By Jon Herskovitz
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Thursday upheld a Texas law that places restrictions on abortions, saying a provision requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital was a reasonable regulation.
Those opposed to the law have said it is a veiled attempt to limit abortions by imposing costly and unnecessary regulations, adding that the law may be copied by other states trying to limit abortions within their borders.
A federal judge erred last year in blocking the law, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found. The U.S. Supreme Court later allowed it to go into effect.
“The district court’s opinion took the wrong approach to the rational basis test,” the 5th Circuit’s decision said.
The law requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges, the ability to admit a patient for treatment at a hospital usually by being recognized as a doctor who can use hospital facilities, at an adequately equipped hospital within 30 miles of their practice.
Backers said the requirement protects the health of mothers while opponents argue it places an undue burden on women in rural parts of the state where medical facilities are sparse.
“Requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges would also promote the continuity of care in all cases, reducing the risk of injury caused by miscommunication and misdiagnosis when a patient is transferred from one health care provider to another,” the court wrote.
But Planned Parenthood, which brought the suit, said abortion complications are rare and usually similar to those of a miscarriage, which often are treated by emergency room physicians.
Since the new law went into effect about five months ago, about a third of the abortion providers in Texas have closed, mostly because of the admitting privileges provision, leaving 19 clinics for the state’s 26 million people.
Texas, seen as an incubator of conservative policies, has garnered a great deal of attention because its regulations have stood up to court challenges.
The court did allow abortion providers who have applied for admitting privileges within the state’s designated time frame but have yet to receive a decision from hospitals to continue their practice.
(Editing by Eric Walsh)
[Image: Keep Abortion Legal by American Life League, via Flickr Creative Commons]
WATCH: John Oliver exposes Trump’s lies about vote-by-mail — and the Fox News ‘cult’ claiming the election is already ‘rigged’
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver's main story Sunday refuted President Donald Trump's latest crusade against vote-by-mail. Trump announced on Twitter that the more people who vote in an election, the more Republicans tend to lose. So, he wants fewer people to have access to the ballot in November, even if people are too scared to go out during the coronavirus crisis.
Oliver called out Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO), who outright told people not to vote if they were too afraid to vote in the local elections next week.
"Well, hold on there," Oliver interjected. "Voting is a right. It has to be easy to understand and accessible to anyone."
John Oliver rips Fox News’ Tucker Carlson for urging ‘order’ from people of color — but never demanding it of police
John Oliver opened his Sunday show, shredding Fox News host Tucker Carlson for uring "order" among protesters, but refusing to urge "order" to police and "wannabe police" who can't stop killing people.
It's a lot, Oliver explained. "How these protests are a response to a legacy of police misconduct, both in Minneapolis and the nation at large and how that misconduct is, itself, built on a legacy of white supremacy that prioritizes the comfort of white Americans over the safety of people of color."
While some of it is complicated, Oliver conceded, most of it is "all too clear."
Cars set on fire blocks from White House as DC protests turn violent
The Washington, D.C. protests turned violent as the city approached the 11 p.m. curfew the mayor instituted Sunday afternoon.
The policy of D.C. police is that when they are attacked, they advance forward. So, when fireworks were fired, the line of officers began pushing the protesters back further from the White House. Behind the line of police officers also stand a line of National Guard troops that President Donald Trump has demanded stand watch in the city.
Lights that normally shine on the White House have also been turned off, reporters revealed.