Three groups will begin arguing a federal court in Austin today (Monday), that the new standards requiring abortion providers to gain admitting privileges as local hospitals and restricting the use of abortion inducing drugs are unconstitutional and and an undue burden on women.
These restrictions are set to take effect on October 29th and the supporters of this suit hope a ruling will come down before then.
Collectively, the Center for the Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union plan to call a total of five witnesses, provide written testimony from three experts and a presentation of data and documents to make their case.
Attorney General Greg Abbott’s legal team will defend the abortion measure on behalf of the state, arguing the new law is sound and the three groups suing don’t have a legal standing to wage a legal challenge. Abbott’s team has said in court documents it will refrain from calling live witnesses.
These restrictions in enacted in the second of two special sessions of the state Legislature this summer. The measure died in the first special session when Ft. Worth State Senator Wendy Davis held the bill up in a thirteen hour filibuster. The measure was passed early in the second special session.
The court hearing is expected to take two days.