More than a dozen women's health care clinics have filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas, seeking to revoke parts of a controversial health law that puts new restrictions on clinics that provide abortions.
The law, House Bill 2, was signed by Gov. Rick Perry this summer after a contentious process that included a filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis that helped to delay the bill, and special sessions that eventually brought its passage.
The lawsuit seeks injunctions against parts of the Texas law, which is scheduled to take effect on Oct. 29. It was filed on behalf of the clinics in question by the national offices of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Center for Reproductive Rights, along with the American Civil Liberties Union.
From Austin, Ryan Poppe of NPR member station KSTX reports:
"Abortion rights groups are taking aim at the law's requirement that all doctors have admitting hospital privileges and that they follow decade-old FDA guidelines for a drug requiring multiple in-person visits.
" 'The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Hospital Association all agree that the provisions of this bill will put women's health in danger,' Planned Parenthood's executive director, Cecile Richards, said.
"Attorneys allege the law will close 13 out of 36 health clinics that perform abortions in Texas, leaving large areas of the state without access to abortions which they say violates the 14th amendment."
The lawsuit, Planned Parenthood v. Abbott, names state Attorney General Gregory Abbott, along with officials in counties where the clinics operate.
"This law is part of a coordinated national strategy to shut down women's health centers and outlaw abortion all across the country," says ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero. "In Texas and across the nation, people are standing up to tell politicians to stop interfering in a woman's private decisions."