PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA
For immediate release: November 19, 2013
BREAKING: Supreme Court Allows State to Block Safe and Legal Abortion for One-Third of Texas Women
Supreme Court Allows Unconstitutional Abortion Restrictions -- Planned Parenthood Pledges to Continue to Fight for Patients
Austin, TX -- A majority of the U.S. Supreme Court refused to reinstate a permanent injunction entered by a federal district court last month, which means that safe and legal abortion will continue to be virtually impossible for one-third of Texas women in need to access as Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's appeal proceeds.
Almost three weeks ago, when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a requirement that physicians who provide abortions obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital to take effect, approximately one-third of the state's licensed health centers that were providing abortion were forced to stop providing that care immediately. When asked what she will do if she cannot access a safe and legal abortion in Texas, it was reported one woman in Harlingen said, "I think I will have to go through with the pregnancy. I don't have the finances to travel" to San Antonio, the closest option for a woman in the Rio Grande Valley to access a safe and legal abortion (abortion is illegal in Mexico, which is within miles from Harlingen).
Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
"While we are deeply disappointed, this isn't over. We will take every step we can to protect the health of Texas women. This law is blocking women in Texas from getting a safe and legal medical procedure that has been their constitutionally-protected right for 40 years. This is outrageous and unacceptable -- and also demonstrates why we need stronger federal protections for women's health. Your rights and your ability to make your own medical decisions should not depend on your zip code."
The lawsuit, Planned Parenthood v. Abbott, was jointly filed on September 27 on behalf of more than a dozen Texas health care providers and their patients by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Texas law firm George Brothers Kincaid & Horton. In striking down the measure as unconstitutional after a three-day trial, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said the admitting privileges requirement has "no rational relationship to improved patient care" and also "places an undue burden on a woman seeking an abortion."