The attorney's full employment bill that is the state's 2013 abortion restrictions starts racking up more billable hours today...as the state and pro choice groups head into court again to determine if the measure is constitutional, Newsradio 1200 WOAI's Chris Fox reports.
This time the lawsuit is challenging the portion of the law which requires that all abortion clinics meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers, which requires that they become 'mini hospitals.'
Esha Bhandari of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is fighting the law, says these provisions have no basis in medicine.
"We are planning to put forward witnesses who are medical experts, physicians, public health experts," he said. "They will explain how these restrictions are completely unnecessary and have nothing to do with protecting women."
The lawsuit will also challenge another portion of the new law, which forces abortion clinics to employ at least one physician who has admitting privileges at a hospital no more than thirty miles away. This provision has been especially devastating for clinics in South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, where the overwhelmingly Catholic population leads to hospitals not being willing to grant privileges to abortion doctors.
"We are challenging that as a medically unjustified law, which was passed specifically to close down clinics and force women to travel long distances to receive an abortion," Bhandari said.
The pro choice groups have been unsuccessful previously in challenging the law in federal court.
The number of abortion clinics operating in Texas has fallen in the past year from 44 to 6, even though Planned Parenthood plans to open two fully compliant clinics in San Antonio and Dallas in September.