restrictions

5th Circuit CourtFor the second time in two years, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned Federal Judge Lee Yeakel of the Western District Court in Austin on a pro-life issue reinstating abortion restrictions.

In staying Judge Lee Yeakel's ruling against House Bill 2 (HB 2), the New Orleans-based Court, gave the go-ahead for the 30-mile rule. Beginning immediately, any doctor who seeks to commit an abortion must first secure admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion facility. The Fifth Circuit allowed most of the new restrictions on the abortion drug, RU-486, to go into effect.

The ban on all abortions after the unborn child reaches the five-month mark of development was not challenged and went into effect Wednesday.

"Legislators worked so hard to pass House Bill 2 because they are not only concerned about protecting the unborn, but also about women going to abortion clinics with sub-standard conditions and unsanitary equipment. The provisions being challenged in court are intended to keep Gosnell-like predators out of Texas. Ironically, one of the abortion providers for the plaintiffs testified in the hearing last week that he had secured such privileges at a number of hospitals, inadvertently helping the defense. Our Attorney General and his team have done a masterful job in defending House Bill 2 and pursuing the law taking effect immediately," said Elizabeth Graham, director of Texas Right to Life.

The Fifth Circuit’s move to overturn the injunction could signal that this court recognizes the provisions as common sense legislation to protect the health and safety of women who are abortion-vulnerable and that the challenge has little chance of success. The 30-mile rule has been challenged and upheld in court in other states as well.

"The Court's restoration of the requirement that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital is basic common sense, especially in the post-Gosnell era. And it's refreshing to see a court affirm common sense rather than the whims of the abortion lobby," said Ashley McGuire of the Catholic Association. "Beginning today, nearly one-third of abortion clinics in Texas cannot legally perform abortions. Whether the law will continue to weather the courts, time will tell, but in the meantime - countless lives will be saved and the health of many women will be protected."