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Second Federal Trial On HB 2 Starts Monday

Updated: Monday, August 4 2014, 06:50 AM CDT
On Monday morning, the battle against strict abortion rules heads back to federal court. It's the second lawsuit by providers since summer 2013, when Texas lawmakers passed HB 2.
So what's at stake? Access to safe and legal abortion services, according to those behind this lawsuit. They say right now in Austin there are three abortion clinics, but in September, only one clinic will be left.

Whole Woman's Health, an Austin clinic whose leaders say they were forced to close Thursday because of HB 2, is one of the plaintiffs. The lawsuit is aimed at a couple of things: first, blocking the rule that clinic doctors in McAllen and El Paso have admitting privileges. Plaintiffs say women in those areas are hit hardest because other options are several hours away. Secondly, blocking the part of the bill requiring abortion clinics to meet the same building requirements as ambulatory surgical centers. They say when that kicks in next month, it'll mean fewer than ten clinics left in Texas. Officials say this lawsuit is one step in a long fight.

"You're going to see a lot of evidence medical evidence, complication rates, you're gonna see a lot of things about how safe abortion is," said Amy Hagstrom-Miller, founder and CEO of Whole Woman's Health. "You're gonna see a lot of things about ambulatory surgical center expertise, probably on both sides."

The trial begins at 9 a.m. Monday in downtown Austin. Demonstrators from both sides say they'll be outside the courthouse too. Plaintiffs expect the trial to wrap up Thursday.
Second Federal Trial On HB 2 Starts Monday

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