Friday, November 22, 2013

Planned Parenthood clinic in Austin, Texas, resumes abortion services [ C0m13x ]

By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) – A Planned Parenthood clinic in Austin, Texas, resumed abortion services on Friday under strict new state rules, the organization said, but 11 other abortion clinics in the state are still not performing the procedure.

Planned Parenthood said its Austin doctor had received admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, a requirement under the new law. The clinic had closed on October 31 when the law was enacted after a federal appeals court overturned a lower-court ruling that said the law was an undue burden on women seeking abortions.

“While we are thrilled that we are able to resume providing women with abortion in Austin – health services that have been their constitutional right for 40 years – there are still women throughout the state that have no option available,” Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas spokeswoman Sarah Wheat said in a statement.

The provision requires doctors to have an agreement with a hospital within 30 miles of the facility in case women have complications because of an abortion procedure.

A divided U.S. Supreme Court declined on Tuesday to block implementation of the new law.

Eleven of the 32 abortion clinics in the state have stopped performing the procedure due to the law.

Planned Parenthood said its facilities in Waco and Fort Worth remained closed.

Reproductive Services in El Paso should know by December 1 if its application to admit any patients at a nearby hospital is approved, administrator Gerri Laster said.

A ban on abortions in Texas after 20 weeks gestation went into effect last month. A requirement that facilities where abortions are performed meet the standards of hospital emergency centers is set to take effect next year.

(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Editing by Ian Simpson and Eric Beech)