'Heartbreaking' Ruling Could Shutter Nearly All Abortion Clinics In Texas

In the state-by-state war on reproductive rights, one of the biggest battlegrounds—Texas—was hit with a crushing court ruling on Tuesday that upholds the harshest measures of a 2013 anti-choice law that, if fully implemented, could shutter almost all abortion facilities in the state.

The decision by a three-judge panel of the notoriously conservative U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals—comprised of George W. Bush appointees—allows the state to require that clinics offering abortions must meet stringent and expensive ambulatory surgical center standards. Furthermore, the ruling upholds the requirement that abortion providers seek admitting privileges at nearby hospitals for all but one clinic.

Providers and reproductive justice advocates alike say these requirements, under the guise of health regulations, are in fact medically unnecessary and aimed at closing these critical facilities altogether.

“Under the guise of making abortion safer, these requirements actually make abortion less safe and will prevent women from getting the abortions they need. Even procedures with higher complication and mortality rates don’t have to meet these specious standards,” said Dr. Mark DeFrancesco, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in a press statement.

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