After one of the most historic pieces of pro-life legislation ever, HB2, passed in Texas last year, pro-lifers were unsurprised to see the law come under swift attack from Planned Parenthood. The organization has sued over various provisions of the law, including the requirement that doctors obtain admitting privileges before being allowed to commit abortions on vulnerable women. Planned Parenthood argued that requiring abortionists to obtain admitting privileges was an “undue burden” on the abortionists, abortion facilities, and the women seeking abortion.
However, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the constitutionality of HB2, and the three-panel judge was comprised of all women (who, apparently, do not believe that the so-called “war on women” is coming from the pro-life camp). The panel concluded that Texas legislation requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges does not place an undue burden on women and abortionists, suggesting that it is in fact a boon to women’s health and well-being.
The ruling also upheld the constitutionality of HB2’s provisions regarding “telemed” abortions, in which women can be given the dangerous RU-486 abortion drug without a physician physically present. Under HB2, these telemed abortions are no longer permissible in the state of Texas. The judges’ decision reads (emphasis added):
The district court held that parts of both provisions were unconstitutional and granted, in substantial part, the requested injunctive relief. A motions panel of this court granted a stay pending appeal, and the Supreme Court upheld the stay. We conclude that both of the challenged provisions are constitutional and, therefore, reverse and render judgment, with one exception, for the State.
As Texas Right to Life explains, there is a caveat involved in the panel’s decision:
There is a minor caveat to the ruling, abortionists who have applied for admitting privileges prior to the law going into effect, but have not yet received a reply from local hospitals may continue to commit abortions until their applications for privileges are officially denied.