A survey conducted Monday, October 20 by Operation Rescue reported that five Texas abortion clinics remain closed despite the Supreme Court blocking the pro-life law HB2 and temporarily allowing clinics to reopen.
“Last week’s Supreme Court ruling is only a temporary one that is pending the outcome of the state’s appeal in the Fifth Circuit. We remain confident that the full Fifth Circuit will uphold HB2, then the abortion facilities that reopened will once again shut down,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue.
Earlier this month, the Fifth Circuit of Court Appeals ordered the closure of 14 abortion facilities for failing to comply with HB2’s safety standards. This was a response to a lower court declaring HB2 as unconstitutional and undue burden on women seeking abortions earlier this summer.
The U.S. Supreme Court then blocked the Fifth Circuit’s decision on October 14, which allowed the clinics to reopen.
“The courts’ various rulings has put us on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Certainly we are not happy that nine facilities that cannot meet minimum safety standards remain dangerously open, but we remain optimistic that a permanent victory is forthcoming,” said Newman.
As of now, five clinics remain closed:
International Health Solutions in Austin
Hilltop Reproductive Health Services in El Paso
Whole Women’s Health in Ft. Worth
AAA Concerned Women’s Center in Houston
Aalto Women’s Center in Houston
It appears that both Houston facilities have shut down permanently, while the three others are attempting to reopen. Some clinics, such as Whole Women’s Health in Ft. Worth, no longer have leases or state licenses, making it difficult to reopen.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals may hear the case as early as this December.
Emily Horne of Texas Right to Life remains positive regarding the case. “The encouraging thing for us is that this case is still before the 5th Circuit, and the 5th Circuit has already said a lot of positive things about the state’s merit and likelihood of success. And none of that actually changed with what the Supreme Court said,” said Horne.