On Monday, September 1, several Texas facilities providing abortions were expecting to face new regulations from House Bill 2 that may have affected their ability to stay open. But on Friday, a U.S. District judge ruled against those provisions, saying that the law’s ambulatory surgical center requirements “burdens Texas women.”
On the campaign trail in Marfa, State Senator Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, pointed to her 13-hour filibuster of the bill last summer. She said she was “pleased” at the judge’s ruling, but that House Bill 2 had already made its mark.
“The first provision has already gone into effect and half of the clinics in the state of Texas closed. With the ambulatory surgical center provision, which was set to go into place on Monday – had the judge not ruled that way – Texas would have had only six or seven clinics left open. And many women – I think a huge percentage of women – would have lived 200 miles or more away from their ability to access safe legal and reproductive healthcare in our state.”
Senator Davis’s opponent is Republican Greg Abbot, the current Attorney General, who said he would seek an appeal to try to preserve those requirements from House Bill 2. Earlier provisions of the bill included mandatory sonograms and a 24-hour waiting period prior to an abortion.
According to a recent survey there are 19 clinics in the state that provide abortions, down from 40 clinics two years ago