Texas and Other States Getting Strict on Abortion

The Slippery-Slope

The issue of abortion has always been a battle between those who believe it is a women’s constitutional right and those who believe it is just downright murder. As the right of abortion continues to be fought throughout the United States on a slippery-slope, once again measures are going to be taken against it in the state of Texas and other states. Though the fight was to end the debated procedure it was not a complete win, however. In this case laws are not going to end abortion but rather just make the laws against it strict.

Arguments were taken in appeal to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday. This appeal was in light of a judge’s decision to overturn the new requirements that were going to be set forth for Texas abortion facilities. Three judges heard the appeal, from which the protesters were asking the panel to appeal the overturn, believing that the new requirements would help women’s safety while still allowing their “constitutional rights”. Though even more of a group took a side to end the procedure altogether the issue at hand was ruled in favor, for now.

The judges found favor in the appeal, meaning that the state of Texas will now be stricter on laws, but currently only on those affecting abortion clinics, but not the women having the procedure. If the judges had ruled against the appeal it would mean the closing of clinics throughout Texas.

This decision means that abortion clinics with preserve a woman’s constitutional right to it while avoiding significant health risks. They will be required to have access and privileges to a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic and have the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers.

There are still many appeals awaiting trial in the state of Texas on the issue, but no other dates have been set yet. While Texas plans to get strict on abortion laws other states are also in a battle on abortion.

On Wednesday the state of Alabama opened a case presented by the American Civil Liberties Union, in which they were suing to remove the requirement that underage girls needing parental consent to have the procedure. The suit was filed in Montgomery at the federal court.

Under the previous laws an underage girl had to have parental consent to get an abortion unless they went before a judge and proved maturity, a history of abuse, or any reason why it would be inappropriate for the parents to be involved. The problem, however, comes with the fact that the parents are allowed to be at, and participate in, the court proceedings. The ACLU is stating that this is a tremendous burden on young girls, can cause complications in letting the parents know during the procedure, causing shame, and can also take too much time causing the pregnancy to mature past the legal point to have the procedure.

This case was brought about by the ACLU after they already presented a case to Alabama to require clinics to have approval to admit women at nearby hospitals, if needed. Though Alabama already got strict on abortion clinics, ruling out the requirement for underage parental consent may mean even stricter requirements in order to guarantee clinics are responsible in handling cases for teens.

Virginia is also another state where the issue is still current in the courts except the most recent appeal is actually one to remove the strict regulations. Virginia recently passed laws requiring clinics to widen hallways, add more parking spaces, and make health related building renovations. If these laws stay in affect many say that it will force clinics to shut down, making it much harder for a woman in Virginia to get an abortion.

The case went first to Health Commissioner Marissa Levine. Levine reviewed the request to repeal the laws but Levine said the state board did not have such authority. The case will continue up the “chain of command” until a final decision is made. Until then the current laws causing strict implementations on clinics will remain in effect.

Texas, Alabama, and Virginia have created, appealed, created, and appealed many strict laws on abortion clinics and even the women wanting the procedures. With such a back-and-forth the battle on abortion may continue on for a long haul.

By Crystal Boulware

The Texas Tribune
Washington Post

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