National physicians advocacy group backs Texas pro-life law


Thursday, November 14, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 13, 2013 ( – A pro-life physicians association has announced its support for Texas’ law requiring higher standards for doctors who commit abortions.

On Tuesday, the American Association of Physicians & Surgeons (AAPS) filed legal paperwork to support HB2 as it is appealed to the Supreme Court. In a public release, the organization said that “[g]ood, ethical surgeons take responsibility for handling complications of their operations. Many abortions are performed by practitioners who do not have and likely would not qualify for medical staff privileges at a hospital.”

Texas’ debate over HB2 drew national attention when, during a special session of the Texas legislature, State Senator Wendy Davis conducted a filibuster for 12 hours that brought rambunctious pro-abortion supporters to the Texas State House. The filibuster, combined with her raucous supporters’ behavior, delayed passage of HB2 by several weeks. Texas Governor Rick Perry was forced to call a second special session of the legislature, and HB2 passed quickly in July.

The controversy around HB2 focuses on a component of the law that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have challenged the law, saying it is unconstitutional. District Judge Lee Yeakel agreed with the challenge on October 28, but the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Yeakel and said the law could go into effect until the Supreme Court hears the case, possibly in January.

According to lawyers for the state of Texas, which filed its official brief with the Supreme Court on Tuesday, HB2’s admitting privilege component does not constitute an “undue burden” for women who may consider aborting their children in Texas. HB2 could shut down as many as one-third of all abortion clinics in Texas. 

AAPS’ support for HB2 cites that by not having medically-licensed professionals committing abortions, abortion providers are risking the lives of mothers. AAPS also accused abortion providers of “dumping” patients – shifting the costs of their most costly patients onto nearby hospitals.  

This is the third abortion-related case the Court has considered hearing. It has already turned down two cases related to Oklahoma regulations on medication abortions and ultrasound requirements.