As you may recall, Republicans have convinced themselves that neutral regulations that don’t actually require companies or their managers to do anything represent a “substantial burden” on the Deeply Held Religious Principles of said secular for-profit coroporations and/or their managers, even when these Deeply Held Religious Principles were re-defined two years ago to become to compliant with the Republican war on the Affordable Care Act. On the other hand, for most Republicans non-neutral regulations that have demonstrably achieved their goal of causing many safe abortion clinics to close and in so doing make it enormously difficult or impossible for many women to obtain abortions do not constitute an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion:
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that two provisions of a Texas abortion law are constitutional, including one that has closed a third of the state’s clinics. The unanimous panel, made up of three women appointed by Republicans, had already allowed the full brunt of the law – the same one now-gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis tried to block – to go into effect.
The Fifth Circuit wasn’t impressed at how much harder it has become for Texas women to have abortions, both because clinics whose providers have been rejected for privileges have closed outright and because clinics with doctors that have been able to get privileges are operating at reduced capacity. According to a map by RH Reality Check’s Andrea Grimes, “As of March 6, there are 25 open abortion clinics, six of which are ambulatory surgical centers, in Texas.” There were 36 abortion clinics in Texas at the time the law was passed, meaning that the dire prediction that a third of the clinics would close has come true. When requirements that abortions be provided in ambulatory surgical clinics go into effect in September, that will leave only six clinics, plus another one Planned Parenthood is building in San Antonio. In 2011, there were 73,200 abortions in Texas.
All three members of the 5CA panel were appointed by Reagan or George W. Bush. Odd — I was told by Real Progressives that the typical Republican nominee these days is like Earl Warren and William Brennan. More on this Monday, but the ruling is an (all-too-predictable)