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Breaking News

Fifth Circuit Rules for State, Finds HB 2 Constitutional

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March 27, 2014, 6:11pm
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Unanimous Federal Appeals Court Panel Rejects Challenge to House Bill 2

AUSTIN--The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit today issued a unanimous decision upholding House Bill 2. The decision rejecting the plaintiffs’ constitutional challenge to HB 2 was written by Judge Edith Jones and joined by Judge Jennifer Elrod and Judge Catharina Haynes.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued the following statement:

“This unanimous decision is a vindication of the careful deliberation by the Texas Legislature to craft a law to protect the health and safety of Texas women.”

Excerpts from the Fifth Circuit’s decision:

“[R]equiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges will reduce the delay in treatment and decrease health risk for abortion patients with critical complications.” (p. 11)

“Viewed from the proper perspective, the State’s articulation of rational legislative objectives, which was backed by evidence placed before the state legislature, easily supplied a connection between the admitting--privileges rule and the desirable protection of abortion patients’ health.” (p. 15)

“During [trial] proceedings, Planned Parenthood conceded that at least 210 women in Texas annually must be hospitalized after seeking an abortion. Witnesses on both sides further testified that some of the women who are hospitalized after an abortion have complications that require an Ob/Gyn specialist’s treatment. Against Planned Parenthood’s claims that these women can be adequately treated without the admitting--privileges requirement, the State showed that many hospitals lack an Ob/Gyn on call for emergencies.” (p. 16)

“Requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges would also promote the continuity of care in all cases, reducing the risk of injury caused by miscommunication and misdiagnosis when a patient is transferred from one health care provider to another.” (p. 16)

“The specter of Dr. Kermit Gosnell informed the testimony of Dr. Love and Dr. Anderson, both of whom explained that the credentialing process entailed in the regulation reduces the risk that abortion patients will be subjected to woefully inadequate treatment.” (p. 16)

“Applying the rational basis test correctly, we have to conclude that the State acted within its prerogative to regulate the medical profession by heeding these patient--centered concerns and requiring abortion practitioners to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.” (pps. 16-17)

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