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5th Circuit upholds Texas law protecting women from cut-and-run abortionists

ADF: Women deserve real doctors, not transient abortionists
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Attorney sound bite:  Steven H. Aden

NEW ORLEANS — In a 3–0 ruling Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit upheld a Texas regulation that protects women against cut-and-run abortionists. The court also upheld a requirement that abortion-inducing drugs be administered according to the protocol authorized by the Food and Drug Administration in most situations.


The first provision requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital where women can be treated in the event of complications. In January, Alliance Defending Freedom, Bioethics Defense Fund, and Family Research Council filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the 5th Circuit in favor of the requirement.

“Women deserve real doctors, not transient abortionists who have no connection to their patients or their communities. The health and safety of women is more important than an abortionist’s bottom line--including the bottom line of Planned Parenthood, which is the nation’s largest abortion seller,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Steven H. Aden. “Planned Parenthood’s opposition to these basic health requirements is simply additional evidence that they care more about profit than about what’s best for women.”

A district court had previously struck down the two provisions in Planned Parenthood of Texas Surgical Health Services v. Abbott while upholding the remainder of the larger law of which they were a part. Planned Parenthood did not challenge the law’s prohibition on abortions that take place at 20 weeks or later, a provision based on evidence that demonstrates the baby can feel pain at that stage.

The 5th Circuit concluded that “the State acted within its prerogative to regulate the medical profession by heeding these patient-centered concerns and requiring abortion practitioners to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.”

“Against Planned Parenthood’s claims that these women can be adequately treated without the admitting-privileges requirement, the State showed that many hospitals lack an Ob/Gyn on call for emergencies,” the opinion explains. “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.”

“People may hold different views about abortion, but everyone can agree that Planned Parenthood should put the safety and health of women first,” Aden said. “Women’s lives should never play second fiddle to Planned Parenthood’s profit margin.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.


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