April 11, 2014 — A coalition of Texas abortion providers on Thursday asked the full 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review a three-judge panel's decision to uphold two antiabortion-rights provisions in a state law (HB 2), the Texas Tribune reports (Ura, Texas Tribune, 4/10).
The three-judge panel in March ruled that the two provisions do not unduly burden women's abortion rights. The first provision requires that abortion providers have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals (Women's Health Policy Report, 4/28). The other provision mandates providers follow FDA protocol, rather than the commonly used evidence-based regimen, when administering medication abortion (Texas Tribune, 4/10).
According to the Austin American-Statesman, the 14 judges on the 5th Circuit rarely grant an en banc review of panel decisions (Austin American-Statesman, 4/10).
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the petition on behalf of the coalition of abortion providers, asking the full bench to review and overturn the decision. The group noted that courts in other states -- such as Alabama, Mississippi and Wisconsin -- have blocked similar measures.
CRR President and CEO Nancy Northup said in a statement, "We look to the full court to enforce the Constitution, follow Supreme Court precedent, recognize the real life harms to the women of Texas and block this law from being enforced" (Texas Tribune, 4/10).