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Houston Ob-Gyn Explains How Court Ruling Allows His Abortion Clinic To Stay Open

Texans are still absorbing a historic decision from the U.S. Supreme Court which struck down major parts of a Texas law.

Dr. Bernard Rosenfeld reviews the coverage in four different newspapers the day after the Supreme Court ruled his abortion clinic did not need to meet the same standards as an outpatient surgery center.
Dr. Bernard Rosenfeld reviews the coverage in four different newspapers the day after the Supreme Court ruled his abortion clinic did not need to meet the same standards as an outpatient surgery center.

Texans are still absorbing a historic decision from the U.S. Supreme Court which struck down major parts of a Texas law. The Justices ruled 5-3 that the law's requirements that abortion clinics be outpatient surgery centers, and that the clinic doctors obtain privileges at a nearby hospital, amounted to an "undue burden" on a woman's constitutional right to get an abortion. The law led to the closure of more than 20 clinics in Texas.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick helped write the law in 2013, when he was a state senator. He said Monday he was disappointed by the ruling, but would try to pass new laws to regulate abortion which would not run afoul of the new judicial constraints.

"This is a devastating blow to women's safety and health," Patrick said. "In the Texas Senate we will revisit this issue...we will continue to focus on women's health and safety, even when having an abortion."

In the meantime, the ruling means the Houston Women's Clinic – which is not an outpatient surgery center – can continue to provide abortions. News 88.7 Health and Science reporter Carrie Feibel visited the midtown clinic to talk about the repercussions with the owner and sole physician, Dr. Bernard Rosenfeld.

Carrie Feibel: “How would it affect your clinic if other clinics can now possibly reopen in Texas?”

Dr. Rosenfeld: “I think that would be fine, because we’ve been way too busy. But I think people are still probably too skittish because who knows what they’ll come up with next. And I think [the plaintiffs] made a case that once a clinic closes, it’s very unlikely that it will reopen.”

To hear the full discussion, click on the audio file above.

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