Abortion Clinics Begin Closing In Texas; Border Left Unserved

By Joey Palacios
November 01, 2013

Abortion clinics across Texas are closing after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal court decision that blocked a portion of Texas’ controversial abortion law.

Earlier this week, a federal judge in Austin struck down the portion of the abortion law that required doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals to provide abortions at clinics. The law would have taken affect on Tuesday.

However, that ruling was overturned Thursday after a temporary injunction request filed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was granted by the Fifth Circuit.

Many abortion providers cannot obtain admitting privileges due to lack of board certification specialty, among other reasons, and some of those who do have privileges do not live within 30 miles of a hospital that would accept them as the law requires.

That means 13 clinics would have to close their doors, including two along the Texas border in McAllen and Harlingen. The closure of these two facilities would effectively eliminate abortion care in far south Texas. The nearest option would be San Antonio, which is about 250 miles away.

The Fifth Circuit court plans to take up the full appeal before the end of the year.