A conservative judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit argued on Monday that women who were 150 miles from the nearest abortion clinic because of new restrictions passed by the state last year could drive at least 75 miles an hour and their rights would not be infringed.
At a Monday hearing in New Orleans, lawyers for the Center for Reproductive Rights explained to a three judge panel that the new abortion restrictions meant that women in the Rio Grande Valley must make a 300-mile round trip to the nearest clinic in Corpus Christi to obtain care.
Judge Edith Jones, however, seemed unconcerned, informing lawyers that the speed limit was 75 miles an hour.
“Do you know how long that takes in Texas at 75 miles an hour?” she asked. “This is a peculiarly flat and not congested highway.”
Think Progress pointed out on Tuesday that Texas requires women to go through an ultrasound, counseling and a mandatory 24-waiting period before obtaining an abortion. So, women in the Rio Grande Valley would have to make the 300-mile round trip to Corpus Christi twice.
Jones, who was appointed to the Fifth Circuit by former President Ronald Reagan in 1985, is currently facing a judicial review for suggesting that Hispanics and African-Americans were “predisposed to crime.”
Listen to this audio, recorded on Jan. 7, 2013.