The following comes from a June 9 Texas Tribune article by Alexa Ura:
In a blow to the state’s abortion providers, federal appeals judges on Tuesday upheld a state law requiring nearly all Texas facilities that perform the procedure to meet hospital-like standards.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s requirement that abortion clinics meet ambulatory surgical center standards — which include minimum sizes for rooms and doorways, pipelines for anesthesia and other infrastructure — did not impose an undue burden on a “large fraction” of Texas women seeking abortions.
Only a handful of Texas abortion clinics — all in major metropolitan areas — meet those standards, which are costly to implement. Immediately following the ruling, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Texas women’s health care providers announced their plan to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton celebrated Tuesday’s ruling, saying the court had validated the state’s “authority to establish safe, common-sense standards of care.”
“HB 2 both protects the unborn and ensures Texas women are not subjected to unsafe and unhealthy conditions,” he said.
But the legal fight is likely to continue. Abortion providers could request that the full 15-member court hear the case, or they could attempt to take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court. The 5th Circuit is considered one of the nation’s most conservative federal appellate courts.
NARAL Pro-Choice Texas Executive Director Heather Busby decried the ruling as a “travesty” that would leave open only eight clinics statewide.