A Texas abortion mill has gained permission to ignore Texas law mandating that all Texas abortion mills follow ambulatory surgical center (ASC) standards while opening their new abortuary.
In 2013, part of the historic Pro-Life Omnibus Bill, House Bill 2, required Texas abortion mills to follow requirements essential to patient safety by adhering to ASC standards. After several years of litigation in federal court, a recent and vague Supreme Court intervention caused much confusion and various interpretations over which regulations the state of Texas could enforce immediately.
Abortion mills claimed they were exempt from multiple provisions of House Bill 2, while the Texas Department of State Health Services, in conjunction with the Texas Attorney General’s office, clarified that the admitting privileges requirement for abortionists would remain in effect throughout the state, except in McAllen and El Paso.
This still left the unanswered question of whether the action by the Supreme Court prohibited the State of Texas from enforcing the ASC requirements on new abortion clinics that were not open at the time of the Fifth Circuit or Supreme Court rulings.
On Tuesday, a federal district judge, Judge Lee Yeakel of the Western District of Texas, jumped into the legal fray. Judge Yeakel ordered that a new abortion mill being opened by Reproductive Services in El Paso is not required to follow the ASC standards.
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Last year, Reproductive Services of El Paso closed, because their abortionist was unable to secure admitting privileges at a local hospital and they were not able to adhere to the soon-to-be enforced ASC rules. Since then, the abortion business has attempted to reopen in a new location but was required to apply for a new abortion clinic license. The reopening prompted the Department of State Health Services to inform the abortion business that as a new clinic with a new license, the abortuary must comply with the ASC standards. In Tuesday’s ruling, Judge Yeakel ordered DSHS that the abortion mill should be allowed to operate without following higher standards.
The lack of safety standards currently enforced in El Paso constitutes a grave injustice toward women’s health in the state of Texas. The abortion lobby’s opposition to common sense health and safety measures reflects their utter lack of concern for the safety of Texans.
LifeNews Note: This column originally appeared at the Texas Right to Life blog.