Health & Science

Overview Of Wednesday’s Court Happenings On Abortion Restrictions

A Texas abortion law was the focus of court arguments Wednesday in New Orleans, at the 5th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals. News 88.7 Health and Science reporter Carrie Feibel has the update.

medical chair

 

What’s this case about?

This is the Texas law passed in 2013 that Wendy Davis tried to filibuster on the floor of the Texas senate, wearing her pink tennis shoes. That law has been fought over in the courts ever since, but this particular case is about whether clinics that do abortions need to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgery centers. To make those expensive upgrades, some clinics say would force them out of business.

 

What’s at stake?

Only seven clinics in Texas meet those surgery center standards, and the other ten don’t. Those ten would have to close. That would leave no clinics in the Rio Grande Valley or in El Paso — those women would face long driving distances to get to say san Antonio to get an abortion.

 

What happened in court?

Lawyers for Texas argued that these standards are about making abortion safer, and so if some women have to drive farther to get one, it’s worth it, and women have always had to travel in Texas to get abortions. And the lawyers for the clinics say it’s simply unconstitutional — that the driving distances are too much of a burden on a woman’s right to an abortion. And some women from Texas were there rallying outside the courthouse, and they said it’s too much for Latina women in the Valley — not just the distance, but the money it takes to travel, the time off work, the child care, all of that is too much of a barrier.

 

For the updates as the case unfolded, visit Carrie Feibel’s earlier story here

Tomorrow we’ll have more about the case and hear from the protesters outside the federal courthouse in New Orleans. 

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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