A little more than half of the Texas abortion clinics that were forced to shutter earlier this month have reopened for legal abortion services following a Supreme Court ruling handed down Tuesday.
The country’s highest court has blocked state officials from fully enforcing HB 2, the omnibus anti-abortion law currently winding its way through the federal court system.
Eight abortion providers, including the only remaining legal abortion clinic in the Rio Grande Valley, began scheduling patients again on Wednesday. There are now 16 legal abortion facilities in Texas, up from just eight a little less than two weeks ago.
A panel of judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled October 3 that Texas could begin fully enforcing HB 2, requiring abortion providers to operate as hospital-like ambulatory surgical centers. Just eight Texas facilities met those requirements, and 13 clinics closed overnight.
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This week’s ruling allows some clinics across the state to reopen, even if they are not licensed as ambulatory surgical centers, as long as doctors who provide abortion care at those clinics have admitting privileges at local hospitals—another requirement of the new law.
Two clinics in El Paso and McAllen are exempted from the admitting privileges requirement, though only the McAllen Whole Woman’s Health clinic was able to reopen on Wednesday.