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It's a Wrap: Lawyers Finish Arguments For, Against New Texas Abortion Law Provisions

Veronica Zaragovia, KUT
Plaintiffs, their attorneys and assistants exit the federal courthouse in Austin on Oct. 23, 2013, after the HB 2 injunction hearing ended.

A federal judge in Austin now has the task of deciding the constitutionality of certain provisions in the state’s new laws on abortion.

The state argued that the plaintiffs don’t have proof to support the claim that one-third of abortion clinics in Texas will close on Oct. 29. That’s when the provision requiring that clinic doctors have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals goes into effect.

Andy Oldham argued on behalf of the state. He said no one can predict the future and said plaintiffs’ claims fall “like a house of cards."

"The evidence is crystal clear on this," Janet Crepps of the Center for Reproductive Rights argued on behalf of the plaintiffs. "I can’t believe the state suggested that clinics aren’t gonna close. They’ve passed a criminal law saying if you don’t have privileges you can’t do abortions."

Planned Parenthood says its South Austin clinic will stop offering abortions next Tuesday, though it will continue to offer other services.

Plaintiffs also want the judge to block a provision requiring doctors to follow the FDA-approved regimen for a medical abortion. The judge is expected to make a decision on or before Oct. 28.