Attorney General Files Brief in Supreme Court on HB 2
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today asked the U.S. Supreme Court to deny certiorari review and uphold the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruling on portions of House Bill 2 (HB 2), the 2013 Texas law designed to protect the health and welfare of Texas women.
“Rather than comply with the common-sense measures to elevate the standard of care at abortion facilities laid out in HB 2, abortion activists continue to put Texas women at risk by challenging the legislature’s authority,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The abortion industry is not acting in the interest of women’s health – it’s acting in the interest of preserving their bottom line by avoiding new health and safety requirements. The Supreme Court should uphold the will of Texans and allow the Fifth Circuit’s ruling to take effect.”
HB 2 was signed into law by Texas Gov. Rick Perry on July 18, 2013. At issue before the U.S. Supreme Court are two provisions of the law designed to improve the sanitary conditions and quality of care available to Texas women. The provisions (1) require abortion facilities to comply with the standards set for ambulatory surgical centers (ASC) and (2) require abortion practitioners to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. As cited in the brief, medical experts have testified that the requirements are reasonable and effective measures to raise the standard of care for patients and ensure their health and safety.
The ASC requirement improves the standard of care by providing heightened accountability for practitioners, ensuring patients will not be relegated to substandard facilities, and ensuring a sterile operating environment is in place and pain management options are available on site. Even the president of plaintiff Whole Woman’s Health acknowledged in court that its ASC clinic offers “more robust pain-management options” for abortions than those performed at non-ASC facilities.
The admitting privileges requirement ensures abortion practitioners are qualified, promotes continuity of care in case of complications that require hospitalization, and reduces communication errors and time delays when a patient must be treated at a hospital.
To view the brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, please visit: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/files/epress/15-274_Brief_in_Opposition.pdf