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Texas Abortion Law Takes Effect After Judge Rules Parts Unconstitutional

Updated: Tuesday, October 29 2013, 06:54 AM CDT
Unconstitutional: that's what a federal judge ruled part of Texas' new abortion law. But this morning, the rest of it still goes into effect.

Starting today, women who want to get an abortion after 20 weeks no longer can, and it'll also be tougher for women to get a drug-induced abortion, but clinic owners say a part of the law that wasn't challenged could shut them down.

Many say it's the most restrictive part of HB2, and that even after Monday's ruling, that hasn't changed. Come next September, abortion clinics like Whole Women's Health in Austin will have to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. The clinic's CEO tells us that would mean a total costly rebuild of more than $1 million and could impact clinics statewide.

"There's only six of us (clinics) that have an ambulatory surgical center out of those 36," said Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO of Whole Women's Health. "So in the next nine, ten months, we're gonna have to see if people will start to build, if people will raise capital in order to secure a facility. It's not a very long time frame to come into compliance with that law. And that will severely reduce women's access, even more so than the privileges."

Miller expects the law's surgical ambulatory center requirement to be challenged at some point, but she doesn't know of any solid plans or when that could happen.

Another question is how soon a federal appeals court will take up Monday's ruling. It's expected to end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Texas Abortion Law Takes Effect After Judge Rules Parts Unconstitutional

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