Constitutional Law

5th Circuit upholds Texas law requiring hospital admission privileges for abortion doctors


A federal appeals court has upheld a provision in a Texas law that requires abortion doctors to have admission privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their abortion clinic.

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found no undue burden, the Austin American-Statesman, CNN, the Dallas Morning News and the New York Times report. How Appealing links to the decision (PDF) by Judge Edith Jones, which overturns a federal judge’s ruling. The American Civil Liberties Union has a press release.

“The district court opinion erroneously concluded that [the law] imposed an undue burden in a large fraction of the cases,” the 5th Circuit said. “The evidence presented to the district court demonstrates that if the admitting-privileges regulation burdens abortion access by diminishing the number of doctors who will perform abortions and requiring women to travel farther, the burden does not fall on the vast majority of Texas women seeking abortions.”

Thirteen of the state’s 37 abortion clinics have closed since the law took effect, according to the Dallas Morning News.

The court also upheld the law’s requirement that drug-induced abortions follow a Food and Drug Administration protocol that medical groups have criticized as outdated.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “SCOTUS allows Texas abortion law to take effect; Scalia and Breyer duel over status quo”

ABAJournal.com: “5th Circuit allows Texas abortion law to take effect; one-third of abortion clinics may close”

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