Texas Health
8:11 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Federal court sets first date for abortion lawsuit

Opponents of the new restrictions on abortion facilities in Texas are taking their case to court.

The Center for Reproductive Rights has confirmed the group’s first day in federal court will be Oct. 21.

The center is one of three groups who, along with several abortion clinics in the state, filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop two components of the Texas abortion law: One, a requirement that all doctors performing abortion have admitting rights at a hospital no more than 30 miles away, and two, that doctors provide patients with FDA guidelines when prescribing the drug RU-486.

Dr. Lester Minto runs Reproductive Services of Harlingen, a clinic that provides abortion services, and said without this injunction he will be closing his doors at the end of October.

"We just have to see what happens in the next phase," Minto said.

Minto said the restrictions included in the passed abortion bill would closed his clinic because none of the area hospitals in South Texas are willing to give him admitting rights.  He said talk of closing has already led to some of his employees leaving the job.

"One of the girls found a job," Minto said. "Well, she had been working part-time at a local restaurant and they offered her a job at managing the restaurant and I told her she better take the job because I couldn’t ensure her this would continue."

The lawsuit is based on clinics just like the one in Harlingen closing, which will leave large sections of South and West Texas without any access to reproductive services.

If the injunction is granted, many expect an appeal to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals before the actual trial ever begins.