In one of the most asinine rulings to be handed down this year, appellate judges OK Texas to close abortion clinics. This is all in the name of protecting “the unborn and ensur[ing] Texas women are not subjected to unsafe and unhealthy conditions,” according to Ken Paxton, Texas’ Republican AG.
The federal appellate court decided that Texas’ interest in keeping women safe from themselves outweighed the inconvenience of making them travel over 500 miles to the nearest clinic or going out of state. The 5th Circuit showed a stunning example of “logic” by preventing the state from closing the last abortion clinic in the Rio Grande Valley, but rejecting such an exception for the last clinic in El Paso. This remarkable lack of sound reasoning is what will cause west Texas women the excessive travel.
What is the “magic law” that will keep women safe from themselves? It’s nothing less than conservative, Christian white men trying to take away women’s constitutional right to choose by focusing on two things:
- Closing abortion clinics that don’t meet strict building codes for outpatient surgical centers, and
- Requiring abortion clinic doctors to have local hospital admitting privileges
Conveniently (and coincidentally) this lovely piece of… legislation will close all but eight abortion clinics in the second largest state in the U.S.
Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is challenging the law, said, “Not since before Roe v. Wade has a law or court decision had the potential to devastate access to reproductive health care on such a sweeping scale. Once again, women across the state of Texas face the near total elimination of safe and legal options for ending a pregnancy, and the denial of their constitutional rights.”
The CRR and other women’s rights advocates are planning to seek an emergency order from SCOTUS to keep the clinics open if efforts to convince the 5th Circuit to postpone enforcement of the law fail. If the law takes effect, the clinics will be closed within one month.
It is not a good time to be a woman in Texas, especially if you have the idea that you should have control over your own body. Apparently, the Texas government would prefer it if you’d give up that ridiculous notion and make it a sandwich.
Good luck, my sisters! My thoughts are with you.