San Antonio, Texas – Judge Earl Leroy Yeakel III recently struck down key provisions of Texas House Bill 2 or HB2 which had been signed into law by the governor. The provisions he struck down were set to take effect shortly. Yeakel, who is a conservative justice nominated by George W. Bush during his first term in office, rebuked the legislature for restricting abortions under the cloak of women’s health.
He called out the legislature for passing sweeping new building requirements that force the roughly 40 abortion clinics in the state to pay for renovations that will cost between $1.5 million and as high as $3 million in some cases.
The renovations will have every abortion clinic effectively becoming ambulatory surgical centers. The trouble is that many clinics do not perform surgical abortions and use means such as RU40 to induce an abortion. In those cases, it is unnecessary to transform the clinic into a facility capable of performing procedures they are neither staffed for nor intending to perform.
It is quite likely that Yeakel has the same pro-life viewpoint that President Bush had given the former president’s consistent record of nominating conservatives to the court.
However, Yeakel was not pleased with the deceitful way in which the legislature was trying to run abortion clinics out of business by heaping regulations upon them which most cannot possible afford to pay. The net effect would be to limit a woman’s access to an abortion and cause her delays which is what the 1992 Supreme Court ruling called “Planned Parenthood v. Casey” set as the guideline for states in passing abortion laws. Judge Yeakel said the law would reduce the number of clinics to as few as seven.