Groups sue Texas over new abortion ban
AUSTIN, Texas — Planned Parenthood and other groups sued Texas on Thursday over a new ban on a secondtrimester abortion procedure, the state’s first major anti-abortion measure since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that had prompted more than half of its abortion clinics to close.
The lawsuit asks a federal judge to stop Texas from banning a common procedure known as dilation and evacuation, which other Republican-controlled states also have tried to outlaw in recent years. Similar bans are in effect in Mississippi and West Virginia but have been blocked by courts in at least four other states.
Texas Republicans have been undeterred in pursuing new rules on abortion despite losing at the Supreme Court last year. That 5-3 decision dismantled tougher abortion regulations on clinics and doctors and amounted to the Supreme Court’s strongest defense of abortion rights in a quarter-century.
Also filing the new lawsuit is Whole Woman’s Health, an abortion provider, and attorneys for the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which also challenged the 2013 law in Texas that was known as HB2. Texas had more than 40 abortion clinics before that law took effect; there are now about half that number.
The new ban in Texas is scheduled to take effect in September. Courts have blocked similar laws in Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. A court challenge is also underway in Arkansas.