Groups sue to halt key parts of Texas abortion law


by TINA SHIVELY / KVUE News and Photojournalist Michael Moore

Bio | Email | Follow: @TinaS_KVUE

Posted on September 27, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Updated Friday, Sep 27 at 7:06 PM

AUSTIN -- Texas' controversial House Bill 2 will start changing abortion regulations at the end of October, unless Planned Parenthood gets its way.

The American Civil Liberties Union and several other women's health groups have joined Planned Parenthood in filing a federal lawsuit. They are asking a judge to block two provisions of the law that will take effect on October 29.

The first concerns restrictions on a pill combination used to perform abortions, and the second requires doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals.

Sarah Wheat is Vice President for Communications Affairs at Planned Parenthood. She says, "There is nothing about these intrusive new mandates that will protect women's health."

Joe Pojman, Executive Director of The Texas Alliance for Life, believes having a doctor nearby can only help a patient's recovery.

"If there is a complication of an abortion and the woman has to go to a local hospital, that physician who's responsible for the abortion should be able to follow the patient to the hospital," he says.

Pojman disagrees with Planned Parenthood's claim doctors didn't have enough time to submit paperwork to get those privileges, adding "we shouldn't be dumping women who have complications from abortion in the emergency room at a local hospital. That's not the proper care that women deserve."

When it comes to taking the matter to court, opinions among Texans also vary.

Karen Marino supports the lawsuit. She says "I think whatever it takes. Sometimes if it's a lawsuit, if that's what it takes, then I think it's okay."

Carter Wray is against the lawsuit. He said, "Best of luck to 'em. They have some of the toughest conservatives in the state to go against, so I don't think in Texas they're gonna go anywhere with it."

Planned Parenthood says lawsuits blocking similar measures in Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota and Wisconsin have succeeded.