Court Upholds Texas Limits on Abortions

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from The New York Times,

A federal appellate court upheld some of the toughest provisions of a Texas abortion law on Tuesday, putting about half of the state’s remaining abortion clinics at risk of permanently shutting their doors and leaving the nation’s second-most populous state with fewer than a dozen clinics across its more than 267,000 square miles. There were 41 when the law was passed.

Abortion providers and women’s rights groups vowed a quick appeal to the United States Supreme Court, setting the stage for what could be the most far-reaching ruling in years on when legislative restrictions pose an “undue burden” on the constitutional right to an abortion.

A three-judge panel of the appellate court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, sided for the most part with Texas and the abortion law the Republican-dominated Legislature passed in 2013, known as House Bill 2.

The judges ruled that Texas can require all abortion clinics in the state to meet the same building, equipment and staffing standards that hospital-style surgical centers must meet, which could force numerous clinics to close, abortion rights advocates said.

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