April 18, 2014 — A Texas judge on Thursday temporarily reinstated admitting privileges for two abortion providers, the AP/KXAN reports (AP/KXAN, 4/17).
The University General Hospital in Dallas in December 2013 granted admitting privileges to Lamar Robinson, owner of Abortion Advantage. In January, the hospital similarly extended admitting privileges to Jasbir Ahluwalia, medical director of Routh Street Women's Clinic (Aaronson, Texas Tribune, 4/17).
However, the hospital in early April revoked the privileges for both abortion providers. The notice came just four days after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a state law (HB 2) requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals was constitutional, the AP/KXAN reports (AP/KXAN, 4/17).
According to the Texas Tribune, the hospital notified the abortion providers via a letter that their admitting privileges were revoked because they "perform 'voluntary interruption of pregnancies' as a regular part of [their] medical practice."
In March, the hospital had become the target of antiabortion-rights protesters, who urged the hospital to revoke Robinson's privileges and the privileges of any physicians who performed voluntary abortions, the Tribune reports (Texas Tribune, 4/17).
Details of Providers' Lawsuit
Robinson and Ahluwalia on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the hospital under a state statute that prohibits hospitals from discriminating against the practice of abortion.
Esha Bhandari, a staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said, "The letters to the physicians stated that because they provide abortions they were no longer going to be given privileges at that hospital," adding, "The hospital also characterized it as clinical disruptive behavior even though the physicians haven't had to have any interactions with the hospital since getting privileges and the definitions of disruptive behavior in the hospital dialogue has to do with harassment of individuals and so forth" (Poppe, Texas Public Radio, 4/17).
On Thursday, Dallas County District Judge Sheryl Day McFarlin reinstated the physicians' admitting privileges through April 30, when a hearing on the merits of the case is scheduled (Texas Tribune, 4/17).