August 21, 2014 — Texas' defense of an antiabortion-rights law (HB 2) underscores "[t]he deception behind the wave of state-level abortion restrictions now threatening women's access to safe and legal abortions," according to a New York Times editorial.
The Times focuses on reproductive-rights advocates' lawsuit challenging two provisions in the law: one that requires doctors who provide abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and another that requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers.
The admitting privileges requirement is "already in place" and "has severely limited access to safe and legal care in Texas," while the "unnecessary and prohibitively costly" ambulatory surgical center requirement is scheduled to take effect on Sept. 1, unless the court intervenes, the editorial explains.
The plaintiffs have "presented compelling evidence of the destructive consequences of the two rules and the emptiness of the claim that they are necessary to protect women's health and safety," the editorial argues.
"By contrast, the state's defense of the rules was a bizarre and unconvincing show," including the use of testimony "crafted by Vincent Rue, an opponent of women's reproductive freedom best known for promoting kooky claims, like the existence of an abortion-related mental illness he calls 'post-abortive syndrome,'" the editorial continues. It urges the judge in the case to "call out Texas' dishonest bid to crush a fundamental right" (New York Times, 8/20).