- The Washington Times - Friday, October 3, 2014

Nearly two-thirds of abortion clinics in Texas are being forced to immediately close — the result of a federal appeals court ruling that reinforced a state law that allows the government to require the facilities to abide by the same strict standards as hospitals.

The hospital-like requirement came via House Bill 2, but was struck down in August in federal court in Austin, the Los Angeles Times reported. There, the judge said the mandate was overly burdensome on women and unconstitutional. The mandate was delayed from taking effect while the state appealed.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the injunction must go. And that means only seven or eight of the state’s estimated 20 abortion clinics can currently continue operations, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Abortion rights activists aren’t pleased.

“[The] ruling has gutted Texas women’s constitutional rights and access to critical reproductive health care and stands to make safe, legal aboriton essentially disappear overnight,” said Nancy Northup, the president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, in the Los Angeles Times. “All Texas women have been relegated … to a second class of citizens whose constitutional rights are lesser than those in states less hostile to reproductive autonomy.”

But Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott praised the ruling, calling it a win for women’s safety.

“This 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,” he said, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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