A federal judge on Friday struck down a new set of restrictions for Texas abortion clinics that were set to go into effect Monday. The bill placing limits on abortions after 20 weeks and imposing tougher safety standards on abortion clinics in Texas was signed by Gov. Rick Perry last July.
The lawsuit was brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of several abortion providers, asking U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel of the District Court for the Western District of Texas to block the last provision of House Bill 2, which would have required abortion facilities to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. Those include minimum sizes for rooms and doorways and having pipelines for anesthesia.
In his ruling, Yeakel wrote that the law’s ambulatory surgical center requirements “burdens Texas women in a way incompatible with the principles of personal freedom and privacy protected by the United States Constitution for the 40 years since Roe v. Wade.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who championed House Bill 2 last year, said that Judge Yeakel’s ruling was indicative of “a real war on women.” Cruz wrote on his Facebook page:
The Texas legislature, representing the will of the people of Texas, fought boldly last session to strengthen measures that protect innocent life and to limit the tragic impact of abortion on our society. Today’s court decision is a setback, and would allow abortion facilities to continue operating under substandard conditions – that is a real war on women. I hope that the 5th Circuit will quickly reverse it. #Stand4Life
Abortion champion and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis weighed in as well.