Federal Judge Declares Texas’ New Abortion Restrictions Unconstitutional

rickperry5Score a victory for women’s rights.

New, highly restrictive abortion laws in Texas will not go into effect as planned, thanks to District Judge Lee Yeakel’s ruling that the regulations go too far in restricting a woman’s access to abortion clinics, and also violate the rights of doctors to do what they think is best for their patients.

Which is exactly what Texas Senator Wendy Davis and other Texas Democrats were fighting against last summer.  An event made famous by her filibuster that ultimately did nothing but delay the inevitable, as Texas Governor Rick Perry called for a second special session and forced through the blatant attack on women’s rights.

The new abortion laws pushed through by Texas Republicans and signed by Governor Perry would have represented some of the toughest in the nation.  Many women’s rights activists said the laws would force the closure of almost every abortion clinic due the strict new requirements facilities must meet before performing the procedure.  The new regulations also ban abortions after 20 weeks.

Texas’ attempt to restrict the rights of women mirrors that passed in Mississippi, which have also been blocked by a federal judge, and showcase a new wave of attacks by Republican state legislatures on women’s rights.

Because as most of us know, while the Republican party claims to be for “Constitutional values,” they’re often the first ones seeking to violate our Constitution whenever they don’t get their way.

As the AP points out:

During the trial, officials for one chain of abortion clinics testified that they’ve tried to obtain admitting privileges for their doctors at 32 hospitals, but so far only 15 accepted applications and none have announced a decision. Many hospitals with religious affiliations will not allow abortion doctors to work there, while others fear protests if they provide privileges. Many have requirements that doctors live within a certain radius of the facility, or perform a minimum number of surgeries a year that must be performed in a hospital.

Which is exactly what Republicans had hoped would happen.  While they can’t legally outlaw abortions, they can make situations for having one so restrictive that they all but eliminate the possibility.  After all, abortion is still legal in Texas, but what good is having that right in the state if the clinics needed to perform the procedure don’t meet these new highly restrictive standards?

It’s like watching one sibling hold their finger directly in front of another’s face saying, “I’m not touching you!”  Which is true, but that doesn’t mean they’re not annoying the hell out of them.

And that’s essentially what Republicans have done here.  While they can’t place an outright ban on abortions, they can pass laws which make it nearly impossible to get one.

Luckily for women, so far,  it appears our legal process is on their side.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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